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(The Verge)   The coolest video of the Navy shooting down a drone with a laser you'll see all day   (theverge.com) divider line 49
    More: Cool, U.S. Navy, laser weapon, Office of Naval Research, Spencer Ackerman, USS Ponce, Danger Room  
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9658 clicks; posted to Main » on 09 Apr 2013 at 8:59 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-04-09 08:13:37 AM
Ponce. snicker, arf, arf.....   http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Ponce">http://www.urba ndictionary.com/define.php?term=Ponce
 
2013-04-09 08:44:39 AM
I wonder if they can use that thing to take out KAAAAAANEEEEEEEDAAAAAAAA!!!!
 
2013-04-09 08:53:06 AM
They've got a frickin' laser on their frickin' ship...
 
2013-04-09 09:03:33 AM
Well, since yesterday anyway
 
2013-04-09 09:04:10 AM
All things aside, this is actually pretty bad ass and has far reaching ramifications for border security and warfare.
 
2013-04-09 09:06:03 AM
Fake. I know from watching sci-fi that there should have been a visible beam of light.
 
2013-04-09 09:06:24 AM
Next year: The US has annonced plans to sell its directed energy weapon systems to foreign countries.  Thus rendering its drone program void.  But some people will make some nice coin.
 
2013-04-09 09:07:05 AM
Ok, I've always wondered how do they counter the problem of atmospheric conditions like rain or snow? A coherent beam is going to get bounced around a lot in the pouring rain or a snow storm. So, if you're target is km's away and 30% -/+ of your beams energy is gone through occulation, what do you do? Go to plan B?
 
2013-04-09 09:08:52 AM

UberDave: I wonder if they can use that thing to take out KAAAAAANEEEEEEEDAAAAAAAA!!!!


Bring it on, TETSUUUOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

/great movie
 
2013-04-09 09:09:53 AM

indarwinsshadow: Ok, I've always wondered how do they counter the problem of atmospheric conditions like rain or snow? A coherent beam is going to get bounced around a lot in the pouring rain or a snow storm. So, if you're target is km's away and 30% -/+ of your beams energy is gone through occulation, what do you do? Go to plan B?


By testing it only on clear days, with minimal disturbances against targets you have an exact location for from their military GPS tracker on board an unmanned drone of course. They even hit the target this time around.
 
2013-04-09 09:10:42 AM
I'm I the only one that can't hear the "phew! phew!" sound??
 
2013-04-09 09:11:13 AM

limeyfellow: By testing it only on clear days, with minimal disturbances against targets you have an exact location for from their military GPS tracker on board an unmanned drone of course. They even hit the target this time around.


There's another article around here somewhere why they have tested in various atmospheric conditions and state that they only loose effective range depending on conditions.
 
2013-04-09 09:13:31 AM

indarwinsshadow: Ok, I've always wondered how do they counter the problem of atmospheric conditions like rain or snow? A coherent beam is going to get bounced around a lot in the pouring rain or a snow storm. So, if you're target is km's away and 30% -/+ of your beams energy is gone through occulation, what do you do? Go to plan B?


They're turn it up to 11.
 
2013-04-09 09:14:51 AM
I will only be happy if it makes that beek beek beek beeksound like on Johnny Quest.
 
2013-04-09 09:14:52 AM
USS Ponce.

Seriously?!
 
2013-04-09 09:17:50 AM

MyKingdomForYourHorse: limeyfellow: By testing it only on clear days, with minimal disturbances against targets you have an exact location for from their military GPS tracker on board an unmanned drone of course. They even hit the target this time around.

There's another article around here somewhere why they have tested in various atmospheric conditions and state that they only loose effective range depending on conditions.


I'd imagine heavy fog would render it near useless
 
2013-04-09 09:20:33 AM
Now show us YOUR laser, Kim Jung-Un!

www.pirate4x4.com
 
2013-04-09 09:20:41 AM
Yes, very nice, but can it take down a Best Korea Trained Attack Dog???

I thought so...
 
2013-04-09 09:21:39 AM
upload.wikimedia.org
"Imagine his surprise when it doesn't go 'pow, pow, pow' but 'SWISSSSHHHHHH!!'"
 
2013-04-09 09:24:20 AM
Saw it ten years ago. Twenty years ago. Thirty years ago. Every once in a while defense contractors need to get some more delicious pork and they dust off the old Star Wars junk and add a new capacitor here, a new coil there. In the meantime, the despicable enemy blows up a 20$ bag of cement in front of you and unleashes his arsenal of WWII surplus rockets.

