AFRL Funding Laser Effects Research
Detachment 8 of the US Air Force Research Laboratory at Kirtland Air Force Base, NM is funding research to better understand and predict “the effects of lasers on various threat targets.” This is useful from a number of perspectives: ballistic missile defense, discussion of concepts like a laser-firing Mk15 Phalanx system or SkyGuard system to protect against rocket attacks such as the ones Israel experiences regularly, the use of modulated lasers to protect commercial aircraft, potential laser threats to civil targets, and more.
The specific contracts include:
Feb 4/08: Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp. of Boulder, CO received an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract for $42 million for research and development under a BAA entitled “Laser Effects Vulnerability Research” (LEVR). At this time $640,521 has been committed (FA9451-08-D-0161).
“This effort shall balance both analytical modeling and experimental tasks to accurately predict the effects of lasers on various threat targets. Laser vulnerability assessments on space, tactical/ground, and missiles, systems, subsystems and components shall be completed to accurately predict the consequences of lasers interaction with these targets. This effort shall mature and enhance current capabilities by developing and improving AFRL’s Missile Assessment Center Codes and databases, research the vulnerability of the aforementioned systems and subsystems, and assess the lethality of potential laser weapon concepts against these systems.”
Feb 1/08: Boeing-Lasers and Electro-Optical Systems Technical Services of Albuquerque, NM received an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract for $49 million to provide support for the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Directed Energy Directorate, Laser Division. At this time $3.8 million has been committed (FA9451-08-D-0179). Boeing will offer assistance:
“…in laser technologies for in-house laser development and laser vulnerability affects testing programs, as well as, a comprehensive solution to laboratory operation and maintenance of laser facilities… This includes the preliminary design, limited fabrication, installation, modification, management, operation maintenance, and documentation of laser devices and systems, as well as, test planning, test performance, and data analysis of all laser devices and system testing.”