HEIMDALL: How it Works

The algorithms for HEIMDALL are designed to scope the principal features of an HPM system based upon specific component choices. It shows explicitly (graphically) how scaling the device in several parameters will influence performance. The code is best used for assessment of variations in designs to predict microwave outputs and component sizes and weights of systems to be built in the future. However, it is not meant to be a design code for HPM components or systems. The accuracy of the HEIMDALL models is rough because it has to include many cases.
HEIMDALL HPM Systems Concept CodeThe figure shows the models included in the various generations of the HEIMDALL code, which have expanded it to include:

  • Burst as well as continuous operation
  • Turnkey systems using Commercial widely-available equipment (COTS)
  • X-ray shield and packaging post-processors
  • Propagation effects, such as transmission through walls and fences,
    ground absorption and reflections


Care has been taken to define the interfaces between prime power and pulsed power, pulsed power and microwave source, source and antenna to facilitate coupling together different types of algorithms from each class. Therefore, each type of algorithm has it own particular logic.

For each component, the code provides the size (largest dimension), the volume and the mass of that component and a state-of-the-art index comparing the performance parameters of being asked for by the user to the existing state-of-the-art. For most cases the key parameter chosen for state-of-the-art is the amount of energy required from the source as a function of frequency. An index is assigned such that existing off-the-shelf devices will have high number, i.e., seven and devices requiring parameters with only calculation or extrapolation support and significant experimental verification is required, is given a low score, i.e., two.

Along with each algorithm comes a list of compatibilities and preferences, i.e., to which other technologies it can or cannot be mated. Preferences are the preferred design practice or the natural technological compatibility. These compatibilities and preferences constitute a good part of the expertise of this expert system.

HEIMDALL was developed under support from the Air Force Research Laboratory, Rome NY. It runs on a variety of Windows operating systems. Heimdall availability is subject to AFRL approval.