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Aerial laser gunboat 'burns hole in fender' of moving car
The Register ^ | 10/14/09 | Lewis Page

Posted on 10/14/2009 6:21:45 PM PDT by Nachum

The Advanced Tactical Laser (ATL) ray-cannon, mounted in a specially-equipped Hercules transport plane flying above New Mexico, has now succeeded in "putting a hole in the fender" of a ground vehicle driving along beneath it.

The not particularly awesome result was announced by Boeing, maker of the ATL, yesterday.

"In this test, a directed energy weapon successfully demonstrated direct attack on a moving target," said Gary Fitzmire, Boeing raygun veep. Though that is nothing new; Boeing's Humvee-mounted "Laser Avenger" ray-turret shot down a small flying robot earlier this year

(Excerpt) Read more at theregister.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: aerial; burns; gunboat; laser
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Video at link
1 posted on 10/14/2009 6:21:45 PM PDT by Nachum
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To: Nachum

I wonder how a vehicle covered by corner cubes would work out.


2 posted on 10/14/2009 6:23:04 PM PDT by Paladin2 (Big Ears + Big Spending --> BigEarMarx, the man behind TOTUS)
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To: Nachum

Is this real?

The whole comment about World’s evil shark-owning billionaires unimpressed, gives me pause...


3 posted on 10/14/2009 6:24:08 PM PDT by The Magical Mischief Tour
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To: Paladin2

Or mirrors.


4 posted on 10/14/2009 6:27:02 PM PDT by Royal Wulff
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To: Nachum

The not particularly awesome result was announced by Boeing, maker of the ATL, yesterday.


Kinda sums it up, don’t it? Bullets would be a lot cheaper. Just because you can do something technically, doesn’t mean it makes sense.


5 posted on 10/14/2009 6:27:27 PM PDT by rbg81 (DRAIN THE SWAMP!!)
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To: Nachum

Not impressive? Place the laser so as to pierce the gas tank and watch what happens.


6 posted on 10/14/2009 6:30:20 PM PDT by ez ("Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is." - Milton)
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To: Royal Wulff
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corner_cube

"In optics, corner reflectors typically consist of three mirrors or reflective prisms which return an incident light beam in the opposite direction. In surveying, such prisms are commonly used as targets for long-range electronic distance measurement using a total station."

7 posted on 10/14/2009 6:30:38 PM PDT by Paladin2 (Big Ears + Big Spending --> BigEarMarx, the man behind TOTUS)
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To: Nachum
Aerial laser gunboat 'burns hole in fender' of moving car

Devestating to the enemy when used in combat. Consider the financial ruin of your opponent, having to repair fenders and get paint jobs. If they have MAACO, they may be able to recover to fight another day.

8 posted on 10/14/2009 6:31:07 PM PDT by C210N (A patriot for a Conservative Renaissance!)
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To: Nachum

Twenty years and how many millions, one hole in one fender. Wonderful. SAC off.


9 posted on 10/14/2009 6:31:46 PM PDT by org.whodat (Vote: Chuck De Vore in 2012.)
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To: rbg81
Kinda sums it up, don’t it? Bullets would be a lot cheaper. Just because you can do something technically, doesn’t mean it makes sense

Probably what was said after someone demonstrated black powder, cloth and gravel poured down a piece of pipe and touched off with a fuze.

10 posted on 10/14/2009 6:32:26 PM PDT by fso301
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To: Nachum

Will the laser work if the target has a mirror finish?

Just asking.


