Print 121 comment(s) - last by TheGreek.. on Aug 31 at 1:35 PM

Laser weaonry may not be that far away from tomorrow's battlefields.  (Source: Wired, Danger Room)
The U.S. will possibly field man-sized portable laser weapons in coming years

One of the cornerstones of science fiction films and books is the laser rifle. The U.S. has spent millions of dollars trying to field laser weapons to do all sorts of tasks and, according to some analysts, we are getting close to fielding man portable laser weapons.

Time Magazine tells the story about developments in laser weaponry, circa 1972. Many of us are familiar with the laser weapons that are being designed to stop ballistic missiles before the warhead can separate from the missile body. These tend to be very large lasers that are mounted on trucks or inside specially outfitted aircraft.

One type of laser weapon that has yet to materialize is the man-sized portable laser. The lasers were described as being able to burn a quarter-inch hole in an enemy solider from as far away as five miles.  And, unlike Star Wars, real world lasers leave no visible trail.

The weapon would be a snipers dream since the laser beam would travel at the speed of light; once the target was in the sights, a hit was ensured. Another benefit of portable laser weapons is the fact that a laser beam follows a flat trajectory rather than a curving arc like a projectile. Gravity has practically no effect on a laser beam, so lining up a shot at extreme distances is much easier to do with a laser rifle than with a projectile weapon.

These laser weapons have yet to materialize and with the drawbacks of chemical laser technology, namely the storage of corrosive chemicals and harmful fumes resulting from the laser operation, who knows when or if man portable laser weapons will be perfected.

Chemical lasers get energy from a rapid chemical reaction and obtain continuous wave with power at the megawatt level. Common types of chemical lasers used in drilling and military applications include chemical oxygen iodine laser, all gas-phase iodine laser, and deuterium fluoride laser.  Almost all laser-based weapons to date have been chemical based.

Yet there are still some laser weapon technologies that could bring the long dreamed of laser gun to fruition. Solid-state lasers, the oldest and most mature types of lasers, are one of the more viable options since they don’t require corrosive chemicals to produce the laser beam. The solid-state laser simply requires a supply of electricity to produce a beam, and only needs enough power for a single pulse rather than a continuous beam.

Current solid-state lasers are used for everything from tattoo removal to optical refrigeration. However, unlike gas and chemical lasers, solid-state lasers cannot achieve megawatt capabilities without vast amounts of electricity -- not practical for mobile forces.  Yet kilowatt lasers may be enough for soldiers on the ground. 

From Boeing's $7 million High Energy Laser Technology Demonstrator, to Northrop Grumman's $57 million Joint High Power Solid State Laser, 100kW portable solid-state lasers can now fit the size of a truck.

According to Wired we cold see solid-state pulse lasers fielded by U.S. soldiers in as little as two years. Of course, according to the Time's 1972 article on laser technology, man-sized portable laser weapons would have been viable for a decade now.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Secret Service
By mendocinosummit on 8/28/2007 1:48:46 AM , Rating: 5
A hole new problem for the secret service to protect against.

Protect the President!

Activating force field sir!

RE: Secret Service
By AnnihilatorX on 8/28/2007 2:21:11 AM , Rating: 3
Force fields are in theory electromagnetic barriers

Light is not charged therefore forcefields would not stop them

RE: Secret Service
By mendocinosummit on 8/28/2007 2:48:00 AM , Rating: 1
Get a sense of humor.

RE: Secret Service
By PAPutzback on 8/28/2007 7:56:54 AM , Rating: 5
No doubt.
So will an SPF 50 protect you?

RE: Secret Service
By DarkElfa on 8/28/2007 1:03:54 PM , Rating: 3
PAPutzback, I'm serious when I say this, but I almost crapped myself when I read that.

RE: Secret Service
By S3anister on 8/29/2007 4:11:50 AM , Rating: 2
Secret Service: Mr. President, you have to put your SPF on before you make your public statement! We can't risk you getting shot by lasers!

Mr. President: Bobby, grab me another Ho-Ho.

RE: Secret Service
By TheGreek on 8/31/07, Rating: 0
RE: Secret Service
By webdawg77 on 8/28/2007 4:47:39 AM , Rating: 5
LOL, good one. Almost as funny as the top of the thread.

Um, however, you are REALLY wrong.

What particle makes up light? Photons.

What particle is responsible for electromagnetic radiation? A photon.

What do you say force fields are? Electromagnetic barriers.

Thus, what do force fields stop? Photons, or in other words, LIGHT!

RE: Secret Service
By webdawg77 on 8/28/2007 4:52:20 AM , Rating: 2
Did I start out at 1 because I replied to a -1 post?

RE: Secret Service
By Master Kenobi on 8/28/2007 7:36:49 AM , Rating: 2
Nah, they just hate you and mod you down that fast.....

