Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Lasers and Railguns

Two topics near to my heart, the military forges onward, developing a laser almost as good as its tracking system, capable of hitting small, fast-moving targets at short distances.

Railguns are fun in that almost anybody with the inclination can build one at home, although probably nowhere near as powerful as the ones the Navy is playing with. It's hard to guess the cal;iber of the one in the video, but they're claiming to have gotten 8200+ fps out of it.

For comparison, pistols deliver about 1000 fps, rifles range from 2500 to 3300 fps, and yes, I know some are notably faster. Rifle bullets, however, start coming apart from the stresses at speeds over 4000 fps.

To whet your appetite, they also say that the 8200 fps figure was obtained at 1/3 the maximum power setting. The downside to these things is that the rails take a large amount of damage every time the gun is fired. Sort of like driving a fuel rail dragster to work. Great fun, for a little while.

Have no fear, both systems will rapidly get better. I guarantee it.

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