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A Northrop Grumman engineer tinkers with the deadly 105.5 kw solid-state laser. Northrop Grumman recently announced it had created the world's first 100+ kw solid state laser, raising hopes of laser warfare.  (Source: Northrop Grumman)

The 105.5 kw laser reaches its peak power in 0.6 seconds. It consists of eight lasers chained together to form a super laser. All of these components are contained in Northrop's laser weapon system demonstrator, seen here.  (Source: Northrop Grumman)
Northrop Grumman passes an important milestone, as laser weapons near deployment

Science fiction fans and generals alike have long fantasized about what it'd be like to have a laser weapon at their command.  Now at last such dreams are nearing reality.  After years of steady milestone progress, military contractor Northrop Grumman has reached a significant mark -- the first 100 kW steady-state laser

The laser is part of the Joint High-Powered Solid State Laser Phase 3 Program, which combines 8 lasers in chain fashion to create a "superlaser" of sorts.  Each laser can deliver up to 15.3 kW individually and is about the size of a large briefcase.  Together they form a unit about the size of a couple garbage dumpsters stacked together, which can deliver a peak beam of 105.5 kW.  The device has operated continuously for 5 minutes, a major landmark in integrity.

The beam quality is an impressive 3.0 or better, and full power is reached in 0.6 seconds.

At 100 kW, the laser is capable of delivering a military-ready deadly beam.  The unit could see deployment aboard next-generation battleships and cruisers or aboard large aircraft.  States a company release, "In fact, many militarily useful effects can be achieved by laser weapons of 25 kW or 50 kW, provided this energy is transmitted with good beam quality, as our system does."

However, the relatively large weight and high power requirements remain obstacles to deploying the lethal laser.

Northrop Grumman is not satisfied with the significant breakthrough.  They want to continue to shrink the device so that one day it might be portable on the battlefield.  Dan Wildt, vice president of Northrop's directed energy systems program, adds, "It is still a little heavy and a little big."



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We're gonna need bigger sharks...
By judasmachine on 3/23/2009 10:38:38 AM , Rating: 2
This is cool. But what would be the exact use of this? Match it with a tracking unit to shoot down incoming aircraft, missiles, artillery shells? I personally can't wait until it's at least down to the size of a flame thrower.




By Moishe on 3/23/2009 10:44:55 AM , Rating: 5
The speed is the amazing thing. We need 4-8 automated laser turrets on each attack helicopter so that when you fly over some city it will automatically take out threats, incoming RPGs, etc.

The possibilities are endless if you can shrink them and provide the power. Every vehicle, aircraft, and soldier (think shoulder mounted predator) needs one.


RE: We're gonna need bigger sharks...
By Hulk on 3/23/2009 10:47:46 AM , Rating: 5
If the kill range is good I wouldn't think size/weight/power requirement would be that large of an issue for ships and large aircraft.

For example, one or two of these on an aircraft carrier? What a fantastic weapon to shoot down incoming missiles. Obviously it's size and power requirements wouldn't be an issue on a nuclear powered carrier. And the ability to track/correct/track on incoming missiles seems like a great advantage over the Patriot system where you miss you lose!

I'm also not real keen on us being the first ones to be inflicting terrible burn injuries on enemy fighters. I'm seeing this more as a great defensive weapon. ie you come within x kilometers of us and we are warning you that you are in our kill zone.

Then again we might need these on tanks if Godzilla and Godzilla-like monsters begin to attack!


RE: We're gonna need bigger sharks...
By porkpie on 3/23/2009 11:01:02 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
I'm also not real keen on us being the first ones to be inflicting terrible burn injuries on enemy fighters.
You mean besides the widespread use of flamethrowers in WW2, or chemical weapon burns in WWI ?

Personally, I'll bet that being killed by a laser is a lot less painful than getting shot in the gut and taking a few hours to die.


RE: We're gonna need bigger sharks...
By theapparition on 3/23/2009 12:02:27 PM , Rating: 2
While I'm no expert on the subject, I belive the usefulness of laser weapons is not from the "burn through", but rather the momentum energy (yes photons have momentum). Such energy could rupture the structural integrity of a craft, causing explosion.

