Experimental design of a UCAV-based high-energy laser weapon is a Naval Postgraduate School thesis by Antonios Lionis.

Developing a High Energy Laser (HEL) weapon for use on an airborne platform presents significant challenges, primarily driven by constraints related to size, weight, and power (SWaP). Recent technological advancements, however, offer promising prospects for realizing such HEL systems in the near future. This study involves modeling an Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV) equipped with a HEL weapon, along with simulations of the atmospheric propagation of the laser beam.

To assess the impact of various design parameters on weapon effectiveness, the study employs the Design of Experiments (DOE) methodology. It aims to determine the significance of these UCAV-HEL design parameters and their influence on the weapon’s lethality. Furthermore, the research estimates the weight and energy requirements for two design alternatives and provides a tabulated representation of HEL output power concerning UCAV endurance.

Additionally, the study conducts simulations to explore the effects of platform jitter and beam quality on the weapon’s lethality.

Publication Date- December 2016

Experimental design of a UCAV-based high-energy laser weapon contains the following major sections:

  • Introduction
  • Systems Overview
  • Solid-State Laser Physics
  • Atmospheric Propagation and Lethality
  • HEL Weapon UCAV Employment Concept
  • System Architecture Modeling
  • Experimental Design and Simulation
  • Conclusions

Approved for public release.  Distribution is unlimited.

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Author- Antonios Lionis

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