While US citizens are still waiting for the White House to decide whether or not it will soon begin work on the nation's first Death Star, a German company named Rheinmetall Defense successfully tested a high-energy (50 kW, to be more precise) laser.The testing activities for this state-of-the-art laser took place in Switzerland, and the people in charge of carrying them out and overseeing them claim that the laser system managed to hit targets situated at a distance of 1 kilometer (roughly 0.62 miles) with a high degree of accuracy.
Daily Tech reports that one of the first tasks this laser was “asked” to perform was that of slicing through a 15 mm (about 0.6 inches) thick steel girder positioned at said distance.
The laser system performed as well as expected, destroyed the steel girder and then moved on to shooting down drones that were “nosediving” at speeds of 15 meters per second (33.55 miles per hour) roughly 2 kilometers (approximately 1.242 miles) away from it.
Lastly, the laser succeeded in detecting and blowing up a 82 mm (3.22 inches) steel ball that was moving through the air at a speed of 50 meters per second (111.84 miles per hour). Needless to say, this was by far its most impressive achievement.
Interestingly enough, the team of researchers working with Rheinmetall Defense argues that, judging by the results obtained while performing these tests in Switzerland, the laser system's efficiency is not at all impaired by weather conditions such as ice, rain, snow and extremely bright sunlight.
According to the same source, the accuracy and the efficiency of this laser system come as a result of its being made up of two lasers whom researchers have managed to combine into a single higher intensity beam with the help of a so-called beam superimposing technology.
As far as this German company is concerned, from this moment on, “nothing stands in the way of a future [high-energy laser] weapon system with a 100kW output.”