Northrop SSL Enters Test
REDONDO BEACH, Calif., June 27, 2007 -- Northrop Grumman Corp. has entered the integration and test phase for the Joint High-Power Solid-State Laser Development (JHPSSL) Phase 3 program after meeting demonstration requirements for the first-gain module, or building block, that forms the core of its 100-kW SSL system.
"This means that Northrop Grumman has designed a 100 kW solid-state laser system that can be efficiently manufactured," said Alexis Livanos, corporate vice president and president of Northrop Grumman's Space Technology sector. "We are gratified by the great confidence shown in our design and analysis for this powerful laser system."
A critical design review was conducted by Department of Defense representatives at the company's new Directed Energy Production Facility. Manufacturing has begun at the facility, which was designed to produce high-power gain modules beginning with the JHPSSL Phase 3 program. There will be 32 gain modules in the company's 100-kW JHPSSL Phase 3 demonstrator.
The first gain module demonstrated under the program produced a power level of more than 3.9 kW, operated for 500 seconds at 20.6 percent efficiency, said Mike McVey, vice president of Directed Energy Systems for Northrop Grumman's Space Technology sector.
"Our design for the JHPSSL Phase 3 laser includes design features needed for future systems," McVey said. "We are making major improvements in size, weight and power in the Phase 3 laser compared with the system we demonstrated in the last phase."
Under the current phase, the program's goal is a laser system that reaches 100 kW, setting the stage for capabilities such as wide-area, ground-based defense against rockets, artillery and mortars; precision strike missions for airborne platforms; and shipboard defense against cruise missiles.
Designed to accelerate solid-state laser technology for military uses, the JHPSSL program is funded by the Army Space and Missile Defense Command, Huntsville, Ala; Office of the Secretary of Defense, Joint Technology Office, Albuquerque, N.M.; Air Force Research Laboratory, Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M.; and the Office of Naval Research, Arlington, Va.
Northrop Grumman received a 36-month, $56.68 million contract for JHPSSL Phase 3 in December 2005.
The company also announced this week a contract award from the US Navy valued at $20.6 million for work on the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Enterprise. Its Newport News sector will perform the work, which includes planning, execution and continuous maintenance efforts to support the remaining service life of the USS Enterprise, leading up to its inactivation in 2013.
For more information, visit: www.northropgrumman.com