RE: Secret Service
By Martimus on 8/28/2007 9:17:18 AM , Rating: 2
I have come to that conclusion. Whenever I respond to a -1 post, my rating starts out at 1.

RE: Secret Service
By James Holden on 8/28/2007 12:27:46 PM , Rating: 3
There's not a direct algorithm for that, but "feeding the trolls" does penalize you to some extent. I think I saw Kris say that once anyway.

RE: Secret Service
By Misty Dingos on 8/28/07, Rating: -1
RE: Secret Service
By masher2 on 8/28/2007 9:29:35 AM , Rating: 3
> "Uh no you are wrong. Electromagnetic radiation is not made up of photons. Not to be mean or cruel but good god where did you go to school?"

Apparently he went to one where wave-particle duality was properly explained. EM radiation is composed of photons, which even your own link explains further in.

RE: Secret Service
By Hawkido on 8/29/2007 2:50:42 PM , Rating: 2
Masher2, Your a good person to ask this as your accuracy is in the high 80's (%).

My understanding of the Wave-Particle Duality of light seems to demonstrate that while light acts both as a wave and as a particle it can also act independantly as only a wave or only a particle as well. As such, can you interrupt light using a property of only one (wave or particle) and therefore absorb or dissipate the entire laser (in this case). I know wave cancelation works on sound, and I have heard theories that it will also work on light, but it should be easy to demonstrate. Now, either I need to read a more-up-to-date book or they haven't secessfully completed this. Does this mean it isn't possible to defeat light by only opposing one of it's dual properties? Never mind you would need to modulate your wave to the plar opposite frequency of the incomming laser, and be of sufficient energy that by the time it reachs the target, it has lost the potent edge from the beam.

The point about EM field as a defense should work (disregarding power-source needed) as a great deal of the Sun's energy is deflected by the Earth's EM field. However, as strong as the Earth's EM field is, a great deal of light energy still gets through, and it takes miles of our EM barrier to deflect the Sun's energy (which would be on the same level as the energy needed per CM^2 to be an effective weapon). I think the intense EM field needed to defeat a portable Weapon class laser, would be far more harmful to the person it was trying to protect than the laser threatening them.

RE: Secret Service
By peldor on 8/28/2007 9:32:41 AM , Rating: 3
Uh no you are wrong. Electromagnetic radiation is not made up of photons. Not to be mean or cruel but good god where did you go to school?

If you could make an irony gun, you'd be lethal at a good 5 miles.

As you favor the wikipedia (and didn't even read the page you linked), try this page. You'll only have to read the first couple of sentences.

RE: Secret Service
By webdawg77 on 8/28/2007 10:03:54 AM , Rating: 2
Mississippi State University

B.S. Computer Engineering
Math Minor

M.B.A (for kicks)

RE: Secret Service
By webdawg77 on 8/28/2007 10:12:22 AM , Rating: 2
Oh yeah, and the MBA was to see girls too! Most engineering classes were quite void of females. At least, they were 10 years ago.

RE: Secret Service
By masher2 on 8/28/2007 10:19:55 AM , Rating: 2
If you think engineering is bad, try graduate-level physics courses :p

RE: Secret Service
By shamgar03 on 8/28/2007 11:09:06 AM , Rating: 2
pft for computer engineers physics is where you go to meet girls.

RE: Secret Service
By glennpratt on 8/28/2007 1:42:22 PM , Rating: 2
So true.

RE: Secret Service
By aetherzero on 8/28/2007 10:37:59 AM , Rating: 2
Trust me... they still are :(

RE: Secret Service
By buckao on 8/28/2007 12:17:56 PM , Rating: 2
There's a few of them now, can imagine what they look like...

RE: Secret Service
By Martimus on 8/29/2007 4:46:37 PM , Rating: 2
That is like what we used to say about Michigan Tech: "Where the men are men, and so are the women."

RE: Secret Service
By borismkv on 8/28/2007 1:35:22 PM , Rating: 2
This is one of the reasons I decided to drop IT classes and major in English...sadly, though there were many many girls in my classes, they were the silent bookworms that never talk. Shoulda tried nursing or...heaven forbid...Interior design (the desire to retain some masculinity prevented me from going that far).

RE: Secret Service
By shamgar03 on 8/28/2007 11:14:45 AM , Rating: 2
Ahh the classic debate, is light a particle or a wave? Both. Photons moving in a wave. Clearly your not familiar with your electromagnetic spectrum:

You will note, on the spectrum there is a section labeled "visible" aka "light". However you are right about one thing, light doesn't have a charge, so I don't know how this would be affected by various fields. Perhaps polarized garb?

RE: Secret Service
By rsmech on 8/28/2007 2:13:05 PM , Rating: 1
The only way

Wrong, just wear an aluminum foil suit to go with the aluminum foil hat to reflect the laser.

