Boeing’s 12,000lb Chemical Laser

Boeing has a 12,000lb chemical laser ready for testing that they’ve mounted on a c-130h.  The shark mount version will apparently be rev 2.0…(via slashdot)

This is actually a huge technological leap.  While I don’t proposed to say I know much about lasers, my former college roommate Tim Armstrong told me in the 1980’s that the problems of such lasers were tremendous, not the least of which is trying to maintain a focused beam of light through and atmosphere filled with all kinds of crud, esp. water vapor which acts a light diffusers.

He ought to have known, lasers were his business, having worked on the first diamond cutting lasers.  He noted then that they had a tough time maintaining focus over a couple of inches with their YAG lasers.  He also called it in terms of the Star Wars Defense plan – that it was nothing but an empty shell.

Maybe then, but it looks like it’s come a whole lot closer to realization.

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