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10/20/2017 1:01:18 AM
9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/25/2005 5:36:21 PM EDT




www.theregister.co.uk/2005/08/25/starwars_laser/

US fighters tooling up with lasers

By Gavin Clarke in San Francisco
Published Thursday 25th August 2005 22:08 GMT


The US military is going all Star Wars with plans to equip its aircraft with laser guns to shoot down enemy missiles and aircraft.

The snappily named High Energy Liquid Laser Area Defense System (HELLADS) program has been tasked with the job of developing, building and testing a relatively small and light-weight laser device for use by aircraft.

The device, or HEL laser, must weigh less than 750Kg and be capable of producing a 15kW beam. HEL laser is being overseen by the Defense Research Advanced Projects Agency (DARPA), which manages R&D projects for the US Department of Defense.

HEL laser is designed to over-come traditional problems associated with laser-based weaponry. Lasers guns are typically too large to fit in the confines of a fighter and are prone to overheating.

The New Scientist reports, though, DARPA believes it has overcome these conventional limitations by combining high energy density solid-state laser technology with liquid laser technology to control the heat-generation problem. Right.
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 5:39:15 PM EDT
Dum...dum...dum..dum..daa... dum.
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 5:44:57 PM EDT
Mmm... flash-fried radheads/commie bastards.
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 5:48:14 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/25/2005 5:50:39 PM EDT by Airwolf]

Originally Posted By dinkydow:
Dum...dum...dum..dum..daa... dum.

BSG 2003 OST - Launch Vipers

(128kbps, 4.2MB mp3)

Link Posted: 8/25/2005 5:48:19 PM EDT
Anyone know what kind of damage a 15kw laser will do? Are we talking small clean hole in something, or blown to smithereens type damage?
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 5:48:27 PM EDT
I want my planes with frikken laser beams on their frikken pylons....
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 5:59:17 PM EDT
tag
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 6:03:27 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 6:07:09 PM EDT
How about 100KW? Take out any armor on the battlefield.
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 6:20:31 PM EDT
Looks like bling bling will be functional now.
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 6:25:46 PM EDT
So what happens if someone shoots at someone else from above and the laser passes through and ignites buildings in a city below?
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 6:27:55 PM EDT
Now if we can only get plasma weapons past the 40 watt barrier we'd be set!
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 6:28:04 PM EDT
If it's over indian country who gives a flying fuck.


Originally Posted By 1Andy2:
So what happens if someone shoots at someone else from above and the laser passes through and ignites buildings in a city below?

Link Posted: 8/25/2005 6:35:37 PM EDT

Originally Posted By KA3B:
If it's over indian country who gives a flying fuck.


Originally Posted By 1Andy2:
So what happens if someone shoots at someone else from above and the laser passes through and ignites buildings in a city below?




There are American cities on earth too.
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 6:39:08 PM EDT
I wonder how fast the weapon will pulse? Will it shoot just one time or will it say pulse 10x in 1 second. I guess the power requirements and how much heat can be released will determine how it will be fired.Quick pulses in a pattern will do more damage than 1 long pulse.
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 6:46:44 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/25/2005 6:53:58 PM EDT by RikWriter]

Originally Posted By 1Andy2:
So what happens if someone shoots at someone else from above and the laser passes through and ignites buildings in a city below?



Physics. It's what makes things work. Learn about it.
Specifically things like the inverse square rule.
To explain...lasers aren't like bullets or missiles. They won't just keep on going with the same destruction potential. The further they get from the source, the wider the beam spreads until it's too wide to carry heat. Now, if you had a nuclear reactor or some such thing powering it, it might be able to travel from 10 or 20,000 feet and still punch a hole in something on the ground (NOT ignite it...you'd have to focus it for a time on one spot to ignite it unless it was a REALLY intense, high power beam) but the power from the turbines of a fighter jet or even a big bank of batteries or fuel cells on a C130 or some such thing wouldn't be enough to create a beam that could do that. We'll be lucky if we can get it to punch a hole in the skin of a fighter at a mile away.
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 6:53:33 PM EDT
BAH!
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 6:59:23 PM EDT
Ohh man this is sweet!

Bet the Europeans and peaceniks love this
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 7:07:05 PM EDT
Group buy?
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 7:14:23 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/25/2005 7:20:35 PM EDT by HKS]
Doesnt say when this is going into the mainstream arsenal. From the sound of the NewScientist report, not until 2090.

