Published On: Tue, Mar 13th, 2012

Star Wars like war theater may be well upon us

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If you’ve been following this site you know DARPA is tireless in funding, researching and developing the ultimate SciFi gadgets. And so Darpa’s interest in laser technology is no surprise, but their latest achievement is; a laser weapon small enough te be mounted on a flatbed truck.

DARPA is unveiling a portable laser weapons system, HELLADS, which seems like something out of a sci-fi movie. The new laser application, created by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems with a custom power system from Saft Batteries, will help change the way the American military fights future wars. Current military laser systems are bulky contraptions which are mainly the size of a passenger jet, while the proposed DARPA weapon can fit on the back of a flatbed truck. The 150-kilowatt, solid state laser weapon is strong enough to take down drones or other aerial targets; a prototype is expected to be available by the end of 2012.

Speaking of drones there’s a discussion going on about US Law Enforcement’s plans to deploy drones above civil areas called the ShadowHawk project. There are of course the civil liberties issues which are very real; the drones are likely to be equipped with advanced cameras able to not only see more than the naked eye, but to look through walls as well. As there will be without doubt powerful listening devices mounted too.

The ShadowHawk drone with munitions pods at either side

What’s more of a concern, however, is that the ShadowHawk drones will be armed with non-lethal weaponry like tear gass and taser munitions. Or at least are modified to possiby be armed with various types of non-lethal munitions.

And so as the title of this post suggests soon we will be tasered from above and lasered from the ground. Much like Star Wars, but a lot less entertaining.

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About the Author

- As a creative strategist I work on complex (digital) communications issues for international industry leading companies, organizations and agencies. I'm interested in how technology integrates with (and influences) traditional marketing, media, human behavior, society and culture.

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