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Sci-Fi Science

DARPA Developing Defensive Plasma Shield 318

Posted by Zonk
from the now-we-just-need-blasters dept.
galactic_grub writes "According to an article at New Scientist, DARPA is developing a plasma shield that would allow troops to stun and disorientate enemies. The system will use a technology known as dynamic pulse detonation (DPD), which involves producing a ball of plasma with an intense laser pulse, and then a supersonic shockwave within the plasma using another pulse. The result is a gigantic flash and a loud bang in a the air. 'The company has also pitched a portable laser rifle, which would be lethal, to the US Army. It would weigh about fifteen kilograms, would have a range of more than a mile, and could have numerous advantages over existing rifles - better accuracy and the ability to hit a moving target at the speed of light.'"
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DARPA Developing Defensive Plasma Shield

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  • Lasers? (Score:5, Funny)

    by kungfujesus (969971) on Friday April 27, 2007 @07:33PM (#18907005)
    Any chance we can put them on sharks? I believe that would greatly increase the lethality of the lasers.
    • Why the toys??? (Score:2, Insightful)

      This seems like pretty typical Pentagon. Hey troops, don't worry about the fact you have insufficient low-tech tools. Don't worry that you have to go scrounging through dumpsters for scrap metal to make armour http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2004/12 /10/us_stance_on_armor_disputed/ [boston.com] . Don't worry that the rifles are inadequate and the US soldiers would prefer AK47s http://www.thenewblackmagazine.com/view.aspx?index =451 [thenewblackmagazine.com].

      Please ignore all that folks. Don't worry, in the future we'll have a bunch of

      • Re:Why the toys??? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland@@@yahoo...com> on Friday April 27, 2007 @08:13PM (#18907441) Homepage Journal
        You know the Pentagon has different people who do different things, right?

        Now, if the adminstration would handle the war properly, those issues could be resolved. Until that is done, those troops are fucked. I know a lot of high ranking people have quit because they can't get what they want for the troops.

        You want to help? keep writing your reps, the paper, orginize a protest to get the troops what they need.
        The best way to do that is with oversight committees.
        I didn't want to invade Iraq, and I think we were wrong in doing so, but I sure as hell don't want our troops unprepared.

        • by lymond01 (314120)
          Now, if the adminstration would handle the war properly, those issues could be resolved. Until that is done, those troops are fucked.

          If the administration could handle itself properly, our troops wouldn't be fucked either. It's not even necessary to say anymore...
        • I personally believe that the United States arsenal has more than enough lethal weapons to use on bad guys. But what I think is really intriguing would be accepting the challenge of locating the enemy, with their weapon, in their spider hole. Or better yet, being able to identify those that have handled weapons or explosives by analysis of the fumes still present on the clothes of possible bad guys. Possibly with UV, or IR light; Or with Spectral Analysis.
        • by Anonymous Coward
          All they need is a ticket home on an airline, and have congress fire all the officers from captain level on up, then tell the remainder to get with the program and READ the constitution, until they "get it" that just following orders from some dictator in chief is job TWO, not job one, job one is defending the US and our laws, not a pack of criminal order givers. So that ticket home is the best way to get them out of harms way in the middle east. Do it yesterday, we have NO business over there and if we to
      • Re:Why the toys??? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by FredThompson (183335) <fredthompson@@@mindspring...com> on Friday April 27, 2007 @08:21PM (#18907509)
        Modded 5, Insightful?!?!

        Insightful would have done some real research and found the "scrounged" armor was a very short term issue and there have been 8+ major uparmoring mods and more than 70,000 fully armored vehicles in Iraq/Afghanistan now.

        Insightful would have known the "underarmored" vehicles were HUMMVs which were replacements for Jeeps. You know, Jeeps, those open-sided and open-topped vehicles.

        Insightful would know the true status of the M-16. Same story, bud. The first ones, 40 years ago, were rushed into use and there have been a huge number of modifications. The AK-47 isn't that great. It's not good at a distance, there's less control of the bullet's destination and the vast majority of them were made very, very sloppily which means they spray bullets almost randomly. Read your own link, it says some American troops are using captured AK-47s because the ammunition is so available. Why might that be? Do a little research on calibre and interoperability of ammunition. Just because ammunition is available doesn't mean it's more useful than an M-16 nor does it mean it's preferred over the M-16. Gad, your comment shows you don't really know much about the weapons or tactics.
        • Re:Why the toys??? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Cyberax (705495) on Friday April 27, 2007 @09:06PM (#18907927)
          AK-47 is obsoleted by AK-74 (which can use NATO ammo, BTW).

