Thursday, April 24, 2008

Question for Readers

During last Thursday's housing hearing on missile defense (a summary can be found here), witness Philip E. Coyle III. made the following claim:

Different missile defense systems prompt the use of different sorts of decoys or countermeasures by the offense. For example, the laser being developed for missile defense, the Airborne Laser, is to be a high power laser carried in a jumbo 747 aircraft. But if the enemy paints their missiles with an ordinary white paint, a white paint that is 90% reflective to the laser, then 90% of the laser energy bounces off. To compensate for this the Airborne Laser would need to be ten times more powerful and would need an aircraft bigger than a Boeing 747.
Missile Defense Agency (MDA) spokesman Richard Lehner rejected the charge:
Regarding the paint, not true....That the U.S. would spend more than 4 billion on a weapon system that could be defeated by a coat of paint might make a good sitcom but has no basis in fact.
Anyone care to weigh in on this? Who is correct?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Airborne Laser is infrared, so color should have no effect on it.