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Proceedings Paper

Mass modeling for electrically powered space-based Yb:YAG lasers
Author(s): Kevin F. Fitzgerald; Richard B. Leshner; Harry V. Winsor
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Paper Abstract

An estimate for the mass of a nominal high-energy laser system envisioned for space applications is presented. The approach features a diode pumped solid state Yb:YAG laser. The laser specifications are10 MW average output power, and periods of up to 100 seconds continuous, full-power operation without refueling. The system is powered by lithium ion batteries, which are recharged by a solar array. The power requirements for this system dominate over any fixed structural features, so the critical issues in scaling a DPSSL to high power are made transparent. When based on currently available space qualified batteries, the design mass is about 500 metric tons. Therefore, innovations are required before high power electrical lasers will be serious contenders for use in space systems. The necessary innovations must improve the rate at which lithium ion batteries can output power. Masses for systems based on batteries that should be available in the near future are presented. This analysis also finds that heating of the solid state lasing material, cooling of the diode pump lasers and duty cycle are critical issues. Features dominating the thermal control requirements are the heat capacity of garnet, the operational temperature range of the system, and the required cooling time between periods of full operation. The duty cycle is a critical factor in determining both the mass of the diode array needed, and the mass of the power supply system.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 May 2000
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 3931, Gas, Chemical, and Electrical Lasers and Intense Beam Control and Applications, (4 May 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.384287
Show Author Affiliations
Kevin F. Fitzgerald, ANSER (United States)
Richard B. Leshner, ANSER (United States)
Harry V. Winsor, ANSER (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3931:
Gas, Chemical, and Electrical Lasers and Intense Beam Control and Applications
Santanu Basu; Santanu Basu; Steven J. Davis; Ernest A. Dorko, Editor(s)

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