Pulsed Power for High Energy Laser Applications
Navy SBIR 2019.3 - Topic N193-146
NAVAIR - Ms. Donna Attick - [email protected]
Opens: September 24, 2019 - Closes: October 23, 2019 (8:00 PM ET)


TITLE: Pulsed Power for High Energy Laser Applications


TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Air Platform, Weapons

ACQUISITION PROGRAM: None or N/A NAE Chief Technology Office

The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services, including export of sensitive technical data, or the Export Administration Regulation (EAR), 15 CFR Parts 730-774, which controls dual use items. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals (FNs), their country(ies) of origin, the type of visa or work permit possessed, and the statement of work (SOW) tasks intended for accomplishment by the FN(s) in accordance with section 3.5 of the Announcement. Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws.

OBJECTIVE: Significantly reduce the size and weight, and improve the efficiency of Pulsed Power systems for High Energy Laser applications, suitable for operation as a pod-contained payload supporting operation in the next generation of tactical aircraft laser weapons.

DESCRIPTION: The U.S. Navy has been developing a flashlamp-pumped, 1.05 micrometer Nd:Glass rod laser design using multiple pump chambers. The current implementation requires a pulsed power supply capable of delivering 50,000 Joules of energy in 5 milliseconds. The current system is strictly laboratory-based, weighing over 8,000 pounds with a volume of 768 cubic feet. The laser operates in a pulsed mode with a pulse repetition frequency (PRF) of 100 Hz. Significant improvement in pulse rate, reduction in size, weight, and power (SWaP) of the pulsed power forming hardware, and improvement in overall laser efficiency are the goals of this SBIR topic.

Successful technology development should result in a demonstration of a minimum of 200,000 Joules in 5 milliseconds with a rise time of100-150 microseconds, while being suitable for packaging into a 330-gallon aircraft fuel pod. The final objective for the system weight is 1,500 pounds in a volume of 60 cubic feet. An intermediate goal is to demonstrate a minimum of 50,000 Joules per pulse (5 millisecond current or voltage pulse with 100-150 microsecond rise time) into the laser at 20 Hz in a volume of 120 cubic feet and a weight of 4,000 pounds. The average power goal of this system should be 20 mega Watts (MW) with an intermediate goal of 1 MW. The Navy will provide appropriate laser rods and lamps as Government Furnished Equipment (GFE) during Phase II of the effort. The system must be able to operate at a pulse repetition rate of at least 10 Hz for all of the chambers. Each pump chamber must trigger independently from all of the other chambers, allowing for a short (up to 2 second) burst of pulses with variable inter-pulse spacing (1-10 milliseconds).

Although specifically targeted for implementation in future high-energy laser systems for tactical air platforms, the same technology would undoubtedly provide benefits to ground- and sea-based high-energy lasers and programs in all the services for applications such as missile defense and laser countermeasure systems. For the purposes of Phase II performance, the operational environmental conditions shall be nominally 5-35�C, with moderate shock and vibration conditions. However, the laser system design should be robust for eventual operation in deployed military systems and environments subject to MIL-STD-810.

PHASE I: Develop a conceptual design for an improved efficiency, smaller SWaP pulsed power system that meets requirements laid out in the Description. Include methodology and potential prototype performance that will demonstrate the proposed concept with the output pulse parameters as described. A sub-scale hardware demonstration is desirable. The Phase I effort will include prototype plans to be developed under Phase II.

PHASE II: Develop detailed designs based upon the Phase I with improved efficiency and smaller SWaP that meets Navy requirements. Build a prototype pulsed power system, according to this design, meeting intermediate parameters. Install the prototype system in a Navy laboratory, conduct preliminary testing, and report performance results to the Government.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Complete the SWaP reduction and ruggedization of the overall pulsed laser system for incorporation on a Naval aviation platform including electrical interfaces as required by MIL-STD-704F. Demonstrate the final system and the initial scale-up of manufacturing capabilities to deliver for a Program of Record (PoR). Transition the technology to an appropriate platform or end user. Pulsed laser systems may have applications in materials processing fields for cutting and welding. Other commercial applications for the pulsed power system include those where large amounts of energy in a short time period are required such as radar for commercial aviation and the medical field for x-ray systems.


1. Beach, F.C. and McNab, I. R. "Present and Future Naval Applications for Pulsed Power." IEEE Pulsed Power, 2005, pp. 1-7.� https://doi.org/10.1109/PPC.2005.300462



KEYWORDS: High-energy Laser; Pulsed Laser; Pulsed Power system; Laser Damage Effects; Directed Energy; Laser



These Navy Topics are part of the overall DoD 2019.3 SBIR BAA. The DoD issued its 2019.3 BAA SBIR pre-release on August 23, 2019, which opens to receive proposals on September 24, 2019, and closes October 23, 2019 at 8:00 PM ET.

Direct Contact with Topic Authors. From August 23 to September 23, 2019 this BAA is issued for Pre-Release with the names of the topic authors and their phone numbers and e-mail addresses. During the pre- release period, proposing firms have an opportunity to contact topic authors by telephone or e-mail to ask technical questions about specific BAA topics. Questions should be limited to specific information related to improving the understanding of a particular topic�s requirements. Proposing firms may not ask for advice or guidance on solution approach and you may not submit additional material to the topic author. If information provided during an exchange with the topic author is deemed necessary for proposal preparation, that information will be made available to all parties through SITIS (SBIR/STTR Interactive Topic Information System). After this period questions must be asked through SITIS as described below.


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