Much as people rarely die in an explosion from burns but rather from close proximity to concusive force. I think this would be similar.

Either way, you're right, being shot is no guarantee of death.


RE: We're gonna need bigger sharks...
By PKmjolnir on 3/23/2009 1:26:06 PM , Rating: 5
The extreme heat generation from a 100KW laser beam will by far outweight any radiation pressure effects.

A 100mW laser can pop balloons and cut trough/burn paper, 100KW is one million times that amount of energy. If you point a 100mW laser to a spot on your forehead for 11.5 days you'll have had the same amount of energy directed at you as you would in one second from a 100kW laser, but with 11.5 days less time to radiate/conduct away the thermal energy.

A problem here is if you hit a reflective surface and send a stray 1 watt laser reflection in 100000 directions, blinding
people all the over the place.


RE: We're gonna need bigger sharks...
By BigPeen on 3/23/2009 7:51:28 PM , Rating: 2
Chances are there aren't many materials that will reflect this laser. It would probably just burn right through any normal mirror or reflector. What is the emission wavelength anyways?


By Master Kenobi (blog) on 3/24/2009 9:31:07 AM , Rating: 2
Emission wavelength is classified and rightly so. Harder to develop an effective counter to it that way.


By Davelo on 3/24/2009 12:32:02 PM , Rating: 2
Does that mean any missile with a reflective surface is immune to this high powered laser?


RE: We're gonna need bigger sharks...
By MrPoletski on 3/23/2009 1:09:02 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
You mean besides the widespread use of flamethrowers in WW2, or chemical weapon burns in WWI ?


Or the white phosphor grenades used in vietnam... or the white phosphor shells dropped on Gaza (cough) sold to Isreal by the US;)

quote:
Personally, I'll bet that being killed by a laser is a lot less painful than getting shot in the gut and taking a few hours to die.


A 'laser wound' will be very different from a bullet wound.

Instead of carving a hole through the body (and the bullet might fragment and ricochet inside you too) which, with enough bullet power, will destroy adjacent tissue too.. You have a direct straight line burn-through. That laser will incinerate everything in its path, but not much outside it's path.

On top of that, the laser weapon will likely cauterise the wound enough for there to be no bleeding.

So a laser shot that burns a hole through your leg would likely incinerate the bone it hits too, leaving a 3cm wide hole right through your leg. probably wont bleed much though. Get an assault rifle bullet through the leg and you'll likely blow the limb off and bleed to death if you don't get assistance.

Get shot in the gut by either weapon though and my money is on the assault rifle victim surviving over the laser weapon. Sure that bullet will mince your intestines, but that can be sewn back together, when you're missing a massive chunk of them though, that's difficult. not to mention that an assault rifle bullet might merely deflect off your spine, the laser would burn through it like anything else.


RE: We're gonna need bigger sharks...
By Jimbo1234 on 3/23/2009 2:25:22 PM , Rating: 2
And since the laser can be operated continuously for a few minutes, it's going to cut a continous path when moved, essentially slicing the victim in 1/2 or making a whatever is diameter hole. I'd say that's a more effective way to eliminate a threat than turning them into swiss cheese.


By MrPoletski on 3/25/2009 6:44:10 AM , Rating: 2
What's the biggest threat to a standing army?

Simultaneously slicing off all their legs in a big windscreen-wiper of death maneuver....


RE: We're gonna need bigger sharks...
By Ammohunt on 3/23/2009 2:55:14 PM , Rating: 2
I believe they would use the laser to draw lines such as on an armored collumn against personnel i would think it would be the same. So rather then a burn hole you would mostly like be sliced in twain or thrain.


RE: We're gonna need bigger sharks...
By Reclaimer77 on 3/24/2009 10:13:53 AM , Rating: 2
You guys have it all wrong.

Our bodies are 80% water or something aren't they ? If you were ever hit by a laser of this power, you would simply burst into flames or explode from the insane temperature differences.


By AssBall on 3/24/2009 4:58:25 PM , Rating: 2
Plus it will sublimate bone on contact, if not turn it into plasma. You don't just have a hole in you, you have high energy plasma... not good.


