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Many Lasers Become One In Lockheed Martin's 30 kW Laser Weapon

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 months ago | from the ready-main-phaser-array dept.

Shark 202

Zothecula writes "In another step forward for laser weapons that brings to mind the Death Star's superlaser, Lockheed Martin has demonstrated a 30-kilowatt fiber laser produced by combining many lasers into a single beam of light. According to the company, this is the highest power laser yet that was still able to maintain beam quality and electrical efficiency, paving the way for a laser weapon system suitable, if not for a Death Star, for a wide range of air, land, and sea military platforms."

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202 comments

Please place all shark jokes in this thread. (5, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 2 months ago | (#46147895)

Lets keep them in one place, nice and tidy.

Sharks with frickin lasers (5, Funny)

gridzilla (778890) | about 2 months ago | (#46147917)

I know where I would attach that - to a shark's head! Imagine that - sharks with frickin lasers strapped to their heads, and hookers too! In fact forget the sharks.

Re:Please place all shark jokes in this thread. (3, Insightful)

Trogre (513942) | about 2 months ago | (#46147927)

Combing many lasers into one?

This isn't sharks, this is a DEATH STAR.

Re:Please place all shark jokes in this thread. (1)

aliquis (678370) | about 2 months ago | (#46148067)

What about combining many sharks into one?

Imagine this:
http://www.thebigflattop.com/M... [thebigflattop.com]

But with sharks instead of teeth!

Re:Please place all shark jokes in this thread. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46148127)

What about combining many sharks into one?

Shhhh! Be quiet or else we'll have yet another quality Sci-Fi, er SyFy, Channel Friday night movie!

Re:Please place all shark jokes in this thread. (1)

flyneye (84093) | about 2 months ago | (#46148493)

Two sharks, one to carry a laser, one to carry a mirror ball.
A third may be needed to change the music.

Re:Please place all shark jokes in this thread. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46148163)

The insurgence will be surprised by this FULLY OPERATIONAL Lockheed Martin fiber laser! They will not be able to finish their shark fin soups before already ducking for orange sauce.

Re:Please place all shark jokes in this thread. (1)

flyneye (84093) | about 2 months ago | (#46148501)

Didnt they do something like that toward the end of Buckaroo Bansai?
I wouldnt suggest repeating it unless you want to open a portal to some garbage universe

Re:Please place all shark jokes in this thread. (5, Funny)

zAPPzAPP (1207370) | about 2 months ago | (#46147957)

With so many lasers combined, it will attract all the cats in the world!

Re:Please place all shark jokes in this thread. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46148233)

I believe you forgot "Mwah ha ha ha!"

Re:Please place all shark jokes in this thread. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46148001)

So we'll need to combine a shitload of sharks into a sharknado in order to operate it?

Re: Please place all shark jokes in this thread. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46148047)

I've seen enough movie to know that trying to keep sharks where you want them to be isn't going to work.

Re:Please place all shark jokes in this thread. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46148425)

We already do have a super laser located in an underground super cooled location that can burn holes in rocks rather quickly.

They already exist in mining as mining lasers. This one is just more portable.

Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk (2)

Hamsterdan (815291) | about 2 months ago | (#46147939)

Can we get this on that fighter? Seems only fitting...

Re:Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46147969)

Too bad it retired years ago.

Re:Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk (1)

Hamsterdan (815291) | about 2 months ago | (#46148063)

I know, but it is one of the nicest looking fighter. Besides, it was retired only 6 years ago, I'm pretty sure getting them back in service wouldn't be that hard since some of them were spotted flying near Groom lake in 2013.

Re:Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk (0)

daem0n1x (748565) | about 2 months ago | (#46148263)

Because that's exactly what we all need, brand new toys of war. God forbids generals getting bored!

Re:Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk (1)

rossdee (243626) | about 2 months ago | (#46148507)

The F117 was not acually a fighter. It was designed to drop precision bombs. I don't think it has a (air) tracking radar.

Excuse me... Excuse me?!!! (0)

Freshly Exhumed (105597) | about 2 months ago | (#46147943)

Nobody has figured out how to stop laser beams that have missed their target, have they? Nope, didn't think so. Examine a missed 30kw laser beam and try to let us know if any dispersion effects will happen before a whole lot of collateral damage is done. Here's an easier challenge: show us a real, living unicorn.

