Freaking Laser Guns!

 

In the news yesterday, the Israelis test-fired the new Iron Dome Laser and shot down some drones.

In a video released by the ministry, the laser-based system can be seen intercepting a rocket, a mortar, and a drone at an undisclosed location in southern Israel’s Negev desert, during March of this year.

The ministry has been testing the laser-based defense system for several years, shooting down a drone with it last year. The recent tests were the first to be successful against the other threats, including unguided projectiles and anti-tank guided missiles. (The latter was not shown in footage released by the ministry.)

The ground-based laser system — dubbed Iron Beam — which is being developed with the Rafael weapons manufacturer, is not meant to replace the Iron Dome or Israel’s other air defense systems, but to supplement and complement them, shooting down smaller projectiles and leaving larger ones for the more robust missile-based batteries.

According to the ministry, Israel is among the first countries in the world to succeed in using powerful laser technology to develop a working air defense system and to demonstrate interceptions in operational scenarios.

Right now it’s useful for only small things, but it would be good to have something that can shoot down those Russian hypervelocity missiles that made Aegis useless.

Published in General
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

There are 57 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. EHerring Coolidge
    EHerring
    @EHerring

    Raxxalan (View Comment):

    ToryWarWriter (View Comment):

    Raxxalan (View Comment):

    ToryWarWriter:

    Right now its useful for only small things, but it would be a good to have something that can shoot down those Russian hyper velocity missiles that made Aegis useless.

     

    I imagine the problem would be the target acquisition system, but I agree this is the most promising approach I have seen to dealing with that kind of threat.

    Right now its all about power as the article explains. Good for taking out small weapons. Nuclear missiles are a way off, but we have laser guns now. The 21st century has finally arrived. Now I just need my flying car.

    US air force has already tested a laser weapon that can take down a conventional nuclear missile in the boost phase, so their are ways of scaling up the power. I don’t think the targeting is anywhere near good enough for a hypersonic missile. The US system was just a prototype and this looks like it will be operational soon.

    Easier to do with ballistic missiles, even in boost phase, because computers quickly ID type of missile.

    • #31
  2. EHerring Coolidge
    EHerring
    @EHerring

    Bishop Wash (View Comment):

    Raxxalan (View Comment):

    ToryWarWriter (View Comment):

    Raxxalan (View Comment):

    ToryWarWriter:

    Right now its useful for only small things, but it would be a good to have something that can shoot down those Russian hyper velocity missiles that made Aegis useless.

     

    I imagine the problem would be the target acquisition system, but I agree this is the most promising approach I have seen to dealing with that kind of threat.

    Right now its all about power as the article explains. Good for taking out small weapons. Nuclear missiles are a way off, but we have laser guns now. The 21st century has finally arrived. Now I just need my flying car.

    US air force has already tested a laser weapon that can take down a conventional nuclear missile in the boost phase, so their are ways of scaling up the power. I don’t think the targeting is anywhere near good enough for a hypersonic missile. The US system was just a prototype and this looks like it will be operational soon.

    The airborne laser was a chemical laser which gets you a lot of power but is nasty. The beam director is huge and was kept around. A lot was learned from that program that can be applied to other problems.

    COI.  

    • #32
  3. EHerring Coolidge
    EHerring
    @EHerring

    Manny (View Comment):

    Pretty cool! I wonder how long the laser beam has to lock in on the plane to burn through? The problem with lasers has been that they have to lock on for an amount of time. Planes are thin shelled. Lasers would probably do well against them.

    Manny, I don’t know about that but, being an air defense person who must sort out who gets what airspace, I ask the ABL folks what happens if one of my fighters flew through the laser’s path. He thought for a moment then replied, “There would only be a momentary disruption of power hitting the target.” 😳

    • #33
  4. GLDIII Purveyor of Splendid Malpropisms Reagan
    GLDIII Purveyor of Splendid Malpropisms
    @GLDIII

    ToryWarWriter (View Comment):

    Raxxalan (View Comment):

    ToryWarWriter:

    Right now its useful for only small things, but it would be a good to have something that can shoot down those Russian hyper velocity missiles that made Aegis useless.

     

    I imagine the problem would be the target acquisition system, but I agree this is the most promising approach I have seen to dealing with that kind of threat.

