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#1
Laser gun fired from US navy ship

Pit I want one now so that I can build the first ever death star on wheels !

Link: Charging ma laser !

A high-energy laser (HEL) fired from a US warship off the California coast has ignited a nearby boat. Video courtesy of the US Office of Naval Research.
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The US Navy has fired a laser gun from one of its ships for the first time.

Researchers used the high-energy laser (HEL) to disable a boat by setting fire to its engines off the coast of California.

Similar systems had previously been tested on land, however moist sea air presented an extra challenge as it reduces a beam's power.

The navy said that ship-borne lasers could eventually be used to protect vessels from small attack boats.

The US military has been experimenting with laser weapons since the 1970s.

Early systems used large, chemical-based lasers which tended to produce dangerous waste gasses.

More recently, scientists have developed solid state lasers that combine large numbers of compact beam generators, similar to LEDs.
HELs fire
Laser on board US navy ship The US Navy system uses a Joint High Power Solid State Laser mounted on deck

Until now, much of the development of HELs has focused on shooting down missiles or hitting land-based targets.

The latest round of tests showed its wider possibilities, according to Peter Morrison from the Office of Naval Research.

"This test provides an important data point as we move toward putting directed energy on warships.

"There is still much work to do to make sure it's done safely and efficiently," he said.

While a weaponised system would likely be restricted to military vessels, merchant shipping has also expressed an interest in laser technogy,

A gun which uses visible laser light to temporarily blind pirates was announced by BAE Systems in 2010.

The technology is still being tested, ahead of a commercial launch.
Last edited by GNR's Fan at Apr 11, 2011,
#2
Blazin' hot yo.
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#5
Linky?
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#12
Pffft I could do that with a magnifying glass.

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#16
Quote by Spartan101400
It's only good to down enemy missiles, otherwise, I can't see a practical application of this technology.


Idk, it seems pretty adept at setting boats on fire.
#17
Quote by Spartan101400
It's only good to down enemy missiles, otherwise, I can't see a practical application of this technology.


Well if they make it hit a bigger range they could zap like 100 people at once?
#18
Quote by Spartan101400
It's only good to down enemy missiles, otherwise, I can't see a practical application of this technology.


They want to use it against small attack boats and such, more powerfull lasers could possibly be used on other vehicles but that's just me speculating.........and hoping

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#19
You call that a laser...

THIS IS A LASER

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#21
It's a pretty impressive laser I must say (I'm doing a physics degree and specialising in optics)

That said it's entirely practically useless on any ship without an open motor. Laser are by definition line of sight only so unless you can see the engine on it there's very little you can do.

Personally i'm glad to see the weaponisation of lasers hasn't progressed, they are likely to either a) do nothing or b) cause long term blindness with no real in between. It's a bad situation for rebuilding a country post war if everyone is blind...
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#22
America FUCK YEAH
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#23
Quote by CodeMonk
And just like every other potentially deadly technology, IT WILL find its way into the hands of the bad guys.


You mean, terrorists?

It's ok, you guys have a head start on us!


We will catch up however...
#24
I wonder how long it will be until they finish the Death Star, I wouldn't be surprised if the US army was already planning one.
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#25
Quote by AliceinChains10
I wonder how long it will be until they finish the Death Star, I wouldn't be surprised if the US army was already planning one.


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#26
Quote by CodeMonk
And just like every other potentially deadly technology, IT WILL find its way into the hands of the bad guys.


Life isn't a Tom Clancy novel. Although it'd be more badass.


I'm waiting for them to develop guns that shoot Monster Trucks and Siberian Tigers. That'd be awesome.
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#27
That is so badass. I hope lasers replace bullets all together in the near future. War would be like going to an awesome show (plus death).
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#28
Quote by Spartan101400
It's only good to down enemy missiles, otherwise, I can't see a practical application of this technology.


So melting through tank armour to destroy engines isn't practical? Or aircraft bodies to render them useless?

If this technology were ever compressed to be portable on an car all you'd need to do is sneak up on the warehouses where the enemy stores its transport, quick laser shine and bam, no more engine so this tank/APC/mobile anti-air/Supply truck/plane/helicopter isn't going anywhere.

Even in its current state it is remarkable. Melt through the hull of another ship on the horizon and it would start to sink without anyone even noticing.


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#29
Quote by CodeMonk
And just like every other potentially deadly technology, IT WILL find its way into the hands of the bad guys.


Depends on your point of view.

Some would say that it's the bad guys who are the ones developing them.
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#31
I expect to see one of these in a few years..
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#32
Quote by lushacrous
I expect to see one of these in a few years..
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#33
That means we're that much closer to the lightsabers we've been dreaming of!
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#34
Quote by lushacrous
I expect to see one of these in a few years..


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#36
Quote by apmaman
So melting through tank armour to destroy engines isn't practical? Or aircraft bodies to render them useless?

nope - the metal used in tanks is to thick and conducts heat away. You'd need far far more power than this to cut through it, and at the same time would heat up the whole tank to melting point - that is a lot of energy right there.

Aircraft are too far away/fast moving - you'd never hit one. This laser relies on being focussed on a spot for a considerable period of time to do anything, not to mention the power will decrease significantly with distance.
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#37
Quote by Tom 1.0
Pffft I could do that with a magnifying glass.

+1 wasn't the death star ray i was hoping for more frying a ant in the sun style.
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#39
well, after seeing the video, i can conclude that this is notably less cool than what i expected when i heard 'laser weapon'. =/
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#40
Quote by doive
nope - the metal used in tanks is to thick and conducts heat away. You'd need far far more power than this to cut through it, and at the same time would heat up the whole tank to melting point - that is a lot of energy right there.

Aircraft are too far away/fast moving - you'd never hit one. This laser relies on being focussed on a spot for a considerable period of time to do anything, not to mention the power will decrease significantly with distance.



This technology has already used to down missiles and rockets, which tend to move a wee bitty faster than planes. It's mounted on the front of aircraft as pictured earlier in the thread.

So you've never melted things with a magnifying glass? Last time I melted through a coke can the whole can didnt melt which is what you're saying would happen.

The armoured panel the light was focused on would heat up yes, it would only melt at the direct focal point, then once it was through that into the engine block.

The principle can be viewed here, using light to melt through metal.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQTHHiwY8F0

It's just the application of light is different the theory of it is much the same. Instead of using the sun and a glass panel a high output laser produces an intense single spot of light.

The amount of time that laser was on the engine wasn't that long. A few seconds at the most. I would guess that only a minute or two and it could melt through thick steel. Which is pretty damn quick, plus that's assuming its used against armoured tanks.

Most lorry and trucks dont have thick armour to protect them so they would be slim pickings, cutting supply chains as they would have no way to move anything.

Edit: Some proof to back up my drivel.

http://www.popsci.com/military-aviation-space/article/2008-03/how-it-works-airborne-laser-cannon

http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/military/4231116


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Last edited by apmaman at Apr 12, 2011,
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