Highest Power Ever Documented in Laser Weapon

ATHENA burned through the truck engine in a matter of seconds from more than a mile away.Image: Lockheed Martin

ATHENA burned through the truck engine in a matter of seconds from more than a mile away.
Image: Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin has been making headlines recently in light of their development of novel compact fusion reactors. Now, the company is back in the spotlight due to their new high-powered laser.

They’re calling the laser ATHENA (Advanced Test High Energy Asset). In a recent test, the direct energy weapson was able to burn through a truck’s engine from a mile away in less than one minute.

“Fiber-optic lasers are revolutionizing directed energy systems,” said Keoki Jackson, Lockheed Martin chief technology officer. “We are investing in every component of the system – from the optics and beam control to the laser itself – to drive size, weight and power efficiencies. This test represents the next step to providing lightweight and rugged laser weapon systems for military aircraft, helicopters, ships and trucks.”

While the laser may be expensive to develop, ultimately it is cheaper than missiles and potentially bullets to use.

This from Lockheed Martin:

The demonstration marked the first field testing of an integrated 30-kilowatt, single-mode fiber laser weapon system prototype. Through a technique called spectral beam combining, multiple fiber laser modules form a single, powerful, high-quality beam that provides greater efficiency and lethality than multiple individual 10-kilowatt lasers used in other systems.

Read the full release here.

[Source: Popular Science]

To find out more about the power of laser energy, head over to the Digital Library and read some of our best papers on the topic!


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