Laser Target Designator

Description
A beam-type weapon, long familiar to science fiction fans, became a reality after the invention of lasers. That reality differed from fictional “ray guns” however. Rather than destroy a target directly, a solder used this battery-operated, portable laser to illuminate a selected target. A missile or other munition equipped with a special sensor detected the reflected light then homed-in on, and destroyed, the target.
This model AN/PAQ-1 laser target designator was developed at Hughes Aircraft Company following Theodore Maiman's creation of the first successful laser in May 1960. Before donating the laser to the museum in 1987, the U.S. Army removed a classified component so the laser will no longer function.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
Laser, military
laser
date made
ca 1984
maker
Hughes Aircraft Company
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
cloth (strap material)
plastic (part material)
glass (part material)
rubber (part material)
Measurements
overall: 10 cm x 59 cm x 36 cm; 3 15/16 in x 23 1/4 in x 14 3/16 in
ID Number
1987.0026.01
accession number
1987.0026
catalog number
1987.0026.01
model number
AN/PAQ-1
subject
Laser
Energy & Power
Military
Lasers
See more items in
Work and Industry: Electricity
Lasers
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
from Hughes Aircraft Company
Additional Media

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