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John O | May 2019

Rolls-Royce unveils hybrid power system with advanced thermal management for laser weapons


By Josh Perry, Editor
jperry@coolingzone.com

 

After 10 years of research and testing, Rolls-Royce LibertyWorks, the Indianapolis, Ind.-based division tasked with developing next-generation technology solutions, unveiled a hybrid power system for high-power laser weapon systems.

 


Rolls-Royce LibertyWorks released details about a new hybrid power system for laser weapons. (Rolls-Royce)

 

According to the announcement, the new power system included advancements in electrical power, thermal management, temperature management and control, power availability, and continuous operation.

 

The full list of achievements presented in the press release include:

 

  • 300 kW electrical power
  • 200 kW thermal management capacity
  • Precise temperature management and control
  • Instantaneous power availability coupled with “endless magazine” continuous operations – the system can provide the power and thermal management needed to be operated continually as long as there is fuel available
  • Size, Weight & Power (SWaP) densities required for military applications - sized to fit in U.S. Army vehicles and U.S. Navy ships
  • A pathway to supply modular integrated power and thermal management capabilities with multiple applications such as US Army Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles, Navy Littoral Combat Ship, or base defense protection.

 

“One challenge is the limited space allocated for these systems, and the technology demonstrator provides a unique and differentiated solution to this difficult sizing issue, with a compact size that would fit on a truck, naval ship or medium transport airlifter,” the release continued.

 

A report from DefenseNews added, “The system is designed to fit inside the same vehicle as the laser weapon itself. Up until now, demonstrations of laser systems have focused on scaling and building up the technology of the weapon itself and so the services have used commercial off-the-shelf diesel generators and cooling systems that require a separate trailer.”

 

According to DefenseNews, the system is to be tested with Lockheed Martin’s laser weapon system.

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