RE: Secret Service
By fuzzlefizz on 8/28/2007 4:40:40 PM , Rating: 1
how about a body armor made of completely of mirrors? doesn't that allow for some protection against lasers? We always bend laser light with mirrors and lenses in optics class.

RE: Secret Service
By Misty Dingos on 8/28/2007 2:32:46 PM , Rating: 2
Alright so please describe for the audience then the design and fabrication of the high energy laser stopping electromagnetic shield. You will get bonus points for providing drawings. I am also certain that DARPA would like a chat with you also as they are big into killing folks with lasers right now. Because if you can stop lasers creating electromagnetic windows for your home should be a cake walk. Then you can you go out and straighten out that whole string theory thing.

RE: Secret Service
By otispunkmeyer on 8/29/2007 4:29:18 AM , Rating: 2
but but but... light can be considered a wave as well!

what are we to do!

RE: Secret Service
By rcc on 8/28/2007 11:56:51 AM , Rating: 1
Break out the mirror coat tin foil underwear

RE: Secret Service
By Rovemelt on 8/28/2007 12:29:00 PM , Rating: 1
We'll just have to coat our leaders in a nice, shiny coat of gold.

RE: Secret Service
By borismkv on 8/28/2007 1:38:02 PM , Rating: 2
Oh great...another line-item on next years' Congressional spending budget, "Golden Underwear for us and all our friends...$6,000,000,000.00"

RE: Secret Service
By fuzzlefizz on 8/28/2007 4:44:06 PM , Rating: 2
man, imagine the kind of chocolate underneath all that gold

By GeeSussFreeK on 8/28/2007 9:47:28 AM , Rating: 2
I remember back in the 80's they were making lasers to shoot down incoming artillery and missiles. It was scraped, however, because of a low tech method of polishing the missiles and ballistic shells to a high finish and reflecting and refracting most of the radiant heat energy. What is to prevent the same thing now? It is because of the operating frequency is above the visual light band and therefore not as susceptible to being deflected in such a manor? The rules of light and photons have never made sense to me, if someone could explain why refraction and deflection wouldn't be cheap and easy for defeating lasers, that would rock!

RE: Refelction?
By zsouthboy on 8/28/2007 9:58:03 AM , Rating: 2
Lasers don't have to be in the visible spectrum.

RE: Refelction?
By GeeSussFreeK on 8/28/2007 9:59:36 AM , Rating: 2
I didn't say they had to be. Readers comprehension?

RE: Refelction?
By GeeSussFreeK on 8/28/2007 9:58:32 AM , Rating: 2
In addition, lasers made poor weapons as rifles because a large portion of death from small arms combat is from internal bleeding and organ failure. Lasers cause wounds to cauterize and preventing it from being a fatal wound, potentially. So where you may be DOB accurate with your shot, unless you slice your target in to two half's, there is a better chance of him living that with a projectile.

RE: Refelction?
By therealnickdanger on 8/28/2007 11:00:09 AM , Rating: 2
I was thinking hard about that - as grotesque as that seems - and you would have to be a really good shot in order to guarantee a kill. Obviously a gaping, cauterized wound in the head or heart will be fatal, but I'm really curious how the body would respond to wounds that would otherwise "bleed out". A bullet has little trouble shattering bone or ripping apart organs, but this weapon would clearly not allow for bleeding or any kind. The best you could "hope for" would be a severe clotting of an artery or something. I'm sure the shock (from pain) alone might kill some people.

Also, if they can produce single-shot devices like this, there is no reason they can't produce a machine-gun-like device, or ultimately just a sweeping, continuous beam which would slice through the battlefield.

RE: Refelction?
By GeeSussFreeK on 8/28/2007 11:12:10 AM , Rating: 2
There is an element that I didn't consider with a sniper variant of this type of weapons technology. No sound or mussel flash (or not visible to the naked eye). Most of the times, the reason you can throw 100 snipers in an area is due to the fact they need areas to hide and relocate to after shots are fired. With this kind of technology. You could deliver sniper shots the way they were intended, in complete stealth. Assuming you could get out shots as fast as a normal sniper rife, you could deliver several of the questionable lethality shots without reviling yourself. Means you could more easily pack more snipers in an area. That is a ramification that I hadn't quite considered. Though, I think the lethality at this point is still highly questionable at this point.

I would be interesting if they might have found a frequency of the EM band that cuts more than it burns. If this is the case, then they might have a very lethal weapon indeed.

RE: Refelction?
By GeeSussFreeK on 8/28/2007 11:40:40 AM , Rating: 2
Doh, a lesson in proofreading. Bad grammar and mis-wordings abounds above, my apologies.

