Laser Design Considerations for Directed Energy Weapons

While the use of lasers for directed energy (DE) increases, diversity in requirements and technology continues to evolve. Current directed energy applications, such as those used to eliminate airborne drones, range from comparatively lower-powered, man-portable lasers of 10 kW of optical output power to extremely high-powered lasers with 1,000 kW power levels. These 1 MW lasers are designed to be mounted on high-altitude platforms to destroy boost phase intercontinental ballistic missiles, among other missions.

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8 Design Considerations for Direct Diode Heating Systems

Direct diode heating in industrial applications refers to heating specific regions of a material surface with a semiconductor laser diode. This is as opposed to a fiber or solid-state laser or other non-laser heating methods. In a previous article we described reasons why direct diode heating is more effective than older methods such as IR lamps, microwaves, or forced air. One of the primary advantages of diodes is their flexibility—virtually any aspect of a diode laser heating system can be designed and optimized for performance and cost. Below are 8 factors to consider when choosing a laser diode for a direct diode heating system.

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Six Advantages of Direct Diode Heating for Industrial Laser Applications

Most manufacturing processes require some form of surface heating, but many products cannot be heated directly. Examples include shrink-wrapping, bonding, and annealing. Existing solutions include IR lamps, microwaves, and forced air. None of these methods are ideal—they can be imprecise, inefficient, or even a safety concern. Diode infrared lasers are emerging as an excellent non-contact method of heating surfaces. "Direct diode heating" refers to heating specific regions of a surface with patterned laser irradiation. 

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