Lockheed Martin demonstrates weapons grade high power fiber laser

Jan 29, 2014 by Scott Lusk

Lockheed Martin has demonstrated a 30-kilowatt electric fiber laser, the highest power ever documented while retaining beam quality and electrical efficiency.

The internally funded research and development program culminated in this demonstration, which was achieved by combining many fiber lasers into a single, near-perfect quality beam of light—all while using approximately 50 percent less electricity than alternative solid-state laser technologies. The unique process, called Spectral Beam Combining, sends beams from multiple fiber laser modules, each with a unique wavelength, into a combiner that forms a single, powerful, high quality beam.

"Lockheed Martin has opened the aperture for high power, electrically driven laser systems suitable for military applications," said Dr. Ray O. Johnson, senior vice president and chief technology officer of Lockheed Martin. "Advancements in available laser components, along with the maturity and quality of our innovative beam-combining technology, support our goal of providing lightweight and rugged systems for use on military platforms such as aircraft, helicopters, ships and trucks."

The successful demonstration marks a significant milestone on the path to deploying a mission-relevant laser weapon system for a wide range of air, land and sea military platforms.

Prior laser weapon demonstrations in the industry showed target acquisition, tracking and destruction. However, these solutions were limited for tactical military use because their laser inefficiencies drove significant size, power and cooling needs not readily supported by key military ground and airborne platforms.

"The high-energy laser serves as the heart of a weapon system," said Dr. Johnson. "This 30-kilowatt milestone shows our commitment to producing the high beam quality and high power needed to address a variety of 'speed-of-light' defensive operations."

Explore further: NPL and Arden Photonics use phone camera technology for compact laser measurement device

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Laser-induced damage in focus

Jan 17, 2014

The transformation of infrared light to a different wavelength, such as visible light, is important in many applications. Some of the most efficient semiconductor lasers operate in the infrared region of ...

Recommended for you

Comfortable climate indoors with porous glass

17 hours ago

Proper humidity and temperature play a key role in indoor climate. In the future, establishing a comfortable indoor environment may rely on porous glass incorporated into plaster, as this regulates moisture ...

Crash-testing rivets

17 hours ago

Rivets have to reliably hold the chassis of an automobile together – even if there is a crash. Previously, it was difficult to predict with great precision how much load they could tolerate. A more advanced ...

Customized surface inspection

17 hours ago

The quality control of component surfaces is a complex undertaking. Researchers have engineered a high-precision modular inspection system that can be adapted on a customer-specific basis and integrated into ...

Sensors that improve rail transport safety

17 hours ago

A new kind of human-machine communication is to make it possible to detect damage to rail vehicles before it's too late and service trains only when they need it – all thanks to a cloud-supported, wireless ...

Tiny UAVs and hummingbirds are put to test

Jul 30, 2014

Hummingbirds in nature exhibit expert engineering skills, the only birds capable of sustained hovering. A team from the US, British Columbia, and the Netherlands have completed tests to learn more about the ...

User comments : 0