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Activity title

HEL Weapon Technology, Opportunities, and Challenges

Activity Reference

SCI-340

Panel

Systems Concepts and Integration

Security Classification

NATO UNCLASSIFIED

Status

Proposed

Activity type

RLS

Start date

2020

End date

2020

Keywords

Base Defense, cISR, CUAS, Directed Energy, Emerging technology, Hazard analysis, Laser safety, Laser Weapons, Missile Defense

Background

This lecture series is one of the recommendations from the SCI-264 report. HELs continue being subject to a number of myths, false perceptions, and inaccurate expectations. For them to be properly and effectively integrated into armed forces, an impartial awareness of the properties, benefits, and drawbacks of HEL weapons is necessary.

Objectives

The lecture series will introduce the fundamentals of HEL weapons and describe the technical challenges associated moving HEL into a military relevant environment, including: ? The materials, subcomponents of HEL weapons with a description of the technical limitations and knowledge gaps with current state of the art HEL systems. ? A summary of atmospheric effects, as well as techniques for optimizing the laser beam’s quality and brightness into a designated area many kilometers away. ? The latest updates to hazard analysis and the underlying data supporting risks assessments ? Details of available Modelling and Simulation toolkits for HEL performance predictions ? The outcome of this activity would be a series of informative lectures on HELs. The lectures would be informative to decision makers, senior military personal, and to operational units and soldiers. The presentation materials and findings from the lectures could be documented in a report.

Topics

1. Laser weapon technologies, systems, and architecture 2. Atmospheric propagation to include: thermal blooming, brightness and beam combination techniques, and adaptive optics. 3. HEL target effects and lethality. 4. Laser safety, damage mechanisms, deterministic and probabilistic risk analysis 5. Technical challenges to HEL integration into command and control systems 6. The HEL weapon kill chain – differences from kinetic weapons 7. HEL tactics, techniques, and procedures 8. Metrics for HEL system effectiveness

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