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  • Boeing’s Laser Beam Deemed Battle-Worthy
Aug 2013
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., Aug. 19, 2013 — A new laser system integrating a series of high-power industrial lasers to generate one concentrated, high-energy beam has exceeded required thresholds for power and beam quality during a demonstration for the Department of Defense’s Robust Electric Laser Initiative (RELI).

The Boeing thin-disk laser system, a high-power, solid-state laser (SSL), reached an output of more than 30 kW, making it nearly 30 percent more powerful than RELI requirements. This power will aid in providing military customers with precision targeting for a variety of tactical missions.

 Boeing thin-disk laser engineers work with the system’s main optical bench. Courtesy of Boeing.

“These demonstrations prove the military utility of laser systems,” said Michael Rinn, vice president and program director of Boeing Directed Energy Systems. “In order to be truly viable as a weapons-class system, a laser must achieve high brightness while simultaneously remaining efficient at higher power. Our team has shown that we have the necessary power, the beam quality and the efficiency to deliver such a system to the battlefield.”

SSLs are powered by electricity, making them mobile and supportable during wartime. The Boeing system incorporates a series of commercial SSLs while requiring low levels of support and maintenance. The demonstrations were the first time the Boeing system simultaneously achieved high beam quality at high power.

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