Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback20 pages $20.00 $16.00 20% Web Discount

Military laser systems are significantly different from commercial ones. The Department of Defense (DoD) has supported a large laser research-and-development budget, which has resulted in a rich diversity of military laser systems, ranging from the latest nonlinear technology to eye-safe, low-cost, laser-ranging binoculars. This paper reviews the military interests that created the diversity of laser systems, describes some of the more significant developments, and discusses some of the military lasers that can be expected in the future. Military interest in laser systems has been concentrated in four general areas: laser rangefinders and target designators, directed-energy weapons, laser radar, and laser communications. Although the nature of this interest is different from that in the commercial world, DoD funding has enabled significant laser systems to be advanced from laboratory curiosities to reliable and relatively inexpensive commercial successes.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.