|This article is about the multi-block weapon-system. For the Simple Weapon, see Laser (Simple Weapon).|
Lasers are directed energy weapons that have light-speed projectiles that can be created to burn into an enemy target with very high accuracy, or to snipe pesky missiles and shells from the sky.
The reliability of lasers depends heavily on countermeasures – smoke and laser shields can greatly reduce AP-value, and with that damage dealt by lasers. However, they are still great against fast targets at range, as all shots arrive instantly (Advanced Cannon shots are comparatively slow and follow gravity, while Particle Cannon shots just bend around unpredictably if you stand back too far, and CRAM Cannon "fridges" are even slower than cannon shells). With enough parts, lasers can become very dangerous to anything not designed to counter them.
Each part in a laser changes the property of the laser by adding more power, allowing it to charge quicker, giving it armour-piercing qualities, increasing accuracy, or increasing aiming angle.
- Require engine power rather than ammo to fire.
- Can be used both offensively and defensively against missiles, as well as APS-, or CRAM-shells.
- Very accurate, and shots arrive instantly – great against fast targets.
- Loses damage with range. More damage lost through water, less damage lost when using many Laser Optics-blocks
- Have a max range of 10000 meters no matter how many steering optics there are.
- Laser Transceivers allow the bulk of the laser to be built far away from where the laser is actually emitted.
A minimal laser requires power, typically provided by Engines, plus the following:
- A Multipurpose Laser.
- A Laser Coupler.
- A Laser Cavity.
- A Laser Pump (under the Laser Cavity submenu).
- For an offensive laser, a Laser Combiner and a Laser Steering Optics.
- For a defensive laser, a Laser Munition Defence. A offensive laser can be also used as a defensive laser against missile when using an AMCC instead of a LWC.
One possible layout for an offensive laser:
LSO LCom MPL LCoup LCav LPmp
- Multipurpose Laser: The root component of a laser.
- Laser Connector: Connects the following components: Multipurpose Laser, Laser Coupler, Laser Combiner, Laser Munition Defence, and Laser Transceivers.
- Laser Transceiver: Connects the same components as the Laser Connector, but over a distance. One Laser Connector is required on each end of the connection, and they must be pointing directly at each other. There is no limit on range, and the connection can even pass through other blocks.
Up to 4 Q Switches may be attached to a Laser Coupler. Using at least one Q Switch turns the laser from continuous to pulsed. The number of Q Switches determines how often a laser can discharge that Laser Coupler, and what percentage of the stored energy is discharged at a time. The damage dealt is proportional to the energy used.
|Q Switches||Pulses per second||Drain per pulse||Damage per energy||Range per energy/s (m)|
- Laser Cavity: Attach to a Laser Coupler. Multiple Laser Cavities can be connected in a line. Stores 250 units of laser energy.
- Laser Pump: Attach to sides of Laser Cavities. Produces 24 laser energy per second at the cost of 30 power (50 power-frames per laser energy). Also available as a 3m variant, making it easier to fill 3x3 spaces.
- Laser Destabiliser: Attach in a line to Laser Cavities. Causes the line to discharge 80% more energy at a time compared to base. Multiple Laser Destabilisers can be used with each being 80% as effective as the last.
- Frequency Doubler: Attach in a line to Laser Cavities. Increases the AP, depending on the number of pumps. The more pumps, the smaller the AP-increase (each frequency doubler add 400AP/number of pump block, more on 0Q lasers)
Energy is used to fire the laser. At base, 20% of stored energy is discharged per second.
The base range is 5.65m per damage. The final range is capped at 10 km.
The damage per second of a laser with or without Q-Switches is found by taking the total length of laser cavity blocks with four pumps attached plus laser destabilisers, where L is the sum of laser destabilisers and laser cavities with four laser pumps, Q is the amount of Q-Switches, and the variable P is the most efficient length of laser cavities to be used within the length L alongside the corresponding amount of laser destabilisers (L-P)
To find the most efficient combination of laser cavities and laser destabilisers, find the maximum of the following equation using P as the variable:
Calculator including laser damage (as well as some other stuff). Up to date as of 09.09.2017 (most likely obsolete, as of 12/11/2018)
- Laser Combiner: Emits an offensive laser.
- Laser Optics: Reduces attenuation (damage lost with range).
