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HELLADS: : Lightweight Laser Cannon

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posted on Aug, 30 2005 @ 08:34 AM
Looks like the recent US base closures (BRaCC) would signify a new era of weapons technology is coming into the light...pun intended

DARPA's HELLADS (High Energy Liquid Laser Area Defense System) will be light enough to fit on a fighter jet or drone aircraft, and yet powerful enough to fire a 150 kilowatt beam of energy. Star Wars laser cannon may be closer than you think.

High energy laser weapons already in development are powerful enough to bring down missiles (see MTHEL - Mobile Tactical High Energy Laser).

However, their very large size has precluded placement on any but the largest planes. The main weight problem comes from the cooling systems needed.

HELLADS makes use of a unique cooling technique. The high-energy laser uses a liquid that has the same angle of refraction as the mirrors inside the blaster. That way, the "ray gun" can fire away, even while it's being cooled. Currently in the third of five phases of development, a 15 kilowatt subscale prototype is being tested in the laboratory. In the next phase, the demonstrator device will be scaled up to 150 kW, and will specifically be targeted to achieve the low specific weight (5 kg/kW) and compact size need to be mounted in a smaller airborne vehicle. The final phase is engineering, fabricating, integrating and demonstrating the complete HELLADS weapon system on a tactical platform. The device will be built by General Atomics and the tracking system will be built by Lockheed.

This kind of compact system is getting very close to what science fiction writers since H.G. Wells have envisioned when writing about the heat ray in War of the Worlds. More recently, Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle wrote about laser cannon in their 1974 novel Mote in God's Eye:

..."The intruder came from here. Whoever launched it fired a laser cannon, or a set of laser cannon - probably a whole mess of them on asteroids, with mirrors to focus them - for about forty-five years, so the intruder would have a beam to travel on... (Read more about laser cannon)

Playing with Liquid Fire:
High Energy Lasers Cool Down,


Best hope they don't get anti-matter production figured out....

posted on Aug, 30 2005 @ 10:10 AM
It's been covered... ALOT.

Yes I myself find this interesting, THEL has been fitted on stationary positions or on a modified 747.

Shattered OUT...

posted on Aug, 30 2005 @ 10:33 AM
Yes, I saw a link in a thread on HELLADS but didn't see any follow up on it.

What my main concern was that there are numerous base closures in spite of an ongoing war on 2 fronts (Afghanistan and Iraq).

This all leads to me believe they really have something big under raps throwing these tidbits to the masses.

Sony came out with a matrix type technology with a device that fires pulses of ultrasound at the head to modify firing patterns in targeted parts of the brain, creating "sensory experiences" ranging from moving images to tastes and sounds. I would think this tech is already 10 years old if it's being commercialized, and the Darpa stuff is actually low tech.

Perhaps one day we will wake up and the world as we knew it was completely changed. Welcome to the holographic universe you are but an lasers?

posted on Aug, 30 2005 @ 12:44 PM
F.Y.I DARPA tech is never low tech, just a little side note.

Shattered OUT...

posted on Aug, 30 2005 @ 01:07 PM
It is if you get to know about it in comparison what is kept under wraps.

Low-tech defined as what is fit for release to the sheeple.
Satirical not literal, as in read between the lines...nothing here at face value.

[edit on 30-8-2005 by Regenmacher]

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