This paper describes and presents results from a model created in MATLAB® to calculate and display the time dependent temperature profile on a target aimpoint as it is being engaged by a high energy laser (HEL) beam. The model uses public domain information namely physics equations of heat conduction and phase changes and material properties such as thermal conductivity/diffusivity, latent heat, specific heat, melting and evaporation points as well as user input material type and thickness. The user also provides time varying characteristics of the HEL beam on the aimpoint, including beam size and intensity distribution (in Watts per centimeter square). The model calculates the temperature distribution at and around the aimpoint and also shows the phase changes of the aimpoint with the material first melting and then evaporating. User programmable features (selecting materials and thickness, erosion rates for melting) make the model highly versatile. The objective is to bridge the divide between remaining faithful to theoretical formulations such as the partial differential equations of heat conduction and at the same time serving practical concerns of the model user who needs to rapidly evaluate HEL thermal effects. One possible use of the tool is to assess lethality values of different aimpoints without costly (as well as often dangerous and destructive) experiments.
"Model for visualizing high energy laser (HEL) damage", Proc. SPIE 10447, Laser-Induced Damage in Optical Materials 2017, 1044720 (13 November 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2279979; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2279979