Beam weapons almost ready for battle


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Preacherman
January 12, 2006, 09:23 PM
From MSNBC (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10805240/):

Beam weapons almost ready for battle

Directed energy could revolutionize warfare, expert says

By Leonard David
Senior space writer
Space.com

Updated: 12:10 p.m. ET Jan. 11, 2006

LOS ALAMOS, N.M. - There is a new breed of weaponry fast approaching — and at the speed of light, no less. They are labeled "directed-energy weapons," and they may well signal a revolution in military hardware — perhaps more so than the atomic bomb.

Directed-energy weapons take the form of lasers, high-powered microwaves and particle beams. Their adoption for ground, air, sea, and space warfare depends not only on using the electromagnetic spectrum, but also upon favorable political and budgetary wavelengths too.

That’s the outlook of J. Douglas Beason, author of the recently published book "The E-Bomb: How America’s New Directed Energy Weapons Will Change the Way Wars Will Be Fought in the Future." Beason previously served on the White House staff working for the president’s science adviser under both the Bush and Clinton administrations.

After more than two decades of research, the United States is on the verge of deploying a new generation of weapons that discharge beams of energy, such as the Airborne Laser and the Active Denial System, as well as the Tactical High Energy Laser, or THEL.

"History has shown that, without investment in high technology, fighting the next war will be done using the 'last war' type of technique," Beason told Space.com. Putting money into basic and long-range research is critical, Beason said, adding: "You can’t always schedule breakthroughs."

A leading expert in directed-energy research for 26 years, Beason is also director of threat reduction here at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. However, he noted that he was expressing his own views rather than the policy of the laboratory, the Defense Department or the Energy Department.

Ripe for transformation?

Though considerable work has been done in lasers, high-power microwaves and other directed-energy technologies, weaponization is still an ongoing process.

For example, work is continuing in the military’s Airborne Laser program. It utilizes a megawatt-class, high-energy chemical oxygen iodine laser toted skyward aboard a modified Boeing 747-400 aircraft. Purpose of the program is to enable the detection, tracking and destruction of ballistic missiles in the boost phase, or powered part of their flight.

Similarly, testing of the U.S. Army’s Tactical High Energy Laser in White Sands, N.M., has shown the ability of heating high-flying rocket warheads, blasting them with enough energy to make them self-detonate. THEL uses a high-energy, deuterium fluoride chemical laser. A mobile THEL also demonstrated the ability to kill multiple mortar rounds.

Then there’s Active Denial Technology — a non-lethal way to use millimeter-wave electromagnetic energy to stop, deter and turn back an advancing adversary. This technology, supported by the U.S. Marines, uses a beam of millimeter waves to heat a foe’s skin, causing severe pain without damage, and making the adversary flee the scene.

Beason also pointed to new exciting research areas underway at the Los Alamos National Laboratory: Free-electron laser work with the Navy and a new type of directed energy that operates in the terahertz region.

Niche for new technology

While progress in directed-energy is appreciable, Beason sees two upfront problems in moving the technology forward. One issue has to do with "convincing the warfighter that there’s a niche for this new type of weapon," and the other relates to making sure these new systems are not viewed as a panacea to solve all problems. "They are only another tool," he said.

Looming even larger is the role of those who acquire new weapons. "The U.S. could put ourselves in a very disastrous position if we allow our acquisition officials to be non-technically competent," Beason explained.

Over the decades, Beason said that the field of directed-energy has had its share of "snake-oil salesmen", as well as those advocates who overpromised. "It wasn’t ready for prime time."

At present, directed-energy systems "are barely limping along with enough money just to prove that they can work," Beason pointed out. Meanwhile, huge slugs of money are being put into legacy-type systems to keep them going.

"It’s a matter of priority," Beason said. The time is now to identify high-payoff, directed-energy projects for the smallest amounts of money, he said.

Unknown unknowns

In Beason’s view, Active Denial Technology, the Airborne Laser program and the THEL project, as well as supporting technologies such as relay mirrors, are all works in progress that give reason for added support and priority funding.

"I truly believe that as the Airborne Laser goes, so goes the rest of the nation’s directed-energy programs. Right now, it’s working on the margin. I believe that there are still ‘unknown unknowns’ out there that are going to occur in science and technology. We think we have the physics defined. We think we have the engineering defined. But something always goes wrong … and we’re working too close at the margin," Beason said.

