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Manpackable Laser Weapons on the Way for U.S. Military's Future Soldiers?

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posted on Apr, 2 2009 @ 05:52 AM
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Manpackable Laser Weapons on the Way for U.S. Military's Future Soldiers?


www.blacklistednews.com

It's being reported that Northrop Grumman has successfully developed a seven-laser-chain 105.5 kW solid-state laser called "Firestrike" that's scalable up to 120 kW by adding an eigth chain. Firestrike's scalable "building-block" approach was apparently the answer to the long-sought weapon-level power question.
The Firestrike high-power laser, a product of the Joint High Power Solid State Laser (JHPSSL) program, was tested at five minutes of of continuous operation, and has been operated for a total duration of 85+ minutes to date. During the 5-minute test, the laser achieved electro-optical efficiency of 19.3 percent (19.3%), and reached full power in less than 0.6 seconds. Beam quality was better than 3.0.
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Apr, 2 2009 @ 05:52 AM
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Energy weapons have to coome into play sooner or later, considering the amount of money that is being spent on developing them.

It may well be that in the near future, projectile weapons will become obsolete for nations with the money and power to develop these weapons.

Perhaps one of our members who understands the process and lasers could shed some light on this for the rest of us


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



posted on Apr, 2 2009 @ 06:12 AM
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Yay, better weapons. Just what the world needs. After all, when you shoot someone with a bullet they sometimes live. This is unacceptable.



posted on Apr, 2 2009 @ 07:05 AM
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they can ionise the air with lasers to make wireless stun guns with a large range

heres a pic of a bfg thinks its design to attack to spray this stuf and just moe down crowds with a electrical gas storm



posted on Apr, 2 2009 @ 07:23 AM
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Originally posted by TheComte
Yay, better weapons. Just what the world needs. After all, when you shoot someone with a bullet they sometimes live. This is unacceptable.


It never said in the article it can kill. It didn't even say what it's capable of doing...

My best bet, you can blind soldiers with it!


Bad thing(for the enemy) if this can kill, you might be able to dodge bullets, but lasers? You'll need to literally, stop time to dodge it..



posted on Apr, 2 2009 @ 08:20 AM
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heres what im wondering

we all know laser weapons are coming

itll eventually be like the G.I. Joe cartoon with the red and blue laser guns

what im curious about

we have the right to bear arms here in the U.S.A.

our forefathers made that law so that when our govt becomes corrupt, we can do what they did and change things for the better

but our govt doesnt want to let us be able to do that, so they dont allow us to have tanks or bazookas or assault weapons and automatics and stuff like that

will they let us have laser guns?

or will they be banned like ak 47s


thats what i think needs to really be looked into

do we the citizens want our governments to have weapons that would make guns obsolete if we cant have the same weapons?

if their lasers trump our guns

the whole idea behind the right to bear arms kind of loses its whole meaning



posted on Apr, 2 2009 @ 08:42 AM
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You can just shoot the guy with the laser with your gun and take his. The bad thing about a weapon like that is it has electronics... battiers and lots of things that can go wrong.



posted on Apr, 2 2009 @ 09:36 AM
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100kW is viewed as the initial threshold of what you might call a weapon grade laser. Ideally the real capacity for military applications begins at 150kw and above. To give you a comparison, the Air-Borne Laser system fitted on a modified on a 747-400F is a mega-watt class laser. At such a high output it can burn through a (hypothetical) shielded and highly reflective ballistic missile from hundreds of miles away. Launch and flight through air can cause the necessary accumulation of reflective material (particles) upon the missiles body, the laser then burns through and heats the area.

There are too many different surface and airborne laser based systems in development, testing, and even service to list, but suffice it to say, it it not a fad. As the technology matures and we understand it, develop, and plan means and tactics of use, it will become a growing part of the future military. Traditionally cost (procurement) and large (hence mobility/versatility) size have held back such programs, however these two barriers are slowly fading away.

The Northrop system and mechanism is one out of many within the company's own projects, and one of endless other proposals and programs from various sectors of the defense-civilian industry. Now that more funding at both the civilian and defense levels is being granted by the Pentagon (and DARPA), expect to see more white world laser systems. Systems not just as technology demonstrators, but as actual field issued weapons. Research has been going on for decades, especially during Reagan's SDI years, but that was more conceptual and experimental. Still, the knowledge gained and systems developed have been in some stage of development since then.

