Lasers bring new urgency to electric power research

April 25, 2013, Office of Naval Research

In the wake of the recent announcement that laser weapons will be put on U.S. Navy ships, the need for reliable, high-voltage shipboard power has become a matter of national security, officials said at this week's Electric Ship Technologies Symposium outside Washington, D.C. The Office of Naval Research (ONR)-sponsored event featured some of the world's top scientists and engineers in power systems, who agree that a new era in electric power is within sight.

"The work being done in this area is vital," said Dr. Thomas Killion, who heads ONR's Office of Transition. "As the upcoming deployment of a shipboard laser weapon reminds us, we need power generation and power management systems with greater-than-ever capabilities, but from devices that are smaller than ever."

Earlier this month, Chief of Naval Operations Jonathan Greenert announced that for the first time a system (LaWS) will be placed onboard a deployed ship, USS Ponce, for testing in the Persian Gulf in 2014. The announcement underscored the need for accessible high-power electric generation, capable of meeting the substantial demands that will be needed to power laser systems and other high-power weapon systems.

As the technology advances, and faced with rising and unpredictable fossil fuel costs, the Navy's next-generation surface combatant ship will leverage electric ship technologies in its design.

While electric ships already exist, design characteristics of a combatant ship are more complex with regard to weight, speed, maneuverability—and now, directed energy weapons.

ONR-supported scientists are focused on cutting-edge technologies that include (SiC)-based transistors, transformers and power converters.

"SiC is important because it improves power quality and reduces size and weight of components by as much as 90 percent," said Sharon Beerman-Curtin, ONR's power and energy science and technology lead. "This is a critical technology enabler for future Navy combatant ships that require massive amounts of highly controlled electricity to power advanced sensors, propulsion and weapons such as lasers and the electromagnetic railgun."

Killion said that a lighter, smaller footprint on ships will contribute to the substantial increase in energy efficiency that is predicted from breakthroughs in electric power research.

"The enhanced capabilities and potential cost savings of increased power at reduced size cannot be overemphasized," he said. "This is the future."

Improved power systems could have enormous impact in both military and civilian sectors. Concerns by engineers over an aging power grid in the United States and elsewhere, for instance, have grown in recent years.

The Navy's power and engineering efforts that will further naval power hold similar promise for civilian benefit. ONR sponsors the Electric Ship Research and Development Consortium (ESRDC), composed of eight leading universities. The ESRDC is focused on afloat power systems, and leads efforts to address a national shortage of electric power engineers, and ensure U.S. superiority in electric systems.

Some of the critical technologies ONR is working on include power-dense electronics; new power conversion capabilities; energy storage; and sensors, weapons and protection. Killion said all of these areas deserve support because they are of naval and national importance.

"A key challenge in designing an all-electric future naval combatant ship is enabling technologies that can provide power agility with minimal energy storage needs," said Beermann-Curtin. "We are making truly noteworthy progress toward those goals."

At the symposium, Killion also announced the pending Fiscal Year 2013 Small Business Innovation Research solicitation opportunities in the power and energy area, including continued development of automated methods for design of cooling systems; alternative power supplies; ship energy use monitoring and analysis methods; compact connectors; and compact for radio frequency sources.

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1.7 / 5 (6) Apr 26, 2013
The technical issues are quite interesting, but the "Bringing Peace and Democracy" bullshit trip is wearing rather thin.

These weapons systems only exist to bully other people in their own countries, and to allow them to be ripped off for their minerals, oil and to be used as slave labour.

The sooner these murderous lying thieves get wiped out the better.
2 / 5 (4) Apr 27, 2013
As I am telling you before one time, cold fusion makes all things possible soon. For rossi also is telling you this one thing.

"A rough estimation that I have read is that it takes 15 Terrawatts of generating power to meet the world's current energy needs, so if my calculations are correct, to meet that need you would need to build 1500 1GW plants to do that — which would require 320 million 10 kW hot cat modules. (Since Rossi has said that the new hot cat plants use 1KW modules now, that number may need to be increased to 3.2 billion)"

-Is more then you can count, no?

"the robotized line we already have designed is able to make half million modules per year, and to double this capacity is not a big problem; besides, much work can be outsourced, and we have already organized a network of manufacturers we can outsource our production to ( for the non confidential parts)."
2.3 / 5 (3) Apr 27, 2013
The sooner these murderous lying thieves get wiped out the better.
Right. You would rather have people like this telling you what to do, what to think, what to wear, and where to go?

"Officials said more than 30 bombings and a shooting hit 12 different areas of Iraq, leaving 50 people dead and nearly 300 injured, making Monday the country's deadliest day since March 19.

"No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks, but Sunni militants linked to Al Qaeda frequently attack both government targets and civilians in a bid to destabilise the country."
2.3 / 5 (3) Apr 27, 2013
US military is the bankster's goon squad, existing solely to enforce the dominion of worthless paper debt notes fools and tools call "money." But Milton Friedman's "invisible hand" is far more powerful and it prefers hard assets over funny money

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