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  1. 25 Jul '09 18:20
    rumour has it that the military scientist are already messing around with plasma aswell as laser weopnry or at least attempting to create some sort of technology that uses it could anyone shed some lighht on that please i would love to learn more
  2. Subscriber karoly aczel
    Happy Chappy
    26 Jul '09 15:14
    Originally posted by raywood
    rumour has it that the military scientist are already messing around with plasma aswell as laser weopnry or at least attempting to create some sort of technology that uses it could anyone shed some lighht on that please i would love to learn more
    I've heard they already have a big-ass laser out in the desert somewhere.
    Did they steal some of Tesla's ideas?
  3. 26 Jul '09 16:33
    to be honest im not to shure but from what i do know is that to power this laser it takes alot of energy which what they need can only be created by nuclear power plants but even then they need quite a few plants connected to it but after it is fired then the powr plants are pretty much bone dry of energy so they need to find a way to be able to miniturize it but make be able to not use so much energy but yet still be effective in battle which im not quite sure how they may achieve that so may someone please shed some light on this
  4. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    27 Jul '09 01:42
    Originally posted by raywood
    to be honest im not to shure but from what i do know is that to power this laser it takes alot of energy which what they need can only be created by nuclear power plants but even then they need quite a few plants connected to it but after it is fired then the powr plants are pretty much bone dry of energy so they need to find a way to be able to miniturize i ...[text shortened]... which im not quite sure how they may achieve that so may someone please shed some light on this
    Do you know what PRF means? "Pulse Recurrence Frequency".
    In regular radar, they take a pulse that would be about 50 watts if it was a continuous transmission but compress it in time so it goes out in one nanosecond, for instance. So 50 watts compressed in time to one nanosecond (one billionth of a second) would be for that one nanosecond equal to a transmitter of 50 billion watts. So if you do one pulse per second like that you are putting out what would be a 50 watt signal if it were on full time, but when pulsed, all that energy gets blurped out at once.
    Same with lasers. What may be a 100.000 watt laser if it was on full time, but if it goes out in a one microsecond pulse, (one millionth of a second), then again that 100,000 watts gets compressed in time to all go out in one microsecond. It takes light and radio waves about 6 microseconds to travel one mile, so a one microsecond pulse would represent a 1/6th of a mile long pulse of the laser and would deposit its energy in the time frame of 1 microsecond on target. The target thinks it's being slammed with a 100 BILLION watt slug of energy and that beam causes enormous damage. So you don't need a nuclear reactor to supply it with energy. You just need to charge up a big bunch of capacitors that will release all its energy in one microsecond. Now if you did that at one second intervals, the total energy bill would be 100,000 watts continuously applied. If you did ten shots per second, it would have to be supplied with a one megawatt energy supply continuously applied. Get the picture? They play tricks with the light beam to store its energy and snap it out in a one microsecond time frame but it is not really a 100 gigawatt beam, it just seems like it for that one microsecond period. It's like coiling up a spring which you can do in one second or ten seconds or 100 seconds, doesn't matter, then you cut loose the catch holding back the spring and all that compressed energy comes flying out very quickly. Remember the siege engines of the middle ages and ancient Greece and Roman times? It winds up a rope slowly around a spindle and then release the sling and it uses up all that energy in about a second and the rock in the sling goes a half mile or whatever. Same idea but physical energy instead of electrical, or photonic or chemical.
  5. 28 Jul '09 21:29 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by wired.com
    Military Laser Hits Battlefield Strength
    By Noah Shachtman March 18, 2009 | 9:12 am | Categories: Weapons and Ammo
    http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2009/03/military-laser/ just to cite my references.
    [/b]
    Sadly, I can't add much useful beyond what the article says.

    Quote:

    Huge news for real-life ray guns: Electric lasers have hit battlefield strength for the first time — paving the way for energy weapons to go to war.

