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Airborne Boeing Laser Blasts Ground Target

Discussion in 'Off-topic Zone' started by Sam I Am, Sep 3, 2009.

  1. Sam I Am

    Sam I Am Unfriendly and Aloof!

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    Lasers have been around for a while and they've even blasted missles out of the air with them. Now they are mounted on aircraft. The world of the Star Trek ship mounted phase is upon us! :laugh2:

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    Zapping things from the sky: Airborne Boeing laser blasts ground target
    Boeing and the US Air Force today said that they fired Boeing’s Advanced Tactical Laser at a ground target.
    By Layer 8 on Tue, 09/01/09 - 3:51pm.
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    The airborne military laser which promises to destroy, damage or disable targets with little to no collateral damage has for the first time actually blown something up.

    Boeing and the US Air Force today said that on Aug. 30, a C-130H aircraft armed with Boeing's Advanced Tactical Laser (ATL) blasted a target test vehicle on the ground for the first time. Boeing has been developing the ATL since 2008 under an Air Force contract worth up to $30 million.

    According to Boeing, the C-130 fired its 12,000lb high-power chemical laser through the beam control system while flying over White Sands Missile Range, N.M. The beam control system acquired the ground target and guided the laser beam to the target.

    The ATL team includes L-3 Communications/Brashear, which made the laser turret, and Hytec which made various structural elements of the weapon system, Boeing said.

    The ATL is complementary to the Airborne Laser (ABL), which Boeing is developing for the US Missile Defense Agency to destroy airborne ballistic missiles. The ABL consists of a megawatt-class chemical laser mounted on a Boeing 747-400 freighter aircraft. According to Boeing the C-130H transport, which belongs to the U.S. Air Force's 46th Test Wing, has been modified to carry the high-energy chemical laser and battle management and beam control subsystems.

    Both systems employ a Chemical Oxygen Iodine Laser (COIL) that is made by combining a bunch of nasty chemicals - potassium, peroxide, chlorine, iodine and other stuff and then fired at supersonic speeds. According to as post on Wikipedia, each COIL burst produces enough energy in a five-second burst to power a typical American household for more than one hour. The system doesn't so much evaporate its target as melts or damages it rendering it useless. In the case of using it against missiles, the missile is typically weakened and then explodes, experts said.

    The extreme scientists at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency today said last month they want to develop a laser system the goes way beyond today's opto-mechanical, acousto-optical or electro-optical systems to establish photonic integrated circuit (PIC) technology that will provide video frame rate beam steering speeds, and emit multiple beams with a total output power of 10 W.

    DARPA said Opto-mechanical scanning devices are usually bulky and relatively slow, while acousto- and electro-optical technologies utilize devices that while small in size, cannot provide the steering speeds and versatility necessary for many of the advanced applications the military envisions.

    Known as the SWEEPER, which is wicked short for short-range wide-field-of-view extremely-agile electronically-steered photonic emitters, DARPA said it expects the new laser technology to draw from phased array concepts that revolutionized RADAR systems.

    DARPA said it expects SWEEPER will provide a compact, agile alternative to mechanically steered technology, and recognizing the recent advances in photonic device density, circuit complexity, and performance capabilities in the emerging PIC technology, the SWEEPER program should extend phased array beam steering to the optical domain in the near infra red (0.8 to 2 μm range) by developing PIC technology for optical phased arrays. Such arrays will require the integration of thousand of closely packed optical emitting facets, precise relative electronic phase control of these components, and all within a very small form factor with a total output power of 10W, DARPA stated.
  2. kapolani

    kapolani Well-Known Member

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    This has been in the works for a while.

    I remember a few years ago sitting in a design review and hearing about this. In fact we model a system like this in our simulations for the military.
  3. Rogah

    Rogah Well-Known Member

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    You're darn right it has. Ever seen the movie Real Genius? That was based on a true story :D
  4. adbutcher

    adbutcher K9NME

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    This was my dream job. From what I hear the program is progressing nicely. Some of the capabilities will include being able to flat a tire on a vehicle 5 miles away while it is moving, melting a tank, or shooting multiple missiles in flight.:eek:
  5. Joe Rod

    Joe Rod When Keeping it Real Goes Wrong

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    After all those years of Star Trek/Star Wars, I can't wait to see it in action for real!
  6. Sam I Am

    Sam I Am Unfriendly and Aloof!

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    Just two days ago, I was watching either History or Nat Geo and they had a whole show about these lasers. They showed them shoot down a missile with it.
  7. Joe Rod

    Joe Rod When Keeping it Real Goes Wrong

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    I'll have to look that up then!
  8. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Bad Santa Staff Member

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    I'm not impressed. Still waiting for lasers to be mounted on sharks.
  9. Sam I Am

    Sam I Am Unfriendly and Aloof!

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    It wasn't Nat Geo, it was History Channel. I think you can watch it and others here. There are five parts. The picture you see on part one is the one that shoots down missiles.
  10. adbutcher

    adbutcher K9NME

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    [youtube]Bh7bYNAHXxw[/youtube]
  11. the kid 05

    the kid 05 Individuals play the game, but teams beat the odds

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    [IMG]
  12. kapolani

    kapolani Well-Known Member

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    Funny you should say that...

    When I was in the military we used to work with EOD. We used to train sticking limpet mines on ships. OPFOR used to try to hunt us down underwater.

    EOD used to train seals (mammalian type) and dolphins wearing special rigs, with canisters of compressed air with needle type protrusions attached. The animals would find a diver - ram into them - and explode them underwater.

    I'm not saying that we (the US) did this, but...
  13. Sam I Am

    Sam I Am Unfriendly and Aloof!

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    I know the US teaches Dolphins to attach explosives to devices. (ships, mines, and other underwater things.) I was watching some other History, Military, Nat Geo, Science channel show about that. :laugh2:
  14. ologan

    ologan Well-Known Member

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    Hey,maybe a new version of "Puff the Magic Dragon" over the skies of Afghanistan. We can pick off that long line of Taliban fighters walking down the trail,one after another,starting with the last guy.

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