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International Proliferation of Anti ICBM Lasers

  1. Jul 14, 2006 #1
    Lasers are safer for the following reasons:

    Once you point them into sky, it's hard to bring them down. Hence, one could safely distribute the technology to both friends and enemy. Iran can't hit us with a laser (from Iran).

    You can have a bunch of lasers and mass produce them for redunancy and lower cost. With rockets to do the same job, that's a pipe dream.

    You can distribute lasers all over the west and east coast. Even in Northern Canada and at the US Mexican border (key is mutiplicity of smaller lasers).

    Lasers are simply faster than rockets.

    Variety of lasers give more options than the cannonball vs. cannonball type of effectiveness that is inherent in "anti-missle missle defense systems".

    Lasers have less power than bombs, they don't have the same power as Nuclear Weapons, but it is enough to knock a nuclear missle, especially if you have more than one laser!

    No matter how many nuclear missles North Korea has, with an effective laser based missle defense system, this will no longer mean much to America, since the priceless ability to destroy those weapons at a flash would make their efforts at ICBMs pointless. If others adopt the system, others too would render our ICBMs useless. It would render many nuclear weapons obsolete. It would be like they didn't even exist!
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  3. Jul 14, 2006 #2


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    Yes, think of India and Pakistan when the glorious day of nuclear weapons being rendered useless comes...

    And i have a feeling you fail the grasp the engineering problems building laser-based anti-ballistic missile platforms presents...
  4. Jul 14, 2006 #3
    I wish I knew why.

    I know a few concepts about what's required.

    Power isn't all you need, what's important as well is the energy you send up via laser. This works better if it is sent at a frequency it is absorbed by the rocket, so it may help to know what kind of coatings the rocket has to see what kind of frequencies are better for destroying it.

    I don't know if I can talk about it like this but here it goes:
    If you want to send up 1 megajoule of energy via laser in 1 second, you have many choices. You could have a single 1-megawatt laser system, having in store 1 megajoule of energy, or you could have 1000 1-kilowatt laser systems, each having in store 1000 joules of energy (239 calories).

    Does anyone have the knowledge as to which method of the two (as presented here) would be better in most cases?
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2006
  5. Jul 14, 2006 #4


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    Focusing 1000 small lasers onto a single point 2000km away would be challenge (and another problem is focusing a laser with such accuracy that atmospheric conditions don't create too much of a problem). Its best to use 1 large laser. You might want to look (watch me pull an astronuc!) at Boeing's Airborne Laser System:



    I think this thing is capable of taking down 16 missiles until its chemicals would need to be refueled. From what I remember, i believe it was planned for emergency deployment into the gulf last year but i doubt they deployed it.

    You must also take into account that for example, the US NMD has a tremendous system of tracking and guidance associated with it to track incoming missiles. You can't just plop down a battery out in New YorK harbor and expect it to do the whole job.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2006
  6. Jul 15, 2006 #5
    Here's a reason why this is a horrible idea:

    If you put in the time to develop pin-point precision laser weapons, all you need to do is place them on orbital platforms, and you have pin point precision strikes from space.

    What a great world that would be.

    I'm sure the military is way ahead of the game on this already.
  7. Jul 15, 2006 #6


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    Putting a satellite into orbit to use a laser as a weapon is rediculous. You would need a huge laser to do much damage. I mean you need an entire 747 for 1 laser with enough ammo to take down a couple down missiles... and those aren't even really "attack" lasers. They just do enough damage to disable something. The day a multi-billion dollar 20 shot megawatt laser becomes a better option then a million dollar cruise missile....
  8. Jul 15, 2006 #7
    lol its not as out of the question as you might think

    missiles only travel so fast... if i had an enormous budget that meant the means to dispatch anyone anywhere in the world within the minute theyre spotted..... all it would take is a nuclear reactor.. they can fit one into a submarine you know.

    (orbiting mirrors would work too..)
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2006
  9. Jul 15, 2006 #8


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    Yaaaaaaah i don't know where to begin on how insane that idea was. Have you thought this all through? Are you familiar with the needs of high energy lasers? Are you familiar with satellite mechanics? Nuclear reactors?
  10. Jul 15, 2006 #9
    Thanks for the random patronizing, I'm very well aware of the current limitations in the tech.. which is why I'm opposed to improving it... especially the imaging systems.

    By the way YOU might want to familiarize yourself with concepts such as the x-ray laser, which would be minimally distorted by thick atmoshpere. Please remember this technology is in the formative stages, however improving rapidly. In fact the first test involving deflecting lasers off orbital mirrors was scheduled for this year last time I checked.

    100 years ago, people like you were convinced man would never fly.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2006
  11. Jul 15, 2006 #10


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    So is that a no?

    Patronization... reality check... its all good.
  12. Jul 15, 2006 #11
    A brilliant and well reasoned reply, take care.
  13. Jul 15, 2006 #12


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    What is that, -10 points? :biggrin:
  14. Jul 16, 2006 #13
    Didn't Tesla have this idea about 60 years ago?
  15. Jul 16, 2006 #14


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    He wasnt alive 60 years ago
  16. Jul 17, 2006 #15
    There is a difference between reasonable thoughts, and something totally ludicrous.

    That's like the difference between someone thinking,
    1) I want to build a teleporter.
    2) I want to build a machine to travel a human from A to B as fast as possible.

    One is reasonable, the other is not. Go ahead and argue that one day we will be able to teleport people, that's not my point.

    My point is, that it's important to solve the problem at hand, not to pose an entirely new problem to combat with the original issue that needs to be solved.

    Is your problem to be solved,

    1) A method should be created to accurately shoot missles down.


    2) Lasers should be put in space with the abilitiy to accurately shoot missles down.
  17. Jul 19, 2006 #16
    Can you provide any meaningful support for these claims?
  18. Jul 19, 2006 #17
    Useful link: http://www.fas.org/spp/starwars/program/abl.htm

    Neither cheap nor operational. There are severe optical issues even at 40,000 feet; presumably these would be insurmountable to a ground-based laser, what with this darned atmosphere in the way. It seems that's why they need air- or space-based lasers in the first place.
  19. Jul 19, 2006 #18
    Ok. My idea doesn't work. Cased closed.
  20. Jul 19, 2006 #19
    Well, I wouldn't throw it out completely. Why would we need to fire the laser to 40,000 ft? How about 10,000 ft or even less? We just need to disable it. The missile debri may still make a hole in the ground but it won't be a nuclear explosion.
  21. Jul 19, 2006 #20

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