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Old 08-03-2014, 02:16 AM   #1
MatthewVilter
 
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Default [Ultra-Tech] Multi-Mode Laser

If I want to make a Survival Laser that can fire in Infrared, Blue-Green, and Ultraviolet modes should I take my clue from Blinding and Pulse modes and just increase the cost of it (probably by 100% for each alternative spectrum mode) or should I be looking at Combination Gadgets and adding 50 or 80% of the mass and cost of a separate Blue-Green Survival Laser and the same again for Ultraviolet?

If I want my laser to be able to fire in Pulse mode as well do I just pay the +100% on the base weapon or +100% on the whole weapon (or at least the damaging parts of it's costs)?
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Old 08-03-2014, 02:40 AM   #2
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Default Re: [Ultra-Tech] Multi-Mode Laser

I'd say that, because there's no cost listed, the different laser frequencies require sufficiently different focusing arrays / internal components to disqualify them from being simple "mode" changes. They should work fine as combination gadgets though. Any of the frequencies which are capable of switching between beam and pulse modes should have the extra +100% cost as well (so if it's available for all frequencies, the overall weapon costs double).
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Old 08-03-2014, 02:59 AM   #3
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Default Re: [Ultra-Tech] Multi-Mode Laser

Seems like a choice between +lots of cost, or +some cost and +some mass.
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Old 08-03-2014, 07:50 AM   #4
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Default Re: [Ultra-Tech] Multi-Mode Laser

At least on the real world today (which may or may not be applicable when/if weapons grease lasers are ever developed) the actual laser emitter only works on a very specific frequency. Having a device that can do multiple frequencies would mean multiple emitters. Those sperate emitters if they don't have identical spread characteristics would then also need sperate focusing optics. Then if the heatsinks are tightly integrated (likely if they are not using some sort of coolant bath for the emitter) then we are basically telling about a sperate barrel for each frequency. Further if i recall correctly different frequencies have different energy efficiencies which means that each 'barrel will have it's own power management module) with only the frame and power cell remaining static.

Which means as a multi gadget with selectable modes it will be a bulky device that is almost as large and heavy as sperate lasers duct taped together and switching modes will involve actually physically rotating the emitter used into the 'firing' position or having sperate aiming optics for each emitter.

As an interesting aside so long as the capacitors are also duplicated the sticks option should also allow each sperate barrel to fire simultaneously effectively multiplying the rate of fire for the weapon by the number of barrels for one shot then having it be offline for second equal to number of barrels (assuming that power cells are limited in total output and weapons are built to use the maximum output available for continuous fire. If instead power cells have effectively unlimited output say if power cells are advanced capacitors rather then advanced batteries then the downtime would be nil)

Last edited by starslayer; 08-03-2014 at 07:51 AM. Reason: formatting
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Old 08-03-2014, 08:47 AM   #5
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Default Re: [Ultra-Tech] Multi-Mode Laser

That's what I was afraid of...

I am (of course) inclined to agree with vicky_molokh but it sounds like a high cost no weight added option would realistically be at best available at TL+1 form the base weapon.

It sounds like starslayer is saying that (as neither the lasing medium nor the optics would normally be interchangeable) it would be pushing it to even go for a -50% combo gadget.


I guess the alternative is to take an Infrared Survival Laser and combo it with a Blue-Green Holdout Laser. Much less damage and range but it's better than being SOL when someone dives into their backyard swimming pool...

Would it make sense to use Beam Weapons (Rifle) instead of Beam Weapons (Pistol) when using a Holdout Laser mounted in (say the foregrip of) a Survival Laser? What about the Holdout Laser getting, say, +1 Acc for having a buttstock?
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Old 08-03-2014, 09:10 AM   #6
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Default Re: [Ultra-Tech] Multi-Mode Laser

Doesn't High-Tech sort of implicitly assume tunable emitters- at TL11 at least- with the advent of rainbow lasers?
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Old 08-03-2014, 09:33 AM   #7
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Default Re: [Ultra-Tech] Multi-Mode Laser

Quote:
Originally Posted by acrosome View Post
Doesn't High-Tech sort of implicitly assume tunable emitters- at TL11 at least- with the advent of rainbow lasers?
Yes, I guess.

So that would make alternative spectrum mode lasers a late TL 10/early TL 11 invention I suppose...
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Old 08-03-2014, 09:35 AM   #8
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Default Re: [Ultra-Tech] Multi-Mode Laser

Quote:
Originally Posted by acrosome View Post
Doesn't High-Tech sort of implicitly assume tunable emitters- at TL11 at least- with the advent of rainbow lasers?
That was certainly the case with 3rd edition Rainbow Lasers. It no longer seems to be the assumption in 4th. The Rainbow Laser in UT lists an underwater range of 2 yards; if it had a Blue-Green mode the range would be 15-150 yards. That said, I think it would be reasonable to allow Rainbow Lasers to fire in the additional modes (at added expense, and losing their superior armor divisor). Earlier lasers would still need to add bulk to achieve the same thing.
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Old 08-03-2014, 10:35 AM   #9
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Default Re: [Ultra-Tech] Multi-Mode Laser

Quote:
Originally Posted by acrosome View Post
Doesn't High-Tech sort of implicitly assume tunable emitters- at TL11 at least- with the advent of rainbow lasers?
As said "Rainbow Lasers" in 3e were (probably) free electron lasers with highly adaptive optics that could tune themselves between the IR, visible and the UV for optimum conditions in multiple environments.

In 4e the same name was given to a polychromatic visible spectrum laser that uses femtosecond pulses at a ultra-high cyclic rate to self-focus in normal atmosphere,

I would not have done that myself.

The 3e type might still be possible but is almost certainly higher than TL10 or maybe even TL10^. Living metal mirror, grav focus lens and stuff like that.
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Old 08-03-2014, 10:07 PM   #10
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Default Re: [Ultra-Tech] Multi-Mode Laser

Quote:
Originally Posted by starslayer View Post
At least on the real world today (which may or may not be applicable when/if weapons grease lasers are ever developed) the actual laser emitter only works on a very specific frequency. Having a device that can do multiple frequencies would mean multiple emitters.
Modern lasers often make use of frequency doubling or tripling to change the beam color.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_harmonic_generation
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_harmonic_generation
The most common use of this is probably with Nd:YAG lasers, which put out near infrared light at 1.064 micron wavelength. This is often frequency doubled to a green beam at 0.532 microns by shining the beam through a non-linear material. This can be surprisingly efficient - as of around a decade ago, industrial machining lasers would go from 30% wall-plug efficiency in the near infrared to about 20% wall-plug efficiency when emitting green light.

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