- Apr 21, 2009
- Reaction score
New research, funded by the U.S. Army Research Office, suggests a new manufacturing technique which, if scalable, could lead to better, cheaper, clearer lasers.
Lockheed is supremely confident in their laser tech. As another exec, Paul Shattuck, boasted on an earlier occasion: “Our beam control technology enables precision equivalent to shooting a beach ball off the top of the Empire State Building from the San Francisco Bay Bridge.”
The company’s first consumer device, SoundBeamer 1.0, is planned for release in December 2021. This compact, desktop unit is designed primarily for video conferencing but can also be used for SoundBeaming anything from podcasts to meditation and more.
While the report does not conclude that the use of directed microwave energy in these instances was done deliberately, it said such action could be used for nefarious purposes.
"The mere consideration of such a scenario raises grave concerns about a world with disinhibited malevolent actors and new tools for causing harm to others, as if the U.S. government does not have its hands full already with naturally occurring threats," the report said.
YOu are forgetting the fact that the SHOOTER needs to see as much as the Shootie needs to see to defend.Man, we are sleepwalking into another military revolution. The PGM/computer RMA is old by 2020, and we won't learn how it would all work out in "full contact" (all we have is theories like inter-war mobile warfare concepts) before the next revolution hits.
The existence of CRIMESTOP legal restrictions means the technology have gone through orders of magnitude performance improvements above functional utility without a warfighting concept let alone a doctrine behind it. It is like the alt-universe where radar gets banned until high power microwave weapons populate every brigade.
There is potential for very rapid, large change to ground combat if one side declares "land targets" as valid (while accumulating warcrime claims measured in Hertz) and structures to fight like that.
It is rather questionable on whether laws can stop the evolution of violence dead in its tracks. If the fighting gets tough, can it really be expected that fighting forces would not apply the most powerful weapon available?
I think we are at the point where if ISIS survives a few more years it could have laser program, while a TB-2 class UAV with the right weapon can pin a battalion for hours on end.
The conceptualization of lasers as point defense is as silly as conceptualization of radio waves as death rays. The orders of magnitudes performance advantage against the most powerful and common sensor on the battlefield with massive battlefield shaping potential
Imagine a world of persistent, wide area, instant, reliable, low cost suppression.
Covers means little if you can't see or influence anything outside it.
In the world of lasers melting every EOIR in sight, the guy with the mmW radar is king.
The best way to defeat lasers, is more lasers: lasers to blind targeting sensors (the blind can't aim lasers), disrupt the atmosphere, and disrupt adaptive optics. Standoff laser suppression totally a thing.
Frankly, I don't think we know how war works when the battlefield is littered with 100+kW lasers in every maneuver formation with the will to use it against whatever.
"2D material called MXene" sure sounds a lot more serious than tin foil.HPMW shielding fabric (not sure it's new) :
Researchers at Drexel University have created “Faraday fabrics” that can block almost all electromagnetic waves. The key ingredient is a 2D material called MXene, and the development could help protect wearables from interference and people from potentially dangerous radiation.newatlas.com
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- Offering a silent shot with unlimited rounds, laser weapons have long been the “next big thing” coming to the battlefield.
Now, “next” is finally here.
As the Army works to address increasing and changing threats from unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and rockets, artillery and mortars (RAM), the service is turning to high energy lasers, installed on tactical vehicles, to protect U.S. ground forces and equipment. The first of these combat-capable weapon systems, 50 kilowatt (kW)-class lasers mounted on Stryker vehicles, is on track for operational fielding by Fiscal Year 2022.
Already, a unique Army-industry team is integrating two Strykers in Huntsville, Ala. with 50 kW-class laser weapon capabilities and support equipment. By spring, these Strykers will head to a combat shoot-off event at Fort Sill, Okla., where they’ll face a series of scenarios designed to test the system and establish threshold requirements for this class of laser. The result will lead to the competitive selection of one of the two laser systems for further prototype production, while also demonstrating for the first time that this laser technology is at a mature technical readiness level.
“This is moving extremely fast,” said COL G. Scott McLeod, the Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO) program manager for Directed Energy-Maneuver Short-Range Air Defense (DE-MSHORAD). “Everybody has done a great job of managing all of the technical complexity and challenges of getting these new components built and integrated so we can move to the shoot-off next year.”
