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Laser


— Space

Bad moon rising: Astronomers explain "full moon curse"

The full moon has long been associated with any number of superstitions. While links with lunacy, violence, fertility, disasters, and the stock market have been thoroughly debunked, the possibility of a causative role in some arenas still remains a possibility. A lunar ranging study carried out using reflectors has long contended with the "Full-Moon Curse," a near-total fading of reflected signals during the full Moon. This Curse is real, and has now been explained. Read More
— Science

Scientists announce breakthrough in quest for fusion power

In a perfect example of beating swords into plowshares, a team of scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's (LLNL) National Ignition Facility (NIF) in California reached a milestone in the quest for practical fusion power using a process designed for the development and testing of nuclear weapons. The announcement in the February 12 issue of Nature claims that the team used the world’s most powerful laser barrage to produce a controlled fusion reaction where more energy was extracted from the fuel than was put into it. Read More
— Military

Many lasers become one in Lockheed Martin's 30 kW fiber laser

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. Read More
— 3D Printing

Pegasus Touch brings lasers to desktop 3D printing

Whether it’s light shows or interplanetary communications, lasers just seem to make things better. And that’s apparently part of the thinking behind Las Vegas-based Full Spectrum Lasers’ (FSL) Pegasus Touch; a desktop 3D printer that uses lasers to print objects faster and in finer detail than most other printers in its price range. Available for as little as US$2,000 via a Kickstarter campaign, its performance is claimed to be comparable to machines costing 50 times more. Read More
— Automotive

Audi's laser-shooting Sport Quattro Laserlight concept to debut at CES

Following on from the Sport Quattro Concept that debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show last September, Audi has continued the evolution of the classic Sport Quattro of the early 80s. The new Sport Quattro Laserlight concept, which will be unveiled at this week's CES, borrows from the R18 e-tron Quattro LMP1 race car unveiled last month and sticks lasers where the headlamps used to be. Read More
— Space

NASA's LLCD tests confirm laser communication capabilities in space

This week, NASA released the results of its Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration’s (LLCD) 30-day test carried out by its Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) that is currently in orbit around the Moon. According to the space agency, the LLCD mission proved that laser communications are practical at a distance of a quarter of a million miles and that such a system could perform as well, if not better, than any NASA radio system. Read More
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