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(Fox News)   The US Navy has developed a real, honest-to-God laser gun, mounted it on a ship, and is about to begin live-testing it with the Fifth Fleet. Next step: sharks   (foxnews.com) divider line 41
    More: Cool, Fifth Fleet, U.S. Navy, laser guns, psychological testing, Buck Rogers, airborne lasers  
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14732 clicks; posted to Main » on 08 Apr 2013 at 6:09 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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Archived thread
2013-04-08 09:30:09 PM
2 votes:

AndreMA: Why a joke? I'd think that a mirror (tuned to relevant frequencies; here in the IR gold film on mylar might be good) would be an inexpensive and moderately effective defense. As Larry Niven advises, "Never fire a laser at a mirror"


To answer your question honestly, it is moderately effective, but only for a couple of seconds. Mirrors in general are good reflectors, but not good enough.

http://electron9.phys.utk.edu/phys514/modules/module3/electromagneti c_ waves.htm

In the "Plane waves at boundaries" section, you'll see approximate boundary conditions for incident E&M energy onto a good conductor (e.g., a metal surface). The first and fourth equations in those two columns are basically telling you that incident energy is going to cause current flow on the surface of the reflective conductor. For normal mirrors at ambient light, this current is very small and you don't have much to worry about. If you start getting into 10s of kilowatts of energy though, even the mirror will start getting pretty hot pretty fast; especially for a semi-continuous-beam laser. And the thing is, those boundary conditions don't require a mirrored surface. The mirrored surface just reflects light (mostly) in one direction. Any metal surface that simply scatters light is vulnerable to the same heating effects.

And once that starts happening, stuff like this starts happening.

3.bp.blogspot.com

Obviously motorcycle exhaust pipes take more than a few seconds to discolor, but a simple mirrored surface at high temperature will begin to "discolor" (react/oxidize/whatever) pretty quickly. That, in turn, will cause it's reflectivity to drop pretty quickly, and it all goes downhill from there. Designing optics for high power systems must be done very carefully or you'll burn up your own system. That's one thing Real Genius got completely right. I have no doubt that richer countries would be able to develop a laser-resistant finish, but it would probably be impractical to deploy on every missile, boat, drone, etc.

If I were to try to defend against this weapon (and if I were a financially able country) I'd probably try coating my missiles with a light ceramic ablative material and hope that the laser doesn't burn off enough to screw up my guidance controls before it can hit its target. Wouldn't even bother with the planes and boats; just have one chuck a missile over the horizon and then turn around and run like a biatch.
2013-04-08 08:59:50 PM
2 votes:

Treetop1000: Anybody remember the Reagan Star Wars program? If I remember correctly, one of it's key assets was a very powerful x-ray laser. It's one shot deal because the damn thing was actually powered by a small nuke.

Yea, you got that right. Reagan wanted to hang small nukes over our heads, in geosynchronous orbit, just waiting to go off.
Imagine that scenario as one of them crashes through the city park trees, on it's way to exploding and wiping out a random decidedly non military local ground level target.
Or It could be Skynet really starts...



Star wars was a bluff intended to bankrupt and demoralize the Soviet Union. We didn't have the technology to do any of it, in fact we still don't.

It was quite interesting in the 1970's you had the B-1 and the tomahawk cruise missile which both specialize in slipping under radar at low levels. Soviet Union spent billions upgrading their Air defense to specifically counter this threat. And then as soon as they were done America sprang the B-2 stealth bomber on them which made their fancy new air defense system obsolete. Then Reagan announces SDI which would make Soviet ICBM's useless. The soviets couldn't match this but what they didn't know is we couldn't do it either. America didn't have to build it they only had to convince the Soviet's that they could and would build it. This along with cheap Saudi oil depressing the value of Russia's oil exports bankrupted the Soviet Union and ended the cold war.
2013-04-08 06:57:49 PM
2 votes:
The dirty secret of lasers is the effect on personnel. At longer ranges these powerful lasers can permanently blind people. The horrors of war are to include a weapon that can cause wholesale blindness among soldiers and affected noncombatants.
I felt the article was avoiding this issue with this quote "of obliterating small boats and unmanned aerial vehicles."  Sooner or later, blinding is going to be a major issue with these weapons.
2013-04-08 06:36:26 PM
2 votes:
One more point about the Ponce: It has THE VIETNMAN CAMPAIGN RIBBON ON ITS AWARDS RACK. Also, the mess decks are tiny, and smell like rancid fish half the time... even on days when they don't serve fish.

