Sunday 19th of September 2021

DEWs and instant death...

star trek

Directed Energy Weapons are the next best thing… Well they’re not really good stuff if you want peace, but if you are at war and want to destroy something “precisely” INSTANTANEOUSLY, Directed Energy Weapons (DEWs) are the go.


Even the Star-Wars/Star-Trek gizmos that shoot bizos are antiques compare to the new DEWs, which theoretically can be accurate and deadly beyond 1,000 kilometres, in a straight line… 

We have shown a first glimpse of these on this site a while back, but we mentioned them more precisely here ( DEWs are basically “quantum” weapons delivering a burst of high energy at the speed of light. Imagine your CD reader laser being a billion times* more powerful. Your CD player would explode, with your house as well. Multiply this explosive power by 1,000* and you get a basic DEW. A beam of light from a laser carries a lot of energy (mostly heat through light) onto a single spot, in the red and infrared shift (heat), sometimes in the green spectrum, at the speed of light. Make these powerful enough and you can blow a plane off the sky, without having to calculate velocity, wind shifts or allow for gravity. Just aim at the target… Easy.

Now the trick is that your HIGH ENERGY weapon does not blow itself up. This was one of the sticky points. But the laser weapon can be made of several smaller laser beams working together as one. No need for messy explosive charge. A high power supply of electricity does the trick. At this stage dealing with ultraviolet frequencies is out of the question as these frequencies demand far far far more energy than infrareds, to be generated.

The DEW technology is complex despite the theory being simple. The USA, Russia, China are well advanced on the weapon development and many successful tests have been done. Many countries are also on the quest, including Australia. In reality, the concept of DEWs is not new, but lasers have provided a much greater power than ever before — and are much easier to use.

Here comes Aussieland:

“Another revolution in weaponry is currently underway, with directed-energy weapons on the cusp of replacing chemical-powered weapons on the battlefield. DEWs use the electromagnetic spectrum (light and radio energy) to attack pinpoint targets at the speed of light. They are well-suited to defending against threats such as missiles and artillery shells, which DEWs can shoot down in mid-flight. In addition, controllers can vary the strength of the energy put on a target, unlike a bullet or exploding bomb, allowing for nonlethal uses”.

- A Kochems & A Gudgel1 

Executive Summary

  1. Directed Energy Weapon (DEW) effects originate from exploiting quantum behaviours occurring on the subatomic scale to convert energy from one form into another form for exploiting a vulnerability in a target to cause disruption, damage, or destruction.

  2. Specialised laws govern the designs and uses of DEW.

  3. The typical designs for a DEW include subsystems for a power supply, energy source, energy converter, beam director, thermal management, and platform integration. The DEW needs to be integrated to other systems needed for mission planning, command and control, and target acquisition and tracking, for example.

  4. DEW requires accurate pointing to hold the energy beam steady to dwell on the target for a long enough time to transfer energy adequate to cause a material or design failure in the target or disrupt the electrical circuitry.

  5. DEW damage mechanisms can range from the low-energy temporary dazzling of aircraft/spacecraft optical sensors, inflicting heat discomfort and injury to combatants, to high-energy catastrophic damage of material systems including aircraft and spacecraft.

  6. It is not the energy output by a DEW but the energy that is absorbed by the target that is significant to plan the designs and damage effects for DEW. Some targets, such as re-entering ICBM warheads and hypersonic missiles, may use materials that are designed to resist and survive high temperatures; some materials may reflect the light energy away from the target.

  7. A cost-benefit of DEW is the significant reduction in the recurring cost of a non-kinetic energy pulse compared to the cost of kinetic weapon rounds used against the targets. However, the non- recurring expense of the DEW launcher systems, especially its energy source, will require more investments into the designs for

8. The integration of DEW into domestic and military operations needs to consider the potential for DEW spillover and collateral damage risks. 


Figure 1. Archimedes is credited with inventing the first DEW by deploying sun-reflecting mirrors against Roman ships attacking Syracuse in 212 BCE.2

A DEW is a weapon system that uses an energy source and a pointing system to control the delivery of electromagnetic energy (i.e. electromagnetic, laser, microwave, photonic energy, and nuclear radiation) as a means to damage or destroy enemy equipment, facilities, or injure enemy personnel.3 An ancient Greek legend describes how, in 212 BCE, Archimedes4 defended the city of Syracuse from an attack by Roman warships by constructing a glass reflector to deflect and amplify the sun’s rays to set the Roman warships afire, as depicted in Figure 1.

