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Laser Generated Illusion Weapons

Guest Phoenix

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Guest Phoenix

Sun Tzu said "all war is based on deception."


Military commanders have always sought to hide their intentions, capabilities, and forces from their opponents. The most prominent modern example of deceptive techniques is stealth technology, which seeks to hide platforms from sensors by reducing the various sensor cross sections (i.e., radar, optical, infrared, acoustic, etc.). Modern advances in holographic technologies suggest another possibility: weapons that project false images to deceive the opponent.


Holograms are produced by scattering laser light or intense bursts of white light off objects and forming three-dimensional interference patterns. The information contained in the interference pattern is stored in a distributed form within solid emulsions or crystals for later projection with a source of light similar to that used to produce the interference pattern.




Full color holograms can only be produced with white light sources, and even the best modern white-light holograms are imperfect. It is certainly possible to make holograms of troop concentrations, military platforms, or other useful objects, although the larger the scene the more difficult it is to produce the proper conditions to create a convincing hologram. No credible approach has been suggested for projecting holograms over long distances under real-world conditions, although the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Lab believes holographic color projection may be possible within 10 years. Holographic and other, less high-technology forms of illusion may become a potent tool in the hands of the information warriors.




The best countermeasure for holographic illusions is the use of multiple sensor types. The most convincing optical illusion could easily be exposed by its lack of an appropriate infrared or radar signature. The likely proliferation of sensors and sensor types on the battlefield of 2025 makes the use of merely optical illusions a temporary expedient, at best. Nevertheless, considerable confusion could be created, at least temporarily, by projecting false infrared signatures (platform exhausts) or radar signatures (missiles) or by concealing one type of platform within the illusion of another type (or of nothing at all- a form of camouflage).




Illusion weapons are and will probably continue to be too limited in the 2025 time frame. The flexibility is low, precision uncertain, survivability and reliability are low, and the selective lethality involves deception only. With the proliferation of sensor devices projected for 2025, the attempt at deception would likely be detected so quickly as to have little effect.

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