The vulnerability of laser warning systems against guided weapons based on low power lasers
Laser assisted weapons, such as laser guided bombs, laser guided missiles and laser beam-riding missiles pose a significant threat to military assets in the modern battlefield. Laser beam-riding missiles are particularly hard to detect because they use low power lasers. Most laser warning systems produced so far can not detect laser beam-riding missiles because of their weak emissions which have signals less than 1% of laser range finder power . They are even harder to defeat because current counter-measures are not designed to work against this threat. The aim of this project is to examine the vulnerability of laser warning systems against guided weapons, to build an evaluation tool for laser warning sensors (LWS) and seekers, and try to find suitable counter-measures for laser beam-riding missiles that use low power lasers in their guidance systems. The project comes about because of the unexpected results obtained from extensive field trials carried out on various LWRs in the United Arab Emirates desert, where severe weather conditions may be experienced. The objective was to help find a solution for these systems to do their job in protecting the tanks and armoured vehicles crews from such a threat. In order to approach the subject, a computer model has been developed to enable the assessment of all phases of a laser warning receiver and missile seeker. MATLAB & SIMULINK software have been used to build the model. During this process experimentation and field trials have been carried out to verify the reliability of the model. This project will enable both the evaluation and design of any generic laser warning receiver or missile seeker and specific systems if various parameters are known. Moreover, this model will be used as a guide to the development of reliable countermeasures for laser beam-riding missiles.