(Image source: U.S. Army)


BY STEVEN SPARKMAN

ANCHOR MEGAN MURPHY

The gap between video games and reality keeps getting smaller. Rail guns, exoskeletons and high-powered lasers have all made the jump to nonfiction. Now a lightning weapon joins the arsenal. Here’s WEWS with the amazing story.

“The U.S. Army is building a device that could shoot lightning bolts down laser beams to take out the target. They recently tested it and it was successful.”

It’s called the Laser-Induced Plasma Channel, which translates to Laser Lightning Gun. Queue references to Zeus, Thor and the Emperor from “Star Wars.” The hosts of HLN had some fun with it. (Image source: U.S. Army)

“Let me think about this.”
“Wait, what?”
“It’s going to shoot lightning bolts down laser beams?”
“They’re going to strap them to the heads of sharks? This sounds like a James Bond thing.”


The weapon works by putting out an incredible amount of energy in a very short time, which actually turns the air into plasma. A writer for Gizmodo explains — from that point on, the weapon works just like a lightning strike.

“The electrical current will then lock on to anything that conducts electricity better than the surrounding air, like the chassis of [a] vehicle or the tooth fillings of a terrorist, then make it melt/explode pretty promptly.”

The engineers say the weapon isn’t ready to be used in the field yet. For one thing, it takes very precise planning to keep the weapon from zapping itself. A writer for CNET says there are also...

“...challenges involved in synchronizing the laser with the high voltage, as well as how to build a device that's sufficiently rugged so as to stand up under extreme environmental conditions. The system would also need to be able to perform in the field over extended periods of time...”

 

But for now, the early tests have been dubbed a success. And the engineers added — zapping targets with lightning never got old.

U.S. Army Successfully Tests Lightning Gun

by Steven Sparkman
0
Transcript
Jun 29, 2012

U.S. Army Successfully Tests Lightning Gun

(Image source: U.S. Army)


BY STEVEN SPARKMAN

ANCHOR MEGAN MURPHY

The gap between video games and reality keeps getting smaller. Rail guns, exoskeletons and high-powered lasers have all made the jump to nonfiction. Now a lightning weapon joins the arsenal. Here’s WEWS with the amazing story.

“The U.S. Army is building a device that could shoot lightning bolts down laser beams to take out the target. They recently tested it and it was successful.”

It’s called the Laser-Induced Plasma Channel, which translates to Laser Lightning Gun. Queue references to Zeus, Thor and the Emperor from “Star Wars.” The hosts of HLN had some fun with it. (Image source: U.S. Army)

“Let me think about this.”
“Wait, what?”
“It’s going to shoot lightning bolts down laser beams?”
“They’re going to strap them to the heads of sharks? This sounds like a James Bond thing.”


The weapon works by putting out an incredible amount of energy in a very short time, which actually turns the air into plasma. A writer for Gizmodo explains — from that point on, the weapon works just like a lightning strike.

“The electrical current will then lock on to anything that conducts electricity better than the surrounding air, like the chassis of [a] vehicle or the tooth fillings of a terrorist, then make it melt/explode pretty promptly.”

The engineers say the weapon isn’t ready to be used in the field yet. For one thing, it takes very precise planning to keep the weapon from zapping itself. A writer for CNET says there are also...

“...challenges involved in synchronizing the laser with the high voltage, as well as how to build a device that's sufficiently rugged so as to stand up under extreme environmental conditions. The system would also need to be able to perform in the field over extended periods of time...”

 

But for now, the early tests have been dubbed a success. And the engineers added — zapping targets with lightning never got old.

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