Space.com (www.space.com) is reporting that lasers are that much closer to becoming practical weapons:
Solid Success in Speed-of-Light Weaponry
A laser has blasted to a new energy level, a milestone that picks up the pace for moving them from the lab onto the battlefield.
Northrop Grumman announced November 9 that the company’s solid-state laser being built for the military has fired one of the most powerful beams yet produced by an electric laser.
The advancement stems from a military effort to leap frog speed-of-light technology under the Joint High Power Solid-State Laser (JHPSSL) demonstration program.
The solid-state laser churned out more than 27 kilowatts of energy with a run time of 350 seconds. In a separate test, the company reported that the laser demonstrated “excellent beam quality” at 19 kilowatts power level, showing how well the beam can be focused and thus get to a target. The company’s laser demonstrator could have operated much longer….
Engineers raised on Star Trek are determined to make it happen. We already have communicators, after all. Now, if we can just figure out how to build warp engines…