Stepwise demonstration programs that spotlight directed-energy weapon systems are needed, Beason noted. Such in-the-field displays could show off greater beam distance-to-target runs, mobility of hardware, ease-of-operation, battlefield utility and other attributes.

Directed-energy technologies can offer a range of applications, from botching up an enemy’s electronics to performing "dial-up" destructive strikes at the speed of light with little or no collateral damage.

Beason said he has a blue-sky idea of his own, which he tags "the voice from heaven." By tuning the resonance of a laser onto Earth’s ionosphere, you can create audible frequencies. Like some boom box in the sky, the laser-produced voice could bellow from above down to the target below: "Put down your weapons."

Relay mirrors

Regarding use of directed-energy space weapons, Beason advised that "we’ll eventually see it."

However, present-day systems are far too messy. Most high-powered chemical lasers — in the megawatt-class — require onboard fuels and oxidizers to crank out the amount of energy useful for strategic applications. Stability of such a laser system rooted in space is also wanting.

On the other hand, Beason said he expected to see the rise of more efficient lasers — especially solid-state laser systems. "What breakthroughs are needed … I’m not sure. Eventually, I think it’s going to happen, but it is going to be a generation after the battlefield lasers."

Shooting beams "through space" is another matter, Beason quickly added. Space-based relay mirrors — even high-altitude airships equipped with relay mirrors — can direct ground-based or air-based laser beams nearly around the world, he said.

"So you’re using space … exploiting it. But you are going through space to attack anywhere on Earth," Beason said.

History lesson

Late last year, speaking before the Heritage Foundation in Washington, Beason told his audience that laser energy, the power sources and beam control, as well as knowledge about how laser beams interact with Earth’s atmosphere, are quite mature technologies that are ready for the shift into front-line warfare status.

"The good news is that directed energy exists. Directed energy is being tested, and within a few years directed energy is going to be deployed upon the battlefield," Beason reported. "But the bad news is that acquisition policies right now in this nation are one more gear toward evolutionary practices rather than revolutionary practices."

"Visionaries win wars … and not bureaucrats. We’ve seen this through history," Beason observed.

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Car Knocker
January 12, 2006, 09:24 PM
"Bean" weapons??????????????

Been eating at Taco Bell again?

May want to change the thread title.

starfuryzeta
January 12, 2006, 09:27 PM
I thought nerve agents were pretty much outlawed. :neener:

FPrice
January 12, 2006, 09:27 PM
"Bean" weapons??????????????

Been eating at Taco Bell again?

May want to change the thread title.

That was my first thought also....gas warfare.

:what:

shermacman
January 12, 2006, 09:34 PM
I think bean weapons will always be a part of human warfare. From Silent But Deadly to window rattling blasts, the end result is the same: combatants fleeing like cock-a-roaches from the scene.

Preacherman
January 12, 2006, 09:34 PM
:D

OK, guys, thanks for the heads-up. Spelling mistake corrected.

:p

sm
January 12, 2006, 09:42 PM
Gives a whole new meaning to Beam me up Scotty.

Oh Shut up! I just beat Preacher is all. :D

Okay is this beam akin to Diamonds Are Forever?

Great, we got a need for James Bond and we gotta anti gun wuss playing the part.

So all these space stations /satellites have other real uses I guess.

Hey , from the folks next to Area 51. Who'd a thunk it - huh?

Maybe that is what George Bush Sr. meant by a "single point of light" in them speeches of his...considering what he was doing before being President...

Okay I have stirred enough thoughts for now...

Standing Wolf
January 12, 2006, 09:48 PM
"Visionaries win wars … and not bureaucrats. We’ve seen this through history," Beason observed.

New technologies + Tired old thinking = More land wars in Asia

That said™, if it means fewer Americans end up dying, I'm all in favor of it.

rero360
January 12, 2006, 10:36 PM
hmm... sounds like star wars to me, does this mean I get a wookie to follow me around and rip the arms off of people that I don't like? sounds good to me, bring on princess lea:evil:

all kidding aside, I think we're going to have to have a jump in power storage devise technology before we see anyhing like that on the battlefield, at least in the hands of the individual soldier.

mbs357
January 12, 2006, 11:07 PM
I've been hearing that battery technology had been increasing rather well lately.

