Monday, March 23, 2015

This Lethal Laser Could Cripple ISIS and Other Enemies

With their great range and accuracy, laser weapons don’t just destroy things. They can disrupt targets non-lethally, making them increasingly tantalizing to the defense industry. A powerful fiber-optic laser system in development by Lockheed Martin is showing a lot of promise. In its first field test it disabled a small truck from well over a mile away, the company announced this week. Called ATHENA — short for Advanced Test High Energy Asset — the system is being built to protect military forces and infrastructure.

ATHENA burned through the small truck’s engine with pinpoint precision. The truck wasn’t driving normally but was propped up on a platform with its engine running for the test, Lockheed said. Nonetheless, it’s apparently the highest power documented by a laser weapon of its kind.
“Fiber-optic lasers are revolutionizing directed energy systems,” Lockheed’s chief technology officer, Keoki Jackson, said in a statement. “This test represents the next step to providing lightweight and rugged laser weapon systems for military aircraft, helicopters, ships and trucks.”


ATHENA uses a technique called “spectral beam combining” in which multiple laser modules together form a single high-quality beam. The technology is based on Lockheed’s earlier $32 million ADAM (Area Defense Anti-Munitions) system, built to shoot down enemy rockets in mid-air. Other companies, including Boeing, have also been working on laser systems. The cost effectiveness of using lasers is part of their appeal, aside from their accuracy and precision.

While firing a surface-to-air missile costs roughly $400,000 a pop, say Navy accountants, consider this: The Navy’s experimental laser LaWS (Laser Weapons System), which has been tested with success aboard the USS Ponce in the Persian Gulf and is authorized for use in self defense, costs a mere 59 cents a shot to deploy. Awesome comment from Frank Moore. Because when you invade and destroy a city you make 10000ds of life long children that only want to avenge their city. If you build an imposing administrative building somewhere like the senate of new delhi, you inspire national conversation. The buildings of national debate are bigger than the humans that are hungry for power, within them. America suffers in that respect because it's national debate fails on pre industrial notions.
As for ATHENA laser’s strength, an everyday pointer laser is about one milliwatt. ATHENA’s 30-kilowatt laser is about 30 million times that.
- See more at: http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2015/03/08/Lethal-Laser-Could-Cripple-ISIS-and-Other-Enemies#sthash.ApUPblMn.dpuf
ATHENA burned through the small truck’s engine with pinpoint precision. The truck wasn’t driving normally but was propped up on a platform with its engine running for the test, Lockheed said. Nonetheless, it’s apparently the highest power documented by a laser weapon of its kind.
“Fiber-optic lasers are revolutionizing directed energy systems,” Lockheed’s chief technology officer, Keoki Jackson, said in a statement. “This test represents the next step to providing lightweight and rugged laser weapon systems for military aircraft, helicopters, ships and trucks.”
ATHENA uses a technique called “spectral beam combining” in which multiple laser modules together form a single high-quality beam. The technology is based on Lockheed’s earlier $32 million ADAM (Area Defense Anti-Munitions) system, built to shoot down enemy rockets in mid-air. Other companies, including Boeing, have also been working on laser systems.
- See more at: http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2015/03/08/Lethal-Laser-Could-Cripple-ISIS-and-Other-Enemies#sthash.ApUPblMn.dpuf
ATHENA burned through the small truck’s engine with pinpoint precision. The truck wasn’t driving normally but was propped up on a platform with its engine running for the test, Lockheed said. Nonetheless, it’s apparently the highest power documented by a laser weapon of its kind.
“Fiber-optic lasers are revolutionizing directed energy systems,” Lockheed’s chief technology officer, Keoki Jackson, said in a statement. “This test represents the next step to providing lightweight and rugged laser weapon systems for military aircraft, helicopters, ships and trucks.”
ATHENA uses a technique called “spectral beam combining” in which multiple laser modules together form a single high-quality beam. The technology is based on Lockheed’s earlier $32 million ADAM (Area Defense Anti-Munitions) system, built to shoot down enemy rockets in mid-air. Other companies, including Boeing, have also been working on laser systems.
- See more at: http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2015/03/08/Lethal-Laser-Could-Cripple-ISIS-and-Other-Enemies#sthash.ApUPblMn.dpuf
A powerful fiber-optic laser system in development by Lockheed Martin is showing a lot of promise. In its first field test it disabled a small truck from well over a mile away, the company announced this week. Called ATHENA — short for Advanced Test High Energy Asset — the system is being built to protect military forces and infrastructure.
- See more at: http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2015/03/08/Lethal-Laser-Could-Cripple-ISIS-and-Other-Enemies#sthash.ApUPblMn.dpuf

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Artificial Skylight Could Allow Us to Build Deeper Underground

This new skylight simulates actual sunlight so well that photography studios may become some of the primary customers.

It makes you feel like you are experiencing real sunlight, whether in a basement, pool area, or photo studio. This breakthrough product from Italy could change the way interiors are conceived. Shorter days and miserable weather are an annual winter curse across most of Europe, but imitation sunlight could soon be finding its way indoors on the greyest days, during the night, or even into subterranean metro tunnels, thanks to an Italian company that has created a hyper-realistic artificial skylight.
Developed by CoeLux Srl, the skylight uses nanotechnology to reproduce the natural light of the sun in a blue sky, creating an effect that it is indistinguishable from the real thing to the human eye.
It took Professor Paolo Di Trapani, a physicist at the Department of Science and High Technology at the University of Insubria in Como, more than a decade to develop the system, which uses a mix of LED technology, optical illusions and nanostructured materials - materials made up of tiny molecules that are often extremely strong - to create an almost unnervingly realistic impression of natural sunlight.
The technology tricks the brain into thinking it is genuine sunlight, says Professor Di Trapani, because “the difference between the reality and the augmented reality is sufficiently small. It means if you’re not aware it’s an artificial skylight, you wouldn’t realise it. The space is not created by the technology, but by your mind.”
The 10-year development has resulted in a scientifically complex product. The LED is able to reproduce the sun’s light spectrum and a sophisticated optical system then creates the illusion of a distant sun in a blue sky.

The blue sky is created by a layer of nanostructured materials which scatter the light in such a way that it creates a sky-blue colour. This is a recreation of Rayleigh scattering, where the light from the real sun is scattered by particles in the earth’s atmosphere.
However, at £40,000 a panel, with installation costs of up to £5,000, the skylight may not be a common sight for some time.
Professor Di Trapani likens the technology to an elevator, an invention which allowed for the construction of skyscrapers. But he says that CoeLux skylights could help us move down, rather than up.