17 October 2008

Somehow, I suspect Star Wars didn't worry about this

(tip of the hat to Chris)

So now that the USAF is actually flying and firing lasers, they're starting to develop the inevitable lawyer-proof laser-usage guidelines:
Just because the US Air Force wants to arm itself with deadly combat rayguns doesn't mean it's about to skimp on safety. No sir.
With great power (say, a weapons grade 100 kilowatt blaster cannon) comes great responsibility (a 32-page safety manual).
A recently published Air Force Instruction paper has established a safety program for Directed Energy Weapons (DEWs), also affectionately known as death rays.
Rest assured compliance is mandatory.
'DEW systems create unique hazards that are different from conventional and nuclear weapons,' the paper informs. 'Potential DEW systems covered by this instruction include, but are not limited to, high-energy lasers, weaponized microwave and millimeter wave beams, explosive-driven electromagnetic pulse devices, acoustic weapons, laser induced plasma channel systems, non-lethal directed energy devices, and atomic-scale and subatomic particle beam weapons.'

Hey - everyone's a safety officer!

Read the actual document (pdf)
Here's the link to FAS.org article on DEW safety

By: Brant

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