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Keyword: rayguns

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  • Will Space Battles Be Fought with Laser Weapons?

    03/22/2012 1:34:51 AM PDT · by U-238 · 33 replies · 2+ views
    Life's Little Mysteries ^ | 3/16/2012 | Adam Hadhazy
    What would science fiction be without laser beams? From handheld ray guns to spaceship-mounted turbolasers, the futuristic weapon of choice definitely involves bright, colorful blasts of energy. In the early 21st century, projectiles still remain the standard means of inflicting damage from a distance. Yet continued research into "directed-energy" weapons by the United States military, among others, could someday bring lasers to a battlefield near you. Lasers are already used in guidance, targeting and communication applications, but significant technological obstacles stand in front of turning them into weapons by themselves. For certain niche scenarios, lasers might prove themselves ideal. It...
  • DARPA Unveils Drone-Slaying War Laser

    03/11/2012 10:30:14 PM PDT · by U-238 · 38 replies
    Fast Company ^ | 3/08/2012 | Neil Ungerleider
    DARPA is unveiling a portable laser weapons system, HELLADS, which seems like something out of a sci-fi movie. The new laser application, created by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems with a custom power system from Saft Batteries, will help change the way the American military fights future wars. Current military laser systems are bulky contraptions which are mainly the size of a passenger jet, while the proposed DARPA weapon can fit on the back of a flatbed truck. The 150-kilowatt, solid state laser weapon is strong enough to take down drones or other aerial targets; a prototype is expected to be...
  • Breakthrough reported in Navy laser weapon technology

    01/23/2011 11:42:31 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 6 replies
    Virginia Pilot/ ^ | 1/21/2011 | Lauren King
    A Navy crew might only have seconds to react to an incoming missile before it rips a hole into a ship. Existing anti-missile systems include rapid-fire guns designed to shoot down missiles at close range. But a reliable laser weapon could do the same job with higher precision, speed-of-light engagement and without running out of ammunition. It's an idea that's been in development at the U.S. Office of Naval Research since the 1980s. The goal is to create a megawatt, or 1 million-watt, laser weapon. Last month, scientists at the Los Alamos National Lab demonstrated they are capable of producing...
  • Directed Energy Weapons Attack Electronics

    11/19/2010 4:56:36 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 18 replies
    Aviation Week and Space Technology ^ | 11/19/2010 | David A. Fulghum
    The lightning rod for rapid fielding of directed energy (DE) weapons and advanced sensors will be the military’s next-generation jammer programs that exploit technologies like active electronically scanned arrays (AESAs) antennas and high-power microwave (HPM) capabilities, say senior U.S. government and industry officials at the 13th Directed Energy Conference. Radars on the Lockheed Martin F-22 and F-35, and Boeing F/A-18F and EA-18G, already have the potential to fire focused beams of energy as soon as funding is available to develop the necessary advanced algorithms. The U.S. Navy’s Next Generation Jammer program is expected to move AESA from radar applications to...
  • The Navy's Free Electron Laser System Will be More Than Just a Death Ray

    11/16/2010 12:51:22 AM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 10 replies
    Popular Science ^ | 11/10/2010 | Clay Dillow
    The Navy has been seeking its “Holy Grail” free electron laser (FEL) weapon for a while now, but it would rather you think of it more as a multipurpose laser platform than a death ray. While the Navy’s ship-borne FEL, currently under development at Boeing, will certainly be used to knock incoming threats out of the sky, naval officers really want a platform that can also be used for tracking, communications, target designation, disruption, time-of-flight location, and a variety of other tasks. Such a multipurpose tool certainly makes the Navy’s laser system seem a more practical use of funding, and...
  • Airborne laser fails 2nd shootdown test in row

    10/21/2010 10:42:49 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 8 replies
    Reuters ^ | 10/21/2010 | Reuters
    Preliminary indications are that the so-called Airborne Laser Test Bed tracked the target's exhaust plume but did not hand off to a second, "active tracking" system as a prelude to firing the high-powered chemical laser, said Richard Lehner, an MDA spokesman. "The transition didn't happen," he said. "Therefore, the high-energy lasing did not occur." Boeing produces the airframe and is the project's prime contractor, while Northrop Grumman supplies the high-energy laser and Lockheed Martin Corp has been developing the beam- and fire-control systems. Defense Secretary Robert Gates scaled back the program into a research experiment last year. About $4 billion...
  • US Army heat-ray gun in Afghanistan

