Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Drones with frickin' lasers

They could be used for humanitarian missions, too

"How Angel One on a humanitarian mission could look"
"How Angel One on a humanitarian mission could look"

San Diego–based General Atomics, makers of the military's Predator and Reaper drones (“unmanned aerial vehicles,” as the industry prefers to call them), has landed a contract to begin experiments equipping the bombing and surveillance aircraft with laser weapons.

With $8.8 million from the federal Missile Defense Agency, the firm "will address laser power and aperture size by integrating and testing a low power laser on an unmanned aerial vehicle," likely by the year 2020.

According to a FlightGlobal report, the likeliest General Atomics drone to carry the laser weapon would be its Avenger or Angel One, both of which are capable of reaching 50,000 feet of altitude and flying for six hours or more, allowing the devices to be deployed in airspace where they could attack and shoot down ballistic missiles in flight. The company has sought to play down the focus on attack capabilities of their products, noting that the Angel One "could easily be used for the rapid delivery of humanitarian relief packages."

Though the contract would explore the possibility of launching a fleet of round-the-clock flying lasers ready to shoot down an enemy missile, the actual technology to do so is still in the early stages. The low-power lasers General Atomics' drones would carry will test the ability to target and focus a beam for a period of time at long range, but they won't generate enough energy to do serious damage.

For that capability, Lockheed Martin, which several years ago shuttered its San Diego operations, has been tapped by the Air Force Research Laboratory to develop weapons-grade lasers for installation in fighter jets. The project competes with another program already in the works at General Atomics that could be ready for testing as early as next year.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Vista City Attorney and James Buss donate to Trump campaign

Chula Vista's Jill Galvez barred from voting on fire trucks
"How Angel One on a humanitarian mission could look"
"How Angel One on a humanitarian mission could look"

San Diego–based General Atomics, makers of the military's Predator and Reaper drones (“unmanned aerial vehicles,” as the industry prefers to call them), has landed a contract to begin experiments equipping the bombing and surveillance aircraft with laser weapons.

With $8.8 million from the federal Missile Defense Agency, the firm "will address laser power and aperture size by integrating and testing a low power laser on an unmanned aerial vehicle," likely by the year 2020.

According to a FlightGlobal report, the likeliest General Atomics drone to carry the laser weapon would be its Avenger or Angel One, both of which are capable of reaching 50,000 feet of altitude and flying for six hours or more, allowing the devices to be deployed in airspace where they could attack and shoot down ballistic missiles in flight. The company has sought to play down the focus on attack capabilities of their products, noting that the Angel One "could easily be used for the rapid delivery of humanitarian relief packages."

Though the contract would explore the possibility of launching a fleet of round-the-clock flying lasers ready to shoot down an enemy missile, the actual technology to do so is still in the early stages. The low-power lasers General Atomics' drones would carry will test the ability to target and focus a beam for a period of time at long range, but they won't generate enough energy to do serious damage.

For that capability, Lockheed Martin, which several years ago shuttered its San Diego operations, has been tapped by the Air Force Research Laboratory to develop weapons-grade lasers for installation in fighter jets. The project competes with another program already in the works at General Atomics that could be ready for testing as early as next year.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Oceanside Democrats feud over membership

Club stacking just part of growing pains?
Next Article

The unsinkable Linda Broyles

“I mean, when they said I couldn’t go home, I could see Coronado!”
Comments
1

I, for one, welcome our new drone overlords

Nov. 15, 2017

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close