posted on Jan, 26 2013 @ 08:13 PM
Originally posted by TrueBrit
reply to post by Zaphod58
Isnt there a way they could use spare heat in the engines to power the laser? Some sort of thermoelectric conversion? Theres got to be an awful lot of
heat waste in a jet fighter/bomber.
What's smaller and lighter, an alternator powered off the turbine, or some big TE converter that's heinously inefficient? Remember you'll need a
big heat dump on the cold side of the thermoelectric converter.
The problem is, you need a LOT of power. And you need a LOT of cooling. You can compensate for a lack of total power output by using batteries and
cutting back on your duty cycle, but then you can't fire continuously.
Oh, and I recall another post in the thread about variable substrates. Lasers in this class are not used to drill holes. You want to heat to
deflagration, or heat to fail the control electronics. Alternately, you can, if you've got enough power, knock big dents in things by causing an
explosive plasma bloom on the surface of an object. Most flying objects are not that mechanically strong and can be dented pretty easily. That's
catastrophic if you're at Mach something.