By MrPoletski on 3/30/2009 9:42:42 AM , Rating: 2
the rate at which the target is heated may cause explosive style expansion, but I think damage from that would be insignificant compared to the cutting of the laser.


RE: We're gonna need bigger sharks...
By besya on 3/24/2009 12:25:43 PM , Rating: 2
A few questions:

You keep on saying assault rifle, why? How is it different from any rifle? With the power required to run such a laser why would any military want to use it directly against individual soldiers, some might get hit by accident, but that's about it. Comparing a rifle to a laser of this power seems wrong. This laser should be compared to a rocket strike, mortar fire or something in that category, at least from a deployment point of view.


By bryanW1995 on 3/23/2009 6:19:08 PM , Rating: 2
yeah, mothra had better watch out, too!! northrup grumman hq could be our only hope...


RE: We're gonna need bigger sharks...
By Triple Omega on 3/23/2009 10:49:02 AM , Rating: 2
Although I don't doubt it will reach that size in the future, carrying a battery-pack with enough juice to power that baby for longer then a millisecond would really hurt your back. :P


RE: We're gonna need bigger sharks...
By dickeywang on 3/23/2009 11:28:59 AM , Rating: 2
I bet we will see portable nuclear-powered battery pack by that time. :D


RE: We're gonna need bigger sharks...
By Boze on 3/23/2009 12:24:46 PM , Rating: 5
Don't cross the streams.


RE: We're gonna need bigger sharks...
By ZJammon on 3/23/2009 5:28:12 PM , Rating: 2
Why not save your back and use the new HULC from Lockheed Martin?

http://www.gizmag.com/lockheed-martin-exoskeleton-...


By shin0bi272 on 3/23/2009 9:23:56 PM , Rating: 2
or the raytheon/sarcos version


RE: We're gonna need bigger sharks...
By abraxas1 on 3/23/2009 10:49:39 AM , Rating: 2
I'm thinking some kind of point defense system. Purely a defensive system with rail guns for offensive purposes on ships.

Get it small enough and you can place it all planes or drones for defense rather then using the old flare and chaff solutions.


RE: We're gonna need bigger sharks...
By Calin on 3/23/2009 11:09:12 AM , Rating: 2
You can have a reflector on a drone, and use the ship-mounted system to hit targets that aren't in your field of view, or on reverse slopes, or anywhere you'd like.
There are a lot of possibilities


By otispunkmeyer on 3/23/2009 11:45:23 AM , Rating: 2
i like it.... need some pretty expensive mirrors though, the energy density in the beam would probably be easily enough to machine right through them.


By austinag on 3/23/2009 11:46:42 AM , Rating: 2
True, but that better be one clean frikin reflector...


By Spectator on 3/23/2009 3:15:50 PM , Rating: 2
Dont forget All that Space junk. Need to clear that up also :P


RE: We're gonna need bigger sharks...
By Aloonatic on 3/23/2009 11:13:55 AM , Rating: 2
Looking at that picture, I'm not sure it'll be of much use anywhere other than outer space. If they need to be in a dust free environment then the Taliban will not have to worry about this any time soon :)


RE: We're gonna need bigger sharks...
By derwin on 3/23/2009 11:24:38 AM , Rating: 2
Thats a really interesting point.

I can imagine the day when something maybe a little stronger than this thing goes off through a cloud and the beam scatters all over a city. No serious damage, but i could imagine a few people being blinded or having eye damage.


By otispunkmeyer on 3/23/2009 11:47:08 AM , Rating: 2
for sure... the NOHD on some lasers is crazy (near ocular hazard distance)


RE: We're gonna need bigger sharks...
By Aloonatic on 3/23/2009 12:49:43 PM , Rating: 2
They may even get it down to the size of a rifle, and make fancy body armour but all this technology will be easily overwhelmed by marauding gangs of teddy bears with flint axes, small bows and arrows and some rolling logs.


By superkdogg on 3/23/2009 2:16:21 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, I get it. An Endor joke! :)


RE: We're gonna need bigger sharks...
By wvh on 3/23/2009 9:58:22 PM , Rating: 2
Wouldn't it be trivial to come up with some sort of very effectively reflective coating on missiles?...


