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Posted: 9/23/2004 3:47:52 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/23/2004 4:03:56 AM EST by ArmdLbrl]
And are American lives being lost needlessly because of it? This is from July
www.llnl.gov/IPandC/technology/profile/announcement/HighPowerHeatCapacityLaser.php


LAWRENCE LIVERMORE NATIONAL LABORATORY SEEKS TO LICENSE THE TECHNOLOGY FOR A HIGH POWER HEAT CAPACITY LASER
Announcement: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), operated by the University of California under contract with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), desires to license the technology for a high power Heat Capacity Laser. In addition, LLNL would welcome the opportunity to engage in cooperative research (CRADA) with commercial partner(s) interested in developing the technology.

Researchers at LLNL have developed a successful pulsed high energy solid state laser that produces high average output power by operating in a mode that separates the operation (heating) and cooling cycles (i.e. in a heat capacity limited regime). Instead of employing continuous cooling, the laser operates until the active amplifier medium heats up to some maximum acceptable temperature. This approach eliminates much of the wavefront distortion normally associated with the thermal gradients created by the cooling process. The waste heat is temporarily accumulated in the active amplifier medium itself. Therefore, the amount of energy the laser can put out with minimal optical wavefront distortion is proportional to its mass, the heat capacity of the active medium, and the temperature difference over which it is being operated. Cooling takes place when the laser is not operating.

In addition, researchers at LLNL have invented a normal incidence stack architecture. The laser design uses this architecture with diode array pumping to achieve increased power/energy per disk, a reduction in beam distortions by orders of magnitude, improved beam propagation, and improved packaging.

Finally the laser technology employs a wavefront control system that operates within the laser optical cavity. The unstable resonator design includes a deformable mirror and other control elements to optimize far field beam quality while the laser operates.

LLNL has a tabletop laser demonstrating high average power and high beam quality. The laser is already reaching 10-kilowatts of average power. The ultimate goal is to produce 100-kilowatt prototypes in 2006-07. The laser is capable of firing bursts of 500-microsecond long pulses, at a 200 Hertz repetition rate, with a 2000 to 4000 shot magazine and fast gain media exchange for reload capability. The system is compact in design enabling mounting on a truck (e.g. Humvee). The system is intended for field deployment primarily against rockets, artillery and mortars but has other uses such as remote land mine uncovering and deflagration.

LLNL has one issued U.S. patent (5,526,372) and several patent applications relating to this technology.




Two such units exist, one has been to Afghanistan, but they are mounted on unarmored Humvees.
www.zeus.sparta.com/overview.html

Why has there not been a crash program to equip more vheicles with these and send them to Iraq to destroy IEDs? One placed at the head of a convoy could simply fry all suspicious looking objects, pieces of trash, and discolored/overturned earth and patched asphalt that conceal mines and IEDs.

I thought that it was just because the laser was not powerful enough to get to deliberately buried mines. But this LLNL release says that isnt so:
www.llnl.gov/llnl/06news/NewsReleases/2004/NR-04-07-02.html


Clearing land mines

A team of laser scientists and engineers has built upon LLNL's Solid-State Heat Capacity Laser, which is designed to destroy mortars and missiles in short-range battlefield defense.

The new diode-pumped pulsed laser can be used to uncover and safely neutralize buried land mines, which are a worldwide problem. Today, there are an estimated 100 million land mines spread throughout 70 nations.

With an output power of more than 10,000 watts, making it the most powerful diode-pumped solid-state laser in the world, the laser is fired in a pulsed mode, producing a peak power of up to half a million watts. When aimed at a buried mine, this high peak power rapidly heats the ground, causing it to burst aside and expose the mine. Digging rates are up to 40 centimeters per second. Once exposed, the mine is benignly burned out rather than dangerously exploded.

The laser is compact and fits on a vehicle. This advance allows land mines to be safely neutralized at up to a quarter mile away without the need to expose it manually. Attempts to expose mines manually result statistically in one death for every 5,000 successfully neutralized mine. Other laser-based mine-clearing approaches have had to rely on personnel to go out into the field and dangerously expose the mine before a laser or explosive means can be used.

Another advantage is that the laser significantly reduces the problem of false positives, since the object under examination - a land mine, rock or other debris - can be destroyed in seconds. It is now practical to check all questionable buried items since a mine field can be rapidly checked.



Since it can burrow through dirt at that rate even deliberately buried devices are accessable. Since the devices will be burned up rather than exploded, there will be no cratering of roads, or blast/shrapnel damage to surrounding civilian residences.

