Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Star Wars Space Weapons


It seems that almost all information on this weapon has been suppressed.

initial deployment could begin in the early l990s. Such a laser platform could have missions including antisatellite operations, protection of high-value airborne assets, and cruise missile defense.

The Soviets are working on technologies or have specific weapons-related programs underway for more advanced antisatellite systems. These include space-based kinetic energy, ground- and space-based laser, particle beam, and radio frequency weapons. The Soviets apparently believe that these techniques offer greater promise for future antisatellite application than continued development of ground-based orbital interceptors equipped with conventional warheads. The Soviets also believe that military applications of directed energy technologies hold promise of overcoming weaknesses in their conventional air and missile defenses.

The USSR's high-energy laser program, which dates from the mid-1960s, is much larger than the US effort. They have built over a half dozen major R&D facilities and test ranges, and they have over 10,000 scientists and engineers associated with laser development. They are developing chemical lasers and have continued to work on other high-energy lasers having potential weapons applications - the gas dynamic laser and the electric discharge laser. They are also pursuing related laser weapon technologies, such as efficient electrical power sources, and are pursuing capabilities to produce high-quality optical components. They have developed a rocket-driven magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) generator which produces 15 megawatts of short-term electric power - a device that has no counterpart in the West. The scope of the USSR's military capabilities would depend on its success in developing advanced weapons, including laser weapons for ballistic missile defense.

The Soviets have now progressed beyond technology research, in some cases to the development of prototype laser weapons. They already have ground-based lasers that could be used to interfere with US satellites. In the late 1980s, they could have prototype space based laser weapons for use against satellites. In addition, ongoing Soviet programs have progressed to the point where they could include construction of ground-based laser antisatellite(ASAT) facilities at operational sites. These could be available by the end of the 1980s and would greatly increase the Soviets' laser ASAT capability beyond that currently at their test site at Sary Shagan. They may deploy operational systems of space-based lasers for antisatellite purposes in the l990s, if their technology developments prove successful, and they can be expected to pursue development of space-based laser systems for ballistic missile defense for possible deployment after the year 2000.

High-Energy Laser (HEL) Weapons
German air defense HEL weapon
Carbon dioxide (CO2) lasers Carbon monoxide (CO), hydrogen fluoride (HF), deuterium fluoride (DF), and iodine:oxygen (I2:O2), as well as the free-electron (FEL) and X-ray lasers, along with argon fluoride, xenon fluoride, and many other types of ultraviolet excimer lasers.
HEL weapons produce a huge internal amount of heat, and prolonged operation at very high powers requires an effective system for the disposal of this wasted heat. In a gas laser, the high fuel flow serves to remove the excess heat, as the fuel is warmed by the laser reaction chamber and, in the process, cools the laser. Most high-energy lasers now under development are gas lasers working in this way. Such a laser will sound and, to some extent, look like a jet engine. Indeed, in the HEL field today, only the X-ray and free-electron lasers are not gas flow systems.
The laser in an HEL weapon system has to emit an average beam power of several megawatts during the required exposure time. This power level is two or three orders of magnitude higher than that used by the most powerful industrial processing lasers.

