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Nuclear-Powered Laser Rifle

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posted on Mar, 25 2004 @ 06:57 AM
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Stavatti White Paper Proposal For A Gasdynamic Laser Rifle

I came across this modest proposal while trying to dig up information on Stavatti, a supposedly real corporation.

Paper In PDF Format


The TIS-1 (Tactical Infantry System1) is a gasdynamic laser weapon system conceived by Stavatti Corporation in direct response to the Statement of Objectives corresponding to the LFLAN (Light Fighter Lethality After Next). The TIS-1 is a revolutionary tactical weapon system for the individual combatant that will deliver a first round probability of hit using directed laser light as the lethal mechanism in selectable bursts from 1 to 170 shots per minute in excess of 60% at a range of 500 meters and 80% at 1500 meters


Assuming whoever's behind the trigger can actually shoot. Anyway, let's look at the physics behind this weapon.


Employing a gasdynamic laser concept, whereby a mixture of Carbon Dioxide and Nitrogen gas is thermally pumped to the population-energy inversion necessary to sustain the lasing process via the rapid expansion of the gas mixture through a supersonic nozzle, permits the development of a weapon system that provides an output intensity
sufficient to serve as a lethal mechanism while significantly reducing the overall physical dimensions of the weapon chassis. To facilitate the gasdynamic process and provide the output energy necessary to deliver a lethal mechanism, a high density power cell fueled by Polonium-210 (Po-210) is employed. Use of Po-210, a radioisotope that provides approximately 141 watts/gram of thermal energy through continuous emission of alpha particles, permits the delivery of the heat energy ultimately necessary to facilitate the gas lasing process. This combination of employing a laser beam produced by a gasdynamic laser process as fueled by the heat energy supplied by a Po-210 power source results in a directed energy weapon concept that, upon further development, will lend to the widespread deployment of a tactical laser weapon for infantry men, offering greater lethality and effective range than the present M16/M4 system.


So, in essence, we have a laser using a supercompressed, superheated gas being blasted out a nozzle and cooling and dropping in pressure as a result - adiabatic expansion. What happens here is that the gas drops in temp so rapidly that the molecules dump their excess energy in the form of photons. Photons rush back and forth, forming a cascade that produces a laser beam, just like conventional laser. But here's the kicker: there's no net input of electricity. You just have a superhot, supercompressed gas kept warm by some nice, safe Polonium-210, which only emits easily absorbed alpha particles. Basically, an infinite ammo weapon. No need to carry around mags in pouches anymore. The beam wavelength's in the short infrared, so you wan't blind anybody (including your squadmates).

Now, would anybody actually use this thing? Let's look at it. The basis of this weapon is a CO2/N2/He gas mix "contained at a state of thermal equilibrium at a high
temperature (2173K) and pressure (272 atm)." Basically, you could say jet exhaust in a compressed air cylinder inside a thermos. Great. What if you puncture it, for example shrapnel etc? Remember the oxygen cylinders in Bond uses to bust through a wal in Die Another Day? That's exactly what would happen, except the rifle only weighs in at about 5kg. If you're unlucky enough to be holding on to it, you'r going to be catapulted out of your foxhole. jetting out of the cylinder, the gas will still be quite hot at one atmosphere, but it won't set anybody on fire. Hopefully.

Now, this nice safe Polonium-210 that they're proposing as a heat source. What does Los Alamos have to say about it?

Polonium

Yes, it's an excellent energy source, they say, but extremely difficult to refine.

Apparently, ingesting 0,0000000000068 grams will kill you. That's 10 to the minus 12th of a gram. (Forgive me, I've forgotten how to do superscript with HTML code).
Ah. And since these rods are only good for 60 days, how do you dispose of the toxic, red-hot duds? Not only that, but this requires Polonium-210 to be churned out in the tonnes, nonstop, whereas currently it's available in micrograms.

Despite all that, I can see applications for this tchnology, in hypersonic aircraft (use the superheated hull to warm up your bottle of gas to fire a laser), power sources for spacecraft... just not on the battlefield!


[Edited on 25-3-2004 by Lampyridae]




posted on Mar, 25 2004 @ 09:46 AM
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Heh. Sounds like a great idea in theory, but you've delineated all the obvious flaws-- a conventional rifle round, if it were to hit this thing, would almost certainly deliver a very painful death to the weilder, and quite possibly anyone in the immediate area.

Then there's also the question of the effectiveness of the device as a weapon... as has been discussed before, even a very potent laser won't do much other than burn a target badly if it's not held on target for a good bit of time. There's none of the "one-shot-one-kill" effectiveness of contemporary ballistic weapons, which rely on system shock and blood loss to incapacitate an enemy. A weapon that cauterizes the wounds it causes wouldn't be much good at a long distance, in my humble opinion.

