Future directed energy systems may offer affordable, sustainable and scalable application of force to support emerging airborne missions with minimal collateral damage. These systems largely depend on the development of capacitors that can be used in pulse forming networks (PFNs) and/or Marx bank configurations for the conversion of available prime electrical energy into the necessary short and very fast pulses of energy needed to energize military device loads. Such loads may be lasers, electromagnetic guns/launchers, high power microwaves, etc. Compact, lightweight, low cost, pulse power capacitor devices are a necessity for airborne applications and space-borne systems. This paper will discuss research aspects of an innovative concept to integrate an energy storage function into load bearing airframe structure, in order to eliminate much of the parasitic weight associated with conventional pulse power systems. Current high energy capacitors can weigh in the thousands of pounds as shown in Figure 1. For an airborne application this can have a significant effect on the size and take off gross weight of the aircraft. If small aircraft will be used in future directed energy systems, significant improvements in weight efficiency are necessary. Structural capacitor implies that the aircraft/spacecraft structure carries load and also provides a means of maintaining capacitive charge for energy storage and power conditioning in a variety of applications, both pulsed and continuous. The specific objective of this effort is to demonstrate feasibility of a plausible design concept, by conducting a series of experimental trials to characterize the structural and electrical efficiency of the concept.

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