    Right now its all about power as the article explains. Good for taking out small weapons. Nuclear missiles are a way off, but we have laser guns now. The 21st century has finally arrived. Now I just need my flying car.

    They have already come and gone

    • #34
  5. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    EHerring (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Pretty cool! I wonder how long the laser beam has to lock in on the plane to burn through? The problem with lasers has been that they have to lock on for an amount of time. Planes are thin shelled. Lasers would probably do well against them.

    Manny, I don’t know about that but, being an air defense person who must sort out who gets what airspace, I ask the ABL folks what happens if one of my fighters flew through the laser’s path. He thought for a moment then replied, “There would only be a momentary disruption of power hitting the target.” 😳

    Well, to look at the bright side…at least our laser  guys are focused.

    • #35
  6. E. Kent Golding Member
    E. Kent Golding
    @EKentGolding

    ToryWarWriter (View Comment):
    Now I just need my flying car.

    Blue Screen; reboot required;   please maintain altitude long enough for diagnostic info to be sent to microsoft.

    • #36
  7. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    ToryWarWriter (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    I don’t know that lasers would be useful against hypersonic missiles either. Can they be aimed accurately enough, and quickly enough?

    I am thinking possibly a barrier. But the missile flies at 10 times the speed of sound, where the laser goes at the speed of light. Vs Aegis going at the muzzle velocity of the gun.

     

     

    IIRC from discussions on the SDI, tracking isn’t the problem – it’s getting the counter-attacking weapon on target.  Lasers have a huge advantage over projectiles, although I wonder how attentuation is affected by distance.

    Hey, am I the only one who thinks it would be cool if they started calling them “phasers”?

    • #37
  8. Saxonburg Member
    Saxonburg
    @Saxonburg

    Close-up of the weapon in action:

    • #38
  9. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Saxonburg (View Comment):

    Close-up of the weapon in action:

     

    Pre-titled meme version for anyone interested:

     

    • #39
  10. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    EHerring (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Pretty cool! I wonder how long the laser beam has to lock in on the plane to burn through? The problem with lasers has been that they have to lock on for an amount of time. Planes are thin shelled. Lasers would probably do well against them.

    Manny, I don’t know about that but, being an air defense person who must sort out who gets what airspace, I ask the ABL folks what happens if one of my fighters flew through the laser’s path. He thought for a moment then replied, “There would only be a momentary disruption of power hitting the target.” 😳

    The trick with lasers as I understand it is to lock on the threat coming in and follow it’s trajectory until the laser burns through. It’s not just a case of the threat flying through the laser beam. The beam has to lock on for a certain amount of time. The thicker the shell the longer it takes to burn through. An artillery shell is the hardest because it’s the thickest. A plane is pretty thin shelled. 

    • #40
  11. Bishop Wash Member
    Bishop Wash
    @BishopWash

    Manny (View Comment):

    EHerring (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Pretty cool! I wonder how long the laser beam has to lock in on the plane to burn through? The problem with lasers has been that they have to lock on for an amount of time. Planes are thin shelled. Lasers would probably do well against them.

    Manny, I don’t know about that but, being an air defense person who must sort out who gets what airspace, I ask the ABL folks what happens if one of my fighters flew through the laser’s path. He thought for a moment then replied, “There would only be a momentary disruption of power hitting the target.” 😳

    The trick with lasers as I understand it is to lock on the threat coming in and follow it’s trajectory until the laser burns through. It’s not just a case of the threat flying through the laser beam. The beam has to lock on for a certain amount of time. The thicker the shell the longer it takes to burn through. An artillery shell is the hardest because it’s the thickest. A plane is pretty thin shelled.

    One explanation of lasers I’ve heard used is comparing it to a torch (propane, oxygen-acetylene, etc.) at a distance. Like a torch, you have to hold it on a spot for it to have an effect.

    The boost phase of an ICBM was chosen because a thin rocket body is easier to breech than a warhead designed for reentry. Also the fuel tanks are pressurized so you can use that to shorten the dwell time. Weaken the skin and the pressure will want to escape. You can see that in my picture. The tear is buckled outward.

    • #41
  12. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Manny (View Comment):

    EHerring (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Pretty cool! I wonder how long the laser beam has to lock in on the plane to burn through? The problem with lasers has been that they have to lock on for an amount of time. Planes are thin shelled. Lasers would probably do well against them.