The story has been much debated by historians and been dismissed as a myth. However, modern technology is enabling designs for DEW that are ‘game-changing’ weapons and are currently in development. They may enable targets to be engaged at the speed of light at tactically significant ranges. Whilst a missile warhead functions to rapidly transfer kinetic/thermal energy at the target, the DEW functions to rapidly deliver and accumulate a damaging level of electromagnetic/thermal energy at the target. The desired damage is achieved when the target absorbs a level of energy adequate to disrupt its correct functioning. 


About the same time, however, and in an earlier volume of the Proceedings, I found an article with the title, “On the burning mirrors of Archimedes, and on the Concentration of light produced by reflectors,” by John Scott.  This article is also an investigation of a myth that would be tackled some 130 years later by the MythBusters!  Apparently the 1870s-1880s were a good era for ‘busting!

The myth in question concerns the brilliant Greek intellectual Archimedes (287 BC – 212 BC), who made amazing discoveries in science, mathematics and engineering, and produced a number of groundbreaking inventions*.  His final inventions were developed to protect his home city of Syracuse from a Roman siege; Archimedes himself was slain at the end of the siege by a Roman soldier.  Tales of his siege-breaking inventions spread, however, and became the stuff of legend.  One reported device was a crane with a claw-like attachment used to capsize ships, known as the Claw of Archimedes; modern tests have shown the device to be feasible.  More intriguing, and more controversial, is the report that Archimedes developed a giant mirror or collection of mirrors that could focus the Sun’s rays and set ships on fire!

I should note right off the bat that the article by Scott to be discussed here is not the only historical attempt to evaluate the plausibility of the Archimedes story, and the Mythbusters’ attempts not the only modern attempts to test it.  There was a test in 1973, for instance , as described on an interesting page by Michael Lahanas dedicated to the Archimedes mirror,

A Greek scientist, Dr. Ioannis Sakkas, curious about whether Archimedes could really have used a “burning glass” to destroy the Roman fleet in 212 BC lined up nearly 60 Greek sailors, each holding an oblong mirror tipped to catch the Sun’s rays and direct them at a wooden ship 160 feet away. The ship caught fire at once…..Sakkas said after the experiment there was no doubt in his mind the great inventor could have used bronze mirrors to scuttle the Romans.

The site also links to an image of the experiment:

Scott’s 1867 paper is itself mainly a summary and critique of earlier attempts to test the “burning mirror” story.  He begins by pointing out the weakness of the historical record:

That the Roman ships were destroyed by burning glasses invented by Archimedes, is mentioned as a fact by most of the ancient writers, especially those who treat on mechanics, and their statements have been repeated by succeeding authors, without any doubts having suggested until comparatively recent times.  The earliest authorities on the subject are Diodorus Siculus, Lucian, Galen, Dion Cassius, and Pappus.  It is much to be regretted that a work by the last named author on the Siege of Syracuse is now lost; but Zonares and Tzetzes, writers of the 12th century, in whose time it was extant, give quotations from it.  That of the latter, translated pretty literally, runs thus:–“When Marcellus had placed the ships a bow shot off, the old man (Archimedes) constructed a sort of hexagonal mirror.  He placed at proper distances from the mirror other smaller mirrors of the same kind, which were moved by means of their hinges and certain plates of metal.  He placed it amid the rays of the sun at noon, both in summer and winter.  The rays being reflected by this, a frightful fiery kindling was excited on the ships, and it reduced them to ashes, from the distance of a bow shot.  Thus the old man baffled Marcellus, by means of his inventions.”

