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Truck Mounted Laser "On its' Way" ?????

bobbymike

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Truck-borne laser weapon to be on way soon

by Staff Writers
Washington (UPI) Jul 28, 2010

A powerful laser weapon that can fit on a light truck is set to be the military's answer to the dilemma of overreacting to enemy attack and harming friendly forces in the process.

The laser-beam weapon, being developed by the U.S. Army and Boeing, is seen to be a more focused alternative to artillery or rocket response to enemy action that usually results in innocent civilians or friendly forces being caught up in the onslaught.

Death and injury among third-party individuals near or around a scene of battle is one of the classic scenarios that carries with it acute embarrassment -- or worse -- for both military leaders and politicians. The new laser weapon being developed aims to avoid, if not completely eliminate, that eventuality.

The High Energy Laser Technology Demonstrator system will consist of a laser weapon system mounted on an Oshkosh Defense military truck. Traveling at the speed of light the laser beam will hit targets with unprecedented swiftness. And no bullets will rain down on anyone in the process, says Boeing's Marc Selinger in an article on the innovation.

"This transformational, ultra-precision capability will dramatically improve warfighters' ability to counter rocket, artillery and mortar projectiles," said Michael Rinn, vice president of Boeing Directed Energy Systems.

Under contract to the Army, Boeing in 2009 completed the design of a laser beam control system on a Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck, a widely used eight-wheel, 500-horsepower military vehicle built by Oshkosh Defense in Oshkosh, Wis. The truck will be shipped to Boeing's facility in Huntsville, Ala., this summer for integration with the BCS.

An artist's rendering depicts the High Energy Laser Technology Demonstrator. A key "subassembly" of the BCS is the beam director, a dome-shaped turret that will extend above the roof of the vehicle when it engages targets. The beam director, which can rotate 360 degrees, will contain a set of mirrors that point and focus the beam. Other BCS subassemblies will focus the laser beam and transfer it from the laser to the beam director. The BCS also will find and track targets.

HEL TD testing against real targets but using a low-power "surrogate" for the high-energy laser, is scheduled for fiscal year 2011 at White Sands Missile Range, N.M. The tests are meant to demonstrate the ability to target and engage moving projectiles with the HEL TD system. The truck will later be equipped with a high-energy laser that can destroy those targets, Boeing said.

"These efforts could pave the way for further development of the technology -- and ultimately deployment on the battlefield," said Bill Gnacek, the U.S. Army's HEL TD program manager. "Our main goal is to transition this HEL TD technology into a formal acquisition program and eventually place it in the hands of Army commanders, providing them an effective, lethal capability to counter rocket, artillery and mortar projectiles."
 

saintkatanalegacy

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I wonder if they're gonna use optic fiber laser tech...

particularly Erbium-Ytterbium Doped Fiber Amplifier Chain...
 

bobbymike

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Joint High Power Solid State Laser
Keeps Lasing And Lasing
by Staff Writers

Redondo Beach CA (SPX) Dec 09, 2010
The beat goes on for the world's most powerful and reliable solid-state military laser. Since becoming the first to reach the 100-kilowatt power level threshold for a solid-state laser in 2009, Northrop Grumman has continued to push the performance parameters of the Joint High Power Solid State Laser (JHPSSL).

Company engineers and technicians have logged more than six hours of operating time - all at power levels greater than 100kW - with the JHPSSL system as they prepare to integrate it with a pointing and tracking system for field testing.

"We don't know of another 100kW solid-state laser anywhere that has operated continuously for more than a few seconds," said Steve Hixson, vice president of Advanced Concepts - Space and Directed Energy Systems for Northrop Grumman's Aerospace Systems sector. The six hours of run time for JHPSSL doesn't include low-power operations used for routine maintenance, he added.

"That kind of performance is unparalleled in the world of high-energy lasers," Hixson continued. "The very reliable JHPSSL system just keeps lasing ... and lasing ... and lasing."

A major military sponsor for JHPSSL likewise noted the laser's reliability and dependability.

"Northrop Grumman has created the gold standard for high-power, solid-state lasers with its JHPSSL system," said Mark Neice, director, Office of the Secretary of Defense, High Energy Laser Joint Technology Office. "Not only did the company demonstrate the full set of performance qualities required for a solid-state laser weapon, but its achievements during the last 18 months remained unmatched in the community."

Northrop Grumman is putting JHPSSL through its lasing paces to prepare for its relocation from the company's laser factory in Redondo Beach, Calif., to a specialized, high-energy laser test range at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., the High Energy Laser Systems Test Facility (HELSTF) for field tests.

Once there, JHPSSL will be integrated with existing beam control and command and control systems to form the core of the U.S. Army's Solid State Laser Testbed Experiment.

"We are operating JHPSSL to prepare for operations associated with the test site environment
, timelines and procedures," said Dan Wildt, vice president of Directed Energy Systems for Northrop Grumman. "We also are collecting new information to support integration with a pointer-tracker system and a future integration experiment involving a mobile, ground-based laser weapon."

"As the challenges to our deployed forces continue to change, JHPSSL can provide a proven, affordable transition to fielding a military laser weapon capability in the near-term. We've shown time and again that this solid-state laser technology is capable, mature and ready to begin defending our forces," Wildt emphasized.

Martin Wacks, JHPSSL program manager, said JHPSSL's ongoing reliability and robustness is a testament to the team that put together the revolutionary capability. "This achievement in solid-state laser technology has received wide recognition because those inside and outside the industry realize its potential for near-term military uses."

The JHPSSL program is funded by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology, Washington, D.C.; Office of the Secretary of Defense - High Energy Laser Joint Technology Office, Albuquerque, N.M.; Air Force Research Laboratory, Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M.; and the Office of Naval Research, Arlington, Va. Responsibility for program execution is assigned to the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command in Huntsville, Ala.
 

Orionblamblam

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All those scenes of laser turrets in the desert... I'm always reminded of Kent from Real Genius:



"Didn't anyone ever tell you to make sure your optics are clean?"
 

_Del_

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It's a moral imperative.
 
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