Sunday, November 10, 2013

The future is now

So I spent much of last night reading nukes and ICBMs, and somehow the research trail led to lasers. Did you know that we now have lasers that give us the ability to take out ICBMs?

Ship-board lasers can take out drones...

About those "dazzlers": They go back. I've seen documents from the 1970s which describe their usage. Here's more on those ship-based lasers:

And yes, I'm aware that the above report says that the system outlined in the first video has been dismantled. I'm not so sure. Look at this...

Now let's look at...well, at the unseeable. In this video, the fun really starts a few minutes in...

How does the above video relate to the ones above? On CNN, the Pentagon spokesman spoke of invisibility cloaks as an item which will be available in the near future. However, the footage following the CNN segment offers strong evidence that the "future" is now.

And if that is the case, I have to ask: How long really...have we had the ability to kill ICBMs with lasers?
Shooting down missiles isn't that difficult. Sea Sparrow missiles, Patriot missiles, Phalanx gun systems, and also now lasers. What lasers bring is being much larger and needing much more electric but not needing ammunition. They can't shoot down ICBMs, though, because the one shooting down the drone, which is the strongest weaponised version, needs several seconds of continuous fire to burn through the drone, or a missile, and is only effective within a few miles. An ICBM plummeting down from above would be moving too quickly and at the wrong angle to be hit well enough to shoot it down. But the big problem with anti-ballistic missile systems has always been trying to hit the missiles. Lasers might make that slightly easier, but not much. Even against normal anti-shipping missiles the phalanx and sea sparrow struggle, and you always need more anti-missile missiles than the enemy shoot missiles at you, as a large proportion fail to hit.

As for the invisible man, looks like nonsense. The "man" doesn't run like the men seen earlier in the video, which makes it look fake. Also, the invisible man is clearly visible. The man in the camo in the CNN segment is much more invisible.

..ahem .. , ->
"The Fake Fix is already out of committee and the Senate could begin voting on it soon.
Please act quickly to help us defeat this terrible bill.
Send a letter to your members of Congress and tell them to oppose Senator Feinstein’s Fake Fix and support real reform to end mass surveillance.
Stop the NSA "Fake Fix" Bill
The FISA Improvements Act of 2013 seeks to extend NSA surveillance."

The invisible man MAY be a fake. Or maybe not. I'd like to see some actual research.

More than one source is talking about the laser-based anti-ballistic missile system.

Laser-based anti-ballistic missile system? You going to start telling us about the Laffer Curve next? :)

I have a hard time believing a laser defense system will ever exist anywhere but the minds of scam artists selling it to the military. Because, you know, mirrors. (Any fast-targeting laser uses mirrors for aiming. Paint your missile with the same reflective coating and you have an effective defense for pennies on the dollar.)
Lasers can be made to fire in parts of the EM spectrum that mirrors can't reflect. Those have problems of their own, of course. But the big problem is still that it takes seconds of continuous fire on the same piece of metal to cut through it. Fine on a drone that blindly flies in a straight line as you melt through it's wing, not fine with anything hypersonic, like an ICBM, that will be through the few-mile range of one of these lasers in no time at all, assuming the laser was even positioned within range of any part of the missiles' trajectory. Also not fine for anything that can maneuver, like a manned plane. Or anything with stealth capabilities or decoys, like MIRV ICBMS. Or for anything that comes in at low level where it will be shielded from fire by buildings, terrain and the curvature of the earth, like ground-hugging missiles launched from submarines.

They've also developed lasers which create an ionised stream of air through which can be shot an artificial lightning bolt. Very impressive, proper death-ray stuff, but completely ineffectual against any military target because they tend to be made of metal, which conducts the electricity harmlessly around the outside.

I've also read of spider-silk and leather garments which are bulletproof. Not, however, better than kevlar to any noticeable degree, and requiring a horrifying room of spiders to produce.

It's not the 50s anymore. The space race is over. Science isn't all it's craiced up to be. Not until I've got a robot butler, it's not.

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