          Besides, accuracy at a great distance usually means nothing in city warfare. You almost never have ranges larger than 15-20 meters and AK-47 works great at these distances.
          • by mangu (126918)
            ...in city warfare. You almost never have ranges larger than 15-20 meters and AK-47 works great at these distances.


            In those circumstances both combatants will try to find a wall or column to hide behind. Then the winner is the one who has bullets left when the other has shot all of his. No matter how strong the soldier is, he will be able to carry more bullets if the ammo is lighter.

            Conclusion: .223 trumps .30

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by swb (14022)
            The AK-74 and its variants fire 5.45x39. "NATO ammo" would be 5.56x45, so, no, an AK-74 wouldn't be able to chamber let alone safely fire NATO ammo. I've heard some 74s were converted by former east bloc countries to shoot 5.56 once they joined NATO.

            You can also get 7.62x39 AK uppers for AR-type rifles and I guess Alexander Arms made 5.45x39 uppers as well, but still, box stock AK-74s and M16s and variants are not capable of shooting each other's ammo.

        • Yeah, well unfortunately, it doesn't matter. All the armored HUMMVs, M16s, and plasma shields in the world aren't going give us a snowball's chance in hell of "winning" this particular conflict. The 1944-style scorched earth tactics that would be required to beat the populace into submission are completely off the table, prolonging the current bloody stalemate is pointless, so ultimately we're just going end up pulling a Vietnam and hand the country over to the Iranians. This whole episode will mainly serve
          • Re:Why the toys??? (Score:5, Interesting)

            by funwithBSD (245349) on Friday April 27, 2007 @10:27PM (#18908527)
            Well, what you are really suggesting is that limited warfare does not work.

            Now the question is, when can we afford to use troops in the following situtations:

            1. Limited, humane "war". Oxymoron if their ever was one. Usually a failure, re: Vietnam.
            2. Geneva Convention "war". Works pretty well. Won in WWII and Korea.
            3. Total war. Pre-Convention war, no quarter given, civilization at risk. This is the long history of warfare and is true war.

            We are fighting an enemy using level 3 warfare while we remain at level 1.

            Level one is total stupidity. If that is all that was needed, you should have used other means like special forces hit and run. Don't send in long term troops unless you are ready to fight level 2.

            So go to level 2, or get out and wait for them to sack Washington.

            The scary thing for me is that as they get nukes, and they will one way or another, there is no way to do MAD style containment. They are not going to launch anything at us because they don't have the technology. So they sneak it in and detonate. Meanwhile, because we are so hung up on national boundries they don't really recognize, we don't know who to nuke.

            And we lost our ablity to fight as a civilization, like Rome, and just nuke the barbarians, period.

            I really don't see a way out until we shake out of our lethergy and understand that they want us all dead or converted to Islam. Anything else is al-Taqiyya.
            • Re:Why the toys??? (Score:5, Informative)

              by Weedlekin (836313) on Saturday April 28, 2007 @05:34AM (#18910275)
              "Geneva Convention "war". Works pretty well. Won in WWII and Korea."

              The Korean war was a limited war because it was restricted to Korea itself despite the fact that China directly intervened by sending huge numbers of men who directly fought against UN forces, and defeated them on a number of occasions, inflicting heavy casualties in the process. In a WWII-style conflict, this would have resulted in massive retaliation against China itself, probably by dropping atomic bombs on Chinese cities, which MacArthur was seriously considering before being replaced (the fact that China had no airforce would have made this a low-risk affair in a military sense, but the possibility of direct USSR intervention meant that it was very politically risky).

              Note also that we (i.e. the UN forces which were predominantly but far from exclusively US forces) did not win the Korean war, because it ended in a stalemate which culminated in a ceasefire agreement that essentially established the same North / South border that had been in place before the war. This ceasefire is still in place, so the war hasn't officially ended, hence a half century long armed stand-off between the two opposing sides. This wasn't the goal of the US / UN side, or the one the North Koreans had, although it does seem to have been what China wanted (the Chinese didn't intervene until UN forces were near to their borders with North Korea; they'd warned the UN that this would happen on several occasions, but the CIA told Truman they were bluffing, so the warnings were ignored). It would therefore be fair to say that the only true winner was China, while both the UN / US and North Korea can be regarded as net losers because neither managed to realise their military or political goals.
        • "Just because ammunition is available doesn't mean it's more useful than an M-16"

