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Military lasers.

  1. Jan 9, 2005 #1
    How does the combat lasers work? Military around the world is working on them and Russia used them on Chinese troops in some major border skirmishes in 1960's.
    I want to know what kind of light is used to temporary/prmanently blind opposing troops? do they use infra red or visible light ?
    Thanks .
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 9, 2005 #2

    russ_watters

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    I hadn't heard about Russia using any. I'm pretty sure we don't use any to blind people. We are developing an anti-ballistic missile defence based on lasers though.
    http://www.boeing.com/defense-space/military/abl/flash.html
     
  4. Jan 9, 2005 #3

    Astronuc

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  5. Jan 10, 2005 #4
    What do you think the laser being built at lawrence livermore is for, fusion? :zzz:
     
  6. Jan 10, 2005 #5
    The use of lasers to blind people is forbidden by the UN (Geneva convention).
     
  7. Jan 13, 2005 #6
    So is torturing prisoners.

    What about uranium enriched ammunition. arent they classified as nuclear weapons, they certainly work on nuclear principles.
     
  8. Jan 13, 2005 #7

    russ_watters

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    No, they don't and they aren't. DU weapons aren't enriched and they work just like lead bullets.

    Please stay on topic, guys.
     
  9. Jan 13, 2005 #8

    NateTG

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    If they worked just like lead bullets, I think the US would not be using DU. Although it is definitely not a nuclear muntion, DU does some rather nasty stuff that lead does not do since it is pyrophilic.
     
  10. Jan 13, 2005 #9

    russ_watters

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    Now we're getting nitpicky: the specific reason DU is used instead of lead is two-fold: 1, it is denser than lead, and 2, it compresses (gets denser) on impact. But it has the same purpose as lead: penetrate armor/destroy a target via kinetic energy.

    The fact that it vaporizes and oxidizes easily is a cause of pollution, but is not the reason for using it.
     
  11. Jan 13, 2005 #10

    NateTG

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    Actually, the fact that it vaporizes and oxidizes inside tanks it hits, burning the crew and contaminating the tank, contributes to it's effectiveness as a military weapon since that means that it is more likely to injure the crew, and it drastically reduces the wreck's viability as a source for spare parts.
     
  12. Jan 13, 2005 #11

    ohwilleke

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    There are three military uses of lasers.

    One is basically using a laser pointer to blind a pilot's eyes.

    A second called THEL (Tactical High Energy Laser) has worked in a prototype model in tests, is about the size of a Patriot Missile battery, and shoots its beam of light at artillery shells, mortar shells and rockets on their way to their targets. Instead of hitting a missile with another missile like a Patriot Missile, this hits a shell with a laser. Israel is working with the U.S. on this project. Links: http://www.defense-update.com/directory/THEL.htm and http://www.israeli-weapons.com/weapons/missile_systems/systems/THEL.html

    A third is an early stage experimental stage part of the anti-ballistic missile defense system that puts a high energy laser on a 747 and flies around trying to hit an ICBM en route to the U.S. from North Korea or another source. Right now this project is at the stage of showing the a laser of that size can be built and have enough power in a laboratory setting. It is many years from being operational. (Other parts of the anti-ballistic missile defense system which is supposed to be operational right now, have also repeatedly failed even simple operational tests, i.e. they don't work yet). Links: http://www.yorkshirecnd.org.uk/yspace/articles/laser34.htm and http://mae.pennnet.com/Articles/Art...Articles&Subsection=Display&ARTICLE_ID=217740 and http://www.boeing.com/defense-space/military/abl/news.html and with pictures: http://www.space.com/businesstechnology/airborne_laser_techwed_041117.html

    The whole anti-ballistic missile concept (by any means, laser or otherwise), including this third option, would have violated the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty which both the U.S. and USSR signed in the 1970s. But, the U.S. has withdrawn from participation in the treaty pursuant to the treaty's terms. Link: http://www.clw.org/nmd/abmwithdrawal.html
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2005
  13. Jan 13, 2005 #12
    the first kind of lasers, are they also design to blind troops on the ground?would this laser be based on rocket which would be fired over opponents troops? how this all works ? where do they get energy to power laser inside the rocket ?
     
  14. Jan 13, 2005 #13

    ohwilleke

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    In the first case a terrorist or special operations soldiers (call him what you will) simply sits on the ground near a landing strip or airport, has acquainted himself with approximately when the geometry of the plane with his position will be right, and points the hand held laser at the cockpit window. A guy got arrested for a stunt like this last week and there have been reported incidents of it for several years at least. Link: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-1427325,00.html

    There was also a case of alleged use of a blinding laser by N. Koreans towards an Apache helicopter with a tank mounted laser with a 3 mile range in 2003 in the DMZ: http://www.gertzfile.com/gertzfile/article5.13.03.html and more links on the Chinese made ZM-87 antipersonnel laser: http://www.defensereview.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=325 and pictures here: http://www.china-defense.com/armor/type98/type98_3.html
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2005
  15. Jan 14, 2005 #14

    russ_watters

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    Good post, but one thing:
    The laser has been test-fired on the ground (not sure if at full-power) and, as we speak, the systems are being installed in a 747. It is, however, still years from being operational.
     
  16. Feb 5, 2005 #15
    How is portable laser powered,where does it gets energy from.I heard something about plasma ?
     
  17. Feb 5, 2005 #16

    Astronuc

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    Portable Power Supply

    e.g. Model Mini-ICE Portable Power Supply and Cooling System by Big Sky Laser Technologies.

    This is just one example.

    Portable power supplies come in different sizes depending on demand, i.e. size depends on application. They can be small enough for a backpack, i.e. based on storage batteries. Larger supplies can mounted on a trailer or vehicle (e.g. truck), in which case they could have a LNG, LPG, gasoline or diesel generator.
     
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