Are just not enough people aware that this technology exists? What is the deal? This should be a crash program to get into the field, though mounted in a Bradley, M113 or Stryker rather than a Humvee to keep from losing them to RPGs.

Also there needs to be greater effort to get the MTHEL into service to guard bases in Iraq from mortar and rocket attack.

Its not technology that is lacking but means of production, and that is something that CAN be fixed by throwing money at it. There needs to be a greater effort to get this out there as soon as possible. Even if the systems are slightly buggy.
Link Posted: 9/23/2004 4:05:01 AM EST
There are a couple of DARPA programs currently under consideration that would provide technical solutions to several of the threats our troops are encountering in Iraq. We are working on one that will provide extremely rapid detection of incoming RPGs, rockets and arty then deploy a "curtain" of "netting" on the engaged side of the convoy to defeat the incoming rounds. As part of that overall effort, we have developed a 'looky-see" round compatible with a 40mm bloop gun, or a 60mm or 81mm mortar. The round has the exact same ballistics of the HE round so our guys simply drop one over a suspected enemy pos, it takes their pic and downloads it to the local commander's laptop and to whomever else wants to look at the tactical picture. (Yes...it is encrypted too). Just imagine the possibilities!

For example, a patrol heading down a road sees a cluster of buildings ahead that look promising for enemy troops to set up a 'bush. The lead patrol commander orders a recce round over the pos with a ready for HE call too. If the multi-spectral imager detects the presence of BGs, HE mail on the way!

This is unclas and we're also working on a couple of other programs that are not. All to help our troops.

I think this laser will be fielded as soon as adequate testing is completed and as soon after the election as is practical. No need to excite the electorate any more by telling everyone that we are employing Star Trek weapons against those poor misguided Islamofacists. Remember, in the eyes of the liberal, its really all our fault anyway.
Link Posted: 9/23/2004 4:07:48 AM EST
yeah, they are waiting on sending the phase plasma rifles too... apparently they only have a 30 watt range...
Link Posted: 9/23/2004 4:23:51 AM EST
Lwilde...i dont know if youre the cheif scientist or the janitor where you work...but keep it up. you and others like you is what helps keep America on top of the heap
Link Posted: 9/23/2004 4:37:37 AM EST

Originally Posted By DvlDog:
Lwilde...i dont know if youre the cheif scientist or the janitor where you work...but keep it up. you and others like you is what helps keep America on top of the heap



In between...Project Director...whatever the hell that is!

My neighbor is a Colonel of Marines (Reserve). He is a combat engineer by trade...and a GS-15 at Fort Belvoir in the Advanced Projects office. I just delivered a proposal to him this morning and we're going up to the Pentagon to brief the project as soon as he sets up the meeting. I appreciate your comments. As retired military who once toted an M-16 in my early, crazy years, my heart goes out to all of those kids in harm's way.

Since we are university faculty, we won't make a penny from this effort. If accepted, the DoD will then start the serious acquisition process by lining up some for-profit contractors to make whatever it is we think up. We do it because we all crazy and because our troops need these toys to KILL those murdering rat-bastard members of the ROP. <<I'd say more...but then I'd get banned.>>
Link Posted: 9/23/2004 4:38:25 AM EST
See what gets me is that, in 1941 when the Germans started bombing England by night the British were able to field a working aircraft mounted radar in about 8 months. When the UBoats were slaughtering merchant ships in off our coast in the spring of 42 we turned the AI sets into radar that could detect a PERISCOPE from sea clutter in about 3 months.

Why can we not work that fast anymore?
Link Posted: 9/23/2004 4:43:36 AM EST

Originally Posted By ArmdLbrl:
See what gets me is that, in 1941 when the Germans started bombing England by night the British were able to field a working aircraft mounted radar in about 8 months. When the UBoats were slaughtering merchant ships in off our coast in the spring of 42 we turned the AI sets into radar that could detect a PERISCOPE from sea clutter in about 3 months.

Why can we not work that fast anymore?



Because we might find and burn a mine that blows up right next to a school, all in front of a news camera. Some weeniehead will demand a congressional hearing and cost more American lives and money by halting the project, not to mention the inquest into the command chain.

Problems like this didn't happen in 1941. If people died, hey, fuck 'em. Today...it's someone's fault.
Link Posted: 9/23/2004 4:46:13 AM EST
Mines dont blow up when lasered, they burn.

