An overview of the experimental 50-cm laser ramjet (X-50LR) program

Franklin B. Mead, C. William Larson, Sean D. Knecht

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

8 Scopus citations


In January 2001, the X-50LR program was initiated to scale the Lightcraft concept ultimately to a 50-cm focal diameter, and to launch a 50 cm, fully functional vehicle, into space in either a sounding rocket or suborbital trajectory by the end of FY 2009. The current work involves scaling from the 10-cm aluminum Lightcraft to a fully composite 25-cm laser ramjet vehicle (X-25LR). An overview and status of this program will be given in terms of the various efforts that support this development. These efforts will include testing at the High Energy Laser System Test Facility (HELSTF), New Mexico; some results of the laser launch system study by Flight Unlimited; supporting research by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR); the different facets of attitude control in a small business program with Polaris Sensors Technology; continuing development of a launch model at The Pennsylvania State University; and, the development of a thrust measurement technique, and the use of a "mini-thruster" for research with The University of Alabama, Huntsville in collaboration with the AFRL. This paper will be followed by a number of papers giving additional details of the efforts briefly overviewed in this presentation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBEAMED ENERGY PROPULSION
Subtitle of host publicationFourth International Symposium on Beamed Energy Propulsion
Number of pages19
StatePublished - May 2 2006
EventBEAMED ENERGY PROPULSION: Fourth International Symposium on Beamed Energy Propulsion - Nara, Japan
Duration: Nov 15 2005Nov 18 2005

Publication series

NameAIP Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0094-243X
ISSN (Electronic)1551-7616


OtherBEAMED ENERGY PROPULSION: Fourth International Symposium on Beamed Energy Propulsion

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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