This is cool: Lockheed Martin announced that it’s developed a laser called ATHENA that can disable the engine of a small truck from over a mile away.
ATHENA, or Advanced Test High Energy Asset, is a “30-kilowatt, single-mode fiber laser weapon system prototype.” The purpose? To develop a weapon system that can stop vehicles with greater precision, therefore causing less destruction and loss of life. The 30-kilowatt laser used in ATHENA was developed in Bothell.
“Fiber-optic lasers are revolutionizing directed energy systems,” said Keoki Jackson, Lockheed Martin CTO in a statement. “We are investing in every component of the system – from the optics and beam control to the laser itself – to drive size, weight and power efficiencies. This test represents the next step to providing lightweight and rugged laser weapon systems for military aircraft, helicopters, ships and trucks.”
We’re all for weapons that aren’t of the mass-destruction kind. This is a pretty neat start.