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Fridge-sized war raygun for US bombers gets $40m

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posted on Jun, 24 2011 @ 02:33 AM
Pew pew pew pew pew pew WARNING OVERHEAT WARNING Aw jeez

A long-running US military project aimed at producing a "refrigerator sized" laser raygun capable of being mounted on US combat aircraft has received further funding of just under $40m.

In a federal announcement issued on Tuesday, famous crazytech company General Atomics was awarded a $39,833,499 contract for "High Energy Liquid Laser Area Defense System (HELLADS) Phase 4, Demonstration Laser Weapon System".

The money comes, of course, from DARPA: the US government boffins most likely to mutter things like "They said I was mad - MAAD. Me!"... "Narrow-minded, blinkered fools!" and "You'll all be very sorry". DARPA wants the HELLADS programme to produce a directed-energy weapon of war-grade power (say 150 kilowatts) and weighing no more than 750kg, light enough to put onto a US combat jet. Existing lasers are so heavy that they require at least a cargo plane or a monster jumbo to carry them.

posted on Jun, 24 2011 @ 02:39 AM
"The raygun bomber force knew how to handle the surprisingly aggressive and heavily armed tree people"

Is it just me or does this seem like such a waste? Think about what 40 million can do for people who need it. Think about it. Really.

posted on Jun, 24 2011 @ 02:51 AM
i feel the same about

all the war toy if they spent the

money on humanitarian things

instead war all they time the

world would be a safer happier place

posted on Jun, 24 2011 @ 03:08 AM
This weapons would be really useful against an alien invasion.

posted on Jun, 24 2011 @ 11:16 PM
Just curious, and I have no idea if it would actually work. But if everyone starts using lasers, couldn't you easily defend from them, at least with aircraft and missiles, by giving them a mirror finish?

It would be really stupid to waste this money when for a few thousand dollars you can make a plane invincible by going down to ACE hardware and buying some freaking mirrors.

posted on Jun, 27 2011 @ 04:41 AM
reply to post by ZIVONIC

Reflective surfaces might help with deflecting lazer pointer light, but when you are talking about a lazer beam capable of stripping kevlar and steel, you cannot just make it shiny and pray. Besides which, making military tech shiny is counter to every single rule and good practice that has ever been enacted by the military machines of earth. Making them shiny would be a bad idea for many reasons, but the two starkest ones would be these:

One: It probably wouldnt work. The power of a 750w lazer is not something which is easy to deflect, and some pretty extensive research would have to be done to achieve an adequate deflective surface.

Two: Even if it DID work, making military vehicles , installations, and aircraft highly reflective would render them completely impossible to camouflage in an effective manner against conventional weapons. Remember, the most important capability that a military actions, kit and vehicles must have is to be able to approach a target , or be approached by an attacker, without being spotted by the enemy . The element of suprise is absolutely key to the survival of military personel and equipment, almost without exception.

This is why military uniforms stopped featuring bright colours, shiny buttons, and why for the last nine or more decades, war gear has been designed with camo in mind. Hell, soldiers in the forces at the moment have even been told that when not wearing thier sunglasses, they must hang them round thier necks with lenses facing behind rather than infront , to reduce the possibility of the sun glinting off them, and making them stand out at sniping distances. Its why , when a stealthy approach is required, a soldier with a bayonet on his gun should dirty the blade, to reduce its reflectivity.

Making military vehicles and kit reflective enough to withstand massive lazer assault, would be utterly counter productive. It would be like an umbrella to deflect a nuke, because the moment a military asset were considered defended from lazer attack, it would render it weak against all other weapon platforms, and virtualy impossible to miss.
edit on 27-6-2011 by TrueBrit because: Spelling, grammar... probably still awful, but thats the way it goes... I tried.

posted on Jun, 27 2011 @ 04:07 PM
reply to post by TrueBrit

How are laser weapons aimed, you can either aim the whole weapon system, or use mirrors. Today, they use mirrors, so you would assume the mirror closer to the source would heat faster than the one 20km away through clouds etc. This was a big problem Reagan's SDI system, one of the nails in the coffin for the idea.

