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Old 04-01-2012, 01:45 AM #1
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Default US Navy May Deploy Laser Cannons Within Just Four Years

US Navy May Deploy Laser Cannons Within Just Four Years
________________________________________
Published on RT.com
31 March, 2012, 16:44
Burning Beam Target: Us Navy May Deploy Lasers in Four Years

Edit:
Published on Wired.com - the same announcement with a bit more/different info
By Spencer Ackerman | March 30, 2012 | 4:30 pm
Navy: We're 4 Years Away From Laser Guns on Ships | Danger Room | Wired.com



This US Navy photo shows how members of the Directed Energy and Electric Weapon Systems Program Office, of Naval Sea Systems Command, fire a laser through a beam director (AFP Photo / US NAVY / Handout)
Quote:
The US Navy hopes to have operational laser cannons on their ships within the next four years. They will be used against fast-moving targets like cruise missiles, speedboats and drones.

The Navy hopes to have a working prototype for the futuristic laser weapon within two years, Wired reports
Quote:
The development comes after the Navy decided laser weapons technology is mature enough for deployment. The tipping point was last April’s test of a 15-kilowatt beam solid state laser, which managed to set afire the target ship’s engine. The target was moving at a distance of almost 2 km from the laser-equipped destroyer.
Quote:
It’s not clear how ONR’s proceeding with a relatively low-power laser will affect research of a more powerful megawatt-scale weapon under the Free Electro Laser project. The Navy hopes to develop a more powerful scalable weapon using magnets rather than a crystal as the gain medium. It could be used against heavily-armored vessels as opposed to unarmored aircraft and boats.
Quote:
Futuristic laser weapons are not the only ones the US Navy hopes to deploy. In February, ONR announced it had started testing for the first industry prototype of an electromagnetic railgun launcher. The weapon uses powerful magnetic fields to accelerate a conductive projectile to speeds of thousands of meters per second – enough to throw it hundreds of kilometers.


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Old 04-01-2012, 01:51 AM #2
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Default Re: US Navy May Deploy Laser Cannons Within Just Four Years

That is going to Awesome!
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Old 04-01-2012, 01:53 AM #3
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Default Re: US Navy May Deploy Laser Cannons Within Just Four Years

And the age of laser wars begin...
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Old 04-01-2012, 03:14 AM #4
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Default Re: US Navy May Deploy Laser Cannons Within Just Four Years

magnets as a gain medium instead of crystals, i havent seen any clear magnets before
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Old 04-01-2012, 03:22 AM #5
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Default Re: US Navy May Deploy Laser Cannons Within Just Four Years

They are probably getting them from WickedLasers.
This must be the fabled "Mantis."

Anyone down for a GB?
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Old 04-01-2012, 03:28 AM #6
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Default Re: US Navy May Deploy Laser Cannons Within Just Four Years

This looks like a FEL and not your typical laser. Wiki; "Free Electron Laser" for explanation of basics.
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Old 04-01-2012, 03:44 AM #7
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Default Re: US Navy May Deploy Laser Cannons Within Just Four Years

Must take some massive juice to run that baby.
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Old 04-01-2012, 11:57 AM #8
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Default Re: US Navy May Deploy Laser Cannons Within Just Four Years

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave934 View Post
Must take some massive juice to run that baby.
Not much of a problem on a ship however, they already have dozens of megawatts of engine power available for propulsion, and cooling isn't much of an issue either when surrounded by free coolant


I have my doubts about

"a megawatt beam would burn through 20 feet of steel in a single second."

though.
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Old 04-02-2012, 09:12 AM #9
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Lightbulb Re: US Navy May Deploy Laser Cannons Within Just Four Years

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gryphon View Post
magnets as a gain medium instead of crystals, i havent seen any clear magnets before
right... this technology uses Microwaves to create a stream of electrons. The light is created by bunching the electrons together via N|S|N|S| alternating magnetic polarity.
The bunching results in photons that can be emitted in varying degrees of wavelengths.

"To create a FEL, a beam of electrons is accelerated to almost the speed of light. The beam passes through the FEL oscillator, a periodic transverse magnetic field produced by an arrangement of magnets with alternating poles within a optical cavity along the beam path. This array of magnets is sometimes called an undulator, or a "wiggler", because it forces the electrons in the beam to follow a sinusoidal path. The acceleration of the electrons along this path results in the release of photons (synchrotron radiation). Since the electron motion is in phase with the field of the light already emitted, the fields add together coherently. Whereas conventional undulators would cause the electrons to radiate independently, instabilities in the electron beam resulting from the interactions of the oscillations of electrons in the undulators and the radiation they emit leads to a bunching of the electrons, which continue to radiate in phase with each other.[4] The wavelength of the light emitted can be readily tuned by adjusting the energy of the electron beam or the magnetic field strength of the undulators." quote from FEL project WIKI.
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