Re:Excuse me... Excuse me?!!! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46147971)

When has that been a problem with weapons, really? It's not like we have any way to stop any of those billions of bullets shot every year..

Re:Excuse me... Excuse me?!!! (1)

Freshly Exhumed (105597) | about 2 months ago | (#46147987)

Here's an example of what can go wrong with beam weaponry: a fighter plane with a big-ass laser has an enemy fighter in its sights, but at the moment of truth the beam not only blasts the prey but also continues firing long enough for the coherent beam of destructive light energy to go onwards to strike a school in the metropolis below, causing a fire. Think of the children!!!

Re:Excuse me... Excuse me?!!! (2)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 months ago | (#46148049)

The same fighter fires a stream of lead at another fighter, missing and the lead raining down on a school below. How does the laser do any more/worse damage?

Newtonian physics and ballistics don't apply! (0)

Freshly Exhumed (105597) | about 2 months ago | (#46148091)

Seriously? Bullets and other such projectiles are subject to gravity and Newtonian physics. They will find a place and time of energy release or simple rest. Thus, a howitzer will send a shell in a predictable arc based on the well-understood science of ballistics. Thus, shells can be aimed to land on target, short of target, or long of target but only to a certain extent. OTOH, a coherent 30kw beam of light that misses or bypasses its target will continue on its merry way to scorch holes in anything it contacts long its line of fire, with no helpful ballistics to predict what it will or will not hit.

Re:Newtonian physics and ballistics don't apply! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46148107)

Seriously? Light is subject to the physics of electromagnetism. A laser will send a beam in a predictable path based on well understood science of photonics.

Re:Newtonian physics and ballistics don't apply! (-1, Troll)

Freshly Exhumed (105597) | about 2 months ago | (#46148137)

The physics of electromagnetism and photonics will somehow stop an errant beam from destroying anything else as it travels onwards? Nope, of course not.

Re:Newtonian physics and ballistics don't apply! (4, Informative)

Electricity Likes Me (1098643) | about 2 months ago | (#46148355)

The physics of electromagnetism and photonics will somehow stop an errant beam from destroying anything else as it travels onwards? Nope, of course not.

Okay so you clearly have no idea how lasers work, or the physics of electromagnetism.

For one thing, they defocus over long distances. At sufficiently high energies they lose energy because they turn the air to plasma and bleed off intensity as heat. It's been a struggle to make ranged laser weapons work, because you can't exceed a couple of kw/cm2 before the air turns to plasma and your beam blooms out of existence.

And for the example given, lasers are much less likely to cause collateral damage - they can "unfired" instantly, and they will travel at a tangent to the Earth meaning that once headed any amount above the horizon they will never fall below it. Bullets, missiles, bombs - well those always come down and they are lethal when they do.

Re:Newtonian physics and ballistics don't apply! (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 2 months ago | (#46148529)

What stops an errant stream of bullets or an incorrectly guided air-to-air missile from doing the same thing? Magic?

Re:Newtonian physics and ballistics don't apply! (4, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | about 2 months ago | (#46148521)

So your example of a nice, predictable weapon is a stream of bullets subject to gravity and wind, or a self-guided package of explosives, while your idea of unpredictability is a collimated beam of photons.

Sweet deus.

Re:Newtonian physics and ballistics don't apply! (2)

dreamchaser (49529) | about 2 months ago | (#46148569)

You're either trolling or an absolute idiot. Lasers are an order of magnitude more accurate than any projectile weapon. I really do hope you're just blissfully ignorant and not a troll.

Re:Newtonian physics and ballistics don't apply! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46148661)

Yeah, I see your point. Computing what's on the end of a straight line is so much harder than computing what's on the end of a parabola modified by air friction, wind, Coriolis effect, lift from shape of missiles and gazillion other things.

Re:Excuse me... Excuse me?!!! (1)

captainpanic (1173915) | about 2 months ago | (#46148079)

If you think that the beam of light is a problem, think of the many tons of burning fuel, explosives and scrap metal that are gonna fall out of the sky after the prey got blasted! Think of the children!

Re:Excuse me... Excuse me?!!! (1)

Freshly Exhumed (105597) | about 2 months ago | (#46148145)

If a fighter plane is blown up over Kentucky, a family in Oregon or South Carolina need not worry about the debris falling on them. An errant 30kw beam of coherent light would be dangerous even in far away places.

