Compact High-Energy Pulsed Chemical Laser

Period of Performance: 05/20/1998 - 11/20/1998


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Mission Research Corp.
735 State Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Principal Investigator

Research Topics


Chemical Lasers are the most efficient lasers that can provide high-energy laser pulses at the mid-wave infrared (MWIR) and long-wave infrared wavelengths (LWIR). The utility of pulsed chemical lasers (PCL) has been limited by their size, weight and ruggedness. These limitations result from the technologies used to initiate the PCL. The initiators for PCLs have been principally electron beams and flashlamps. The electrical components for these initiators are large, heavy and fragile and therefore PCLs have not been fieldable as transportable systems. The solution to the problem of making a compact PCL is to replace flashlamps and electron-beam initiators with a rugged, highly efficient, initiator technology. The opportunity exists to use recent advances in surface-discharge initiators to make a compact, portable and rugged PCL. The surface-discharge technology developed by Mission Research Corporation (MRC) was successfully demonstrated by initiating a high-energy (1 kJ) chemical laser. This approach to PCL technology will fulfill the requirements for a compact high-energy infrared laser.