Accession Number : ADA559057

Title :   Nonlethal Small-Vessel Stopping with High-Power Microwave Technology

Descriptive Note : Journal article

Corporate Author : NAVAL SURFACE WARFARE CENTER DAHLGREN DIV VA

Personal Author(s) : Walker, Jacob

PDF Url : ADA559057

Report Date : Jan 2012

Pagination or Media Count : 5

Abstract : The employment of small vessels to attack merchant ships and other seafaring units has emerged as a significant threat to international navigation and safe operations on the high seas. Along with swarm tactics, small vessels have been known to carry improvised explosive devices, help smuggle terrorists and weapons, and serve as attack platforms on the water for larger weapons. While kinetic solutions serve as the decisive option, alternative solutions that employ nonlethal means are being explored. The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division's (NSWCDD's) Directed Energy Warfare Office (DEWO) is evaluating directed-energy (DE) concepts based on high-power microwave (HPM) technology for nonlethal vessel-stopping applications. Nonlethal weapons are defined by the Department of Defense (DoD) as weapons that are explicitly designed and primarily employed so as to incapacitate personnel or materiel while minimizing fatalities, permanent injury to personnel, and undesired damage to property and the environment. Under the direction of the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate (JNLWD), the DEWO is in the initial stages of a multiyear effort to evaluate DE concepts for nonlethal vessel-stopping applications. It is currently focusing on HPM technology. This technology uses HPM sources to radiate radiofrequency (RF) pulses downrange to interfere with motor-control electronics and significantly impede or stop small-vessel motors with minimal collateral damage. These RF pulses can be generated using different technologies ranging from wideband LC oscillators and microwave tubes (e.g., magnetrons, klystrons, and backward wave oscillators) to emerging solid-state technologies (e.g., nonlinear transmission line and photo-conductive switching). In comparison to kinetic weapons or other nonlethal systems, HPM avoids gross physical destruction to the vessel while, more importantly, providing zero-to-low risk of human injury.

Descriptors :   *DIRECTED ENERGY WEAPONS, *HIGH POWER, *MICROWAVE FREQUENCY, *NONLETHAL WEAPONS, *RADIOFREQUENCY PULSES, *SMALL SHIPS, *STOPPING, REPRINTS, REUSABLE EQUIPMENT, SHIP DEFENSE SYSTEMS, SHIPBOARD, THREATS

Subject Categories : Marine Engineering
      Radio Countermeasures
      Directed Energy Weapons
      Radiofrequency Wave Propagation

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE