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Path and Timeline for Simulated ATL Laser Attack  (Source: Wired)

ATL Aircraft  (Source: Wired)
ATL aircraft and its high-energy laser are said to be capable of supernatural accuracy

Lasers have long been the stuff of science fiction and dreams, but good ideas have a habit of moving from fiction into the realm of reality. Boeing is certainly moving the laser from the realm of fiction into reality as a tactical weapon.

Boeing announced that it successfully completed the first ground test of the entire weapon system integrated onboard the Advanced Tactical Laser (ATL) aircraft. Boeing said on August 7 at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico, the ATL aircraft successfully fired its high-energy chemical laser through the aircraft beam control system. According to Boeing, this achievement is a key milestone in the ATL aircraft Technology Demonstration Program.

During the ground test, the laser beam control system acquired a ground target and guided the laser beam to the target as directed by the ATL aircraft battle management system. The laser beam was passed through the rotating turret on the belly of the ATL aircraft.

Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of Boeing Missile Defense Systems said in a statement, "By firing the laser through the beam control system for the first time, the ATL team has begun to demonstrate the functionality of the entire weapon system integrated aboard the aircraft. This is a major step toward providing the ultra-precision engagement capability that the warfighter needs to dramatically reduce collateral damage."

Boeing also reported that on May 13, the ATL aircraft's high-energy laser was fired from aboard the aircraft, but during that test an onboard calorimeter captured the laser beam before it left the aircraft. Boeing reported that after conducting additional ground tests and air tests, the ATL aircraft will then fire the laser in-flight at a ground target later this year.

Boeing stated that accuracy is the hallmark for the ATL aircraft and its high-energy chemical laser, but the company is rather coy on exactly how accurate the laser is. Wired stated that the ATL aircraft and its high-energy laser are capable of phenomenal accuracy during the day or at night.

Wired also added that the nature of the laser weapon and its accuracy allows for plausible deniability in the face of any direct action performed with the ATL aircraft. The only thing a witness would see is the result of the laser hitting the target. The ability for the ATL aircraft in the high-energy chemical laser to strike without attribution reportedly appears in two separate briefing documents delivered by Air Force personnel describing the benefits of the new directed energy weapon.

Another exceptionally impressive aspect of the ATL aircraft and the high-energy laser is that the laser operators and mission planners can choose at will whether the laser is lethal or non-lethal. The laser can be used to either destroy a vehicle completely, or simply blow out tires rendering the vehicle inoperable.

Wired showed an image depicting the phenomenal speed and accuracy of the laser, which claims that the ATL aircraft could in theory, in a mere 26 second engagement strike 32 different tires, 11 antenna, three missile launchers, 11 EO devices, four mortars, and five machine guns in a convoy of military vehicles. The entire strike could be done without hitting one single soldier or refugees nearby. If the capabilities of the ATL and its high-energy laser live up to the claims, it will simply be a phenomenal weapon platform.



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Pew Pew Pew
By theplaidfad on 8/14/2008 12:50:02 PM , Rating: 5
Will there be a house roof-top conversion kit so that I may smite my rude neighbors at will?

Also, how long before it's scaled down far enough to fit one in my pocket? >:)




RE: Pew Pew Pew
By nosfe on 8/14/2008 12:53:10 PM , Rating: 5
or more importantly, how long before it's scaled down far enough to fit on a shark, you can't get cooler than sharks with frickin' laser beams attached to their heads!


RE: Pew Pew Pew
By therealnickdanger on 8/14/2008 3:24:57 PM , Rating: 4
Every creature deserves a warm meal.


RE: Pew Pew Pew
By BadAcid on 8/15/2008 11:55:09 AM , Rating: 1
Let's try not to lose our heads, here.


RE: Pew Pew Pew
By imaheadcase on 8/14/2008 12:54:51 PM , Rating: 2
I want to see actual pictures of stuff it hits. Nothing says "Be scared bad guys" than freakin pictures of stuff.


RE: Pew Pew Pew
By das mod on 8/14/2008 2:45:46 PM , Rating: 3
RE: Pew Pew Pew
By therealnickdanger on 8/14/2008 3:35:05 PM , Rating: 1
Unlike those missiles, you'll never see this laser. I would imagine there would be some sort of visual aide or filter available to see lasers fired by this plane, but they fire so fast that it's nearly useless to spot them anyway.


RE: Pew Pew Pew
By ShaolinSoccer on 8/14/2008 4:06:23 PM , Rating: 2
It would seem like if someone on the ground had a laser prepared to fire back at the source of the laser fired from the sky, it could take it out as soon as the one in the sky fires.


RE: Pew Pew Pew
By snownpaint on 8/15/2008 11:17:09 AM , Rating: 2
It would be hard. First you would have to see the laser (14 - 28secs), then you would have to track it back across its vector (two or three spotting locations would be required to find angle and azimuth..) If you can't spot the plane (radar) it could be anywhere across that vector that isn't visible, plus the plane would peal off for confirmation or new flight angle for second run. That is allot of variability in a short amount of time. Finally, being this is a very new technology, I doubt anyone has this beside the US.


RE: Pew Pew Pew
By Polynikes on 8/14/2008 7:51:29 PM , Rating: 2
Where's the video?


RE: Pew Pew Pew
By Jedi2155 on 8/15/2008 5:35:27 PM , Rating: 2
Here's a laser weapon in action -> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcmI6UnR4gg


RE: Pew Pew Pew
By MrBlastman on 8/14/2008 12:56:00 PM , Rating: 2
Can I pop popcorn with this? ;)


RE: Pew Pew Pew
By ZaethDekar on 8/14/2008 1:01:56 PM , Rating: 2
You could pop a whole field of corn :-)

How hard is it to change the focus on this anyways??? I would rather it warm a large area instead of burn 1 little spot.


RE: Pew Pew Pew
By maverick85wd on 8/14/2008 2:05:56 PM , Rating: 2
agreed, burnt popcorn is terrible.


RE: Pew Pew Pew
By jonmcc33 on 8/15/2008 8:48:24 AM , Rating: 1
Areas like Iraq and Iran are already very warm. They would think it's a normal day. However, if their faces started melting off then that might really send a message.


RE: Pew Pew Pew
By foolsgambit11 on 8/14/2008 2:14:42 PM , Rating: 5
You could pop a whole house full of popcorn. Say... the house of your physics advisor?


RE: Pew Pew Pew
By Smartless on 8/14/2008 2:20:32 PM , Rating: 2
Or you could win a whole bunch of prizes from a Doritos sweepstakes. Enter as many times you like.


RE: Pew Pew Pew
By therealnickdanger on 8/14/2008 3:38:36 PM , Rating: 2
But can we get Mr. Kilmer to wear those white-wash jeans again?


RE: Pew Pew Pew
By hellokeith on 8/14/2008 5:24:32 PM , Rating: 3
As soon as I read the article title, I knew DT had really missed the boat on the article pic.

http://www.malcolmdwyer.com/images/real/27-laser.j...

Everybody wants to rule the world..


RE: Pew Pew Pew
By Drexial on 8/15/2008 12:27:23 PM , Rating: 2
true statement. Ive accidentally watched that movie like a dozen times in my life.


RE: Pew Pew Pew
By Schmide on 8/14/2008 2:47:52 PM , Rating: 2
Nice Real Genius reference


RE: Pew Pew Pew
By ecbsykes on 8/14/2008 1:01:27 PM , Rating: 2
LASER CATS!


RE: Pew Pew Pew
By TimberJon on 8/15/2008 12:57:31 PM , Rating: 2
Oh dude, the little dome will be atop your cell phone in the future. Along with a femtosecond lastorch.


