Wargaming in 1/20th scale using laser sighting snd cannon targeting





LEFT: Panasonic 380mW laser diode. RIGHT: Osram's 2000mW burning laser diode, which unfortunately also carries a singeing price tag on nearly £400. Two watts is more than enough for wargaming - but not at that price.



Once we have a a complete pan and tilt turret for the model SAM missiles, we might now want to add a camera and laser sighting. While we are at it, we might experiment with lasers that are powerful enough to burn through plastic and set fire to wood, etc. This is wargaming after all and we might as well learn about the possibilities for the full size drone. Especially since the US Navy are now fairly advanced with their shipboard laser development program.


The camera is so that we can see what is going on remotely. It needs to be good enough to be able to see the laser light hit a target, so that we know when to fire the a SAM. At the moment we'll keep this as manual control in drone mode, rather than try to go to semi-autonomous. Though, robotic function may be used for proximity alerts for the human skipper.


You can make a very interesting (cheap) red laser that will set things on fire, from an old DVD burner. You'll also need a voltage regulator and a few other electronic bits that cost pennies.





There is little point firing a missile if you cannot aim or steer it to the target. With torpedoes audio phones could be used to home in on the noise for a model battleship's electric motors. With a SAM, we'd be talking about optical sensors of some kind. But they'd have to be cheap. Because there is no salvaging a SAM rocket once it is fired. 



WARNING - Before proceeding it is suggested that you do some reading on lasers and how dangerous they can be. You can be blinded if you do not work safely. Never look into any laser beam. Do not shine a laser at any moving vehicle. Do not use a laser to play with pets. This information is posted here as an educational resource for serious wargamers and naval battle simulators.

All projects of this nature require that you have soldering skills and a basic knowledge of electronics, and are familiar with model radio control equipment. Later on, when it comes to programming robotic functions, then we would expect that you have some knowledge of computer programming. If not, get yourself down to Maplins, or other electronics retailers for a crash course in Arduino or Raspberry Pi robotics applications.


There are several reasons for building a burning laser in the way suggested, if you want to keep your model working well for more that just a couple of weeks. Apart from longevity, lasers will be more powerful if operated correctly. The main reason for building this circuit is to regulate voltage and current. Simple though it may be to connect a diode to a set of AA batteries, you must realize that in doing so you are feeding the diode too much current. It is not protected from other dangers such as voltage spikes. A driver circuit will take care of that.

If the most important thing you for this project is a laser diode, the second most important item is an Aixiz, or other generic housing to put your diode in. You need the Aixiz housing in order to focus you beam when you are finished.



Note that the Adj pin on the LM317T regulator does not connect to the Vout and Vin pins. Otherwise, the wires connect where shown. The parts you use may not be identical to those shown here. If not be sure to check suitability.





Alternative driver circuit diagram without a potentiometer and a 4 ohm resistor





Osram's 75w (peak) laser diode. Sounds powerful, but for such short duration bursts, this unit is only really suitable for surveying or other ranging applications. We know what you are thinking; heat sink the little rascal to the eyeballs - and maybe add cryogenic cooling. It won't be long before 75 watts is available for burning at sensible prices. Lasers of between 2 and 4kW are commercially available for cutting metal that are not that cumbersome. See the Youtube video below.





* Hot glue or other glue
* A soldering iron / soldering wire
* A laser diode

* An LM317T regulator (really cheap)
* A 100ohm potentiometer. (250mW)
* A 3.3ohm resistor (or 3x 10ohm resistor in parallel) (3x 250mW or 1x 0.5W).
* A regular diode 1N4001-1N4007 (everything between is also good)
    (or any other diode that can hold a reverse voltage of at least 40V)
* A 10mf 16v capacitor

* An On-Off switch or push-button as a main switch for the circuit
* An On-On switch for switching between battery or external input
* A 9V battery clip
*A 9V battery (not required if you use the external power input)
* An enclosure/box to put the whole project in (8x5x3cm = 3.15x1.97x1.18inches black box)
* A lens for adjusting the focal point of the laser beam
* A connector for the external power input (if you want to use that)
* PDF reader for the datasheets
* Your healthy brain and attention for safety measurements





Don't mess up a perfectly good DVD burner when you can purchase these generic 330mW laser diodes for around £3-4. The housing on the right is another £3. With these prices you may as well begin experimenting with components that you can repeat buy. An economic solution for wargame simulations might be to strap 7 of these little beauties together for a 2.3w output at a cost of £42 pounds, all focused at one point.





China has said that it has developed a laser cannon that's been designed specifically to shoot down low-flying drones.

BLAM! That’s China’s approach to the increasing number of drones that are littering the skies these days.

Its state-controlled news agency, Xinhua, has announced the development of a laser cannon designed specifically to deal with low-flying drones.

No pictures of the cannon have been released but the Chinese insist that a drone can be blown out of the sky a mere five seconds after being spotted. So none of you drone owners had better go trying any funny business, okay? 