More propaganda that will cost lives in war because our public is so complacent and thinks we have death rays from space and laser missile defense systems protecting us.

Zzzz wish I had a penny for everything DARPA is wokring on that doesnt exist yet.
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 7:21:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 1Andy2:
So what happens if someone shoots at someone else from above and the laser passes through and ignites buildings in a city below?




15KW is a pretty darned powerful laser, but they can actually control the length of the beam by pulse modulation. Been done for years in commercial and scientific applications.

Link Posted: 8/25/2005 7:21:49 PM EDT

Originally Posted By HKS:
Doesnt say when this is going into the mainstream arsenal.



When they get it working.

They're still working on the YAL-1's laser. And they have a whole 747 to squeeze it into. It may be a while before they replace the M61 in the Super Hornet.
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 7:26:23 PM EDT
That's really small compared to what it takes now.
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 7:38:03 PM EDT
What about a cloudy day? Or maybe a shiney surface? The prupose would be the penetrate the skin of the missile and mess up the electronics. Probably no spectacular explosions......unless they miss.
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 7:40:34 PM EDT

Originally Posted By gaweidert:
What about a cloudy day? Or maybe a shiney surface? The prupose would be the penetrate the skin of the missile and mess up the electronics. Probably no spectacular explosions......unless they miss.



An easy 90% of a missile is fuel. Puncture the skin, the missile doesn't fly much longer. Airplanes are alot of gas flying around too.
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 7:50:11 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/25/2005 7:51:12 PM EDT by Andreuha]
A (relatively) small laser weapons system would really kick ass... so long as we didn't share it with any 'allies' too fast. But about it kicking ass, well, combat effectiveness of new platforms would be enhanced dramatically to say the least. It would also make effective space-based weaponry a feasable reality (at least, lasers which don't overheat easily).
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 7:54:16 PM EDT
Incoming warheads will not have any fuel left in them. They will be merely falling towards their targets. We can already destroy airplanes without having them in visual range so using a laser in a dog fight scenerio may look good in the movies, but not practical in real life at the moment. Projectile weapons still have several advantages that are hard to beat.
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 7:59:54 PM EDT
actually, what they are really gonna do is fry the enemy pilot. it takes an order of magnitude less power to fry a person than blow the plane
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 8:07:30 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 8:10:04 PM EDT
I thought they were already fielding a modified 747 with a laser mounted on the nose to shoot down missiles during launch. Or like 1 or 2 years away from fielding it at most...
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 8:22:23 PM EDT

Originally Posted By HeavyMetal:

Originally Posted By gaweidert:
Incoming warheads will not have any fuel left in them. They will be merely falling towards their targets. .



No, the missle will rip itself apart after you punch a hole in it and compromise its structurial integrity and the warhead will fall well short onto its own territory.



I'd say it's best bet is to screw up the seeker and then it goes dumb. Just as good as killing it.
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 8:23:07 PM EDT
These are not powered by the aircrafts power system.

They carry thier own solid state system which is charged on the ground and is good for a limited number of shots.

The real benefit is that they are being designed to be hotlinked into the helmet site with a turret on the top and bottom of the aircraft to enable over the shoulder see-it-shoot it capability.

Dealing the damage at the necessary ranges is not the problem, an immedietly appearing hole almost anywhere in an airframe is lethal in many conditions. The problems are wieght and heat at this point.

The F-35 was designed with this system in mind and there is a good deal of literature on how far along things are. We are looking to field them in ten years.
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 8:53:10 PM EDT
Stooopid question: would you be able to see the laser in a form of a beam as it is firied (ala Star Wars), or would it be like a lazer pointer where you see either end but nothing in the middle?
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 9:40:40 PM EDT


I'll take mine with a clan ER Large Laser
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 9:47:22 PM EDT

Originally Posted By OBird:
Stooopid question: would you be able to see the laser in a form of a beam as it is firied (ala Star Wars), or would it be like a lazer pointer where you see either end but nothing in the middle?



You will see it very briefly, if it is aimed directly at you.
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 9:55:31 PM EDT

Originally Posted By OBird:
Stooopid question: would you be able to see the laser in a form of a beam as it is firied (ala Star Wars), or would it be like a lazer pointer where you see either end but nothing in the middle?



light is only visible when it is reflected off of something, which is why you see the beam when it is shone through smoke.
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 10:52:08 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 1Andy2:
I thought they were already fielding a modified 747 with a laser mounted on the nose to shoot down missiles during launch. Or like 1 or 2 years away from fielding it at most...



