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(YouTube)   This is what it looks like when the most powerful Navy in the world uses a laser to shoot down an unmanned drone the size of a bathtub under completely controlled conditions, blue sky, slow burn in under 30 seconds. NK, are you impressed yet?   (youtube.com) divider line 54
    More: Ironic, U.S. Navy, laser weapon, Office of Naval Research  
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5685 clicks; posted to Video » on 12 Apr 2013 at 10:59 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-04-12 10:02:11 AM  
I'm impressed. I think it's cool.
 
2013-04-12 10:06:58 AM  
@2:20

Did anyone else feel like they were going to have to land on an aircraft carrier?

www.mobygames.com
 
2013-04-12 10:13:53 AM  
Wow, yes, as impressive and fast as this guy.
Money well spent.

scienceforkids.kidipede.com
 
2013-04-12 10:36:25 AM  
From the time of acquisition to destruction of the on-board systems (based on camera black-out): 9 seconds.

Missiles travel about that speed, and can be dodged.  I'm sorry you were expecting GoldenEye-level vaporization.
 
2013-04-12 11:09:21 AM  
I'm sure this technology is as advanced as it will ever be and that there's not a more powerful prototype coming down the pipe.
 
2013-04-12 11:14:39 AM  
www.luminarybrewing.com
 
2013-04-12 11:15:19 AM  

LockeOak: [www.luminarybrewing.com image 359x610]


Well ain't that in the wrong thread.

/you are now thirsty
 
2013-04-12 11:23:36 AM  
Let's see... it costs them $12 to fire that laser and destroy a target a mile off.

The current system, the Phalanx gun, costs about the same to build, but costs several thousands of dollars to engage a target. It also runs out of ammunition.

Yes, I'm impressed, and subby is an idiot.
 
2013-04-12 11:35:03 AM  
As per the video...The meaning behind Red, Blue, and Green in Mass Effect 3's ending is suddenly crystal clear!
 
2013-04-12 11:36:14 AM  
We've really become jaded to technological progress if we can't be impressed by something like this.
 
2013-04-12 11:40:47 AM  
That's pretty goddamn cool that we have laser weapon cruisers now.

They could ramp up the laser power to instantly destroy the drone, but if they missed then the laser might burn a hole through the moon or fly out to a distant planetary system and destroy some alien's home. That would be a hell of a way to let the neighboring alien races know that we exist.
 
2013-04-12 11:44:07 AM  
Meh, the animation at the end was not even at the level of those Taiwanese animations.
 
2013-04-12 11:46:03 AM  
So this is how we are going to deal with an armada of 300,000,000 drones.
 
2013-04-12 11:47:06 AM  
Now that we have a laser weapon like this for shooting down drones, I wonder what countermeasures will be developed for it. A reflective skin would definitely degrade the ability of the laser to heat up the drone. Multiple cameras, each with a different wavelength filter, would help prevent the drone from being blinded. Miniaturization means active countermeasures against radar targeting is possible, along with using stealth technology to reduce visibility. Should be interesting to watch.
 
2013-04-12 11:52:45 AM  

TheShadow: Now that we have a laser weapon like this for shooting down drones, I wonder what countermeasures will be developed for it. A reflective skin would definitely degrade the ability of the laser to heat up the drone. Multiple cameras, each with a different wavelength filter, would help prevent the drone from being blinded. Miniaturization means active countermeasures against radar targeting is possible, along with using stealth technology to reduce visibility. Should be interesting to watch.


Temp sensors on the skin of planes. If a section is getting ungodly hot, then begin immediate shuck-and-jive maneuvers.
 
2013-04-12 11:53:06 AM  

TheShadow: Now that we have a laser weapon like this for shooting down drones, I wonder what countermeasures will be developed for it. A reflective skin would definitely degrade the ability of the laser to heat up the drone. Multiple cameras, each with a different wavelength filter, would help prevent the drone from being blinded. Miniaturization means active countermeasures against radar targeting is possible, along with using stealth technology to reduce visibility. Should be interesting to watch.


Every one of those countermeasures adds complexity and cost to the drone.  Sure we drop millions of dollars a piece on these things but every "US sucks and here's why their military can be defeated" comments basically points to a question of "What are you going to do when Iran buys 20,000 Radio Shack models and flies them at a carrier group" type of scenario"  The answer apparently is to burn them out of the sky.
 
2013-04-12 12:01:35 PM  

Fizpez: TheShadow: Now that we have a laser weapon like this for shooting down drones, I wonder what countermeasures will be developed for it. A reflective skin would definitely degrade the ability of the laser to heat up the drone. Multiple cameras, each with a different wavelength filter, would help prevent the drone from being blinded. Miniaturization means active countermeasures against radar targeting is possible, along with using stealth technology to reduce visibility. Should be interesting to watch.

