Sunday, September 10, 2023

Air Force Maui Optical and Supercomputing (AMOS)


​  The AFRL Directed Energy Directorate operates two major telescope sites that are used to advance SSA technologies. One of these sites is located on Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, and the other site is located on Maui, Hawaii. The Maui site is called the Air Force Maui Optical and Supercomputing (AMOS) site...
​  The AMOS site consists of two facilities that conduct SDA operations and research and development (R&D). The first facility is the Maui Space Surveillance System (MSSS) and the second is the Maui High Performance Computing Center (MHPCC).
​  Research thrusts at the AMOS site include satellite detection and identification, atmospheric compensation and resolved imaging, astrodynamics and orbital metrics, sensor development, laser propagation through the Earth’s atmosphere, database cataloging of satellite images, and high-performance computer modeling and simulation. In addition to its use as an R&D facility, AMOS has been called upon to help identify and/or track spacecraft payloads and communication satellites.
​  The unique focus on research and development as well as operations provides a rapid development cycle from concept to operational implementation.

5/24/2023​  An upward trajectory for directed-energy weapons
​  Directed-energy weapons are electromagnetic systems that convert chemical or electrical energy to radiated energy. They are focused on target and on physical damage that degrades, neutralizes, defeats, or destroys an adversarial capability. Directed-energy weapons include systems that use high-energy lasers that emit photons, and high-power microwaves that release high-power radio frequency waves.
​  High-power microwave weapons create beams of electromagnetic energy over a broad spectrum of radio and microwave frequencies intended to couple and interact with electronics located at a target and then causing damage or temporary disruption.
​  "There's no direct definition for what's the difference between a high-power microwave directed-energy weapon and a radar, but we've tempted to basically have a dividing point of that," says John Tatum in a webinar, sponsored by the Defense Systems Information Analysis Center in 2019 " If a source has a peak effective radiated power of greater than 100 megawatts or radiated energy of greater than one joule per second, it typically will fall into the area of high-power microwave sources."​...
..Air Force Research Laboratory-Kirtland demonstrated a mobile tactical high-power microwave operational responder (THOR), with an aggressive agenda to reach warfighters soon. The intent of THOR is to be up and running in three hours by two people. It's designed to take down several enemy unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) simultaneously with rotational antenna control to provide 360-degree coverage, with the firing mechanism and overall systems control, coming from a laptop computer...
..Also in the report, OSD also requested $11 million in FY2023 to continue ongoing assessments of directed energy weapons, including assessments of the weapons’ effects, effectiveness, and limitations. In addition, DARPA’s Waveform Agile Radiofrequency Directed Energy (WARDEN) program seeks to “extend the range and lethality of high-power microwave weapons ... [for] counter-unmanned aerial systems, vehicle and vessel disruption, electronic strike, and guided missile defense.” ...
.."Directed-energy weapons have been deployed primarily as a force multiplier, able to damage physical targets with greater precision and accuracy, resulting in a competitive advantage over traditional weapons. Especially given the current heightened global threat landscape in Europe and Asia, militaries are seeking any potential advantages," he says...
​.."A key trend right now is the imperative to reduce size, weight, power, and cooling (SWaP-C) requirements in order to make these weapons viable for operational deployment," says Stoudt. "There is an ongoing challenge of directed energy weapon systems being too heavy, too large, too under-powered, and too expensive for widespread deployment.
​  In the modern battlespace, we must balance the need for power with the need for mobility. Now, with the development of fiber lasers, electromagnetic and high-energy weapons can take a more meaningful role in the DOD arsenal. By using modular open-system architectures and optimizing SWaP-C, military and operational utility is enhanced to bring directed energy where it previously couldn’t be integrated into warfighting platforms." ...
..At The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) recently opened a new High-Power Electromagnetic Effects and Modeling Facility at Kirtland AFB. The new $6 million facility supports high-powered radio frequency weapons systems and contains a dedicated forensic lab for studying a range of HPEM targets after engagement. The new facility will allow for greater collaboration as the Air Force is set to advance directed energy technologies.

​Air Force Research Laboratory-Kirtland demonstrated a tactical high power microwave operational responder (THOR), with an aggressive agenda to reach warfighters soon.

​  The Vigilant Eagle Airport Protection System is a proposed directed-energy weapon under development by the U.S. military under a Defense Department contract with Raytheon. It would create an invisible microwave dome around an airport that could block missiles heading toward incoming and outgoing aircraft.​..
​..Raytheon's experimentation with directed energy weapons began when its research labs' experiments had inadvertently produced the first microwave oven in 1958. Under William Swanson, Raytheon's chairman and CEO, the company has become even more focused on directed energy systems. He has stated "When I look at directed energy, it's clear that if someone is gonna put us out of business, it will be us." ...
..Within the last three years, the company's researchers have shot down multiple types of shoulder-fired antiaircraft missiles at a distance of several miles with pulses of microwave energy...
​..The first large difference between the ground-based Vigilant Eagle and other aircraft protection systems is the lower cost between it and its rivals. Mike Booen, Raytheon's chief of directed-energy programs estimates that the system can be built for about $25 million per airport if the system is deployed in at least 25 airports. Of all the airports located within the U.S., the top 31 airports account for 70% of the country's takeoffs and landings. "If Vigilant Eagle is installed in all of them, the expenditure would total less than $1 billion, compared with the $6–$12 billion it would take to install protection systems on 6,000 aircraft".
​  Airline carriers have also stated concerns with airplane-mounted systems because of the weight and cost of these systems. The DHS has stated that the cost of each flight carrying the countermeasure would be approximately $350. During the airlines’ best year ever, they only earned about $600 per flight. It is also unclear whether the airlines or the government would bear the cost of using these types of systems.

​  The ALKA directed-energy weapon (DEW) system is a Turkish dual electromagnetic/laser weapon developed by Roketsan.[1] It was first unveiled at the 2019 IDEF exhibition on 8 May 2019. This combat laser was allegedly used to destroy one of GNC's Wing Loong II UAVs; if true, this would represent the first known time a vehicle-mounted combat laser was used to destroy another combat vehicle during genuine wartime conditions.​..
​..The ALKA DEW is claimed to have a power of 50 kW.​ It operates both laser and electromagnetic systems. It purportedly uses automatic target recognition utilizing both electro-optical and radar detection[2] to track multiple targets simultaneously. It is claimed by its designers to have the capability to disable a swarm of drones at a range of 4000 m,[​ destroy a target with laser at 500 m distance and destroy a target at 1000 m distance with electromagnetic weapons.

​Bystander (examining area exclusion countermeasure for hungry deer)

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