Are “Space-Based Laser Platforms” a Reality?

April 7, 2013

Space-based laser weapon

Every time some underdeveloped nation (like North Korea this week) rattles the nuclear saber, I have to wonder about the long-rumored existence of “Space-based laser platforms”.
Dating back to German scientists (Britans were worried about a “death ray”) who were brought into the U.S. after WW2, through the Regan-era “Star Wars” missile-defense system, laser technology has been proposed to blast missiles out of orbit after launch.
Just such a system would be quite useful against rogue states, but because of the potential for offensive use against earth targets would have to be kept under tight wraps.
One could imagine that a treaty could exist between a coalition of powerful nations to only use this technology for agreed purposes.

What lends some credibility to this scenario is the saga of British stoner-computer hacker Gary McKinnon. Until recently, McKinnon was facing extradition and prison charges in the U.S. for hacking into extremely sensitive defense and NASA computers.
What did he find?
Evidence of the U.S. Space Command. That’s right, a branch of the U.S. Navy that has a fleet of orbital space stations.
From “The Honolulu Examiner”, October 2012:

UFO hacker wins battle against US Government

“On Tuesday November 16, British hacker Gary McKinnon finally won his decade long battle to avoid extradition to the US to face charges of hacking into the computer systems of NASA, the Pentagon and other government agencies. McKinnon claimed to have found photographs, film, and other evidence of alien spacecraft secretly held by various U.S. government agencies.
(snip)
McKinnon first hacked into NASA’s Johnson Space Center and said:

“he found a high definition picture of a large cigar shaped object over the northern hemisphere. He said that he was so shocked by the picture that he didn’t think to immediately save it. He also said that the file size was so large that is was difficult to view it on his computer. Eventually his connection was lost, and so was the picture.

When McKinnon later hacked into classified files of U.S. Space Command (incorporated into Strategic Command on October 1, 2002 soon after McKinnon was caught), he discovered a number of naval terms such as “fleet-to-fleet transfers” concerning non-terrestrial officers. He said:

“I found a list of officers’ names … under the heading ‘Non-Terrestrial Officers’. It doesn’t mean little green men. What I think it means is not Earth-based. I found a list of ‘fleet-to-fleet transfers’, and a list of ship names. I looked them up. They weren’t US Navy ships. What I saw made me believe they have some kind of spaceship, off-planet.”

McKinnon’s startling discovery cast light on what had been earlier revealed by no less than a former President of the United States: Ronald Reagan. In President Reagan’s Diary, the entry for Tuesday, June 11, 1985 (page 334) reads:

“Lunch with 5 top space scientist. It was fascinating. Space truly is the last frontier and some of the developments there in astronomy etc. are like science fiction, except they are real. I learned that our shuttle capacity is such that we could orbit 300 people.

Reagan’s comment was revealing since the recently retired Space Shuttle held a maximum of eight people and only five were built for space flight. Even if all five took off fully loaded it would be impossible to place and maintain 300 astronauts in orbit. Was Reagan revealing the existence of a highly classified space program that could accommodate hundreds of astronauts in orbit? Apparently so, according to dozens of military and corporate whistleblowers. Hidden within one of the nine unified combatant commands of the U.S. military, as McKinnon later discovered, appeared to be a highly classified fleet of aircraft carrier sized ships that operate in outer space.

Now that McKinnon no longer faces the threat of extradition and is unlikely to be prosecuted by British authorities, he may be able to reveal more about what he learned from sensitive U.S. military and government computer files about UFOs and extraterrestrial life.”
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Every year, thousands of people all over the world witness huge flying “triangles” and other sorts of craft. While some of these may be chalked up to “swamp gas”, there are far to many reports from aviation and radar experts to deny the existence of something top secret.
For some background on space-based laser platforms, take a look at this website for The Federation of American Scientists:

Space Based Laser [SBL]The potential to intercept and destroy a missile over enemy territory soon after launch, rather than over friendly territory, makes the development of a boost phase intercept (BPI) capability very desirable. In concert with ground based theater missile defense (TMD) systems already under development, the U.S. continues to investigate BPI concepts for BMD systems.