The gas dynamic CO2 laser is one of the few lasers that shows promise in the HEL weapons field. The fuel may be a common hydrocarbon, for example, benzene (C6H6), which is burned together with an oxidizer such as nitrous oxide (N2O). The fuel can easily be carried in liquid tanks, and the waste gas mixture is nontoxic. The wavelength is between 9,350 and 10,600 nanometers, and, theoretically at least, it is possible to have an average beam power of over five megawatts. The technology for operating this laser is rather well known and highly developed. Of course, there are some disadvantages. The very high output gas temperature has a bright IR signature. That is, the temperature is easily detected by enemy sensors. Also, there is a high risk of causing fire in the surrounding environment because of the hot exhaust gases. This laser will be rather bulky, of comparable size to a battlefield tank. As will be described later, much research is going on to solve the technological problems of high-pressure combustion and adverse changes in beam quality while the atmosphere is being traversed.
The chemical I2:O2 laser is a new and still somewhat unknown high-energy system. A chemical reaction excites oxygen molecules, which transfer their energy to iodine atoms. The wavelength is 1,300 nanometers, which is transmitted rather well through the atmosphere
The free-electron laser (FEL) has the potential of generating very high powers and is, therefore, considered very suitable for use as a laser weapon. The SDI program proposes to have an FEL operating on the top of a high mountain directing its beam toward an orbiting relay mirror which will then deliver the energy to a target in space. The big advantage of using the FEL as a battlefield weapon is the capability of selecting a wavelength that is appropriate to the military target requirements and optimizing atmospheric transmittance.
One of the main centers of research on FEL weapons is located at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, where, in 1989, an existing FEL was adapted for tests within the SDI program. A photo-injector device replaced the cumbersome and expensive electron gun previously used for the creation of the laser beam. The electron gun was truck-sized, while the photo-injector is close to the size of a bread box. Furthermore, the laser beam may be 100 times brighter than those of FELs using an electron gun. However, even the rebuilt FEL with its electron wiggler, all high-voltage accelerators, and the photo-injector will still be a very large non-mobile indoor machine.
In a superconductor system, the magnets are cooled to such low temperatures that the electric currents travel with almost no loss of energy.
an X-ray laser beam could destroy electrical circuitry, possibly trigger some types of munitions, set off a nuclear bomb or render it inoperable, and make humans sick or even kill them. The preferred energy source for a very high power X-ray laser is a small nuclear explosion.
research has been done by the Livermore Laboratories in the United States
the XeF laser at 350 nanometers should be a better choice than the KrF laser operating at 249 nanometers. A high-energy, Raman-shifted excimer laser at 353 nanometers was fired into space in March 1988 with a reported pulse energy of 400 joules, a duration of 0.5 seconds, and a beam width of 20 centimeters.
The 249-nanometer AURORA laser delivered 1,300 joules to a 500-nanometer spot in pulses lasting 3 to 0.007 microseconds, corresponding to a total peak power on target of 1014 watts. However, this may be compared to the experimental solid-state NOVA Nd:glass laser at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, which, during 1989, delivered pulses of 125,000 joules at 1050 nanometers and 10,000-20,000 joules in the third harmonic at 350 nanometers. Experiments with the NOVA at 350 nanometers are Planned for the 70,000-joule region. The KrF excimer laser cannot presently compete with the solid-state NOVA Nd:glass laser, as the short wavelength of the KrF laser makes penetration of the atmosphere difficult, and this problem remains unsolved. Although the excimer lasers are the most powerful types in the ultraviolet spectral region, the problems with the very short pulses, the short wavelengths, and the special optics required for UV operation make the increase of output power to the same levels possible with the infrared chemical lasers a very difficult task. The highest average powers from excimer lasers are still much lower than can be obtained from infrared chemical lasers.

There are public reports that a target drone was shot down in experiments by the U.S. Air Force as early as 1969 using a primitive gas dynamic CO2 laser. What has been more widely reported, and even shown on a film in public in 1982 at the annual Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO), is the shooting down of small, winged, propelled target drones as part of some 1973 vintage experiments conducted by laser scientists from the Air Force Weapons Laboratory at the Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico. They used a gas CO2 laser of a few hundred kilowatts. The target drones were destroyed by detonating their fuel tanks and by cutting control wires.
One of the first efforts to develop a prototype laser weapon was the Mobile Test Unit (MTU) by the U.S. Army in the mid-1970s. A 30-kilowatt electrically excited CO2 laser was literally squeezed into a Marine Corps LVTP-7 tracked landing vehicle. In 1975, at Redstone Arsenal in Alabama, the MTU destroyed U.S. winged target drones as well as helicopter target drones.
It was based on a self-contained electrically excited CO2 laser and may very well have been something similar to the weapon employed in the U.S. project MTU. The MTU was followed by the Close-Combat Laser Weapon (C-CLAW), dubbed ROADRUNNER by the U.S. Army. This was designed to attack enemy sensors, night vision equipment, and helicopter cockpits with a combination of rather low-powered Nd:YAG and CO2 lasers. The restricted energy level and the military requirement to support combat units on the battlefield by attacking sensors both place this project in the category of lowenergy laser (LEL) weapons
In 1978, the US. Navy conducted a series of tests as part of the Unified Navy Field Test Program at San Juan Capistrano in California, in which a chemical DF laser in the 400-kilowatt range destroyed some TOW wire-guided antitank missiles in flight. To direct the laser to this target, which was comparatively small and fast, a Hughes aircraft aiming and tracking system was used. In 1980, a captive UH-1 helicopter was destroyed by this laser system.

The US. Air Force placed a gas dynamic CO2 laser in a Boeing NKC-135 cargo aircraft, dubbed the Airborne Laser Laboratory, and in 1981 tried to shoot down air-to-air AIM-9L Sidewinder missiles while airborne. These tests, performed at the Naval Weapons Center in China Lake, California, were a failure, and, as the planning had been made public in advance, the media could criticize the failure openly The testing continued without any more media coverage, and finally, in May 1983, the 400-kilowatt laser shot down a number of Sidewinder missiles.