[edit on 2-4-2009 by WestPoint23]



posted on Apr, 2 2009 @ 09:37 AM
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Originally posted by ahnggk
It never said in the article it can kill. It didn't even say what it's capable of doing...


Well, it did say this about the laser in the movie:


[the laser]...slices through...like a Ginsu knife through a ripe tomato. It's scenes like this that excite the minds of U.S. military/DoD (Department of Defense) weapons developers, and encourage them to make them a reality.


So, the DoD wants weapons developers to make reality the kind of laser that can cut through a man.



posted on Apr, 2 2009 @ 09:43 AM
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reply to post by TheComte
 


150kW can burn though hard objects, and metals. Small missiles, mortars and projectiles are vulnerable. A human with normal clothing would not be an obstacle for the laser and it would eventually become lethal.



posted on Apr, 2 2009 @ 09:53 AM
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Lasers will change the game of warfare, much as the machine gun, and later- tanks did. Widespread implementation of laser systems will require equipment and tactics to evolve and adapt.

Of course military developers want to make lasers that can cut through a man. Isn't that the whole point of being a weapons developer- to find newer, more efficient ways to kill people? Lasers are not like blades, they don't cut so much as they burn through things. Armor will have to adapt to counter lasers- new, highly reflective materials will have to be incorporated into equipment and uniforms- covered so that they aren't exposed until hit with a laser, which burns through the outer layer. Or ultra-light absorbent materials will be developed. Whenever a new weapon comes along, sooner or later a new technology comes along to counter it. Manportable laser systems will eventually come along- but it won't mean the end of the infantryman.



posted on Apr, 2 2009 @ 09:53 AM
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I love the way everyone jumps on the bandwagon here and starts fantasising about "Moonraker"-like scenarios from the James Bond film, where soldiers have at each other with colourful, blasting laser guns.

This is all still a pipe-dream.

1. Power supply is still the primary limitation. Try finding a man-portable battery pack that can power a 100Kw laser for more than a few minutes and you just might have a future with DARPA.

Boeing's YAL-Laser takes up most of the floor space on a fully-loaded 747. And even that is not powerful to damage lightly armoured vehicles and can only fire in very limited 3-5 second bursts, after which it requires a cooling and recharging period of upto half an hour. Not to mention it only has enough fuel for 20 shots of sufficient power to down an ICBM.

What's a soldier supposed to do with a 5 minute battery life? Just dump a multi-million dollar weapon on the ground after use and switch back to his trusty M16?
Or perhaps quickly evac back to a recharging station?


Very practical.

2. Laser dissipation ("Blooming") is still a secondary limitation. Laser beams begin to cause plasma breakdown in the air at energy densities of around a megajoule per cubic centimetre.

Meaning every centimetre a laser beam travels, it defocuses slightly and looses energy.

Not much of a concern for a LASIK eye laser directly above a patient's eyeball, but on a battlefield when you're supposed to be hitting targets hundreds of metres away in various environmental conditions, it seriously effectives laser stability.

3. The US military had several blinding lasers in development in the 1990's, one called the "DAZER" and the other "StingRay".

About $50,000 dollar unit cost, weighing all together 20 kilograms, and deriving power from a rechargeable Ni-Cad battery pack they proved to be utterly useless in actual battlefield conditions.

They lost focus, ran out of power frequently, inhibited a soldier's mobility severely, and were very, very easily damaged (a simple bump and a mirror prism could be knocked out of place rendering the whole thing worthless until it was repaired).

These things are a long, long, long way away from becoming man-portable killing machines.

[edit on 2/4/09 by The Godfather of Conspira]



posted on Apr, 2 2009 @ 10:00 AM
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Thinking about lasers on the future battlefield is interesting. The thing about directed energy weapons vs. conventional projectiles is that they can be reflected. You shoot a laser at a tank- it burns through- tank goes boom. You shoot a laser at a tank designed to counter your laser- you shoot at tank- tank reflects your laser back at you- you go boom. I don't think lasers will be used as "sweeping" weapons- they will be precisely aimed, and fired in very short bursts.



posted on Apr, 2 2009 @ 10:04 AM
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reply to post by moonwilson
 



You shoot a laser at a tank- it burns through- tank goes boom. You shoot a laser at a tank designed to counter your laser- you shoot at tank- tank reflects your laser back at you- you go boom.