Re:Excuse me... Excuse me?!!! (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | about 2 months ago | (#46148205)

I'm not sure if you're serious or not, but the curvature of the earth would definitely prevent a laser beam from an aircraft in Kentucky from hitting a building in South Carolina, to say nothing of Oregon.

Re:Excuse me... Excuse me?!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46148461)

That's some 3000km. I know that some people consider round earth as "just a theory", but I would still take it seriously. Also there is not much left of beam power or collimation after even few hundred kilometers in atmosphere. Beam power density also falls with square of radius. So seriously, errant laser beams - not a a problem.

Re:Excuse me... Excuse me?!!! (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 2 months ago | (#46148621)

An errant 30kw beam of coherent light would be dangerous even in far away places.

No, it wouldn't. A laser beam *defocuses* over long distances and becomes harmless. In an atmosphere it'll also suffer severe energy loss to the atoms it travels through.

Re:Excuse me... Excuse me?!!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46148089)

Here's an example of what can go wrong with beam weaponry: a fighter plane with a big-ass laser has an enemy fighter in its sights, but at the moment of truth the beam not only blasts the prey but also continues firing long enough for the coherent beam of destructive light energy to go onwards to strike a school in the metropolis below, causing a fire. Think of the children!!!

That is still way better than what we have now.
American and British bombs still kill about ten construction workers in Germany every year, none of them born before WW2 ended.
Pretty much every place where there have been a conflict is littered with landmines that kills and maims civilians.

If the killing of innocents can be limited to the time the war is going on that would be a great improvement.

Re:Excuse me... Excuse me?!!! (3, Informative)

dreamchaser (49529) | about 2 months ago | (#46148565)

Laser weapons as they are being developed just don't work that way. The pulse is actually quite short when applied, and the target goes boom. You've watched way too many science fiction movies.

They are also far more accurate than kinetic energy delivery weapons (big bullets).

Re:Excuse me... Excuse me?!!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46148649)

Ahh, but we are the good guys and will only use good guy lasers. Good guy lasers can only harm bad people. So any children that are injured or killed must have been destined to grow up to be terrorists or file sharers.

Re:Excuse me... Excuse me?!!! (1)

sir-gold (949031) | about 2 months ago | (#46148197)

Bullets fall, lasers don't

If you shoot a gun, even a high powered rifle, it isn't going to blind someone 20 miles away like a laser would

Re:Excuse me... Excuse me?!!! (1)

necro81 (917438) | about 2 months ago | (#46148707)

In how many circumstances do you have a clear 20-mile line of sight to a (potential) collateral victim? From where you stand right now, how far can you go on a horizontal plane before running into something (like a building, forest, mountain) that would stop a laser? Bullets do have limited range, especially compared to a laser, but in most battle zones, a bullet or laser will both probably run into something before it has a chance to run into an unintended victim.

There are obviously many uses for this technology, but a lot has been focused on anti-missile (ballistic, surface-to-surface, etc.), in which case the beam is going to be pointingup, above the horizontal. It's not likely to be blinding anyone up in the sky.

Re: Excuse me... Excuse me?!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46147973)

It probably starts with just one laser on to show where it is aimed, then when you press the fire button the rest of the lasers turn on and go full power.

Re: Excuse me... Excuse me?!!! (1)

Freshly Exhumed (105597) | about 2 months ago | (#46147991)

That doesn't respond to the issue of what happens to the killer beam(s) after the target is either missed or destroyed.

Re: Excuse me... Excuse me?!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46148027)

It goes into the ground when fired from above, into space when fired from below, and may cause collateral damage if fired parallel to the ground. Collateral damage may include starting fires, killing civilians, etc. None of that seems to be an "issue" in a weapon of war.

Does that answer your question?

Re: Excuse me... Excuse me?!!! (2)

Chrisq (894406) | about 2 months ago | (#46148407)

It goes into the ground when fired from above, into space when fired from below,

Will someone think of ET?

Re: Excuse me... Excuse me?!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46148393)

Missed? How? It's speed of light. It can't be dodged at all.
Also, nobody cares. This thing was designed with the sole purposed of FUCKING SHIT UP.

