Almost Cool

The airforce seems to be getting closer to having a workable chemical laser system.  This is good, but a key feature of a useable defense system will have to include a laser that can refire in a short amount of time.  These types of COIL lasers aren’t really of that variety.

Of course, we have come quite a long way since the days of Ronald Reagan’s “Star Wars,” which at the time really was science fiction.  Back then researchers were happy to test x-ray lasers that used nuclear weapons as a pumping mechanism.  Needless to say, you don’t get much repeatability out of that.  Of course, these days we’re pretty close to useful x-ray lasers.

Having a workable laser weapon would be transformative on the battlefield, so I support these kinds of programs.  Plus, as we’ve seen with x-ray lasers, you never know what other useful things you’ll be able to do with the concepts and technology.

UPDATE: Looks like they are also working on high power solid state laser systems.  We’re probably still a long ways off a laser rifle, at least with currently battery technology.

3 thoughts on “Almost Cool”

  1. I remember seeing a [mockup?] picture of a handheld chemical laser-rifle. Apparently, the chemicals involved were toxic to the user…

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