Guiding Supersonic Projectiles Using Optically Generated Air Density Channels
Interim rept. June 2014 January 2015
NAVAL RESEARCH LAB WASHINGTON DC PLASMA PHYSICS DIV
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We investigate the feasibility of using optically generated channels of reduced air density to provide trajectory correction guiding for a supersonic projectile. It is shown that the projectile experiences a force perpendicular to its direction of motion as one side of the projectile passes through a channel of reduced air density. A single channel of reduced air density can be generated by the energy deposited from filamentation of an intense laser pulse. We propose changing the laser pulse energy from shot-to-shot to build longer effective channels. Current femtosecond lasers systems with multi-millijoules pulses could provide trajectory correction of several meters on 5 km trajectories for sub-kilogram projectiles traveling at Mach 2 to Mach 3.
- Guided Munitions