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TO: Base Commander, PHALANX, Atlantic Operations Command

FROM: Cdr. Paul Navarre, R&D: Engineering Division, PHALANX, Atlantic Operations Command

DATE: %02i %s %i

SUB: Proposal: Continuous Wave Laser Operation

Our collected UN research files have yielded a lot of valuable information about weapon development done on Earth since the beginning of this century. One of the most interesting topics has been the production of DEWs (Directed Energy Weapons), weapons that transfer energy to a target by means other than a projectile. We are particularly interested in the files on Continuous Wave Lasers.

Many countries and companies have attempted to create weapons-grade lasers over the years, but no one has ever been able to create a laser that's man-portable and has a power output high enough to compete with ordinary firearms. Now, however, we've been given access to all this combined research, as well as whole libraries filled with the highest technology on Earth. I believe that not only can we make an effective man-portable laser weapon, we can make it into sizes previously unheard-of for a DEW.

Commander, we should pursue this research as soon as possible. Varying our arsenal will make it much more difficult to defend against, and our experience may lead us to develop viable aircraft lasers that could more effectively target high-speed UFOs than conventional firearms.

As far as I'm concerned, we at PHALANX are going to do the impossible, and we can start doing it as soon as you approve this proposal.

--Cdr. Navarre


TO: Base Commander, PHALANX, Atlantic Operations Command

FROM: Cdr. Paul Navarre, R&D: Engineering Division, PHALANX, Atlantic Operations Command

DATE: %02i %s %i

SUB: Re: Continuous Wave Laser Operation

Commander, I'm extremely pleased to report that our project has been succesful. I've included images of our prototype laser weapon, which achieves continuous wave output in a man-portable package.

The practical solution did not lie in futilely trying to create bigger battery packs, but rather in using radical miniaturisation technologies to lighten and scale down existing chemical-powered laser components. Chemical lasers have been in use for a very long time, and have been part of experimental weapons programs since the late 20th century, but they have always suffered many problems. The only types of chemical lasers with real military promise have been much too large and cumbersome for an infantryman to carry into battle. Until now their combat applications were limited to those of tank-mounted laser cannons or ship-based anti-missile batteries.

Now, however, we at PHALANX have built a conventional laser cannon in miniature. Despite its small size it is fully capable of handling the deuterium-fluoride reaction and containing the toxic waste products without danger of contamination. Let me give you a brief description of the inner workings.

Inside the combustion chamber, ethylene is burned in nitrogen trifluoride. This reaction produces excited fluorine radicals, which are then brought into contact with a mixture of helium and deuterium gas. The deuterium reacts with the fluorine, producing excited molecules of deuterium fluoride. These undergo stimulated emission in the weapon's optical resonator, generating the beam. A series of intelligent lenses then focuses and directs the beam to the shooter's aiming point and even corrects for minor movement by the shooter or the target. The deuterium waste gas is rammed through our custom-designed high-pressure filtering system, which catches all toxic or radioactive molecules before expelling the remaining harmless vapour back into the atmosphere.

The filter needs to be replaced after every mission, but we've designed the system to make this easy and painless. If the filter system is somehow damaged during the course of an operation, the weapon will immediately stop functioning in order to prevent contamination.

The laser operates on mid-infrared wavelengths, so it produces no visible beam except to those wearing IR goggles.

The prototype we built is unfortunately not yet ready for full-scale production as an infantry weapon, since more refining and balancing is required for human use, but the innovations we've made can also be applied to vehicle weapons -- perhaps even aircraft guns. I've submitted several new proposals to your inbox for the principal ideas we've drawn up.

Let me know when you want us to start working on them, Commander.

--Cdr. Navarre


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