Logistics
January 12, 2006, 11:36 PM
These weapons ARE already in preliminary use in some elite special forces units. T&E is being done as we speak!

Slotback
January 13, 2006, 12:13 AM
I wonder if that plane carrying Iran's top generals wasn't a test target.

ForGreatJustice
January 13, 2006, 12:26 AM
Yeah..it's definitely time. DEW attacks are more common than you think. Ever since commanders realized that tactical and ranging lasers were harmful to human eyesight, they've been unofficially deployed with that secondary purpose in mind. I believe China has a laser specifically designed to permanently incapacitate both optics and human eyes.

Parker Dean
January 13, 2006, 01:35 AM
So let's see here, in the last couple of weeks we've had articles talking about Warp Drives being tested in the next few years, the successful test of a new low-speed space drive, and now Directed Energy Weapons.

Almost makes you wonder if we're not being "prepared" for something.

Chrontius
January 13, 2006, 03:15 AM
Welcome to the Singularity, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technological_singularity) folks. I suggest a quick perusal of Snow Crash (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0553380958/qid=1137135963/sr=8-1/ref=pd_bbs_1/002-2325362-1740014?n=507846&s=books&v=glance) and The Diamond Age (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0553380966/qid=1137136030/sr=8-1/ref=pd_bbs_1/002-2325362-1740014?n=507846&s=books&v=glance) (there's a discount if you buy both together) and when it comes out on DVD, watching Odyssey 5 (the unofficial heir to The X Files' throne, as-yet-uncompleted but likely to see a movie, much like Firefly and Serenity) to see how far it's likely to go in our lifetimes.

Even if I'm full of it, all three of those are quite entertaining.

pete f
January 13, 2006, 04:15 AM
remember a few months ago and a attempted piracy of a cruise liner, they used a sound beam to disable the attackers. it is here and being used.

Colinear sound and microwave energy is simply the laser principle adapted to other wavelenghts. by eliminating scatter, it is possible to direct sound in a way that is true astounding. imagine taking a single person in a ball game and making them hear what you are saying and no one else can? think you could drive people NUTS doing that? In grad school we had preliminary units where we could talk to one person in a room and no one else would hear it. but we were limited in range and power. Imagine now being able to focus all the energy of a Led Zep concert into a beam only one person could hear, It would be truly mind blowing. in that your head could explode.

colinear heat waves or microwaves have been shown to work to. On NOVA once, they were showing micro waves being managed to cook a steak on aplate from many yard away all the while other people were just sitting there as if nothing was happening. They also showed it being used for crown control, beaming it in to a crowd of "attackers" the person being "nuked" would stop for a second and then dive or the ground trying to get away from the heat source. As soon as a person leaves the beam the heat goes away. supposedly no harm done.

solareclipse
January 13, 2006, 04:29 AM
how long before i can get one of those off the shelf? getting bored of the 223 and 308 :rolleyes:

LAK
January 13, 2006, 04:33 AM
Directed energy could revolutionize warfare, expert says
It could also revolutionize the way some governments deal with foreign and domestic organized dissent and civil unrest ;)

--------------------------------------
http://ussliberty.org
http://ssunitedstates.org

El Tejon
January 13, 2006, 08:45 AM
May The Force be with you, young Skywalker.

hillbilly
January 13, 2006, 08:58 AM
The laws will be way behind these things.

If flamethrowers aren't "firearms" and thus not regulated by the BATFE, then neither will these things.

There will be lag time between the final development of these and rules and laws governing their possession.

Stock up then!!!

hillbilly

TallPine
January 13, 2006, 11:14 AM
I'm sure the SWAT teams can't wait to get their hands on this stuff :uhoh:

jamz
January 13, 2006, 12:14 PM
They didn't mention the ultra-effective Jim Beam weapon that makes the troops all silly and uncoordinated when used en masse.

"Fire for effect!"

:p

James

hillbilly
January 13, 2006, 12:30 PM
jamz, Didn't Jim Beam, working in cahoots with some ladies, actually try to KILL somebody back in 19 and 73?

hillbilly

benEzra
January 13, 2006, 01:20 PM
One interesting thought...in one of the more recently written Bolo books, it was stated (in fictional retrospect) that the development of high-power directed energy weapons (the fictional Hellbores) made the tactic of vertical envelopment obsolete, since no aircraft or helicopter could carry enough armor to stand up to a Hellbore, and since it was a speed-of-light weapon, no aircraft could avoid being hit. Hence, the only way to dominate the battlefield in a high-energy beam weapon environment was to field heavily armored ground based mobile systems--giant tanks, the Bolos--with enough armor to stand up to the energy weapons while carrying enough offensive firepower themselves to defeat opposing systems. Once such a tank was on the ground, even orbiting spacecraft were vulnerable as soon as they cleared the tank's horizon.

We're not all that far from that scenario. If beam weapons powerful enough to shoot down aircraft and missiles become a reality, and they are small enough to be mobile, then the tank may again become king of the battlefield. A 5-megawatt laser will quickly take out an aircraft, but it's not going to do much to a 50-ton MBT, as long as fuel and ammo aren't stored externally and sensors are retractable. And if that 50-ton (or 100-ton, or 200-ton) tank carries a couple of 20-megawatt beam weapons, close-in defenses, and antipersonnel weapons, there's not much that could threaten it. (Except maybe another tank.)

Pilot
January 13, 2006, 03:58 PM
So let's see here, in the last couple of weeks we've had articles talking about Warp Drives being tested in the next few years, the successful test of a new low-speed space drive, and now Directed Energy Weapons.

Almost makes you wonder if we're not being "prepared" for something.

Yeah, we are being "prepared". For another season of Star Trek re-runs.

kjeff50cal
January 13, 2006, 04:55 PM
Yeah, we are being "prepared". For another season of Star Trek re-runs.

Live long and prosper, buy tech-stocks \\V//.

kjeff50cal

KriegHund
January 13, 2006, 05:02 PM
One word-

Batteries.

redneck2
January 13, 2006, 05:13 PM
Will my tinfoil hat reflect these beams?

middy
January 13, 2006, 05:47 PM
Beason said he has a blue-sky idea of his own, which he tags "the voice from heaven." By tuning the resonance of a laser onto Earth’s ionosphere, you can create audible frequencies. Like some boom box in the sky, the laser-produced voice could bellow from above down to the target below: "Put down your weapons."
*ahem* is it on? oh!
Put down your weapons! This is Allah!
*snicker* *giggle* shut up! *ahem*
Like I said, this is Allah. Put down your weapons. Americans are your friends.
That's right, now put up your hands and walk slowly toward the American soldiers. We -uh- They're nice guys, really.
Well done my sons. I am proud of you.
Oh, by the way, pork, shellfish, and booze are now officially OK.
*bwahahaha* shut up! *heeheeheehee*

KriegHund
January 13, 2006, 05:50 PM
*ahem* is it on? oh!
Put down your weapons! This is Allah!
*snicker* *giggle* shut up! *ahem*
Like I said, this is Allah. Put down your weapons. Americans are your friends.
That's right, now put up your hands and walk slowly toward the American soldiers. We -uh- They're nice guys, really.
Well done my sons. I am proud of you.
Oh, by the way, pork, shellfish, and booze are now officially OK.
*bwahahaha* shut up! *heeheeheehee*

ROFL
That was the funniest thing ive heard ina long while....

Oh man...

Imagine the pyops capabilites with that...play screeching music 24/7 over enemy camps.

Cosmoline
January 13, 2006, 05:59 PM
Meh. I've been reading this sort of thing for 20 years. The problems with beam weapons have always been their extreme power requirements, their sensitivity to atmospheric conditions, and their fragile nature. They work fine in certain industrial applications, but not when it comes to blasting things out of the air. It's the wrong tool for the wrong job, and most of the billions wasted on these projects has been a direct result of too much sci fi on the brain. People just *ASSUME* we will be moving to beam weapons because that's what's been on the cover of the pulps since the 1940's.

Krenn
January 13, 2006, 06:08 PM
One interesting thought...in one of the more recently written Bolo books, it was stated (in fictional retrospect) that the development of high-power directed energy weapons (the fictional Hellbores) made the tactic of vertical envelopment obsolete, since no aircraft or helicopter could carry enough armor to stand up to a Hellbore, and since it was a speed-of-light weapon, no aircraft could avoid being hit. Hence, the only way to dominate the battlefield in a high-energy beam weapon environment was to field heavily armored ground based mobile systems--giant tanks, the Bolos--with enough armor to stand up to the energy weapons while carrying enough offensive firepower themselves to defeat opposing systems. Once such a tank was on the ground, even orbiting spacecraft were vulnerable as soon as they cleared the tank's horizon.

We're not all that far from that scenario. If beam weapons powerful enough to shoot down aircraft and missiles become a reality, and they are small enough to be mobile, then the tank may again become king of the battlefield. A 5-megawatt laser will quickly take out an aircraft, but it's not going to do much to a 50-ton MBT, as long as fuel and ammo aren't stored externally and sensors are retractable. And if that 50-ton (or 100-ton, or 200-ton) tank carries a couple of 20-megawatt beam weapons, close-in defenses, and antipersonnel weapons, there's not much that could threaten it. (Except maybe another tank.)


I'll have to read up on this 'Bolo' Series. sounds interesting. there's a flaw in their reasoning, though.

Two words: STEALTH AIRCRAFT.

If you can't find it, you can't shoot it. Also applies to spacecraft and cruise missles.

and remember, something like one of these 'bolo' tanks would be HUGE. you don't need close air support to take it out.

other systems that might work...

CHAFF. set up a combat cargo lifter to dump chaff at 20,000 feet, and do your bombing runs at 30,000.

if the chaff is shaped correctly, it should form a stable cloud, falling very gradually. given sufficient depth, density, and quanity, any laser firing through the chaff will become highly diffuse, as well as expending a great deal of power to burn through the chaff cloud. if you planned it right, the thermals caused by chaff burn-throughs would be sufficient to draw replacement chaff in from the surrounding areas.

also: ARMORED SPACESTATIONS.

Aircraft have limits to how much armor they can possess and still fly. (Although you might be able to fix that with a very tall dirigble armored only on the underside, or sufficient engine strength....)

Spacecraft don't have ANY weight limits. if you can get it into orbit, even one piece at a time, you can make it as massive as you want. give it a very large shield that mirrors the threatining frequencies, and add laser ports and crowbar missles. you'll be set for life.

the hard part to that is the fact that that type of spacecraft would show up well on weapons-frequencies radar, and would be up for long enough that ground-to-orbit stationary artillery could come to bear. you'd probably need to add a thin opaque coating on the surface of the mirror, so that minimal probings would be absorbed. and you'd need to be mobile or expendable, because once ground stations have your range, you're dead.

Be an interesting challenge there.... weapons power versus armor capability.

if the armor can maintain reflectiviness for a few seconds, and it's shaped right, you should be able to rebound the enemy laser right down their throats... on the other hand, if the laser is vastly overpowered, to correct for your armor, it should be able to shatter your armor instantly, making the point moot. but if the laser ISN'T that powerfull, then the immediate area around the laser needs to be shielded against rebounded fire, and someone needs to calculate what happens when laser emmissions feedback into the generation chamber....

I'm predicting that we wind up in a world of small stealth air and space vessels with laser-burst missles and bombs, along with insanely fortified dreadnoughts and ground bases.

which, come to think of it, is not that different from where we were at the onset of the navy world war two, or the air/navy at the end of the cold war.... albeit using different technologies to achieve the same effect

redneck2
January 13, 2006, 06:24 PM
well, for the non-believers

go back say 50-75 years ago and say

We're going to fly a 4-5 times the speed of sound.

We're going to carry little metal boxes the size of a matchbox and talk to somebody 1/2 way around the world..instantly

we're going to read newspapers from outer space

we're going to focus light beams so we can destroy stuff

we'll have a box in the kitchen that never gets hot but boils a cup of water in 45 seconds

you'd have been locked up for being a nut

I've seen enough to believe that virtually nothing is impossible

Hook686
January 13, 2006, 06:29 PM
Will Change the Way Wars Will Be Fought in the Future


Been there ... experienced that. :banghead:

Cosmoline
January 13, 2006, 06:36 PM
If you told someone 75 years ago that you'd be using a philip's head to unscrew standard slot screws, they'd call you stupid and they'd be RIGHT. Lasers have applications, but nothing about them lends itself to the battlefield outside of sci fi novels and movies.

NMshooter
January 13, 2006, 10:09 PM
BenEzra, if you want to read some of the best science fiction that mentions details like that I would suggest checking out David Drake.

