Power Systems Analysis of a Directed Energy Weapon System for Naval Platforms

LCDR Michael A. Woehrman, USN

Shipboard directed energy weapons development is evolving quickly. The first operationally deployed directed energy weapon is slated to make its maiden deployment in 2014. These weapons enable ships to respond and deliver lethal energy at the speed of light to a variety of threats. A significant factor in engaging most threats with kinetic weapons is the capacity of the ship’s magazine and the time it takes for kinetic weapons to eliminate those threats. For directed energy weapons, a primary factor in engaging threats is the amount of energy storage available to employ the weapon. Developing efficient, large capacity energy storage systems is one of the hurdles to be overcome to make these weapons effective. This thesis investigates energy storage system technologies suitable for directed energy weapon applications, including lead-acid batteries, lithium-ion batteries, capacitors and flywheels. It presents a MATLAB Simulink model developed in collaboration with the University of Texas at Austin’s Center for Electromechanics for simulating and evaluating the behavior of lead-acid battery and flywheel energy storage systems as they supply power to a directed energy weapon. The viability of the Simulink model is demonstrated for energy storage systems to determine and compare the performance characteristics of each system.

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Jan 05, 2014

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