Print 87 comment(s) - last by MrPoletski.. on Mar 30 at 9:42 AM

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."

Comments     Threshold

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

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

RE: Laser Sniper Rifles
By SpaceJumper on 3/23/2009 3:28:45 PM , Rating: 2
"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller

Most Popular Articles5 Cases for iPhone 7 and 7 iPhone Plus
September 18, 2016, 10:08 AM
Laptop or Tablet - Which Do You Prefer?
September 20, 2016, 6:32 AM
Update: Samsung Exchange Program Now in Progress
September 20, 2016, 5:30 AM
Smartphone Screen Protectors – What To Look For
September 21, 2016, 9:33 AM
Walmart may get "Robot Shopping Carts?"
September 17, 2016, 6:01 AM

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