11 posted on 10/14/2009 6:35:17 PM PDT by Kickass Conservative (Conservatives THINK people are smart. Liberals KNOW people are stupid.)
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To: org.whodat

clinton would sell it to saten for some re election cash, Lets see who zer0 gives it to so that nations are equal


12 posted on 10/14/2009 6:35:28 PM PDT by reefdiver (So how's that HOPE & CHANGE working out for ya ?)
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To: Nachum

13 posted on 10/14/2009 6:36:18 PM PDT by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet)
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To: C210N
Just think how much their car insurance rates will go up.
14 posted on 10/14/2009 6:36:46 PM PDT by Kickass Conservative (Conservatives THINK people are smart. Liberals KNOW people are stupid.)
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To: rbg81
Kinda sums it up, don’t it? Bullets would be a lot cheaper. Just because you can do something technically, doesn’t mean it makes sense.

lasers have a greater range than bullets.
I can see where somebody might want to have the capability of precisely putting a hole in a fender from a sniper satellite somewhere 200~300 miles high up in overhead orbit (or however high they place those things)

15 posted on 10/14/2009 6:40:44 PM PDT by Willie Green (Go Pat Go!!!)
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To: C210N
"Devestating to the enemy when used in combat. Consider the financial ruin of your opponent, having to repair fenders and get paint jobs. If they have MAACO, they may be able to recover to fight another day. "

Yeah....and they can write rude taunting messages on their equipment....

Your mother wears army boots...

Follow me to the goat farm...

12th Mehedi inside....

16 posted on 10/14/2009 6:41:56 PM PDT by spokeshave (Obama can't unjump the shark "Obama Wa Nobel-sho Ni Ataeshinai" ("Obama Unworthy of Nobel Prize"))
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To: reefdiver
LOL, much cheaper to buy a drill on ebay.
17 posted on 10/14/2009 6:42:05 PM PDT by org.whodat (Vote: Chuck De Vore in 2012.)
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To: Nachum

Look out, bumperstickers!!


18 posted on 10/14/2009 6:46:37 PM PDT by coloradan (The US has become a banana republic, except without the bananas - or the republic.)
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To: Nachum

Sarcasm ON

For sale: Brand New Boeing Laser
Spent many millions (possibly billions, I didn’t do military service) developing this weapon to equip US troops with the best weapons. Will only sell to enemies of the United States and those that demean her.

Contact: Barry O (aka President Carter the Worse)
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC

Sarcasm OFF


19 posted on 10/14/2009 6:48:02 PM PDT by UAConservative (1,193 Days until Change I Can Really Believe In--January 20, 2013)
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To: rbg81

>Just because you can do something technically, doesn’t mean it makes sense.

Like using C/C++ to program your system in instead of something that Range-checks array access (ie buffer overwrites)... hm?


20 posted on 10/14/2009 6:48:51 PM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: Willie Green

Think about what it would do if it were aimed at your chest, instead of a car hood.


21 posted on 10/14/2009 6:48:57 PM PDT by UCANSEE2
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To: fso301

Probably what was said after someone demonstrated black powder, cloth and gravel poured down a piece of pipe and touched off with a fuze.


No, not at all. It depends on what your objective it. If its to destroy the vehicle, it can be done much more cost effectively with a TV or laser guided bomb. If its to disable the vehicle, you can simply drop sharp objects on the highway ahead to blow out the tires.

You don’t need to use an elephant gun to kill a flea.


22 posted on 10/14/2009 6:50:54 PM PDT by rbg81 (DRAIN THE SWAMP!!)
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To: fso301

Probably what was said after someone demonstrated black powder, cloth and gravel poured down a piece of pipe and touched off with a fuze.


No, not at all. It depends on what your objective it. If its to destroy the vehicle, it can be done much more cost effectively with a TV or laser guided bomb. If its to disable the vehicle, you can simply drop sharp objects on the highway ahead to blow out the tires.

You don’t need to use an elephant gun to kill a flea.


23 posted on 10/14/2009 6:50:58 PM PDT by rbg81 (DRAIN THE SWAMP!!)
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To: OneWingedShark

If you’re talking about Ada, I’d much rather use C++.


24 posted on 10/14/2009 6:51:53 PM PDT by rbg81 (DRAIN THE SWAMP!!)
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To: Willie Green

sniper satellite somewhere 200~300 miles high up in overhead orbit


Do you have any idea of the technology required to do what you just said? See my last post. There are easier ways to destroy or disable a moving vehicle that don’t require millions of $$ in R&D.


