Lockheed Martin’s ADAM (Area Defense Anti-Munitions) High Energy Laser (HEL) system is part of a growing breed of high-energy weapons being developed for the armed forces of the near future. Having previously demonstrated its ability to track, target, and destroy rockets at high speed
and at distances of up to 2 km (1.2 miles), the versatility of the ADAM system has been further established by taking aim at waterborne targets, successfully disabling a military-grade boat in a test on May 7 in the Pacific Ocean.
In honor of The Amazing Spider-Man 2
opening tomorrow in Germany (among other places), German laser weapons hobbyist Patrick Priebe
has just filled us in on his latest creation – it's a Spider-Man-inspired electromagnetic webshooter, that actually fires a harpoon-tipped length of fishing line into styrofoam targets.
Last year, German laser weapons hobbyist Patrick Priebe
built a working replica of Ironman's laser gauntlet
. Now, he's paid another visit to the world of superheroes, creating his own take on the "energy beam"-emitting eyewear worn by the X-Men's Cyclops.
In another step forward for laser weapons that brings to mind the Death Star's superlaser, Lockheed Martin has demonstrated a 30-kilowatt fiber laser produced by combining many lasers into a single beam of light. According to the company, this is the highest power laser yet that was still able to maintain beam quality and electrical efficiency, paving the way for a laser weapon system suitable, if not for a Death Star, for a wide range of air, land and sea military platforms.
If you're a gamer, then you're no doubt already familiar with the first-person-shooter Borderlands
. And if you're a regular Gizmag reader, then you've probably already seen some of the creations of German laser weapons hobbyist Patrick Priebe
. Well, he's gone and created a real-life laser sniper rifle, based on the game.
The close of 2013 gives us an excellent opportunity, though satiated with holiday feasts, to look back on a year that has been filled with scientific accomplishment. So it's time to get comfortable on your Binary Chair
, sip your hot cocoa from a phase-change mug
while your Foodini
prints out a batch of cookies and reflect on science stories of note from the past year.
German laser weapons hobbyist Patrick Priebe, the creator of such one-off curiosities as the Iron Man Gauntlet
and the Crysis 2
-inspired Gauss Rifle
, has now gone and made a laser rifle. While it won't bring down a storm trooper or an alien facehugger, it'll make short work of things like wood, Styrofoam and glass.
The likelihood of lasers appearing on the battlefield was boosted last week when Boeing announced that its Thin Disk Laser system had achieved unexpected levels of power and efficiency. In a recent demonstration for the US Department of Defense, the laser’s output was 30 percent higher than project requirements and had greater beam quality, a result which paves the way toward a practical tactical laser weapon.
Despite recent demonstrations by the US Navy
, we still think of laser weapons as being things of the future. However, previously-classified British documents prove that not only were the major powers working on laser weapons in the 1970s and 80s, but that they were already being deployed with combat units in war zones. A letter from the Ministry of Defence released under the 30-year rule reveals that laser weapons were deployed on Royal Navy ships during the Falklands War in 1982, and that the British government was concerned about similar weapons being developed behind the Iron Curtain.