Now a IED made from black powder would be another thing. But there don't seem to be many of those.
Link Posted: 9/23/2004 4:53:03 AM EST
Link Posted: 9/23/2004 4:57:55 AM EST

Originally Posted By ArmdLbrl:
Mines dont blow up when lasered, they burn.

Now a IED made from black powder would be another thing. But there don't seem to be many of those.



Erm..what do you think they made the IED's out of? Old artillary shells, etc...things that if they get hot, go boom...I'm pretty sure that quite a few of the IEDs they'd lase would go "boom" instead of "fizz"
Link Posted: 9/23/2004 5:13:36 AM EST

Originally Posted By LWilde:


In between...Project Director...whatever the hell that is!

My neighbor is a Colonel of Marines (Reserve). He is a combat engineer by trade...and a GS-15 at Fort Belvoir in the Advanced Projects office.



Thanx for all you say and do. You Guys Rock!
Link Posted: 9/23/2004 5:23:36 AM EST
Man, I had no idea we had technology such as that! I hope we can get some fielding. If we can reduce or slow the numbers of IED and mortar/RPG attacks, we would suffer very few casualties. Keep developing this stuff fellas and let's get it fielded!
Link Posted: 9/23/2004 5:53:34 AM EST
So what exactly does this laser do to humans? Or more precisely, what does it do to subhuman terrorists from the RoP?
Link Posted: 9/23/2004 6:12:15 AM EST
Link Posted: 9/23/2004 6:30:21 AM EST
So when does the first Metal Gear start kickin ass?
Link Posted: 9/23/2004 6:37:16 AM EST

Originally Posted By HeavyMetal:

Originally Posted By napalm:
So what exactly does this laser do to humans? Or more precisely, what does it do to subhuman terrorists from the RoP?



What does a magnifying glass do to an ant?






'Lighting up' the enemy will take on a whole new meaning!

Andy
Link Posted: 9/23/2004 7:01:15 AM EST

Originally Posted By napalm:
So what exactly does this laser do to humans? Or more precisely, what does it do to subhuman terrorists from the RoP?



Weak lasers have been used to blind people. Many combat pilots now have available to them tools of the trade to protect their eyes in case the threat targeted my have the capability to use blinding lasers.

Lasers come in different color bands and power levels and have different uses. Your supermarket uses them to scan your purchass. Your opthalmic surgeon corrects your diopter with a computer controlled low power laser by "shaping" your optic lens.

Some folks have been experimenting with blue-green chemical lasers on the sea from aircraft or satellites to detect subs. The USAF has an operational airborne laser on a B-747 in test now that will shoot down an ICBM in the boost phase. If it can take out an ICBM, it can take out a plane. Lasers have been tested for years against various materials. The right laser...operating at a sufficient power level will burn a hole through just about any man made material on the planet. On people? Think Star Trek phasers set on KILL!

There are certain problems inherent with using lasers as weapons. On has to do with the lack of homogenuity in our atmosphere. The air mass above us is acually multi-layered. Because of the differences in air density the effects on a search and tracking sensors is different than on a laser "gun". The effects can be quantified by Snell's Law, which is represented thus: n1 sin(Theta1) = n2 sin(Theta2). Here is a cool web site that explains this phenomenon. It works for any frequency of the spectrum in any medium.
Link Posted: 9/23/2004 7:10:30 AM EST

Originally Posted By LWilde:

Originally Posted By napalm:
So what exactly does this laser do to humans? Or more precisely, what does it do to subhuman terrorists from the RoP?



Weak lasers have been used to blind people. Many combat pilots now have available to them tools of the trade to protect their eyes in case the threat targeted my have the capability to use blinding lasers.

Lasers come in different color bands and power levels and have different uses. Your supermarket uses them to scan your purchass. Your opthalmic surgeon corrects your diopter with a computer controlled low power laser by "shaping" your optic lens.

Some folks have been experimenting with blue-green chemical lasers on the sea from aircraft or satellites to detect subs. The USAF has an operational airborne laser on a B-747 in test now that will shoot down an ICBM in the boost phase. If it can take out an ICBM, it can take out a plane. Lasers have been tested for years against various materials. The right laser...operating at a sufficient power level will burn a hole through just about any man made material on the planet. On people? Think Star Trek phasers set on KILL!

There are certain problems inherent with using lasers as weapons. On has to do with the lack of homogenuity in our atmosphere. The air mass above us is acually multi-layered. Because of the differences in air density the effects on a search and tracking sensors is different than on a laser "gun". The effects can be quantified by Snell's Law, which is represented thus: n1 sin(Theta1) = n2 sin(Theta2). Here is a cool web site that explains this phenomenon. It works for any frequency of the spectrum in any medium.



