The concept seems a bit obvious if you’ve been working with lasers for any length of time but the Air Force Times is reporting that a research program, which has apparently consumed $25 million already, is:
now closer to using mirrors for relaying laser beams to hit targets a capability that would spread the reach and lethality of the weapon system, according to service and Boeing officials.
Tests have shown that researchers can shoot a laser into space and use telescopes to redirect its course to a target. Researchers have performed about 30 tests at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., where they used a crane to suspend a dual-mirror system about 100 feet above the ground. They then fired a low-powered laser at the apparatus from several miles away, and used it to redirect the laser to the target, which they hit every single time, program officials said.
Well, it sounds like tests have shown they can get the job done but other than paying for the equipment to handle high power lasers, why did it cost $25 million to get where they are now?
On the other hand, they’re apparently using a 15- to 25-kilowatt laser and those don’t come cheap.