Beam control system from Boeing looks to improve laser weapon accuracy on Navy shipsNews
February 19, 2015
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. Boeing experts have been contracted to design and develop a beam control system that could enable enhanced accuracy for laser weapons on U.S. Navy warships.
A prototype High Power Beam Control Subsystem (HP BCSS) will be built by Boeing under a $29.5 million contract with the Navy. The prototype will be compatible with High Energy Lasers (HEL) that are based on solid-state laser (SSL) technology as well as be compatible with systems from other companies that are being designed for the Office of Naval Research’s (ONR) Solid State Laser Technology Maturation (SSL-TM) program.
This beam control system will be able to focus and hold a laser on a moving aimpoint for a long enough time to disable the target. Doing that with a ship-based laser can be especially challenging, due to the maritime environment and constant movement of an at-sea vessel.
The Boeing beam control system buids on the company’s work with the U.S. Army’s High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator (HEL MD). During demonstrations at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. last year, the HEL MD acquired, tracked, and destroyed targets in windy and foggy conditions. Important technical data was collected during that exercise on energy systems within a maritime environment, which the ONR then shared with the Army and Boeing. HEL MD has disabled mortars and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) during recent testing.