Not likely.

A megawatt laser aimed at a tank would probably heat it up to the point where it's engine could overheat or the optics may be damaged, but that's about it.
The crew inside probably wouldn't even would feel any warmer.

The kind of laser you're suggesting would something in the Gigawatt range, which would require nothing short of a civilian Nuclear power station to derive sufficient energy from.


You shoot a laser at a tank designed to counter your laser- you shoot at tank- tank reflects your laser back at you- you go boom.


Reflected beams would loose a lot of energy travelling to a target and backward towards you.

Also, that'd have to be one extremely polished, reflective, contoured tank to be able to accurately refract light waves back to the point of origin.

Needless to say, such a situation is very unlikely.

[edit on 2/4/09 by The Godfather of Conspira]



posted on Apr, 2 2009 @ 10:09 AM
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reply to post by budski
 


Its not a phase plasma rifle with a 40-watt range. But it'll do.

I wonder what it takes to "reload" this weapon? Is it chemical gases that need to be changed? A power pack? Or the whole device?

I am impressed they managed to bring a 120 kW laser system down to 400 lbs. But I would be curious to know how far we got to create a man-portable railgun or plasma rifle.



posted on Apr, 2 2009 @ 10:19 AM
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reply to post by guppy
 



I wonder what it takes to "reload" this weapon? Is it chemical gases that need to be changed? A power pack? Or the whole device?


This is a solid-state laser, not a chemical one.

It uses some kind of solid, optical medium like glass or crystalline to which a "doping agent" (yes, that's the technical name) is added to allow it to have conducting properties and allow ions to free pass through it to be concentrated and focused.

They are then fed light to pump electrons from the doping agent, e.g. Chromium, to a higher power level.

Light comes from laser-emitting diodes or arc lamps, etc. They work almost the same way light-emitting diodes (LED's) do.

The light hits the medium, focuses the electrons, they pass through the conductive medium and typically hit a series of other mirror prisms like a pinball, which focuses the light beam and directs it to a certain location.

Diodes need raw electrical power, hence once the battery dies, it needs another one.



posted on Apr, 2 2009 @ 10:33 AM
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reply to post by The Godfather of Conspira
 


Thanks for the excellent info


Nice one


There are advances being made in battery technology all the time, with that in mind, do you envisage something being able to power a laser sometime in the near future?

Or for that matter, advances in laser technology having the same result?



posted on Apr, 2 2009 @ 10:37 AM
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Originally posted by The Godfather of Conspira
A megawatt laser aimed at a tank would probably heat it up to the point where it's engine could overheat or the optics may be damaged, but that's about it. The crew inside probably wouldn't even would feel any warmer.


No offense but that is inaccurate; both in terms of what a megawatt class laser can do, and the armor assumption of a tank. Suffice it to say, even the Airborne Tactical Laser can defeat up-armored HUMVEES. A gigawatt laser would be ideal for robust deep space to surface lasers, with the power and longevity to be practical and useful.

Public releases on capability are inherently downplayed.



posted on Apr, 2 2009 @ 10:42 AM
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reply to post by WestPoint23
 



No offense but that is inaccurate; both in terms of what a megawatt class laser can do, and the armor assumption of a tank. Suffice it to say, even the Airborne Tactical Laser can defeat up-armored HUMVEES.


Where on Earth did you get that from?

The YAL-1 is designed to stop second-rate ballistic missiles like SCUDs, and even then it isn't capable of outright destroying them.

It merely knocks them off course or heats them up to the point where terminal wind sheer or air pressures causes the missile to break apart.

See here:

It is intended to disable the missile by dwelling on the missile body long enough that the heat causes sufficient damage to the body to terminate its acceleration, causing the warhead to fall short of its target.

www.ucsusa.org...

Humvees? That's a quite a tall claim.

Not to mention, firing through the dense atmosphere to hit ground targets is going to significantly weaken the beam.

[edit on 2/4/09 by The Godfather of Conspira]



posted on Apr, 2 2009 @ 10:47 AM
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reply to post by The Godfather of Conspira
 


Exaggerating only very slightly, I mean "slice and dice" capability against those vehicles from the Airborne Tactical Laser. The ABL also has much greater capacity than simply burning a hole in a missile fuel tank... from 250-300 nm away.



[edit on 2-4-2009 by WestPoint23]



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