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MDA Awards low power laser demo to General Atomics

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posted on Nov, 7 2017 @ 09:07 PM
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Unmanned air giant General Atomics scored the contract for the first phase of the Missile Defense Agency’s low power laser demonstration contract this week, marking the first step on the road toward a high-altitude, long-endurance UAV with a high-energy laser.

Before creating a UAV that can prosecute intercontinental ballistic missiles in the boost phase, the preliminary effort will establish beam stability at long range and the ability to dwell on a single spot on a target. Under the $8.8 million contract, General Atomics will address laser power and aperture size by integrating and testing a low power laser on an unmanned aerial vehicle, according to a 6 November Defense Department notice.

MDA is aiming for a low-power flight test by 2020 and beam stability testing by 2021, FlightGlobal previously reported. Under a previous MDA contract, General Atomics demonstrated precision tracking on its MQ-9 Reaper using Raytheon’s Multi-Spectral Targeting System-C electro-optical/infrared turret. While Raytheon's MTS-B system has short- and mid-wave infrared (IR) sensors, the MTS-C’s long-wave IR sensor allows the system to track cold bodies or ballistic missiles in their cruise phase.


www.flightglobal.com...


It should be noted that Northrop has been looking at modifying a Global hawk as a laser carrier for this same program.




posted on Nov, 7 2017 @ 09:22 PM
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I'll be shocked as hell if this goes very far.



posted on Nov, 7 2017 @ 11:29 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

GA had planned on the HEL Avenger for some time. This just means that hey get external money to help pay for it. GA did the DARPA HELLADS and the follow on they tested at HELSTF this past year.



posted on Nov, 7 2017 @ 11:36 PM
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a reply to: anzha

Its a pity the DARPA Raptor/Talon ucav fell through in the early 90s. It would have made a great base to build on for other ucav systems.



posted on Nov, 8 2017 @ 01:19 AM
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a reply to: anzha

It just makes me laugh that they're planning an MDA UAV based on non-survivable platforms. That was one of the things that killed the YAL-1A.



posted on Nov, 8 2017 @ 01:31 AM
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Next step: Mirror finish on the ICBM's



posted on Nov, 8 2017 @ 01:49 AM
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a reply to: staple

That's one of those neat Sci-fi tricks that doesn't work worth a damn. There's too much almost instantaneous heat transfer when the laser hits.



posted on Nov, 8 2017 @ 02:49 AM
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Im still worried about range and accuracy in thicker atmosphere.



posted on Nov, 12 2017 @ 03:26 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Makes me wonder if they've got something more realistic and survivable incorporating the tech from YAL-1A and the newer excalibur stuff.

I want to say something like the lockheed starship but that's probably pretty silly.



posted on Nov, 12 2017 @ 03:28 PM
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a reply to: hawkguy

They're still trying to get power levels high enough for a laser that isn't going to contaminate the living hell out of the airframe carrying it every five years.




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