CypherNinja
January 13, 2006, 10:18 PM
Lasers are OK, but I'm waiting for the BLEEX project to evolve into full blown power armor. :evil:


Anybody who believes that "its so they can carry heavier packs" line is an idjit. :cool:

Rembrandt
January 13, 2006, 10:38 PM
Next time you see an ET, thank them. About time we started putting that Roswell and Area 51 technology to good use....

model 649
January 13, 2006, 10:49 PM
Dang it!! This class of weapons have already been outlawed here in Michigan.
1976!!! They must have been watching Star Trek reruns.
Josh

The_Antibubba
January 14, 2006, 12:10 AM
Don't underestimate the power of politics on new weapons systems. Do you really think we'll get battlefield laser rifles if they aren't built by Colt and don't need a forward assist? ;)

David Lannon
January 14, 2006, 02:51 AM
Ok, say if we got aroung the power issues and created a usable reliable and man portable laser "rifle". What would the effect of using said weapon be? I.E. I don't believe there would be a visable beam unless in fog, smoke etc. Would it make any sound? I have read the beam would "crack" as it burned a hole in the atmosphere and also that they would be completley silent. Would there be ANY recoil however slight? How about a particle beam? Say if you shot an evil storm trooper with it, would it burn a cartarized hole in him or create a steam explosion as it superheated the water in his tissues?

I have read LOTS of scifi and the techno babble on the subject is endless. Anyone have any facts on this. Currious minds want to know!

Thanks
Jaycat

Phyphor
January 14, 2006, 03:24 AM
Don't underestimate the power of politics on new weapons systems. Do you really think we'll get battlefield laser rifles if they aren't built by Colt and don't need a forward assist? ;)

What would the forward assist be for, smacking the batteries into position? :neener:

I can see it now: "Duracell feeds MUCH better than Energizer!"

LAK
January 14, 2006, 08:20 AM
Reading this thread I think there is alittle too much fascination and focus on the possibilities of man-portable devices, consequently ignoring what are perhaps the more significant and ominous land, vehicle, ship, aircraft or even satellite based weapons.

A variety of so-called "less than lethal" weapons from lasers covering wide areas with the ability to cause blindness, sound cannons, to high powered microwaves that can disrupt normal bodily functions etc. These have been under developement for decades and are already being quietly introduced into service domestically and elsewhere.

NYPD for example already has vehicle mounted acoustic cannons; these were visible on the streets of NY during the RNC for "crowd control".
----------------------------------------------

http://ussliberty.org
http://ssunitedstates.org

walking arsenal
January 14, 2006, 12:19 PM
I read a book years ago called "Silver Tower" in which we put a space based laser up.

It's job was to provide all the stuff the airforce, artillery and what not was supposed to provide, mostly air support or direct fire support.

In the book it could shoot down anything that was below it with it's laser.

The problem came when the russians (it's always the russians) flew up there to wreck it with some space planes. (thats the way it goes)

In the recent popular science i noticed a small blurb about lasers not being used on the ground, but in space!

The idea was to put up a laser to seek out and swat enemy satalites out of orbit. That would cause a few problems for the guys using GPS and whatever else on the ground, not to mention ruining football season.

The idea of a space laser would solve our current problem of the air screwing up the beam, only if it was fired in space and not through the atmosphere though.

redneck2
January 14, 2006, 01:02 PM
Anybody up on HAARP?

I no techno-geek but it seems like some version of that could be used as a weapon

lbmii
January 14, 2006, 01:05 PM
Yes Phyphor, Duracell feeds MUCH better than Energizer and those cheap steel case Wolf batteries screw up the terminals and if you can find them those Spanish made Santa Barbara brand batteries have really hot +P voltage and might blow out your diode.

Endless threads on red verses green laser light. One guy has a laser that does great in gel and another guy rambles on about laser tests on French sheep and yet another guy has one laze stop figures he read in some laser magazine.

Billll
January 14, 2006, 03:08 PM
I've built a small rail gun, and the gun is dwarfed by the power supply required. Imagine a .380 pocket pistol that had to be hooked up to the battery from your truck to work.
Directed energy devices are on the shelf now, in the form of microwave ovens. Some modification is required, but imagine one in the trunk of your car, with a horn (the square pipe that carrys and directs the beam) pointing out the back, similar to a hitch receiver. 1000 W isn't enough power to damage the driver behind you, but it could induce some nasty transient voltages in his cars computer if he got too close. Hopefully before he turns on those nasty red and blue lights. These require 12-1500W input, but that's within reason for a passenger car.

If we keep insisting that all those Iranian officials who've died in plane crashes recently were brought down by US space-based weapons, the notion will gain some cred, and they'll quit flying in decrepit Russian planes. +1 our side.

LAK
January 14, 2006, 09:40 PM
Anybody up on HAARP?

I no techno-geek but it seems like some version of that could be used as a weapon
Track down a copy (it's on Amazon for about $8 and up) of:

Angels Don't Play This HAARP: Advances in Tesla Technology by Nick Begich and Jeane Manning.

---------------------------------------

http://ussliberty.org
http://ssunitedstates.org

turretG
January 14, 2006, 10:40 PM
Check this out.http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4926840/

Spec ops Grunt
January 14, 2006, 10:49 PM
Am I the only one that likes our ballistac weaponry over lasers?

benEzra
January 14, 2006, 11:10 PM
Anybody up on HAARP?
It's a really, really interesting system for modifying a couple hundred miles of ionosphere into a really, really big extremely-low-frequency virtual antenna. Great for ultra-long-range sensing of buried structures, possibly communication with deeply submerged submarines, and who knows what else you could do with a hundred-mile-wide virtual radio antenna. I don't see much weapons capability there, though...power density is extremely low.

spooney
January 15, 2006, 04:12 PM
jamz, Didn't Jim Beam, working in cahoots with some ladies, actually try to KILL somebody back in 19 and 73?

hillbilly


This may be the funniest post I have ever read.

Cosmoline
January 15, 2006, 04:45 PM
It's a really, really interesting system for modifying a couple hundred miles of ionosphere into a really, really big extremely-low-frequency virtual antenna. Great for ultra-long-range sensing of buried structures, possibly communication with deeply submerged submarines, and who knows what else you could do with a hundred-mile-wide virtual radio antenna. I don't see much weapons capability there, though...power density is extremely low.

HAARP is a well known front for secret experiments to try to turn every gun owner in Alaska into an anti-gun leftist. Thankfully my tinfoil is strong!

http://www.haarp.alaska.edu/haarp/images/ohd.jpg

Manedwolf
January 15, 2006, 04:54 PM
As for the "Active Denial Technology" microwave beam weapon thing?

It can be negated by a 1970's Navy Bureau of Ships "Coverall, Microwave Protective", a full grid coverall with beekeeper hood, gloves and booties that was made to protect radar techs on ships. It functions like a microwave's door grid in blocking the appropriate wavelengths.

They're on eBay all the time. The Pentagon is too addicted, these days, to flashy "wow" tech, and doesn't think of scenarios like that, I think. Terrorists DO know those sorts of facts, and if they leave any base perimeter guarded by an ADS, they're going to be in for a nasty surprise. On the other hand, if they use it to disperse crowds, there's plenty of evidence that it can cause retina damage.

Great device. Can hurt civilians, but has an inherent weakness that lets any trained commando waltz right past it.

Manedwolf
January 15, 2006, 05:02 PM
Ok, say if we got aroung the power issues and created a usable reliable and man portable laser "rifle". What would the effect of using said weapon be? I.E. I don't believe there would be a visable beam unless in fog, smoke etc. Would it make any sound? I have read the beam would "crack" as it burned a hole in the atmosphere and also that they would be completley silent. Would there be ANY recoil however slight? How about a particle beam? Say if you shot an evil storm trooper with it, would it burn a cartarized hole in him or create a steam explosion as it superheated the water in his tissues?

I have read LOTS of scifi and the techno babble on the subject is endless. Anyone have any facts on this. Currious minds want to know!

Thanks
Jaycat

No matter how powerful a battlefield laser rifle might be, if it loses power or goes out of alignment because you banged it on the ground, the screaming jihadists running at your position with patched-up circa 1960's AK-47's are still going to win.

Didn't the "early M-16 in jungles" debacle teach the Pentagon anything about weapons that work great in cleanroom labs NOT being suitable for the battlefield without years of refinement in harsh conditions? Picture a battlefield laser in a middle east sandstorm, which would destroy its effectiveness. The enemy would quickly realize this and plan their attacks accordingly.

