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RAY GUNS
Lockheed Martin developing technology to intercept missile threats with Directed Energy
by Staff Writers
Sunnyvale CA (SPX) Oct 09, 2017


A laser weapon system only can engage targets in front of an aircraft travelling close to the speed of sound. That is, unless atmospheric turbulence can be counteracted. A prototype laser turret has done exactly that, paving the way for laser weapon systems on tactical aircraft. The Aero-adaptive Aero-optic Beam Control turret is the first turret to demonstrate a 360-degree field of regard for laser weapon systems on an aircraft flying near the speed of sound. Left unchecked, turbulence would scatter the light particles in the laser beam, much like fog diffuses a flashlight beam.

The U.S. Missile Defense Agency awarded Lockheed Martin a nine-month, $9.4 million contract to develop a Low Power Laser Demonstrator (LPLD) missile interceptor concept, the agency announced Oct. 5.

"Our Low Power Laser Demonstrator concept puts advanced beam control systems and a fiber laser on a high-performance, high-altitude platform to maximize risk reduction value over the demonstration period," said Sarah Reeves, director in Strategic and Missile Defense programs at Lockheed Martin.

"Lockheed Martin has committed millions of dollars to directed energy research and development, laying the groundwork for the laser technology that brings us much closer to an operational system capable of intercepting a missile in its boost phase."

A missile's boost phase - the short window after its launch - is the ideal time to intercept and destroy the threat, before it can reach top speed or deploy decoys. The speed and precision of laser systems make them potential options for a future missile defense system.

Lockheed Martin will draw from expertise in laser system architectures, ballistic missile defense system integration, platform integration, optics and beam control for the Low Power Laser Demonstrator program.

The company has extensive experience in developing laser systems through both government contracts and internal investments, which reduces risk for its demonstrator program.

RAY GUNS
Upgraded Lockheed Martin Laser Outguns Threat in Half the Time
White Sands Missile Range NM (SPX) Sep 21, 2017
A Lockheed Martin prototype laser weapon system proved that an advanced system of sensors, software and specialized optics can deliver decisive lethality against unmanned aerial vehicle threats. In tests conducted with the U.S. Army's Space and Missile Defense Command in August, the 30-kilowatt class ATHENA (Advanced Test High Energy Asset) system brought down five 10.8' wingspan Outlaw un ... read more

Related Links
Directed Energy at Lockheed Martin
Learn about laser weapon technology at SpaceWar.com

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