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Airborne Laser Completes Laser Ground Tests (Missile Defense)
Boeing ^ | Dec. 12, 2005

Posted on 12/12/2005 9:35:15 AM PST by Righty_McRight

ST. LOUIS, Dec. 12, 2005 -- The Boeing-led [NYSE: BA] Airborne Laser team announced today the successful completion of a series of tests involving its high energy laser at the Systems Integration Lab at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. During this test series, lasing duration and power were demonstrated at levels suitable for the destruction of multiple classes of ballistic missiles. This is the second of two program significant knowledge points planned for 2005.

Airborne Laser's (ABL) megawatt-class Chemical Oxygen Iodine Laser (COIL) is designed and built by Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC). Lasing tests included more than 70 separate lasing events. The laser has been operated at simulated altitude, and achieved steady state operations under full optical control.

In July 2005, the ABL team completed the year's first knowledge point, which was flight testing of the system's passive mission payload at Edwards Air Force Base. During those tests, the team demonstrated the stability and alignment of the two Beam Control and Fire Control optical benches with the turret. That test also demonstrated the system's pointing and vibration control functions, as well as its ability to acquire targets as directed by the battle management segment.

With the completion of the above milestones for 2005, the program now proceeds to integrated systems testing. The ABL YAL-1A aircraft has transitioned to Boeing's Wichita facility to undergo final aircraft modifications for installation of the High Energy Laser modules and to begin Low Power System Integration-Active ground and flight testing. During active testing, the kilowatt-class illuminator lasers will be integrated and tested to demonstrate target acquisition, fine tracking, pointing and atmospheric compensation. Upon completion of active testing, the YAL-1 will return to Edwards Air Force Base for installation of the High Energy Laser, which will be removed from the System Integration Laboratory. This will be followed by extensive weapon systems testing on the aircraft -- both ground and flight.

"This is a major technological achievement for the Airborne Laser program," said Pat Shanahan, vice president and general manager of Boeing Missile Defense Systems. "Proving the capability of this laser to operate at lethal levels of power and duration moves the system a major step closer to becoming a vital component of the nation's boost phase defense against a ballistic missile threat. We have made continued steady progress on this program breaking new technological ground every day, with each test increment leading to the lethal shoot down milestone."

The ABL consists of a megawatt-class, high-energy Chemical Oxygen Iodine Laser placed on a Boeing 747-400 aircraft. ABL is a key component of the Missile Defense Agency's overall ballistic missile defense architecture. In operation, the ABL's sensor system will autonomously detect and track an enemy's boosting missile, determine its position and destroy it with the high energy laser. The ABL's sensor system also identifies the launch location and predicts the impact location, which is communicated to other elements in the missile defense architecture.

Boeing provides the modified aircraft and battle management segments and is the weapon system integrator. ABL partners include Northrop Grumman, which provides the laser segment, as well as the Beacon Illuminator. Northrop Grumman is the world's leading developer of mega-watt class COIL lasers. Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) is the third partner and provides the beam control / fire control segment which contains state-of-the-art optics for control of the solid state illuminators for tracking and atmospheric compensation as well as the High Energy Laser. Lockheed also provides ABL's flight turret assembly.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government
KEYWORDS: 747; abl; boeing; coil; lockheedmartin; missiledefense; northropgrumman; sdi; starwars; yal1a

1 posted on 12/12/2005 9:35:16 AM PST by Righty_McRight
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To: Righty_McRight

Excellent. Laser defenses are the future missile defense. We can thank Ronald reagan for having the foresight to move this thru. Another legacy for one of the best leaders the world has ever seen.


2 posted on 12/12/2005 9:37:43 AM PST by pissant
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To: Righty_McRight

Put one of these on a BUFF and it would be nearly impossible to bring it down.


3 posted on 12/12/2005 9:39:22 AM PST by Blood of Tyrants (G-d is not a Republican. But Satan is definitely a Democrat.)
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To: Righty_McRight

I drank what?

4 posted on 12/12/2005 9:39:36 AM PST by SlowBoat407 (The best stuff happens just before the thread snaps.)
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To: Righty_McRight

I love it when a plan comes together.


5 posted on 12/12/2005 9:41:16 AM PST by Lazamataz (Liberals screwed again: HOLIDAY derives from the words Holy Day. NOW what will they do?)
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To: lasereye

Won't work in the fog though, right? :)


6 posted on 12/12/2005 9:41:17 AM PST by FEARED MUTATION
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To: Righty_McRight

Anyone know the energy requirements for this? Rate of fire? Range? Sounds pretty cool.


7 posted on 12/12/2005 9:41:52 AM PST by ClearCase_guy
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To: FEARED MUTATION
Won't work in the fog though, right? :)

Depends on the wavelength, I think.

8 posted on 12/12/2005 9:43:12 AM PST by SlowBoat407 (The best stuff happens just before the thread snaps.)
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To: SlowBoat407

Not according to the naysayers. They would have you believe that there is absolutely no way, in any form, could any laser system work in any capacity, in anything other than completely clear sky between source and target.

I happen to believe otherwise.


9 posted on 12/12/2005 9:45:34 AM PST by FEARED MUTATION
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To: All

10 posted on 12/12/2005 9:45:45 AM PST by Righty_McRight
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To: Righty_McRight

I'd love to see the range safety plane of live testing. We wouldn't want to accidently ZAP a peaceful Iranian spy satellite, would we?