Cheap and plenty beats unique and expensive every time.
 
2013-04-09 09:46:07 AM

Quantum Apostrophe: Saw it ten years ago. Twenty years ago. Thirty years ago. Every once in a while defense contractors need to get some more delicious pork and they dust off the old Star Wars junk and add a new capacitor here, a new coil there. In the meantime, the despicable enemy blows up a 20$ bag of cement in front of you and unleashes his arsenal of WWII surplus rockets.

Cheap and plenty beats unique and expensive every time.


Yup! Your Mom sure does...
 
2013-04-09 09:48:58 AM

Quantum Apostrophe: Cheap and plenty beats unique and expensive every time.


Actually this version is going to be operational by next year they hope, and be deployed on coastal regions around Africa and South East Asia where the navy is harassed by small vessels all the time. Because they can change the intensity of the light, they can effectively if they want just disable a craft, or blind you for a minute or two as a warning.
 
2013-04-09 09:49:55 AM
farm4.static.flickr.com
Popcorn anyone?
 
2013-04-09 09:51:24 AM

MyKingdomForYourHorse: limeyfellow: By testing it only on clear days, with minimal disturbances against targets you have an exact location for from their military GPS tracker on board an unmanned drone of course. They even hit the target this time around.

There's another article around here somewhere why they have tested in various atmospheric conditions and state that they only loose effective range depending on conditions.


I'm no laser expert but I've got to think this is how it would work... if it can shoot down metal objects it can probably drill through various rain drops, snow flakes, clouds, etc, it's just a matter of how much of that mass it can get through in a straight line before it's ineffective.  Basically turning everything into it's path into steam until it gets to the point where the energy spent on vapourizing everything up to the target exceeds what can take down the target.
 
2013-04-09 10:03:56 AM

AirGuitarChampion: MyKingdomForYourHorse: limeyfellow: By testing it only on clear days, with minimal disturbances against targets you have an exact location for from their military GPS tracker on board an unmanned drone of course. They even hit the target this time around.

There's another article around here somewhere why they have tested in various atmospheric conditions and state that they only loose effective range depending on conditions.

I'm no laser expert but I've got to think this is how it would work... if it can shoot down metal objects it can probably drill through various rain drops, snow flakes, clouds, etc, it's just a matter of how much of that mass it can get through in a straight line before it's ineffective.  Basically turning everything into it's path into steam until it gets to the point where the energy spent on vapourizing everything up to the target exceeds what can take down the target.


Problem is, the rain drops are clear... they absorb little to no energy from teh lazar, they just diffract it every which way. Think of looking through one of those wavy glass bricks... you can "see" everything on the other side, but it's all wonky.
 
2013-04-09 10:05:08 AM
I can't find any details about the target.

As far as we can tell from the video, it could be a two-foot model built from styrofoam.

Anyone know the specs of the drone?
 
2013-04-09 10:15:13 AM
Unimpressed

thumbnails.hulu.com
 
2013-04-09 10:24:18 AM

BetterMetalSnake: Unimpressed

[thumbnails.hulu.com image 512x288]



"SAY 'HELLO' TO MY LITTLE KITTEH!!1!"
25.media.tumblr.com
 
2013-04-09 10:24:35 AM

MyKingdomForYourHorse: Quantum Apostrophe: Cheap and plenty beats unique and expensive every time.

Actually this version is going to be operational by next year they hope, and be deployed on coastal regions around Africa and South East Asia where the navy is harassed by small vessels all the time. Because they can change the intensity of the light, they can effectively if they want just disable a craft, or blind you for a minute or two as a warning.


Well, after a few decades of pork, behold, the 20 million candlelight flashlight. We're a bit ... far away from vaporizing enemy ICBMs out of the stratosphere, eh?
 
2013-04-09 10:26:26 AM

jaytkay: Anyone know the specs of the drone?


Papier mache, painted the right color, flight path planned weeks ahead of time and fed to the targeting system... It's a demo, or the weapons equivalent of a real estate ad.
 
2013-04-09 10:29:51 AM

indarwinsshadow: Ok, I've always wondered how do they counter the problem of atmospheric conditions like rain or snow? A coherent beam is going to get bounced around a lot in the pouring rain or a snow storm. So, if you're target is km's away and 30% -/+ of your beams energy is gone through occulation, what do you do? Go to plan B?