    In recent test-blasts, Pentagon-researchers at Northrop Grumman managed to get its 105
    kilowatts of power out of their laser — past the "100kW threshold
    [that] has been viewed traditionally as a proof of principle for ‘weapons grade’ power levels for high-energy lasers," Northrop’s vice president of directed energy systems, Dan Wildt, said in a statement.

    That much power won’t get you a Star Wars-style blaster. But it should be more than enough to zap the mortars and rockets that insurgents have used to pound American bases in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    The battlefield-strength breakthrough is just one part in a larger military push to finally make laser weapons a reality, after decades of unfulfilled promises. The Army recently gave Boeing a $36 million contract to build a laser-equipped truck. Raytheon is set to start test-firing a mortar-zapper of its own. Darpa is funding a 150 kilowatt laser project that is meant to be fitted onto "tactical aircraft."

    Does that mean energy weapons are a done deal? Hardly. There are still all sorts of technical issues — thermal management and miniaturization, to name two — that have to be handled first. Then, the ray gunners have to find the money. The National Academies figure it’ll take another $100 million to get battlefield lasers right.

    Still, clearing the 100 kilowatt hurdle is a big deal. For the longest time, the military research community concentrated on developing chemical-powered lasers. The ray guns produced massively powerful laser blasts.
    But the noxious stuff needed to produce all that power makes the weapons all-but-impractical in a war zone. (One ray gun took as many as eight shipping containers’ worth of chemicals and electronics to power a single blaster.) So the Defense Department shifted gears, and poured money into electric lasers. They’re much less hassle to operate. And, given a steady supply of power, they should be able to fire away, almost indefinitely.

    At first, these electric lasers were weak. When the military started its Joint High Power Solid State Laser (JHPSSL) program in 2003, these easy-to-maintain lasters could barely produce more than 10 kilowatts of coherent light. Now, Northrop believes, going way past 100 kilowatts should be pretty simple.

    In its lab, south of Los Angeles, Northrop combines 32 garnet crystal "modules" into a "laser amplifier chains." Shine light-emitting diodes into ‘em, and they start the laser chain-reaction, shooting out as much as 15 kilowatts of focused light. Combine all those beams into one, and you’ve got yourself a battlefield-strength ray. Northrop’s JHPSSL lasers used seven chains to get to 105 kilowatts. But there’s room, at least, for an eighth. Which means an even stronger blaster.

    The next step is to start trying out the ray gun, outside of the lab. The Army is planning to move the device to its High Energy Laser Systems Test Facility at White Sands
    Missile Range. Testing is supposed to begin by this time, next year.

    -- End Quote
  6. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    29 Jul '09 01:07
    Originally posted by Frogspondence
    Sadly, I can't add much useful beyond what the article says.

    Quote:

    Huge news for real-life ray guns: Electric lasers have hit battlefield strength for the first time — paving the way for energy weapons to go to war.

    In recent test-blasts, Pentagon-researchers at Northrop Grumman managed to get its 105
    kilowatts of power out of their laser — ...[text shortened]...
    Missile Range. Testing is supposed to begin by this time, next year.

    -- End Quote
    So right now it's a 2000 ton monster hauled around by two industrial strength lifters. Yeah, that'l make it into the battlefield REAL soon
  7. 29 Jul '09 01:42
    Well the point is, these are smaller/better than chemical lasers. Anyway, I'd bet we have actual lasers used in war by 2015 or so.
  8. 29 Jul '09 07:29
    Originally posted by Frogspondence
    Well the point is, these are smaller/better than chemical lasers. Anyway, I'd bet we have actual lasers used in war by 2015 or so.
    I doubt that they would ever be very effective because of simple countermeasures that can be deployed:

    Can’t a lazar bean be simply reflected away with a highly polished mirror/surface?
    If they become used often, why not simply cover all machinery and even soldiers clothing with highly reflective surfaces?

