Accession Number:

ADA476195

Title:

Effects of Directed Energy Weapons

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:

NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV WASHINGTON DC CENTER FOR TECHNOLOGY AND NATIONAL SECURITY POLICY

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1994-01-01

Pagination or Media Count:

369.0

Abstract:

This book deals with the effects of directed energy weapons, treating such diverse types of weaponry as lasers, particle beams, microwaves, and even bullets. In order to understand these weapons and their effects, it is necessary first to develop a common framework for their analysis. It is a thesis of this book that all weapons may be understood as devices which deposit energy in targets, and that the energy which must be deposited to achieve a given level of damage is relatively insensitive to the type of weapon employed. Nuclear weapons may be characterized in terms of megatons, bullets in terms of muzzle velocity, and particle beams in terms of amperes of current, but when this jargon is reduced to common units for energy absorbed by a target, similar levels of damage are achieved at similar levels of energy deposited. Of course, energy cannot be deposited in a target unless its first delivered there. Therefore, an important element in understanding weapons is a knowledge of how they deliver or propagate their energy. Some loss of energy is invariably associated with this propagation, whether its the atmospheric drag on a bullet or the absorption of microwaves by raindrops. A weapon must therefore produce more energy than needed to damage a target, since some of its energy will be lost in propagation. As a result, weapon design depends upon two factors. First, the anticipated target, which determines the energy required for damage. And second, the anticipated scenario range, engagement time, etc. which determines how much energy must be produced to insure that an adequate amount is delivered in the time available. This chapter is devoted to developing this theme, introducing concepts and tools which will be used throughout the remainder of the book.

Subject Categories:

  • Directed Energy Weapons
  • Lasers and Masers
  • Ammunition and Explosives
  • Radiofrequency Wave Propagation

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE