According to the South China Morning Post (SCMP), military specialists in China assert to have achieved a significant advancement in laser weapon technology. They have reportedly designed a novel cooling mechanism that enables high-energy lasers to operate continuously without dissipating excess heat buildup.
The report mentioned that the scientists at the National University of Defence Technology, in Changsha, Hunan province, said that the new cooling technology totally removes the hazardous heat generated by high-energy laser operation. The scientists further said that the problem has been a significant technical hurdle for laser weapon development.
They also stated that the weapons can now generate laser beams for as long as they wish, without interruption or loss in performance, thanks to new technology.
As quoted by SCMP, the team led by laser weapon scientist Yuan Shengfu, said in a paper published on August 4 in Acta Optica Sinica: “This is a huge breakthrough in improving the performance of high-energy laser systems.”
Acta Optica Sinica is a Chinese-language peer-reviewed journal.
The team further said: “High-quality beams can be produced not only in the first second but also maintained indefinitely.”
The report mentions that the cooling system removes heat from inside the laser weapon while limiting turbulence and vibration and enhancing mirror cleaning through improved structures and optimal gas flow.
The researchers said that it has the potential to significantly change the face of battle by extending engagement times, increasing range and damage, and reducing logistics and costs.
Yuan and his colleagues said: “Since the invention of the first ruby laser in 1960, people have been enthusiastic about transitioning from kinetic energy to laser energy for the rapid projection of energy at the speed of light, dreaming of laser beams to become ‘death rays’ that can instantly kill targets.”
“Unfortunately, 60 years have passed and while various types of lasers have been developed, the application of high-energy laser systems has not been successful,” they added.
Laser weapon development has accelerated in the face of increasing arms competition between the West and China. As a result, the appearance of this weapon may pose new challenges to missile sensors.
An old report by Eurasian Times mentioned laser guns, which may fire a beam to divert a homing missile, can be found on a variety of high-end military vehicles, including Air Force One and Apache attack helicopters.