- Laser Steering Optics: Increases field of fire. Max field of fire reached if 1/4 of the optics are steering optics. Shorter optics have greater firing angle.
- Laser Cutter: projects a beam between two of these when they are placed opposite of each other. This beam will deal damage to anything that crosses through it, turning the laser into a melee weapon.
The inaccuracy is 0.05°. I.e. 0.09% of the range, about 1m at 1km range. Do note that actual inaccuracy will generally be greater, due to detection-errors.
Munition Defence Lasers
- Laser Munition Defence (previously "Laser Missile Defence"). Complete system is typically called LAMS – Laser Anti-Munition System
No optics are necessary or usable with a Laser Munition Defence. Separately you will also need a Munition Warner connected to an AI Mainframe. No Local Weapon Controller is necessary for operation of this laser component, and can not be fired like a normal weapon by the user.
Alternatively, or additionally, it is possible to use Passive Radars or Passive Sonars to detect Missiles using active radar guidance and torpedoes respectively. This allows the LAMS to fight torpedoes at all (though damage is lost quickly through water), and radar-guided missiles from longer range. It is, however, recommended not to rely on passive radars, as many missiles will use other guidance-types.
The Laser Munition Defence has an inaccuracy of . This gives it single-block accuracy out to about 1150 m. Against a missile with a cross section of one block approaching at constant speed, about 50% of all hits will occur within this distance, and about 75% within half this distance – The maximum active range is 500m but can be extended to 1000m. The active range, is the range at which it will begin to shoot down incoming detected munitions which can be changed with the Q menu on it. This however is not the range of the beam it self can travel.
Air and water reduce damage with range. The longer your optics, the less damage is lost. Loss through water is 20 times the loss through air. (Formula for optics-length needed)
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Reason: "Numbers seem to be from before storage cavities got added. At least they need checking if it still applies"
- One Q Switch will maximise range, while 4 Q Switches will maximise damage per energy used.
Sustained damage per second is limited by two factors: the energy going into the laser and the energy coming out of the laser.
- The energy going into the laser every second, assuming sufficient power, is simply 30 times the number of Laser Pumps.
- The maximum energy per second discharged by a cavity line is determined by the number of Laser Cavities () and the number of Laser Destabilisers () according to the expression . Assuming one Laser Destabiliser is twice as expensive as a Laser Cavity, use the following table to determine the number of Laser Destabilisers to use:
if at least
Pumps Energy %/s Energy/s 1 3 4 36.0% 108.0 2 6 11 48.8% 292.8 3 10 23 59.0% 590.4 4 15 40 67.2% 1008.5 5 21 61 73.8% 1549.5 6 29 91 79.0% 2291.8 7 38 126 83.2% 3162.5 8 50 173 86.6% 4328.9 9 65 232 89.3% 5802.1 10 84 307 91.4% 7678.4
- The above assumes only a single Laser Combiner. Multiple Laser Combiners may be used. If they fire evenly this simply multiplies the total energy use by the number of Laser Combiners and the number of Laser Pumps may be adjusted likewise. However, if they do not fire evenly one Laser Combiner may "starve" the next. This is primarily a concern for 1Q lasers with many Laser Destabilisers, as these can draw close to 100% of stored energy every shot.
- Missiles have an AC of 1, meaning 2 AP is enough to deal full damage. Their health depends on size-class, length, and reinforcement – as a rule of thumb, S missiles can be assumed to have about 50 health, M missiles about 1,000 health, and L missiles about 10,000. This depends heavily on the exact design though, and all types of missiles may exceed that.
4Q Dual Missile Defence
Costs about 50,000 RP. The core takes up a 3x3x15 space.
- Start with the Multipurpose Laser.
- Laser Connector on top of the Multipurpose Laser.
- Behind the Laser Connector, a Laser Coupler.
- A Q Switch on the left, right, top, and bottom of the Laser Coupler.
- 10 Laser Cavities in a line behind the Laser Coupler.
- A Laser Pump on the left, right, top, and bottom of each Laser Cavity.
- Two Frequency Doublers behind the Laser Cavities.
- Two Laser Destabilisers behind the Frequency Doublers.
- Connect two Laser Missile Defences to the front however you wish.
|Advanced Cannon • CRAM Cannon • Laser • Missile • Simple Weapons • Particle Cannon|