25 posted on 10/14/2009 6:55:01 PM PDT by rbg81 (DRAIN THE SWAMP!!)
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To: Nachum

this tech could also easily work as defense against AA missiles, something that grows more important as enemies are researching new ways to detect stealthy aircraft.

You’d send in a squadron defense aircraft armed like this, and it would shoot down the missiles aimed by defenders against the attacking element of aircraft. Attackers could simply stay on target.

Or you’d have an unihabited smaller version escort a flight of anti-ship missiles. This l’il guy would shoot down the defending missiles, leaving all friendly missiles intact until the closing phase, where they would only be attrited by CWIS.


26 posted on 10/14/2009 6:55:10 PM PDT by gaijin
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To: JoeProBono

That doesn’t look like a fender.


27 posted on 10/14/2009 6:55:47 PM PDT by jackibutterfly
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To: Nachum

I want to see how the Hercules transport plane transformed into a gunboat. That’s gotta be way cool.


28 posted on 10/14/2009 6:56:07 PM PDT by Shooter 2.5 (NRA /Patron - TSRA- IDPA)
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To: jackibutterfly

And, WHOSE car was it???


29 posted on 10/14/2009 6:56:54 PM PDT by jackibutterfly
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To: jackibutterfly

Top of the fender just inside the top edge.


30 posted on 10/14/2009 7:00:49 PM PDT by Shooter 2.5 (NRA /Patron - TSRA- IDPA)
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To: Nachum

“The not particularly awesome result...”

I suspect similar near-verbatim quotes might be found from sword-weilders
about the first few shots from the first blunder-busses and muskets.

But you might not be able to locate such quotes.

Because after a bit of perfecting of said gunpowder-powered throwers
of lead...those same sword-yielders went to the rubbish-heap of
history at a much younger age than untold generation of their
sword-bearing ancestors.

And they bled out before they could scrawl out in their blood an
account of how a simple country rube with a musket (and absolutely no
skill with any sort of sword) mortally wounded them FAR beyond the
reach of any sword.


31 posted on 10/14/2009 7:01:57 PM PDT by VOA
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To: UCANSEE2

to bad the ‘test target’ in this vid wasn’t wearin’ a turban! (I love the smell of burnin’ diaper in the morning.) with apologies to kilgore of course.


32 posted on 10/14/2009 7:04:35 PM PDT by bobby.223
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To: rbg81; fso301

“No, not at all. It depends on what your objective it. If its to destroy the vehicle, it can be done much more cost effectively with a TV or laser guided bomb. If its to disable the vehicle, you can simply drop sharp objects on the highway ahead to blow out the tires.”

And if your objective is to shoot down an ICBM launched from Cuba 400 miles away? What gets to the missile faster, a bullet or light? I have no problem with this in our arsenal. If you’re looking for funding cuts, let’s start with ACORN and work downward...


33 posted on 10/14/2009 7:06:42 PM PDT by Flightdeck (Go Longhorns)
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To: VOA

LOL


34 posted on 10/14/2009 7:11:56 PM PDT by ak267
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To: rbg81
No, not at all. It depends on what your objective it. If its to destroy the vehicle, it can be done much more cost effectively with a TV or laser guided bomb. If its to disable the vehicle, you can simply drop sharp objects on the highway ahead to blow out the tires.

Detractors of the first firearms demonstration would have pointed to the much greater range, reliability, rate of fire and accuracy of longbows and crossbows.

Initially, such directed energy capability would fill a very narrow operational niche. In the case of a vehicle barreling down a desert road containing high value targets whose value is higher alive than dead, such system offers an ability to disable the vehicle rather than obliterate it as is currently done via predator strikes.

35 posted on 10/14/2009 7:11:59 PM PDT by fso301
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To: Flightdeck

Uh, this won’t shoot down a missile—not even close. Yes, there is an ABL platform that might (someday) be able to do that. However, its only got enough power for one or maybe two shots. If its aloft and in position.

