laser

China space lasers proposal offers futuristic way to take out space debris

China space lasers proposal offers futuristic way to take out space debris

Various concepts for cleaning up space junk have been created, but a new one from Chinese scientists is by far the most futuristic. In a recently published paper, the team details a space-based laser station concept that uses lasers to eliminate space junk. The proposal was introduced at a time when space junk has been highlighted as a serious concern, potentially impacting future space missions.

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Lockheed Martin contract will make sci-fi aerial laser fights a reality

Lockheed Martin contract will make sci-fi aerial laser fights a reality

Defense contractor Lockheed Martin is probably known for a lot of things, but it is probably most famous for how it has turned weaponized lasers into more than just a science fiction prop. Demonstrations of its power including being able to stop a moving truck dead in its tracks by blasting out its engines. Now Lockheed Martin is taking that same firepower to the skies. The US Air Force Research Lab has just awarded it a contract to develop a high-power fiber laser system that will be fitted on a tactical fighter jet in 4 years’ time.

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Watch Lockheed Martin laser-blast drones from the sky

Watch Lockheed Martin laser-blast drones from the sky

Lockheed Martin has demonstrated a new laser weapon prototype that is able to shoot drones out of the sky. The prototype was recently tested at the US Army's Space and Missile Defense Command last month, where an Advanced Test High Energy Asset system called ATHENA was able to take down a total of five drones with about a 10ft wingspan each.

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Lockheed Martin to empower US Army with 60 kW Laser cannon

Lockheed Martin to empower US Army with 60 kW Laser cannon

Although popularized as deadly weapons in science fiction, real-world applications of lasers have been mostly benign. Almost coming full circle, however, lasers are about to make those fictional scenarios real. Lockheed Martin has just announced that it has successfully designed and tested a 60 kW-class laser weapon, breaking records as far as lasers are concerned. And, of course, this technology will be delivered to the US Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command for “defensive applications”.

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Audi gives its R8 supercar laser vision

Audi gives its R8 supercar laser vision

There's little that can't be improved with lasers, and Audi's 2017 R8 V10 plus exclusive is no different, the first car in the US to bear laser headlights. Set to be revealed at the LA Auto Show 2016 in just a couple of weeks time, the V10 coupe is the first of the automaker's production cars to incorporate laser light technology for the US market; it'll be exceedingly rare, too, coming in a short-run edition of just 25. Does it make a difference? We can tell you that it certainly does, having had the opportunity to test a 2017 R8 V10 plus under some interesting circumstances - on the track in the dead of night.

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Facebook may have cracked the big laser-drone internet problem

Facebook may have cracked the big laser-drone internet problem

Facebook is exploring ways of delivering internet connectivity via lasers, developing a new receiver technology that promises to be less complex and more affordable than current systems. Dubbed free-space laser communication, Facebook's break-through is in an all-new optical detector that - unlike existing examples - would neither require mechanical stabilization, nor expensive micro-motors, sensing, or processing.

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Brightest X-ray laser gets stronger with an upgrade

Brightest X-ray laser gets stronger with an upgrade

One of the most powerful x-ray lasers in all the world is getting a serious upgrade that will boost its power even further. Construction on the laser upgrade began a few days ago at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. The construction project will see the addition of a second X-ray laser beam that is an average of 10,000 times brighter than the first laser and 8,000 times faster.

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Ryobi garage door opener uses plug-and-play modules to do more

Ryobi garage door opener uses plug-and-play modules to do more

Typically, a garage door opener does one thing; it opens the garage door for you. Ryobi has a new garage door opener that opens the door and ads functionality to your garage via plug and play modules that can be added and removed as needed. The garage door opener can be fitted with modules that add things like carbon monoxide sensors, wireless speakers, fans, or parking assistants.

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This homemade Death Star has real (deadly) lasers

This homemade Death Star has real (deadly) lasers

Most of us are satisfied with the simple things in life — an R2-D2 teapot, perhaps. Others want something bigger, though, something a little more incredible, and by incredible we mean incredible and dangerous. Enter Patrick Priebe and his homemade Death Star model. At first glance it doesn’t seem like much, but activate its lasers and you’ll find it truly is a miniature version of its destruction-bringing sibling.

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Lasers used to refrigerate water for first time ever

Lasers used to refrigerate water for first time ever

While most people may think of a laser as something that will heat other substances, for the very first time ever one has been used to refrigerate water. Scientists at the University of Washington were able to cool liquid water by roughly 36 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) using an infrared laser. The group has published a study saying that it's the "first example of a laser beam that will refrigerate liquids like water under everyday conditions."

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Lockheed Martin has been testing a jet-mounted laser turret

Lockheed Martin has been testing a jet-mounted laser turret

Late last week, Lockheed Martin announced that it has verified the performance of its laser weapon during almost 60 flight tests over the course of this year and last. The company used an unspecified business jet as its inexpensive testing platform, it said, using it to shoot laser beams from a turret while measuring its performance across all directions. In case you missed it, Lockheed's laser is no joke.

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Skarp Laser Razor gets shaved by Kickstarter

Skarp Laser Razor gets shaved by Kickstarter

It's not unheard of for popular crowdfunding platform Kickstarter to lay down the banhammer on campaigns that do make it past initial scrutiny. But so rarely does it happen that when it does, people take note. Especially when said campaign is one that gathered $4 million in a show of confidence. Sadly, Skarp's Laser Razor won't be shaving anyone's face or legs any time soon. Kickstarter has just suspended the project, citing violations of its policies requiring campaigns with physical products to have working prototypes already.

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