Scott then notes that plenty of other inquisitive minds have tested the burning mirror idea:

At a later period, mirrors similar to that of Archimedes, appear to have engaged the attention of Baron Napier of Merchiston, and other mathematicians; but strange enough, the famous naturalist, Buffon, was the first to establish the practicability, and therefore the probability, of the achievement.  He employed a combination of plane reflectors, consisting of ordinary looking-glasses, eight inches by six, attached to a single frame.  With forty of these glasses he set on fire tarred beech at a distance of 66 feet.  A plank smeared with tar and brimstone, was ignited at 126 feet, by 98 glasses.  A combination of 128 glasses, with a clear sun, inflamed very suddenly a plank of tarred fir at 150 feet.  In addition to these experiments made at Paris, about the beginning of April, others were made in summer, by which wood was kindled at 200 and 210 feet, and silver and other metals were melted at distances varying from 25 to 40 feet.

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DEW operations are largely based on the principles of quantum mechanics and actions occurring on a subatomic scale. Quantum physics is useful to describe the behaviours of light and its interactions with matter at the subatomic scale.12 When light or electrical energy is pumped into certain laser materials, electrons within individual atoms can be excited to jump from a lower-energy level orbit (i.e. ground state) to a higher-energy level orbit (i.e. excited state), in a process called ‘spontaneous absorption’. However, the electron will not naturally stay in the excited state forever and, eventually, its energy spontaneously decays for it to drop back to the ground state, in an event called a ‘spontaneous emission.’

When spontaneous emission occurs, the decaying electron releases energy, which is the difference between the excited state and ground state, as a massless photon. Now, this new photon travels through the subatomic structures and when it strikes an excited electron in another atom, it causes that electron to itself release a photon before returning to its ground state – this process is called ‘stimulated emission’ – generating a second similar photon that travels with the original photon in the same phase, with the same wavelength and at the same wavefront. 

By reflecting these stimulated emissions back and forth through the laser material, these photons can form larger groups of many photons that continue to be amplified and accumulate into larger groups as they continue to pass electrons in excited states. This increases the number of photons, released from stimulated emissions of radiation, which eventually reaches a threshold level of energy needed to escape the laser medium. The output light energy is characteristically more energetic than natural light because laser light has the following properties:14

  1. monochromatic light (i.e. all photons have the same wavelength),

  2. coherent (i.e. all wavelengths are in the same phase) enabling positive interference to increase the power output by accumulating multiple wavelengths, and

  3. collimated (i.e. all photons are travelling in the same direction in parallel) which makes it directional.

Recent innovations, motivated by discoveries in quantum physics and nanotechnology, have resulted in the synthesis of ‘quantum dots’15 as an artificially fabricated material that is a more effective and more efficient laser medium compared to the naturally sourced materials. On the atomic scale, quantum dots can be grown into better organized crystalline lattice structures with a more consistent size and distribution of atoms, compared to the random designs of natural materials. The use of quantum dots as a laser medium increases the efficiency of the energy generated by stimulated emissions and the total energy that can be output by a quantum dot laser, compared to a traditional laser.

Whilst laser is useful for delivery electromagnetic energy in the form of light and heat to damage or destroy material objects, the same quantum process can be used to also generate electromagnetic energy in other parts of the electromagnetic spectrum. By using different chemical mediums, stimulated emissions can generate energy with radio frequencies that may be exploited in electronic attacks to interfere, disrupt, or deny the use of the electromagnetic spectrum by an adversary. When the DEW generates this light energy, amplified by stimulated emissions of radiation (i.e. LASER) to start a quantum fire. 

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At this stage “laser guns” are nearly operational:

After decades of toiling and dead-ends, the dream of operational laser weaponry is about to become a reality. So, what changed that made what had been bulky systems go from clumsy pipe dreams to hardened, miniaturized, and reliable weapons that will be able to be deployed even in the harshest of conditions? 

We recently had an in-depth interview with Dr. Rob Afzal, Lockheed Martin Senior Fellow, Laser and Sensor Systems, where I pressed him on everything related to laser weaponry and the emerging military applications that go along with it. In the course of answering my maelstrom of queries, Dr. Afzal eloquently conveyed how we have suddenly arrived in an era where laser weapons will become widespread across the battlefield. In this first piece in our two-part series with Lockheed's directed energy guru, I wanted to share his explanation with you, as it is fascinating in its own right. 

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For more peaceful usage of laser beams, see:

Hold on to your trousers…

pushing a quantum barrow…

*Note: these figures are gustimates. The figures are top secret...

peresvet (пересвет)...