          I admit to not being that up on modern warfare, but I'm pretty sure that having ammo for an AK-47 makes that gun infinitely more useful than an M-16 for which you have run out of ammo.
        • Insightful would have done some real research and found the "scrounged" armor was a very short term issue

          Oh, bullshit. The invasion began in March, 2003. The infamous interrogation of Rumsfeld over the armor issue took place in December, 2004- more than a year and a half later. That is not a "very short term issue". According to Wikipedia, the Army began up-armoring its vehicles in 2003, but the process was intended to be completed in 2005; the Marine Corps began issuing an armor kit in early 2005.

          Like pre

    • From the Danger Zone [wired.com] this briefing [wired.com] claims that flipper would do a much better job
    • by coaxial (28297)
      No. Dolphins only. [wired.com] Seriously. [guardian.co.uk]
  • by kalpol (714519) on Friday April 27, 2007 @07:34PM (#18907009) Homepage
    God forbid they should be terminatated.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by HaeMaker (221642)
      I imagine it would be used for crowd control or hostage situations. There are many situations where non-lethal force is needed against an enemy.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Shivetya (243324)
        plus disorienting may be more valuable when it comes to groups you cannot guarantee an instant kill on.

        in other words, disorient then kill if necessary, a kill shot is not a guarantee but if you can keep them from taking any real action you open yourself more options, which includes a few important seconds to kill the baddies. think hostages, who cares if you give the hostage a headache or such, its better than the baddies getting shots off at him if you only wound one.

        let alone the fact that the public se
      • by russ1337 (938915)
        >>> imagine it would be used for crowd control or hostage situations

        Why do they need controlling? Why are they taking you hostage?.........

        I don't think the problem is with the overpowering the enemy; I think the problem is with identifying the enemy.

        Oh, that, and 'winning their hearts and minds'.

        Using non-lethal force on crowds that 'inadvertently gets innocent people' just pisses them off.
        • And using lethal force on crowds that inadvertantly gets innocent people will anger the international community.
          Sometimes, it's obvious why a crowd needs controlling or a hostage-taker is taking hostages. What would you have the military do in cases where we know what the hostage-taker wants but do not want to give it to him? Hostages make great shields.
          In those cases where it's not made obvious, by the time you figure out why it's being done, it's often too late to do anything. The crowd has dismantle
          • by russ1337 (938915)
            >>>"Sometimes, it's obvious why a crowd needs controlling or a hostage-taker is taking hostages"

            Really? It is not that obvious. Can you elaborate? Perhaps explain why US journalists are targeted? or perhaps why ordinary people protest?

            >>> What would you have the military do in cases where we know what the hostage-taker wants but do not want to give it to him? Hostages make great shields.

            You watch too many movies.
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              When ordinary people protest, they chant slogans and carry signs. Listen to their slogans, read their signs, and you'll get a general idea of what they're trying to protest.
              If it's not clear what a group is protesting, it probably isn't a protest--it's just a riot.
              US journalists get targeted because that's sometimes the only way to catch the attention of other US journalists. US journalists rarely go deep into international affairs even when it involves very important or very helpless foreigners, and ra
        • by hazem (472289)
          I think the problem is with identifying the enemy.

          That confusion apparently goes all the way to the top. We get attacked by a bunch of Saudis and to retaliate, we invade their neighbor. That's like when I was in the 2nd grade and this guy got mad at a bigger classmate... so instead of hitting the guy who made him made, he went and found the guy's sister sister in the 1st grade and sucker-punched her.

  • by npaufler (32275) on Friday April 27, 2007 @07:34PM (#18907015)
    Unreal Tournament-esque Shock Rifle [youtube.com], anyone?
  • by iminplaya (723125) <iminplaya.gmail@com> on Friday April 27, 2007 @07:38PM (#18907061) Journal
    If there is to be a balance of power of any kind.
  • Fresh from the R&D of UAC, we today present you with... THE FUTURE. BEHOLD THE BFG-9000! The future of all warfare, never again will the people of your country stand a chance of usurping your power even if they are the majority! I for one welcome our superiorly armed overlords. (Two memes in one post!)
  • by Dan East (318230) on Friday April 27, 2007 @07:42PM (#18907093) Homepage Journal
    I thought lasers made inefficient weapons because they cauterize the wounds they create.