The DE-MSHORAD prototyping effort – as part of the Army’s larger modernization strategy for air and missile defense – is intended to help protect Divisions and Brigade Combat Teams from UAS, Rotary-wing aircraft and RAM threats, and will be delivered to a platoon of four Strykers by Fiscal Year 2022.
In an effort to rapidly deliver these firsts for the Army, the RCCTO selected two vendors in a cost share approach to build the two laser systems, fostering competition and stimulating the industrial base for directed energy capabilities.
The integration efforts by the two sub-contractors, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon, is being overseen by the prime contractor, Kord Technologies. To keep efforts fair, the integration work on each laser system is being performed in separate areas at the Kord integration facility in Huntsville. And to keep things safe during a national pandemic, the teams are implementing measures such as regular temperature checks, mask wearing, social distancing and smaller group sizes.
“This is an exciting stage of the program, as we’re starting to put the laser systems together,” McLeod said. “Soon we’ll begin performing internal evaluations of the systems here at Redstone as part of the walk-up to the combat shoot-off in a few months. We’re looking forward to getting the vehicles fully integrated and ready to go out to the range.”
In October 2020, the competing contractors simultaneously evaluated control and functionality against airborne targets. Two additional evaluations, serving as risk reduction events, will take place leading up to the combat shoot-off. At the shoot-off, the two laser systems will go up against a series of 12 vignettes that will increase in difficulty. For example, there will be a mix of scenarios that could include UAS targets, RAM targets, or both. It is not expected that both systems will be able to meet all the demands of all of the scenarios, but the realistic challenges to the prototypes will serve to establish threshold requirements for future DE-MSHORAD systems.
“The vignettes are important because our intent is to stress the systems to failure,” said Dr. Craig Robin, deputy director of the RCCTO DE Project Office. “So we are not assuming they will pass everything, we are purposely creating a series of vignettes with increased complexity. It’s a different paradigm in terms of a competition. It will not only help select between the two systems, but will also demonstrate that the technology is at a Technical Readiness Level 7, representing a major step in prototype completion.”
Not the same as an operational test, the combat shoot-off will include scoring criteria and evaluations from an overall performance standpoint, added McLeod.
“This is setting the baseline of what a 50 kW-class laser system is capable of doing,” he added. “It shapes how the Army will write DE-MSHORAD requirements going forward.”
Also, to ensure the prototypes deliver residual combat capability that meets the users’ needs, close and recurring collaboration with Soldiers will be conducted throughout the effort to gather their feedback and input.
To address the support and infrastructure around the prototype lasers, the RCCTO utilizes a unique stakeholder forum known as the Octagon. This integrated group of stakeholders includes representation from all aspects of Doctrine, Organization, Training, Materiel, Leadership, Personnel, Facilities, and Policy (DOTMLPF-P). The group works in parallel with prototype development, ensuring the right elements are ready when the prototypes are delivered.
The initial DE-MSHORAD Other Transaction Authority (OTA) agreement was awarded to Kord Technologies in July 2019. Last month, the Army exercised an option on the OTA to purchase the additional DE-MSHORAD prototypes to be delivered by September 2022, for a total of four 50 kW-class laser Stryker vehicles. The industry team also includes Rocky Research for laser support equipment and General Dynamics for Stryker vehicle support.
Hmm, will laser terrorism be a thing? What it lacks in lethality it makes up in rapid casualty production. Someone managing a "las vegas shooting" kind of event can inflict huge blinding damage even if suppressed very quickly. Access can change dramatically with aerial vehicles and optics that enables some standoff.Home hobbyist playing with a 100W diode array laser. Gives a hint of what you get if you factor up 1000 times (except of course the beam will be invisible).
I hope that this administration would realize that the issue is much more profund than the bad Russian sucker punching the Amerikan. The sociological aspect is the leading factor to understand the amplitude of the problem equivalent to what are international extremisms. It's sadly rooted deeply in state actors and sponsors and given the lagg in response, have now impregnated criminal organizations as well.The new Biden administration has announced a review of Russia's "aggressive actions" and incoming Secretary of State Antony Blinken committed during his confirmation to sharing more information about "Havana syndrome". He also promised "accountability" if a state actor was responsible. New CIA director Bill Burns, a former ambassador to Russia, may also take a close interest.
If it is proven that Russia used a microwave weapon against US officials, the consequences could be explosive. But, even if it were true, finding sufficient evidence to be confident in making a public accusation may prove difficult, leaving the issue unresolved.