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Proceedings Paper

History of Navy HEL technology development and systems testing
Author(s): John R. Albertine
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Paper Abstract

The advent of the DF chemical laser in the early 1970s provided the Navy with a laser source that suffered less from atmospheric absorption than did CO2. This technology was systematically scaled up in power and integrated with beam control systems to support assessment as a future weapon for fleet defense. The Navy-ARPA Chemical Laser (NACL) was mated with the Navy Pointer Tracker at TRW's San Juan Capistrano facilities in the 1975-1978 time frame. This was the Navy's initial integrated HEL system test-bed and was used to provide the first demonstrated kill of an operational missile in 1978. This was followed by the Mid-Infrared Advanced Chemical Laser (MIRACL) and the SeaLite Beam Director (SLBD) which provided the nation's first (and only) megawatt class HEL test-bed. They were integrated in the mid 1980s at the Army's High Energy Laser System Test Facility at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. Following integration, extensive tests were conducted in the areas of high power optical components and beam path conditioning, beam control techniques, high power propagation, target damage and vulnerability, and target lethality.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 June 2002
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 4632, Laser and Beam Control Technologies, (4 June 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.469756
Show Author Affiliations
John R. Albertine, Analytic Services Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4632:
Laser and Beam Control Technologies
Santanu Basu; James F. Riker, Editor(s)

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