By Master Kenobi (blog) on 3/24/2009 9:33:57 AM , Rating: 2
No.


By RoberTx on 3/24/2009 1:51:05 PM , Rating: 2
It could almost make an aircraft carrier invulnerable to a conventional attack. At 100+KW and .3 second power up it could easily take out supersonic anti-ship missles. Right now the Aegis system can't do that and I don't think any conventional system can deal with a surface skimming supersonic missle. Potentialy the laser could.


Price?
By CityZen on 3/23/2009 10:37:52 AM , Rating: 1
Anyone wants to guess how much will Northrop Grumman charge the US of A Armed Forces for each one of these ...?
I'd venture the bill won't be pretty ...




RE: Price?
By bldckstark on 3/23/2009 12:16:31 PM , Rating: 2
Although I understand your point, I personally don't care what they cost.

If we can make all missiles obsolete with this weapon, everyone has to find a new way to destroy the world.

But yeah, I don't want them to charge it to my credit card.


RE: Price?
By FITCamaro on 3/23/2009 1:09:53 PM , Rating: 1
Well with Obama likely cutting F-22 production to save money for all his socialist spending, I'll bet this will also be cut.

We can spend money on anything and everything except where it could actually be used. Who cares about national defense or border security? We need free health care for deadbeats and illegals.


RE: Price?
By superkdogg on 3/23/2009 2:22:07 PM , Rating: 3
Guess what- everybody already has emergency health care and that kind of care costs exponentially more than the routine care than can prevent emergency care.

Even though capitalism is next to Godliness, the US healthcare system is irreparably broken-how else can anybody reconcile paying 3x as much (as a percentage of GDP) for less effective care (in many/most outcome measures vs. northern Europe).

The numbers attached to the projects are scary, but healthcare is one system that would have been reformed long ago if doctors didn't have great lobbyists and if the common person understood the waste and lack of return on investment.


RE: Price?
By porkpie on 3/23/2009 2:46:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
how else can anybody reconcile paying 3x as much (as a percentage of GDP) for less effective care (in many/most outcome measures vs. northern Europe).
Do you actually believe those "studies" capture all the true costs of socialized medicine in European nations? Or since they're all compiled by groups pushing for socialized medicine here, that they're accurately and honestly rating just how "effective" the European medical care is?


RE: Price?
By superkdogg on 3/24/2009 5:50:15 PM , Rating: 2
I guess I didn't actually do the studies myself or read each one thoroughly and skeptically to try to figure out if they cut costs in half for European nations. I guess I just believed that if the studies were completely bogus somebody like those who are presenting the opposing viewpoint would have already impaled them. I wasn't able to find studies or analysis to that effect.

The fact is that the argument against is ideological, but not supported in the factual record. From a theory standpoint I did agree with all those who are currently aligned against me until I educated myself.

To take this to a computer analogy, I feel like I'm saying the 9700 Pro is faster because the benchmarks say so and some others are saying the 5800's are faster because it's nVidia and nVidia is always faster.


RE: Price?
By Steve1981 on 3/24/2009 9:50:41 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
To take this to a computer analogy, I feel like I'm saying the 9700 Pro is faster because the benchmarks say so and some others are saying the 5800's are faster because it's nVidia and nVidia is always faster.


Here is the flaw: when someone benchmarks video cards for comparative purposes, they have to ensure that the other variables, eg the processor and RAM are controlled, otherwise the comparison is worthless.

In comparing health care systems among different countries, it simply isn't possible to control (nor does it seem that anyone has attempted to account for) pertinent variables such as diet, environmental factors, etc. IOW, saying the USA spends X more than Italy on health care but has worse life expectancy therefore Italy's health care is better is overly simplistic. It doesn't account for the other variables, and as such, it is hard to take such studies seriously.


