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A U.S. Navy plan to test a high-power laser against the small-boat threat to its warships provides the first real opportunity to transition electric lasers from the laboratory to the field, says Northrop Grumman, which has won a $98-million contract for the Maritime Laser Demonstration (MLD).
Originally posted by Discotech
wow wonder how [long] it will be before we have satellite based ion canon style lasers ?
Originally posted by MR BOB
yes it is. *fingers in ears lalalalalalalalalala!
Megawatt class power levels were first achieved by the Mid-Infrared Advanced Chemical Laser (MIRACL) originally sponsored by the Navy, later by DARPA, and then by BMDO. Because the design was intended for sea level operation, the MIRACL laser does not achieve the optimum efficiency necessary for space-based operation. DARPA launched the Alpha laser program, with the goal of developing a megawatt level SBL that was scaleable to more powerful weapon levels and optimized for space operation. In this design, stacked cylindrical rings of nozzles are used for reactant mixing. The gain generation assembly achieves higher power by simply stacking more rings. In 1991, the Alpha laser demonstrated megawatt class power levels similar to MIRACL, but in a low pressure, space operation environment. Alpha demonstrates that multi-megawatt, space-compatible lasers can be built and operated.