Personally, I wouldn't want a rifle that might need to be rebooted before I can fire it again. About the only use I can see for "battlefield" lasers is anti-missile lasers on Navy ships, fed directly by the vessel's reactor for an unlimited power source.

KriegHund
January 15, 2006, 07:03 PM
Didn't the "early M-16 in jungles" debacle teach the Pentagon anything about weapons that work great in cleanroom labs NOT being suitable for the battlefield without years of refinement in harsh conditions?

*Cough* XM-8 *Cough*
They did shoot down the XM-8 after it proved unreliable, so maybe they did learn something. At least the M-16 turned out good in the end.

Then again, they are still trying to get the XM-25 semi-auto-prorgammable-air-burst-25mm-grenade launcher out into the battlefield....

Im a little weary of something with more than 3 hyphens....

Herself
January 15, 2006, 07:15 PM
"When beam weapons are made extra-legal, only ETs will have beam weapons!"

For the fellow who wonders if he's the only one who likes ballistic weapons: please try using a muzzle-loading flintlock handgun in a combat pistol match. "Don't bring a knife to a gunfight" = "don't bring a 1911 to a beam-weapon fight," I'm sorry to say.

On the other hand, shoot the fellow behind the beam and you're home free.

--Herself

50caliber123
January 16, 2006, 08:09 AM
seriously, are energy weapons illegal already in Michigan? I live there...damn...there goes my DC17 Modifiable Blaster Rifle

I prefer ballistic weapons over these new-fangled energy wapons and I'll tell you why: In the Star Wars universe, the most "primitive" weapons are projectile weapons known as slug throwers. These "primitive" weapons are devestating against the plastic armor the storm troopers wear, as it is designed to repel blaster fire. Slug throwers are even more devestating against soft targets, as the projectiles expand when the hit a target, causing a more grievous wound.

I'll stack an AK47 up against an energy weapon anyday for better relaibility, a huge plus, and being more powerful, useful, and lighter. Try finding replacement parts for an energy weapon at the local gun store, let alone someone who can fix it if/when it breaks.

Medusa
January 16, 2006, 08:58 AM
Soviets had a - interesting to say at least - program running, for which the Polyus spacecraft was a testbed (orbital weapons platform, equipped with lasers, anti-sat, anti-ASAT, mirrors against beam weapons, radar-absorbing coating which was also optically black, to minimize any option of detecting it). Wonder if the inertial guidance sensor would not have been faulty, where the project would be now?

BTW it was 37 m long and weighted approx. 80 metric tons and was still hauled up (Energiya has a capability to send 120 tons to LEO).
http://www.buran.ru/images/gif/pole%2064.gif
http://www.buran.ru/htm/cargo.htm
http://k26.com/buran/Info/Polyus/polyus-energia.html
http://www.astronautix.com/craft/polyus.htm

iapetus
January 16, 2006, 07:37 PM
seriously, are energy weapons illegal already in Michigan? I live there...damn...there goes my DC17 Modifiable Blaster Rifle

I prefer ballistic weapons over these new-fangled energy wapons and I'll tell you why: In the Star Wars universe, the most "primitive" weapons are projectile weapons known as slug throwers. These "primitive" weapons are devestating against the plastic armor the storm troopers wear, as it is designed to repel blaster fire. Slug throwers are even more devestating against soft targets, as the projectiles expand when the hit a target, causing a more grievous wound.


Heck, sticks and stones wielded by over-grown teddy-bears will defeat Storm Trooper armour :rolleyes:


In general, most "blaster" type weapons in sci-fi seem to be inferior to modern firearms.

And a lot of modern sci-fi seems to be using firearms rather than energy weapons, e.g. the new Battlestar Galactica. And in Babylon 5, they only used plasma guns because they were less likely to rupture the station hull than slug-throwers were.


I've been trying to develop a far-future sci-fi story/ setting of my own (most likely will never get anywhere). In this setting, firearms coexist with lasers and more advanced (read: completely made up) weapons, as they fill different roles. (E.g. lasers - accurate, good for sniping; energy weapons - good when you have a good power source to recharge them from, or link directly to; firearms - for when you don't have access to reliable power sources; plasma weapons - short-range, high rate of fire, low penetration, used for CQB).

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