Thursday, January 20, 2011

Laser Antidote for North Korean, etc. Missile Launches Coming to Sub Near You

Free-electron lasers (FEL) were invented by John Madey in 1976 at Stanford University.
FEL lasers share high-power [100 kw++], coherent electromagnetic radiation with gas, liquid, and solid-state lasers but operate in different fashion from the latter. Unlike conventional lasers in which electrons are excited in bound atomic or molecular states, FELs use a relativistic electron beam as their lasing medium. Free-electron lasers exhibit the widest frequency range of any laser type, and can be widely tunable from infrared through the visible spectrum, to ultraviolet, to X-rays. [ 3]
The shipboard FEL will focus a lethal 100-kilowatt beam at surface and air threats, future anti-ship cruise missiles or a swarm of small boats. FELs are electrically generated so can draw on the power of the ship to provide a virtually unlimited magazine with speed-of light delivery for a wide range of missions. In this way, it will provide U.S. ships with a more powerful means of self-defense. - source Laser warfare takes to the high seas, Chris Jablonski March 27, 2010
Here is a YouTube link to the Office of Naval Research's (ONR) 6 minute 46 second info feature. The U.S. Navy’s FELs can maintain power continuously for a month, shoot targets at the speed of light, and destroy multiple targets without reloading.
China's Dong Feng 21D (aircraft carrier killer missile) would have little defense against a forward positioned (submarine borne) FEL.
Why install the defensive weapon on SSN, SSGN or SSBN(X) submarines? Obviously for stealth, available (nuclear) power and strategic deterrence. Why install FELs on naval surface craft? The FEL's tunable wavelength makes ideal for non-leathal pirate control as well as more deadly tactical uses.
Submarines are always silent and strange.



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