RE: Price?
By Steve1981 on 3/23/2009 3:14:56 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Guess what- everybody already has emergency health care


Sort of. EMTALA has ensured that anybody that presents to an ER will receive treatment. It does not make such treatment free, although there are more than enough folks with nothing to lose by abusing such a system.

quote:
and that kind of care costs exponentially more than the routine care than can prevent emergency care....healthcare is one system that would have been reformed long ago if doctors didn't have great lobbyists


Yes, doctors have been lobbying for quite some time for reduced pay rates under Medicare and Medicaid! You see, their nefarious scheme makes it such that most family practice doctors can't afford to see a lot of Medicare and Medicaid patients, effectively forcing those poor and elderly to rely upon emergency rooms for basic treatments.

quote:
Even though capitalism is next to Godliness, the US healthcare system is irreparably broken


Do you think that there is anything remotely free market about the US health care system???


RE: Price?
By superkdogg on 3/24/2009 5:30:57 PM , Rating: 2
Doubtful that anyone is coming back to this anymore, but just for the record...

No, I absolutely do not think that anything about healthcare is free-that's kind of my point. Even though it currently is broken, my point is that we already all pay for it. The cost of running the entire system is behind the setting of rates. Since a hospital knows that it's going to lose money in some places due to uninsured/underisured/non-payment the rates reflect this, driving up cost to insurance companies and being passed along. That cost is already assumed by everybody else with a stake in the healthcare industry.

The rebellious numbers that show the US behind other nations are things like average life expectancy and infant mortality. Look it up-we're not the leaders in health care, but we do spend twice as much (sorry for error above) of our American GDP on it:

http://www.nchc.org/facts/cost.shtml

Nobody in health care wants to be a government-overseen employee or a straight up federal employee. The reason is obvious: they would not make excessive salaries. There are many people who this would not affect, of course, but the top-level administration of a large provider is currently at least a 7-figure job now and that simply wouldn't be the case in any other model-thus there is a lot of friction against a major change. Don't get me wrong, I do not blame them for their attitudes and I am grateful for people with the skills and minds to practice medicine. Those premises however do not verify that the current method of funding health care in the US is any good.

Here's one quote from the National Coalition on Health Care that basically sums up my point:

quote:
According to a recent report, the United States has $480 billion in excess spending each year in comparison to Western European nations that have universal health insurance coverage. The costs are mainly associated with excess administrative costs and poorer quality of care.


This group is "rigorously non-partisan" and not some liberal tree-hugging socialist outfit.

Just like we don't privatize defense (which costs taxpayers about 1/3 as much by the way) healthcare is too big and too important to have a little oversight as it does.


RE: Price?
By Steve1981 on 3/24/2009 9:10:21 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
No, I absolutely do not think that anything about healthcare is free...Just like we don't privatize defense (which costs taxpayers about 1/3 as much by the way) healthcare is too big and too important to have a little oversight as it does.


I said free market, not free. Again, what makes you think that there is "little oversight" involved with our health care system? Our medical industry is quite heavily regulated. Pretending it is some failure in capitalism which necessitates we move to a socialized medical system is specious at best.

quote:
That cost is already assumed by everybody else with a stake in the healthcare industry.


And ultimately the only way to reduce the costs is to improve efficiency, ration care, or tell doctors what they're allowed to charge. Option 1 doesn't hurt. Options 2 and 3 certainly will in the long term. As far as socialized medicine being more efficient than free market: I have yet to see an example of a free market medical system to make a comparison to. However, given that free-market competition naturally improves efficiency and socialism historically is inefficient at everything it does, I'm not inclined to jump on the socialized medicine boat just yet.

quote:
The rebellious numbers that show the US behind other nations are things like average life expectancy and infant mortality. Look it up-we're not the leaders in health care, but we do spend twice as much (sorry for error above) of our American GDP on it:


At its best, the American health care system is the best in the world. It absolutely is a leader in treatments and technology.

However, we don't get the best bang for the buck, nor do we have life expectancies to show off our accomplishments. There are a few reasons for this though.

1. Americans simply lead relatively unhealthy lifestyles. We eat crap food with no redeeming qualities, get no exercise, and then wonder why our health care costs are so high and why we die so young.

2. Americans expect Grade A treatment, regardless of the cost, regardless of their ability to pay said cost, and regardless of what other significantly less expensive but marginally less effective options might exist.