Should we invest in military R&D? Absolutely. But lets invest in something that makes sense.


36 posted on 10/14/2009 7:13:58 PM PDT by rbg81 (DRAIN THE SWAMP!!)
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To: rbg81; UCANSEE2
There are easier ways to destroy or disable a moving vehicle that don’t require millions of $$ in R&D.

Yeah, well UCANSEE2 caught on pretty quickly back in #21 that the target doesn't have to be a moving vehicle.

Just think of all the money that could've been saved if a sattelite could've zeroed in on Saddam Hussein!!!

37 posted on 10/14/2009 7:15:01 PM PDT by Willie Green (Go Pat Go!!!)
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To: rbg81
Kinda sums it up, don’t it? Bullets would be a lot cheaper. Just because you can do something technically, doesn’t mean it makes sense.

I don't know... They didn't say this was the limit of the power they had available, did they? Might be a modest power proof of concept. Actually with super accurate weapons like lasers targeting and target motion compensation is the hard part. It is one thing to have a "pretty good" idea of where something is, then shoot a smart weapon at it. This engagement sequence relies on the weapon for terminal guidance.

But with a directed energy weapon, the "launch" platform, no matter how far away or doing who knows what in terms of motion relative to the target is the final arbiter of hit/miss.

I think it is yet another step on the path to effective directed energy weapons.

Someone else a while back pointed out that if a solid state laser system could be made small enough... Well, take the STOL version of the F-35... Pull the vertical lift turbine out, and put a generator in there on the shaft from the engine. Quite possibly more than enough power for an escort directed energy fighter that could fly with a strike group and take out *all* the SAMs launched at the group.

38 posted on 10/14/2009 7:15:41 PM PDT by ThunderSleeps (obama out now! I'll keep my money, my guns, and my freedom - you can keep the change.)
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To: Nachum

Imagine this device used on people. Naturally the Warsaw Convention means we’d never do that.


39 posted on 10/14/2009 7:16:17 PM PDT by DBrow (Thank You Al Gore You Saved Earth!)
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To: rbg81

This is only the start of what is now a proven weapons system. The consequences are monumental.


40 posted on 10/14/2009 7:16:17 PM PDT by Melchior
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To: gaijin

There are a number of effective targets in warfare for this weapon. A shot at the cockpit of any airborn craft might be effective, the warhead of a head seeking missile, or the heads of infantry as they advance. If it can hit the hood of a car from the air, its accuracy is possibly effective enough to deal a lot of damage to an enemy.


41 posted on 10/14/2009 7:16:31 PM PDT by Nachum (The complete Obama list at www.nachumlist.com)
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To: Nachum

Vehicle NOT moving, didn’t even see a hole completely through, and that was the hood of the vehicle, not the fender.


42 posted on 10/14/2009 7:18:29 PM PDT by TheBattman (Pray for our country...)
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To: rbg81
What part of "this is a test" do you children not understand?

If you think the goal of this program is to put holes in fenders then you really might like some other websites more suited to your age-range.

43 posted on 10/14/2009 7:20:28 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard (Truth--The liberal's Kryptonite)
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To: gaijin
...this tech could also easily work as defense against AA missiles, something that grows more important as enemies are researching new ways to detect stealthy aircraft.

Raytheon has already demonstrated the effectiveness of a commercial grade welding laser (20KW?) mated to the CIWS radar and aiming mount. Basically remove the gun, drop in an off-the-shelf laser, and zap. Demonstrated to knock down mortar rounds. Could probably be souped up (faster radar/computer/mount) to take out RPGs and short range rockets. The gotcha is 20KW isn't exactly an exciting power level. It really relies on the explosive in the incoming round to do the destruction, the laser just cooks it off...