RE: Refelction?
By therealnickdanger on 8/28/2007 1:32:14 PM , Rating: 3
Long before this technology actually gets in the hands of sniper teams, I suspect much testing will go toward implementing the technology in UAVs. Not only would they have insane range due to elevation, but greater mobility. Untraceable UAV snipers? *shudder*

It would be incredible, really, to be walking next to someone and then from no observable reason, he collapses dead right next to you. You shake him to see what's wrong, only to find that you can clearly see the sidewalk through a smoldering, quarter-sized hole his head. No distant, echoing gunshot, no trace of any kind. Before you can seek out a culprit, your world goes black.

Also curious is how long it would take for a technology like this to filter down to the common man - er, well, the "motivated" common man. No calibers or rilfing, no spent shells or gunpowder residue. It would making tracking a murderer extremely difficult.

RE: Refelction?
By 16nm on 8/28/2007 2:05:50 PM , Rating: 2
Ah yes, this sounds exactly like what the world needs. Frankly, I don't see how we've survived this long without laser guns.

Tomorrow, I'm going to start a company that makes hats with mirrors glued to them.

RE: Refelction?
By rcc on 8/28/2007 12:16:51 PM , Rating: 2
But, bear in mind that it is often better to provide the enemy with wounded to care for. It clogs up the logistics. Also, it limits the supply of martyrs.

RE: Refelction?
By FastLaneTX on 8/28/2007 1:30:52 PM , Rating: 2
A dead soldier takes one soldier out of action; a wounder soldier takes three. That's why the .223 round is used in the M-16: it tumbles in the air to create larger wounds, but it's small enough it won't kill most people it hits.

And yes, leaving those fanatical nutjobs alive will make them less interested in fighting us, since they won't be martyrs but rather prisoners.

RE: Refelction?
By rcc on 8/28/2007 4:16:48 PM , Rating: 2

RE: Refelction?
By SilthDraeth on 8/28/2007 4:57:54 PM , Rating: 2
I want proof that .223 tumbles in the air to create larger wounds. I have fired the M-16, AR-15 (same thing basically) and a Galil, not at humans, but at targets, and the point of entry was always a perfect little hole, just like using a .22LR.

I call bullshit on your theory of the .223. As for a wounded soldier removing at least three, that is accurate.

RE: Refelction?
By Ajax9000 on 8/28/2007 8:36:51 PM , Rating: 2
Try and track down a copy of the The Stockholm Peace Research Institute's "Anti-personnel Weapons" by Malvern Lumsden (published 1978?). It goes into detail regarding the differences between the 7.62mm and 5.56mm rounds.

Basically, the 7.62mm rounds are sufficently big and heavy that they generally punch straight through the body before tumbling (full metal jacket military rounds). The 5.56mm rounds are smaller and lighter and generally tumble within the body creating greater trauma -- in fact the tumbling forces can be sufficent to rip apart a full metal jacket round (leaving lots of fragments to remove from the victim).

The book reports that, all-in-all, 5.56mm rounds are more lethal due to this greater trauma.

RE: Refelction?
By SilthDraeth on 8/29/2007 9:53:27 AM , Rating: 2
The book reports that, all-in-all, 5.56mm rounds are more lethal due to this greater trauma.

Ok so tumbling within. I guess I misunderstood his statement.

But your last line somewhat contradicts his post. If it is more lethal do to more trauma, then it was probably chosen for that reason, not to inflict more wounded upon the enemy.

But who knows, it could be either way.

RE: Refelction?
By Ajax9000 on 8/29/2007 8:06:04 PM , Rating: 2
I was partly agreeing and partly disagreeing with FastLaneTX as his post was rather muddled -- e.g. the implication that small wounds from big bullets are more lethal than big wounds from small bullets!? :-)

RE: Refelction?
By rmaharaj on 8/28/2007 10:44:28 PM , Rating: 2
You say 5.56mm rounds won't kill most people they hit... do you want to volunteer to test that out?

Sure, 5.56mm doesn't have the range or armor-penetrating capability or 7.62mm, but that doesn't mean it's not extremely lethal. I'd love to hear what you think of pistol rounds, is the MP5 just a glorified stun gun?

This just in...
By quiksilv3r on 8/28/2007 3:14:06 AM , Rating: 5
Wired magazine also reports that while hand-held lasers may be 2 years away, shark held lasers will be available during Q1 2008.

RE: This just in...
By deeznuts on 8/28/2007 3:19:24 AM , Rating: 2
Lol, that's a good one.

RE: This just in...
By 3NR1C0 on 8/28/2007 4:44:48 AM , Rating: 2

RE: This just in...
By BladeVenom on 8/28/2007 6:18:25 AM , Rating: 2
Dolphins will get them first.

RE: This just in...
By zsdersw on 8/28/2007 6:49:10 AM , Rating: 2
"I have one simple request.. and that's for sharks with frickin' laser beams attached to their heads."