Published 11 months ago on February 8, 2020

While The US Experiments, Russian Laser Weapon ‘Peresvet’ Active Since 2018



The Peresvet laser complex has been on combat duty since December 2019, the Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov recently told a foreign military attache. 

The Peresvet laser complexes have been placed at sites of permanent deployment and are fully operational now.

As it turns out that, firstly, the product is not propaganda (as many foreign media wrote) and, secondly, it is the first combat laser system put into service in the world.

The existence of Peresvet laser weapons was revealed by Vladimir Putin in his annual address to the Federal Assembly in 2018. Already this year in Sochi, he noted that laser systems will determine the potential of the army and navy for the entire 21st century. Their development uses indigenous optics and highly sensitive optoelectronics, Putin had emphasized.

According to RT, another Russian state media source, Alexander Peresvet was “a famous warrior monk who fought at the 1380 Battle of Kulikovo, which ended the Mongol domination of medieval Russia.”

Experts state that Laser weapons are not something extraordinary for Russian scientists. Its development began back in the 1960s and by the 1990s it almost reached the zenith of work.

The first shipments of the weapons began in 2017 as part of the military’s modernization program, according to reports while military personnel learned to deploy and apply the weapons during special training at the Mozhaysky Military Space Academy in St. Petersburg.

The systems are capable of “concealing the areas of deployment of intercontinental ballistic missiles” and will be used in air defence and military defence, Viktor Murakhovsky, an expert at Russia’s Military-Industrial Commission, was cited as saying by Krasnaya Zvezda.

In August, The United States voiced concern over Russia’s pursuit of Peresvet, calling the development of the weapon “disturbing.”

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revamping the old deterrent...


U.S. Nuclear Modernization: Security & Policy Implications of Integrating Digital Technology

Full Report | Press Release

Executive Summary: An expansive, complex undertaking to modernize the United States’ nuclear bombs and warheads, their delivery systems, and the command, control, and communications infrastructure around them is underway. It is a project that carries the potential for great benefits through an increase in digital systems and automation, as well as the addition of machine learning tools into the U.S. nuclear triad and the supporting nuclear weapons complex. But it also is one that carries significant risks, including some that are not fully understood. If it does not take the time to protect the new systems integrated with some of the deadliest weapons on earth from cyberattack, the U.S. government will be dangerously outpaced in its ability to deter aggressors.

Given the stakes, why take on new risks at all? The reason to integrate digital technologies into U.S. nuclear weapons systems is clear: this is the first significant upgrade of U.S. nuclear weapons systems in nearly 40 years, and the old systems need replacing. The most efficient way to update the full nuclear triad of bombers, submarines, and ground-based missiles, as well as the bombs, warheads, and command, control, and communications network, is to use today’s technology, including digital tools. From digital displays on bomber aircraft to advanced early-warning sensors and machine-learning-enabled nuclear options planning tools, this U.S. nuclear weapons recapitalization, like past modernizations, will be a product of its time.

Once the process is complete, the modernized U.S. nuclear triad will rely on more digital components and will include limited automation. Machine learning applications will provide some essential functions relevant to nuclear decision-making, and analog systems at or beyond their expected end of life will largely be replaced.

In the recent past, the Departments of Defense and Energy have struggled to respond to cybersecurity and supply chain threats to major weapons development programs. In many cases, efforts to address cybersecurity have lagged behind the acquisitions process, creating challenges for protecting against vulnerabilities in new or modified weapons systems. In addition, outside pressures often place a premium on meeting ambitious cost and schedule commitments, sometimes at the expense of performance and reliability, even in the face of evolving cybersecurity risks and challenges presented by new tools such as machine learning. Risks to all digital and machine learning systems are myriad: attacker intrusions, lack of access to critical systems amid a crisis, interference with physical security systems that protect nuclear weapons, and inaccurate data and information, among others. All these risks, if not addressed, could undermine confidence in a nuclear weapon or related system.

Integrating new technologies with old is a perpetual engineering challenge, but for the U.S. nuclear deterrent, it is one with implications that go far beyond the significant risks posed by cyber threats and digital malfunctions. Effective nuclear deterrence requires confidence that nuclear forces will always be ready if needed but never be used without proper authorization.