OK, so that was two more points.

Why yes, I *have* served aboard that pile of shiat, why do you ask?
2013-04-08 06:35:03 PM
2 votes:

Rhino_man: On the PONCE? Seriously, Navy? You're going to put it on the oldest, shiattiest gator in service? The rest of its class was dismantled or sold to Spain YEARS ago. Its decommissioning has been postponed THREE TIMES. It doesn't have dedicated berthing spaces, PEOPLE SLEEP IN THE P-WAYS!

WTF, Navy? WTF are you thinking?


If it goes boom, no loss
2013-04-08 06:28:40 PM
2 votes:
Yay!  Popcorn for everyone!

farm4.static.flickr.com
2013-04-08 06:20:58 PM
2 votes:

meat0918: I give it 4 decades after it's first use against ground based targets before it's banned for use against ground personnel, much like the flame thrower finally was banned in 2008.


If only they'd get around to that pesky apostrophe. In its 484 years it's destroyed more sentences than flames ever did.
2013-04-08 06:19:42 PM
2 votes:

FishyFred: Old news. These guns were mounted on Arnold Schwarzenegger years ago.

[i47.tinypic.com image 480x292]


point of order, those are coil guns.
2013-04-08 02:14:31 PM
2 votes:
Finally we can get CHA written on the moon.
2013-04-09 01:06:13 AM
1 votes:
ThreadSinger:

Sanguine Dawn: First of all, you don't "burn" mist. The problem with lasers is that they are light and are subject to refraction and diffusion. More moisture = more dissipation of the beam. This also limits the effectiveness of lasers in ANY atmosphere (even a dry one) The effectiveness of this weapon over a distance will not be cost effective to achieve. A more reasonable development for energy weapons is in directed particle cannons that fundamentally turn the air into a superconductor and then electrify it, frying directional computers and possibly igniting warheads.

Think of the idea that missiles will become obsolete as directed energy defenses become the situational norm, their trump being magnetic rail sabots. Directed energy will be unlikely to stop a tungsten rod flung with little heat signature from miles and miles away.

Though, lasers would definitely be useful in space. Nothing's gonna help us if we start laser-shredding up eachother's satellites in orbit. Imagine a giant whirling hellstorm of fractured nearly forever in orbit that rips everything we send up there to ribbons, effectively blocking us from meaningful use of space. Freaky eh?

Indeed. If I were a rogue state/non-state actor, that would be some nasty terrorism. Set up some kind of energy weapon (or recoiless rifle) in space, cut down national and commercial satellites (or just nudge them out of orbit), and watch the debris clouds fly. Bad news for the longevity of what's up there, unless you want to start armoring satellites at ludicrous cost.


You don't need lasers for that. This is one of the more worrisome things about countries like China and Iran getting orbital capability.

The US, and more specifically it's military are very dependent on satellites ranging from low level spy satellites to GPS. Militarily we're actually VERY dependent on them.

So our abilities could be degraded (in milspeak) by anyone who can get a rocket into the right orbit traveling in the opposite direction carrying nothing more than a stick of dynamite and a barrel of sand. BOOM! 10,000,000 "kinetic kill vehicles." Even if nothing happens for a while, you can't know when something you depend on will get hit, so you can't rely on them.

If *your* military doesn't depend on satellites, then it's worth your while to research how to deny orbits to potential enemies who *do*.
2013-04-09 12:50:08 AM
1 votes:
OgreMagi:

Refractors (aka, laser mirrors) have to be tuned to the frequency of the laser. With something that powerful, the laser would probably melt the refractor rather quickly.

I feel very smart right now, because I read your post and thought... "something like this has to exist..."

Turns out I guessed right: Plasma mirrors. And I'm obviously not the first to guess they could be used for intense lasers.

/ I am so SMRT! :P
2013-04-08 11:31:00 PM
1 votes:

Smoking GNU: I'd have to agree with you there. With lasers all you have to do is make the missile spin and distribute the energy from the laser evenly over the surface, which would significantly reduce the likelihood of it being shot down, whereas a bullet from that thing will dot he job, spinning missile or no.


Spinning a missile to prevent high-power laser damage is like telling a ballerina to pirouette in front of a shotgun.  The energy is still going into the target, and at that level, it will be causing all kinds of fancy plasma ablation effects on the missile.
2013-04-08 10:37:36 PM
1 votes:

mark12A: Because People in power are Stupid: Might be a better missile defense than what is currently used on ships.

O RLY?

