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Livermore researchers developing laser guns

The Associated Press
Monday October 02, 2000

LIVERMORE — Scientists at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory are dabbling in a bit of Buck Rogers technology as they develop a series of test laser guns for the military. 

A team of 10 researchers at the facility are developing the laser technology for short-range air defense missions. 

The Army approached the lab about the project four years ago and now it has become a reality. 

The devices developed at the labs are all prototypes that fire a laser beam about four inches wide, but is invisible to the human eye. 

“We’re building them for test evaluation, to see whether the technology could be extended to areas of interest,” said Lyn Pleasance, a laser program leader at Livermore Lab. 

Those areas of interest would be the further development of a long-range laser weapon to be carried on a mobile platform. The new laser weapons would be ground-based systems used to target rockets and other artillery more than a mile away, according to Army officials. 

In about six months, the lab will deliver a prototype weapon to the test facilities at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.