    Manny, I don’t know about that but, being an air defense person who must sort out who gets what airspace, I ask the ABL folks what happens if one of my fighters flew through the laser’s path. He thought for a moment then replied, “There would only be a momentary disruption of power hitting the target.” 😳

    The trick with lasers as I understand it is to lock on the threat coming in and follow it’s trajectory until the laser burns through. It’s not just a case of the threat flying through the laser beam. The beam has to lock on for a certain amount of time. The thicker the shell the longer it takes to burn through. An artillery shell is the hardest because it’s the thickest. A plane is pretty thin shelled.

    Just out of curiosity, do lasers still have to pulse to make it though the atmosphere and still remain coherent?

    • #42
  13. Steve C. Member
    Steve C.
    @user_531302

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Our Living Language (GAAAGHK! Barf me back to the Stone Age.)

    I do not remember a writer ever confusing mortar shells with mortars until the last ten or twenty years or so.

    I still find it jarring, and would recommend that when quoting a text that makes the error, we use for example

    intercepting a rocket, a mortar [sic], and a drone

    To be accurate, they are “mortar bombs”. Or colloquially “rounds”.

    You could use “shell” because most mortar projectiles are fragmentation. A writer with mortar experience would likely be more precise. 

     

     

    • #43
  14. Steve C. Member
    Steve C.
    @user_531302

    This is all wonderful and a lot closer to actual fielding than 20 years ago.

    Call me when I don’t have to drag a small nuclear reactor behind my laser gun.

    As to flying cars. First there’s a really good book you can read https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09H478XG4/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

    Second, it’s not so much a flying car people want, it’s a method to avoid time distance. I can see a future of Uber like air taxis, reducing your commute from 45 min to 10 min. Instead of 2 cars you might only need 1, for local trips. Air traffic control of certified and regulated air taxi “pilots” would be fairly simple.

     

    • #44
  15. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Steve C. (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Our Living Language (GAAAGHK! Barf me back to the Stone Age.)

    I do not remember a writer ever confusing mortar shells with mortars until the last ten or twenty years or so.

    I still find it jarring, and would recommend that when quoting a text that makes the error, we use for example

    intercepting a rocket, a mortar [sic], and a drone

    To be accurate, they are “mortar bombs”. Or colloquially “rounds”.

    You could use “shell” because most mortar projectiles are fragmentation. A writer with mortar experience would likely be more precise.

    Thx, Steve. I didn’t know that. 

    (Like probably most non-experts who nevertheless read about the objects frequently in books or the press,  I’ve never read the term “mortar bombs”.)

    • #45
  16. Bishop Wash Member
    Bishop Wash
    @BishopWash

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    EHerring (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Pretty cool! I wonder how long the laser beam has to lock in on the plane to burn through? The problem with lasers has been that they have to lock on for an amount of time. Planes are thin shelled. Lasers would probably do well against them.

    Manny, I don’t know about that but, being an air defense person who must sort out who gets what airspace, I ask the ABL folks what happens if one of my fighters flew through the laser’s path. He thought for a moment then replied, “There would only be a momentary disruption of power hitting the target.” 😳

    The trick with lasers as I understand it is to lock on the threat coming in and follow it’s trajectory until the laser burns through. It’s not just a case of the threat flying through the laser beam. The beam has to lock on for a certain amount of time. The thicker the shell the longer it takes to burn through. An artillery shell is the hardest because it’s the thickest. A plane is pretty thin shelled.

    Just out of curiosity, do lasers still have to pulse to make it though the atmosphere and still remain coherent?

    Most of our lasers are continuous wave. Adaptive optics helps maintain the spot size at the target but not all systems go to the expense of adding an adaptive optics system. One concern is thermal blooming. At higher levels the beam heats the air it is passing through and distorts the beam.

    • #46
  17. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Bishop Wash (View Comment):
    Adaptive optics helps maintain the spot size at the target

    Thanks for the good info.

    How do they do that?

    Also, is the beam usually steered? (if it isn’t pulsed but rather continuous, I guess it would almost have to be). If steered (dynamically aimed to stay on target) is it done with electronics, rather than mechanically?

    • #47
  18. Bishop Wash Member
    Bishop Wash
    @BishopWash

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Bishop Wash (View Comment):
    Adaptive optics helps maintain the spot size at the target

    Thanks for the good info.

