AFRL Extends Laser Reach

Air Force Research Lab’s Directed Energy Directorate at Kirtland AFB, N.M., in concert with Boeing, has demonstrated that a dual-mirror system can redirect a laser to a target, extending the laser’s range. Using a prototype called the Aerospace Relay Mirror System, researchers successfully tested a non-lethal laser beam by firing it a one of two mirrors from several miles away and then using the second mirror to relay the beam to a ground-based target another two miles away. In this test, a crane hoisted the two mirrors up about 100 feet. In a real application, a high-altitude airship could loft the mirrors to some 70,000 feet, where there would be little atmospheric turbulence to affect beam quality.