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Modele de pistolet laser inspire de l’emblematique

L’entreprise américaine Lockheed Martin, plus grosse société de défense et de sécurité au monde, travaille sur un canon laser de réglage carabine capable de faire exploser un missile en plein vol à l’aide d’un rayon laser surpuissant. Avant de peut-être décliner cette arme sous un modèle de pistolet laser inspiré du phaser de Star Trek, utilisable sur le champ de bataille.
Certains objets futuristes imaginés dans les films de science-fiction fascinent au point que certains scientifiques tentent de réaliser de véritables répliques. Après avoir reproduit l’Hooverboard de Retour vers le futur et le sabre laser de Star Wars, va-t-on réussir à recréer le phaser de Star Trek, l’emblématique pistolet laser de l’univers fictionnel Star Trek ? L’entreprise Lockheed Martin, géant de l’armement et du dispositif de sécurité, travaille en tout cas à concrétiser ce fantasme qui ferait bondir n’importe quel fan de Star Trek au plafond, rapporte le site Smithsonian.
Lockheed Martin n’est pas la première société à vouloir développer un canon pointeur laser 30000mw capable de causer de sérieux dégâts à une cible mouvante à plusieurs kilomètres à la ronde. En 2015, l’Américain Boeing avait déjà mis au point un prototype équipé d’un faisceau laser d’une puissance de 2 kW capable de détruire un aéronef. L’armée américaine avait quant à elle testé un autre de ces canons embarqué sur un navire de guerre. D’une puissance de 30 kW, invisibles et inaudibles, ces bombardements de photons sont extrêmement précis et surtout très peu chers : un dollar par tir seulement. La chaleur émise est si puissante que l’objet visé s’enflamme et explose en quelques secondes.
Après avoir effectué plusieurs essais concluants sur des missiles en plein vol, l’objectif de Lockheed Martin est dorénavant de réduire la taille de ces machines tout en gardant une force de frappe comparable, voire plus élevée. En effet, les canons lasers les plus puissants requièrent une énorme quantité d’énergie, que seul un générateur de la taille d’une maison peut produire. C’est là que l’idée fleurit. Et s’il était possible de reproduire lephaser de Star Trek, pistolet stylo pointeur laser capable de détruire à peu près n’importe quoi ?
Ron Afzal, l’un des ingénieurs en charge de ce projet, affirme à Smithsonian avoir développé un prototype pouvant être transporté à l’arrière d’une remorque de camion de surveillance. Pas assez petit pour être tenu en main comme un véritable pistolet laser, toute fois. Mais le scientifique est confiant : « Évidemment, il est difficile de prédire le futur. Mais je ne parierai pas contre la science ». Si un prototype de phaser venait à voir le jour, il pourrait notamment servir sur le champ de bataille pour viser des installations ennemies. En revanche, il ne pourrait être utilisé contre des cibles humaines, car les conventions de Genève s’y opposent.
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