chinese laser weapon development

Discussion in 'Army' started by maozedong, Feb 24, 2008.

  1. anzha
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    anzha Junior Member
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    The same is always said about fusion energy. It should be noted though that lasers, like fusion energy, often get starved of funding periodically.

    TRW built Alpha, a megawatt class HF laser designed as for use in orbit in a satellite. It was successfully tested in a vacuum chamber in 1993. The next step would have been to build it to place into space for testing. It's funding was zeroed out in the Clinton years. HF lasers do not emit in the 'window' but reduce the cost of fuel: hydrogen is cheaper than deuterium. It would have been far more useful for forcing aircraft under 30k ft and, thus, limiting their range. Against a peer, not so useful because China or Russia could take out the sats. Enforcing a no fly zone, otoh...

    THEL moved forward only as a way to protect Israel from katyushas and whatnot under Clinton. It was discontinued under Bush. The Iraq War funding and technological leakage were both concerns.

    The stop and go nature of laser funding has always been an issue, but once you have something in the arsenal, getting it upgraded is much, much easier.
     
  2. siegecrossbow
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    siegecrossbow Brigadier
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    This may be changing with the advent of fiber optics laser.

    https://spectrum.ieee.org/aerospace/military/fiber-lasers-mean-ray-guns-are-coming

    This has been reflected by the fact that all the new laser weapons in development by the U.S., Russia, China, U.K., Israel, Germany, etc. employ fiber optics laser.
     
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  3. Jura
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    Jura General

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    OK just to be fair, the quote from Sep 9, 2015 goes on like this:

    "Laser proponents acknowledge the record of past unfulfilled predictions, but argue that the situation has now changed because of rapid advancements in SSL technology and a shift from earlier ambitious goals (such as developing megawatt-power lasers for countering targets at tens or hundreds of miles) to more realistic goals (such as developing kilowatt-power lasers for countering targets at no more than a few miles).

    Laser proponents might argue that laser skeptics are vulnerable to what might be called cold plate syndrome (i.e., a cat that sits on a hot plate will not sit on a hot plate again—but it will not sit on a cold plate, either)."
     
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  4. Jura
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    Jura General

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    it was interesting to read the article anyway it sounded like a LockMart ad to me;

    not sure why by now they wouldn't have scaled up to several-hundred kW (this should've been "viable" according to that article)
     
  5. siegecrossbow
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    siegecrossbow Brigadier
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    There are three reasons. Funding, funding, and funding.
     
  6. Jura
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    Jura General

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    I don't mean to post any Conspiracy LOL but what if the Pentagon knew about some cheap reflective stuff (LOL! I don't mean a mirror) which,

    if used to 'coat' a missile, would 'quench' most of a laser's power

    (if it were true, it'd be reasonable to assume Opfor did just that)
     
  7. anzha
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    anzha Junior Member
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    It doesn't work like that. Keeping a surface mirror perfect is really hard on the battlefield. HELSTF tested a spinning reflective surface on a cylinder back in the 80s to see if it would prevent the laser from killing a missile or whatnot before impact. MIRACL still cut through the target in no time flat. Similar tests were done repeatedly with smaller lasers.

    There's a reason why there are 'windows' on the pointer tracker systems. The mirrors need to be kept pristine. Bugs, dust, etc. will ruin the mirror once the laser fires. Additionally, the mirrors for lasers are designed specifically for a particular wavelength. A different wavelength laser would cut through it just fine.
     
  8. Jura
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    Jura General

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    9 minutes ago
     
  9. anzha
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    anzha Junior Member
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    If you are talking about an ablative material, it's possible, but the power levels and densities on target are pretty high. You could do something like a space shuttle tile, but the costs are enormous.

    A far better solution to deal with lasers, at least until they are ubiquitous is to send in swarms of smaller, cheaper suicide drones. It matters little if the laser bags 95% of them, if there are 100 coming and they each carry the equivalent of a 80mm mortar warhead.
     
  10. Jura
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    Jura General

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    28 minutes ago I generally meant it's hard to believe the Pentagon wouldn't already have scaled-up fiber-optics lasers if they were such a great idea,

    but I of course don't know what's wrong LOL just suspect it's not just money

    (I don't mean the presumed reluctance of Generals in the article posted Today at 5:41 PM)
     
    #560 Jura, Nov 17, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2018
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