"Science isn't about why, it's about why not. Why is so much of our science dangerous? Why not marry safe science if you love it so much. In fact, why not invent a special safety door that won't hit you in the butt on the way out, because you are fired. Yes, you. Box your stuff. Out the front door. Parking lot. Car. Goodbye." -Cave Johnson

Re: Excuse me... Excuse me?!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46148545)

Reflexes. The pilot could think it's on target, and in the milliseconds during the action of pulling the trigger, the alignment changes.

Re: Excuse me... Excuse me?!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46148601)

Just like missiles, the pilot does not get to aim this thing. It locks on, it's all computer controlled. There is no manual mode. And it fires pulses measured in double digit femtoseconds.
I swear you guys act like this is an always on light saber that is just going to be slashed around. As if the lens wouldn't burst from the heat.

Re: Excuse me... Excuse me?!!! (4, Informative)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 2 months ago | (#46148629)

They dissipate due to defocusing and interaction with the atmosphere. It's not a problem.

Re:Excuse me... Excuse me?!!! (1)

MtHuurne (602934) | about 2 months ago | (#46148013)

Lasers might be safer than bullets, since bullets always land somewhere, while lasers disperse in space if you take care in what direction you fire them in.

Re:Excuse me... Excuse me?!!! (-1)

Freshly Exhumed (105597) | about 2 months ago | (#46148093)

Um no, that would only happen if their end target was illuminated against the backdrop of outer space when the miss happened.

Re:Excuse me... Excuse me?!!! (1)

peragrin (659227) | about 2 months ago | (#46148533)

ah another one.

The world is round. unless the beam hit the planet it is being pointed out into space.

think about it.

Re:Excuse me... Excuse me?!!! (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 2 months ago | (#46148017)

Lasers, as most weapons, are directional. War, as most confrontations, is positional.
Thus, collateral damage does not damage the shooter.

Collateral damage to "not the shooter" hasn't stopped a weapon from being constructed ever in the history of mankind.

Re:Excuse me... Excuse me?!!! (-1, Troll)

Freshly Exhumed (105597) | about 2 months ago | (#46148117)

Missiles run out of fuel. Bullets and shells are subject to ballistics. Missed 30kw laser blasts know no factors to stopping them, as much as some people will claim that a beam of such magnitude will somehow become safely diffuse within our atmosphere if it has not already pierced something else.

Re:Excuse me... Excuse me?!!! (1)

abies (607076) | about 2 months ago | (#46148019)

You can aim laser quite well - you don't event need that much of lead on moving target... Regarding misses - it is not like it will go around earth looking for first person to kill. Good chances is that everything around the target you are aiming at is hostile anyway. In most cases they will be aimed either down (from airplanes) or up (as anti-rocket/mortar weapon), so there will be either ground or empty sky near the target. And diffraction/scattering will make sure that laser is harmless for sattelites if it missed that plane/rocket (http://panoptesv.com/SciFi/LaserDeathRay/DeathRay.html - look at 'Range' section)

Generally, I would expect collateral damage being orders of magnitude smaller than with conventional weapons.

Even for sidearms (which is not possible at this moment), it would be a lot safer due to no ricochets. Just don't get into shooting fight in hall of mirrors ;)

Re:Excuse me... Excuse me?!!! (-1, Troll)

Freshly Exhumed (105597) | about 2 months ago | (#46148097)

Diffraction/scattering of a 30kw laser beam to make it harmless to satellites... nope, I don't think so.

Re:Excuse me... Excuse me?!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46148165)

Diffraction/scattering of a 30kw laser beam to make it harmless to satellites... nope, I don't think so.

I can't speak to the laser strength required to shoot a satellite out of orbit, however; The U.S. Military had a mega-watt laser back in the 90's that they were going to test against satellites. But then that's quite a lot more powerful than this new "highest power yet" laser from Lockheed...

http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19970922&slug=2561893

Re:Excuse me... Excuse me?!!! (5, Informative)

abies (607076) | about 2 months ago | (#46148201)

Too many unknowns to get exact numbers, but assuming visible light and 10cm aperture, we are probably talking about few mm per each km of distance. Geostationary satellites are completely out of range, but lets take ISS as example - 400km. This means that 30kW would be spread over circle with 2m or so. ISS has a speed of 7-8km/s (as all low orbit satellites, otherwise they would fall down). This means that each part of station would be in the beam 'focus' for 0.005 seconds. Given radius of the beam and speed, there would be no localized damage - just total energy transferred to station. Assuming it goes in most unfavorable way, it can probably get around 100m of length through the beam, giving a total of 0.013s exposure. So, in most unfortunate situation, we are talking about 390 joules of energy being transferred to the ENTIRE station. For comparison, light shining on _earth_ hits with 1000 joules per second for each square meter (a probably a lot more in space). So, we are talking about effect being few hundred times smaller than sun radiation station received each second.