RE: Pew Pew Pew
By FaceMaster on 8/16/2008 10:23:01 AM , Rating: 2
Somebody clearly had a lot of fun drawing in that squiggly line over the picture.


plausible deniability?
By dubldwn on 8/14/2008 1:38:20 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
the nature of the laser weapon and its accuracy allows for plausible deniability in the face of any direct action performed with the ATL aircraft. The only thing a witness would see is the result of the laser hitting the target.

Well, seeing as how we're the only one's with this weapon, I think when the enemy's weapons suddenly disintegrate, it'll be pretty obvious who did it. If we denied it, it just wouldn't be plausible.




RE: plausible deniability?
By foolsgambit11 on 8/14/2008 2:21:40 PM , Rating: 2
I think they're thinking of assassinations. As in, the man next to me just fell down dead. The immediate reason is not clear. Of course, I guess that doesn't happen that much, either. But if it happens to Ahmadinejad, Iran will be quick to presume....

So yeah, not a whole lot of deniability. Unless other people have ground-based war lasers... no? FINE! I give up!

It would also be a good idea to put this on a stealth plane. I mean, if you see the laser-plane fly over your country, then somebody dies of laser burns, it's not hard to put two and two together.


RE: plausible deniability?
By therealnickdanger on 8/14/2008 3:37:50 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
man next to me just fell down dead

It might be a bit different in practice:
quote:
Precision engagement of a PID [Positively Identified] insurgent by a DEW [Directed Energy Weapon] will be a highly surgical and impressively violent event . Target effects will include instantaneous burst-combustion of insurgent clothing, a rapid death through violent trauma , and more probably a morbid combination of both. It is estimated that the aftermath of a sub-second engagement by PASDEW [Precision Airborne Standoff Directed Energy Weapon] will also be an observable event leaving an impression of terrifyingly precise CF [Coalition Force] attribution in the minds of all witnesses .


RE: plausible deniability?
By DASQ on 8/14/2008 4:09:38 PM , Rating: 3
You light on fire, the liquids in your body will boil quickly, and parts of you might explode.


By therealnickdanger on 8/15/2008 11:45:45 AM , Rating: 2
What caught my attention most was the "sub-second engagement". I mean, if it only takes a few miliseconds to cause that type of damage to a human...

Oh. My. Science.

It may just be that I'm getting old, bullets and bombs don't frighten me... but this does. Despite the fact that you wouldn't even know you're dead because it would happen so fast, I still wouldn't want to go out like that.


RE: plausible deniability?
By FITCamaro on 8/15/2008 8:27:41 AM , Rating: 2
The man next to you wouldn't be there anymore.


RE: plausible deniability?
By Ringold on 8/15/2008 3:31:26 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
. Unless other people have ground-based war lasers... no?


The Israeli's have laser defense systems in the works, do they not? That seems to be fairly close. Sort of like quad 50-cal's meant for AA.. point them a little lower, and open fire! I have it on good authority from a Korea veteran that this strategy served him well.


RE: plausible deniability?
By ZachDontScare on 8/14/2008 2:22:59 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If we denied it, it just wouldn't be plausible.


If a hostile foreign leader's airplane gets taken out of the sky and no missile debris is discovered in the wreckage... its very deniable.


RE: plausible deniability?
By masher2 (blog) on 8/14/2008 2:37:54 PM , Rating: 2
No missile debris may be found, but burning a hole in metal with a high-energy laser leaves a very identifiable signature.


RE: plausible deniability?
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 8/14/2008 3:25:56 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder if at a certain wavelength you could cause no physical damage but fry all of the onboard electronics and guidance systems causing it to crash? That would give excellent deniablity.


RE: plausible deniability?
By masher2 (blog) on 8/14/2008 3:29:25 PM , Rating: 2
Not with a laser in the visual or microwave range (maser). In theory at least, an x-ray laser could cause havoc with onboard electronics.


