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U.S. Government seeks a powerful laser weapon to destroy enemy satellites.

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posted on May, 3 2006 @ 10:17 AM
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WASHINGTON (AFP) - The US government is conducting research into building a ground-based laser weapon that could destroy enemy satellites in orbit.

The secret project, which according to the Times was partially made public through Air Force budget documents submitted to Congress in February, would use beams of concentrated light to destroy enemy satellites in orbit.

The weapon is part of a wide-ranging effort to develop defensive and offensive space weapons, the New York Times said Wednesday, citing federal officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The weapon would use sensors, computers and flexible mirrors to counteract the atmospheric turbulence.



The picture on the left side of the article is showing the Sea Lite which was built back in 1996 to track missiles and planes. Now the U.S. govt. and military wants a ground laser that can reach far past our atmosphere and into space where earth's satellites are at. Imagine the possbilites.

www.fas.org...


High energy laser pointing and tracking technology was pioneered by Hughes. In June 1996, the SEA LITE Beam Director, originally developed by Hughes for the U.S. Navy, successfully illuminated and actively tracked a ballistic missile in its boost phase - marking another historic "first" and step forward toward a high energy laser system for ballistic missile defense. During the experiment conducted at White Sands Missile Range by the U.S. Air Force Phillips Laboratory, SEA LITE, which is the world's most advanced high energy laser beam control system, incorporated a low-power pulsed laser to demonstrate this capability.

In February 1996, SEA LITE scored the first ever shoot-down of a short-range rocket by a laser beam. This event was part of the Nautilus technology demonstration program being conducted by the U.S. Army and the Israel Ministry of Defense. Hughes laser pointing and tracking systems have demonstrated in earlier programs the capability to acquire and track supersonic missiles, and then disable them with a focused beam of intense laser energy.

Hughes' legacy in pointing and tracking technology began 27 years ago with the design and development of the ground-based Field Test Telescope. Other successful ground-based and airborne system demonstrations included the Navy Pointer Tracker and the Airborne Pointer Tracker/Airborne Laser Laboratory, which was mounted in a modified KC-135 aircraft.




posted on May, 3 2006 @ 01:02 PM
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you don't need lazers to do that. According to someone I used to work with, it has been done already. Check out the Charlie Brown's Great Pumpkin Excersise thread.



posted on May, 3 2006 @ 01:04 PM
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"U.S. Government seeks a powerful laser weapon to destroy enemy satellites"

Yay!



posted on May, 3 2006 @ 01:08 PM
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Originally posted by zerotolerance
"U.S. Government seeks a powerful laser weapon to destroy enemy satellites"
Yay!

Didn't Ronald Reagan spend about a zillion dollars in black project money during the 1980's to try to come up with something like this, driving the country into a huge deficit and screwing up the economy for a decade, and nobody was able to figure out how to hold it together?

That's what I remember.



posted on May, 3 2006 @ 01:18 PM
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Originally posted by Enkidu
Didn't Ronald Reagan spend about a zillion dollars in black project money during the 1980's to try to come up with something like this, driving the country into a huge deficit and screwing up the economy for a decade, and nobody was able to figure out how to hold it together?

That's what I remember.


Thats what you remember, the Star Wars program along with other military programs like the 600 ship Navy pretty much force the Soviet Union to collapse, hence the end of the Cold War, which downsize America's force, which in turn help divert some of that money to the civilian world like the internet for example hence the golden age under Clinton's watch hence America's economy is still stable, hence why brings up the question as to why is America's economy yet not collapse?



posted on May, 3 2006 @ 01:34 PM
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Originally posted by deltaboy
Why is America's economy yet not collapse?

The Chinese backed off their Communist ways just in time to gear up and supply us with cheap consumer goods just as our own manufacturing crapped out?

More to the point, though, wasn't it determined that all the money spent on Star Wars was pointless when all anybody had to do was drive and old pickup truck across the border with a nuke in the back? Or fly a couple of commercial jets into some tall buildings?

