Power Systems and Energy Storage Modeling for Directed Energy Weapons

LT Jeremy Sylvester, USN

Abstract: As the United States Navy makes leaps forward in technology that is being deployed onboard ships, there is a growing need for research to predict what will be needed to integrate new weapon systems with old. Directed energy weapons are being deployed onboard naval platforms starting in 2014, and this paper seeks to answer the question of what energy storage, if any, must be used in conjunction with high-power lasers in order to integrate them with current ships in the fleet. Four energy storage methods are being researched. These storage medias will allow a ship to fire multiple shots from a high-powered laser without taxing the ship’s electrical system. Lead acid batteries, lithium ion batteries, supercapacitors, and flywheels each have their benefits and drawbacks, and those will be discussed. A computer simulation has been developed and used to represent a DDG-51 Arleigh Burke class destroyer and each of the four energy storage methods. This simulation was run repeatedly with different powered high-powered lasers in order to produce a recommendation for what types of energy storage would be necessary to operate these devices onboard ships.

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Jul 10, 2014

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