    Dan East
  • Laser rifle (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wmwilson01 (912533) on Friday April 27, 2007 @07:43PM (#18907111) Homepage
    It's amazing to imagine how much something like the laser rifle would change the military. Sniper school spends a lot of time on the details of a bullet's behavior over time with the obvious affects of gravity and the wind, especially when you're dealing with a moving target. To be able to shoot a laser without really any of those constraints, that travels at the speed of light... A sniper's job will become a whole lot easier... unless you want to get into the fact that the majority of a sniper's job is about getting in and then hopefully back out.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by brit74 (831798)
      Not to mention the fact that it will be that much harder to locate the sniper. At least a gun produces a muzzle-flash and sound.
      • Re:Laser rifle (Score:4, Interesting)

        by einhverfr (238914) <chris.travers@gm ... om minus painter> on Friday April 27, 2007 @08:12PM (#18907429) Homepage Journal
        A laser of this size is likely to provide a flash of light and sound (not stunning as in the other technology). This is due to the laser ionizing the air it travels through (creating the same sort of plasma as the other part of the story). I would expect the path to be very visible to anyone looking in the right direction at the right moment.

        33kg is not a light weapon, and not something a sniper could simply hold up for precision firing with his hands. You would probably need a tripod, etc. So in the end you are looking at a not-very-sniper-like weapon.
        • 33lbs ( = 15kg)

          Sorry. Typing wrong units. At least I don't work for NASA
        • Where do you get the idea that snipers hold rifle's standing up?

          Methinks you're confusing sniping activities by infantry (Saving Private Ryan movie, for example) with real snipers.

          Real sniping is long distance and some of the rifles ARE quite heavy. Putting a bullet into an electrical generator or an engine is also sniping.
          • by einhverfr (238914)
            I never said standing up. But either you have to support a weapon with your arms or rely on external supports (like a tripod). Otherwise you don't have the mobility needed to aim the weapon. Ideally the supports need to be properly mobile and uniform (supporting on an uneven rock might not be a good thing).
        • Sound? Maybe.
          Light? The weapon is light. If you are looking in the right direction at the "right" moment to see the beam, you'll likely get hit by the beam.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Cadallin (863437)
            Actually, despite other errors in the GP post, you're missing something important. Scattering even by molecules of air is significant at power levels much lower than this thing operates at. Watch videos at http://www.wickedlasers.com/ [wickedlasers.com]. Their 100mw pen sized lasers scatter enough to look like a fucking light saber swinging around, and this laser rifle is probably hundreds of times more powerful. If its in the visible range (although probably it isn't) in battlefield condition it would probably make a f
          • by einhverfr (238914)
            No. If you are looking in the right moment and the laser is weak enough, you won't see anything unless it is smokey or dusty. I.e. you have to have something to reflect the light to see a weak laser.

            If the laser is stronger, that is different. It will ionize the air, which will generate a glowing plasma. You aren't seeing the laser's light, but rather the plasma it generates.
            • Thank you.
              If the laser is too weak to see, could it still be strong enough to do damage?
              • by einhverfr (238914)
                I have looked into that. Although it may depend on a variety of factors (wavelength etc), it looks to me like a laser which is powerful enough to cause a lethal strike is likely to cause ionization of the air.

                Remember, it takes a lot of energy to burn through the skin and into vital organs, and being able to do that with a rapid pulse is going to mean a heck of a powerful pulse.
      • by vought (160908)
        Not to mention the fact that it will be that much harder to locate the sniper. At least a gun produces a muzzle-flash and sound.


        I dunno. Every futuristic movie I've ever seen is full of PZEEW! and PKEEZ! as the "laser" guns are fired. There's goes your element of stealth!
    • by einhverfr (238914)
      Couple points:

      A laser of this size would be unlikely to be a sniper rifle. I.e. you would be talking about maybe a vehicle-mounted or stationary weapon (1 or 2-man portable) of the size of a heavy machine gun. It would still be a major change, but not in the same areas. It would be unlikely to be a reasonable stealth weapon because of its size and it would not be quiet either (you are likely to get a crackle from the plasma generation by the laser).

      On the other hand, armored fighting machines would be gr
    • Re:Laser rifle (Score:5, Interesting)

      by steveha (103154) on Friday April 27, 2007 @08:25PM (#18907543) Homepage
      A sniper's job will become a whole lot easier... unless you want to get into the fact that the majority of a sniper's job is about getting in and then hopefully back out.

