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Proceedings Paper

Beam shaping for laser initiated optical primers
Author(s): Todd E. Lizotte
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Paper Abstract

Remington was one of the first firearm manufacturing companies to file a patent for laser initiated firearms, in 1969. Nearly 40 years later, the development of laser initiated firearms has not become a mainstream technology in the civilian market. Requiring a battery is definitely a short coming, so it is easy to see how such a concept would be problematic. Having a firearm operate reliably and the delivery of laser energy in an efficient manner to ignite the shock-sensitive explosive primer mixtures is a tall task indeed. There has been considerable research on optical element based methods of transferring or compressing laser energy to ignite primer charges, including windows, laser chip primers and various lens shaped windows to focus the laser energy. The focusing of laser light needs to achieve igniting temperatures upwards of >400°C. Many of the patent filings covering this type of technology discuss simple approaches where a single point of light might be sufficient to perform this task. Alternatively a multi-point method might provide better performance, especially for mission critical applications, such as precision military firearms. This paper covers initial design and performance test of the laser beam shaping optics to create simultaneous multiple point ignition locations and a circumferential intense ring for igniting primer charge compounds. A simple initial test of the ring beam shaping technique was evaluated on a standard large caliber primer to determine its effectiveness on igniting the primer material. Several tests were conducted to gauge the feasibility of laser beam shaping, including optic fabrication and mounting on a cartridge, optic durability and functional ignition performance. Initial data will be presented, including testing of optically elements and empirical primer ignition / burn analysis.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 September 2008
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 7070, Optical Technologies for Arming, Safing, Fuzing, and Firing IV, 707005 (3 September 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.796584
Show Author Affiliations
Todd E. Lizotte, Hitachi Via Mechanics USA, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7070:
Optical Technologies for Arming, Safing, Fuzing, and Firing IV
Fred M. Dickey; Richard A. Beyer, Editor(s)

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