Lightweight Beam Dump

Period of Performance: 06/23/1998 - 12/22/1998


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Energy Science Laboratories, Inc.
23342 South Pointe Drive Suite E
Laguna Hills, CA 92653
Principal Investigator


Beam dumps are necessary for absorbing excess power clipped from the beam for shaping it or for protecting structural components. Beam dumps used for megawatt-class lasers are large and can weigh tons. Current government programs aim to demonstrate high power laser operation in airborne and space-based platforms, where weight reduction of all components, including beam dumps, is critical. This project develops lightweight and compact beam dumps that are suited for flight as well as for terrestrial applications where dumps are rapidly moved into the beam. The design concept uses an innovative absorber coating that reduces the need for bulky cavities. High enthalpy materials are used for passive thermal control to eliminate the need for active cooling. Faster thermal recovery is anticipated. Phase l will fabricate and test materials coupons to investigate concept feasibility, materials will be offered for high power testing at outside laboratories, and a subscale demonstration component will be fabricated. Phase 2 would further develop the concept and fabricate prototype beam dump hardware for qualification and use in technology demonstrator programs.