Please note that we are talking about _collateral_ damage due to missed shots, not active tracking of satellites. But even with perfect tracking and a lot more powerful lasers, it would be very hard to do lasting damage. Current anti-satellite laser developments are about _blinding_ satellites, not blowing them up.

If you think that collateral, non-tracked shot from realistic laser with 30kW of power can do any damage to any satellite, please provide your calculations. Otherwise, too much watching StarWars, not enough science.

Re:Excuse me... Excuse me?!!! (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 2 months ago | (#46148593)

Depends what you are trying to damage. A CCD doesn't need nearly as much energy to destroy as sheet metal.

Re:Excuse me... Excuse me?!!! (1)

Threni (635302) | about 2 months ago | (#46148253)

Serious question: Would this be a useful way of clearing up all the junk that's floating around in orbit? Surely if you sliced each one up a few times it'd fall out of orbit sooner rather than later, and be more likely to burn up than intact satellites. (I mean, I've seen Dark Star - as long as you don't put any AI on the laser we should be fine)

Re:Excuse me... Excuse me?!!! (1)

Electricity Likes Me (1098643) | about 2 months ago | (#46148373)

Cutting things up isn't useful. In space you need to impart delta-V - lasers have been proposed as a way to trigger outgasing on orbital debris from the ground. Add enough upwards delta-V away from the earth and you could shift the orbit enough for a deep-dive into the atmosphere (space, the only place where thrusting away from the ground sends you straight into it).

Re:Excuse me... Excuse me?!!! (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 2 months ago | (#46148611)

Could be, actually. Cut them up and you're looking at a higher cross-section to mass ratio, which hastens the process of very, very slowly falling down from wispy atmospheric drag. But you couldn't do it from the ground - too far, too much air in the way. Perhaps a 'junk hunter' sat could work.

Re:Excuse me... Excuse me?!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46148711)

Just don't get into shooting fight in hall of mirrors ;)

Mirrors? Really? You must be joking. This kind of power would destroy even a perfect mirror. There would be no reflection.

Re:Excuse me... Excuse me?!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46148103)

How is that any different from conventional weaponry? And how is that even a problem for surface to air lasers? Only things a missed air defense laser beam might harm are flying unicorns.

Re:Excuse me... Excuse me?!!! (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 2 months ago | (#46148515)

Nobody has figured out how to stop laser beams that have missed their target, have they?

Water.

Unfitting. No use case. ROI = 0. (1, Insightful)

vikingpower (768921) | about 2 months ago | (#46147997)

Does it not seem most unfitting for a state which, though pridening itself in its alleged openness and democratic nature, can only keep itself afloat by a debt-raising mechanism, and by printing money, as well as for a state where a substantial portion of its citizens live in deepest poverty ( not to speak of their virtual illiteracy ) to develop weapons no one ever asked for ?

Re:Unfitting. No use case. ROI = 0. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46148159)

I too am believening that the weapon of laser gun is most expensive for the state with expenses greater than anti-expenses. Glorious Leader is only leader that can afford the great laser gun weapon for shooting in the sea and sky and on ground.

Beam or pulse? (2)

skandalfo (623756) | about 2 months ago | (#46148011)

Let me know when they get to the 30 MW mining laser. Then I can go harvesting some asteroids.

Re:Beam or pulse? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46148077)

You know as well as I do that the 20MW beam laser is more cost-effective.

See you on the E:D alpha. :)

Re:Beam or pulse? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46148109)

Don't tell me you are one of those religious fanatics from Van Maneens Star.

The Russians have been doing lasers for decades (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46148035)

Course they would publish all the technical details on the Internet for Lockheed to compare with and claim superiority.

