Thanks for that...
"Pew pew pew pew pew pew WARNING OVERHEAT WARNING Aw jeez"
<--- See icon. I'm easily amused.
Mmmm, nasally exhaled tea...
A long-running US military project aimed at producing a "refrigerator sized" laser raygun capable of being mounted on US combat aircraft has received further funding of just under $40m. Concept graphic showings the High Energy Liquid Laser Area Defense System (HELLADS) in action. Credit: DARPA The raygun bomber force knew …
"phase change heatsink technology" means that parts of the heatsink will melt or boil. A far more practical approach would be to aim a couple of watts at an enemy pilot. Normally, blinding enemy pilots is considered naughty, but if the defence contract gets big enough I am sure such niceties will be forgotten.
Yes but, ... so are cluster bombs, landmines, and use of white phosphorous against people, but that hasn't stopped any of the major powers from using them when they felt it would be handy.
In fact, take a gander at which countries steadfastly refuse to ratify bans on same, and you might have a hint as to who might find it rather jolly to employ it on occasion
Moderators, can we nuke all the idiots who always respond to any story about laser weapons with "Hurr-durr, I'll puts me a mirror on my stuffs, hurr-durr-derp!"
Mirrors are NOT 100% reflective. Wide-frequency mirrors are usually doing good to be 90% reflective, and that 10% that they absorb will cause them to become a whole lot less reflective than 90% in a real hurry (as in milliseconds!). The high reflectivity mirrors used in the lasers themselves are specialized dichrotic mirrors that are quite mechanically fragile - they wouldn't last 5 minutes on the outside of ANYTHING. And putting them in a "fake tank" won't work, as the products of melting the "fake tank" will prevent the mirrors from working.
So again, mods: Can we just nuke these silly posters?
(what am I saying: they've not nuked AnIdiotFromMars[0-n] so why should I expect them to bother.)
If it bounces back 90% and is rapidly wrecked by the remainder, the amount returned to the source should be adequate to wreck that. The gadget on the ground can be much more robust, have more thermal mass, etc. It's also very much simpler. If it can be wrecked in milliseconds, so can the source, which has lots of complex bits in it.
Obviously the camouflage will be designed to not interfere with the beam too much as it gets blasted - it might take a bit of testing to find the right material, but it's hardly impossible.
whether really thick blocks of cooled, highly polished, solid aluminium would do (can reach 95% reflectivity, going up to 99% in infrared). They might last long enough to do serious damage.
Now that would be a cool set-up.
Having said that, scattering by dust and vapour droplets (clouds, steam) hinder lasers, though infrared is much less affected.
Mirrors are NOT 100% reflective.
"specialized dichrotic mirrors"
If you mean dichromic that's the kind of mirror that splits the IR generated in a cinema projector away from the visible light used to illuminate the film. The "di" means 2 in Latin, not in dye. They are quite robust.
The mirrors in lasers reflect from roughly 97% to above 99%. precise thicknesses of conductors and non conductors. Usually vacuum deposited.
"Anti-reflective" coatings are also interference based and rely on the same technology. Since they are incorporated in camera lenses and sun glasses I'd say they are fairly rugged.
To the various posters commenting upon "fridge sized":
I'd suggest you look up the sizes of the M61A1 Vulcan 20mm pod and the GAU-8A Avenger (used in the A10-A Thunderbolt 2, a.k.a. Warthog).
Hey, if the laser dissipates more heat internally than it sends into its beam - and it can be refrigerated to take care of that... then, a mirror that reflects 90% of what got into the beam can certainly be refrigerated to take care of the 10% that didn't get reflected.
They did this in a Stargate SG-1 episode.
Anubis was firing a laser beam through the gate to destroy Stargate Command. The USAF had a metal plate covering the gate that was supposed to protect against gunfire and light weapons, but the beam was melting it. They spent a good part of the episode hosing it down with liquid nitrogen, but the alien's technology was well enough to sustain the beam indefinitely. In the end they had to have the gate lifted out of the base and flung into space.
The trouble with super duper weapons is that they are seldom able to resist the soldier armed with a pointed stick. Our lack of success in the two and a half kinetic police actions we are presently conducting demonstrates this. So just scatter the home runway with caltrops, blow the aircraft's tyres, and watch it self destruct as it goes off the end of the runway. The only good thing about the airborne laser is the cooling system. With careful design this could echo the Vickers medium machine gun which was water cooled. In the stress of acton the water would boil and the crew could enjoy a refreshing cup of tea.
Paris because...just because.
The laser fridge may only weigh 750kg when empty but how much is it going to weigh once the pilots have filled it with beer? They will you know.
Of course I suppose that amount of cold beer could help with the cooling problems when they fire the thing.
I'll get my (beer filled) coat now
cool! the ideal platform for this will be DARPAs new blimp that stays aloft for weeks, then automate refueling with hi altitude helicopters or mars lander type cargo pods and run the whole thing from Nevada for months or years or centuries or until someone else makes a laser that can shoot it down.
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