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Mini Death Star

Anti-person weapon
  [vote for,

The Mini Death Star is a satellite in orbit that unfolds a quite- large telescope, and has a high-energy laser. The laser is powered by a bank of capacitors, which get recharged by a large array of solar cells. Due to inefficiencies in how laser beams are generated, the satellite also needs appropriate radiant-cooling devices. It would be reasonable to design it so that by the time the capacitor banks are recharged after a laser-shot, the laser will have cooled enough that it could shoot again.

The actual laser beam is maybe a centimeter in diameter, and is intended to kill one person. After all, weapons of mass destruction are forbidden to be placed in orbit! The particular orbit should be nearly geosychronous, to maximize time above a target zone. The beam has to be powerful enough to accomplish its task after crossing 35,000+ km of space, passing through 100 kilometers of atmosphere, some layers of clothing, and perhaps a few other minor things like bunker concrete. :)

The satellite is remotely operated, and of course shortly after it is launched it needs to be used to shoot at some test-targets in order to properly synchronize the aiming of the laser with the telescopic "sight". A large-enough telescope will be able to see things at night, and of course infrared sensors can be used, too.

When a war begins (or if already in one, like say with the ISIS gang), then the Mini Death Star can be used to take out individual enemy fighters. Preferred targets would be ranking officers and other leaders, of course. But, hey, if the laser can be fired 10 times an hour (every six minutes), and some particular enemy force consists of 1000 men, then after 100 hours or so the enemy force will be hugely reduced. The sun is always shining in space, so the laser can shoot at night on the ground....

Vernon, Feb 28 2016

Ordinary Death Star https://www.youtube...watch?v=7g77WN6obk4
It is a GOOD thing weapons of mass destruction are forbidden in space! [Vernon, Feb 28 2016]

Data hub http://phys.org/new...ency-laser-hub.html
Was working great for awhile... [whatrock, Feb 28 2016]

Personal orbital ABM satellite Personal_20orbital_20ABM_20satellite
[not_morrison_rm, Mar 01 2016]

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       // Due to inefficiencies in how laser beams are generated, the satellite also needs appropriate radiant-cooling devices. //   

       I was about to suggest something for this, but then I noticed your name at the bottom.
notexactly, Feb 28 2016

       [Vernon], this looks like a peaceful innovation. If it really were to be automated, e.g., with intelligence systems tracking people's location based on their phone GPS signals, the 10 times per minute would result in, 365*24*10=87600 per year. Not a weapon of mass destruction, but... ? A weapon of mass incapacitation?   

       "atomic bombings killed 90,000–146,000 people in Hiroshima and 39,000–80,000 in Nagasaki" (Wikipedia).
Inyuki, Feb 28 2016

       Now I understand why that antimissile-laser-on-a- plane project was cancelled.
sninctown, Feb 28 2016

       Pairs well with the Dial-a-Smite phone app.
RayfordSteele, Feb 28 2016

       With computer control and a little creativity the resulting burn marks, when viewed from above, could spell J I H A D.
whatrock, Feb 28 2016

       I predict that corner-cube hats will become the new fashion accessory for the well-turned out isis member (and I use the word "member" quite precisely).
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 28 2016

       If you build a laser in space that aims at the ground, pretty soon some-one will build a laser on the ground that aims into space...
neutrinos_shadow, Feb 28 2016

       ... or buy a mirror.
8th of 7, Feb 28 2016

       And you could simply claim that your device is merely a malfunctioning data communications satellite [link].
whatrock, Feb 28 2016

       Ahem, Personal orbital ABM satellite...
not_morrison_rm, Mar 01 2016

       where the Death Star is classed as "ordinary"
[marked-for-tagline] ?
Vernon, Mar 01 2016


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