A high-power laser weapon light enough to be carried by tactical aircraft has moved out of the laboratory and onto the testing ground. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems' High-Energy Liquid Laser Defense System (HELLADS) has finished its US Government Acceptance Test Procedure and is on its way to the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico for live-fire tests.
The ability to view real-time video from a quadcopter's onboard camera is certainly a handy feature, but let's be honest – there are probably a lot of people who just think, "Wouldn't be great if I could use this to shoot at stuff?". Well, German cyberpunk weapons tinkerer Patrick Priebe
has adapted an off-the-shelf drone so it can do just that – using a laser.
The battlefield of the future recently came a step closer, as a Lockheed Martin laser weapon took out a truck in a field test. The 30-kW fiber laser weapon system was fired at a small truck mounted on a test platform, the laser beam disabled the running engine and drivetrain within seconds.
Laser weapons hobbyist Patrick Priebe is no stranger to building functioning versions
from video games
. Recently, he received a number of requests to create something from the game League of Legends
. The result, the Jinx character's zapper pistol, could certainly be described as "electrifying."
The laser goes from the weapon of tomorrow to the weapon of today as the US Navy announces the completion of its successful deployment of the Office of Naval Research's (ONR) Laser Weapon System (LaWS)
. The deployment is the first on a US Naval vessel and took place on the USS Ponce (LPD-15) in the Arabian Gulf from September to November of this year.
Should you ever be captured while checking out a crazed villain's secret headquarters, it's entirely possible that a burning laser might provide you with your only means of escape. Of course, anything that's obviously
a laser will be taken from you ... which is why our favorite laser weapons hobbyist, Patrick Priebe
, has created a "Bond-inspired LaserWatch."
High energy laser (HEL) systems have been the subject of military research for decades, but it is only in recent years that the technology has advanced to the point where it is feasible for such systems to be mounted on military ground vehicles
and sea vessels
. Initial flight tests have now been conducted on a new aircraft laser turret that will help pave the way for HEL systems to be integrated into military aircraft.
If you've ever gone outside on a foggy night and shined a laser pointer about, you’ve seen two things: how flashy a raygun it makes, and the problem laser weapons face in such conditions as fog and rain scatters the energy that should be destroying missiles. However, in recent tests at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, Boeing and the US Army have shown that their High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator (HEL MD)
is capable of successfully locking onto and taking out targets in very laser-unfriendly foggy, rainy, and windy maritime conditions.
The US Navy is deploying its first laser weapon
on the USS Ponce in a few months. The technology also has obvious potential for ground vehicles
– a fact that hasn't escaped the US Marine Corps. The Office of Naval Research has awarded contracts to develop a similar laser weapon that can be installed in light-tactical vehicles instead of ships as part of its Ground-Based Air Defense Directed Energy On-the-Move (GBAD) program.