RE: This just in...
By Durrr on 8/28/2007 6:52:51 AM , Rating: 2
We have Sea Bass....

RE: This just in...
By therealnickdanger on 8/28/2007 7:52:01 AM , Rating: 2
Are they ill tempered?

RE: This just in...
By zsdersw on 8/28/2007 12:18:32 PM , Rating: 2

RE: This just in...
By DeepBlue1975 on 8/28/2007 9:00:32 AM , Rating: 2
The problem will be if sony makes batteries for these.

RE: This just in...
By rtrski on 8/28/2007 10:18:55 AM , Rating: 5
Then the soldiers could just throw them at the enemy as grenades.

RE: This just in...
By stromgald on 8/28/2007 12:03:35 PM , Rating: 2
Um, Sony will be making the batteries. That's why the shark versions are coming out first. They have to use up all those batteries they have stockpiled.

(minor corrections)
By Dactyl on 8/28/2007 1:46:06 AM , Rating: 2
Gravity practically no effect on a laser beam



(ref R igeration)

Additional reasons lasers would be good for snipers is that they don't have recoil, aren't affected by wind, and probably wouldn't make much noise.

RE: (minor corrections)
By AnnihilatorX on 8/28/2007 2:19:53 AM , Rating: 2
Yet it's affected by Rain and atmospheric anomalies, e.g. light bending shimmering water on a road's surface

RE: (minor corrections)
By GlassHouse69 on 8/28/2007 2:20:43 AM , Rating: 5
screw that man. I want the "pew" sound.

everyone wants that. and a burst with a muzzle flash.

Plus, we are blue lasers and the enemy must use red lasers.

Great way to murder someone as there is no discernable trace, well except for the fact that probably only 1 person has a gun like that.

RE: (minor corrections)
By zsdersw on 8/28/2007 6:51:56 AM , Rating: 3
Battlefields also must be filled with smoke or fog somehow.. so the beams can be seen.

RE: (minor corrections)
By FrankM on 8/28/2007 7:07:47 AM , Rating: 4
Do you also have a DVD-rewinder at home? :]

RE: (minor corrections)
By npoe1 on 8/28/2007 2:24:04 PM , Rating: 2
Jajajaja, One of the best comments…ever.

RE: (minor corrections)
By MrBungle123 on 8/28/2007 12:40:39 PM , Rating: 2
my only demand is that the announcer guy from unreal tournament give constant updates on what is going on on the battlefield...

"headshot!, headshot!, headshot!" "double kill!"

it would be awesome!

RE: (minor corrections)
By GlassHouse69 on 8/28/2007 12:52:02 PM , Rating: 2
Wow. I thought my post was geeky :)

that rox :)

RE: (minor corrections)
By Samus on 8/28/2007 7:01:44 AM , Rating: 2
all the enemy needs now are a bunch of mirrors. maybe even reflective armor.

No visible beam? No deal!
By DeepBlue1975 on 8/28/2007 8:59:01 AM , Rating: 5
No visible beam? No deal for me.
USA troops should use blue beams, red beams for Russian ones, white lasers for those almost-north-pole inhabitants...

And yet I am sure that many Green Peace guys will kill to get green beam guns.
Johny Treeleaf, an important activist for GreenPiss says: "Laser pulse rifles don't pollute and are environment friendly because they leave no powder and don't waste metal. Besides, a green beam will most certainly identify our presence throughout the world. The only important thing about these is that you don't shoot trees while annihilating other human beings. Too many humans in the world equates to a huge natural resource drain and an average bad life for all. So, by helping humans kill each other while keeping the environment safe we can take two birds on a single shot. Say NO to nuclear power, say YES to laser weapons!"

RE: No visible beam? No deal!
By GeeSussFreeK on 8/28/2007 12:02:04 PM , Rating: 2
I seem to remember that the rebellion had red lasers and the empire had blue. It always confused me as a kid cause I wanted the good guys to have blue and the baddies red. I guess that would work if you saw the commies as the good guys...but then I would have to consider you a terrorist and arrest you under the patriot act!

RE: No visible beam? No deal!
By zsdersw on 8/28/2007 12:21:55 PM , Rating: 2
IIRC, the Empire's lasers were green

RE: No visible beam? No deal!
By GeeSussFreeK on 8/28/2007 1:16:54 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, you are right! I had 2 problems...why are the allies red, and who cares about green lasers! Thanks :)

RE: No visible beam? No deal!
By borismkv on 8/28/2007 1:44:51 PM , Rating: 2
You must have thought COBRA was the good guys or something :P

RE: No visible beam? No deal!
By rsmech on 8/28/2007 2:31:28 PM , Rating: 2
I thought the same thing, but you need to remember that when we were kids we seen what would be considered the middle to end of the series. The prequels explained it for me. You have to remember that the empire use to be the good guys in the beginning, therefor not red. The rebels couldn't ask the empire to trade guns.