Yes. The laser is a potentially non-lethal response to small, inexpensive threats. Instead of using a million-dollar missile on a patrol craft, you can burn the engine out of it, or toast its fire control radars, for about a dollar. Same thing with drones; you can knock out their visual sensors without actually shooting them down, and it costs practically nothing. If conditions aren't good for the laser, you go to your backup plan of guns and missiles.
 
2013-04-09 10:30:32 AM

Quantum Apostrophe: Well, after a few decades of pork, behold, the 20 million candlelight flashlight. We're a bit ... far away from vaporizing enemy ICBMs out of the stratosphere, eh?


They realized that dream was pipe awhile ago and to keep the pork flowing best to make an actual workable solution that is effective at something.

Think of it this way, would you rather further this technology or do we keep blowing up a million dollars in technology, munitions, and precious metals every time we want to take out a target?
 
2013-04-09 10:32:38 AM

MyKingdomForYourHorse: All things aside, this is actually pretty bad ass and has far reaching ramifications for border security and warfare.


...such as the end of XCOM's funding problems!

lparchive.org
 
2013-04-09 10:37:42 AM

jaytkay: I can't find any details about the target.

As far as we can tell from the video, it could be a two-foot model built from styrofoam.

Anyone know the specs of the drone?


Appears to be a BAI Systems Dragon, has about an 8-foot wingspan. The Marine Corps fields it as the BQM-147.
 
2013-04-09 10:38:26 AM
I am a big fan of technological solutions when they make sense, and a Navy vet, but I have to say, I don't see how this is useful.

If you have a targeting system than can hit a flying object with a laser, you can also hit it with 20mm rounds, which don't care much about atmospherics, would stop the threat quicker (instead of waiting for it to catch fire) and are much cheaper.

This thing wouldn't replace existing point defense items like Phalanx, because I can't see how it would be effective against fast moving cruise missiles, particularly if there are more than one.

I guess as a defense against small boats it could work, but only if you want to set the bad guys on fire instead of blowing them up.  Other solutions are much more effective, proven, and cheaper.
 
2013-04-09 10:44:16 AM

MyKingdomForYourHorse: Think of it this way, would you rather further this technology or do we keep blowing up a million dollars in technology, munitions, and precious metals every time we want to take out a target?


Errr, do you think this system is in any way cheaper or more reliable? Or mass producible? You think the million dollar shell (if it exists) really means a lot if you're already deploying a billion dollar's worth of machinery and personnel?

Or do you not see the resourceful and despicable enemy unleashing the power of the 20$ sack of dust against this flashlight? Or just launching twice as many tubes filled with black powder? Or just buying more (super cheap and thirld-world manufacturable) brass ammo? Or a welder's mask?

It does create a lot of jobs stateside, I'm sure. You have to *something* with all the engineering grads the university market creates. Lord knows you don't use them locally...
 
2013-04-09 10:47:48 AM

blunttrauma: I am a big fan of technological solutions when they make sense, and a Navy vet, but I have to say, I don't see how this is useful.

If you have a targeting system than can hit a flying object with a laser, you can also hit it with 20mm rounds, which don't care much about atmospherics, would stop the threat quicker (instead of waiting for it to catch fire) and are much cheaper.

This thing wouldn't replace existing point defense items like Phalanx, because I can't see how it would be effective against fast moving cruise missiles, particularly if there are more than one.

I guess as a defense against small boats it could work, but only if you want to set the bad guys on fire instead of blowing them up.  Other solutions are much more effective, proven, and cheaper.


Well, there are two ways to look at it. One is what Ben Franklin said about one of the first hot-air balloons: "What good is a newborn baby?" The other is that it allows you a low-cost, non-lethal escalation of force. Lots of times you'd like to disable a fleeing suspected pirate or drug smuggler's boat. Or you'd like to blind an Iranian drone, without necessarily shooting it down. This can do both of those things, and a gun can't. Blue-on-red, all-out combat is becoming passe, but there's still a LOT of maritime mission out there that can use more flexible tools.
 
2013-04-09 10:55:54 AM

Quantum Apostrophe: Errr, do you think this system is in any way cheaper or more reliable? Or mass producible? You think the million dollar shell (if it exists) really means a lot if you're already deploying a billion dollar's worth of machinery and personnel?

