What exactly are Directed Energy Weapons?
We live in a wonderful world where technology is constantly evolving. Military and civilian technology are often used interchangeably. Many times the military finds out that they can use equipment which was originally developed for civilian use and vice versa. We are constantly looking to improve the technology which we have and to expand its application.
What are Directed energy Weapons?
Directed energy weapons use an alternative to explosive power to launch projectiles at a target. All regular weapons utilize some sort of explosive compound to propel the projectile or warhead while the application of propulsion is totally different with projected energy weapons.
Directed Energy Weapons typically use electric, light, or sound energy either as a weapon. They can be used to either kill or incapacitate people, and to incapacitate or destroy a target.
Sound, Light, Radiation, and Radio Waves and Electrons
Sound, light, radiation, and radio waves are normally used to incapacitate a person or piece of equipment. The term incapacitate simply means to render useless. When light and sound are focused and directed at people they can cause temporary blindness or confusion which causes the person to become incapable of doing anything that will be a problem for you.
Radio waves are often used to bombard the airwaves so that no other signals will be allowed to get through. This will disrupt any type of communication between people via radios and cell phones, and it will also incapacitate any equipment such as GPS which have to pick up satellite signals in order to operate.
The LRAD or Long Range Acoustic Device concentrates sound into a tight beam much as a laser beam. The sound is then projected or pointed at people and bombards them with an intense amount of sound which discomforts them.
A weapon known as the sun strike has been used effectively against people by the military and will certainly be useful in many law enforcement applications. The concentrated beam of static electricity which it produces works like a stun gun to incapacitate the person or persons towards whom it is directed.
We are all familiar with lasers. They concentrate light into an intense tight beam which can be used to disable vehicles, equipment, and weapons. They can even be used to shoot missiles out of the air because nothing moves faster than light. The concentrated beam has to connect with the missile or other object in the precise spot needed in order to incapacitate it or bring it down.
The military uses one weapon called the Airborne Laser (ABL). It is rather large and is transported aboard an airplane. It has to use several smaller laser beams in order to compute the data necessary to cause the main laser to connect with the intended target. The smaller lasers emit a light which bounces off the target to produce data that is recalculated to adjust the trajectory of the larger beam.
There are other similar weapons laser which are used against smaller targets such as aircraft. These lasers are operated from the ground.
What is the rail Gun?
The rail gun is the granddaddy of all directed energy weapons as far as I am concerned. It actually shoots a projectile tremendous distances at tremendous speeds into and through a target. The warhead does not contain an explosive charge because it used extreme velocity to obliterate the target with kinetic energy.
It gets its energy or charge through electricity which pushes it along charged ceramic rails. It does require a huge electrical burst in order to propel it, so it does require a powerful energy source.
You can probably surmise that the rail gun offers many advantages for the military. The first is the tremendous distance that it covers and speed which it moves. They will be able to hit targets many miles away before the people on the receiving end have the slightest clue of what’s coming at them.
They replace gunpowder and every other type of explosive propellant. There is now no need to acquire and store explosives and the heavy explosive warheads.
This also translates into less of a requirement for space, less risk of danger from having massive amounts of explosive materials on hand, and no hassle of running out of ammo or having to have it transported to you. Nonexplosive warheads are also much cheaper to produce which translates into further savings.
These weapons are useful to both military and civil authorities in a number of ways and for a variety of reasons. I do expect to see them being utilized in greater ways and for more reasons in the future, both in the military and civilian worlds.
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