[media.defenceindustrydaily.com image 800x570]

R2 never breaks!

Actually the fleet used to say CIWS stood for "Christ It Won't Shoot!"

/Jesus Christ this text editor is farked up!


nteresting tidbit... In the usa we call it R2D2, while the British it is called a Dalek.

/Exterminate!!!
2013-04-08 09:33:06 PM
1 votes:

Flt209er: If I were to try to defend against this weapon (and if I were a financially able country) I'd probably try coating my missiles with a light ceramic ablative material and hope that the laser doesn't burn off enough to screw up my guidance controls before it can hit its target.


Impart a spin to the rocket.
2013-04-08 09:01:40 PM
1 votes:

way south: chuggernaught: Your move gun nuts that will take on the government.

/Go on, tell me how you're thirty round clip will defend you from fikkin' lasers.

After the events of Cambodia, Bosnia, Somalia, etc... I've always wondered why people think big ticket military hardware (which they don't control) protects them from their neighbors.


Those aren't our neighbors. The big ticket military hardware is there to protect us from our truly evil neighbors. The Canadians.
2013-04-08 08:58:01 PM
1 votes:

alienated: Rhino_man: On the PONCE? Seriously, Navy? You're going to put it on the oldest, shiattiest gator in service? The rest of its class was dismantled or sold to Spain YEARS ago. Its decommissioning has been postponed THREE TIMES. It doesn't have dedicated berthing spaces, PEOPLE SLEEP IN THE P-WAYS!

WTF, Navy? WTF are you thinking?

Oldest ? Thats the Denver ....


The constitution (1797) is still in service...
2013-04-08 08:43:03 PM
1 votes:

DreamSnipers: The dirty secret of lasers is the effect on personnel. At longer ranges these powerful lasers can permanently blind people. The horrors of war are to include a weapon that can cause wholesale blindness among soldiers and affected n.
I felt the article was avoiding this issue with this quote "of obliterating small boats and unmanned aerial vehicles."  Sooner or later, blinding is going to be a major issue with these weapons.


I dunno about this. Infrared lasers don't cause a photochemical reaction in the eye, so nerve damage isn't possible from "overloading" in the same way it would be with a visible light laser. The real danger from infrared lasers is that they will heat the liquid inside your eye and you won't even realize it because the beam is invisible. However, unlike scientific and industrial lasers, this laser is not used at close range and atmospheric effects are naturally going to de-collimate the beam. Thus, you're probably getting hit with a beam something like a foot in diameter, so you're just as likely to have your face melted as you are to sustain laser eye damage.

Your retinas do focus near-infrared laser energy though, so the real question is whether the laser is powerful enough to blind you instantly but not face-melt you, or if it's going to melt your face anyway.
2013-04-08 07:50:47 PM
1 votes:

lostcat: In other news, the new "ultra-shiny mirror finish" for sea and aircraft has become increasingly popular among militaries around the world.


Mirrors aren't Omani-directional, and may actually cause an even worse failure depending on how the light reflects out.
2013-04-08 07:28:10 PM
1 votes:
That whole "banned against ground targets" thing is going right out the window the first time it's really needed.
2013-04-08 07:26:12 PM
1 votes:

Running a-puck: This is fantastic!  Lasers work great.  Well, unless the air is misty or even really humid, thank Poseidon that never happens on the ocean.


Yogimus: Good for air/missiles, not so much on ground based targets... damn you curvature of the earth!


That's what the 16/50's are for...
www.history.navy.mil

/for when something on the other side of the horizon has pissed you off...
2013-04-08 07:24:51 PM
1 votes:
d3gtl9l2a4fn1j.cloudfront.net
Do you have any idea what a laser like that could do?

global.fncstatic.com
Oh, you do? Okay then, carry on.
2013-04-08 07:09:35 PM
1 votes:

Yogimus: Laser light is all the same wavelength, so the diffraction is minimal, and equal across the beam. the light does not bend when crossing from water to air/air into water


Sure it does. There won't be much of a beam-spreading prism-like effect, but it will still refract.
2013-04-08 06:56:08 PM
1 votes:
Guess I'll try again

i.imgur.com
"Look, it was hot and I was hungry, okay?"
Rie
2013-04-08 06:56:01 PM
1 votes:
"Navy to deploys lasers"

Excellent proof-reading there, Fox.
2013-04-08 06:52:54 PM
1 votes:

Turbo Cojones: Running a-puck: This is fantastic!  Lasers work great.  Well, unless the air is misty or even really humid, thank Poseidon that never happens on the ocean.

