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Old 04-18-2011, 09:51 PM #1
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Default Need help settling a discussion over destructive power of a laser

Hey everyone... Long time lurker, first time poster.... (always wanted to say that).

I have been having a discussion with a friend of mine, regarding the amount of power it would take to pop a tire on a moving vehicle, essentially a method of stopping a fleeing vehicle, with no permanent damage to the vehicle, and no risk to the passengers.

He feels that it would be possible, if you got a powerful enough laser, to hit the tire and pop it. He suggested a pulse, as a direct beam would cause the tire to split.

I tossed in the argument that the laser would have to be a) focused on one spot (very difficult with a tire moving at high speeds), or would have to be so powerful, that it was capable of essentially vaporizing/rupturing the tire.

While this argument/discussion may sound silly, it all stemmed from a government sponsored contest to find a way to better stop fleeing vehicles. They are wanting affordable and implementable. I just do not think that a laser capable of what he is imagining will fit into the first, and maybe not the second category.

While I know it is possible, theoretically to create a laser that can be moved to match the tire, therefore focusing on a single point, that also would assume you are riding alongside the fleeing vehicle.

Please, laser afficionados and professionals... offer your input, and please explain your reasoning/experience level.

Am I wrong, and this is a viable solution, and entirely possible with current technology?

Or, has my friend watched one too many space movies with laser blasters?

Thanks everyone! BTW, if this should be in a different sub-forum, please let me know and I will quickly move it!

Sincerely,

Shinma22


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Old 04-18-2011, 10:36 PM #2
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Default Re: Need help settling a discussion over destructive power of a laser

with the tire spinning you will never get a pin/nail hole styled pop. also in a hand held laser this will never be done un less you are standing infront of a non moving tire...

look at what the military is doing with lasers.
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Old 04-18-2011, 10:48 PM #3
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Default Re: Need help settling a discussion over destructive power of a laser

Yeah focusing would be a nightmare. You could use a super power laser like linked above, but it would be so powerful you'd run the risk of injury, and other property damage. Its plausible, but not practical.
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Old 04-18-2011, 10:56 PM #4
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Default Re: Need help settling a discussion over destructive power of a laser

Does this settle it?
YouTube - Boeing Advanced Tactical Laser In Action
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Old 04-19-2011, 12:05 AM #5
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Default Re: Need help settling a discussion over destructive power of a laser

no way-and how do you figure it would be a way to stop a vehicle w/o possibility of harm coming to the occupants. A van was rolled a while back by pitting and thier was a child on board. Let them go and get them another day. catching them is never worth the life of an innocent.

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Old 04-19-2011, 12:20 AM #6
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Default Re: Need help settling a discussion over destructive power of a laser

^^^^^ Agreed... the day of the Clint Eastwood Cop mentality
is going by the wayside... and is too dangerous for innocent
bystanders.... (Still love his movies...LOL)
It's easier and safer to take their license number....some pictures...
and knock on their door another day (after they think they got
a way with it) while they are sleeping...


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Old 04-19-2011, 12:23 AM #7
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Default Re: Need help settling a discussion over destructive power of a laser

I think that with a laser powerful enough to quickly punch through a spinning tire, you may as well use it to put a hole in the engine which would stop the vehicle completely.
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Old 04-19-2011, 04:56 AM #8
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Default Re: Need help settling a discussion over destructive power of a laser

It would be possible to do so with a very powerful co2 or pulsed yag/ruby laser and some kind of computer controlled focusing/aiming system but it would be very likely to injure the occupants of the vehicle and/or bystanders rather than safely stop the car.
As for affordability, how does years of R&D and then tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars per system sound?
Also with a laser this powerful everybody in the area would need to wear very good safety glasses (even the people in the car), even looking at the spot where the laser hits could blind you. Not to mention the fact the laser would be HUGE (possibly several tons).
So, possible: Yes, practical: No
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Old 04-19-2011, 05:38 AM #9
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Default Re: Need help settling a discussion over destructive power of a laser

Can you please stop spamming my favourite forum.

Mods, if you need more evidence to ban, he has spammed in all these (and many more), threads.
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Old 04-19-2011, 05:58 AM #10
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Default Re: Need help settling a discussion over destructive power of a laser

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Old 04-19-2011, 08:41 PM #11
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Default Re: Need help settling a discussion over destructive power of a laser

He is now banned here and EeKbay has pulled his listings afaik.
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Old 04-19-2011, 11:13 PM #12
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Default Re: Need help settling a discussion over destructive power of a laser

I'd say it's hardly possible. Pulsed lasers will only vaporise the surface, you'd need a CW beam to penetrate the tire. This CW beam will need to be focussed on a moving target, which will spread the power across a circle on the tire. Car tyres burn instead of melting, so the heated rubber won't move out of the way for the laser to cut deeper. The power needed to cut through a tire across the whole surface is probably in the multiple kilowatts range. This assuming the focus can be kept steady on the tyre.
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Old 04-20-2011, 01:54 AM #13
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Default Re: Need help settling a discussion over destructive power of a laser

I think it would be possible using a laser of sufficient power. Even if the laser is CW and the tyre is spinning, you could cut a circular gap causing it to deflate.

Punching through in a single shot would be the other option, which would also seem possible using q-swithed yags or worse.

But would any of that be practical? I doubt it... its probably easier to shoot at the tires with a handgun than aiming a bigass laser. Any laser that can shoot a hole through a moving tyre would be pretty large - perhaps barely liftable as a shoulder mount unit.
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Old 04-20-2011, 09:15 AM #14
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Default Re: Need help settling a discussion over destructive power of a laser

A q-switched yag isn't an option, the short pulse will only vaporize the surface. The shorter the pulse, the less it penetrates. A laser of a few kW will need to be moved by a truck.
Another mayor problem is getting a good focus on a car tyre far away and keep that focus on the tyre.
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Old 04-20-2011, 01:44 PM #15
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Default Re: Need help settling a discussion over destructive power of a laser

I suppose this is just one of these things that is possible, but not practical in any way.

Surely you can set a spinning tire on fire using a 10 kW CO2 laser from quite some distance away. It doesnt really matter if you make a hole in the tyre or just set it on fire, either will result in the vehicle stopping. Lasers of this power level (and much higher) have been constructed, though they typically occupy half lab

But the other issue was safety, and i'm quite sure that it will not be safe to do this.
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Old 04-20-2011, 03:22 PM #16
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Default Re: Need help settling a discussion over destructive power of a laser

There are solid state multi kW military laser prototypes that fit into a HMMV (Humvee) truck, and are being tested for EOD work. (used to detonate IED's, and unexploded shells & bombs from a distance)

The latest laser tested by the U.S. Navy that burnt up a small boat's outboard motors could probably do it, as could the tactical battlefield laser that fires from a C-130 cargo plane and burned through the roof of that pickup truck.

However, the costs are still in the millions of dollars, and a fleeing vehicle in a police chase would present a very fleeting target to any laser on the ground.

Would you drive the truck alongside the fleeing car at 100mph?

Something like a laser that could stop fleeing cars from a police helicopter might be possible in the next 15-20 years. We're close, but not quite yet.
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