The MIRACL laser first became operational in 1980. It can produce over a megawatt of output for up to 70 seconds, making it the most powerful continuous wave (CW) laser in the US. Its original goal was to be able to track and destroy anti-ship cruise missiles, but in later years it was used to test phenomenologies associated with national anti-ballistic and anti-satellite laser weapons. Originally tested at a contractor facility in California, as of the later 1990s and early 2000s, it was located at a facility ( ) in the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.
In 1997, amid much controversy, MIRACL was tested against a US Air Force satellite in orbit at a distance of 432 km (268 mi). The satellite was disabled but the Air Force did not get the data from the satellite it had hoped for.
- U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command. "MIRACL at HELSTF". Retrieved 2007-07-05.
- Sherman, Robert. "Mid-Infrared Advanced Chemical Laser (MIRACL)". Retrieved 2007-07-05.
- Airborne Laser System Program Office. "Airborne Laser (YAL1A)". Archived from the original on 2007-03-24. Retrieved 2007-07-05.
- U.S. Department of Defense. "Secretary of Defense approves laser experiment to improve satellite protection". Retrieved 2007-07-05.
- Plante, Chris; The Associated Press; Reuters (1997-10-20). "Pentagon beams over military laser test". CNN
- Zack, Ed. "Miniature Sensor Technology Integration (MSTI)". Retrieved 2007-07-05.
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