Germany based Rheinmetall Defence continues to develop its high-energy laser (HEL) technology. The company recently announced a successful test of its new 50kW high-energy weapon.
The 50kW HEL weapon was able to cut through a 15mm-thick steel girder at a distance of 1,000 meters. It also successfully shot down nose-diving target drones at a range of two kilometers. A third test involved detected and destroying a small ballistic target. The laser weapon succeeded in detecting, tracking and destroying a 82 mm (3.2 inch) steel ball traveling at 50 m/sec.
Rheinmetall is working on making the weapon more powerful. The company says “nothing stands in the way of a future HEL weapon system with a 100kW output.” The company is also working on making these laser weapons mobile.
BBC Newsnotes that other government and defense companies are also developing laster weapons, such as Raytheon.
In 1080p. Did Mars long ago develop far enough for life to arise? If so, does anything still live within Mars’ dusty plains, beneath its ice caps, or somewhere underground? In 1964 the Mariner Four spacecraft flew by Mars and got a good look. What it saw looked more like the Moon than the Earth. Then, in the mid-1970′s, two lander-orbiter robot teams, named Viking, went in for an even closer look. The landers tested the soil for the chemical residues of life. All the evidence from Viking told us: Mars is dead. And extremely harsh. The mission recorded Martian surface temperatures from -17 degrees Celsius down to -107. We now know it can get even colder than that at the poles. The atmosphere is 95% carbon dioxide, with only traces of oxygen. And it’s extremely thin, with less than one percent the surface pressure of Earth’s atmosphere. And it’s bone dry. In fact, the Sahara Desert is a rainforest compared to Mars, where water vapor is a trace gas in the atmosphere. On Earth, impact craters erode over time from wind and water… and even volcanic activity. On Mars, they can linger for billions of years. Earth’s surface is shaped and reshaped by the horizontal movement of plates that make up its crust driven by heat welling up from the planet’s hot interior. At half the width and only 11% the mass of Earth, Mars doesn’t generate enough heat to support wide-scale plate tectonics. Nor does it have the gravity to hold a thick atmosphere needed to store enough heat at the …