Every one of those countermeasures adds complexity and cost to the drone.  Sure we drop millions of dollars a piece on these things but every "US sucks and here's why their military can be defeated" comments basically points to a question of "What are you going to do when Iran buys 20,000 Radio Shack models and flies them at a carrier group" type of scenario"  The answer apparently is to burn them out of the sky.


Exactly. These weapons make defending against cheap missiles a reasonable prospect. The US can now destroy missiles for less money than it takes for an enemy to build and fire them. Previously, defending against $1m worth of Chinese missiles might have cost the US $50m. Now it costs a few thousand dollars at most.

/Also lasers are cool
 
2013-04-12 12:09:13 PM  

To The Escape Zeppelin!: Exactly. These weapons make defending against cheap missiles a reasonable prospect.


Hold the phone there. Nobody said anything about shooting down a missile. That would be way harder than shooting down a slow-flying drone.
 
2013-04-12 12:26:55 PM  
This is obviously fake. I've watched enough science fiction to know that any laser weapon fires a bright red (or green, if you're a bad guy) beam of light that somehow inexplicably moves at a speed that is observably far slower than the speed of light. It should also make a "pew pew pew" sound. Try again Navy, and next time, make it believable!!
 
Bf+
2013-04-12 12:39:42 PM  
ecx.images-amazon.com
Right back at'cha.
 
2013-04-12 12:46:58 PM  
Definitely shows promise for hitting things that fly predictable flight paths like ICBMs.  The day they figure out how to up the power so that you can fry a SSM or a plane in under a second, then it will replace the Phalanx.

Although if they reach the point of having that much power it will force changes to ship positioning, since if you accidentally brush a laser of that power over another ship while getting the beam on the missile, oops.

/I assume SM and Sea Sparrow ESSM style missiles will stick around since they can fire over the horizon and deal with the fact the earth is curved much better than a laser beam can
 
2013-04-12 12:56:53 PM  
 
2013-04-12 12:58:46 PM  
 
2013-04-12 01:10:33 PM  
LaWS, yes!

M-O-O-N, that spells Laser Weapon System!
 
2013-04-12 02:25:42 PM  
It's a prototype.

They weren't just firin't their layzor, they were testing integration and operations from a real ship at sea, power usage, operating in a marine environment, fire control, ranging and targeting as the ship and aircraft move independently in three axes, how the crew deals with a new weapons system, gee what else.

Oh, and they shot the target down.

Not bad.  Come back in a few decades and see what this has evolved into.  This is the future.  On a nuclear powered ship you have all the electrical power and cooling water these things could ever want.  The production versions should be able to fire all day.  You could put a whole lot of these things on a ship to deal with multiple targets, or use all of them at once on a single target.

/ and pilots thought pen lasers were bad.  Heh.
 
2013-04-12 02:26:46 PM  

Lando Lincoln: To The Escape Zeppelin!: Exactly. These weapons make defending against cheap missiles a reasonable prospect.

Hold the phone there. Nobody said anything about shooting down a missile. That would be way harder than shooting down a slow-flying drone.


True, but remember that these are still experimental weapons and they'll increase in both speed and power. It's functional but still in development. If it takes 9 seconds for an early version to destroy a target what will it be able to do in ten years? The eventual goal is to replace the antimissile CIWS systems with lasers. And it's a lot cheaper and safer to do tests and demonstrations with drones rather than firing missiles around.
 
2013-04-12 02:47:31 PM  
I was always excited about the day that the army would fire laser guns. I just didn't expect the world's reaction to be "IT TOOK YOU 9 SECONDS TO SHOOT SOMETHING DOWN!"
 
2013-04-12 03:00:34 PM  

Bf+: [ecx.images-amazon.com image 300x300]
Right back at'cha.


In case you were serious, even a very good mirror doesn't reflect all light.  With the amount of power being put out by these lasers, the non-reflected light is enough for the mirror to overheat and fail more-or-less instantly.
 
2013-04-12 03:12:09 PM  
Modern weaponry has a very long development life.  Many best in class weapons of the US (Abrams, Apache, Aegis, Patriot, AMRAAM, F-22, to name a few) had their beginnings in the 1970s and 80s and most took a long time to be in use.  All of them have been continually improved since deployment as well.

Each one was considered a complete failure and boondoggle. F-22 aside, they have almost all been quite successful.  The F-22 is the best at what it does, there just isn't much role for it right now and it costs a ridiculous fortune per unit, plus it gasses the pilots.