In 1981, the U.S. Army designed a Mobile Army Demonstrator (MAD), which was based on a small, compact DF laser. The demonstrator was used as a prototype for an air defense weapon against missiles which started at 100 kilowatts but was to be scaled up to 1.4 megawatts. The use of a DF laser poses some difficult problems. The exhaust gases are very poisonous and cannot be vented in the vicinity of friendly forces. The designers tried to solve this by using a closed system which collected the waste gases in a special tank. The tests ran until the project was omitted from the SDI program in the 1983-84 budget. However, development of the laser itself, renamed the Multi-Purpose Chemical Laser (MPCL), continued with U.S. Army funding of Bell Aerospace Textron.
One very interesting HEL development which has been the cause for much debate in the US. Congress is the Mid Infra-Red Advanced Chemical Laser (MIRACL) coupled with the Sea Lite Beam Director (SLBD). MIRACL is a DF laser with a 2.2-megawatt output at 3,800 nanometers. Sea Lite, later called Sky Lite, is the beam steering device for the laser. In the 1988 Strategic Defense Initiative Organization (SDIO) report to Congress, the MIRACL/Sky Lite was described as "the highest power HEL system in the free world."
. On September 18, 1987, several vital components were destroyed on a Northrop BQM-74 airborne target drone, which then crashed. The laser test crew had to find, lock on to, and shoot down the drone, which was flying at a speed of 500 knots at an altitude of 1,500 feet. According to the press report, the system downed a Teledyne Ryan Aeronautical Firebee BQM-34S target drone at twice the range in November 1987. Two years later, a Vandal supersonic missile simulating a sea-launched cruise missile was forced down while flying at low altitude and at a range
According to the US. Navy, the test demonstrated that "HELs can be a real option for tactical warfare missions."
solve the atmospheric problems in the humid environment at sea. When SDIO reported on the MIRACL/Sky Lite program in 1988, the objectives were given as the

development and demonstration of a high-power local loop adaptive optics system for improvement of the beam quality of a multi-line infrared high energy laser; development and demonstration of a high power target loop adaptive optics system for ground to space atmospheric compensation in the presence of turbulence and strong thermal blooming; and performance of atmospheric propagation experiments to explore the conditions under which stable correction can be achieved and the degree of correction possible.

In other words, its purpose is to show that a really powerful infrared laser can be made to work as a weapon under more or less real battle conditions.

The future funding of the MIRACL/Sky Lite Program was heavily debated in the United States because of concern over the size (and cost) of the laser so that continuation of the program seemed in doubt for a while. Some statements made during the debate may be of interest. At one stage, when deletion of the beam director was suggested, the SDIO declared that it needed the MIRACL for its own missile vulnerability tests, similar to the test in which a laser beam destroyed the second stage of a pressurized Titan I rocket in 1985. Even if the SDIO may have had little real use for the MIRACL/Sky Lite as it wanted to explore the FEL, the US. Army had a growing interest in MIRACL for use in short-range missile defense experiments. Some military people urged the continuation of the program with three aims in mind: continuation of Navy anti-cruise missile tests, continuation of experiments on satellite vulnerability, and the tests and experiments cited by the SDIO. Finally, the project got funded for 1989.
Research and development of high-energy laser weapon systems is proceeding also in France. The system named LATEX (Laser Associe' A une Tourelle Experimentale) consists of a laser in the 10-megawatt range coupled to an advanced aiming system commercially developed by Laserdot. The program was started by the General Delegation for Armament in 1986 and has advanced to a preliminary test carried out at Marcoussis in France over a range of 200 yards against a missile head and an aircraft fuselage panel. It has been reported that trials will now proceed in Landes, in southwest France, against a target flying at 300 yards per second at a range of 1.25 miles. LATEX may be similar in concept to the German air defense laser, HELEX,
One of the most interesting HEL weapon projects is the German air defense system called HELEX, which is an industrial joint project between Diehl, Gmb., in Nuremberg and MBB in Munich. HELEX stands for High Energy Laser Experimental. The project is still in its early stages, although the initial work started in the late 1970s.
Other countries have begun developmental work on possible laser weapons along similar lines. In France, several companies together with the French National Aerospace Research Agency (ONERA) are working on a HELEX-like experimental HEL weapon. There have also been some reports on a possible collaboration between France and Germany. In the United States, a similar idea is currently under investigation in the JAGUAR project.

