US flying-and-exploding-stuff globocorp Boeing has announced successful tests of a mobile "rapid deployment" complete laser weapon system. Sadly the company has missed the widely accepted shark-portability standard by a huge margin. In fact, Boeing's "Re-Deployable High-Energy Laser System (RHELS)", while handy and lightweight …
RHELS a measurement of time with the Daleks..?
Next the thing with have suckers on the front and go round blasting out exterminate before destroying a target!
Mines the one with the sonic screwdriver in the pocket and the geeks guide to Dr Who.....
There is an immediate practical application for this
in re-educating tailgating drivers on the M4. Might need some modification to the bumper sticker, though "If you can't see my mirrors, I can't see you. But I can certainly turn you into a smoking crater"
If it's running on batteries, I can understand it needing that much space/weight... even a generator+fuel could be fairly hefty.
If it's a case of arriving on site and finding a handy mains socket to plug into then as the article suggests, they've got a long way to go.
Now, when will they make a solar powered version?
first rule of laser warfare
only fight on bright, cloudless days
That's the nice thing (possibly the only nice thing) about Albuquerque: it's got great weather. Clear, cloudless days with very little haze and visibility all the way to the horizon. No wonder astronomers locate so many of their telescopes in New Mexico.
However, the USAF discovered in the 60s that this is not always a good thing. When they trained their fighter pilots in these clear, calm conditions and then deployed them to cold, cloudy, wet "yurp" the silly old pilots kept flying into mountains, or otherwise crashing into large stationary objects (like the ground). Training in a place where you can see for 50 miles, then using the techniques you learned in visibility measured in feet (or metres) doesn't work.
They may be about to learn the same lesson again - that a weapon developed in and for clear skies is less effective when the clouds or sandstorms absorb all your offensive, coherent, collimated radiation.
Can it fire over a hill
Like good old fashioned artillery can?
"......mutated sea bass....."
I recall that in 2002, her Majesty was presented with a new, custom Bentley limo. According to the Toadygraph at the time, this has a "400 horsepower twin-turbot engine".
At the time I had this down as a typo. Now I'm not so sure as more evidence of powerful mutant fish just keeps on surfacing and 200hp Turbot are starting to seem quite plausible...
Big lorry in warzone =
large target for a roadside bomb or RPG.
Stop the fail truck, I want to get off ;)
Re: Can it fire over a hill?
We've already got, er, artillery for doing that job, chief.
Artillery cannot be used to intercept incoming enemy artillery fire, which is one of the most useful jobs a portable laser could do at present.
Big lorry in warzone = OK
It'll only be on the lorry whilst being delivered to a base, probably in a heavily guarded convoy (or flown there if they have a runway). This is meant as a base defense weapon, not something for driving around and shooting at things. Once on base it can be connected to any number of appropriate power supplies (local grid, emergency generators etc.) so power isn't a problem.
@ David Edwards
Why go over when you can go through? Handy for those hard-to-find underground hideouts
re: There is an immediate practical application for this
Or alternatively just pull over and let people pass.
Big gun, massive vehicle
Basically your gonna need a massive tracked vehicle to mount at least one of these lasers on, a small nuclear reactor for power, chuck in a few artillery cannons, vertical launch cruise missles and a runway for good measure and you end up with a kind of giant land going aircraft carrier/death star thing.
Build it in Europe and then the US can just go cruising around Asia very slowly speading the love. Sure hills could be a bit of a problem but you could use the laser/artillery/laser guided munitions to flatten everything infront of you on your path of destruction/mission of peace.
Now if they could just make it fly or transform into a robot.....
re: Can it fire over a hill
Of course it can. The method was illustrated on the cover of Dark Side of the Moon...
Of course there were restrictions against firing at moving targets on the range
Nobody would want to risk incinerating America's favorite rabbit inadvertently.
"I knew I should have made that left turn at Albuquerque."
A (death)Star is born . . .
Remember the earliest personal computers? 8K of RAM, "program" loaded off a cassette player, green screen . . . Commodore 64/Kaypro/Trash80?
Well they grew up after a few decades, and the performance of even a modern "cheapie" computer is more than anyone could have imagined in 1984.
Remember the first airplanes (well, no, you'll have to read about them) . . . went a whole 103 feet without crashing, needed a catapult to get going, had all of 12 horsepower.
Sixty-odd years later we went to the moon. A few orders of magnitude in performance here.
Gee, lookit the dumb-ass laser gun! Needs a big truck, bunch of guys in white coats, nasty chemicals and costs a bundle. Fries sparrows real well (as long as they're not flying).
You give this technology 50 years with Boeing/Lockheed/BAE/DARPA etc pouring in billions of dollars/pounds/yen/yuan/euros and watch what IT will do . . . oops, we disintegrated the moon by accident, sorry about that . . .
Polish your tinfoil (reflective) hats, you're gonna need 'em - and don't forget the peanut butter on the inside for insulation (chunky works better than smooth).
Check Your Orders
If you intend on ordering Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server, don't abbreviate it or you may end up with a 40 ft bug zapper in your yard.
Ray guns won't be any good until ...
... they make a Phased Plasma Rifle in the 40MW range.
Mine's the one made from organic flesh over a metal endoskeleton, thanks.
RE: Ray guns won't be any good until ...
...they stop making mirrors.
Go ahead, spend millions on a laser weapon, which can be easily defeated by simply putting a highly polished mirror-finish on whatever it is supposed to be able to destroy. For a few extra bucks, make the mirrors aimable and wipe out the laser weapon's base while you're at it.
i won't believe it works
Until it takes out a few number plate cameras....
- Hi-torque tank engines: EXTREME car hacking with The Register
- Review What's MISSING on Amazon Fire Phone... and why it WON'T set the world alight
- Product round-up Ten excellent FREE PC apps to brighten your Windows
- Product round-up Trousers down for six of the best affordable Androids
- Why did it take antivirus giants YEARS to drill into super-scary Regin? Symantec responds...