From: email@example.com (Rich Grise)
Subject: Re: Small Tesla Coil
Date: 26 Nov 2002 18:10:49 -0800
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NNTP-Posting-Date: 27 Nov 2002 02:10:50 GMT
Chris Carlen wrote in message
> Interesting job. There's a lot of fun stuff like that which I could get
> into at Sandia, but I have an aversion to working on weapons projects.
> So I stick with basic energy.
I'm a pacifist myself, but I figure it's OK to be working on the ABL
since it's nominally a defensive weapon - it shoots down missiles.
But one day some cow-orker said something about using it to take
out some person, but we already have much cheaper weapons for
doing that, notably guns.
> I have never been able to find much detailed info about the ABL, like
> power output, pulse width. What's the wavelength, if you know?
They haven't told us much about the laser - I'm assuming it's
somewhere in the IR range - it doesn't actually puncture the
missile, but heats up the skin to a temp where the fuel
volatilizes, and that's what blows up the rocket.
> I guess there are reasons for the dearth of info, unfortunately.
Probably, but I haven't seen anything marked classified or
confidential or anything - proprietary, yes, but that's to keep
it out of the hands of the competition, not "the enemy."
> Imagine what we could accomplish if we expended all these resources into
> basic research for useful purposes instead of weapons.
I hear you on this one! There was a call-in talk show a few years
ago about the Mars spacecraft (with the air bags and little robot
rover - I don't rememeber its name), and I actually got through.
I asked one of the guys something like, "Is it not true that
refraining from purchasing ONE B-2 bomber or ONE nuclear-missile
submarine would pay NASA's ENTIRE BUDGET, not only the Mars
Lander?" And a couple of the guys agreed with me. When they
said the cost of that lander mission, I realized that it was
actually cheaper to physically go there than it would be to make
a movie about it!
> Oh well,
> Good day!