    07/17/2010 9:38:46 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 79 replies
    BBC News ^ | 7/18/2010 | Dan Cairns
    The Active Denial System (ADS) is a non-lethal weapon designed to disperse violent crowds and repel enemies. It uses a focused invisible beam that causes an "intolerable heating sensation", but only penetrates the skin to the equivalent of three sheets of paper. The discomfort causes whoever it's pointed at to immediately start moving away. They often scream but the US military says the chance of injury from the system is 0.1%. It's already been tested more than 11,000 times on around 700 volunteers. Even reporters have faced the heat-ray. Limit deaths Lt. Col. John Dorrian, a US military spokesperson, says...
  • Northrop Grumman Awarded Phase Two Fiber Laser Contracts With DARPA

    06/23/2010 9:54:27 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 1 replies · 1+ views
    SPX via Space Daily ^ | 6/24/2010 | SPX via Space Daily
    Northrop Grumman has surpassed Phase I goals for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) Revolution in Fiber Lasers (RIFL) program that seeks to mature fiber laser technology. As a result, the company has received a contract for Phase II. "This is an important step in the maturation of fiber laser technology," said Dan Wildt, vice president of Directed Energy Systems for Northrop Grumman's Aerospace Systems sector. "By surpassing Phase I goals, we are in an excellent position for success in Phase II. Success in Phase II will create a powerful springboard for scaling fiber lasers to weapons-class performance levels."...
  • Ray Guns Near Crossroads to the Battlefield

    05/16/2010 6:49:36 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 31 replies · 979+ views
    Scientific American ^ | 5/14/2010 | Stephen Ashley
    After more than a century of popular sci-fi fantasies that feature deadly energy weapons, including War of the Worlds, Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, Star Trek and Star Wars, it looks like the ray gun has finally arrived in the real world. And even if the first ray guns out of the lab can barely fit on the bed of a 30-ton off-road truck rather than in a soldier’s palm, the novel, "speed-of-light" capabilities that lasers could bring to the battlefield has drawn the keen interest of the Pentagon brass, which spends about $400 million a year on directed-energy beam weapons....
  • Ray Guns Near Crossroads to the Battlefield

    05/15/2010 3:20:26 AM PDT · by Stoat · 13 replies · 821+ views
    Scientific American ^ | May 14, 2010 | Steven Ashley
    Ray Guns Near Crossroads to the Battlefield [Slide Show] The Pentagon ramps up efforts to field directed-energy beam weapons for land, air and sea By Steven Ashley        ARMY CONCEPT FIELD LASER: The U.S. Army hopes to better protect our troops by fielding in the next few years a mobile, ground-based laser weapon that can zap out of the sky multiple incoming rockets, missiles, or mortars. Live-fire tests of the compact, 100-kilowatt-class, solid-state laser technology’s capabilities for precision targeting and area defense missions are to begin by the end of this year.  After more than a century of popular sci-fi...
  • Particle Weapons 101

    03/29/2010 11:42:23 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 20 replies · 1,171+ views
    Physics Post ^ | 12/31/2001 | unkown
    WHAT KIND OF BEAM TO USE WANT? There are two types of particle beams; the one used depends on what the weapon is used for, either exoatmospheric or endoatmospheric. Exoatmospheric are in conditions where there is nothing, like space or a vacuum tube. Endoatmospheric are in conditions where an atmosphere exists, like on Earth or orbiting Earth. For exoatmospheric use the beam that exits the weapon must be neutral, have no charge, to prevent beam divergence. Beam divergence happens when a beam of charged particles increases in diameter as it travels through empty space. This is not good. If the...
  • Boeing Completes Preliminary Design of Free Electron Laser Weapon System

    03/18/2010 8:28:22 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 17 replies · 648+ views
    Boeing ^ | 3/18/2010 | Boeing
    The Boeing Company has successfully completed the preliminary design of the U.S. Navy's Free Electron Laser (FEL) weapon system, a key step toward building a FEL prototype for realistic tests at sea. During the preliminary design review held March 9 to March 11 at a Boeing facility in Arlington, Va., the company presented its design to more than 30 U.S. government and National Laboratory representatives. This electric laser will operate by passing a beam of high-energy electrons through a series of powerful magnetic fields, generating an intense emission of laser light that can disable or destroy targets. "The Free Electron...
  • How Real Is The Threat Of Laser Weapons

    02/23/2010 9:41:48 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 5 replies · 467+ views
    Space War ^ | 2/23/2010 | Ilya Kramnik
    On February 12, 2010, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) used the Airborne Laser Test Bed (ALTB) mounted on a Boeing B-747 jumbo jet to shoot down a liquid-propellant and a solid-propellant target missile. The ALTB project is one of the MDA's most ambitious and long-term programs. Washington launched its initial research in this sphere in the 1970s. At that time, an NKC-135-ALL aircraft, a modified version of the KC-135 Stratotanker, was built and used as an airborne laboratory. United Technologies built a 10-ton, 04-0.5-MWt CO2 laser system for the program. The NKC-135-ALL was involved in a series of tests...
  • The Weapon Of The Future Blows Something Up

