US Army building ‘world’s most powerful laser’ that can destroy drones and even ‘permanently blind’ enemies
THE US Army is building a Star Wars style cannon said to be the most powerful laser weapon in the world.
The Tactical Ultrashort Pulsed Laser (UPSL) emit bullet-like pulses of light that can melt incoming drones and even permanently blind enemy troops.
If fully developed, the sci fi contraption will be a million times more powerful than any laser before it, according to New Scientist.
News of the scheme emerged last week after the Army posted a notice for the prospective weapon on the Pentagon’s Small Business Investment Research website.
The technology will be different from current lasers, according to the listing, as it will emit short pulses that rely on low energy.
That means it will fire bullet-like pulses of light rather than the continuous beams of energy used by most lasers today.
The laser could be mounted onto Army vehicles. Pictured is the High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator (HEL MD), onto which the Army has mounted lasers in the past[/caption]
The Army believes this is a more effective method for taking down objects like cruise missiles as it delivers the killer blow in a fraction of the time.
While current lasers need to focus on a target for a few seconds before melting it, the new weapon would do this in 1quadrillionth of a second.
In that space of time, the cannon would deliver 1trillion watts of energy – more than 80 times the power released by the Space Shuttle at launch.
That would make it by far the most powerful laser on Earth.
Unlike conventional lasers, the weapon would eliminate targets through three mechanisms, according the Army.
They include vaporising the object at its surface and pummelling it with a blast wave caused by the resultant rapid expansion of gas.
Terrifying space weapons of the future
Here are three of the scariest…
Rods from God
- A strange but utterly terrifying weapon has been dubbed “rods from the God” and is based on the concept of creating man-made meteorites that can be guided towards the enemy.
- Instead of using rocks rods the size of telephone poles are deployed.
- These would be made out of tungsten — a rare metal that can stand the intense heat generated by entering Earth’s atmosphere.
- One satellite fires the rods towards the Earth’s atmosphere while the other steers them to a target on the ground.
- Reaching speeds of 7000mph they hit the ground with the force of a small nuclear weapon — but crucially creating no radiation fall out.
- As bizarre as it sounds, a US Congressional report recently revealed the military has been pushing ahead with the kinetic space weapons.
Molten metal cannons
- This intriguing idea is being developed by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
- It is called the Magneto Hydrodynamic Explosive Munition or MAHEM.
- This game changing rail-gun can fire a jet of molten metal, hurled through space at several hundred miles per second by the most powerful electromagnets ever built.
- The molten metal can then morph into an aerodynamic slug during flight and pierce through another spacecraft or satellite and a munition explodes inside.
Space force ships
- Already the United States is powering head with its spacecraft, although China is busy developing one of their own.
- The top secret American XS-1 under development by DARPA.
- It can travel ten times the speed of sound and launch missiles.
- Meanwhile an unmanned craft is currently being developed in the China Aerodynamics Research and Development Centre in Mianyang, Sichuan province, which is also known as Base 29.
In addition, the Army hopes to create an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) effect using the firearm.
The high levels of energy released by the weapon could build up in electronic devices near the target, rendering them inoperable.
Such a weapon could be extremely useful in combating drones and small missiles, according to New Scientist.
Against human enemies, the weapon could cause a nasty burn, or even temporary or permanent blindness.
Laser weapons that blind troops are currently banned under a 1995 treaty.
The US first deployed lasers to Naval forces in 2014. It is reportedly aiming to trial a prototype UPSL by 2022.
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In other news, the US Navy experimented on far-fetched technologies including a “space modification weapon”, according to leaked documents.
Military researchers are also reportedly developing a laser weapon that can generate the sound of a voice out of thin air.
And, the US Army is also testing a 50-kilowatt laser weapon that incinerates drones, helicopters, planes and missiles.
What do you make of the laser weapon? Let us know in the comments!
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