It doesn't take socialized medicine to fix these problems. It takes government not meddling in the first place. It means not trying to force charity or dictate terms to our health care practitioners. It means getting people to understand the actual costs of medicine.

quote:
Those premises however do not verify that the current method of funding health care in the US is any good.


Who said our current system was great shakes? I didn't.


RE: Price?
By lightfoot on 3/23/2009 6:05:44 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Guess what- everybody already has emergency health care and that kind of care costs exponentially more than the routine care than can prevent emergency care.

That is factually false - patients who are uninsured/underinsured consume far less health care than insured patients do. Just because the Holy Czar Obama says that preventative care will reduce health care costs doesn't make it true. Statistically speaking preventative care (the kind provided by health insurance) actually increases lifetime health care costs, it doesn't reduce them.

Uninsured/underinsured patients tend to die earlier and have much lower end of life health care expenses.


RE: Price?
By superkdogg on 3/24/2009 5:38:09 PM , Rating: 2
I think you hit on the key at the end. End-of-life and high-risk infants are the most costly patients, and an uninsured person with terminal disease won't likely get the expensive treatments driving up the lifetime cost of care.

I do wonder about your citation that preventative care drives up the lifetime cost of care, because if that's true then it would be counterintuitive for health insurance plans to waive fees or offer other incentives for these visits. I don't have any facts to support my ideas in this case-it just doesn't seem logical that insurance companies are encouraging use of services that cost them money in the long run.


RE: Price?
By JediJeb on 3/23/2009 6:11:25 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
3x as much (as a percentage of GDP) for less effective care (in many/most outcome measures vs. northern Europe).


Of course we are going to have a less effective healthcare when you look at it versus acceptable outcome since in Europe they don't treat patients if they don't think it will extend their life long enough to make it profitable.


RE: Price?
By shin0bi272 on 3/23/2009 9:31:40 PM , Rating: 2
you really wanna fix the healthcare "crisis" here's how you do it:

First, redo the tax code so that the individual can deduct their premiums again. Then go back to a health insurance plan where you have to pay for all care under a certian amount and anything above that you have insurance for (just like your car or house). That way people can shop around for the cheaper place to get those yearly checkups and wont be running to the doctor for a hangnail (I worked in health information management and Ive seen someone’s record that said they literally went to the doctor for a hangnail). Lastly get the government out of the health care market. When the government sets the prices on items and sets the funds that they will pay for a procedure you will end up not getting the best care possible first of all and on top of that you might not get any care at all. Medicare and medicaid are more than 45% of all the healthcare dollars spent in the country right now ... there is no way that that will lead to anything positive if it becomes 100%


RE: Price?
By ironargonaut on 3/23/2009 10:11:46 PM , Rating: 3
Sure, lets get the gov't to pay for health care. Then since they are paying for it they will tell us they get to make all the decisions. ALL THE DECISIONS! Like, oh your boy is on life support, we think the plug should be pulled. Sorry, that decision is not up to you mom it is up to the doctors. Just happened in Great Britian.

Thank you no. I would rather die from a treatable disease then have the gov't use the excuse they pay for my medical care to tell me what to eat and how to live.
Give me liberty or give me death!


RE: Price?
By RoberTx on 3/24/2009 1:52:32 PM , Rating: 2
The price of freedom is how much?


RE: Price?
By Biggiesized on 3/25/2009 2:26:45 AM , Rating: 2
$1.05


RE: Price?
By RoberTx on 3/25/2009 11:26:58 PM , Rating: 2
For you that might be a bit to expensive, for all others it is grossly off target.


Laser Sniper Rifles
By aegisofrime on 3/23/2009 1:41:45 PM , Rating: 2
With this development, I find myself extremely fearful that one day someone will invent a laser sniper rifles. For the reasons below, lasers make the perfect sniper weapon:

Instantaneous "bullet" speed
No bang
No smoke
Extreme Range
No bullet drop

Those are what I can think in a few seconds. Basically, you just need to set you scope on your target, and the laser will hit it. Moving targets? No problem. For all purposes you don't need to lead the target. The range will probably be limited by the magnification of the scope.

In summary, I won't want to face one of these on the battlefield.