Laser cannons work by making a very powerful, highly focused beam of light and aiming it at a moving target. The light transfers huge amounts of heat and causes the target to blow up or crash.

This cannon was developed by the grand-sounding China Academy of Engineering Physics and is said to be able to blast targets within a radius of 1.2 miles.

It can be operated while positioned on the ground or mounted on a vehicle and should act as a significant deterrent against the threat posed by spies or terrorists. 

The US also has a laser cannon - built by Boeing - which was successfully used to blast drones and mortars out of the sky earlier in the year.






USS Ponce (AFSB(I)-15, formerly LPD-15) is an Austin-class amphibious transport dock of the United States Navy. Commissioned in 1971, she spent most of her life based on the East Coast and operating in the Atlantic and Mediterranean, serving in Operation Desert Shield and supporting US operations in the 2011 Libyan Civil War. It was intended that she would be decommissioned in 2012 but she gained a reprieve to be converted at short notice into a testbed for the Afloat Forward Staging Base concept, in which she would act as a base for mine-sweeping MH-53E Sea Dragon helicopters in the Persian Gulf. Since the conversion she has been used to test other ideas and technologies, such as the Laser Weapon System and operating US Army attack helicopters at sea.

On 24 January 2012, the Military Sealift Command posted a bid request to retrofit the USS Ponce on a rush-order basis. In response to requests from United States Central Command, the ship was converted to a staging base for mine countermeasures helicopters and ships/boats. The ship was expected to be completely transformed in an estimated four to five months, and the target date for re-deployment to her new role was met. The ship is operated jointly by active-duty Navy officers and sailors, as well as being crewed by government civilian mariners from Military Sealift Command - some of whom, on her initial cruise in her new role, were more than 60 years old. The USS Ponce was modified as an Afloat Forward Staging Base (AFSB) to support mine-sweeping MH-53 Sea Dragon helicopters and small mine-clearance vessels. 




Ponce is the only ship of the United States Navy that is named for Ponce in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, which in turn was named after the Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León, the first governor of Puerto Rico and European discoverer of Florida. Her keel was laid down on 31 October 1966 by the Lockheed Shipbuilding and Construction Company of Seattle, Washington. She was launched on 20 May 1970 sponsored by Florence W. Hyland, the wife of Admiral John J. Hyland, and commissioned on 10 July 1971.



MSC issued requests for proposal to upgrade and refit the ship. The work included upgrading the ship’s navigation systems, bringing habitability up to MSC standards and general refurbishment. The Ponce was designated as AFSB(I)-15 ("I" for the interim nature of the ship in this role, until purpose-built vessels come on line in 2015); the Ponce will be replaced in the AFSB role by the USNS Lewis B. Puller (T-MLP-3/T-AFSB-1). The ship is now in the Persian Gulf to serve as the Pentagon's first floating staging base for military operations or humanitarian assistance.

It was later reported that despite the capability to do so, the Ponce would not be a mothership for special operations, but rather a "lilypad" for MH-53E helicopters in a mine-clearance role, as well as for patrol and mine-clearance craft. As Admiral John Harvey stated, “The topic was a hot one, and people read these [documents] we generate very closely. I think they put two and two together and got 22."

In 2013 the USS Ponce functioned as the operational center and HQ for the International Mine Countermeasures Exercise in the Persian Gulf, using the berthing designed for transporting marines in order to function as a floating "hotel" for the operation.






US Navy laser cannon  Laser cannon


US Navy's $40 million dollar laser cannon is seen here mounted on the deck of the USS Ponce in the Persian Gulf. This is a 30kW system that has passed the testing phase and can knock out incoming threats. Admiral Matthew Klunder, the US Chief of Naval Research is quoted as saying: "We're not testing anymore - it's working... If we have to defend that ship today, we will [use the laser] to destroy a threat that comes." This cannon is made up of 6 x 5kW solid state commercial welding lasers, all focused onto one point.


The Laser Weapon System (LaWS) prototype has been affixed to the bow of the amphibious transport ship, since August. Its 30kW beam, is multi-functional, equally capable of dazzling approaching ships and burning UAVs clean out of the sky. It only costs about a dollar a shot according to John Miller, the 5th Fleet commander, as per an e-mail statement to Bloomberg on the 14th of November 2014. The LaWS is expected to remain aboard the USS Ponce for the next year or so, not so much to counter Iran's continued saber rattling regarding the Straight of Hormuz, but to field test the new technology and ensure that it can actually handle the rigors of life aboard a naval vessel.





Should the LaWS pass this upcoming sea trial, the data generated from the test will be utilized by the likes of BAE Systems, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon to build an even bigger, more powerful class of lasers that should set sail by 2021. And combined with the recent advancements of the terrestrial HEL MD, which is already up to 50kW, we're closer than ever to having GI Joe-style laser battles. The UK currently does not have such a development program for the Royal Navy, making the US and China the world leaders. That puts BMS in 3rd place and in the lead in the UK with just 2.4w for each of four laser weapons on the drone carrier testbed to be launched in 2015, giving just under 10 watts of firepower. We wonder if the Admiralty will seek to take the UK lead and if so when and how?


