There were early experiments using lasers to try to blind enemy pilots or to disrupt the electronic systems of planes. But the new types of lasers being developed are intended to destroy, in particular enemy planes, and should be capable of dealing at high speed with multiple targets.
Admiral Sir George Zambellas said technological advances had the power to change how the navy operated. One of those advances, he said, was novel, high-energy weapons. “Energy weapons don’t require conventional ammunition. With a cost-per-shot potentially measured in pence rather than pounds, they offer a route to address the spiralling costs of missile development and production, as well as reducing supply chain demands,” he said.
This year the Ministry of Defence said it had instructed its development arm, the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL), to look at building a prototype. DSTL is exploring the role that electric flywheel technology, the kind used in Formula 1 racing, could play to generate and store the power required for high-energy weapons
Beacon Power opened a 5 MWh (20 MW over 15 mins) flywheel energy storage plant in Stephentown, New York in 2011
A 2 MW flywheel storage facility opened in Ontario, Canada in 2014. It uses a spinning steel flywheel on magnetic bearings.
In July 2014 GKN acquired Williams Hybrid Power (WHP) division and intended to supply 500 carbon fiber Gyrodrive electric flywheel systems to urban bus operators over the next two years.
William KERS flywheels weigh 40 kg and had about four times the energy density of ultracapacitors.
Advanced flywheels, such as the 133 kWh pack of the University of Texas at Austin, can take a train from a standing start up to cruising speed
Advanced FES systems have rotors made of high strength carbon-fiber composites, suspended by magnetic bearings, and spinning at speeds from 20,000 to over 50,000 rpm in a vacuum enclosure
SOURCES -Guardian UK,
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.