Monday, March 28, 2011

Laser on Protecting Aircraft

Author: Vladimir Butuzov - CEO - chief designer of Federal State Unitary Enterprise "Research Institute" Screen "

Currently, as a result of work performed under the contract between Rosoboronexport and the Spanish company Indra Systemas SA established laser protection system MANPADS Threats Avoidance (MANTA). Prime contractor Rosoboronexport in this project - the Research Institute of "Screen" (Samara).


Guardian(TM) Commercial Aircraft Protection

Due to the increasing threat of terrorist acts, particularly dangerous for aircraft represent the man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS). Optimal protection against MANPADS is the proper control over the area around the airport by aviation security services, but due to certain circumstances it is not always possible to provide. Thus, over the past 25 years, about 35 civilian aircraft were fired (usually in combat zones) of MANPADS. As a result, it was shot down 24 aircraft and killed about 500 people. In many cases, were attacked by large passenger vessels. Thus, 23 March 2007 in the airport of Mogadishu (Somalia) as a result of the attack was shot down by MANPADS IL-76 Belarusian airline.

As an independent means of protection of helicopter gunships and planes the most widely used "false heat targets and producers of non-coherent modulated infrared interference. However, using a first for the protection of civil aircraft may be limited because of the danger of fire (when using "false heat targets" at altitudes below 300 m) and also due to lack of effectiveness against modern types of MANPADS Stinger . Means of production of incoherent modulated infrared interference can not be enough to effectively counter the MANPADS because of lack of heat radiation as compared to the IR emission aircraft engines.

The conclusions of the Russian and foreign experts, one of the most effective means of protection against missiles with infrared homing devices, including advanced, are automatic laser protection system.

Currently, as a result of work performed under the contract between Rosoboronexport and the Spanish company Indra Systemas SA established laser protection system MANPADS Threats Avoidance (MANTA). Prime contractor "Rosoboronexport in this project - the Research Institute of" Screen "(Samara).

The basis of MANTA is an automatic on-board laser station jamming ALJS. Her work is based on the use of coded multispectral light pulse-periodic BP / HP - laser interference over a wide IR range. Under the influence of a coded laser beam on the missile is the illumination of the infrared receiver and homing in processing path is formed by a false alarm, resulting in the rejection of missile control surfaces, followed by disruption of tracking. ALJS station provides an estimate of the suppression of facts pointing missiles at the disappearance of the reflected radiation from the IR head, indicates a loss of target seeker.

All operations on the detection and tracking of attacking missiles, and guidance for coded laser at the target and disrupt the establishment of the attack laser station produces its own, without the participation of the pilot or other crew members. Laser station is equipped with a built-in self-control. Functioning of the station is in standby and operating modes. In standby mode the station is transferred when you switch on-board power supply and provides an overview of a given space and searching purposes. In working mode the station is translated by the command control system for target detection and provides a maintenance mode and suppress the attacking missile.

To ensure the protection zone of 360 ° in azimuth and 90 ° in elevation on the aircraft are established two stations ALJS. This allows you to repel the attacks from two directions, with each station provides a consistent suppression of the two simultaneously attacking missiles within the prescribed range.


  • Range of detection and suppression missiles Stinger : in the range of their application
  • Zone of the laser system (two stations ALJS), angular degrees:
    Azimuth 0-360
    in elevation from +30 to –60
  • Power consumption, kW: standby / operating mode
    three-phase AC <0.2 <3.1
    DC network <1
  • Mass of the system (two stations ALJS), kg: <215

The composition of the laser jammers ALJS include:

  • warning system for missile launches such as MWS, which consists of two sensors and provides the detection of missile launches with the issue about the fact of starting and angular coordinates of attacking missiles;
  • laser, the source of interfering laser;
  • optical-mechanical unit, which provides detection of missiles on the preliminary target designation system for detecting missile launches and its automatic tracking;
  • control unit and power supply, providing command and control stations in accordance with design algorithms, communication with the controller flight-navigation system, aircraft, and connection to the onboard network and the distribution of power from the onboard network of stations to consumers.

Optical-mechanical plant unit detects missiles at a preliminary target designation system for detecting missile launches such as MWS and automatic tracking of missiles, as well as the identification and selection of missiles with IR guidance from other threats, pointing a missile jamming laser beam and determining whether to suppress it.

In the optical-mechanical unit used maloinertsialnye** elements instead of massive rotating tower. This significantly reduces response time and provide a minimum distance to reflect the attack, which is especially important to protect the aircraft of medium and large size during takeoff and landing. Laser radiation and channel tracking and guidance systems are on the same optical axis, which makes it possible to direct the laser beam directly on the homing head, without using additional devices. Acceptance of infrared radiation from the attacking missile and the reflected infrared radiation from the homing and alignment of the laser radiation are carried out through one exit mirror.

The station ALJS used repetitively pulsed electric-discharge HF-DF laser with a closed-loop change a working mixture, which gives a direct multidiapazonnoe^^ radiation. This type of laser selected for the following reasons:

  • the infrared radiation in spectral ranges similar to the infrared radiation of aircraft medium and large sizes, as well as homing MANPADS both the previous and new generations;
  • in each band is generated many spectral lines, which requires no pre-set laser, and also makes it impossible to protect IR-heads with filters.

Other important benefits for which HF-DF laser is used for station ALJS, are reliability and ease of maintenance. Laser operates in a wide temperature range and does not require large maintenance costs. It is safe for both staff and the environment. Stable laser beam with high energy in each pulse and average power much greater than (in the appropriate spectral bands), the radiation power of large aircraft, can reliably suppress the IR-head missile systems.

Power station is on-board power supply system of the aircraft on a network of permanent (28) and three-phase AC (115/200 V, 400 Hz) current. To maintain the required thermal regime of equipment on the station air is supplied from on-board air conditioning system.

Under the contract ALJS equipped high-tech subsystems for certification according to European standards, which suggests its use on aircraft manufactured in Europe.

Russian Broken Translation; made understandable by GarryB

** maloinertsialnye

Just looking at the translation of the text around it an alternative to a single beam laser in a rotating turret able to give good coverage of a field of view, this unit I would guess is an array of laser elements that cover the field of view.
In many ways this would be comparable to the difference between a standard old dish radar that spins round scanning for targets and an AESA array where each element covers a specific sector simultaneously and can scan the field of view by turning the elements on and off (ie electronic scan) rather than physically moving the antenna, though even an AESA can be designed to physically move to give a wider FOV I think what they mean in this case is that they either have hundreds of laser emitter elements or perhaps they have mirrors that allows the DIRCM to cover targets from any angle by switching them on rather than turning the laser to the threat. Much faster.

^^ multidiapazonnoe

A closed loop system means you don't need to recharge or refuel the system and this case I suspect the bold word means multi directional or perhaps multi use. It means the lasers can be fired repeatedly without having to be refuelled or replaced or whatever. They will likely not be able to be fired continuously, but could be pulsed over an unknown (to us) period of time, which would mean they could handle a lot of targets without needing attention, like refuelling. (Note some chemical lasers use up said chemicals and these chemicals need to be replaced when used up... which would obviously be a problem in the middle of an attack.)


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