Saturday, April 28, 2007

"Man-portable Integrated Laser Assault Rifle":

According to the Danger Room over at Wired, the US ARMY has set forth a small business initiative proposal for, amongst other things, what it calls a "Man-Portable Integrated Laser Assault Rifle".

Well now...

I didn't see that one coming.

Dave Hambling's article has lots of background on this and related projects so read the whole thing.

Note that while I'm skeptical, the big show stopper is, of course power, and given the big strides being made in ultracapacitiors, this sort of thing might be feasible sooner than people think....though that's still a long way off.

Still.... it involves FRICKING LASERS!!! How could I NOT blog about it?

Atomic Rocket, an interesting source page for science fiction authors, has a surprisingly decent overview of the challenges and potential benefits of laser small arms. It's in no way official...but it is quite cool, as is that whole site.

1 comment:

ザイツェヴ said...

My mom worked on combat lasers back in the 90s. The issue back then was mostly of the low efficience of all known active bodies (well, except silicon-based ones, but those are difficult to make big). So I can see them used in air defence and anti-missile application, but a man-portable unit seems like a bit of a stretch.

Pulse lasers were quite powerful even back then. In 1983 I saw a Neodymium glass laser making holes in coins (when I visited my future alma mater for an open doors day).