44 posted on 10/14/2009 7:21:05 PM PDT by ThunderSleeps (obama out now! I'll keep my money, my guns, and my freedom - you can keep the change.)
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To: rbg81

correct, but complex systems require lengthy development schedules that proceed in steps. one more step was taken. once they get proof of concept, systems tend to decrease in size and cost whiole increasing in effect.


45 posted on 10/14/2009 7:23:09 PM PDT by sig226 (My President was President of the week at the Norwegian Slough Academy.)
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To: ThunderSleeps

no matter how far away or doing who knows what in terms of motion relative to the target is the final arbiter of hit/miss.


Think about what you’re saying. Whenever you’re transmitting energy, range matters, weather too. You have to keep the beam focused to deliver the required energy. Energy dissipates with range.


46 posted on 10/14/2009 7:25:09 PM PDT by rbg81 (DRAIN THE SWAMP!!)
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To: Nachum

That’s right. And for certain aims, the system can simply go for a “functional kill” —to disable the sensitive electronics of some would-be, high-end platform. For many platforms, that means that it is out of the fight, for practical purposes. My preference obviously is to toast the living crap out of any muzzie crew, but to win a very fast-moving battle, this needn’t be the case.

Some observers here are not recalling the recent past —40 years ago technical experts who theorized about the eventual feasibility of SDI were denounced as nuts —such critics only needed to shout, “You can’t hit a bullet WITH A BULLET..!” and talk about missiles that would strike other missles would just STOP.

But now such missiles are a very common form of naval defense, and now even emerging continental defense.


47 posted on 10/14/2009 7:25:59 PM PDT by gaijin
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To: rbg81

The ABL and other projects like it probably aren’t much use in destroying ground targets, but they might hold some promise in their ability to disable/destroy ICBM’s in flight. Of course we could do that with a more traditional missile defense shield also, but the idiots in Washington are playing political football with that. If they can make this thing work, we might have a mobile alternative that could be deployed anywhere, regardless of the objections of Barry’s Russian buddies.


48 posted on 10/14/2009 7:26:09 PM PDT by Boogieman
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To: rbg81

Ada does have some interesting features, and I’ll admit that I’m impressed by the number of compile-time checks that the compiler does, but Pascal [and even Java, IIRC] have range-checking on arrays. {And Pascal’s you can turn off w/ a compiler directive.}

{Tangent: Ada, Java, PHP, and Python (IIRC) all have a “foreach” or similar construct which uses the array’s own indecies as bounds wherewhich to iterate over; pascal doesn’t have this ability (though it could in theory) and C/C++ can never have it, as “arrays” in C & C++ are really merely pointers/addresses... which is why it is legal to write array[index] and index[array]: they mean the same thing.}

But the reason I mentioned array access is that it is a big problem-area for a lot of security-flaws. {I have a friend who runs security-analysis on code for the government and virtually 100% of the code that he reviews is C/C++and looking for just that sort of mistake.}

I’m also a fan of strong-typing, of which claims that Pascal is a strongly-typed language actually fall short. But one of my personal “IT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE!” peeves about C/C++ {and C like syntax in general} is the ability to perform an assignment in the conditional portion of an if-statement... that bugs me to no end because the condition-check is logically separate from the assignment and (IMO) shouldn’t be mixes; I realize that it is merely the result of the assignment being a function which returns the value assigned, I also realize that it can be used to “chain” assignments. That doesn’t make it a good design-choice though.

But let me ask, why would you rather code in C++ than Ada? I’m, as you can probably tell, a fan of having the compiler do optimizations. And, to be perfectly fair, a compiler for a language which “knows” about a structure can run non-destructive optimizations on those structures w/o intervention; a good case would be parallel processing where Ada has the task structure vs C++ & its threading/OpenML (IIRC) extensions. [ http://groups.google.com/group/comp.lang.ada/browse_thread/thread/0be98569334bf359 ]


49 posted on 10/14/2009 7:26:15 PM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: jackibutterfly

There I was, driving along, not a care in the world when suddenly....


50 posted on 10/14/2009 7:27:11 PM PDT by MARTIAL MONK
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