|Acquisition Program: ||PMA-242 Direct & Time Sensitive Strike Programs|
| ||RESTRICTION ON PERFORMANCE BY FOREIGN NATIONALS: This topic is “ITAR Restricted”. The information and materials provided pursuant to or resulting from this topic are restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, which control the export of defense-related material and services, including the export of sensitive technical data. Foreign nationals may perform work under an award resulting from this topic only if they hold the “Permanent Resident Card”, or are designated as “Protected Individuals” as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3). If a proposal for this topic contains participation by a foreign national who is not in one of the above two categories, the proposal may be rejected.|| Objective: ||Develop high-energy laser tunable across the near-infrared spectral regime to perform research in eye safe laser design.
|| Description: ||The development and continued improvements of solid state high energy lasers (SSHEL) enables their consideration for weapon applications and subsystems. The current wavelengths of operation for most SSHELs are considered very hazardous to human eyes, but full assessment of target effectiveness and collateral hazards versus laser wavelength requires experimentation across the range of near-infrared laser wavelengths. A laser system is required that produces high average power output in the 1.3 um to 2.0 um range. Requirements for the development of this laser system are indicated in the table below. Wavelengths in the 1.3 to 2.0 um passband with less than 75% one-way atmospheric transmission per MODTRAN2 need not be considered, so discretely tuned designs are as acceptable as continuously tunable designs. The output beam must be polarized with a M2 beam quality less than 5. Laser output (for commercial system applications) requirements will be 1 kW of output tunable across the indicated passband. Special consideration needs to be applied to the line width of operation at any given wavelength if the design for Phase 3 includes the use of spatial or coherent beam combining (SBC/CBC) or other new techniques and concepts. Innovative designs that address performance, reduced mean-time-between-service as well as reduced total cost of operation or ease of maintenance will receive major consideration.
Final laser requires an output of at least 1000 W across the desired spectrum with a stable output power and good quality beam, as this system will be used in biomaterial threshold studies. The beam should be produced for durations greater than 100 seconds per shot, with at least 100 shots per day.
This laser is needed to satisfy several requirements. There is a legal requirement (Geneva Convention) to design directed energy weapons that minimize the potential for damage to non-combatants. There is also a military need for minimizing fratricide casualties. This laser can provide information both for the protection of civilians and to help combatant commanders minimize risks to their troops. It can, in the latter regard, aid in the design of protective clothing and glasses. On the civilian side, eye-safer wavelengths can be used with laser countermeasures for civilian aircraft faced with shoulder-fired missile attacks.
The design effort should research new laser diode semi-conductor substrates, bar diodes, and other form factors to optimize energy generation in the desired passband.
Parameter Lambda range desired Energy/pulse Pulse width A vg power M2 Factor Pulse Stability
Phase I - II 1.3 – 2.0 um 25 kJ >= 100 s >= 250 W 5 <=2%
Phase II 1.3 – 2.0 um 50 kJ >= 100 s >= 500 W <= 5 <=1%
Phase III 1.3 – 2.0 um 100 kJ >= 100 s >=1000 W <=5 <=1%
|| ||PHASE I: Develop an initial conceptual design for a high-energy laser tunable across the near-infrared spectral regime that meets Navy requirements. Provide a first-order computer model of the designed laser system for use in subsequent design phase. Develop detailed analysis and include methodology and prototype performance that will demonstrate the proposed concept at the specified performance and wavelength tenability.
|| ||PHASE II: Complete detailed component design. Develop and fabricate prototype suitable for proof of concept testing in a laboratory environment.
Note: The prospective contractor(s) must be U.S. Owned and Operated with no Foreign Influence as defined by DOD 5220.22-M, National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual, unless acceptable mitigating procedures can and have been be implemented and approved by the Defense Security Service (DSS). The selected contractor and/or subcontractor must be able to acquire and maintain a secret level facility and Personnel Security Clearances, in order to perform on advanced phases of this contract as set forth by DSS and NAVAIR in order to gain access to classified information pertaining to the national defense of the United States and its allies; this will be an inherent requirement. The selected company will be required to safeguard classified material in accordance with DoD 5220.22-M during the advance phases of this contract.
|| ||PHASE III: Fabricate full-scale high power near-infrared tunable laser suitable for an operational environment. Demonstrate all capabilities and SBC/CBC output powers > 10 kW. Transition to commercial and joint services medical uses and Air Force and Navy programs.
PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/|| ||DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: Since the output wavelength is in the telecom-relevant regime, it is possible the higher performance will be useful to optical fiber communication and data transfer. The laser will also have commercial medical research applications.
|| References: ||
1. ANSI Z136.1-2007. American National Standard for Safe Use of Lasers
2. DODI 6055.11. Protection of DoD Personnel from Exposure to Radiofrequency Radiation and Military Exempt Lasers
|Keywords: ||High Energy Laser; Laser Weapons; Fiber Laser; Eye Safer Laser; Near Infrared; Tunable|