The Laser Weapon System (LaWS) temporarily installed aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey in San Diego, Calif. John F. Williams/U.S. Navy
For the first time ever, the United States is deploying a solid-state laser weapon. The Laser Weapon System (LaWS) successfully destroyed a drone in flight during a test run and will head to the Persian Gulf aboard the USS Ponce as part of what the military is calling an “at-sea demonstration.”
“The future is here,” Peter A. Morrision, program officer for ONR’s Solid-State Laser Technology Maturation Program, said in a statement. “The solid-state laser is a big step forward to revolutionizing modern warfare with directed energy, just as gunpowder did in the era of knives and swords.”
Chief of Naval Research Rear Adm. Matthew Klunder said one of the big deals here is that a laser shot costs about $1.
“Compare that to the hundreds of thousands of dollars it costs to fire a missile, and you can begin to see the merits of this capability,” Klunder said.
Another big advantage: A laser moves at the speed of light and in the future it may be able to disable an incoming missile.
The New York Times reports that deploying the laser aboard the Ponce “seemed meant as a warning to Iran not to step up activity in the gulf in the next few months if tensions increase because of sanctions and the impasse in negotations over the Iranian nuclear program.”
The laser, the Navy said, is capable of destroying a vessel to non-lethal disabling.
The Navy released a video of the weapon system during a test aboard the USS Dewey in San Diego. The Navy says it shows a laser beam hitting an unmanned aircraft and after about four seconds, it catches fire and crashes into the ocean.
It reports that putting the laser on the Ponce is a big deal. Wired reported:
“First, testing a laser gun — most likely a solid-state laser — on a ship at sea puts enormous pressure on a much-hyped weapon to show-and-prove. Second, the laser isn’t going on any old ship, it’s going on the Ponce, recently retrofitted to become an ‘Afloat Forward Staging Base’ — that is, a new launchpad for attack helicopters, drones and commandos for, among other missions, counterterrorism raids. In other words, the Navy is putting laser weaponry aboard one of the ships it’s most eager to highlight.”
By the end of the century, researchers predict climate change could displace millions of people across the country. As policymakers start to grapple with that reality, there's a specific phrase making the rounds: "managed retreat."
The Haines Borough Assembly sought a new direction Tuesday night over stability in its choice for the borough’s top municipal job. One of two finalists, Debra Schnabel was selected as Haines’ new borough manager, pending contract negotiations. Both candidates were local.
As part of Alaska Design Forum’s Nostalgia lecture series, Joel Salatin will present the problems with mainstream food/agriculture systems, and how a return to traditional ways will help us for
As part of Alaska Design Forum’s Nostalgia lecture series, Joel Salatin will present the problems with mainstream food/agriculture systems, and how a return to traditional ways will help us for the future. There also will be an emphasis on permaculture and agriculture system design. Advance purchase/registration (even for season pass holders) is highly recommended. Admission is $20 ($15 w/ student ID). There will be very limited seats available at the door.
KTOO is honored to host NPR humorist and award winning author, David Sedaris this May 14th at Juneau Douglas High School. He’ll read new, original pieces for an hour, and will sign books before and after the performance. We’re told the book signings are just as much a part of the event as the readings, and he sticks around until the last person wanting to connect has a chance. Hearthside Books will be on hand selling his latest.
MATURE CONTENT: Adult Language and Themes.
BABIES – Discouraged. Ticket required for all ages.
CHILDREN – Recommended for ages 13 and older.
With sardonic wit and incisive social critiques, David Sedaris has become one of America’s pre-eminent humor writers. The great skill with which he slices through cultural euphemisms and political correctness proves that Sedaris is a master of satire and one of the most observant writers addressing the human condition today.
Sedaris is the author of “Barrel Fever” and “Holidays on Ice,” as well as collections of personal essays, “Naked,” “Me Talk Pretty One Day,” “Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim,” “When You Are Engulfed in Flames,” and his most recent book, “Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls,” each of which have become immediate best sellers. The audio version of “Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls,” is a 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards Nominee for Best Spoken Word Album. Sedaris is the author of the New York Times best-selling collection of fables, titled “Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary (with illustrations by Ian Falconer.) He was also the editor of “Children Playing before a Statue of Hercules: An Anthology of Outstanding Stories.” Sedaris’ pieces appear regularly in The New Yorker and have twice been included in “the Best American Essays.” There are a total of ten million copies of his books in print and they have been translated into 29 languages.
An Evening with David Sedaris is made possible with support from:
MudroomsReal people. real stories. Live, on stage. “Mudrooms” is a community-powered monthly event in Juneau, where real people tell real stories, live. Anchorage has “Arctic Entries”. In Juneau, we’re just as sophisticated – just a little muddier. Mudrooms’ creators are Amanda Compton and Alida Bus. Audio production by Marc Wheeler.
Focus On Community“Focus on Community” is an hour long, public affairs program hosted by different volunteer, community members each week. The format ranges from in-studio discussions, to live call-ins. Topics vary from peace initiatives to mental health problems to hotly debated town issues. Any and all community members are invited to present a show idea and work with us to bring it the air.
Telling Tales with Ms. GEach week, host, Ms.G, reads a selection of writing based around a given theme. Audio of her show is available the following day here on our website.