Doesn't mean much, just my take. It seemed to show a lot of insight into the developing the whole series over many years.

RE: No visible beam? No deal!
By Ringold on 8/28/2007 3:45:38 PM , Rating: 4
On the other hand, I thought the Empire was the good guys even at the end..

Check out the books; the Rebel's took over and the whole galaxy went to hell. At least under the Empire there was minimal crime and fear kept the galaxy in order. Commerce thrived and unless you pissed off the Emperor or Vader you did fairly well -- especially if your were human. Non-human's had a rough go of it, but so what. All those random invaders that killed billions (trillions?) would've moved on to terrorize the next galaxy rather than face an Empire armed with multiple Death Stars..

.. That's my theory, anyway. :)

I always hated the Rebel scum.

RE: No visible beam? No deal!
By brenatevi on 8/28/2007 10:48:19 PM , Rating: 3
*blink* Oh yeah, Alderaan was just asking to be blown up. You know, no weapons or anything. And then there were the other massacres... And let's not forget how the Emperor seized power, manufacturing an artificial war that darn near wrecked the galaxy. Oh yeah, sounds like a virtual garden spot.

Power Source
By acer905 on 8/28/2007 8:23:37 AM , Rating: 2
Just a thought, but how much power could a cigarette pack sized nuclear reactor produce? Or perhaps one that is the same size and shape as a modern clip is. Make it even install the same way as a clip too...

RE: Power Source
By Master Kenobi on 8/28/2007 8:45:08 AM , Rating: 2
Hard to say since nuclear reactors are all steam turbine based and use heat to spin the turbines and generate the power.

It could be as easy as a battery pack that sits where a clip would be, and the battery pack uses a form factor similiar to a clip. Simply eject old battery, install new one. Carry in your backpacks a small mobile charger that lets u recharge your packs from a standard power outlet. I think you would only need the battery to hold up to say maybe 100 shots. The battery packs would likely be smaller than a traditional ammo clip but probably about as heavy depending on battery density. Have each soldier carry his little charging station in his backpack and maybe 5 spare battery packs for his rifle, plus the one already locked and loaded.

Ahhh, good times.

RE: Power Source
By GeeSussFreeK on 8/28/2007 11:18:50 AM , Rating: 2
Ya, it would be great if they used off the self technology if at all possible. I would be great if their gun ran out of ammo and they just had to go pick up a car battery or even AAA batteries. Highly doubly they have the energy density to power tattoo removing laser, but how could would it be for the marines to invade a wall mart in the middle of a fire fight, and demand they give them ammunition. The clerk asked what caliber and they say double A please!

RE: Power Source
By rcc on 8/28/2007 12:25:43 PM , Rating: 2
Don't forget the solar cells on top of the backpack to trickle charge the power packs. And, for satellite sniping, an umbrella like affair to protect the soldier. If they do it right, the cells on the umbrella would convert the laser energy to recharge power packs as well.

So, orders from the General, open fire with the satellites.... no, no, at our guys, they are running low on ammo!!

RE: Power Source
By GeeSussFreeK on 8/28/2007 1:15:04 PM , Rating: 2
wouldn't that also be a large heat signature as well as reflector? Sounds like a dead give away to your position.

RE: Power Source
By rcc on 8/28/2007 4:18:52 PM , Rating: 2
Well, if they are low on ammo, they are probably in contact.

But, if you make a perfect converter there would be no reflected heat. : )

RE: Power Source
By energy1man on 8/28/2007 1:54:43 PM , Rating: 2
Radioisotope thermoelectric generator:

No steam needed. Reduce to backpack size, get higher efficiency pulsed lasers, possibly improve efficiency of generators, will be good to go. Granted not every soldier will be toting one, but specialized teams yes.

RE: Power Source
By Master Kenobi on 8/28/2007 4:12:31 PM , Rating: 2
I had considered it but it would be pretty heavy even in backpack size.

Maybe in an aircraft, but on the ground only as a turret or 50 cal tripod. Be very heavy otherwise.

New form of warfare
By Egglick on 8/28/2007 8:16:02 AM , Rating: 2
If and when all this laser weaponry finally becomes perfected, I can see governments assassinating people from satellite-mounted lasers.

Nobody could trace who or where it came from, and there would be almost no way to defend against it.

Well...wearing a tinfoil hat might actually make sense. I propose we all start doing this.

RE: New form of warfare
By Master Kenobi on 8/28/2007 8:38:07 AM , Rating: 2
Need more than just tinfoil. More like a very shiny piece of titanium. Tinfoil would get wrecked.

RE: New form of warfare
By OxBow on 8/28/2007 9:30:16 AM , Rating: 3
The tinfoil hats would be for all the people who didn't pay attention in science class. Just like we have the lottery for all the people who didn't pay attention in math class.

