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originally posted by: StratosFear
One could compare the YAL-1 to the first massive room sized computer, as the technology is developed laser systems will become smaller and more powerful.
originally posted by: CovertAgenda
a reply to: Xeven
Airborne laser already trialled...and failed.
Too bad Boeing couldn't get YAL-1 to work effectively....
While slab lasers deliver the hottest burn, solid state lasers are most likely to be chosen for use aboard aircraft because of their light weight. General Atomics is developing a single High Energy Liquid Laser Area Defense System (HELLADS) 150 kW laser for DARPA, with the first due for field testing this year, integrated with an existing US Air Force ground-based beam-control system. Lockheed Martin could also be in the running to develop a laser weapon to work with ABC - the company has been working on high-energy lasers for 30 years, alongside supporting technologies such as precision pointing and control, line-of-sight stabilisation and adaptive optics, and high-power fibre lasers.
Liquid lasers that have large cooling systems can fire continuous beams, while solid state laser beams are more intense but must be fired in pulses to stop them from overheating. (However, as long as the heat transfer requirements are met solid state lasers can run continuously.) In the past, both types of lasers were very bulky because of their need for these huge cooling systems. The only aircraft in which they could fit were the size of jumbo jets.
Current demonstrations utilize a 10 kW-class laser. In the future, a 50 kW-class laser will be integrated into the HEL MD platform. The 50 kW laser will be increased to a 100 kW-class laser two years later. The supporting thermal and power subsystems will be upgraded to support the increasingly powerful electric lasers.
Former Secretary of Defense Gates said that "I don't know anybody at the Department of Defense, Mr. Tiahrt, who thinks that this program should, or would, ever be operationally deployed. The reality is that you would need a laser something like 20 to 30 times more powerful than the chemical laser in the plane right now to be able to get any distance from the launch site to fire.
Yes: lasers will become smaller and more powerful No: they will NOT advance at anything like the rate of computers.