Directed Energy Demos kW Cryogenic Laser
Directed Energy Solutions (DES), a Colorado Springs, Colo., developer of chemical and optical systems, said it has demonstrated a continuous-output, kW cryogenic solid-state laser -- the highest average-power cryogenic laser ever built. The development and demonstration are part of the Air Laser program, funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Department of Defense High Energy Laser, Joint Technology Office. Cryogenic solid-state laser devices produce increased output power and significant size and weight advantages compared to other types of solid-state lasers, DES said. "Inherent qualities of the cryogenic laser medium lead to improved beam quality and much higher efficiency at high power, which are extremely valuable properties for both military and commercial applications," it said in a statement. The high power-to-weight of cryogenic solid-state lasers offer the potential for effective directed energy weapons for a variety of small aerial, sea-based and ground-based platforms; and their high efficiency can increase portability and efficiency of commercial welding and machining tools, it said.