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Old 08-15-2009, 08:51 PM #1
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Default Boeing Airborne Laser

Edwards Air Force Base Aug. 13, 2009
"The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA], industry teammates and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency on Aug. 10 successfully completed the Airborne Laser's (ABL) first in-flight test against an instrumented target missile, achieving a historic milestone. During the test, the modified Boeing 747-400F aircraft took off from Edwards Air Force Base and used its infrared sensors to find a target missile launched from San Nicolas Island, Calif. The Boeing-developed battle management system aboard ABL then issued engagement and target location instructions to the beam control/fire control system, which acquired the target and fired its two solid-state illuminator lasers to track the target and measure atmospheric conditions. ABL then fired a surrogate high-energy laser at the target, simulating a missile intercept. Instrumentation on the target verified that the surrogate high-energy laser hit the target."

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Boeing Airborne Laser Team Completes 1st Airborne Test Against Instrumented Target Missile





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i wonder how long it will be until we until we apply this to shoot at other jets and not just missiles. just dropping them out of the sky.

nerds & their lasers... (shakes head)

the human race is definitely going to kill it self.


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Old 08-15-2009, 09:14 PM #2
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Default Re: Boeing Airborne Laser

Wow. I remember seeing the diagrams for this thing, and internal photos. I didn't even know they were actually testing it. That's pretty darn substantial, a successful testing
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Old 08-15-2009, 11:04 PM #3
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Default Re: Boeing Airborne Laser

I wonder when they'll get the first shots with the real thing though... should be very impressive to see it actually blow up a missile in full flight.
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Old 08-16-2009, 07:18 AM #4
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Default Re: Boeing Airborne Laser

Kinda scares me though, it once again... reminds me of that movie Real Genius with Val Kilmer. Lase a target from space/high altitude. Global assasinations I know, I know, it's not like that, but... it could be :S
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Old 08-16-2009, 09:02 AM #5
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Default Re: Boeing Airborne Laser

The most important thing that it could do would be to stop a rogue nuke.
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Old 08-16-2009, 06:13 PM #6
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Default Re: Boeing Airborne Laser

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Originally Posted by Doofus View Post
Kinda scares me though, it once again... reminds me of that movie Real Genius with Val Kilmer. Lase a target from space/high altitude. Global assasinations I know, I know, it's not like that, but... it could be :S
It would surely be capable of killing a person from large altitude, and he'd never see it coming since the beam is infrared (1315 nm if its a COIL or other iodine based laser).

On the other hand, it would be very expensive to use it for such purposes. Apart from just having to fly that 747 (aviation fuels is counted in tonnes), this type of laser uses quite a lot of chemicals. I'm not sure what the cost-per-shot would be, but i think its more expensive than just dropping a bomb.
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Old 08-16-2009, 06:19 PM #7
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Talking Re: Boeing Airborne Laser

Oh, great ..... now, if some idiot point a laser at an airplane, the pilot can counter-attack and fry the idiot on-the-fly .....

(j/k, or at least i hope )
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Old 08-16-2009, 08:02 PM #8
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Default Re: Boeing Airborne Laser

wonder what kind of range these things have?
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Old 08-17-2009, 02:00 AM #9
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Default Re: Boeing Airborne Laser

These have a range of a few miles if i remember correctly-- there was an episode with this in it-- Modern Marvels unusual weapons
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Old 08-17-2009, 03:36 AM #10
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Default Re: Boeing Airborne Laser

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Originally Posted by Benm View Post
It would surely be capable of killing a person from large altitude, and he'd never see it coming since the beam is infrared (1315 nm if its a COIL or other iodine based laser).

On the other hand, it would be very expensive to use it for such purposes. Apart from just having to fly that 747 (aviation fuels is counted in tonnes), this type of laser uses quite a lot of chemicals. I'm not sure what the cost-per-shot would be, but i think its more expensive than just dropping a bomb.
Actually they have the ATL - Advanced Tactical Laser - for that sort of thing. And unlike the ABL, the ATL didn't have its budget severely cut earlier this year, so that is still on track to eventually be deployed. Unfortunately, the ABL is nothing but an R&D project for now.

The ATL can fit into smaller aircraft and is less powerful, but supposedly has more than enough power to destroy certain vehicles and other ground targets, ignite fires, and of course, torch terrorists. I'd love to see that in action blowing up a ground target like a vehicle or something!
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Old 08-17-2009, 05:34 PM #11
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Default Re: Boeing Airborne Laser

Interesting...I just read an article about a month ago that said that Obama was going to stop the funds for this. He said it was a waist of Government (Taxpayers) money.
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Old 08-18-2009, 12:48 AM #12
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Default Re: Boeing Airborne Laser

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wonder what kind of range these things have?
They wont give a precise range for it, but they admit it has a range within the hundreds of kilometers!
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Old 08-18-2009, 03:20 AM #13
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Default Re: Boeing Airborne Laser

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Interesting...I just read an article about a month ago that said that Obama was going to stop the funds for this. He said it was a waist of Government (Taxpayers) money.
What I understand is that they are going to continue to fund development and work on the existing ABL, but they plan on killing the funding needed to build another identical laser plane.
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Old 08-20-2009, 02:02 AM #14
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Default Re: Boeing Airborne Laser

I wonder when we'll see these planes broken on eBay to harvest the lasers
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Old 08-21-2009, 04:47 AM #15
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Default Re: Boeing Airborne Laser

Check out this article with a cool pic I just found (of course it's only a red test beam and not the actual IR beam, but it still looks neat) of the ABL's optics:
Airborne Laser sticks to test regimen | Cutting Edge - CNET News

I wonder what's the power of that red laser? Either it's a long exposure or that's pretty powerful in itself!
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Old 08-21-2009, 08:00 AM #16
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Talking Re: Boeing Airborne Laser

Well, this means "playing with mirrors", i guess, LOL
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