    How do they do that?

    Also, is the beam usually steered? (if it isn’t pulsed but rather continuous, I guess it would almost have to be). If steered (dynamically aimed to stay on target) is it done with electronics, rather than mechanically?

    I don’t know the full details behind adaptive optics, but it’s been explained as putting a correction on the beam similar to glasses. A beam of known quality is sent out and then the actual result on target is read. An inverse wavefront is calculated and the mirror is deformed with tiny motors to match that shape. That way a “bad” beam is sent out and when it passes through the atmosphere it is distorted into a “good” beam when it gets on target. Deformable mirrors are the key. There are multiple pistons on the back of the mirror moving up and down to shape the mirror.

    When telescopes use adaptive optics it works similarly. A sodium guidestar is sent out to excite the sodium layer in the atmosphere. Knowing what you sent out and reading what happens to it when it gets to altitude tells you what the atmosphere is like along that path. The mirror is deformed to correct for that and the telescope can get a sharp image.

    It’s mechanically steered through the beam director. Lasers need good optics to transmit a beam which gives the benefit of having something that can see very well. Once a target is selected, the beam director slews on target. There’s software to select a spot and keep the beam director following that spot. Then the laser is sent out the beam director. When the Navy put a laser system on the Ponce the commanders were most impressed with the optical sensor they now had.

    I’m probably getting something wrong. Fortunately, I support the guys who do this for a living and don’t actually do it myself.

    • #48
  19. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    Bishop Wash (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    EHerring (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Pretty cool! I wonder how long the laser beam has to lock in on the plane to burn through? The problem with lasers has been that they have to lock on for an amount of time. Planes are thin shelled. Lasers would probably do well against them.

    Manny, I don’t know about that but, being an air defense person who must sort out who gets what airspace, I ask the ABL folks what happens if one of my fighters flew through the laser’s path. He thought for a moment then replied, “There would only be a momentary disruption of power hitting the target.” 😳

    The trick with lasers as I understand it is to lock on the threat coming in and follow it’s trajectory until the laser burns through. It’s not just a case of the threat flying through the laser beam. The beam has to lock on for a certain amount of time. The thicker the shell the longer it takes to burn through. An artillery shell is the hardest because it’s the thickest. A plane is pretty thin shelled.

    One explanation of lasers I’ve heard used is comparing it to a torch (propane, oxygen-acetylene, etc.) at a distance. Like a torch, you have to hold it on a spot for it to have an effect.

    The boost phase of an ICBM was chosen because a thin rocket body is easier to breech than a warhead designed for reentry. Also the fuel tanks are pressurized so you can use that to shorten the dwell time. Weaken the skin and the pressure will want to escape. You can see that in my picture. The tear is buckled outward.

    Yes, that’s exactly right.

    • #49
  20. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    EHerring (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Pretty cool! I wonder how long the laser beam has to lock in on the plane to burn through? The problem with lasers has been that they have to lock on for an amount of time. Planes are thin shelled. Lasers would probably do well against them.

    Manny, I don’t know about that but, being an air defense person who must sort out who gets what airspace, I ask the ABL folks what happens if one of my fighters flew through the laser’s path. He thought for a moment then replied, “There would only be a momentary disruption of power hitting the target.” 😳

    The trick with lasers as I understand it is to lock on the threat coming in and follow it’s trajectory until the laser burns through. It’s not just a case of the threat flying through the laser beam. The beam has to lock on for a certain amount of time. The thicker the shell the longer it takes to burn through. An artillery shell is the hardest because it’s the thickest. A plane is pretty thin shelled.

    Just out of curiosity, do lasers still have to pulse to make it though the atmosphere and still remain coherent?

    I don’t know.  Lasers are not my expertise.  I just happened to know a little tidbit on how they are used to counter aerial threats.  Is the pulsing a means of forming the type of wave or does it have to do with the atmosphere?  

    • #50
  21. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Manny (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    EHerring (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Pretty cool! I wonder how long the laser beam has to lock in on the plane to burn through? The problem with lasers has been that they have to lock on for an amount of time. Planes are thin shelled. Lasers would probably do well against them.

