Key Topics for Operational Directed Energy Weapons
Thursday, April 4, 2019 14:00 -15:00 EDT
The Directed Energy (DE) community finds itself at a point of convergence between the state of the art of various forms of DE-weapon technology, and a growing number of emerging and asymmetric threats that those DE weapons can reasonably address in a more cost-effective manner than existing, and thus far conceived, conventional kinetic weapons. Guided rockets, artillery, mortars, and the proliferation of unmanned systems for both intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) and strike, are a few of the many evolving threats that may be addressable by currently available DE capabilities, both high-energy lasers (HEL) and high-power microwave/radio-frequency (HPM/HPRF) systems. This immergence of addressable threats, and the low cost per engagement and a deep electrical magazine, allows for DE capabilities to reduce engagement costs and enhance force protection. Additionally, when a HEL weapon is deployed, the platform ISR capabilities are significantly enhanced throughout the life of the DE system. The same cannot be said for conventional munitions that remain in storage until either used or destroyed at the end of their service life. The advantages of developing DE technology and transitioning DE weapons into the hands of the warfighter, are clear. Therefore, we are now operating under a new paradigm for DE weapons, where the warfighters and acquisition community need answers on how, and not if or when, DE weapons are to be used. So, this now begs the question: “How do we operationalize DE weapons?”
Operationalizing DE weapons requires additional research to increase our understanding of many interrelated areas such as: weather and atmospheric impacts, target lethality, weapon effectiveness and assessment, tactical decision aids, and collateral damage. This brief is intended to introduce DE weapons, will discuss operational issues that must be addressed, and address the typical capabilities and limitations associated with the fielding of DE weapons.
Dr. David Stoudt is a Booz Allen Hamilton Senior Executive Advisor and Engineering Fellow for Directed Energy. He provides scientific and business strategy and leadership to help advance directed energy (DE) capabilities for the warfighter. In 2018, Dr. Stoudt was elected to the Board of Directors, and serves as the President of the Directed Energy Professional Society. Prior to joining Booz Allen Hamilton, he served in the Department of the Navy (DON) for 32 years, the last 12 of which he held an executive ST position as the Navy’s first Distinguished Engineer for Directed Energy. He has a proven track record of providing sound results-driven technical strategic leadership that led to the establishment of world-class directed-energy programs, personnel, and facilities at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren, Virginia, USA (NSWCDD). From 2008 through 2012, he was also the first NAVSEA Technical Authority Warrant for DE and Electric Weapon Systems, such as high-energy laser (HEL), the Electromagnetic Rail Gun, and high-power microwave and radio-frequency (HPM/HPRF) weapon systems. While at NSWCDD, he established and technically directed several HPM/HPRF and HEL technology development programs, including; airborne electronic attack, counter-Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), DE lethality efforts, and the initiation of the Navy’s Laser Weapon System (LaWS) that was deployed on the USS Ponce for three years. He developed and deployed several counter-IED systems, which represented the first ever successful tactical employment of DE weapons, to support Operation Iraqi Freedom. Dr. Stoudt received a B.S. (Summa Cum Laude), M.S., and Doctor of Philosophy, all in Electrical Engineering, from Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia. He is well published, holds several patents, and is a member of the IEEE, the International Union of Radio Science (URSI), the Association of Old Crows (AOC), and was inducted as a Fellow of the Directed Energy Professional Society in November 2005.
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