Or do you not see the resourceful and despicable enemy unleashing the power of the 20$ sack of dust against this flashlight? Or just launching twice as many tubes filled with black powder? Or just buying more (super cheap and thirld-world manufacturable) brass ammo? Or a welder's mask?

It does create a lot of jobs stateside, I'm sure. You have to *something* with all the engineering grads the university market creates. Lord knows you don't use them locally...


Ahh I see the all pork is bad pork kind of guy.

Regardless of how you feel, this opens up new areas of research and increases the options in your escalation of force for maritime operations.
 
2013-04-09 11:06:45 AM

Quantum Apostrophe: MyKingdomForYourHorse: Quantum Apostrophe: Cheap and plenty beats unique and expensive every time.

Actually this version is going to be operational by next year they hope, and be deployed on coastal regions around Africa and South East Asia where the navy is harassed by small vessels all the time. Because they can change the intensity of the light, they can effectively if they want just disable a craft, or blind you for a minute or two as a warning.

Well, after a few decades of pork, behold, the 20 million candlelight flashlight. We're a bit ... far away from vaporizing enemy ICBMs out of the stratosphere, eh?


I get that the system as it currently stands is probably not capable of fulfilling a useful role in defense, but how do you think these get there? It's an iterative process. You don't get a fully realized technology immediately after deciding you want it. You have to invest, test each sucessive approximation to make sure we are going in the right direction. The hope, at least as I understand it, is that at some point we are able to use lasers to shoot down anything we can "see" with radar or other advance warning systems. Also, Ia m not saying that this system will lead to that desired end state, but it seems to be a step in that direction.

Also: pew, pew pew!
 
2013-04-09 11:15:00 AM

MyKingdomForYourHorse: Regardless of how you feel, this opens up new areas of research and increases the options in your escalation of force for maritime operations.


That's actually reasonable. I think I can see that.

BetterMetalSnake: I get that the system as it currently stands is probably not capable of fulfilling a useful role in defense, but how do you think these get there? It's an iterative process


Just seems some thing iterate faster than others. That pouch of dust, for example.
 
2013-04-09 11:20:26 AM

Quantum Apostrophe: Just seems some thing iterate faster than others. That pouch of dust, for example.


Somehow I see someone trying to use a bag of flour and going up in a giant ball of flame
 
2013-04-09 11:36:27 AM

Quantum Apostrophe: Saw it ten years ago. Twenty years ago. Thirty years ago. Every once in a while defense contractors need to get some more delicious pork and they dust off the old Star Wars junk and add a new capacitor here, a new coil there. In the meantime, the despicable enemy blows up a 20$ bag of cement in front of you and unleashes his arsenal of WWII surplus rockets.

Cheap and plenty beats unique and expensive every time.


This isn't some pie in the sky super experimental weapon, this is a prototype of a deployable weapon. The whole point is that the laser doesn't need to be reloaded and can keep firing as long as you can provide power and dissipate heat. So when someone fires 100 WWII surplus rockets from as many small speed boats you can keep shooting them down and burning the boats even after your Phallax CIWS is out of ammo.
 
2013-04-09 12:28:19 PM
This is still true even if you go to see the new GI Joe movie.
 
2013-04-09 01:05:52 PM
www.epicpumpkin.com
 
2013-04-09 02:06:34 PM
pssst!  mirrors.
 
2013-04-09 02:13:23 PM
Meh, I had one of those ten years ago, though it only worked for planes.  I wonder if I could get it to work on a UAV since the flight plan database isn't maintained anymore.
i53.tinypic.com
 
2013-04-09 05:46:21 PM
How much did that drone cost tax payers?
 
2013-04-09 05:58:54 PM

Quantum Apostrophe: Saw it ten years ago. Twenty years ago. Thirty years ago. Every once in a while defense contractors need to get some more delicious pork and they dust off the old Star Wars junk and add a new capacitor here, a new coil there. In the meantime, the despicable enemy blows up a 20$ bag of cement in front of you and unleashes his arsenal of WWII surplus rockets.

Cheap and plenty beats unique and expensive every time.


Oh look! It's this idiot again!
 
2013-04-09 11:32:37 PM
I hope they add in some noise for the enjoyment of the crew when it fires. A large "zap!" or "pwew!" or otherwise this weapon blows.
 
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