On that date, al-Ghazali and his family sheltered in their house as a fierce street battle erupted in his neighborhood. In the midst of the fighting, he noticed that the Americans had called up an oddly configured tank. Then to his amazement the tank suddenly let loose a blinding stream of what seemed like fire and lightning, engulfing a large passenger bus and three automobiles. Within seconds the bus had become semi-molten, sagging "like a wet rag" as he put it. He said the bus rapidly melted under this withering blast, shrinking until it was a twisted blob about the dimensions of a VW bug. As if that were not bizarre enough, al-Ghazali explicitly describes seeing numerous human bodies shriveled to the size of newborn babies. By the time local street fighting ended that day, he estimates between 500 and 600 soldiers and civilians had been cooked alive as a result of the mysterious tank-mounted device.
Scientists and engineers at Picatinny Arsenal are busy developing a device that will shoot lightning bolts down laser beams to destroy its target. Soldiers and science fiction fans, you're welcome.
"We never got tired of the lightning bolts zapping our simulated (targets)," said George Fischer, lead scientist on the project.
The Laser-Induced Plasma Channel, or LIPC, is designed to take out targets that conduct electricity better than the air or ground that surrounds them. How did the scientists harness the seemingly random path made by lightning bolts and how does a laser help? To understand how the technology, it helps to get a brief background on physics...
Originally posted by BASSPLYR
Also, 500 people killed with this weapon in one day and there is no evidence of it anywhere in the hospital records of 500 people blackened and shriveled up to the size of infants.
Originally posted by BASSPLYR
I remember reading about 10 years ago that the military had created the exact same thing but on a much smaller scale. Basically it was a laser taser. It used a IR laser to ionize a path through the air and then introduced a electrical current to the beam. THe current carried along the beam like a electrical conduit and would be able to shock people up to 100 yards away. No surprise that they had developed it into something much bigger.
As for the story about the beam being used in Iraq. It's plausible but what good would it do. Pretty sure a AT4 or a M203 would make just as short work as the lightening gun. Figure it would be better suited for use against helos and aircraft hunting the tanks, not on a bus. Also, 500 people killed with this weapon in one day and there is no evidence of it anywhere in the hospital records of 500 people blackened and shriveled up to the size of infants.
For very powerful and high intensity laser pulses, the air can act like a lens, keeping the light in a small-diameter filament," said Fischer. "We use an ultra-short-pulse laser of modest energy to make a laser beam so intense that it focuses on itself in air and stays focused in a filament.
To put the energy output in perspective, a big filament light bulb uses 100 watts. The optical amplifier output is 50 billion watts of optical power.
If a laser beam is intense enough, its electro-magnetic field is strong enough to rip electrons off of air molecules, creating plasma," said Fischer. "This plasma is located along the path of the laser beam, so we can direct it wherever we want by moving a mirror.
Air is composed of neutral molecules and is an insulator," Fischer said. When lightning from a thunderstorm leaps from cloud to ground, it behaves just as any other sources of electrical energy and follows the path of least resistance.
The plasma channel conducts electricity way better than un-ionized air, so if we set up the laser so that the filament comes near a high voltage source, the electrical energy will travel down the filament.
“When that lightning hit, I felt my car shake,” Hunter said. “This was the biggest bolt of lightning I’ve ever seen. I mean, this bolt of lightning looked like it was five or six feet wide. So, when I saw that, I was like, something’s happened.”
My concern is how they are developing that much amperage to melt cars and busses. How are you going to put a device that creates that sort of juice in a small flying drone.
Tanks I figure can simply use their treads to recharge some sort of capacitor. I've heard of jets using something called a flame jet generator that used the planes ionized exhaust like a conveyor belt that would charge up a tesla coil. But that should create voltage not amperage. But I know squat about electronics.