Military Channel did a show on on this ....fuselage was nothing more than a giant powerplant and would be able to target multiple bogies several miles away.
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 11:01:35 PM EDT
Ok....Who here will post a pic of a F-18E Super Hornet with "frikken laser beams on their frikken pylons..."?

Link Posted: 8/25/2005 11:06:10 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 11:24:46 PM EDT
I'm not gonna be happy until I can get a....






Thum. Thum.


Link Posted: 8/26/2005 12:47:58 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Silesius:
Group buy?



10-4!
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 12:53:16 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 3:32:14 AM EDT

Originally Posted By OBird:
Stooopid question: would you be able to see the laser in a form of a beam as it is firied (ala Star Wars), or would it be like a lazer pointer where you see either end but nothing in the middle?



This assumes the laser is in the visible wavelength. If it's a infared laser (like the carbon dioxide ones), you won't see the beam at all. I think the infrared ones penetrate cloud cover better too.

I suspect the govt will add the laser for close in work initially, with missles on the aircraft for beyond visual range. Imagine a F-22 sneaking up on your butt and blasting you before you even knew he was there. No lockon signature, no warning, just WHAP. Fireball city.

Of if they can get the energy density high enough, why not use capacitors/batteries to store the power. It would have a limited number of shots of course.
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 3:38:23 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Katana16j:
These are not powered by the aircrafts power system.
[snip]
The F-35 was designed with this system in mind and there is a good deal of literature on how far along things are. We are looking to field them in ten years.

Actually the F-35 engines all have the power shaft extending forward from the engine (used by the VTOL version to power the lift fan; sorta like the power take-off shaft on the rear of a tractor). On the non-VTOL F-35, the shaft will be used to power the laser.

Kharn
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 7:39:11 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/26/2005 7:46:22 AM EDT by ArmdLbrl]
15kw is the power level of the existing ZEUS solid state laser, which is mounted in the back of a Humvee. It weighs about 5000 pounds though.

Its currently used for EOD work.

www.military.com/soldiertech/0,14632,Soldiertech_Laser,,00.html

For the F35 the USAF wants one in the 75-100Kw range.

From the size it sounds like this new program is for a pod mounted laser or one for fitting onto a aircraft like the F-22 that doesn't have the convinent power supply that the F-35 does. 15kw though wouldn't be powerful enough for air to air combat. ZEUS has demonstrated that it can reach buried devices buried as far as 40cm below ground- but only at ranges of a couple hundred meters or less. While anything that can burn through that much dirt or pavement and a couple seconds would cut up a aircraft- or a person- the range is just too short to be practical. It would seem to be more like a anti-missile weapon.

The AC-130 is supposed to get a heat capacity laser even before the F-35 does. Its already been identified as a convinent platform to test out intermediate systems along the way toward reaching the size/power goals needed to fit in a F-35
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 7:56:56 AM EDT
Ok, a Google search reveals that this is NOT a new program, but another case of idiot newspeople butchering a press release.

Here is the link for the official DARPA release for this program www.darpa.mil/tto/programs/hellads.html

Here is the text:

High Energy Liquid Laser Area Defense System (HELLADS)
Program Manager: Mr. Don Woodbury

Overview
The goal of the High Energy Liquid Laser Area Defense System (HELLADS) program is to develop a high-energy laser weapon system (~150 kW) with an order of magnitude reduction in weight compared to existing laser systems. With a weight goal of less than 5 kg/kW, HELLADS will enable high-energy lasers (HELs) to be integrated onto tactical aircraft and UAVs and will significantly increase engagement ranges compared to ground-based systems. This program initiative will investigate and validate a revolutionary laser design that enables a lightweight HEL weapon system. HELLADS will design, fabricate and test a prototype laser. A laboratory demonstration of key performance parameters will be performed, followed by the fabrication and testing of a subscale HEL laser. Once key weapon system parameters have been demonstrated, a full-scale 150 kW HEL weapon system will be fabricated and demonstrated. Finally, the 150 kW HEL will be integrated into a surrogate aircraft and key performance parameters will be demonstrated.

