Department of Defense seeks ideal ray gun

07/28/2010 | Wired.com

As it works to find the ideal ray gun, the Department of Defense last week reached out to small businesses to submit ideas for lasers capable of sensing, communicating and illuminating missile targets and then shooting them out of the air. Most ray guns to date, such as the powerful but unwieldy Airborne Laser, have been too large and complex for the battlefield, and solid state, or "electric" lasers -- particularly the fiber-optic laser -- are currently considered the laser choice for the long term because they are much more compact than liquid or gas lasers, even if they are less powerful.

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