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US Navy Laser Weapons

 
 
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Old 04-11-2011, 10:09 AM   #1 (permalink)
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US Navy Laser Weapons

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-13034521

Bad guys - be afraid, be very afraid. And stop being bad.
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Old 04-11-2011, 10:45 AM   #2 (permalink)
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That's nice. Now if they can only get the bad guys to stop so that the beam stays in the same position long enough they might have something.
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Old 04-11-2011, 06:17 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Marmot
That's nice. Now if they can only get the bad guys to stop so that the beam stays in the same position long enough they might have something.
I don't think that's much of problem.... If you put enough energy on a target it couldn't move fast enough for it matter. If they can blow missiles out of the sky, they can hit a boat even if the motion isn't totally predictable.
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Old 04-11-2011, 07:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Or aim the damm laser at the bad guys and keep the motor for our use!
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Old 04-12-2011, 12:27 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Marmot
That's nice. Now if they can only get the bad guys to stop so that the beam stays in the same position long enough they might have something.
No need. The laser tracks the target like the main gun on an M1 tank.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tsgkZjVAoHg


Have to wonder what it would do if they aimed it at the pirate at the wheel of a pirate boat rather than the engine.
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Old 04-12-2011, 06:14 AM   #6 (permalink)
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"No need" "Not much problem"

C'mon guys, an off the shelf industrial laser can do what that video clip shows, and many of them can do it in much less time.

If a defense contractor had something worth a pile of our tax dollars they would have shown that boat going full speed trying to evade a beam that would neutralize it as quickly as a burst from a good old fashioned (and very low cost)gun.

Beware the poorly demonstrated GeeWhiz crap coming from people who want your tax money.
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Old 04-13-2011, 07:01 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Marmot
"No need" "Not much problem"

C'mon guys, an off the shelf industrial laser can do what that video clip shows, and many of them can do it in much less time.

If a defense contractor had something worth a pile of our tax dollars they would have shown that boat going full speed trying to evade a beam that would neutralize it as quickly as a burst from a good old fashioned (and very low cost)gun.

Beware the poorly demonstrated GeeWhiz crap coming from people who want your tax money.

They demonstrated that they could do it from miles away. No industrial laser can do that, keeping the beam controlled and projecting that much energy that far and keeping it on target is actually quite impressive. And no gun is going to be able to hit a bobbing target at a range of a few hundred yards, let alone from a distance of miles away.

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Graeme Gibbon-Brooks, the head of Dryad Maritime Intelligence, said the test was "remarkable" for how the Navy was able to concentrate the beam over such a long distance at sea, and given how the boat was being tossed about in rough water.

"Hats off to the U.S. Navy because that is very, very impressive," he said. "It was pitching and rolling and yet they got this very fine beam to focus on one part of an engine casing. That they managed to keep the energy in one place is remarkable."
Ok, it isn't fully developed, but this demo is enough to get peoples attention. I think it's pretty impressive. I also don't think tracking is a problem, you could focus a pointer on it and it will go where you tell it too. Moving target isn't much of a problem.
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Old 04-13-2011, 10:58 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Grecko
They demonstrated that they could do it from miles away. No industrial laser can do that, keeping the beam controlled and projecting that much energy that far and keeping it on target is actually quite impressive. And no gun is going to be able to hit a bobbing target at a range of a few hundred yards, let alone from a distance of miles away.
Perhaps you are not old enough to remember HMS HOOD.

(Range approx 25,000 yards)

http://www.warship.org/no21987.htm
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Old 04-13-2011, 11:18 PM   #9 (permalink)
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No industrial laser can do that
You sir, are very wrong. After years working with many types of industrial lasers, I can assure you, it is indeed possible. It is not so much the power, but the optics of the device.
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Old 04-14-2011, 07:23 AM   #10 (permalink)
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What makes you think they can't accurately shoot a strong laser from a boat? Having a bit of knowledge about certain programs, I can tell you this: There is already an airborne laser system that is capable of tracking missiles, satellites, etc, and it is also capable of hitting these targets with remarkable accuracy. The amount of energy transferred is astounding, and often leads to near vaporization.
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Old 04-14-2011, 07:51 AM   #11 (permalink)
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What makes you think they can't accurately shoot a strong laser from a boat?

No body here has said a strong laser can't be accurately shot from a boat.

I implied that the laser shown in the video is so weak it required a very long time (on a weapon's time scale) for it to light up a fiberglass surface on a nearly stationary target.

As a demo it is really lame. As a weapon, if that is the best they can do, a single conventional gun could do a better job much faster against a rapidly maneuvering target in smoke, fog, and rain for a microscopic portion of what it cost just to make that silly gee whiz flick.

I think a couple of freshman engineering students could duplicate what we saw in the video. Just buy a used industrial laser on Ebay and set fire to an old outboard floating nearby.

Like I wrote before, show it stopping that same boat maneuvering to evade at a range of 400 meters or more and if it costs less than a machine gun you might have something. Until then it sure looks like just another scam to suck up defense money.
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Old 04-14-2011, 07:54 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Old Phart
Perhaps you are not old enough to remember HMS HOOD.

(Range approx 25,000 yards)

http://www.warship.org/no21987.htm
A battleship is not a small "bobbing target". It is moving up and down, but the amount of movement in the up and down direction isn't as great, relative to the size of the target. And yes large marine guns have been able to accurately hit other large ships for over 75 years. When the CEP (circular error probabilty) gets smaller than the target, you get a hit. What these guys are demonstrating is a CEP of a few inches so that they can hit a small target in a specific spot with a beam of energy and that is much more difficult than just hitting a battleship somewhere.

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Originally Posted by ScotL
You sir, are very wrong. After years working with many types of industrial lasers, I can assure you, it is indeed possible. It is not so much the power, but the optics of the device.
Sorry, I was not aware that industrial lasers could do that. The industrial lasers that I am familar with can burn a small hole in a target at a very specific distance. To burn an area the size of a softball (or larger) at a distance of two miles or more is a lot more power and optical capability than I am familiar with. We regularly burn through superalloys, but it takes multiple shots to burn a .020 inch diameter hole through .050 inches of material. To burn a much bigger hole through an outboard motor cover and light it off seems to me to be a lot of energy. The size of the hole you burn is directly related to the power applied to the target. Burning a pinhole or cutting metal is very different than burning a big area that is thousands of times larger. I don't know of any industrial lasers that that can burn that big a hole in a target. In some literature Northrup Grumman is building a 100kw laser, which is a lot more power than any industrial laser I've ever seen or heard of.
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Old 04-14-2011, 08:06 AM   #13 (permalink)
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZPKJ9TEzDA

No atmospheric correction needed on the seas, so it won't be a problem. They can target the motors on a boat and disable the vessel easily.
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Old 04-14-2011, 01:27 PM   #14 (permalink)
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No atmospheric correction needed on the seas, so it won't be a problem.
Oh geez! Just because you sound like a lobbyist doesn't mean the rest of us here are as dumb as congressmen!

I see you need to do some minor league review of the literature on the effects of atmospheric instability and aerosols on high energy laser transmission.
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Old 04-16-2011, 05:19 PM   #15 (permalink)
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The concept's been tried for what, 30 years? More?

The Tomahawk (and his buddies) still has the advantage of not being defeated by $1 smoke grenade. Not to mention old adage of "all-weather fire support not working in bad weather".

Besides, the EF of energy transfer through atmosphere via lasers is just appalling, which creates it's own set of practical problems (awkward power requirements, heat generation and so on). Weapons history knows countless multitudes of x-weapons that produced nice show but never quite made it to the line.
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