Or over the horizon which NEVER happens in modern warfare either!


That's what the rail gun is for, these are point defense weapons
2013-04-08 06:51:05 PM
1 votes:

Rhino_man: One more point about the Ponce: It has THE VIETNMAN CAMPAIGN RIBBON ON ITS AWARDS RACK. Also, the mess decks are tiny, and smell like rancid fish half the time... even on days when they don't serve fish.

OK, so that was two more points.

Why yes, I *have* served aboard that pile of shiat, why do you ask?


Fellow proud lion here. I was surprised to learn it was still floating let alone capable of being the test ship for this new system.
2013-04-08 06:48:22 PM
1 votes:

meat0918: The US stopped using them in the 70s, but didn't actually ban them by treaty until 2008.


24.media.tumblr.com
2013-04-08 06:39:56 PM
1 votes:

Rhino_man: On the PONCE? Seriously, Navy? You're going to put it on the oldest, shiattiest gator in service? The rest of its class was dismantled or sold to Spain YEARS ago. Its decommissioning has been postponed THREE TIMES. It doesn't have dedicated berthing spaces, PEOPLE SLEEP IN THE P-WAYS!

WTF, Navy? WTF are you thinking?


Oldest ? Thats the Denver ....
2013-04-08 06:37:08 PM
1 votes:
Next step: Fatty's head
2013-04-08 06:34:27 PM
1 votes:
On the PONCE? Seriously, Navy? You're going to put it on the oldest, shiattiest gator in service? The rest of its class was dismantled or sold to Spain YEARS ago. Its decommissioning has been postponed THREE TIMES. It doesn't have dedicated berthing spaces, PEOPLE SLEEP IN THE P-WAYS!

WTF, Navy? WTF are you thinking?
2013-04-08 06:30:25 PM
1 votes:

mpopowich: Yay!  Popcorn for everyone!


It goes from God, to Jerry, to the Navy.
2013-04-08 06:28:22 PM
1 votes:

hardinparamedic: lordargent: Running a-puck: This is fantastic! Lasers work great. Well, unless the air is misty or even really humid, thank Poseidon that never happens on the ocean.

With the amount of power they're talking about pumping, wouldn't it just burn through the mist.

It's supposed to burn through metal at a distance, I don't think a little bit of mist is going to stop it.

[2.bp.blogspot.com image 400x218]

Oh sweet! I love Dragon Ball Z screenshots!


5/10, you might catch someone unawares

/TETSUO!!!
//KANEDA!!!
2013-04-08 06:26:10 PM
1 votes:

FishyFred: Old news. These guns were mounted on Arnold Schwarzenegger years ago.

[i47.tinypic.com image 480x292]


Those were gauss rifles / rail guns, you noob.
2013-04-08 06:25:29 PM
1 votes:

lordargent: Running a-puck: This is fantastic! Lasers work great. Well, unless the air is misty or even really humid, thank Poseidon that never happens on the ocean.

With the amount of power they're talking about pumping, wouldn't it just burn through the mist.

It's supposed to burn through metal at a distance, I don't think a little bit of mist is going to stop it.

[2.bp.blogspot.com image 400x218]


Oh sweet! I love Dragon Ball Z screenshots!
2013-04-08 06:25:19 PM
1 votes:
Not impressed.

withfriendship.com
2013-04-08 06:23:55 PM
1 votes:
Running a-puck: This is fantastic! Lasers work great. Well, unless the air is misty or even really humid, thank Poseidon that never happens on the ocean.

With the amount of power they're talking about pumping, wouldn't it just burn through the mist.

It's supposed to burn through metal at a distance, I don't think a little bit of mist is going to stop it.

2.bp.blogspot.com
2013-04-08 06:15:11 PM
1 votes:
Well, that ought to toast Jong-Un's biscuits.
2013-04-08 05:42:46 PM
1 votes:
Old news. These guns were mounted on Arnold Schwarzenegger years ago.

i47.tinypic.com
2013-04-08 03:13:31 PM
1 votes:
this isn't new. THEL/MTHEL has been around for a while, with some being mounted in planes. Although the official THEL program was killed a few years ago, some of the research lives on in other projects.

There are also lots of other laser based defense projects in various stages of research.
2013-04-08 02:37:46 PM
1 votes:
Because we have all this extra money just laying around.
2013-04-08 02:34:50 PM
1 votes:
This is fantastic!  Lasers work great.  Well, unless the air is misty or even really humid, thank Poseidon that never happens on the ocean.
 
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