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"We've combined the high energy density of the solid state laser with the thermal management of the liquid laser," New Scientist quoted project manager Don Woodbury as saying.
Dubbed the "HEL weapon" by its developers, a prototype capable of firing a mild one kilowatt (kW) beam has already been produced and there are plans to build a stronger 15-kW version by the end of the year.
If everything goes according to plan, an even more powerful weapon producing a 150-kW beam and capable of knocking down a missile will be ready by 2007 for fitting onto aircraft.
Originally posted by WestPoint23
Nice and ready for the JSF, sorry I don’t know much about lasers but is 150KW enough to burn a hole in a jets fuselage?
One of the biggest challenges facing Lockheed Martin in its efforts to install a high-energy laser on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) is the question of what to do with all the excess heat generated by the system, according to the company's lead for directed energy programs.
Laser systems use electricity to produce highly focused beams of light, as well as considerable amounts of waste heat that must be dissipated. Lockheed Martin believes that a 100-kilowatt laser is the minimum power level needed to be an effective weapon for a fighter.
However, "to get 100 kilowatts of light out, you've got to put a megawatt of electrical power in, so somewhere along the way you've got to deal with 900 kilowatts of cooling," Tom Burris, lead for directed energy at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, told The DAILY. "That's a ton, for a fighter that normally does tens of kilowatts of cooling."
This process won't compromise the JSF's stealth, Burris said, because it will have no appreciable effect on its infrared signature.
American defence contractors are developing a laser weapon for fighter aircraft that may be powerful enough to blind people on the ground, even if they are relatively far from the target, New Scientist can reveal.
The 100-kilowatt infrared laser, which is being developed for the F35 Joint Strike Fighter by defence companies Lockheed Martin and Raytheon, is far more powerful than any laser ever used in war. But because it is designed to attack targets such as other fighter aircraft, ground vehicles and anti-aircraft batteries, it is exempt from the Geneva Convention's ban on blinding weapons.
While at South Base, Jumper toured the Airborne Laser systems integration laboratory, where the ABL Integrated Test Force will integrate and test the laser on the ground prior to testing the system in the air. During the stop the chief showed his support for the program.
Originally posted by WestPoint23
Could be, but I think anything that would affect the laser would also affect the sea skimming missiles.
Originally posted by devilwasp
The one advantage of living in scotland, ultimate defence against lasers.
Oh and the irn bru and haggis and the kilts..
Got to love water.
Though as OB said, it will be interesting to see the field results.
Mind you, on ships It could be useful but with the sea swells it could cause problems.
Originally posted by PBscientist
What do you mean, scotland is the ultimate defense against lasers? Fog, defensive navy, something else?
On ships, I don't think the sea swells would cause problems since it moves at the speed of light (basically goes where you pointed instantly).
BTW, how common are bagpipes up there?
Just curious since you said something about kilts, and whenever I hear kilt I think bagpipes for some reason.
Probably because that is what my brother wears whenever he plays them. Obnoxious things indoors, but it sounds cool outside.