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Proceedings Paper

The European air defence high-energy laser weapon project
Author(s): K. Diener; R. Protz
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Paper Abstract

In asymmetric warfare scenarios, a major threat is caused by hostile attacks using mortars and artillery rockets (RAM). Existing air defence weapons use missiles or cannons as effectors. These systems are well suited for engagements against large air targets, such as aircraft, but they have strong drawbacks for the defence against attacks of small targets, such as mortar grenades or artillery rockets. High-energy laser weapons possess the abilities to be used successfully against such targets: i.e. a short reaction time, a high accuracy, a strong impact on the target. Further, the costs per shot are low and they cause no collateral damages. To counter such a RAM-threat by an effective laser weapon, only a short time scale is available. We developed a laser-matter interaction simulation model to dimension the laser weapon. The main mechanisms of the laser neutralisation of explosive devices are the conversion of the laser source photonic energy into heat on the shell surface and the heat transfer to the explosive. The European consortium of the Air Defence – High-Energy Laser Weapon Project (AD-HELW), composed of French, German, Polish and Portuguese specialists developed a system layout of a complete air defence high-energy laser weapon system.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 November 2012
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 8543, Technologies for Optical Countermeasures IX, 85430R (8 November 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.936329
Show Author Affiliations
K. Diener, French-German Research Institute of Saint-Louis (France)
R. Protz, MBDA Germany (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8543:
Technologies for Optical Countermeasures IX
David H. Titterton; Mark A. Richardson, Editor(s)

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