U.S. Army Weapon Shoots Lightning Bolts Down Laser Beams

Discussion in 'Land Forces' started by asianobserve, Jun 29, 2012.

  1. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

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    By Darren Quick
    Gizmag
    June 28, 2012


    [​IMG]


    Thought that title might get your attention, but shooting lightning bolts down laser beams is just what a device being developed at the Picatinny Arsenal military research facility in New Jersey is designed to do. Known as a Laser-Induced Plasma Channel, or LIPC, the device would fry targets that conduct electricity better that the air or ground that surrounds them by steering lightning bolts down a plasma pathway created by laser beams.

    The pathway takes the form of an electrically conductive plasma channel that is formed when a laser beam of enough intensity (a 50 billion watt pulse lasting two-trillionths of a second will do) forms an electro-magnetic field strong enough to ionize the surrounding air to form plasma. Because the plasma channel conducts electricity much better than the non-ionized air that surrounds it, electrical energy will travel down the channel.

    Then, when it hits its target – an enemy vehicle, person or unexploded ordnance, for example – the current will flow through the target as it follows the path of least resistance to the ground, potentially disabling the vehicle or person and detonating the ordnance. The lightning will also deviate from the channel when it gets close to the target and finds a lower-resistance path to the ground.

    That’s the basic physics behind it, but overcoming the technical challenges to actually build the device won’t be easy.

    "If the light focuses in air, there is certainly the danger that it will focus in a glass lens, or in other parts of the laser amplifier system, destroying it," said George Fischer, lead scientist on the project. "We needed to lower the intensity in the optical amplifier and keep it low until we wanted the light to self-focus in air.”

    The research team also had to synchronize the laser with the high voltage and ruggedize the device so it could be operated under extreme environmental conditions. There is, of course, also the problem of providing enough power to operate the device for extended periods of time. Despite these challenges, the team claims to have made notable progress in recent months after reporting "excellent results" in tests conducted in January, 2012.

    Work on the device is continuing.


    U.S. Army weapon shoots lightning bolts down laser beams
     
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  3. spikey360

    spikey360 Crusader Senior Member

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  4. ashicjose

    ashicjose Regular Member

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    What if someone place a mirror on Laser-Induced Plasma Channel will this reflect ?
     
  5. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

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    Interesting how they are going to solve the technical challenges of making a lightning ride through a laser. This is the stuff of superheroes and scifi when I was younger. I don't know if this will become reality during our lifetime...

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    As a former military policeman, I would say it might be good for riot/crowd control. Not for combat IMHO.
     
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  7. spikey360

    spikey360 Crusader Senior Member

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    no, the mirror will be zapped. Laser is being used for the purpose of ionisation only.
     
  8. spikey360

    spikey360 Crusader Senior Member

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    You're really a paragon of ignorance. Ever heard of electric arc? Sir Davy demonstrated its use in the nineteenth century. Childhood, eh?
    If you had devoted a bit of time to the post, you'd have known that the bolt does not ride through the laser. It merely goes through the plasma channel created by laser. May sound all the same to you, but the two couldn't have been more different.
    I understand that you're a US :ka: and its important for you to worship it, but please spare us from your pearls of wisdom on physics.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2012
  9. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

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    Don't be too pompous. The whole point of this project is to control the direction of man-made lightning bolt so that it can be weaponised. The laser in this case holds they key to controlling the path of lightning. So whether I called it in the generic (non-lab term of "riding through a laser beam) or your preferred term of "riding through the plasma channel created by laser" they're essentially the same.

    You're too wrapped up in hate. Maybe its time for you to take a retreat of some and meditate. It'll be good for your psycho... :namaste:
     
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  10. spikey360

    spikey360 Crusader Senior Member

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    How can they essentially be the same, do you have any idea what you're talking about? Anyone who has studied high school physics would know that. Seriously, no joking this time, please research more about this and then comment and prove me wrong. That'll be most welcome, but don't bring physics to the level of fanboys.
    Furthermore, do tell how this weapon plans to get past a faraday cage. If you're gonna discuss in "lab terms", bring it on. (With mathematical proofs)
     
  11. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

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    Guess what? Nobody is actually saying you're wrong. So take it easy. There's no dispute also about safety from ordinary lightnings inside a Faraday cage but this is supposed'to be a user-directed lightning bolt. Of course it's too early to tell of the engineers can work through it or the other numerous technical challenges facing that project. But even if they can't neutralise Faraday's cage I don't think it would make much difference to the effort (granting they succeed in making it work). Unless you're proposing that soldiers, their weapons and their vehicles are constantly put inside a Faraday cage contraption...
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2012
  12. indian_sukhoi

    indian_sukhoi Regular Member

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    Zeus got Trolled!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     

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