Lightning laser weapon developed by US Army

Hudson

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Lightning laser weapon developed by US Army
US Army scientists are developing a weapon which can fire a laser-guided lightning bolt at a target.

The Laser-Induced Plasma Channel (LIPC) is designed to hit targets that conduct electricity better than the air or ground that surrounds them.

The weapon went through extensive testing in January.

George Fischer, lead scientist on the project, said: "We never got tired of the lightning bolts zapping our simulated [targets]."

Details of the weapon were released on the US Army's website.

Mr Fischer explained how the usually unpredictable lightning bolts can be controlled.

"If a laser puts out a pulse with modest energy, but the time is incredibly tiny, the power can be huge," Mr Fischer said.

"During the duration of the laser pulse, it can be putting out more power than a large city needs, but the pulse only lasts for two-trillionths of a second."

50 billion watts
This means, Mr Fischer said, the air could be manipulated to "act like a lens".

"We use an ultra-short-pulse laser of modest energy to make a laser beam so intense that it focuses on itself in air and stays focused in a filament," he said.

Fifty billion watts of optical power are used. By comparison, a typical filament lightbulb uses 100 watts of power.

"If a laser beam is intense enough, its electro-magnetic field is strong enough to rip electrons off of air molecules, creating plasma," Mr Fischer said.

"This plasma is located along the path of the laser beam, so we can direct it wherever we want by moving a mirror."

The team said it faced a challenge in making the technology rugged enough to survive in harsh battle conditions.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-18630622

Fuck Yeah! I wonder if you can link it to multiple enemies?
 

ruckstande

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#2
A .uk article detailing a U.S. Army lighting weapon? Me has doubts.

Cool, I found a reason to use this.
 

Hudson

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Falldog

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We're still years behind Cobra.
 

lajikal

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#9
A .uk article detailing a U.S. Army lighting weapon? Me has doubts.

Cool, I found a reason to use this.
Give more credibility to bbc than any of our shit news outlets
 

Hate & Discontent

Yo, homie. Is that my briefcase?
Aug 22, 2005
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#10
One step closer to pulse lasers and PPCs. We already have rail guns and gauss rifles. Now, where's my fucking 'Mech, bitches?
 

Atomic Fireball

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#13
50 billion watts in a two picosecond pulse is only a hundred millijoules. Pretty modest energy actually but for the short pulse duration
 

Cunt Smasher

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Aug 26, 2005
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#18
Renamed the Combined Unmanned Neutrino Tracking Laser Induced Plasma System.
 

BIV

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Apr 22, 2002
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#20
Give more credibility to bbc than any of our shit news outlets
You shouldn't. BBC is about one step above Weekly World News in credibility and is state censored. They report on UFO Sightings, for christs sake.
 

LiLJimmysHog

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Dec 18, 2005
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#23
But more importanly....How long before a use to make porn more better is figured out?
 

VMS

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#24
One step closer to pulse lasers and PPCs. We already have rail guns and gauss rifles. Now, where's my fucking 'Mech, bitches?
Yeah, motherfucker!
+2

Though for the record, I don't think 'Mechs make really good sense. In tank design, the holy trinity has always been armor vs. mobility vs. firepower. A Mech, by definition, has greater surface area than a tank. The mobility advantages would have to HUGE to compensate for the automatic decline in armor coverage from that greater increase in surface area.