    And a lazar weapon is no good if you don’t know where to point it -can’t guided missiles etc be made invisible to radar etc just like the stealth bomber?
  9. 29 Jul '09 11:09
    i may think it could be as sooner as 2012 that these new types of weaponry will be put into use on the battlefield
  10. 29 Jul '09 15:37 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Andrew "Buck Rogers" Hamilton
    I doubt that they would ever be very effective because of simple countermeasures that can be deployed:

    Can’t a lazar bean be simply reflected away with a highly polished mirror/surface?
    If they become used often, why not simply cover all machinery and even soldiers clothing with highly reflective surfaces?

    And a lazar weapon is ...[text shortened]... int it -can’t guided missiles etc be made invisible to radar etc just like the stealth bomber?
    First off, laser has an S not a Z. It is actually an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.

    Stealth tech isn't perfect, and is a problem for ANY weapon system, you can't criticize a particular new technology because it has a potential difficulty common to all similar technologies.

    And last, the whole reason laser weapons have such a high threshold of power output to be considered viable is because they need to be able to hit things that are reflective. A mirror reflects most but not all of the light that hits it, with enough power, the laser can still damage shiny things. Additionally, enough heat let off on impact may melt the reflective surface a bit, removing the problem.

    Also, if something were completely reflective, it couldn't possibly have any targeting, because no information could come in from outside. This is a bad quality to have in a missile.

    And while aluminum foil covered soldiers may be the standard in 50s science fiction, the fact is that it just isn't practical. If you are covered in reflective surfaces, you are an amazingly easy target, from the air or the ground, and even at night with some minor searchlights. So go ahead and dress up in shiny clothes, the snipers with camouflage will spot you 5 miles before you spot them.
  11. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    30 Jul '09 22:38
    Originally posted by Frogspondence
    First off, laser has an S not a Z. It is actually an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.

    Stealth tech isn't perfect, and is a problem for ANY weapon system, you can't criticize a particular new technology because it has a potential difficulty common to all similar technologies.

    And last, the whole reason laser we ...[text shortened]... up in shiny clothes, the snipers with camouflage will spot you 5 miles before you spot them.
    I have a feeling it will take more than a hundred Kw to do the job, probably more like a megawatt of focused light is more like it.
  12. 31 Jul '09 01:40
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    I have a feeling it will take more than a hundred Kw to do the job, probably more like a megawatt of focused light is more like it.
    So 10 times more power or it won't work? Where does that number come from (it may very well be right, I just want to know if there is a source). Anyway, the point is that in a few years we have gone from 10 kW in 2003 to 105 kW in 2009, so who is to say 1,000 kW (1 MW) is impossible.

    More importantly, the way I'm reading it, the way they are doing it now makes it fairly easy to add more power, which is a big difference from how it used to be. If there are 7 lasers combined to get to 105 and there is "room for an eighth", what is stopping us adding even more as needed to get to whatever threshold you pick for real damage.

    And let's keep in mind that missile guidance systems are a lot easier to destroy than we might think at first glance.
  13. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    03 Aug '09 00:39 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Frogspondence
    So 10 times more power or it won't work? Where does that number come from (it may very well be right, I just want to know if there is a source). Anyway, the point is that in a few years we have gone from 10 kW in 2003 to 105 kW in 2009, so who is to say 1,000 kW (1 MW) is impossible.

    More importantly, the way I'm reading it, the way they are doi t missile guidance systems are a lot easier to destroy than we might think at first glance.
    I think it is already known it takes at least a megawatt to kill an incoming ICBM. One big problem they are working out is when the laser blast hits the missile, the spalling cloud absorbs most of the energy of the laser and that protects the rest of the missile. They are working on frequency hopping lasers that try to make it through the cloud that happens in the first second of the attack. It's not a clear cut case of point and shoot.

    Here is a link mentioning the power level of one megawatt:
    http://www.space.com/businesstechnology/airborne_laser_techwed_041117.html
  14. 07 Aug '09 21:00
    Touche.

    So you are entirely correct on the 1 MW thing, However, I still think functional laser weaponry is within reach in the near future.
  15. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Do ya think?
    07 Aug '09 22:24
    Doesn't the F-22 have a laser? It's only for blinding, but still...