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Directed Energy Weapons include laser, high power radio frequency (HPRF), and particle beam technologies (HPRF technology is frequently called high power microwave (HPM) or RF directed energy). Electronic equipment can be defeated or impaired by irradiation from directed energy (DE) sources. Degradation can range from temporary "upsets" in electronics subsystems, permanent circuit deterioration, or permanent destruction due to burnout or electrical overload. As modern systems and their components become ever more reliant on sophisticated electronics, they also become more vulnerable to DE radiation.
Near-term goals for RFE weapons include the development of new HPRF source concepts, such as the interference modulation HPM source concept and frequency agile, broadband klystrons for use in susceptibility testing and in field tests. A mid-term goal is the development of high-gain, broadband antennas. Long-term goals include use of chaos theory research results to achieve greater control of RF weapon sources. High power RF generators need to be smaller, lighter, and more fuel efficient. Projected targets require intensive susceptibility studies to determine the best attack methods. These technical challenges will be overcome by concentrating technology development efforts on improving modulators, RF sources, and antennas. Improvements to reduce size, weight, and power requirements must also be accomplished by enhancements to radiation beam control.
HERTF was designed to scale high-power microwave and high-energy plasma concepts that were pursued for many years in the Laboratory's basic research and exploratory development efforts. It was difficult to advance these concepts with the limited facilities available before HERTF was completed. With this facility, technologies can be advanced to a weapons level. Also, advanced weapons environments can be created, allowing scientists to assess the potential threat of these weapons to United States military systems.
Although the Laboratory's high-power microwave technology is considerably advanced, HERTF is essential in conducting many of the critical experiments still needed to assess the feasibility of the technology for operational systems.
HERTF is located in a canyon in the Manzano Mountains in the southeast portion of Kirtland. The facility has a four-story-high bay laboratory, 80 feet by 150 feet, with concrete roofand walls four feet thick for blast and radiation shielding. The high bay includes two bridge cranes, cable trays, a 12-foot-deep pit for intense radiation source experiments, and access tunnels to an explosive firing area near the high bay. Up to 1000 pounds of high explosives can be detonated in this area to produce hundreds of megajoules of electrical energy needed for these advanced experiments. The facility also contains offices and smaller laboratories where advanced weapons technology experiments and demonstrations can be conducted safely and securely.
From 1973 to 1977, the Laboratory built four laser systems: (a) the one-beam Cyclops; (b) the one- and two-beam Janus system, which is still in use; (c) the two-beam Argus; and (d) the 20-beam Shiva. Each new laser provided more power and better control over the target-irradiation conditions as well as produced higher temperatures and greater compression and density in the deuterium–tritium fuel than its predecessor.
When the United States ceased nuclear testing, laser facilities became even more important for defense research, and the portion of Nova shots dedicated to the weapons program increased considerably. Researchers using Nova continued obtaining high-energy-density data necessary to validate the computer codes used to model nuclear weapons physics.
Up to 1000 pounds of high explosives can be detonated in this area to produce hundreds of megajoules of electrical energy needed for these advanced experiments.
Then there is the SHIVA NOVA project...
This high power laser will be able to create a small sun on Earth when it comes on line next year
Originally posted by punkinworks
What are you talking about?
These systems are so task specific that there is no way they can be used as a weapon as some people keep implying.