Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Early Military Lasers

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Mesa, AZ
    Posts
    1,269

    Default Early Military Lasers

    I recently added these two magazines to the collection, both from 1963. They both have the earliest pictures of military lasers I've found. The first is Mechanix Illustrated from September. The cover shows the Hughes Aircraft "Colidar Mark II", a ruby laser based range finder "rifle". Its two barrels hold collimation optics for both the output of the ruby laser and the detector for a returned signal.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Mechanix Illustrated 63.jpg 
Views:	16 
Size:	810.5 KB 
ID:	45095

    The second is this April copy of Army Information Digest. It includes three great pics. There's a pic of a ruby crystal growing apparatus, and these two. On the left is the Spectra-Physics model 110 He-Ne head with its front cover removed. This was the first commercial laser with a continuous visible beam. The pic on the right shows another army range finder, perhaps the one mentioned in the article that was developed at the U.S. Army Electronics Research and Development Laboratory at Ft. Monmouth, New Jersey. Anyway, it's the earliest pic of a military laser I've found. Hughes had a few months head start on deciding what to do with the laser Ted Maiman built. They went right to the range finder, then to target designation for guided missiles and bombs.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Army Digest.jpg 
Views:	12 
Size:	776.8 KB 
ID:	45096Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Army Digest Pics.jpg 
Views:	16 
Size:	569.6 KB 
ID:	45097

  2. #2
    mixedgas's Avatar
    mixedgas is offline Creaky Old Award Winning Bastard Technologist
    Infinitus Excellentia Ion Laser Dominatus
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    A lab with some dripping water on the floor.
    Posts
    9,540

    Default

    You realize USAF funded early Argon Ion development for years right? The same fundamental piece of work developed Disk, Quartz, BeO and Graphite bore tubes.

    Steve
    Qui habet Christos, habet Vitam!
    I should have rented the space under my name for advertising.
    When I still could have...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Mesa, AZ
    Posts
    1,269

    Default

    Yes Steve, I think all branches of the military jumped in right at the beginning. Here's a press wirephoto showing the ruby laser rifle made by Maser Optics for the Frankford Arsenal, from 1964. I think this is the first real laser "ray gun".
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Maser Optics Rifle.jpg 
Views:	10 
Size:	350.0 KB 
ID:	45098Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Frankford Arsenal Sign.jpg 
Views:	5 
Size:	37.3 KB 
ID:	45099

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    63

    Default

    Where are you finding all this cool stuff? Pretty amazing archaeology!
    I know what I want and I know how to get it
    I want to destroy passersby! - Sex Pistols

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Mesa, AZ
    Posts
    1,269

    Default

    Ebay, Ed.

    And since I'm on a roll with laser guns, here's the earliest reference to handheld, battery powered pulsed ruby pointer made to aim directly at helicopters! The page below is from Laser Focus of October, 1967.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Laser gun LF10:67.jpg 
Views:	6 
Size:	526.9 KB 
ID:	45100
    Last edited by Eidetic; 10-18-2014 at 18:26.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •