Imagine harnessing the power it takes to light up 1.7 trillion light bulbs and shooting it through a lens at an object. That is just what the U.S. Army’s new Tactical Ultrashort Laser (USPL) hopes to do. The laser will be the most powerful in the Army’s arsenal. It’s a million times more powerful than any other. It’s designed to reach a terawatt of output. That’s a mind boggling 1 trillion watts of energy. It will emit short, pulse like bursts, unlike conventional lasers who emit a continuous beam. It has the power to vaporize a drone’s surface and cause a blast wave. A working prototype is scheduled for August 2022, writes Dan Avery of the Dailymail.com. He continues (abridged):
The US Army is developing its most powerful laser yet that is a million times more powerful than current systems.
Most laser weapons fire a continuous beam until a target melts or catches fire, but the Tactical Ultrashort Pulsed Laser (UPSL) for Army Platforms will emit short, pulse-like bursts.
It’s being designed to reach a terawatt for a brief 200 femtoseconds, which is one quadrillionth of a second, compared to the 150-kilowatt maximum of current systems.
Even for that infinitesimal amount of time, the UPSL could vaporize the surface of a drone.
It’s also thought such a burst would disrupt nearby electronics systems, making it a functional electromagnetic pulse (EMP).
The US military group is aiming to have a working prototype by August 2022.
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