RE: plausible deniability?
By Doormat on 8/14/2008 3:38:45 PM , Rating: 1
In other words, a guided EMP? That would wreak all sorts of havok - especially for people driving in front of me 10mph below the speed limit talking on their cell phone. ;)


RE: plausible deniability?
By bhieb on 8/14/2008 4:33:02 PM , Rating: 5
No those are the ones you want to burst in to flames and melt, as and example to all the others :)


Macros?
By Spacecomber on 8/14/2008 1:50:39 PM , Rating: 5
What does the Geneva Convention say about the use of keyboard and mouse macros with this weapon? Is it considered legit or is it lame?




RE: Macros?
By DarkElfa on 8/14/2008 2:05:00 PM , Rating: 2
No sir, its considered 1337 and I for one would have jump+crouch binded to the left rudder.


RE: Macros?
By therealnickdanger on 8/14/2008 3:40:36 PM , Rating: 2
All botters will be banned.


RE: Macros?
By jjanes on 8/15/2008 7:53:59 AM , Rating: 2
I believe there is no restriction on the use of directed high energy beam weapons such as these in warfare because they were not invisioned when the treaties were drafted and signed nor subsequently amended since. There is a restriction on "blinding lasers" whose sole purpose is to permanently blind a combatant. The Russians are also busy developing these sorts of weapons.


more detail please ...
By James Wood Carter on 8/14/2008 5:52:21 PM , Rating: 2
post hasn't got much detail of the laser... whats its range and penetration capability and such ...




RE: more detail please ...
By lightfoot on 8/15/2008 7:07:20 PM , Rating: 3
Two words:

Class ified.

Or one word if you want to use the English pronunciation.


By James Wood Carter on 8/21/2008 5:39:58 PM , Rating: 2
Well they did show what it was capable of theoretically.


Looks familiar
By masher2 (blog) on 8/14/2008 12:53:56 PM , Rating: 2
Queue appropriate Real Genius quote below...




RE: Looks familiar
By Screwuhippie on 8/14/2008 2:43:51 PM , Rating: 2
I drank what?


RE: Looks familiar
By foolsgambit11 on 8/15/2008 5:21:47 PM , Rating: 2
Rue the day? Who says that?


Saves important things:
By charlieee on 8/14/2008 1:13:09 PM , Rating: 2
If everyone's weapon was taken out of a battle then I would imagine many soldiers would give up. Friendly fire would most likely go down too. A very good solution to save lives it is.




RE: Saves important things:
By rippleyaliens on 8/14/2008 2:12:24 PM , Rating: 2
Whatever on the disable weapons... You my friend are one of these couch patato's .. Warefare is not about who has the biggest gun, but about who has the stomach for it. From sticks, to rocks, to arrows, to bullets, to missiles, and now lasers. (dont forget the trusty computer).
The bulk of our weapons, both home defense and national defense, are what people call PEACE MAKERS.
If my neighbor has a stick, but i have a rifle, who wins. DUHHHH But if he has a rifle and i have a rifle, we have a stalemate.

Since the dawn of time. Weapons have been made, and will continue to be made.


Why purposefully miss people with this?
By Captain Orgazmo on 8/14/2008 3:19:21 PM , Rating: 2
I can think of another handy use for this: picking off baddies out of a crowd of non-combatants. Like the situations where Hezbollah terrorists use groups of women of and children to hide behind after they murder some Israelis.




By jjanes on 8/16/2008 8:26:30 AM , Rating: 2
I'd like to have a camera to take the picture of the jihadist when his buddy standing next to him gets hit, boils, fries, and explodes.

That expression will be priceless.


So its a laza
By akosixiv on 8/14/2008 9:56:04 PM , Rating: 2
So all the enemy has to do is either switch from reactive armor to a reflective one.

Or just dump even more particulates in the air like smoke or sand to blot out the laser.




RE: So its a laza
By lightfoot on 8/15/2008 7:14:24 PM , Rating: 2
The natural countermeasure will be stealth - a laser can only hit what it can see (as in target.)