    Manny, I don’t know about that but, being an air defense person who must sort out who gets what airspace, I ask the ABL folks what happens if one of my fighters flew through the laser’s path. He thought for a moment then replied, “There would only be a momentary disruption of power hitting the target.” 😳

    The trick with lasers as I understand it is to lock on the threat coming in and follow it’s trajectory until the laser burns through. It’s not just a case of the threat flying through the laser beam. The beam has to lock on for a certain amount of time. The thicker the shell the longer it takes to burn through. An artillery shell is the hardest because it’s the thickest. A plane is pretty thin shelled.

    Just out of curiosity, do lasers still have to pulse to make it though the atmosphere and still remain coherent?

    I don’t know. Lasers are not my expertise. I just happened to know a little tidbit on how they are used to counter aerial threats. Is the pulsing a means of forming the type of wave or does it have to do with the atmosphere?

    My guess is, the laser would pulse because otherwise if the air that it passes through gets too stimulated, it interferes with the beam.

    • #51
  22. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Manny (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    EHerring (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Pretty cool! I wonder how long the laser beam has to lock in on the plane to burn through? The problem with lasers has been that they have to lock on for an amount of time. Planes are thin shelled. Lasers would probably do well against them.

    Manny, I don’t know about that but, being an air defense person who must sort out who gets what airspace, I ask the ABL folks what happens if one of my fighters flew through the laser’s path. He thought for a moment then replied, “There would only be a momentary disruption of power hitting the target.” 😳

    The trick with lasers as I understand it is to lock on the threat coming in and follow it’s trajectory until the laser burns through. It’s not just a case of the threat flying through the laser beam. The beam has to lock on for a certain amount of time. The thicker the shell the longer it takes to burn through. An artillery shell is the hardest because it’s the thickest. A plane is pretty thin shelled.

    Just out of curiosity, do lasers still have to pulse to make it though the atmosphere and still remain coherent?

    I don’t know. Lasers are not my expertise. I just happened to know a little tidbit on how they are used to counter aerial threats. Is the pulsing a means of forming the type of wave or does it have to do with the atmosphere?

    I believe it had to do with diffraction from heated air so they had to give it a microsecond or so to cool down again.

    • #52
  23. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    EHerring (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Pretty cool! I wonder how long the laser beam has to lock in on the plane to burn through? The problem with lasers has been that they have to lock on for an amount of time. Planes are thin shelled. Lasers would probably do well against them.

    Manny, I don’t know about that but, being an air defense person who must sort out who gets what airspace, I ask the ABL folks what happens if one of my fighters flew through the laser’s path. He thought for a moment then replied, “There would only be a momentary disruption of power hitting the target.” 😳

    The trick with lasers as I understand it is to lock on the threat coming in and follow it’s trajectory until the laser burns through. It’s not just a case of the threat flying through the laser beam. The beam has to lock on for a certain amount of time. The thicker the shell the longer it takes to burn through. An artillery shell is the hardest because it’s the thickest. A plane is pretty thin shelled.

    Just out of curiosity, do lasers still have to pulse to make it though the atmosphere and still remain coherent?

    I don’t know. Lasers are not my expertise. I just happened to know a little tidbit on how they are used to counter aerial threats. Is the pulsing a means of forming the type of wave or does it have to do with the atmosphere?

    I believe it had to do with diffraction from heated air so they had to give it a microsecond or so to cool down again.

    Another fresh-baked from imgflip.com  :-)

     

    • #53
  24. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    EHerring (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Pretty cool! I wonder how long the laser beam has to lock in on the plane to burn through? The problem with lasers has been that they have to lock on for an amount of time. Planes are thin shelled. Lasers would probably do well against them.

    Manny, I don’t know about that but, being an air defense person who must sort out who gets what airspace, I ask the ABL folks what happens if one of my fighters flew through the laser’s path. He thought for a moment then replied, “There would only be a momentary disruption of power hitting the target.” 😳

    The trick with lasers as I understand it is to lock on the threat coming in and follow it’s trajectory until the laser burns through. It’s not just a case of the threat flying through the laser beam. The beam has to lock on for a certain amount of time. The thicker the shell the longer it takes to burn through. An artillery shell is the hardest because it’s the thickest. A plane is pretty thin shelled.

    Just out of curiosity, do lasers still have to pulse to make it though the atmosphere and still remain coherent?