11 posted on 12/12/2005 9:50:16 AM PST by Lonesome in Massachussets (NY Times headline: Protocols of the Learned Elders of CBS, Fake but Accurate, Experts Say)
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To: FEARED MUTATION

Fog at 35,000 feet?
It's intended to burn up the skin of a missile during the boost phase.


12 posted on 12/12/2005 9:54:33 AM PST by SJSAMPLE
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To: Righty_McRight

I would like to test this on Tookie.


13 posted on 12/12/2005 9:55:19 AM PST by steel_resolve
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To: SJSAMPLE

Clouds and pollutants at 35,000 feet. Some of the earlier material also suggested it could initiate attacks at lower altitudes, perhaps for anti-ship missiles and such. I'm waiting for the naysayers to chime in and tell us this can't be done.


14 posted on 12/12/2005 9:56:30 AM PST by FEARED MUTATION
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To: patton

ping


15 posted on 12/12/2005 10:01:30 AM PST by leda (patton's brown eyed girl)
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To: FEARED MUTATION
It's designed to intercept missiles in their boost phase (i.e.: when they're taking off). At initial takeoff, it may well be in fog. As it flies, it may encounter clouds. However, with a laser, we're talking about speed of light engagement. One hundred eighty six thousand miles per second. We're also talking about an automated targeting system capable of aquiring and shooting down missiles in times measured in seconds if not fractions thereof. So, unless there is unbroken, dense fog/cloud cover from ground level to the upper levels of the atmosphere, if the system gets even just a glimpse of the missile, it has an excellent chance of shooting the missile down. This is a minor problem at best.
16 posted on 12/12/2005 10:02:05 AM PST by Reaganesque
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To: Righty_McRight

The "old one" wasn't too bad.


http://www.fas.org/spp/starwars/program/all.htm


17 posted on 12/12/2005 10:06:35 AM PST by rustyncrusty (Where liberty dwells, there is my country. - Ben Franklin)
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To: Righty_McRight

Will the planes nickname be

1. Darth Vader's Death Star

2. Big Ronnie's Shining Light


18 posted on 12/12/2005 10:12:57 AM PST by Waverunner
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To: SlowBoat407

Love that movie.


19 posted on 12/12/2005 10:31:36 AM PST by Falcon4.0
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To: FEARED MUTATION

Won't work in the fog though, right? :)


Heh heh.

No worries about any fog bank on this one.
Buy time they have acquired the target it will be well above any little fog bank and into clear air. With the engine still running it will be quite visible and vulnerable. With adaptive optics they should have some ability to see and shoot right through the clouds.

This is the leading edge of a whole new game.

Sort of like when the tank was introduced.


20 posted on 12/12/2005 10:33:31 AM PST by grayforkbeard
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To: Waverunner
How about Stratostar?
21 posted on 12/12/2005 10:35:00 AM PST by higgmeister (In the shadow of the Big Chicken)
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To: higgmeister

I think in the future we should reserve -star for
exoatmospheric vehicles.

Besides it would po the lib's every time Big Ronnie was responsible for saving an American city. they think the shining light is what was missing on Paris Hiltons home video.


22 posted on 12/12/2005 10:43:46 AM PST by Waverunner
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To: Righty_McRight

"Fire the laser"


23 posted on 12/12/2005 11:31:49 AM PST by Dilbert56
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To: Waverunner
LOL How about the "Shining Path"

Then we could tell the libs that our "Shining Path" is stronger than their "Shining Path".

....that our "Shining Path" will eclipse their "Shining Path"

24 posted on 12/12/2005 1:21:55 PM PST by higgmeister (In the shadow of the Big Chicken)
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To: FEARED MUTATION

"Won't work in the fog though, right? :)"

Fog at 30,000 ft????


25 posted on 12/12/2005 1:24:10 PM PST by Bryan24 (When in doubt, move to the right....)
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To: ClearCase_guy
Anyone know

Yes they do.

26 posted on 12/12/2005 1:27:01 PM PST by ASA Vet (Condi "Iron Butterfly" Rice in 08)
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To: Righty_McRight

Coming soon to (North) Korean skies...


27 posted on 12/12/2005 2:11:58 PM PST by Tallguy (When it's a bet between reality and delusion, bet on reality -- Mark Steyn)
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To: ClearCase_guy
Anyone know the energy requirements for this? Rate of fire? Range? Sounds pretty cool.

This previous may get you started.
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/860620/posts

If you Google it the prime contractor has a good
Web Page and the Air Force has another.

28 posted on 12/12/2005 4:43:22 PM PST by higgmeister (In the shadow of the Big Chicken)
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To: higgmeister

I still like Big Ronnies Shining Light
We should build a 100 or so of these
Our future special ops guys could walk into a village
unarmed, point at someone and have them disappear in a flash of light. Word would quickly get out, Allah's punishment has arrived. No need for Gitmo or secret prisons with this method.


29 posted on 12/13/2005 12:21:04 PM PST by Waverunner
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To: Waverunner
I love it!

Beam him up Scotty!

And he's never seen again!

30 posted on 12/13/2005 2:21:19 PM PST by higgmeister (In the shadow of the Big Chicken)
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To: ASA Vet

What else do you know about ABL? I just got a new assignment there.

http://www.boeing.com/defense-space/military/abl/


31 posted on 12/24/2005 9:33:40 AM PST by phantomworker (My life is taking the moment & making the best of it w/o knowing what's going to happen next (gildaR)
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To: Righty_McRight

Any updates on ABL? Wasn't there some recent budget cuts?


32 posted on 12/24/2005 9:35:05 AM PST by phantomworker (My life is taking the moment & making the best of it w/o knowing what's going to happen next (gildaR)
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