The SBL program could develop the technology to provide the U.S. with an advanced BMD system for both theater and national missile defense. BMDO believes that an SBL system has the potential to make other contributions to U.S. security and world security as a whole, such as inducing potential aggressors to abandon ballistic missile programs by rendering them useless. Failing that, BMDO believes that the creation of such a universal defense system would provide the impetus for other nations to expand their security agreements with the United States, bringing them under a U. S. sponsored missile defense umbrella.

An SBL platform would achieve missile interception by focusing and maintaining a high powered laser on a target until it achieves catastrophic destruction. Energy for the sustained laser burst is generated by the chemical reaction of the hydrogen fluoride (HF) molecule. The HF molecules are created in an excited state from which the subsequent optical energy is drawn by an optical resonator surrounding the gain generator.

Lasers have been studied for their usefulness in air defense since 1973, when the Mid Infrared Advanced Chemical Laser (MIRACL) was first tested against tactical missiles and drone aircraft. Work on such systems continued through the 1980s, with the Airborne Laser Laboratory, which completed the first test laser intercepts above the earth. Initial work on laser based defense systems was overseen by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), but transferred to the newly created Strategic Defense Initiative Organization (SDIO) in 1984. Work continues today under the auspices of the BMDO, the successor to the SDIO.
(snip)
Current SBL planning is based on a 20 satellite constellation, operating at a 40� inclination, intended to provide the optimum TMD threat negation capability. At this degree of deployment, kill times per missile will range from 1 to 10 seconds, depending on the range from the missile. Retargeting times are calculated at as low as 0.5 seconds for new targets requiring small angle changes. It is estimated that a constellation consisting of only 12 satellites can negate 94% of all missile threats in most theater threat scenarios. Thus a system consisting of 20 satellites is expected by BMDO to provide nearly full threat negation.”
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If you go to the above link, there are lots of other reference links to research.
I have a feeling that this technology is far more advanced than they are letting on to…
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UPDATE:

Bob sent a link to this article in “The Guardian UK”

US navy laser cannon shoots down planes
‘Future of warfare’ arrives in form of weapon that has destroyed drones in testing and will be fitted to active warship

“The US navy has used a powerful laser cannon to shoot down drone aircraft and will start deploying the weapon on its ships, saying it represents the future of warfare.

“The future is here,” said Peter Morrison at the Office of Naval Research’s Solid-State Laser Technology Maturation Programme.

The weapon, known as the Laser Weapon System or Laws, has so far only been used to shoot down drones in testing areas but is being billed as a step towards transforming warfare. Since it runs on electricity it can fire as long as there is power at a cost of less than US$1 dollar per shot, says the navy.

“Compare that to the hundreds of thousands of dollars it costs to fire a missile and you can begin to see the merits of this capability,” said Rear Admiral Matthew Klunder, chief of naval research.

The prototype, which one official said cost $31m-$32m to make, will be installed aboard the USS Ponce, which is being used as a floating base in the Middle East, sometime after October 2013.

Klunder said the navy expected that someday incoming missiles would not be able to “simply outmanoeuvre” a highly accurate laser beam fired at the speed of light.

A report from the Congressional Research Service praised the laser technology but noted drawbacks, including the potential it could accidentally hit satellites or aircraft. Weather also affects lasers.

“Lasers might not work well, or at all, in rain or fog, preventing lasers from being an all-weather solution,” it said in a report issued on 14 March.”

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2 Responses to Are “Space-Based Laser Platforms” a Reality?

  1. Bob Patterson on April 7, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    I know for a fact that they have an airborne laser. Videos:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIbPpiSdHz8

    Here it is taking out a test missile:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mq7ieXNoyVw

    If they have one in orbit my guess is that it would be satellite-based and unmanned.

    I’m sure they are exploring all sorts of beam weapons and, yes, I agree: they are ALWAYS farther along than they let on to!

    • DR on April 8, 2013 at 2:12 am

      It’s kind of hard to see the technology in those videos, but it is apparant that the lasers exist.
      As far as manned stations, we already have a civilian station, for show.
      There are sure a lot of “military” missions those shuttles have been on, and I wouldn’t doubt that covert launches have been going on, possibly with undisclosed types of aircraft.

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