ILDEW Incoherent Light Directed-Energy Weapon
Incoherent Light Directed-Energy Weapon
This weapon uses the enormous flux of natural (incoherent) light (available power density at 0.1395 W/cm2.25) in near-earth orbit. A large orbiting array of focusing mirrors in the 10-to 100-meter class, equipped with pointing and tracking and maneuvering systems to intercept and redirect solar energy onto the planet's surface. . The pointing and tracking systems are accurate to 100 nanoradians.
The optical substrates of the primarily collecting apertures are made from advanced aerogel materials, advanced ceramics (such as SiC).
The system is able to provide battlefield illumination on demand. Depending on the area illuminated, useful illumination could be provided by mirrors operating in concert. Spotlight beams from a few mirrors can be used to aid search and rescue or special operations missions at night, for example.
Additionally, by focusing the light from many mirrors onto a single spot or series of spots, battlefield temperature can also be raised and optical sensors (including human eyes) can be temporarily blinded. Emergency electrical power can be "beamed" to lightweight solar panels erected to intercept the redirected sunlight.
More serious heat damage can be caused by focusing large numbers of mirrors a single hardened target for a period ranging from several tens to hundreds of seconds. Incoherent light weapon systems are limited in the rate at which they cause permanent damage by the fact that incoherent light, unlike coherent (laser) light, cannot be focused onto extremely small spots.
The system can also be used as a high-quality, passive remote-sensing system btraining ground-based, high-power optical telescopes on the mirrors.