What we all want to know is... (4, Funny)

Neo-Rio-101 (700494) | about 2 months ago | (#46148043)

...does it go.... pew! pew!... pew! pew!... pew! pew! pew!

Re:What we all want to know is... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46148083)

Palin is not involved so there is hope that it doesn't do that and some intelligence is woven into the project.

The USA must be the only country where a brain dead someone like Palin has actually a chance of becoming an elected politician with an audience.

Re:What we all want to know is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46148285)

You may be on to something - after all, they did elect Obama president. The populace Must be brain dead!

Re:What we all want to know is... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46148135)

no, it goes furore!
the yanks got it all wrong from the top-down design, designed to render it ineffective against the ILLEGAL ISRAELI SPACEWEAPONS PROGRAM. Heck, the thing wouldn`t even hit a barndoor in Dimona (if Dimona really exists, and the israelis really have been producing a tonne per annum of enriched uranium, and a few hundred pounds of plutonium), not with that Iron Dome they say they got workin last week.
  poopoopoo!

  lockheed martin could serve better using x-rays, maybe S.T.A.R.T. by scanning the Feds vaults as they been evading the audit for decades!

Re:What we all want to know is... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46148141)

Go home you are still drunk. Either that or a fucking anti-semite. Or both.

Bandwidth (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46148153)

I wonder what the bandwidth of the combined beam is? You need a pretty decent amount of power to provide laser data connections to really distant objects in space (e.g. a Jupitor orbiter), so if fibre lasers make this more efficient they could take over from LADEEs LLST diode laser based comm system.

Multiple bandwidths (1)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | about 2 months ago | (#46148157)

I don't know the physics of it, could someone tell me whether it would be both feasible and helpful to combine various lasers of differing bandwidths into one beam?

Re:Multiple bandwidths (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46148259)

If all you care about is power, then you don't even need to keep the spatial and temporal coherency that a LASER gives you. You just beam-merge all the LASER beams you want into a small very concentrated beam of light (this would be just regular light, most LASER properties that scientific applications require would be lost).

Re:Multiple bandwidths (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46148275)

Not really. The desired property of laser is the narrow bandwith, not a wide one. You also want to keep it to a single frequency since that is what makes it easy to focus the beam.
While laser technically is about the way the light is emitted one would probably not call a beam of multiple bandwidths for a laser beam.

Re:Multiple bandwidths (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46148641)

That is exactly what LM did,(different wavelengths not bandwidths). You can combine various wavelength lasers(gaining power, losing other laser beam properties), you can't combine same wavelength lasers.

Don't cross the beams (1)

Derling Whirvish (636322) | about 2 months ago | (#46148287)

"There's something very important I forgot to tell you. Don't cross the laser beams. It would be bad. Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously."

Re:Don't cross the beams (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46148419)

"Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously."

That happened when the legalized gay marriage

Dubious (1)

Dereck1701 (1922824) | about 2 months ago | (#46148563)

I'm highly dubious as to the real world applications of this system. Every other laser "weapon" has turned out to be highly ineffective, prone to failure & unable to meet any of its design goals. Just look at the ABL (Airborne Laser), they burnt over $5 Billion and were well on their way to burning more until some in the military hierarchy noticed that you would need dozens of them positioned inside even a small enemies airspace to be effective.

Re:Dubious (3, Informative)

SirGarlon (845873) | about 2 months ago | (#46148741)

The real-world application of this system is to siphon taxpayer dollars into the pockets of Lockheed Martin shareholders, and it seems to be working fine so far, thank you very much!

Re:Dubious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46148833)

because we shouldn't ever research new weapons unless we *know* they are going to work before we start.

Bring out the sharks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46148775)

> paving the way for a laser weapon system suitable, if not for a Death Star, for a wide range of air, land, and sea military platforms.

Sea military platforms, you say?

Yes, bring out the sharks!

Don't infringe my 2nd amendment rights! (1)

American Patent Guy (653432) | about 2 months ago | (#46148819)

Oh, no ... I can hear it now: "I have a right to carry one of these if I want to!"

Considering that a "gun" is defined in a stereotypical law as something that has a muzzle and fires a projectile, it probably is legal to carry one ... if you can lift the silly thing!

The sporting goods store will announce it to their customers .... as the only gun that cooks its target so you don't have to!

Oh, this one's going to be ugly.

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