25 September 2009 Femtosecond lasers for countermeasure applications
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Abstract
In recent years, much advance in the field of high-power femtosecond laser technology has been made. The high pulse power of femtosecond laser systems leads to various interesting phenomena, such as a very high power density and the formation of a plasma in the propagation medium, which is usually air. The possible application of femtosecond lasers for infrared countermeasure (CM) applications, other than direct illumination of the detector, was suggested by several authors. The goal of these countermeasures is to divert missiles from their interception course. We quantitatively examined several suggested CM applications of femtosecond lasers from the literature. Our analyses show that application of femtosecond laser beams for dazzling of missile seeker heads is not in any way promising, neither via white-light generation in the ultra-short laser pulses nor via glowing plasma. In both these cases the generated light intensity is too low to successfully compete with the signal of a typical target. Taking into account literature reports, we conclude that the most promising application of femtosecond laser beams in the field of countermeasure applications seems to be related to inducing damage of the optical components of the seeker system.
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G. C. Franssen, H. M. A. Schleijpen, J. C. van den Heuvel, H. Buersing, B. Eberle, D. Walter, "Femtosecond lasers for countermeasure applications", Proc. SPIE 7483, Technologies for Optical Countermeasures VI, 748309 (25 September 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.830575; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.830575
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