      Actually, this would be a win from that standpoint as well. Current sniper bullets are always supersonic, and thus there is a loud *CRACK* sound that helps indicate the location of the sniper. The laser beam would be silent.

      (If you are interested in snipers, you ought to read the book Marine Sniper [amazon.com], a biography of Carlos Hathcock [wikipedia.org]. Hathcock commented that a sniper usually gets one free shot, because no one is expecting the shot, and surprised people don't do a good job of figuring out where the shot came from; if the sniper fires a second shot, all the people in the area will start looking in the correct direction, because this time they are expecting something. So he figured it was better to get close enough to get a guaranteed one-shot kill; even though he would be closer, he would be much harder to find than if he had to take a second shot.)

      Imagine a sniper killing someone, and the only sound is the body falling over. Kind of creepy. The sniper might be able to kill the person without other people in the area even noticing!

      On the other hand, assuming a high-tech enemy, it might be possible to track the sniper by waste heat from the laser. If you are putting enough energy to kill out of a laser rifle, there will be nontrivial amounts of waste heat. So there might be a special "sniper model" battlefield laser weapon that contains the heat somehow (cartridges with compressed gases, and you use the expanding gas to cancel the waste heat?). Thus the sniper model would probably be the heaviest model.

      (Or perhaps the heaviest model would be the "squad automatic" laser, which could be fired many times rapidly...)

      Actually, a physics question: would there be a trail in the air, caused by the laser traveling through the air, that could be seen with some sort of vision enhancer goggles? Would the air molecules be ionized or something, and could that be used to track a sniper? If so, there would be a line drawn in the air pointing from the target straight back at the sniper. But I really have no idea if that is possible.

      steveha
      • by chanrobi (944359)
        It is already possible to track snipers given just the one shot. And it's not very high tech either Just google counter sniper systems or anti sniper systems. Like so

        http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/2005/09/snipi n g-at-us-forces-beginning-to-boomerang/index.php [defenseindustrydaily.com]

        Incoming fire detection and shooter position are determined and reported in less than 2 seconds. False shot detections are less that one per thousand hours of system operation at vehicle speeds under 50 miles per hour.

        Bascially, position is triangulated using a bunch of mics.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Jesus_666 (702802)
        1.) As was already pointed out, a pulsed laser strong enough to kill is strong enough to ionize the air it travels through, generating a glowing line straight from the firer to the victim. Even seeing that line for a fraction of a second allows people to deduce the rough direction from which the shot came - that's what our brains are made for.
        2.) I'm not entirely sure about this one, but I think that the ionized air gives off a fizzing sound, which means that yes, it becomes possible to identify a laser sn
    • by einhverfr (238914)
      I noted that they could ionize the air with a non-lethal laser, and that they were suggesting that there might be non-lethal uses for the laser rifle. This might allow for a usage essentially essentially similar to a long-range version of a Taser.

      Basically, if you can ionize the air, you should have a conductive path. You could then send a high-voltage current down that path to incapacitate the person struck.
    • by fm6 (162816)
      I seem to recall reading somewhere that early laser development was funded by DoD people who were hoping it would make a good death ray. Of course, they were disappointed. I remember Arthur C. Clarke making a big thing out of the fact that nobody has ever managed to find a way to kill someone with a laser. Sort of sad that this particular technology has finally been robbed of its peacenik status.

      Trekkies will recall that in the original pilot, Captain Pike and his crew brandished laser guns. The "phaser" wa
      • So it didn't happen when the original Star Trek came out. I'll bet they were glad of their decision when they did the later series vs. I mean, every DVD player we can replay the episodes on has a little tiny laser, harmless unless you look at it...
    • Any laser beam shot will directly advertise exactly where the sniper is.
    • The problem is that the scatter of laser light that's intense enough to damage something is probably going to have enough scattering to cause blindness of people that see what's getting hit.
  • by AbsoluteXyro (1048620) on Friday April 27, 2007 @07:44PM (#18907115)

    "It uses a programmed pattern of rapid plasma events to create a sort of wall of bright lights and reports (bangs) over the coverage area," says Keith Braun of the US Army's Advanced Energy Armaments Systems Division at Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey, US, where the system is being tested.

    So.... they've invented fireworks, then. Finally. I mean, the Chinese military has had access to fireworks technology since the freakin' Han Dynasty! Glad to see our boys in blue are getting with the times!

