If you have ever wondered if the technology from Star Wars could ever become a reality, take a look at the Navy’s new DDG 1000 stealth destroyer (Zumwalt). The ship was designed to carry electric lasers and railguns while making it’s own fuel out of seawater. This prototype technology is being designed by naval technologists to, “change the way we fight and save lives,” according to Rear Admiral Matthew Klunder, chief of Naval Research.
The futuristic technology would provide the destroyer with the potential to save money on weapon projectiles by using electricity while also preventing attacks on the ship.
According to military.com, “The ship's integrated power system, which includes its electric propulsion, helps generate up to 58 megawatts of on-board electrical power, something seen as key to the future when it comes to ship technologies and the application of anticipated future weapons systems such as laser weapons and rail guns.”
According to CNN, the laser gun was designed and tested to prevent attacks from smaller enemy ships and can be fired by one person at little cost.
Simirlary, railguns that use electricity, instead of explosives, to fire ammunition will be cost-effective.
“The gun uses electromagnetic force to send a missile to a range of 125 miles at 7.5 times the speed of sound, according to the Navy. When it hits its target, the projectile does its damage with sheer speed. It does not have an explosive warhead,” according to cnn.com.
“There has got to be some reduced carbons in the ocean,” said Mark Cannon, Department Chair of Biochemistry at BYU-Hawaii. “Anytime you have reduced carbons you can use them as fuel because you burn it to create carbon dioxide. They’re able extract some kind of reduced carbons, instead of hydrocarbons, from the ocean.”
The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory stated that they create hydrogen gas by removing carbon dioxide and the, “gases are then converted to liquid hydrocarbons by a metal catalyst in a reactor system.”