Dr. Evil may want sharks with frickin’ laser beams, but the US military wants lasers on all manner of aircraft and other combat vehicles. Typically, when we hear of lasers being used by the military they are to destroy missiles and attack targets on the ground.
A group of researchers at the University of Michigan is working on the development of laser systems that aren’t used to shoot missiles or targets, but to defend helicopters from missiles fired at them. The laser would be used to jam the sensors aboard the missile confusing it and making it unable to hit the target.
The new system is better suited to helicopters than any other laser missile defense system according to the researchers because of it’s simple design and off the shelf fiber optic parts. The heavy vibration created by a helicopter in flight makes most laser systems unable to operate. The countermeasure system is supposedly effective up to 1.8 miles.