RE: Laser Sniper Rifles
By kyleb2112 on 3/23/2009 3:21:53 PM , Rating: 2
They'll probably be banned by some UN mandate equating directed energy weapons with torture.


RE: Laser Sniper Rifles
By lightfoot on 3/23/2009 6:11:20 PM , Rating: 2
"Camping" will be banned by the Geneva Convention.


RE: Laser Sniper Rifles
By shin0bi272 on 3/23/2009 9:35:38 PM , Rating: 2
LOL BOOM HEADSHOT!!! PWNED!


RE: Laser Sniper Rifles
By SpaceJumper on 3/23/2009 3:28:45 PM , Rating: 2
What about Lightsaber?
By dickeywang on 3/23/2009 10:36:24 AM , Rating: 2
How long do we have to wait till we see Yoda? :D




RE: What about Lightsaber?
By peldor on 3/23/2009 11:41:58 AM , Rating: 5
That was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.


RE: What about Lightsaber?
By superkdogg on 3/23/2009 2:17:38 PM , Rating: 2
So we just need a time machine instead of a Death Star then?


now the defence
By alu on 3/23/2009 10:45:03 AM , Rating: 2
they will next get big green in designing a shield for such a laser.




RE: now the defence
By CollegeTechGuy on 3/23/2009 10:49:53 AM , Rating: 2
Or just a mirror to reflect the laser back at its source...


RE: now the defence
By Aloonatic on 3/23/2009 11:03:41 AM , Rating: 3
Time to buy shares in metal polish and elbow grease manufacturers :)


RE: now the defence
By shin0bi272 on 3/23/2009 9:37:06 PM , Rating: 2
mirrors: The NEW body armor


Mini Death Star?
By DuctTapeAvenger on 3/23/2009 10:57:54 AM , Rating: 3
Something tells me we are far closer to achieving the Star Wars defense system...

quote:
It consists of eight lasers chained together to form a super laser.


http://static.howstuffworks.com/gif/death-star-7.j...




RE: Mini Death Star?
By DuctTapeAvenger on 3/23/2009 11:04:59 AM , Rating: 2
and dangit. Just noticed the article picture at the top. I fail :(


RE: Mini Death Star?
By Aloonatic on 3/23/2009 11:06:12 AM , Rating: 2
All that to take out an IED, that no one can find until it blows up :-s


What's the Damage?
By kring on 3/23/2009 11:44:34 AM , Rating: 2
So can this thing cut a plane in 1/2 in less then 1 second or is it the equivilent of a bullet from a handgun?

What's the damage that 100kW laser does?




RE: What's the Damage?
By MozeeToby on 3/23/2009 12:18:23 PM , Rating: 2
Let's put it this way. If I assume the beam is about 20 mm^2 when it hits the target, it would be about 35000 times brighter than the sun.

If all the light is absorbed (not going to happen but just a quick estimate) and I'm doing my math right (it's been a while since I took physics), 1 kg of aluminum would increase by 110 degrees Celsius every second that the laser was aimed at it; you would melt the block in less than 7 seconds.

I doubt you'd heat up that much mass in that amount of time though, the beam is too concentrated and the heat is added too fast, the energy won't have time to spread out to the rest of the plane. I'd bet if you had very accurate targeting, you could burn a hole into the fuel tank and ignite the fuel of a fighter jet in less than 5 seconds. Of course, you'd have to hold the laser to within a few square centimeter area of the plane for it to work that fast.


RE: What's the Damage?
By geddarkstorm on 3/24/2009 3:56:53 PM , Rating: 2
Think about this: Full, high noon sunlight at the equator of the planet has about 137mW of power per cm^2. This kW laser is about a million times more intense than sunlight if it hits a cm^2 area.

To put it lightly, that'll leave a burn.


Bad caption
By Biodude on 3/23/2009 4:26:59 PM , Rating: 2
The caption for the first picture says:
quote:
A Northrop Grumman engineer tinkers with the deadly 105.5 kw solid-state laser.
This is not correct. The caption on the CNet page clearly states that the picture is
quote:
A Northrop Grumman...engineer...monitors a solid-state laser
(my emphasis)
It's more than likely a simple classroom grade HeNe laser for a pretty picture, based on it's color. There is virtually no way that the JHPSSL is using a high wavelength laser (on the order of 630nm like a HeNe) as it's really hard to get high power from those wavelengths. It would be dramatically simpler to use a lower wavelength beam, possibly even in the ultraviolet range.
After some digging I can't find the actual wavelength though. Anyone?




