Wilmington, MA--Average power levels in excess of 100 kW have been delivered by the Joint High-Power Solid State Laser (J-HPSSL) laboratory demonstration device of Textron Defense Systems’ Directed Energy Weapons (DEW) business line. This accomplishment represents the final technical milestone of the program. The J-HPSSL program, which is funded by the Joint Technology Office under contract with the U.S. Army Space & Missile Defense Command, was awarded to Textron Defense Systems in late December 2005.
Textron says its J-HPSSL is based on the company’s proprietary proprietary solid-state laser concept called ThinZag, which employs ceramic Nd:YAG, pioneered specifically for DEW applications, as the gain material. According to the company, as a single-aperture power oscillator, the ThinZag optical configuration provides a unique path for scaling solid-state lasers to high average power.
“Our THINZAG technology enables us to achieve and sustain high laser power and beam quality in a compact, ruggedized configuration suitable for the operational environment,” says Dr. John Boness, Textron Defense Systems vice president, Directed Energy Weapons. “As a result, this technology offers the promise of bringing reliable and precise directed energy weapons from the laboratory to the field — from an exciting possibility to a confidence-building reality for warfighters.”
“Our Directed Energy Weapons group has a broad base of laser expertise, firmly grounded in the company’s long history of laser technology research and development,” says Senior Vice President and General Manager Mark Catizone of Textron Defense Systems. “Having reached this high average power goal, we enthusiastically look forward to additional successes as our ThinZag technology continues to mature.”
Textron Defense Systems laser technology expertise dates back to its earliest predecessor, the Avco Everett Research Laboratory. Today, the company participates in two of the largest solid-state directed energy weapon development programs in the United States: the Joint Technology Office J-HPSSL program and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency High Energy Liquid Laser Area Defense System, or HELLADS, program.
For more information visit www.textrondefense.com