The Real Real Genius

22 03 2009

So Northrop has finally developed a weapons-grade laser!  This is the stuff that sci-fi was made from.

laser-box

According to their own press release, it can turn on in less than a second and hold a continuous beam for more that 5 minutes.

For building blocks, the company utilizes “laser amplifier chains,” each producing approximately15kW of power in a high-quality beam. Seven laser chains were combined to produce a single beam of 105.5 kW. The seven-chain JHPSSL [Joint High Power Solid State Laser] demonstrator ran for more than five minutes, achieved electro-optical efficiency of 19.3 percent, reaching full power in less than 0.6 seconds, all with beam quality of better than 3.0.

They claim they can add an eighth chain bringing the total output to 120 kW and hold it for almost 1.5 hours.  That is just an insane amount of power!

Northrop pretty much only deals with death and destruction, contracting for the military.  But they also make parts used by the aerospace industry.  So now if they could just get some MIT nerds to polish a nice parabolic mirror and hook this to a tracking system inside a bomber…  And then re-program it to fire at the world’s biggest Jiffy Pop…  Cue awesome Tears For Fears music and you’ve got yourself a beautifully crafted cinematic masterpiece!

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2 responses

23 03 2009
147horsepower

I love how incredibly shiny it is. You know they didn’t have to in case it in chrome… but they did. I can’t even imagine the amount of power involved in firing a laser of that size.

23 03 2009
Terry Johnson

I’ve been trying to get a mental picture of what something like that is capable of and I just can’t. Seriously, are we now talking about the ability to vaporize a target from, say, a mile away?

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