A powerful, satellite-killing (and wildly expensive) laser system ain't gonna stop those kinds of shenanegans.

Just who are these "enemies" we're protecting ourselves from? The Koreans? The Chinese? The Mexicans, with their new space program?




posted on May, 3 2006 @ 01:41 PM
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...And Billions of Dollars go to Waste again.

Apparently the Only satellites that are "Supposed" to circle around Earth are those that the US goverment allows, ey?




posted on May, 3 2006 @ 01:42 PM
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Well, war is war. Also, you know if this is public that there are much heavier things being made


I thought Dr. Evil was the first to ask for sharks with friggin laser beams!



posted on May, 3 2006 @ 01:42 PM
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Originally posted by Enkidu

More to the point, though, wasn't it determined that all the money spent on Star Wars was pointless when all anybody had to do was drive and old pickup truck across the border with a nuke in the back? Or fly a couple of commercial jets into some tall buildings?


Sneaking a nuke into America is not as simple as you think. Which brings to the question as to why no nuclear mushrooms in America yet.


Just who are these "enemies" we're protecting ourselves from? The Koreans? The Chinese? The Mexicans, with their new space program?



A wide range of possibilites, could be the North Koreans or the Chinese or even Mexico, countries relationship with America can change faster than the landscape sand dunes in the Sahara desert.



posted on May, 3 2006 @ 04:15 PM
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Originally posted by SwitchbladeNGC
you don't need lazers to do that.


Hmm... perhaps you do, what kind of energy did those dish’s fire? If it was electrical then that can be shielded against. However shielding a satellite from a megawatt class laser is a different story. And the only thing limiting the range and power of current military lasers is the size of the power plant, seeing as how these systems are ground based that shouldn’t be a problem.



posted on May, 3 2006 @ 04:48 PM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23

Originally posted by SwitchbladeNGC
you don't need lazers to do that.


Hmm... perhaps you do, what kind of energy did those dish’s fire? If it was electrical then that can be shielded against. However shielding a satellite from a megawatt class laser is a different story. And the only thing limiting the range and power of current military lasers is the size of the power plant, seeing as how these systems are ground based that shouldn’t be a problem.


It would have been EMP. Though shielding an entire satelite from EMP makes it worthless because none of it's sensors would be able to pick anything up.



posted on May, 3 2006 @ 04:58 PM
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What a waste of money.

Here's my contribution to the war on the false stars...

Rock.

Good old rock.

I guess someone could invent Rock Version 2.0 if they really wanted to, but where I come from there's a saying, "If it aint broke, don't fix it."

Rocks and dirt are like kryptonite to a highly sensitive space-based imaging platform. Rock cracks coconut pretty good too.


And whose sats are we shooting down anyway? Won't they develop their own systems and shoot ours down too? What's the freakin' point in startin' down that road? Hell, now that the secret about mighty rock is out of the bag, it's a miracle the sky hasn't fallen already.

The Chinese will presumably desire parity, and then we all lose the Spice channel. :shk:

War is Hell...



posted on May, 3 2006 @ 05:03 PM
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Originally posted by SwitchbladeNGC
It would have been EMP. Though shielding an entire satelite from EMP makes it worthless because none of it's sensors would be able to pick anything up.


Not really, you could shield the critical components along with the circuits, which are stored internally. Sure its not fool proof but it should be more resistant to EMP than a regular satellite. And I’m curious as to how they managed to direct an EMP into a beam as it usually radiates outward in all directions.



posted on May, 3 2006 @ 05:47 PM
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I say the SBL project is sueful especially for missile defense and OCA/DCA mssions.



posted on May, 4 2006 @ 07:50 AM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23

Originally posted by SwitchbladeNGC
It would have been EMP. Though shielding an entire satelite from EMP makes it worthless because none of it's sensors would be able to pick anything up.


Not really, you could shield the critical components along with the circuits, which are stored internally. Sure its not fool proof but it should be more resistant to EMP than a regular satellite. And I’m curious as to how they managed to direct an EMP into a beam as it usually radiates outward in all directions.


For the first part. Even if you did encase the critical components and main circutry in a faraday cage, the sensors would at the least be overloaded and at the most transfer the massive amount of energy along the wires that connect it to the main circutry, thus frying it. If you encase the sensors in a faraday cage it prevents them from picking up what they need to, and thus makes the satellite useless.

As for part 2, read the linked thread, it tells you they attached a focusing lense to the dish.



posted on May, 4 2006 @ 08:58 AM
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Or… you could install an off the shelf surge suppressor to connect the wires and other links form the sensors to the circuits. Now that’s just from the civilian market, and they’re good even against lightning strikes. I wonder what a military grade one can do.

And I did read your link but I’m having trouble picturing EMP being focused into a beam by a lense.



posted on May, 4 2006 @ 04:01 PM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
Or… you could install an off the shelf surge suppressor to connect the wires and other links form the sensors to the circuits. Now that’s just from the civilian market, and they’re good even against lightning strikes.


Except that they work by blowing a fuse or tripping a breaker, which have to be reset (manually as far as I am aware). Which means a launch, capture, repair, release, and reentry (also known as expensive).



posted on May, 4 2006 @ 05:46 PM
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Originally posted by SwitchbladeNGC
Except that they work by blowing a fuse or tripping a breaker, which have to be reset (manually as far as I am aware).


And one can’t be designed to reset or restart automatically because...? I did point out that these were off the shelf surge suppressors, and not ones custom designed for military systems. This method of taking out satellites might have worked well back in the day because no one expected it, but if a country hardened all their satellites against EMP then it might not work so well.



posted on May, 5 2006 @ 12:05 AM
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Its about damn time...

This shouldn't just be for sats...but for a newer, better, faster, cheaper anti-ballistic missile shield.

I've never been a big fan of the ABM, ok...so we have the tech to launch a missile into another missile destroying it...so what? If they send more then a dozen at once your friggin screwed.
I've always thought that lasers should be the defensive weapon of choice...and offensive(for certain roles).

They should have a couple dozen laser sites in the US (mainly on the Coasts...but some on the borders as well (both borders)). They should all have there own power plant...if they use power from the grid they are just asking for trouble. Once you have all these solid state mega-watt class lasers set-up...you are protected from virtually all missile...regardless if the missile can move fast while zig zagging towards its target (like that new Russian one).

In my opinion they are wasting tons of money on the ABM...the only part of that that I like is the radars...which are massive.
The Laser Shield would protect you from enemy satellites, missiles, & aircraft.....This is the type of technology that deserves those billions upon billions of taxpayer dollars.

[edit on 5-5-2006 by Murcielago]



posted on May, 5 2006 @ 01:32 PM
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It should really not cost that much as most of you think. Reagan for example never wanted the lasers to shot down just the satelites, he wanted them to primarily shoot down ICBMs - that's completely different story (it's much more difficult and costly). Actually shooting down the sat with laser is quite easy - Russians already did some experiments with realtively weak laser - they were able to damage the low orbit satellite. Satelites are quite vulnerable to lasers -they must stick to their their orbit and cannot manuvre much when targeted. You not even need very powerfull laser like ABL, satelite cannot escape/dodge it can be targeted 20-30 seconds without problems. I'm sure Americans did some experiments too, now US just wants operational system able to by used flexibly and reliably. So don't worry, it probably NOT cost billions and could be actually very effective system against enemy eyes, which are currently de facto invulnerable.

EMP sucks,generally you can shield sat against it - although it's difficult and costly. Kinetical projectiles fired from Earth take too much time to reach orbit - the satelit is already away togther with collected data. Other option are small kamikaze satelites - those can be deployed on orbit long before and ram the spy sat on command. However they can miss or they can be destroyed by some countermeasures (small recoilless canon on spy sat). Laser is really the best solution. It can be deployed on Earth (or on plane/airship) that means maintance is not a problem. it's also fast - just few seconds.

[edit on 5-5-2006 by longbow]



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