If the new digital systems integrated into U.S. nuclear weapons are not protected from escalating cyber threats, or if added automation cannot be trusted, the high confidence U.S. leaders (as well as adversaries) place in nuclear weapons systems will erode, undermining nuclear deterrence and, potentially, strategic stability.

Given the multiple risks associated with today’s nuclear modernization program, NTI drew on open-source information, including budget requests, official statements, and press reports, to determine how digital systems and automation are included in the nuclear weapons enterprise modernization and to develop recommendations for military and civilian leaders in the Departments of Defense and Energy, as well as those in oversight roles in the executive branch and Congress. It is crucial—now, before it becomes an even more difficult task to secure the modern systems, and before they are deployed or operational—that the technical risks posed by new technologies be recognized and mitigated. To ensure that as long as the United States has nuclear weapons, they continue to be safe, secure, and effective, it is important that as U.S. nuclear policies evolve, they take into account the benefits and risks of digital and advanced tools to the modernized nuclear deterrent.


This report provides three recommendations:

  1. Prioritize digital security and reliability alongside cost, schedule, and performance. In addition to these essential, traditional objectives for developing weapons, program managers must focus on ensuring that digital systems perform as needed, including in the presence of a determined adversary, enabling confidence in the deterrent. Digital systems should meet clearly established security and reliability thresholds before joining the nuclear enterprise.
  2. Establish tailored test and evaluation controls. Digital systems present new testing and evaluation challenges, and procedures must be in place to confirm that a system is ready for operational use. This is especially critical for high-consequence systems, first and foremost the nuclear deterrent.
  3. Consider the implications of digitization for U.S. nuclear policy and posture. U.S. nuclear deterrence policies are updated on a regular basis to accommodate the current geopolitical situation and other factors. As modernization proceeds in the coming decades, U.S. nuclear policies, strategy, and force posture must take into account the implications of a digitized deterrent.

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not very nice...

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Russia has already deployed a ground-based laser weapon which could disable or blind US space-based sensors on orbiting surveillance satellites, Director of National Intelligence (DNI) John Ratcliffe said on Wednesday.

Russia earlier this year had one of its satellites manoeuvre close to a US government satellite in orbit, the DNI chief added.

"Russia has fielded a ground-based laser weapon which could disable or blind our space based sensors," Ratcliffe said at a National Space Council meeting.

"We consider this to be threatening behavior," he added.

US economic prosperity and national security now rely on space systems that its adversaries are increasingly threatening, Ratcliffe said.


He also said China, which poses the greatest national security threat, can destroy US satellites up to geosynchronous orbit (more than 22,000 miles above the earth).

The Intelligence Community is also setting up a new Space Council to intersect national security needs and capabilities with the US commercial sector and private industry, Ratcliffe added.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov earlier this year said Russia has always been and remains committed to the full demilitarization of space.

Earlier this year, the Russian Foreign Ministry said the United States is accusing Russia of "chasing" a US reconnaissance satellite as an excuse to fuel an arms race in space that could lead to the destruction of the existing security balance.


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"We consider this to be threatening behavior?"... What is more threatening than loading Europe with US nukes? And having NATO doing regular exercises on the Russian border?


See also:


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lasering about...

 The Israeli ministry of defense has said that a powerful plane-mounted laser it developed was able to shoot down several drones during tests over the Mediterranean Sea, in a first for the country. 

During the interception trials last week, a laser system was installed on a civilian Cessna aircraft, tasked with locating and destroying drones with the aid of an autonomous detection and tracking system, the ministry said.


We successfully intercepted several UAVs in the air, within a range of more than one kilometer,” Brig. Gen. Yaniv Rotem, the head of the ministry's research and development team, said.

“This is the first time in the State of Israel that we have succeeded in doing this,” he added, hailing the test as a “groundbreaking technological achievement” for the Jewish state. Rotem told reporters that the defense ministry plans to “have a laser in the Gaza area.”

Footage released by the ministry showed the laser system burning through several drones, causing them to explode and fall into the sea. The faces of the system’s operators and other servicemen featured in the clip were blurred.



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