Not every new thing is a Sergeant York  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M247_Sergeant_York
 
Bf+
2013-04-12 03:20:00 PM  

Fish in a Barrel: In case you were serious,


Oh, not at all-- Sorry.
Poe's law and such...
 
2013-04-12 03:25:13 PM  

To The Escape Zeppelin!: Lando Lincoln: To The Escape Zeppelin!: Exactly. These weapons make defending against cheap missiles a reasonable prospect.

Hold the phone there. Nobody said anything about shooting down a missile. That would be way harder than shooting down a slow-flying drone.

True, but remember that these are still experimental weapons and they'll increase in both speed and power. It's functional but still in development. If it takes 9 seconds for an early version to destroy a target what will it be able to do in ten years? The eventual goal is to replace the antimissile CIWS systems with lasers. And it's a lot cheaper and safer to do tests and demonstrations with drones rather than firing missiles around.


Even if they were able to destroy something instantaneously with a laser, they still have to develop some incredibly awesome tracking software and hardware to hit the target in the first place. It would be like hitting a hitting a bullet fired from a rifle with a laser.

I'm not sure if they'll ever get there. They'll probably come up with something simpler than that, like an EMP that can disable things in a certain radius, similar to Missile Command.
 
2013-04-12 03:42:40 PM  

mod3072: This is obviously fake. I've watched enough science fiction to know that any laser weapon fires a bright red (or green, if you're a bad guy) beam of light that somehow inexplicably moves at a speed that is observably far slower than the speed of light. It should also make a "pew pew pew" sound. Try again Navy, and next time, make it believable!!


bbsimg.ngfiles.com
 
2013-04-12 04:43:53 PM  
Again ?

farm6.staticflickr.com
 
2013-04-12 04:51:23 PM  

Treygreen13: I was always excited about the day that the army would fire laser guns. I just didn't expect the world's reaction to be "IT TOOK YOU 9 SECONDS TO SHOOT SOMETHING DOWN!"


Science Fiction has spoiled everyone.
 
2013-04-12 05:10:37 PM  

Mentat: We've really become jaded to technological progress if we can't be impressed by something like this.




Death rays. Death rays. Death rays. Meh.
www.milehimama.com
 
2013-04-12 05:11:13 PM  

scottydoesntknow: Treygreen13: I was always excited about the day that the army would fire laser guns. I just didn't expect the world's reaction to be "IT TOOK YOU 9 SECONDS TO SHOOT SOMETHING DOWN!"

Science Fiction has spoiled everyone.


No flying car.
 
2013-04-12 05:50:50 PM  

Bf+: Fish in a Barrel: In case you were serious,

Oh, not at all-- Sorry.
Poe's law and such...


I figured you were joking, but I've seen too many people commenting on this who seriously thought a little bit of polishing would be a viable defense.
 
2013-04-12 06:08:23 PM  

StoPPeRmobile: scottydoesntknow: Treygreen13: I was always excited about the day that the army would fire laser guns. I just didn't expect the world's reaction to be "IT TOOK YOU 9 SECONDS TO SHOOT SOMETHING DOWN!"

Science Fiction has spoiled everyone.

No flying car.


frankly, the average person can't handle 2 axis of freedom. If we had flying cars, I propose only I should be allowed to use them. Me and people I approve. And they should be power like a bike. That's how it should be.
 
2013-04-12 07:29:37 PM  
LaWS? Laser Weapon System? LAME

I demand a Laser Weapon SHARK NOW!
 
2013-04-12 07:47:38 PM  
meh, tesla invented it 100 years ago.
 
2013-04-12 08:22:34 PM  
So I'm gonna go out on a limb and suggest that in order to power faster more powerful lasers than this prototype, all Naval ships will be nuclear powered...not just Carriers.
 
2013-04-12 10:02:32 PM  

Giltric: So I'm gonna go out on a limb and suggest that in order to power faster more powerful lasers than this prototype, all Naval ships will be nuclear powered...not just Carriers.


That's what quick-discharge capacitors are for.

It only cost $1 to shoot down that drone.

These laser systems cost the same as the Phalanx gun, but engage the target and destroy them quicker, and they will continue to improve.
 
2013-04-12 10:38:11 PM  
Holy crap, that was amazing!

That's an actual viable weapon, right now. And if that's the video they're releasing publicly then you know the thing is likely capable of even more. WOW. The future showed up!

When you're flying through the air strapped to 22 tons of jet fuel, high explosives and toxic materials held together with computers the last frickin' thing you want is to be on FIRE. As it develops this weapons tech has a LOT of potential too.
 
2013-04-12 10:38:51 PM  

Lando Lincoln: Even if they were able to destroy something instantaneously with a laser, they still have to develop some incredibly awesome tracking software and hardware to hit the target in the first place. It would be like hitting a hitting a bullet fired from a rifle with a laser.


