How Will Laser Weapons Be Implemented in Future Warfare?

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How will laser weapons be implemented in future warfare?

Emitter. An array of vertical cavity surface emission lasers complete with aberration corrected optics. Pros.lower beam divergence spectral selectivity high M^2 factor (more ideal laser vs. non-solid state types) can deliver arbitrary power levels relatively compact little maintenance required beside optics Cons.dv/dt limit of diodes, but the in-game laser rifle seems to be fairly slow. heavy optics insane heat dissipation in a tiny area could end up killing the chips. Active cooling is required which adds bulk. performance loss after beta radiation bombardment (can act as p-type doping pushing early exciton recombination) tech state of art in 2015 not good enough to get the kind of optical power/area required in a weapon of that destructive power. optics need to be spotless Gas laser Pros easier to cool (presumably can use the gas medium itself) bludgeon, suited for very high powers low tech fewer optics required Cons Fabry-Perot envelope also contains gas lines, making it easy to detect extra fans bulky casing. even more unlikely to be portable wrong discharge could end up melting the reflector medium risk of asphyxiation (CO2, N2 7 other gases) risk of plasma burns (O2 gas) terrible far field profile requires cryogenics unreliable junk. components need servicing in a highly specialised workshop expensive consumable for a post-apocalyptic world.cryogenic compressed gas required Power supply. Must-have.ultracapacitor bank (Formula 1, Formula E, US Navy rail gun, Boeing YAL-1). The only option to quickly dump massive ammounts of electrical energy. The next choice would need to be a chemical system that offers the best advantage in terms of Energy/Wh, because after 1 shot, capacitors need to recharge. Batteries kinda suck at the moment. So unless someone comes up with an exotic nanomaterial that is cheap to mass manufacture, it's refined petrol all the way. But we all know how well that works out. Having a mechanical motor is pointless, but thermal to electrical conversions via Seebeck effect isn't horribly efficient either, maybe one might be able to squeeze out 20% efficiency. Going the radiothermal generation route is a bugger, too. There's a reason t only use that stuff in space probes. (Chain fission reactors are out of the question- cannot be miniaturised to be portable due to the critical mass requirement --and generating the neutrons to start it) Unlike fission, fusion can indeed exist in a very tiny chamber. From what I naively gather, the not so well understood bit is how to extract energy from that reaction. Proposed nuclear-pumped laser, though the energy scale is a bit bigger. So a real destructive laser weapon might look more like the one in the Demolition man film.Gives you a few shots, and takes forever to recharge between them. In real life, continuous wave laser rifles are designed to dazzle sensors, confuse or blind personnel (against Geneva accords) , t don't have the power to penetrate materiel, but t can happily burn your retina. Chinese ZM-87-5 Do NOT attempt to build a laser weapon, collimate laser pointers or point lasers at people or airplanes (federal offence in US). This is STUPIDLY dangerous. This absolutely bonkers guy tried it so you don't have to (an uncollimated laser of 0.5W blinds & burns; this is 40W; also notice the BFG heatsink). In real life, a compact laser rifle of that power would be an incredibly horrific weapon. first up, newton's 3rd law.the electrodynamic effect would cause sparks, shock waves and physical pressure waves. Most of it will go back into the weapon, so the shooter will feel recoil air is ionised. even a short burst will cause ozonification and plasma around the beam even the tiniest of reflections could end up melting your face of. not a close quarters weapon None of the images in this post are original work, and were harvested with a quick Google search and represent fair use to illustrate an idea.

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