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Headlines Military laser brings 'Star Wars' reality closer

Jung

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http://www.cnn.com/2005/TECH/08/24/military.laser.reut/
LONDON, England (Reuters) -- A U.S. Pentagon invention could make air combat resemble a battle scene from the movie 'Star Wars' with a laser so small it can fit on a fighter jet, yet powerful enough to knock down an enemy missile in flight.

The High Energy Laser Area Defense System (HELLADS), being designed by the Pentagon's central research and development agency, will weigh just 750 kg (1,650 lb) and measures the size of a large fridge.

To date, such lasers have been so bulky because of the need for huge cooling systems to stop them overheating, that they had to be fitted to large aircraft such as jumbo jets, New Scientist magazine reported on Wednesday.

But the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency reckons it has solved the problem by merging liquid and solid state lasers to cut the size and weight by "an order of magnitude", according to its Web site.

Liquid lasers can fire a continuous beam but need large cooling systems, while solid state laser beams are more intense but have to be fired in pulses to stop them overheating.

"We've combined the high energy density of the solid state laser with the thermal management of the liquid laser," New Scientist quoted project manager Don Woodbury as saying.

Dubbed the "HEL weapon" by its developers, a prototype capable of firing a mild one kilowatt (kW) beam has already been produced and there are plans to build a stronger 15-kW version by the end of the year.

If everything goes according to plan, an even more powerful weapon producing a 150-kW beam and capable of knocking down a missile will be ready by 2007 for fitting onto aircraft.
I've always wondered how long it would take for use to make lasers into weapons. Very interesting. :thumbsup:
 

jamesp

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yeah, I read that article yesterday. Its pretty cool, but the Air Force already has a larger aircraft that used a MUCH bigger version of this laser. Though I think don't think it was quite as powerful. Ill look for some info on it.
 

Descent

Hella Constipated
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Somewhere over Bosnia...

"Shoot 'im! Shoot 'im!"

"I can't get a lock!"

"Just lock him up! Lock him up!"

*BRRRRRRRRRRRZZGT!* *KRAK-BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!*

"GOOD KILL! GOOD KILL!"

/me eagerly waits for the release of Falcon 5...
 

jamesp

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Its not exactly like Star Wars Jimmy. These lasers aren't bright neon slashes across the sky, nor do they make that badass little "Ptchew!" sound. There is no light or sound, just a smal explotion. The laser destroys missles by heating them up until they explode.

Oh yeah, Stager, its "Vive la Revolucion!"
 

Nailbomb

I'm just really nice.
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jamesp said:
Its not exactly like Star Wars Jimmy. These lasers aren't bright neon slashes across the sky, nor do they make that badass little "Ptchew!" sound. There is no light or sound, just a smal explotion. The laser destroys missles by heating them up until they explode.
Heh heh....just grab a gatling gun and some tracer rounds.
 

Jung

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Descent said:
Somewhere over Bosnia...
/me eagerly waits for the release of Falcon 5...
Noone can defeat the quad laser!

 

Darklight

Oppressing your posts...
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hehe... use it to target a victorian house with a dinner table covered in popcorn and aluminum foil as to destroy the house and reputation of the dean of a high level college.. dont forget the 14 year old genius and val kilmer... gottal have val kilmer...
 

Descent

Hella Constipated
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jamesp said:
Its not exactly like Star Wars Jimmy. These lasers aren't bright neon slashes across the sky, nor do they make that badass little "Ptchew!" sound. There is no light or sound, just a smal explotion. The laser destroys missles by heating them up until they explode.

Oh yeah, Stager, its "Vive la Revolucion!"
That's what i'm talking about. Badass countermeasures.

And if you don't know what countermeasures are, then get the fuck out.

FYI - That's the transcript to the opening movie of Falcon 3 for DOS...The *BRRRZZZT* sound is the F-16's targeting system locking on.
 

jamesp

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LMFAO @ jung! Aqua Teen Hunger Force is the shit. Watch out for the laser guided socks.