    02/16/2010 7:32:22 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 9 replies · 780+ views
    The Strategy Page ^ | 2/16/2010 | The Strategy Page
    For the first time, after a decade of development, the U.S. Air Force fired its ALT (Airborne Laser Testbed) laser while in flight and hit a rapidly (1,800 meters a second) rising ballistic missile. The laser beam took several seconds to weaken the missile structure, and cause it to come apart. This test came only eight months after the smaller Advanced Tactical Laser (ATL) was fired in flight for the first time. The target was some lumber on the ground, which was hit. The ATL weapon was carried in a C-130H four engine transport. Five years ago, manufacturers of combat...
  • Army Tests IED-Killer Laser

    01/23/2010 9:13:11 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 13 replies · 808+ views
    DoD Buzz ^ | 1/22/2010 | Colin Clark
    You spot an IED from a Predator or the guy on point spots it. An armored vehicle rolls up and zaps it with a laser, blowing the sucker up. No one has to don a suit or get out of a vehicle. Neat, huh? It’s not often that we’ll respond to a plain old company press release but Boeing has tested just such a laser system that looks as if it could really make a difference to troops in the field today. If it’s far enough along to actually rumble over broken terrain, fire and be maintained in the field...
  • Ray Guns Real: Army Betting Big on Laser Weapons

    01/21/2010 8:36:15 PM PST · by ColdOne · 52 replies · 1,554+ views ^ | January 21,2010 | Gene J. Koprowski
    The ray gun is real ... or at least it will be soon. The U.S. Army is betting big on laser warfare -- designing, testing and perfecting ultra-precise weapons based on devastatingly powerful beams of light. And given recent developments, it's only a matter of time until the military has in its arsenal a weapon that until now has been the staple of science fiction -- the ray gun. Set your phasers to kill. Boeing, one of the Pentagon's top contractors, already has a laser weapon that will improve the military's ability to counter artillery, mortar, drone aircraft and even...
  • Mid-infrared 100-watt-level laser created

    01/08/2010 10:52:39 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 17 replies · 974+ views
    Space War ^ | 12/02/2009 | UPI vis Space War
    U.S. scientists say they have achieved a breakthrough in quantum cascade laser output power, delivering 120 watts from a single device at room temperature. The Northwestern University researchers, led by Professor Manijeh Razeghi, said their accomplishment is particularly attractive for infrared countermeasures -- a way of misguiding incoming missiles to protect commercial and military aircraft. Unlike conventional interband semiconductor lasers, the scientists said their quantum cascade laser is an intersubband device requiring only electrons to operate. Razeghi's team demonstrated the ridge width of a broad-area quantum cascade laser can be increased up to 400 microns, without suffering from filiamentation --...
  • Boeing Tests IED Blasting Laser

    12/05/2009 1:58:49 AM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 2 replies · 477+ views
    DoD Buzz ^ | 12/03/2009 | Greg Grant
    Some defense thinkers believe directed energy weapons, lasers, hold out real battlefield promise, particularly against future enemies armed with large numbers of relatively cheap precision guided weapons. For example, the folks at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments in Washington say lasers provide a potential solution to the so called G-RAMM (guided rockets, artillery, mortars and missiles) problem. Using missiles to shoot down incoming rounds can get very costly and a counter G-RAMM arsenal can be rapidly depleted; lasers solve the finite counter-munition arsenal problem. Granted, directed energy weapons are not ready for prime time, although they are getting...
  • Laser weapon downs 6 planes in Boeing test

    11/21/2009 2:32:44 AM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 15 replies · 1,217+ views
    Staff Writers Via Space War ^ | 11/18/2009 | Staff Writers via Space War
    New laser weaponry being developed at Boeing has dealt a telling blow to airborne aircraft -- all of them unmanned -- in successful tests that take military laser technology a few steps closer to assuming a key role in future conflicts. Laser weapons are seen by industry analysts as a major step toward a more effective -- and more cost-effective -- deterrent to enemy threats from the air. Laser weapons can be fired at enemy targets without any apparent risk to human crews involved. However, most defense laser technologies are still many stages behind fictional depictions of laser weapons in...
  • Key Reviews For HEL-TD Laser Program Completed

    10/26/2009 11:02:17 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 277+ views
    Space War ^ | 10/27/2009 | Staff Writers
    Boeing has announced the successful completion of two key reviews for the U.S. Army's High Energy Laser Technology Demonstrator (HEL TD) program. Completion of a critical design review in July allows Boeing to begin building a rugged beam control system on a Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT), a widely used military tactical vehicle. A system functional review in June addressed key enablers for fielding a next-generation, solid-state laser weapon system. "This demonstration program is making significant progress in developing a weapon system that will transform the way soldiers are protected on the battlefield," said Gary Fitzmire, vice president and...