RE: New form of warfare
By rcc on 8/28/2007 12:20:07 PM , Rating: 2

Lottery = a tax on those who don't understand math.

However, hope springs eternal and all that. : )

RE: New form of warfare
By stromgald on 8/28/2007 12:09:49 PM , Rating: 2
Or if you're really that important that a government will target you from space with a laser, you could stay inside all day.

It actually wouldn't be all that hard to trace if it's from space. Just look at the angle the hole in the ground (or whatever's behind/near the target), figure out the time of the strike, call up NORAD, and you'll have your answer. Human carried laser is much more untraceable than a satellite based one.

gravity has effect on light !! but :D
By Xajel on 8/28/2007 10:36:32 AM , Rating: 2
well, physics says that gravity can curve the light, but you will need very very very strong gavity force to do so, some thing like black hole !!

as for earth's gravity, the effect will be very very very far away more than the laser beam range, how much ?? it depends on laser frequency, more frequency = more energy = more gravity required to curve, the black hole for example can't stop X-Ray and higher energy electromagnatic force ( eg.. Gama, Cosmotic rays )

so technically this weapon is effected by gravity, but not that much to worry about, as even most advanced technology might not be able to sence that effect !!

RE: gravity has effect on light !! but :D
By masher2 on 8/28/2007 11:11:09 AM , Rating: 2
> " it depends on laser frequency, more frequency = more energy = more gravity required to curve"

No. The degree of curvature is defined by the Schwarzchild metric, which is controlled by the mass (gravity) of the object itself. The frequency of the light does not affect it.

By GeeSussFreeK on 8/28/2007 11:21:48 AM , Rating: 5
I see your Schwarzchild is nearly as large as mine.

By Goty on 8/28/2007 3:32:44 PM , Rating: 2
Unless, of course, you're spinning very rapidly, then we'd use the Kerr metric =P.

Halo 2 beam rifle?
By therealnickdanger on 8/28/2007 7:58:48 AM , Rating: 2
Anyone else notice the strong resemblence to the Covenant sniper rifle in Halo 2? It's mostly the flared tip, but it's not too far off overall.

RE: Halo 2 beam rifle?
By Master Kenobi on 8/28/2007 8:08:01 AM , Rating: 2
You play too many games........ Yes I noticed it too.... :(

Burning holes in people ...
By adl on 8/28/2007 11:21:18 AM , Rating: 2
Not entirely sure how accurate this is, but i remember reading somewhere (arthur c clarke short story) that blasting people with a laser is pretty pointless due to the composition of the human body. Since water (70%++ of the human body) has a very high specific heat capacity (shc), the energy from the laser just gets absorbed by the body, leading to burns, but no outright drilling through.

In the plot, our hero wants to kill a man, and our hero is a astronomer with access to high class lasers. So he sets up a series of mirrors to direct his beam, and uses an industrial (scientific) class laser to BLIND the bad man.

Anyway, clarke is pretty well known for his attention to detail and scientific background etc. etc., and his reasoning seems to be quite logical. So, getting to the point, does anyone know what kind of energies we're talking about to burn right through a person?

RE: Burning holes in people ...
By masher2 on 8/28/2007 10:32:57 PM , Rating: 2
> "does anyone know what kind of energies we're talking about to burn right through a person? "

Assuming a 1 cm hole all the way through the torso...about 93 kJoules.

By Goty on 8/28/2007 12:42:19 PM , Rating: 2
We don't need none of those girly lasers over here!

By stromgald on 8/28/2007 12:49:14 PM , Rating: 2
I'd take a "girly" laser any day if it's more effective.

Besides small "girly" lasers kick ass cuz then I can carry two! Bwhahaha.

By sirius4k on 8/28/2007 1:47:09 AM , Rating: 3
Topics avatar/icon is wicked :D
Khmm.. now that they hope to finish laser gun in few years..
When they're gonna put the lightsabers in production? :D

high energy
By Chernobyl68 on 8/28/2007 3:24:41 AM , Rating: 3
if they can compact that much energy into a rifle, they need to do something more with the electric car concept.

By PlasmaBomb on 8/28/2007 6:06:06 AM , Rating: 2
They are reckoning on 5kg per kilowatt, so there is still a lot of development required.

Preorder yours today
By Fnoob on 8/28/2007 9:22:24 AM , Rating: 2
On amazon.

Simple Lasers Suck
By Boobless Minotaur on 8/28/2007 11:18:06 AM , Rating: 2
I wish that they would stop thinking about a simple laser as a weapon. Instead they should use modulated EM pulses from the laser as a carrier beam.

Example, I would love to see you be able to aim the laser, then be able to send a high voltage jolt through the laser beam to the target. Think the "zgat" from Stargate SG1.