This is how I would assume the armor would work. You would make it in layers. Highly heat resistant carbon fiber/ceramic/composite on the bottom, next layer reflective surface, third would be specialized paint or RAM, why, because that layer would peel/melt off very quickly when hit by the laser, revealing the reflective under layer. So, you wont have the sunlight reflection problem, in fact, they would look the same as any current system, but highly resistant to any laser attack. This could be applied to missiles, aircraft, and armored vehicles. Take an M1A1 for example, how long would it take you and a few friends to design a bolt-on armor package for this vehicle, armor and beer are provided by the pentagon. A weekend, eight hour workday maybe?

This is probably why the military has never done a Manhattan type project for laser weapons. We do have the technology for land based systems, we had it decades ago. But it seems even today it's not taken seriously, I wonder why...

posted on Jun, 27 2011 @ 04:31 PM
In pentagon military project terms 40 million is chump change. The pentagon probably spends that on copy paper.

If they perfect this it will probably save lives. Allied forces will be able to strike and kill individuals within a crowd while leaving people in the immediate vicinity less injured than with a missile/bomb strike.

If you have this on a long endurance platform like a UAV it would provide a more scalable alternative to the modified anti-tank missiles currently being used against individuals. Reduced potential for innocent deaths, good thing.

Its a sensible use of funds, despite sounding like 'shark with a lazer' lunacy.

posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 03:30 AM
reply to post by ZIVONIC

They do use mirrors, its very true. But the type of material they use to make those mirrors out of would not be cost effective to apply to an entire aircraft or tank, many times over.

There is a segment here , under the heading " Instruments " which explains that dielectric mirrors are used in lazer tech. It also says that the best of them can reflect 99.999% of the light, which hits the mirror.

But the devil is in the details, because that is only possible within a narrow band of wavelengths, which have to be pre specified and built into the design. However, any reasonable person building a lazer weapon will make the wavelength variable, perhaps by having various focusing mirrors , designed for different power ranges on a selector switch , so that control can be exerted over the focus of the beam, or if you like , the width of it.
For example, if firing on fleshly targets, the nesscesity for an extremely high intensity beam is almost non existant at the power ranges we are talking about. A wider but powerful beam, could cook a group of combatant targets in thier patheticaly inadequate personal armour very easily, but to punch a hole in a tank , and cook its ammo supply, a tight focus beam would be more effective. Now, with that in mind, a suitable dielectric mirror for use as a protective deflector would be incredibly difficult to come by, because its effectiveness would be dramaticaly less, when faced with wavelengths it was not designed specificaly to withstand.

Further more, even the angle of incidence would be an issue. Near enough all mirrors used in lazer tech, only operate within certain conditions, which they are specificaly designed to deal with. The angle at which the lazer energy impacts the mirror is no exception. If the energy hits the mirror from a bad angle, outside its recommended range, unfortunate consequences, like setting crap on fire by accident, may occur!

I looked up dielectric mirrors for moderate power argon and blue lazer applications. These would not even be heavy industrial grade lazers. They cost 159 dollars for a one inch diameter mirror 0.32 inches thick, effective in nanometer ranges from three hundred to five hundred, and only capable of deflecting 99% of the energy delivered to them at angles from zero to forty five degrees. Any deviation from that could cause cracking, melting, or even combustion dependant on just how bad the angles are. Now, I fail to see how similar mirrors as are used in lazer beam aiming , could be used as sheilding effectively, baring in mind the limitations involved with thier application. Also , at one hundred and fifty nine dollars per inch, (and probably costing more since they would have to be adaptable to the shapes of military wartech) how that will ever be cost effective enough to be employed as a serious solution.

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