HEL weapons in the Soviet Union
high-energy chemical laser on a Kirov-class cruiser. The HEL weapon was said to be successfully used against the sensors of sea-skimming missiles out to a range of 10 miles
There have also been descriptions of the Soviet research facility at Sary Shagan in Kazakhstan following a visit by a delegation of U.S. scientists in 1989. A beam director with a diameter of approximately 1 yard was connected to a ruby laser and to a carbon dioxide laser and, according to US. analysts, had been used in tests against both aircraft and satellite targets.
The most powerful laser at Sary Shagan was reported to be a 20-kilowatt CO2 laser.
n high-energy megawatt-range Soviet laser, seen when he visited the Kurchatov Institute of Atomic Energy in Troisk, a center of scientific research south of Moscow. It was a 1-megawatt CO2 laser, and the Soviet officials claimed that it was unique in the country and that they had been operating it for several years.
U.S. ground-based free electron laser (GBFEL).
FEL may be a future choice in HEL weapon applications for anti-sensor and air defense tasks. According to some reports, very efficient FELs are on the horizon, and, with the new superconductor technology, very compact and efficient FELs may soon be possible.
tunable FELs contemporary FELs promise to become the germ of the ray gun of the future which hurls powerful bolts of energy at the enemy
weapon deployed on a satellite.

ATL = Airborne Tactical Laser Manufacturers : Boeing Rocketdyne division
SVS is working on acquisition, tracking and pointing (ATP) and fire control system
Type : COIL (chemical oxygen iodine laser) like ABL
Purpose: shoot down cruise missiles

ABL = AirBorne Laser ABL - Air Force Reasearch Lab (see more details)
Airborne Laser System Program Office at Kirtland Air Force Base
Boeing (Seattle, WA) supplies BMC4I (Battle Management, Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence). TRW, Redondo Beach, CA
Lockheed Martin, Sunnyvale, CA. (has datasheet) Lockheed Martin Missiles & Space
Modified 3rd generation LANTIRN with high-power CO2 laser
Tracking, pointing and main lasers : a four-laser system to monitor atmospheric distortions, track and destroy missiles.
1. IR sensors made for F-14 fighter planes detect target and pass information to modified Low Altitude Navigation and Targeting Infrared for Night (LANTIRN) pod.
2. The pod directs a laser beam at target to determine its x, y, z coordinates.
3. A Tracking and Illuminating Laser (TIL) illuminates missile nose, then a Beacon laser fires at missile.
4. The Beacon's reflected energy is analyzed by wavefront sensors and information fed to the deformable mirrors that predistort ABL's main laser beam compensating for atmospheric distortions.

1991 : Space-borne Relay Mirror Experiment (RME), relayed low-power laser beam from ground to orbit and back down successfully.
1993 : Rapid Retargeting and Precision Pointing program (R2P2)
1995 : Space Pointing Integrated Controls Experiment (SPICE)

Sary Shagan :

0.7 mm ruby laser
10.6 mm pulsed CO2 laser (Both lasers shared a common 1 m diameter beam director)

Troitsk (near Moscow): 1 MW gas laser
Storozhevaya : Elaborate free-electron laser (FEL) prototype ASAT weapon. Developed by the Astrophysika Scientific Production Association.
Douchambe, Tadjikistan : Laser similar to MIRACL. (Tom Clancy's "The Cardinal of the Kremlin" has satellite images of the base).
Russian Space Based Laser : Polyus/Skif-DM.


Polyus was built by the Salyut Design Bureau and the Khrunichev Machine Building Plant.
Skif-DM designed by the Institute of Thermal Processes, well-known for its work with nuclear energy.

Purpose : Perfecting the design and on-board systems of a future military space complex with laser weaponing
Weight : 80-metric-ton vehicle.
Status: Destroyed during the first Energiya mission in 1987.

Artist impression of a soviet laser-armed space battle station, derived from the DOS-7K Salyut space station, firing on a hostile satellite. from Zaloga, S.J. May 1997, Jane's Intelligence Review
Unconfirmed reports of the USSR (former) mounting a high-energy anti-sensor chemical laser on a Russian Kirov-class cruiser. Successfully used against sea-skimming missiles up to a range of 16 km.
from FAS - Russia and Anti-Satellite Programs - Lasers

Pulsed Energy Projectile PEP
Mission Research of California
Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate (JNLWD)
Somalia in 1993 Yemen.
a report written by Harry Moore of the US Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command, Picatinny, New Jersey. In 2000, Moore presented the PEP concept to a joint services meeting on small arms. His presentation is still available on the Internet

PBS Northrop conference in Los Angeles Missile defense Laser
Star Wars Program Reagan Raygun Ray Gun
excalibur system from TRW shot down artillery shells in flight.
homeland security the starwars program
powerfull ground-based laser
(why was the infrared sensor on one of our satellites suddenly blinded as it passed over the USSR?) A laser on the Mir space station recently "illuminated" an ICBM during the cruise phase of its flight in space, demonstrating Soviet ability to detect and track a missile, according t o Pentagon sources (Washington Inquirer , July 24, 1987).

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These space weapons were used to destroy the WTC towers, and to eliminate evidence on the 11th pf September 2001.
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posted by u2r2h at 10:18 AM


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