Laser Design Considerations for Directed Energy Weapons

Arlington, VA  19 December 2019 10:00

While the use of lasers for directed energy (DE) increases, diversity in requirements and technology continues to evolve. Current directed energy applications, such as those used to eliminate airborne drones, range from comparatively lower-powered, man-portable lasers of 10 kW of optical output power to extremely high-powered lasers with 1,000 kW power levels. These 1 MW lasers are designed to be mounted on high-altitude platforms to destroy boost phase intercontinental ballistic missiles, among other missions.

To meet these expectations, the defense industry is currently developing and fielding multiple laser technologies, each offering their own unique strengths and weakness.