Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Directed Energy Warfare -- Space Age Weapons


By Aussiegirl

Here's an example of the sort of hard-to-believe space-age weaponry that the military are developing. I especially found fascinating the "Active Denial Technology" -- who else could have come up with the phrase "Active Denial" but the guys who thought up the jawbreaking phrase IED for roadside bomb! And then also there's the really spooky idea of actually being able to produce a voice that seems to come from high above in the heavens, sort of a sci-fi ventriloquism. Just tell them it's Allah calling!

Still, in a future where our biggest enemies are the enemies within, both cultural and demographic -- and in the type of asymetric warfare that we are currently facing -- are these weapons really what is going to give us the edge we need to put us over the top? Or is this just more of the same stuff that is missing the mark. Would these weapons help us in Iraq right now? I remember how wowed we all were in the first Gulf War with all the gee-whiz laser guided weapons that took out targets so accurately they seemed to be able to fly into an open window. We haven't needed too many of those this time around, and with the rising tide of insurgency, civil unrest, sectarian violence, and opportunistic terrorist attacks, they don't seem like the sort of things that would be of much help.

And I kind of get nervous about them messing with the ionosphere too.



SPACE.com -- E-Weapons: Directed Energy Warfare In The 21st Century

LOS ALAMOS, New Mexico -- There is a new breed of weaponry fast approaching—and at the speed of light no less. They are labeled "directed-energy weapons" and may well signal a revolution in military hardware—perhaps more so than the atomic bomb.

Directed-energy weapons take the form of lasers, high-powered microwaves, and particle beams. Their adoption for ground, air, sea, and space warfare depends not only on using the electromagnetic spectrum, but also upon favorable political and budgetary wavelengths too.

[...] After more than two decades of research, the United States is on the verge of deploying a new generation of weapons that discharge beams of energy, such as the Airborne Laser, the Active Denial System, as well as the Tactical High Energy Laser (THEL).

"History has shown that, without investment in high-technology, fighting the next war will be done using the last war type of technique," Beason told SPACE.com. Putting money into basic and long-range research is critical, Beason said, adding: "You can’t always schedule breakthroughs."

[...] Then there’s Active Denial Technology—a non-lethal way to use millimeter-wave electromagnetic energy to stop, deter, and turn back an advancing adversary. This technology, supported by the U.S. Marines, uses a beam of millimeter waves to heat a foe’s skin, causing severe pain without damage, and making the adversary flee the scene.

[...] Directed-energy technologies can offer a range of applications, from botching up an enemy’s electronics to performing "dial up" surgical, destructive strikes at the speed of light with little or no collateral damage.

Beason said that one blue sky idea of his own he tagged "the voice from heaven". By tuning the resonance of a laser onto the Earth’s ionosphere, you can create audible frequencies. Like some boom box in the sky, the laser-produced voice could bellow from above down to the target below: "Put down your weapons."

[...] Late last year, speaking before the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., Beason told his audience that laser energy, the power sources, beam control, as well as knowledge about how laser beams interact with Earth’s atmosphere are quite mature. The technology is ready to shift into front line warfare status.

"The good news is that directed-energy exists. Directed-energy is being tested and within a few years directed-energy is going to be deployed upon the battlefield," Beason reported. "But the bad news is that acquisition policies right now in this nation are one more gear toward evolutionary practices rather than revolutionary practices."

"Visionaries win wars…and not bureaucrats. We’ve seen this through history," Beason observed.

7 Comments:

At 8:31 AM, Blogger Timothy Birdnow said...

Remember how the media mockingly dubbed Ronald Reagan`s Strategic Defense Initiative ``Star Wars``? They said this was a big waste of money, and Reagan was a fool.

Looks like Reagan knew more than those clowns...

I especially like the ``voice from Heaven`` idea; just imagine the fun you could have with those crazy Jihadists! Instead of forcing prisoners to disrobe and form human pyramids, the voice from heaven could command them to do it on the battlefield!

 
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"Active Denial Technology" was something that surprised me because I like when I can get excellent information, but I also think that's kind of fantasy.m10m

 
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