    I don’t know. Lasers are not my expertise. I just happened to know a little tidbit on how they are used to counter aerial threats. Is the pulsing a means of forming the type of wave or does it have to do with the atmosphere?

    I believe it had to do with diffraction from heated air so they had to give it a microsecond or so to cool down again.

    Another fresh-baked from imgflip.com :-)

     

    Hey, yes, you did.

    • #54
  25. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Flicker (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    EHerring (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Pretty cool! I wonder how long the laser beam has to lock in on the plane to burn through? The problem with lasers has been that they have to lock on for an amount of time. Planes are thin shelled. Lasers would probably do well against them.

    Manny, I don’t know about that but, being an air defense person who must sort out who gets what airspace, I ask the ABL folks what happens if one of my fighters flew through the laser’s path. He thought for a moment then replied, “There would only be a momentary disruption of power hitting the target.” 😳

    The trick with lasers as I understand it is to lock on the threat coming in and follow it’s trajectory until the laser burns through. It’s not just a case of the threat flying through the laser beam. The beam has to lock on for a certain amount of time. The thicker the shell the longer it takes to burn through. An artillery shell is the hardest because it’s the thickest. A plane is pretty thin shelled.

    Just out of curiosity, do lasers still have to pulse to make it though the atmosphere and still remain coherent?

    I don’t know. Lasers are not my expertise. I just happened to know a little tidbit on how they are used to counter aerial threats. Is the pulsing a means of forming the type of wave or does it have to do with the atmosphere?

    I believe it had to do with diffraction from heated air so they had to give it a microsecond or so to cool down again.

    Another fresh-baked from imgflip.com :-)

     

    Hey, yes, you did.

    But it’s still a nice meme to have for the future. :-)

    • #55
  26. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    EHerring (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Pretty cool! I wonder how long the laser beam has to lock in on the plane to burn through? The problem with lasers has been that they have to lock on for an amount of time. Planes are thin shelled. Lasers would probably do well against them.

    Manny, I don’t know about that but, being an air defense person who must sort out who gets what airspace, I ask the ABL folks what happens if one of my fighters flew through the laser’s path. He thought for a moment then replied, “There would only be a momentary disruption of power hitting the target.” 😳

    The trick with lasers as I understand it is to lock on the threat coming in and follow it’s trajectory until the laser burns through. It’s not just a case of the threat flying through the laser beam. The beam has to lock on for a certain amount of time. The thicker the shell the longer it takes to burn through. An artillery shell is the hardest because it’s the thickest. A plane is pretty thin shelled.

    Just out of curiosity, do lasers still have to pulse to make it though the atmosphere and still remain coherent?

    I don’t know. Lasers are not my expertise. I just happened to know a little tidbit on how they are used to counter aerial threats. Is the pulsing a means of forming the type of wave or does it have to do with the atmosphere?

    I believe it had to do with diffraction from heated air so they had to give it a microsecond or so to cool down again.

    Another fresh-baked from imgflip.com :-)

     

    Hey, yes, you did.

    But it’s still a nice meme to have for the future. :-)

    I was going to say that.

    • #56
  27. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    EHerring (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Pretty cool! I wonder how long the laser beam has to lock in on the plane to burn through? The problem with lasers has been that they have to lock on for an amount of time. Planes are thin shelled. Lasers would probably do well against them.

    Manny, I don’t know about that but, being an air defense person who must sort out who gets what airspace, I ask the ABL folks what happens if one of my fighters flew through the laser’s path. He thought for a moment then replied, “There would only be a momentary disruption of power hitting the target.” 😳

    The trick with lasers as I understand it is to lock on the threat coming in and follow it’s trajectory until the laser burns through. It’s not just a case of the threat flying through the laser beam. The beam has to lock on for a certain amount of time. The thicker the shell the longer it takes to burn through. An artillery shell is the hardest because it’s the thickest. A plane is pretty thin shelled.

    Just out of curiosity, do lasers still have to pulse to make it though the atmosphere and still remain coherent?

    I don’t know. Lasers are not my expertise. I just happened to know a little tidbit on how they are used to counter aerial threats. Is the pulsing a means of forming the type of wave or does it have to do with the atmosphere?

    I believe it had to do with diffraction from heated air so they had to give it a microsecond or so to cool down again.

    That makes sense.  I can see that.

    • #57
Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.