It just so happens that the LaWS’ ability to track and kill surveillance drones and swarming fast boats matches with Iran’s development of surveillance drones and swarming fast-boat tactics. The Ponce spent most of 2014 deployed in Iran’s backyard. Neither Klunder nor Rear Admiral Thomas Eccles will come out and say it exactly, but the maiden deployment of the LaWS has immediate implications for the U.S.’ ongoing sub rosa conflict with the Iranians — and provides a new weapon for the Navy at a time when it’s had to scale back its aircraft carrier presence off of Iran’s shores.

“Any country that operates the kinds of threats this system is designed to deal with should pause and say, ‘If the United States Navy can take a challenge like that and muster the scientific expertise from industry, academia and inside the government and pull together a solution that can be fielded as rapidly as this one’s been fielded, and go from a test environment directly to a forward-deployed unit for demonstration in the field and in the Fifth Fleet.'” Eccles is quoted as saying: “they should recognize that when we say ‘quick-reaction capability’ we truly deliver on a quick reaction capability.” 





The Ponce was reported to become a testbed platform for the Laser Weapon System (LaWS), with installation of a prototype weapon system to be completed "sometime after October 2013". The weapon system is said to be effective against drones and small watercraft. The LaWS was deployed on the Ponce to the Persian Gulf in late August 2014. On December 9, 2014, the U.S. Navy released video footage of the LaWS in operation.





We don't have X-wing fighters just yet, but we may soon have their laser weapons. DARPA is working on a system that's downright Lucasian.

Prepare yourself for a future filled with real-life pew pew! The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is working with Lockheed Martin to test "a new beam control turret... to give 360-degree coverage for high-energy laser weapons operating on military aircraft."

In other words, it stuck a primitive (by rebel standards) "Star Wars" style laser cannon on a fighter jet and flew it over Michigan eight times.

"These initial flight tests validate the performance of our ABC turret design," Lockheed's Doug Graham said. in a release. 

That ABC stands for Aero-adaptive Aero-optic Beam Control, which is designed to allow high-energy lasers to fire on enemy aircraft and missiles from a full 360 degrees - above, below, and behind the aircraft.

The test flights demonstrated the airworthiness of the turret, but it doesn't appear that anyone or anything in the Great Lakes region was actually zapped as part of testing.

Still, this represents a significant move toward the inevitable merging of the "Star Wars" universe with our own so-called "reality." We've already seen the Navy's laser weapon that's set to deploy, and science has discovered how to create a real-life light-saber, so perhaps it would be wise to start scanning the galaxies not just for potentially habitable exo-planets, but for planet-size super weapons as well. 








For the 1/20th development model, which now looks like this (directly above), there is a revised turret design with clearance to house the Acoms AS17 servos and swing the larger rockets towards the sky and rotate them 360 degrees without fouling. On top of this development, it makes sense to add lasers and cameras for remote vision and targeting.









Scorpion HK logo   



Starboard 8 SAMs forward & 8 aft + 2 cruise missiles & 2 torpedoes.

 Carried by a zero carbon fuelled for life platform.

A unmanned robotic Scorpion HK autonomous combat battleship

Port 8 SAMs forward & 8 aft + 2 cruise missiles & 2 torpedoes. 

The reaction time of a robot warrior is milliseconds.


SEANET DRONE LAYOUT - A hammerhead Scorpion HK destroyer is shown here fitted with 4 x SAM turrets (one per quadrant with independent targeting), for 360 degree multiple cover. Each SAM turret carries 8 missiles (Rapier example), giving a battery of 32 rockets to fend off enemy aircraft. This micro battleship is also shown here with 4 Tomahawk cruise missiles in protected bays, fore and aft, and 4 x 21" MK48  torpedoes in the outriggers - all drawn to scale - as a prelude to proof of concept. The torpedoes and cruise missiles would not be visible, but we've shown them in x-ray. The OAL of this clever design in 1/20th scale is 2.64m or 8 feet 7 inches.  This original concept vessel is design copyright © BMS Ltd 2014.






Wikipedia USS_Ponce LPD-15

Dutchsinse 2013-video-us-navy-directed-energy-weapon-system-laws-laser-cannon

Dvice archives 2012 navy_predicts_laser cannon reality

Gadgety News US Navy is equipped with laser cannon in persian gulf

The Week Watch-the-us-navy-shoots-down-a-drone-with-a-laser-cannon

Wired 2013 laser-warfare-system

I wonder how to making electromagnetic weapons semiconductor lasers

Cnet news DARPA is testing planes with a star wars style laser cannon

Mirror Chinas laser cannon shoot down

Instructables DIY Laser burner tutorial





















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