Uh, here's a newsflash, chief, but we already have incredibly awesome tracking software and hardware, much of it already relying on, oh yeah, lasers.  And if you're tracking a target with a laser, all it takes to hit it with another laser is to fire it down the same path.  So yeah, we're already there.  And there is no need to destroy something instantly because of just what was shown here.  All you have to do is disable the craft, gravity will do the rest.
 
2013-04-12 10:52:45 PM  

StrangeQ: Lando Lincoln: Even if they were able to destroy something instantaneously with a laser, they still have to develop some incredibly awesome tracking software and hardware to hit the target in the first place. It would be like hitting a hitting a bullet fired from a rifle with a laser.

Uh, here's a newsflash, chief, but we already have incredibly awesome tracking software and hardware, much of it already relying on, oh yeah, lasers.  And if you're tracking a target with a laser, all it takes to hit it with another laser is to fire it down the same path.  So yeah, we're already there.  And there is no need to destroy something instantly because of just what was shown here.  All you have to do is disable the craft, gravity will do the rest.



Seriously! That was the easy part. We've been developing that tech for decades. Increasing the power of the laser and and making it robust enough to mount and use on the side of some military vehicle - that's the hard part.
 
2013-04-12 10:58:47 PM  

mongbiohazard: StrangeQ: Lando Lincoln: Even if they were able to destroy something instantaneously with a laser, they still have to develop some incredibly awesome tracking software and hardware to hit the target in the first place. It would be like hitting a hitting a bullet fired from a rifle with a laser.

Uh, here's a newsflash, chief, but we already have incredibly awesome tracking software and hardware, much of it already relying on, oh yeah, lasers.  And if you're tracking a target with a laser, all it takes to hit it with another laser is to fire it down the same path.  So yeah, we're already there.  And there is no need to destroy something instantly because of just what was shown here.  All you have to do is disable the craft, gravity will do the rest.


Seriously! That was the easy part. We've been developing that tech for decades. Increasing the power of the laser and and making it robust enough to mount and use on the side of some military vehicle - that's the hard part.


Well, there is the C-130 based ATL
 
2013-04-12 11:12:46 PM  

LesserEvil: mongbiohazard: StrangeQ: Lando Lincoln: Even if they were able to destroy something instantaneously with a laser, they still have to develop some incredibly awesome tracking software and hardware to hit the target in the first place. It would be like hitting a hitting a bullet fired from a rifle with a laser.

Uh, here's a newsflash, chief, but we already have incredibly awesome tracking software and hardware, much of it already relying on, oh yeah, lasers.  And if you're tracking a target with a laser, all it takes to hit it with another laser is to fire it down the same path.  So yeah, we're already there.  And there is no need to destroy something instantly because of just what was shown here.  All you have to do is disable the craft, gravity will do the rest.


Seriously! That was the easy part. We've been developing that tech for decades. Increasing the power of the laser and and making it robust enough to mount and use on the side of some military vehicle - that's the hard part.

Well, there is the C-130 based ATL


And the 747 based ABL. And the ground based THEL. And about a jillion NASA and astronomy projects...
 
2013-04-13 02:59:59 AM  
I love America.
 
2013-04-13 09:58:17 AM  

Uchiha_Cycliste: StoPPeRmobile: scottydoesntknow: Treygreen13: I was always excited about the day that the army would fire laser guns. I just didn't expect the world's reaction to be "IT TOOK YOU 9 SECONDS TO SHOOT SOMETHING DOWN!"

Science Fiction has spoiled everyone.

No flying car.

frankly, the average person can't handle 2 axis of freedom. If we had flying cars, I propose only I should be allowed to use them. Me and people I approve. And they should be power like a bike. That's how it should be.


As long as I get mine, I'm cool with the plan.
 
2013-04-13 10:03:15 AM  

StrangeQ: Uh, here's a newsflash, chief, but we already have incredibly awesome tracking software and hardware, much of it already relying on, oh yeah, lasers.  And if you're tracking a target with a laser, all it takes to hit it with another laser is to fire it down the same path.  So yeah, we're already there.  And there is no need to destroy something instantly because of just what was shown here.  All you have to do is disable the craft, gravity will do the rest.


I was going to say the same thing, but without being as snarky. No joke- we even have effective systems that can perform tracking of targets before we had digital computers: the Maverick missile started service in something like 1972 and used an "electro-optical tracker". I'm not sure if this is the same tech today or not, but if you're interested more in how these things work you can look up CCD (charge-coupled device) object tracking, or infrared object tracking. It's really not that hard- essentially you look for visual boundaries, and when you hit one you move away from it.
 
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