Program Plans
Conduct key technology demonstrations of resonator stability, laser gain, and system thermal performance.
Develop and test a 15 kW sub-scale HEL system.
Complete detailed design and initiate construction of 150 kW laser weapon system.
Demonstrate performance of a 150 kW HEL system in a ground test.
Integrate HEL system into surrogate aircraft.
Demonstrate performance of a 150 kW HEL system in captive flight test.



The 15kw its merely a test model.

Cant quite make out from the text whether its supposed to be a liquid fueled -or chemical- laser, which would make it just a much- miniatureized version of the MTHEL and YAL-1 technology or if its a liquid cooled laser and this is a approach to try and boost the power of a ZEUS type solid state laser...
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 8:01:36 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/26/2005 8:05:49 AM EDT by ArmdLbrl]
Ah ha. More research finds this article:

www.military.com/soldiertech/0,14632,Soldiertech_HELLADS,,00.html


PLAYING WITH LIQUID FIRE: High Energy Lasers Cool Down
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

When firing, a High-Energy Laser heats up to 1000 degrees Fahrenheit -- the temperature at which metal melts. But DARPA, the Pentagon's way-out research arm, has found an efficient way to cool these babies down with (what else?) liquid.


By Noah Shachtman, DefenseTech.org


It's not easy building a laser weapon. And the hardest part might be keeping the ray gun cool.

Take the Airborne laser, for example. The blaster-carrying, modified 747 -- scheduled for test flights later this decade -- has a powerful chemical laser cannon that heats up to 540 degrees celsius when fired. Each few-second blast needs to be followed by minutes of cool-down time. 8,000 gallons of hydrogen peroxide and other chemicals has to be flushed out and chilled to prepare for the next blast.

Next-generation, solid state lasers aren't much easier to handle. True, there are no chemical vats. But the gases, liquids, and mists required to keep these ray guns cool are plenty bulky. And they, too, need to be swept out before the laser can fire again. It's one of many reasons why lasers are being planned for big, clunky planes like the 747 – and not for fighter jets.


For years, Darpa, the Pentagon's way-out research arm, has been bankrolling a project to cool a high-energy laser with a liquid that has the same angle of refraction as the mirrors inside the blaster. That way, the ray gun can fire away, even while it's being cooled. The weapon should take up a whole lot less room. And that could pave the way to putting a blaster "on a ground vehicle, a helicopter, a jet," according to Charles Manor, a spokesman for Lockheed Martin, which was recently named the weapon system integrator for this High Energy Liquid Laser Area Defense System (HELLADS) project.

The San Francisco Chronicle notes that General Atomics -- maker of the Predator drone -- will build HELLADS' laser, "while Lockheed… will develop the system's ability to pinpoint and track a target."

The goal is to have, by 2009, a powerful blaster that's be "an order of magnitude" lighter than comparable lasers -- five kilograms for every kilowatt of energy produced.

The HELLADS project is "currently in the third of five phases," General Atomics says.


The current phase consists of developing the technology necessary to demonstrate a subscale [15 kw] prototype laser system in the laboratory. This subscale demonstrator shall be constructed in the same geometry and operate with a fluence comparable to that of the final weapon system.

As currently envisioned, the fourth phase shall consist of a ground-based laser weapon system demonstrator with an approximate average power of 150 kW. The laser weapon system demonstrator constructed in this phase shall employ a design and materials which demonstrate the ability of the final weapon to achieve low specific weight (5 kg/kW) and a compact geometry suitable for deployment on tactical systems [like a Humvee or a fighter plane].

The final phase consists of the engineering, fabrication, integration and demonstration of a complete HELLADS weapon system on a tactical platform.


That platform might even be robotic, Darpa chief Tony Tether told Congress back in 2003.

With HELLADS, the next-generation Predator B or the heavily-armed Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle "could protect fixed installations or population centers from attack, patrol a border, or patrol a demilitarized zone with the capability to react to hostile actions and engage tactical missiles, rockets, or artillery at the speed of light." Darpa wants to spend $60 million over the next three years on the system.

Copyright © 2005 Military.com and Defense Tech.



This seems to sound like a liquid cooled solid state laser is what they are trying for...

EDIT: Yep it is
Somwhat informative PDF from General Atomics here: www.ga.com/purchasing/pdf/HELLADS.pdf
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