There are optical device detectors that can be used to detect someone looking at you with optics (e.g. a rifle scope) and direct a high-energy IR laser on the reciprocal path to damage the eye. This is one reason why the wire-reticle M3A scope is better for use in such an environment - the etched-glass reticle offers a flat plane that makes optical detection easy for a properly equipped enemy.

I can't help but look at that thing above and think "one M118LR and it's back to throwing rocks."
Link Posted: 9/23/2004 7:16:05 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/23/2004 7:20:32 AM EST by ArmdLbrl]

Originally Posted By QuietShootr:

Originally Posted By LWilde:

Originally Posted By napalm:
So what exactly does this laser do to humans? Or more precisely, what does it do to subhuman terrorists from the RoP?



Weak lasers have been used to blind people. Many combat pilots now have available to them tools of the trade to protect their eyes in case the threat targeted my have the capability to use blinding lasers.

Lasers come in different color bands and power levels and have different uses. Your supermarket uses them to scan your purchass. Your opthalmic surgeon corrects your diopter with a computer controlled low power laser by "shaping" your optic lens.

Some folks have been experimenting with blue-green chemical lasers on the sea from aircraft or satellites to detect subs. The USAF has an operational airborne laser on a B-747 in test now that will shoot down an ICBM in the boost phase. If it can take out an ICBM, it can take out a plane. Lasers have been tested for years against various materials. The right laser...operating at a sufficient power level will burn a hole through just about any man made material on the planet. On people? Think Star Trek phasers set on KILL!

There are certain problems inherent with using lasers as weapons. On has to do with the lack of homogenuity in our atmosphere. The air mass above us is acually multi-layered. Because of the differences in air density the effects on a search and tracking sensors is different than on a laser "gun". The effects can be quantified by Snell's Law, which is represented thus: n1 sin(Theta1) = n2 sin(Theta2). Here is a cool web site that explains this phenomenon. It works for any frequency of the spectrum in any medium.



There are optical device detectors that can be used to detect someone looking at you with optics (e.g. a rifle scope) and direct a high-energy IR laser on the reciprocal path to damage the eye. This is one reason why the wire-reticle M3A scope is better for use in such an environment - the etched-glass reticle offers a flat plane that makes optical detection easy for a properly equipped enemy.

I can't help but look at that thing above and think "one M118LR and it's back to throwing rocks."



You would need at least a .50 cal. The mirror, besides having metal armored shutters when not in use has a polished plate of sintered alumina (aluminum oxide) thats between it and the outside world. HIGHELY impact resistant. Its no more fragile really than the TIs on the Bradley and M1.

Its worst enemy is its own heat. There is no question that the lasers will have problems with breaking down in that enviroment, but they are so useful when they work, and if they conk out then we are no worse off than we are already, no one will be rendered unarmed if they quit. They should try to get as many as they can and send them sooner rather than later.
Link Posted: 9/23/2004 7:16:55 AM EST
The Royal Navy has fitted its warships with 2 high power DEC Lazer Dazzlers since the Falklands War, its purpose being to blind missile seekers however it also blinds pilots… (but officially it is not fitted for that purpose).

An interesting effect of a lazer hitting an oncoming aircraft is that the lazer can cause the dielectric coating on the canopy to flouresce like a neon tube… it can also make your eyes glow… nasty stuff.

ANdy
Link Posted: 9/23/2004 7:23:01 AM EST
Is the military dragging its feet about sending laser weapons to Iraq?


The title of this thread illustrates perfectly why I'm so glad that I was born an American.
Link Posted: 9/23/2004 7:23:15 AM EST

Originally Posted By vito113:
The Royal Navy has fitted its warships with 2 high power DEC Lazer Dazzlers since the Falklands War, its purpose being to blind missile seekers however it also blinds pilots… (but officially it is not fitted for that purpose).

An interesting effect of a lazer hitting an oncoming aircraft is that the lazer can cause the dielectric coating on the canopy to flouresce like a neon tube… it can also make your eyes glow… nasty stuff.

ANdy



Some USMC M1s have a dazzler mounted on their roof too. Army ones don't though, at least so far as I have seen- but then most USMC units dont have CITV which would be in the way.

Its a useful tool especally since the Russians are so fond of laser beam riding as opposed to SAL for rounds like Kornet.
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