A Plasma Point Defense
Navy SBIR FY2004.1

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2004.1
Topic No.: N04-083
Topic Title: A Plasma Point Defense
Proposal No.: N041-083-1
Firm: Research Support Instruments
20 New England Business Center
Andover, Massachusetts 01810-1077
Contact: John Kline
Phone: (609) 580-0080
Web Site: http://www.researchsupport.com/
Abstract: Research Support Instruments, Inc. (RSI) proposes to develop an innovative defense technology: a large volume plasma generator configured into a plasma point defense cannon to intercept incoming kinetic threats. RSI has developed a patented device to produce large volume atmospheric pressure plasmas. The design is simple, inexpensive, and reliable, using technology found in commercial and industrial microwave heaters. RSI will modify its existing microwave air plasma generator to produce plasma projectiles that will strike targets with high temperature, ionized air. RSI will optimize the technology for effectiveness and efficiency as a plasma projectile and use its expertise in nonintrusive plasma diagnostics to fully characterize the plasmas. The atmospheric pressure discharge will travel to the region of highest microwave field intensity, thus striking the target that has been tracked by a microwave transmitter array. Phase I will include construction of a transmitter station pair, characterization of the plasmas, and a demonstration of plasma generation. Phase II will involve the construction and test of a phased point defense array.
Benefits: The plasma point defense will protect vessels from a variety of incoming threats. In a time when U.S. vessels are encountering irregular attacks from unforeseen directions, and where effective neutralization of incoming kinetic threats is critical, the plasma point defense will provide a technological solution to a serious and growing threat to vessels at foreign ports or deployed at sea.