The world is confronted with increasingly severe challenges of unconventional threats with the popularization of small UAVs in civil fields. Due to the advantages such as killing or disabling targets with no or minimal collateral damage, the high energy laser weapon becomes one of effective means for coping with these kinds of threats. In order to guarantee cost-effectiveness, this paper presents an effect-based method for designing high energy laser weapons. First, we introduce the system components, the operating mechanism, and the damage capability of system. Second, we present the relationship equations between the on-target irradiance and all the influence factors. Finally, we discuss the laser selection problem and beam combining methods and show how to determine main technical parameters of the laser weapon system.
In order to evaluate the damage effect of laser weapon system, the damage effect evaluation module of laser weapons was established based on analytical method. The evaluation indexes of the module were the minimum time required to mutilate the target and the diameter of damaged area. The influence factors of the evaluation indexes were discussed, including optical system, beam quality, tracking accuracy and atmospheric transmission. Under different distances, atmospheric turbulence and tracking accuracy, the diameter of damaged area and the minimum damage time were simulated and calculated. Therefore, the correctness of the model was verified.