Smoke and dust may help conceal your location, but I doubt it would stop the laser - it would rapidly "tunnel" through all particles in its path.


lockheed c130
By croc on 8/14/2008 9:58:52 PM , Rating: 2
Does no one else find it strange that Boeing chose to put this system on the venerable Lockheed C130 airframe?




RE: lockheed c130
By JediJeb on 8/15/2008 10:17:52 AM , Rating: 2
Seems logical to me, since it is one of the most reliable and proven airframes being used today. Those things are tough and actually handle very well for their size.


By Bladen on 8/15/2008 4:17:17 AM , Rating: 2
Is that in most sci-fi's the characters usually just jump out of the way, or manoeuvre their vehicle out of the way of an on coming laser attacks.

You can't just dodge a laser beam. The laser beam hits you, you die, end of story.




By lightfoot on 8/15/2008 7:03:49 PM , Rating: 2
In the future when everyone has precog abilities you too will be able to dodge the path of a laser beam.

Not that dodging a bullet is much more realistic.


Spontaneous Human Combustion
By aegisofrime on 8/14/2008 8:09:47 PM , Rating: 3
Oh ... So now we have an explanation for all those spontaneous human combustion cases .




HaHaaaaaa
By hipcraka on 8/14/2008 1:16:13 PM , Rating: 2
This sounds like a fun way to agitate enemy convoys. Incapacitate all vehicles in the convoy. They wait for evac. Evac comes. Incapacitate those vehicles once they get in them. Ahhh, the frustration of having your vehicles demobilized right when your about to leave the scene in them.




subject
By tehbiz on 8/14/2008 1:33:14 PM , Rating: 2
Needless to say, I was a little despondent about the meltdown. But then, in the midst of my preparation for hara-kiri, it came to me: it is possible to synthesize excited bromide in an argon matrix. Yes, its an excimer, frozen in its excited state.




Witnessing History
By TheDoc9 on 8/14/2008 3:50:51 PM , Rating: 2
Has anyone read the quote on Wired, it comes from an official request for the laser to be deployed into Iraq.

quote:
Precision engagement of a PID [Positively Identified] insurgent by a DEW [Directed Energy Weapon] will be a highly surgical and impressively violent event. Target effects will include instantaneous burst-combustion of insurgent clothing, a rapid death through violent trauma, and more probably a morbid combination of both. It is estimated that the aftermath of a sub-second engagement by PASDEW [Precision Airborne Standoff Directed Energy Weapon] will also be an observable event leaving an impression of terrifyingly precise CF [Coalition Force] attribution in the minds of all witnesses.


This is scary stuff, in other words once they locate you and push the button, your clothes burst into flames, your body is mutilated and all of this happens in less than a second.

I'm wondering if this is the next step in warfare, the one that changes things for a hundred years like the gun did and the Gatling gun after that.




Defense weapon
By DingieM on 8/15/2008 4:13:58 AM , Rating: 2
This sounds like a perfect defense weapon on ships, to tackle incoming missiles and/or aircraft within a blink of an eye.
Even multiple high speed threats could be destroyed in a short amount of time, short enough to keep the vessel safe.
Now those nuclear carriers have loads of energy, don't they?




By Enlightenment777 on 9/3/2008 9:22:08 PM , Rating: 2
Don't confuse it with this test...

http://www.breakitdownblog.com/wp-content/uploads/...




So remember back in the day...
By Motoman on 8/16/2008 10:35:07 PM , Rating: 1
...when NASA spent bajillions of dollars developing ball-point pens that write in zero-gravity, while the Russians just used pencils?

...I just imagined Al-Qaeda issuing little hand-held mirrors to it's troops. Maybe pink ones with Hello Kitty on them.




In before...
By kickwormjoe on 8/14/08, Rating: -1
RE: In before...
By kickwormjoe on 8/14/08, Rating: -1
"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer











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