DARPA, the Pentagon tech bureau which has conferred upon a suffering human race such boons as the internet, the stealth bomber and the night-vision goggle, has finally made a bid to achieve that which humanity has yearned for above all other things. We refer, of course, to a laser weapon sufficiently portable to be carried on …
Let the tidal wave of Austin Powers comments Begin.
In your own time.....
I'm crap at maths but,
Shouldn't that be 0.25 kW output?
If you need a shark the size of a ferry, put the laser on a ferry
Russians did. They had two experimental laser gunboats on the Black sea in the 1980-es both of which delivered more punch than any of the systems currently in the US pipeline. Both got disassembled and the hulls sold for scrap after the Soviet Union dissolved so none is operational now. However, the know how and the designs are still available so if they decide to build one they should be able to do so at fairly short notice.
Not when you scale it to "100-mJ level via coherent combining".
Well the laser might be 10kg
But given DARPA's (and the Boeing laser planes) history the power source won't be.
So how much damage can something this size do, and at what range?
Forget sharks and military, with ...
... "power output of up to 2.5 kilowatts" and "weigh no more than 10kg" ... sounds ideal for industry. Laser cutting is becoming very big business, using it to cut many common materials (wood, metal, plastics etc..). Meanwhile Selective Laser Sintering 3D printers are becoming very exciting ways to make things. (They are starting to move into printing 3d metal objects).
However the major problem has so far been the lasers are not that good (low power, bloody expensive and as far as I can tell, most lasers don't last long).
This news sounds very interesting. If the laser power can be even just (i say just!) 2kw, then that would make one hell of a fast laser cutting machine. It may even become possible to simplify and improve 3d printing in metals with that kind of power.
Mmm.... 2kw laser. :)
Now please make them cheaper than a car, so we can all have small home versions of the 3d printers. :)
So would the shark...
that is carrying this FLIPS device on its head be renamed FLIPPER?
DARPA have let themselves down with this one. "Fibre Laser Pulse Source, or FILPS"? Any psychotic military general with a grain of hyperbolic naming skill would have called it FLAPS.
Anyone want to volunteer to try and fit a 10kg ray gun on the head of a great white shark?
Then again, I suspect Evil Billionaires don't really "ask" for volunteers, do they? Asking isn't really part of the Evil gene.
I feel sorry for the seals
It is well known that the main food source for killer whales is seals and the like. The method of hunting is for the whale to hurl itself up the beach and provided the aim was good and the seal did not it coming, drag it back into the water. But now, they can blast 'em where they sit. What an advancement.
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