Nevertheless, the idea of a weapon that has no need of ammunition is an intriguing one... perhaps it will be refined in the future to a state rivaling the effectiveness of the good ol' M-16A2, or, depending on how far in the future we're looking, the OICW.



posted on Mar, 26 2004 @ 02:07 AM
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Indeed. Even holding a beam on a human for 1/3 of a second would be difficult - any living creature would instinctively flinch when seared with a 2kW laser beam. The best defence against a laser would be to....

RUN AWAYYY!!!



posted on Mar, 26 2004 @ 03:11 AM
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Sounds like bunk in reality. Maybe it works in theory, but not in the next 20 years. You would have to make a laser so powerful that it would melt flesh instantly.




Indeed. Even holding a beam on a human for 1/3 of a second would be difficult - any living creature would instinctively flinch when seared with a 2kW laser beam. The best defence against a laser would be to....

RUN AWAYYY!!!


Or get really big mirrors



posted on Mar, 26 2004 @ 03:24 AM
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This would surely mean that all soldiers involved in combat with this type of weapon would be covering themselves in Bacofoil to deflect the lasers, thus turning any battle into a parody of all those Bond fights of yesteryear where all combatants dressed in very stupid, shiny jumpsuits.




posted on Mar, 26 2004 @ 05:06 AM
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Ceramic or some other form of insulating armour would be better, as mirrors are not 100% effective at reflecting laser energy. I don't think anybody would be fool enough to venture out into the field in "shining armour"...


Although, you never know, stranger things have happened!

[Edited on 26-3-2004 by Lampyridae]



posted on Mar, 26 2004 @ 09:46 PM
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hummphhh, lasers, are already a reality, they shoot down enemy aircraft and missiles for christ's sake.

But handheld lasers i think will be fantasy due to the fact that the energy needed to supply one and the size and weight and the recoil on it, it would require something like a battle platform such as a tank or some sort of walker unit.

I highly doubt humans will carry laser rifles and be able to walk after firing one single shot, you would need some sort of exo-suit to support the weight and damage inflicted on the person firing the mechanism because of the recoil.

As far as lasers are conserned, dont expect them early in your generation, heck may not even come in the next 70 years.



posted on Mar, 26 2004 @ 11:09 PM
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an endless supply of ammunition? thats awesome! i think it would be much better suited to be mounted on top of a tank though, if i was a troop i wouldnt want to carry that big thing around with me. unless it was a pistol or something. it would be great on a tank, you could have alot of tanks with these laser weopons on them and they would be unstoppable, unless someone had a RPG. i would like to see it though. good find



posted on Mar, 26 2004 @ 11:13 PM
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Folks, sorry to dissapoint you, but the Stavatti Corp. is a joke. Not only does founder and CEO, Christopher R, Beskar, claim to produce laser rifles, but he also claims that Stavatti corp. builds airplanes (both fighters and bombers) and space-fighters to combat "reptile alien overlords from Rigel."

Defense Tech did a quick story on the laser rifle hoax at: www.defensetech.org...



posted on Mar, 28 2004 @ 03:17 AM
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I realised that as I was looking over their website some months back, there definitely some things not in order! For a start, I'd never heard anything from the Air Force of the F-26 STALMA.

However, the physics of the actual weapon are more or less sound. The gasydnamic laser principle is quite well founded, and kudos for whoever thought up the Stavatti laser rifle, impractical as it is. I could think of ways to get around the Polonium-210 heat source, though, such as exothermic chemical reactions - as opposed to "true" chemical lasers, which use the actual chemical reaction of two gases to pump the laser. A gasdynamic laser is quite literally a rocket in reverse...

[url=http://members.rogers.com/biglasers/continuous/gasdynamic.html]Gasdynamic Lasers

From the article, a fascinating tidbit. Natural lasing effects!?!


Non-equilibrium turbulent flows are much more likely to occur in rapidly expanding stellar atmospheres where ideal equilibrium flows are rarely encountered. If adiabatic expansion alone can produce one of the most powerful lasers on earth; this mechanism should also be one of the most prevalent astrophysical means of producing laser action.


And something to round off with...


Initially this research was classified by the U.S. government, even today information on these types of lasers is scarce.


Indeed.



posted on Oct, 11 2004 @ 06:12 PM
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Originally posted by Cypher
Folks, sorry to dissapoint you, but the Stavatti Corp. is a joke. Not only does founder and CEO, Christopher R, Beskar, claim to produce laser rifles, but he also claims that Stavatti corp. builds airplanes (both fighters and bombers) and space-fighters to combat "reptile alien overlords from Rigel."

Defense Tech did a quick story on the laser rifle hoax at: www.defensetech.org...


Heh, yeah, I solely believed Stavatti Corp. is a total BS company, I even posted an entire thread on this.

Shattered OUT...



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