RE: Bad caption
By whiskerwill on 3/23/2009 4:44:59 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
...based on it's color
that "color" is painted on. It's a fake picture. You can't photograph a laser beam like that, even if it is in the visible range.

By the way, the real beam is about 1000 nm, in the infrared.


RE: Bad caption
By Biodude on 3/25/2009 8:57:53 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
You can't photograph a laser beam like that
Of course you can. Just suspend some fine dust in the air, it works like a charm. I used to do it all the time for promo pics of my instrumentation.


Israel
By Rebel44 on 3/23/2009 10:45:28 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe Israel could use it to destroy Qassam and Grad rockets befote they hit their targets. If 100KW is not enough they should be able to use more of them at the same time to deliver sufficient energy to destroy those POS rockets.




RE: Israel
By Moishe on 3/23/2009 10:46:31 AM , Rating: 2
That would be a great use anytime many projectiles are a major problem. I know they can also use automated targeting to just watch and avoid knocking birds out by analyzing their flightpath (birds fly nothing like rockets).


Soon...
By Gzus666 on 3/23/2009 10:36:35 AM , Rating: 2
I can put a frickin' laser on my frickin' head.




Brilliant... but!!!
By MrPoletski on 3/23/2009 12:58:16 PM , Rating: 2
Fantastic research but I've told Northrop time and time again.

one more time

YOUR LASERS ARE NO GOOD WITHOUT THE SHARKS FOREHEADS TO FIT THEM ON.




How hard is it...
By wordsworm on 3/23/2009 1:11:07 PM , Rating: 2
to put a reflective surface on a missile that would deflect the laser? Seems to me a good mirror surface could do that.




Reagan saw it
By p00f on 3/23/2009 1:21:35 PM , Rating: 2
Star Wars missle defense system. Google it.




Cosmic Era 197
By geokilla on 3/23/2009 1:44:53 PM , Rating: 2
Now Japan needs to build its amazing GUNDAMS then we'll be able to have a future that includes the use of GUNDAMS in wars.




Geez Bill....
By nixoofta on 3/23/2009 2:56:52 PM , Rating: 2
...you're takin' this war on mosquitos just a li'l too serious there buddy. Put the crack pipe down and step away from the lazer.




This isn't for rifles
By heulenwolf on 3/23/2009 3:57:10 PM , Rating: 2
If you could fit the power source for something that outputs 105 kW multiple times into a man-portable form factor, the danger of carrying something with that kind of energy density might outweigh the benefit. Imagine a bullet hitting that "battery pack." It approaches being struck by lightning. A well-placed shot from a pistol or some shrapnel could fry the carrier and 10 of his closest friends.

I can see a weapon such as this being useful for stopping vehicles from a distance, possibly without harming others near the vehicle. It could be very handy in protecting a site that suicide bombers might drive up to. They won't go very far when their engine block melts or an axle is severed.




I wanna see it in action
By supergarr on 3/23/2009 5:16:44 PM , Rating: 2
And see what it can melt. We should mount this on robots, like the movie short circuit minus the bad artificial intelligence.




Build Star Wars defense in secret
By Azsen on 3/23/2009 7:36:07 PM , Rating: 2
I think if they enabled radar tracking and put enough lasers on a truck to shoot down 10 ICBMs/sec, they should continue with the "Star Wars" defense program for the US. However they'd need to do it in secret and use strategic division of labour to make sure no-one really knows the big picture. They'd need many laser trucks strategically placed around the country to give full coverage, and also double up in case there's a failure in one, or one gets shot down etc.

Then when it's all set up and ready, announce it to the world, not before.




By Glaedrin on 3/24/2009 2:54:22 AM , Rating: 2
...of the HyperVelocity Gun. If we can get it small enough for mitochondrially enhanced hot bounty hunters, my dreams will come true!




"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins














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