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Anti-missile lasers

  1. Oct 20, 2006 #1

    taylaron

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    i know that the military is producing a powerfull laser that can potentially knock down hazardus misiles (possibly ICBMs)
    wouldent all you need to have is an estreemly powerfull VERY SMALL laser. size doesnt matter if your cutting straight through it. wither the cut is 5 inches, or 2 cm. its still cut. all electrical connections would be severed. theres no need to have the laser be huge in diamater.
    right?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 20, 2006 #2

    berkeman

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    They are focusing the laser on as small a spot as possible (many many miles away). The goal is to burn through the outer metal skin and ignite any propellant tanks or piping they can. The counter strategy is to coat the missle skin with a reflective material at the laser wavelength.
     
  4. Oct 20, 2006 #3

    Danger

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    And no matter what they want you to believe, the project so far is a total turkey.
     
  5. Oct 20, 2006 #4

    taylaron

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    your probably right........
    its a good idea though.
    .......we'll get it eventually.....
     
  6. Oct 20, 2006 #5

    russ_watters

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    Danger, there are several ABM technologies being worked on simultaneously and the media likes to talk-up the ones that are failures, but laser-based ABM defense is one that works. Not maybe, not could be, not promising: it works and will be in service in a few years. Here is the Airborne Laser:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airborne_laser
    http://www.boeing.com/defense-space/military/abl/
    Though the prototype hasn't been tested yet, the fact that earlier technology demonstrators have proven successful leaves little doubt that it will work. It is important to remember, though, that this particular weapon has a range of only a few hundred miles, so it needs to be near the enemy launching the missile. The more comprehensive defense systems, however, are the ones that are failures.

    Space-based lasers would work too, and could provide global protection, but would be too expensive for now. And yes, that sounds like Reagan's Star Wars. It is in fact, a direct decendant of that research, which at the time was little more than a pipe dream. But hey - on the plus side, DVD players are cheap today!
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2006
  7. Oct 20, 2006 #6

    Ivan Seeking

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    Much like the days when B52s were in constant flight, the ABL systems can remain in constant flight over the area of concern - like off the coast of N. Korea. This would [or does] allow them to be close enough to be effective during the first stage of a missile launch.
     
  8. Oct 20, 2006 #7

    Danger

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    I'm not denying that the thing (after enough screw-ups to still make it a financial turkey) can shoot down a target missile. I'm also aware that there are several methods of countermeasures that could render it useless if the enemy decided to implement them.
     
  9. Oct 21, 2006 #8

    Ivan Seeking

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    Well, all technologies are subject to countermeasures, so we take countermeasures to the countermeasures. It becomes a question of the cost to benefit ratio.

    And I think you are still confusing the NMD and the old SDI program with the current ABL program.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2006
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