Or make a small cylindrical laser field and generate some super heated plasma (presumably a high spin ball for stability) then send it on its way down the laser guide to the target. Same with radiation, make a small radiation ball and use the lasers to guide it at high velocity.

Now that sounds better and I could see some real WWIII and WWIV action there. (Yes I am aware that they need working lasers before they can even think of the above ideas, but one can dream can't he)...

By leidegre on 8/28/07, Rating: -1
RE: Weapons!?
By James Holden on 8/28/2007 4:09:32 AM , Rating: 2
The best weapons are the ones you don't use.

Such is the motto of deterrence anyway.

RE: Weapons!?
By nosfe on 8/28/2007 4:52:30 AM , Rating: 5
Blackadder :[...] in order to prevent a war in Europe, two super blocs developed: us, the French and the Russians on one side, and the Germans and Austro-Hungary on the other. The idea was to have two vast, opposing armies, each acting as the other's deterrent. That way, there could never be a war.
Baldrick :Except, well, this is sort of a war, isn't it?
Blackadder :That's right, there was one tiny flaw in the plan.
George :Oh, what was that?
Blackadder :It was bollocks.

or so the saying goes in the final episode of Blackadder :P

RE: Weapons!?
By James Holden on 8/28/2007 5:02:32 AM , Rating: 2
Very true, although to my own defense, we didn't have WW3 with the Russians because of deterrence as well.

RE: Weapons!?
By BladeVenom on 8/28/2007 6:16:23 AM , Rating: 2
Be patient, you may get one yet.

RE: Weapons!?
By FrankM on 8/28/2007 7:11:48 AM , Rating: 3
Yes, unfortunately, we are again drifting back towards a Cold War.
Russia has started rearming and also restarted heavy bomber patrols this month. There have already been incidents with these bombers getting closer or even into Norvegian and British airspace, so the tension is rising. Hopefully this power play will die down soon.

RE: Weapons!?
By GlassHouse69 on 8/28/2007 12:56:15 PM , Rating: 3
I enjoyed the cold war.

It was pleasant. We had better music back then. Fear is better than girls showing their muffintops/backfat sticking out of their tanktop and moron guys putting gel in their hair to look like Gotti's kids.

Also, america became the cash cow when made and sold weapons. Weapons facilities, aviation and all of those sorts are american businesses. Now we dont sell anything ,we give it for free, and then pay 4-5 billion dollars cold cash to countries like Pakistan just to be our friends.

RE: Weapons!?
By rdeegvainl on 8/28/2007 4:50:10 AM , Rating: 2
Can't we do both?
I would rather have these first than someone else. Also people have different skills than each other, you cannot tell me that it would be more effective to take scientists and physicists out of their element just to put more people into diplomatic relations, that would be a waste and would probably be counter productive. And the biggest reason diplomatic solutions fail is because nations believe they can win in a war and get everything they want instead of compromising, so yes having a certain amount of military supremacy is extremely beneficial when supervising diplomatic relations.

RE: Weapons!?
By Creig on 8/28/2007 8:08:11 AM , Rating: 2
And nothing can get fanatical leaders to a peace conference better than the threat of being taken out from miles away with a hand-held weapon that can't be tracked and can hardly miss.

RE: Weapons!?
By Master Kenobi on 8/28/2007 8:12:43 AM , Rating: 5
Diplomacy doesnt mean squat unless its backed up by the possibility of an ass kicking.

RE: Weapons!?
By stromgald on 8/28/2007 12:22:41 PM , Rating: 2
In this modern age people should be working on refining diplomatic relations and coming to terms with already tense agreements, the 21 century is not the place for a military arms race.

When is there a good time for a military arms race? Never. Or maybe always? There will always be malcontent among humanity. Without weapons, whoever's disgruntled will pick up their hypothetical club and smash someone else. That is unless that person is being watched by other people with clubs.

The question of who polices the police is one that's brought up all the time, and there's actually a simple answer. The USA sometimes acts like they're the police for the world, and we do have the biggest 'club' so to speak. But, the US is very much kept in check by Britan, France, Germany, Russia, and China. They might not have as advanced weapons, but they certainly have more. The fear of the US becoming too powerful is irrational unless the US becomes much much more advanced than the aforementioned countries.

RE: Weapons!?
By GlassHouse69 on 8/28/2007 12:57:37 PM , Rating: 1
He's no fun.


RE: Weapons!?
By Combatcolin on 8/28/2007 1:20:18 PM , Rating: 2
Big manly sweaty muscles will deflect any laser weapon!

RE: Weapons!?
By codeThug on 8/28/07, Rating: 0
"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan
Related Articles

Most Popular ArticlesTop 5 Smart Watches
July 21, 2016, 11:48 PM
Free Windows 10 offer ends July 29th, 2016: 10 Reasons to Upgrade Immediately
July 22, 2016, 9:19 PM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki