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Boeing Installs High-Energy Laser On Laser Gunship Aircraft

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posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 11:02 AM
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Nothing new about this...my father in law worked on the laser plane back in the 1980's back then it was mounted on an old 707 he designed then Gimbals mount for it...

in his living room is a cast taken from a melted steel plate, melted from the plane on a fly by... was retired in the 1990's due to lack of funding and if I remember right the first laser plane was retired to Davis AFB...
anyway it goes back even before the Reagan Star Wars defence deal...

Back then they used a Fluoride based laser...I've been told the fumes would kill you faster than the laser could???




posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 11:21 AM
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Originally posted by DaddyBare
Back then they used a Fluoride based laser...I've been told the fumes would kill you faster than the laser could???


That is certainly possible, if the module was open during work on it or repairs.

When it is lasing, it has to be closed tho, so it's not dangerous, unless you step into the beam..



Interesting story BTW..



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 11:25 AM
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Originally posted by RedGolem
Second a twelve thousand pound laser unit, wow that is huge. I would like to know what makes this laser unit weigh so much

The weight comes from the massive amount of chemicals used to generate the power for the laser. I believe it uses 3 different types of chemicals but I'm not 100% sure on this as it might use 2 or even 4 different chemicals.



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 11:28 AM
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Originally posted by deezee
In this case, please explain about long wavelength light absorption please, instead of just being amused by it.


Suffice it to say that we've had this discussion in the military forums before, so allow me to summarize.


Originally posted by deezee
I mentioned, that i work with lasers proffesionally. But they are all in the visible spectrum, except for those i built just for experimentation.


While what you are implying is theoretically possible, to some degree, it is currently technologically impossible to practically apply such a concept in military operations. The ABL for example, is multiple megawatt laser, that means the external surface of the reflective surface cannot be oxidized in any way, (does not mater how slight) and no matter how polished it may be. If such a defect is present the laser will have enough non reflective material to quickly deteriorate and successfully burn the target. Now imagine this being applied to military systems in open field use. It would be impossible to prevent deterioration, dust particles even humidity from deteriorating the reflective shield.

That's assuming that the enemy precisely knows the bandwidth of the light spectrum at which this particular laser operates at, and it assumes we only use one particular bandwidth. Even if the above hurdles where somehow overcome there would be the issue of how to optimize one reflective layer for dual band effectiveness. For example, a laboratory standard glass mirror will instantly melt when it comes into contact with the IR laser of the ABL.

If you do work, at the professional level, with weapon grade lasers then you will attest the following. Even under the most clean, sterile and controlled of environments when it comes to working with kilowatt (never mind megawatt) lasers the mirrors and other equipment has to be frequently replaced or else they will degrade and disintegrate rapidly.

As I said before, to think that an enemy can successfully defeat such lasers in the open environment under field conditions by simply wearing and coating their systems with reflective colors or surfaces is laughable.



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 11:32 AM
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I've asked some people, who know more about lasers, about cutting reflective surfaces, like steel, with industrial lasers.


The answer was close to what i suspected.

The laser type (wavelength) is chosen depending on the type of the material to be cut. Certain (very long) wavelengths get absorbed better by reflective surfaces.

Industrial CO2 IR lasers in the range of hundreds of killo Watts, can then cut through steel easily, once they are focused into tiny spots. Reflections still are a problem, since you have to use a much higher power than you would have, if the surface was black, but as i guessed before, this is not seen as a problem, as they simply use a laser powerfull enough, to still leave enough energy after the reflections, to succesfully cut even through steel.

Speciall shielding is then used around the laser cutting maschine, to "catch" all the reflections, and anyone working in the area still has to use protective gogles, just in case. A reflection from a 100kW CO2 laser can poke your eye out in an instant.


When "shooting down" missiles, you can not change your mind on the wavelength at the last moment, since the laser used can only work at one. But this problem is simply overcome by even more power, in the Mega Watt range.


So this is it. With enough power, you can obviously cut even reflective materials, which is exactly what i speculated.



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 11:39 AM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
If you do work, at the professional level, with weapon grade lasers then you will attest the following. Even under the most clean, sterile and controlled of environments when it comes to working with kilowatt (never mind megawatt) lasers the mirrors and other equipment has to be frequently replaced or else they will degrade and disintegrate rapidly.


I do not work with military grade lasers. I work with visible lasers with power up to 20W. The only time i used an IR laser, was for personal experimentation. But i know people, who work with industrial lasers, and they told me with enough power you can cut anything.


Your explanation was very detailed, however, and i thank you for it.

I agree, and have witnessed myself, that once a laser does it's work on the surface, the rest is easy. For example, if you try to light a cigarette, with a weak laser (less than 0.5W), it will take some time, for the laser to make the tip all black, but once it is black, it will ignite instantly.

So the explanation with even minor defects in the "mirror" surface, or dirt and so on, was very good.

Thank you again, for offering a scientific answer to my original question.
I will pass it on, to the people i was just talking to.


EDIT: And yes, even at this low power level, i'm working with the mirrors and lenses can degrade performance, and heat up quite a lot, if they are not regularly cleaned. I once had some black plastic melt inside a laser housing just from the reflections, and once it came onto the collimator lense, this started melting as well.

[edit on 14-12-2007 by deezee]



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 12:02 PM
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Originally posted by 4thDoctorWhoFan

The weight comes from the massive amount of chemicals used to generate the power for the laser. I believe it uses 3 different types of chemicals but I'm not 100% sure on this as it might use 2 or even 4 different chemicals.


Thanks a bunch Doctor. However we are still talking about 6 tons of chemicals. I am not a laser expert. But I think the chemicals that make a laser beam are either liquid or gas, is that correct?
If so would six tons of liquid or gas chemicals take up a large amount of space unless we are talking about mercury?



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 12:20 PM
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Originally posted by deezee
If you think it's funny, you must know more about lasers. In this case, please explain about long wavelength light absorption please, instead of just being amused by it.

I mentioned, that i work with lasers proffesionally. But they are all in the visible spectrum, except for those i built just for experimentation.


Your logic does not apply here because the laser is NOT in the visible spectrum. The laser operates at an infrared wavelength of 1.315 microns, which is invisible to the eye.



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 12:30 PM
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Originally posted by RedGolem

Originally posted by Extralien


Making a chemical(s) into a weapon is a chemical weapon no matter how you sugar coat it.



Very well then that will also mean any form of explosive is a chemical weapon, including fire arms as they use chemical explosion to fire the projectile.


Yes, any form of explosive is a chem. wep. just as is a petrol bomb or napalm.

But please don't confuse projectiles as a part of a chemical weapon. In most cases you need a chemical reaction to force a projectile to its target, therefore the chemical in this situation is not the weapon, but it is the reactive agent of the weapon which makes the weapon deadly.

you can have a pound of C4 and you get a nice bang.
Mix in 300 steel ball bearings and you have a nice bang and 300 projectiles.
The projectiles would probably do more damage than the C4 depending on how/where it is used.

This is to show that the Chemical (C4) is a nasty package on its own and used solely is a basic form of chemical weapon, just like a petrol bomb really.

But the purpose of adding the steel balls makes the balls the deadly part and the C4 the reactive agent. So this isn't a chemical weapon.

a gun is a weapon that needs a chemical reaction to work.
A chemical weapon just needs a trigger. In the case of a petrol bomb, either a match or a lighter.



Thank you everyone for adding the superb content and information to this thread. I've learnt a bit about lasers and the different types etc.
There is some really good info in the links that have been provided and some of you have taken a while to write your replies and it is all greatly appreciated.

Thumbs up on the education..



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 12:37 PM
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Originally posted by 4thDoctorWhoFan
Your logic does not apply here because the laser is NOT in the visible spectrum. The laser operates at an infrared wavelength of 1.315 microns, which is invisible to the eye.


I know i've been biased by my own experiences with visible (and weak in comparison) lasers, and that is exactly why i asked the question about absorption, and offered a possible explanation in the first place.

We've already figured it out. Ultimatelly, no matter what the surface and the wavelength, some light will get reflected, since perfect black bodies exist only in theory, and some will get absorbed.


The funny thing is, that the answer was staring (or rather shining) directly into my face the whole time. When i was playing with the lasers, trying to cut black floppy disks, i noticed A LOT of red light being reflected from it. Still it cuts it in half easily, because even tho some of the light gets reflected, enough gets absorbed.


Besides, just like perfect black bodies only exist in theory, perfect reflective surfaces also only exist in theory. So just like a black looking surface will stilll reflect a lot of light, a "perfectly" reflective mirror, will still absorb some of it, just like WestPoint23 explained.


I do sometimes complicate things too much, but i did mention the possibility of longer wavelengths being absorbed more efficiently in my possible explanation as well. I just wanted to know for sure. I always like learning new things.


I've also learned, that this particular wavelength is used, since it penetrates the atmosphere more efficiently - less get's scattered away from the interaction with the atmospheric gasses.



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 12:41 PM
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Originally posted by deezee
I know i've been biased by my own experiences with visible (and weak in comparison) lasers, and that is exactly why i asked the question about absorption, and offered a possible explanation in the first place.

Oh well, that's life right?.

It's still way cool that you do your own experimentation with lasers even though they are 'weak in comparison'.



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 01:23 PM
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Originally posted by Extralien

Originally posted by RedGolem
using the toxic properties of chemical substances to kill, injure or incapacitate an enemy.



I realise you got that from wikipedia, but it clearly states exactly what this chemical laser is, a weapon to kill, injure or incapacitate.

And if you read the full report on the chemical laser weapon, they state that this is exactly what the weapon is designed for.

Making a chemical(s) into a weapon is a chemical weapon no matter how you sugar coat it.

A ridiculous assertion.

"Chemicals" are also used to manufacture gun powder, which has surely killed millions of people. Is this an attempt to also ban gun powder?

But wait, plastics are also made out of "chemicals". So, any weapon containing plastic would be considered a "chemical weapon" under extralien's definition.

Maybe this is even the beginning of a "back door" movement to ban all weapons?

My conspiracy theory ...



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 01:29 PM
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Originally posted by Extralien

Originally posted by RedGolem

Originally posted by Extralien


Making a chemical(s) into a weapon is a chemical weapon no matter how you sugar coat it.



Very well then that will also mean any form of explosive is a chemical weapon, including fire arms as they use chemical explosion to fire the projectile.


Yes, any form of explosive is a chem. wep. just as is a petrol bomb or napalm.

But please don't confuse projectiles as a part of a chemical weapon. In most cases you need a chemical reaction to force a projectile to its target, therefore the chemical in this situation is not the weapon, but it is the reactive agent of the weapon which makes the weapon deadly.

you can have a pound of C4 and you get a nice bang.
Mix in 300 steel ball bearings and you have a nice bang and 300 projectiles.
The projectiles would probably do more damage than the C4 depending on how/where it is used.

This is to show that the Chemical (C4) is a nasty package on its own and used solely is a basic form of chemical weapon, just like a petrol bomb really.

But the purpose of adding the steel balls makes the balls the deadly part and the C4 the reactive agent. So this isn't a chemical weapon.

a gun is a weapon that needs a chemical reaction to work.
A chemical weapon just needs a trigger. In the case of a petrol bomb, either a match or a lighter.



Thank you everyone for adding the superb content and information to this thread. I've learnt a bit about lasers and the different types etc.
There is some really good info in the links that have been provided and some of you have taken a while to write your replies and it is all greatly appreciated.

Thumbs up on the education..


So, in guns, for you chemicals are only "reactive agents", and thus the gun is not a chemical weapon since the projectile actually does the killing.

Since you've learned so much about lasers, surely you can now see the parallel to firearms. In a chemical laser, the chemicals are the "reactive agents" that produce the laser beam which - just like the projectile from a firearm - does the killing.

Which makes your argument moot ...



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 01:47 PM
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Originally posted by Extralien
Yes, any form of explosive is a chem. wep. just as is a petrol bomb or napalm.


I thought we agreed by now, that a "chemical weapon" uses the TOXIC properties of a substance to do the killing.

At least the banned weapons that are classified under this term do.


So if you agree to the "toxic properties" part, then a bomb of any kind is not a chemical weapon.

Even tho a bomb uses a chemical reaction to do the exploding, it's not the chemicals themselves that do the killing, but the resulting shockwave and the shrapnel from surrounding objects.

So if the ball bearings in your C4 are not a chemical weapon, i could argue, that the C4 itself isn't either, since in the first configuration it's the ball bearings that do the killing, and in the second, it's the shockwave.


As i said before, you can consider almost everything on this planet a chemical, but the term "chemical weapons" is supposed to mean mainly poisonous gases, that are spread over a wide area, and can kill any human in this constantly spreading area, when he absorbs them in one of several possible ways.

Just like a "biological weapon" is supposed to mean germs, bacteria and viruses, and not a dog, for example, which is also a biological entity, and can do the killing if properly trained..


Words only have those meanings, which we give them and agree upon. Chemical weapons are agreed upon, to mean poisonous gasses, that use their toxic properties for the killing, and not bombs or other weapons that use chemical reaction, to create a shockwave or to propell something.


Do you understand what i'm trying to say?


EDIT: The reason why chemical weapons (poisons) are particularly nasty, is that once they are used, they can spread, and go with the wind in any unforseen direction, and they persist, and kill everyone in that area, and even when they settle, and are no longer in the air, they are then in the ground, and can get in the water, and do some more killing, even much later, all this time completelly without discrimination.

A bomb just explodes, and anyone who is dead is dead, and anyone who is alive is alive, and it's over almost instantly (except for the wounded), but the poisons can, and do cause extremelly slow an painfull death, with horrible blisters all over the body and even inside your lungs. I think this (and the persistance) is why they are banned. They're just too nasty.


Now don't get me wrong, i didn't say i like to see people being killed by bullets or bombs, but if i had a choice, i would take a bullet (or a bomb) over nasty poisons any time.

[edit on 14-12-2007 by deezee]



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 01:53 PM
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A laser weapon is classified as a “Directed Energy Weapon.”

Even if the active lasing element is a gas as opposed to a solid.



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 01:53 PM
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reply to post by centurion1211
 


With all due respect, the argument is not moot.

A gun requires gunpowder to force a projectile.

A chemical laser needs a constant supply of chemicals to constantly make a laser beam, no matter how long or short the laser burst is. A huge difference between the two.

the chemical laser does not force a projectile. Instead, it makes the item that will be used to kill.

A gun doesn't make a bullet. Use a blank round in a gun and press it against someones head and pull the trigger and you could still kill them with the pressure from the explosion. That is a death caused by a chemical reaction.

Stand 50 feet away from them and fire a blank round and you make a nice bang. No harm done.


Therefore, a chemical laser requires a reaction from chemicals alone to produce enough energy to power up a beam of light that kills. A chemical weapon.

Why they don't just plug it into the aircrafts engines for power i'll never know. Maybe they're worried about pollution?



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 02:14 PM
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Originally posted by Extralien
the chemical laser does not force a projectile. Instead, it makes the item that will be used to kill.
A gun doesn't make a bullet.


Well, i could argue, that the laser does not create the photons, but emmits them. Basically what happens is, the energy is transformed from one form (chemical) into another form (light).

The same happens in a gun. Energy is again transformed from one form (chemical) to another (kinetic), which then does the killing.

Chemical weapons are supposed to mean POISONS and nothing else, for gawds sake!



Originally posted by Extralien
Why they don't just plug it into the aircrafts engines for power i'll never know. Maybe they're worried about pollution?


For the same reason that they don't plug guns into electrical sockets, even tho electical energy could be used to propell a bullet: They need more energy! Much more than the airplanes electricall generator could ever supply. The output of the laser is in MEGA WATTS, and since the efficiency is never perfect, the imput could be twice as high or even higher (with the rest of the energy transforming to heat).

For this much power you would need an electrical plant nearby. Or a nuclear reactor.

For this reason it is most likelly, that electrical lasers of this power magnitude do not even exist. To get to such a high power level they had to pursue a chemical reaction.

And the fact that it needs a constant flow of these chemicals does not make it a chemical weapon. An explosion inside a gun, that propells a bullet is also not instantaneous, even if it seems so. It takes actual time, for the reaction to occur, and some more time, for the blast to propell the bullet down the barrel. So it also needs a chemical reaction that is sustained untill it's job is done.

Just like the laser!


I don't understand what you're trying to do anymore. Create new definitions? Even in this case, the arguments are illogical.

I still don't understand where a chemical weapon ends and a ballistic starts, in your view of things.. When the chemicals don't reach the target? In this case a bullet is much more a chemical weapon than the chemical laser, since some chemicals will inevitabely cling to the bullet and get to the target, while with the laser NO chemicals ever leave the module.

Or is it when a chemical somehow leads to the killing? In this case, everything is a chemical weapon!

[edit on 14-12-2007 by deezee]



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 04:54 PM
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Originally posted by deezee

Originally posted by Extralien
Why they don't just plug it into the aircrafts engines for power i'll never know. Maybe they're worried about pollution?


For the same reason that they don't plug guns into electrical sockets, even tho electical energy could be used to propell a bullet: They need more energy! Much more than the airplanes electricall generator could ever supply. The output of the laser is in MEGA WATTS, and since the efficiency is never perfect, the imput could be twice as high or even higher (with the rest of the energy transforming to heat).

For this much power you would need an electrical plant nearby. Or a nuclear reactor.

For this reason it is most likelly, that electrical lasers of this power magnitude do not even exist. To get to such a high power level they had to pursue a chemical reaction.



Ask and ye shall receive.

Yes, Virginia there are electric lasers for the military - only they're called solid state lasers. And they're working on one as we speak that will run off the engine power and fit inside the F-22 and F-35.

link

P.S. check out the Global Security website in detail as there is a wealth of information there.



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 09:03 PM
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reply to post by centurion1211
 


I think the new radar already fits the bill in that capacity, at least to destroy incoming missiles, it destroys the avionics, and may have other "offensive" capabilities besides "spoofing" or jamming

also, in reference to defending missiles and rockets, a rotation of the rocket or missile (may) prove effective enough to defend it.

think of a chemical laser as nothing more then a Giant glow stick, ( with admittedly nasty chemicals ) but the basic principle is the same

Hope this clears up a few point for people



posted on Dec, 15 2007 @ 12:58 AM
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Originally posted by Extralien


A high energy CHEMICAL laser weapon....

um, are chemical weapons supposed to be banned. regardless of how it's deployed?

This may be able to pinpoint exact targets, yet it can be fired more than once, making it a chemical wmd.

And don't you find it funny how this has been fitted and tested now?
Just in time for a particular invasion to go ahead. (if it does at all)



www.spacewar.com
(visit the link for the full news article)


the fact that its called a chemical laser is a bit misleadong. The definition of this weapon, is totaly different from that of a typical chemical weapon.



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