    • No, no, no. It's the conventional guns and missiles that use gunpowder--the critical ingredient of fireworks. (Or did you think that those rockets with red glares in "The Star-Spangled Banner" were for a party?)
      What the military is attempting is a laser lightshow like they use in concerts, only bigger and deadlier.
  • Woah (Score:2, Funny)

    by smilingman (942304)
    According to an article at New Scientist, DARPA is developing a plasma shield that would allow troops to stun and disorientate enemies

    Not as much as I was disorientated by that spelling...
  • Sounds like something you would want to put in a grenade rather than use as a shield. Plasma Grenades...Schweet...
  • by Agrippa (111029) on Friday April 27, 2007 @07:57PM (#18907273)
    Extensive documentaries of GI Joe vs Cobra battles during the early 80's show laser weapons have a complete inability to hit anything of value.

    .agrippa.
  • Also, FTA... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SixFactor (1052912) on Friday April 27, 2007 @07:58PM (#18907281) Journal
    ... is a way to change the laser rifle's intensity, and thus, its lethality. Yeah, I envision settings for STUN and KILL. Shark mount optional.

  • Good priorities (Score:2, Insightful)

    by DogDude (805747)
    It's good that our US government has their priorities straight: Building levies: no. Health care: no. Education: no. Really, really, really deadly weapons: hell yeah!
  • Wow. Just Wow. (Score:2, Interesting)

    Are United States expecting some kind of alien foothold situation? :) Airborne lasers, laser rifles, Star Wars satellites, exoskeletons, wearable computers, hand-launched intercontinental ballistic missiles, atomic and neutron bombs, personal shields made of liquids, harmless skin burners...

    I don't know about others, but this sounds pretty much like stuff we could read about in comics and watch in cartoons. Wouldn't it be funny if somewhere in a small well-guarded room there's a top-notch team of physici
  • remove the comma between which would be lethal and to the US Army for fun reading!
  • by FredThompson (183335) <fredthompson@@@mindspring...com> on Friday April 27, 2007 @08:09PM (#18907401)
    How long after laser "rifles" are deployed before troops figure out how to use them to heat food?

    "Comrade, I see fireflies in the woods and smell burnt popcorn."
    "Prepare for battle, the running dog Americans are here!"
    • I used to work with a bunch of Raytheon radar engineers. They claimed the microwave oven was invented when someone noticed that coffee stayed warm when it was in front of the radar transmitter. I can't vouch for the accuracy of the story but will point out that Amana (their microwave ovens were originally advertised as "the Amana radar range") was originally a division of Raytheon until they spun it off.

      Cheers,
      Dave
  • Misread... (Score:3, Funny)

    by masterzora (871343) <masterzoraNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday April 27, 2007 @08:14PM (#18907447) Homepage
    My first time through, I thought it mentioned as one of the advantages that one can hit a target *moving at the speed of light*. And here I was wondering what target we could want to hit that would be moving at the speed of light when I realized the actual phrasing.
  • Excellent... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by FridayBob (619244) on Friday April 27, 2007 @08:26PM (#18907555) Homepage
    ... just what we need to win the War on Terror. A truly worthwhile project. Really makes you feel good about paying taxes.
  • by Danathar (267989) on Friday April 27, 2007 @08:50PM (#18907789) Journal
    I can see it now, terrorists running around cities with multi-faceted segmented mirrors all over their bodies...
  • 15kg's ? wtf that's a LOT. modern weapons are about 1/2 that (excluding ammo) i'm assuming they aren't including the weight of the power source in that. the last thing the modern solider needs, is MORE weight to carry.
  • .... We now have more scifi scripting ideas....
  • by rantingkitten (938138) <[kitten] [at] [mirrorshades.org]> on Saturday April 28, 2007 @05:59AM (#18910333) Homepage
    But I'm reminded of John Titor here. You know, the guy who was posting on Usenet saying he was from the future? Bollocks, I'm sure, but he did have some interesting things to say, and one of them was something to the effect (I don't have the quote in front of me): "Pay attention when the government starts talking about non-lethal weapons to use against the enemy. When they start talking about that, the enemy they're talking about YOU. You don't really think they're going into hostile territory under RPG fire and jumping out of a helicopter with these 'non lethal' toys, do you?"

    And, well, I had to admit there was a point there. Maybe we should find it disturbing that so much research is being put into this kind of thing.

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