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.
Amid much controversy in October 1997, MIRACL was tested against MSTI-3, a US Air Force satellite at the end of its original mission in orbit at a distance of 432 km (268 mi). MIRACL failed during the test and was damaged and the Pentagon claimed mixed results for other portions of the test. A second, lower-powered chemical laser was able to temporarily blind the MSTI-3 sensors during the test.
- U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command. "MIRACL at HELSTF". Archived from the original on 2007-08-08. Retrieved 2007-07-05.
- Sherman, Robert. "Mid-Infrared Advanced Chemical Laser (MIRACL)". Retrieved 2007-07-05.
- Airborne Laser System Program Office. "Airborne Laser (YAL1A)" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) 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 (1997-10-20). "Pentagon beams over military laser test". CNN.com. Associated Press and Reuters. Archived from the original on 2007-12-30.
- Zack, Ed. "Miniature Sensor Technology Integration (MSTI)". Retrieved 2007-07-05.
- MIRACL damaged in experiment. Journal of Aerospace and Defense Industry News. December 11, 1997. via webarchive.org Accessed May 3, 2014.
- Koplow, David A. Death by Moderation: The U.S. Military's Quest for Useable Weapons. Cambridge University Press, 2010. Accessed May 3, 2014.
- Lowery, Todd (Jan 1998) "Call it a Miracl" Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Vol. 54, No. 1:5,6
- Lambakis, Steven (2013) On the Edge of Earth: The Future of American Space Power ISBN 0813145783 pg 63
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