Rolls-Royce LibertyWorks reaches directed energy milestones with integrated power & thermal system


Rolls-Royce LibertyWorks has achieved significant technology milestones by demonstrating an integrated power and thermal management system for high-power defensive directed energy applications.

The milestones include advances in electrical power, thermal management capacity, temperature management and control, instantaneous power availability and continuous operations. The advanced technology designed and tested by Rolls-Royce LibertyWorks is the culmination of over ten years of research and development for power and thermal solutions.

Mark Wilson, Rolls-Royce LibertyWorks, Chief Operating Officer, said, “These milestone achievements serve as a foundation to provide our customers with an operational solution to provide endless power capability today. This enables directed energy customers to move past current low-power, low duty-cycle demonstrations by solving many of the difficult issues integrating high-power output with matching levels of thermal management. The Rolls-Royce LibertyWorks technology demonstrator is proving out capability suitable for ground, naval and air platforms.”

Rolls-Royce is conducting final testing with the integrated power and thermal management system technology demonstrator at the LibertyWorks facility in Indianapolis, US, and will move to customer field testing later this year. The primary objectives of the project include creation of a system that could power directed energy applications across multiple customer platforms.

Funded by Rolls-Royce, the design requirements for the project were created two years ago and have now been fully verified via testing. These include:

  • 300kW electrical power
  • 200kW thermal management capacity
  • Precise temperature management and control
  • Instantaneous power availability coupled with “endless magazine” continuous operations – the system can provide the power and thermal management needed to be operated continually as long as there is fuel available
  • Size, Weight & Power (SWaP) densities required for military applications – sized to fit in US Army vehicles and US Navy ships
  • A pathway to supply modular integrated power and thermal management capabilities with multiple applications such as US Army Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles, Navy Littoral Combat Ship, or base defense protection.

The technology development fits within the broader electrification strategy for Rolls-Royce by focusing on specific challenges created with highly integrated electrical power and thermal management systems.  One challenge is the limited space allocated for these systems, and the technology demonstrator provides a unique and differentiated solution to this difficult sizing issue, with a compact size that would fit on a truck, naval ship or medium transport airlifter.

Rolls-Royce LibertyWorks is the advanced technology development unit for Rolls-Royce Defense, focused on the US Department of Defense.  Founded in 1995, LibertyWorks serves as a rapid design, development, and prototyping capability for our US military customers, as well as NASA, DARPA and major airframe companies.

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