|This article, M980 Weapon Anti Ordnance/Anti Material Defence Weapon, was written by Ajax 013. Please do not edit this fiction without the writer's permission.|
- "...one of those Sierra Mike Foxtrots tanks aimed its interdictor launcher at us, we thought we were screwed. The M980 laser on the 'Roo iced it before it even left the barrel!"
- ― Sergeant Jacob 'Texan' Voores.
The M980 Weapon Anti Ordinance/Anti Material Defence Weapon is a small laser weapon, commonly called the 'AURORA Laser' that is mounted on nearly every UNSC vehicle in the 27th century. The weapon is a small and compact bulb usually found on the turrets of vehicle. Linked directly into the vehicle's motion trackers, optical suites, TACCOM and satilliete uplink, it identifies incoming missiles, rockets and bombs and fires a short burst of high powered energy. While the weapon cannot usually damage armoured vehicles, against the thin metal skin of rockets and missiles and the vulnerable fuel and explosives underneath, it is a potent defence against them. It usually melts the outside skin and detonates either the fuel or the explosive charge, detonating it. The weapon also has limited uses against tank shells, being able to engage those shot at a distance, though it's use against small, faster fired munitions and APFSDS is limited, having trouble either eliminating all of them, or infact damamging them. It is also highly effective against slower fired artillery weapons, like artillery rockets, shells and mortars, especially those coming in at a high trajectory.
The M980 operates a Free Electron LASER, a adaptable and powerful beam weapon capable of a wide variety of operations in differing enviroments. The Free Electron LASER works by accelerating a beam of electrons to relativistic speeds. The beam passes through an FEL oscillator, commonly called a 'undulator' in the form of a periodic, transverse magnetic field, produced by arranging magnets with alternating poles within a laser cavity along the beam path which forces the electrons in the beam to assume a sinusoidal path. The acceleration of the electrons along this path results in the release of a photon. Since the electron motion is in phase with the field of the light already emitted, the fields add together. Instabilities in the electron beam, which result from the interactions of the oscillations of electrons in the undulating FEL Oscillator and the radiation they emit, leads to a bunching of the electrons which continue to radiate in phase with each other. The wavelength of the light emitted can be readily tuned by adjusting the energy of the electron beam or the magnetic field strength of the undulators.
The weapon uses a an electron accelerator with heavy radiation shielding. This requires a high voltage supply, which consumes around 2/3rds of the actual energy charge. The electron beam is maintained in a vacuum.
This weapon technology allows the powerful beam to be tuned to the neseccary wavelength for operation in the current enviroment, the beam adjusted by the 'guiding beam', which is emitted prior to release of the primary beam. This, along with technical systems on the weapon, allow it to adapt to almost any atmospheric condition, enemy optical impairing counter measures and objectives. However, much of the 'charge up' time is donated to not only adjusting the beam but also powering up the magnets to the required levels. The weapon operates in the range of visible spectrum light, paticular in the 620-750nm range (Red light), which is the optimum beam for standard atmospheric conditions.
The weapon's most important feature is the reactive tune system. The returns from the 'targetting beam' allow the weapon to be readily adjusted for atmospheric conditions, such as cloudy weather, mist, fog or sand storms, however the weapon cannot be adjusted for rain effectively. The RTS will adjust the wavelength of the beam to give it optimum attack in current conditions, allowing it to some degree, negate enemy optical counter measures as well.
The weapon's limited intelligence allows it to target incoming ordinance by several methods.
- If it is on a hostile trajectory to it, or a allied vehicle
- If the ordnance matches UNSC ordnance and is not on a hostile trajectory it is not engaged
- If it is travelling over a certain speed
- If it matches ordnance belonging to enemy forces
The weapon's target database is constantly being updated to take in more types of enemy ordnance.
The weapon's programming is constantly updated via the UNSC net, removing the need for expensive refits. One curious side effect of this is, while engineers have inserted new programming, new programming seems to have developed by its self. New weapon targetting parameters have cropped up. Though the weapon does have a element of self learning, if only in identifying new ordnance and new attack methods which would then be uploaded to the mainframe for review and then potentially insertion into the programming, this programs seem to advance for that, though it may only be that various taretting parameters have compounded into new programming. They engineers in charge, instead of removing this, have decided to keep it in for observation.
The weapon is commonly mounted on almost every UNSC ground vehicle, and on a few aerial vehicles, though its also used as a standalone turret as a point defence laser for bases and as a integral part of the Firestorm Close-in Weapon System.
The weapon detects incoming ordnance by using the vehicle's all round optical and infrared optical suite, combined with the RADAR and LIDAR of the vehicle. This means it can even target ordnance just by the launch smoke, eliminating it before it has even left the launcher.
The guidance system, when linked into Area Defence and Interception System will also act as part of its 'probe'. With incoming missile ordnance it can emit a 'dazzle' beam that will burn out a variety of optical sensors and LASER guidance. Should these fail, it will resort to other methods of defence.
"This sounds crazy but I swear its true. Every laser is diff'rent, like they have personalities of somethin'. Some would pour shit loads of energy into a target, some would lag, some would take some time of lasering to lock on, a rare few were so messed up they would be chasing phantom targets or going haywire at the wrong moment. If you found a vehicle with a good laser, that hit its target first time, everytime, like it should, then you were a damn fool to let it go!"
"Gunners can't target fast moving ordnance and hit them first time can they?"
"Shit useful against insurgents and Necros, but you can only hit Covvie grenades and Banshees..."