The idea of a laser that can turn Earth’s atmosphere into a giant magnifying glass may sound like science fiction.
But scientists say that this could be a reality within the next 50 years.
BAE Systems came up with the concept to act as a tool to spy on enemies as well as act as form a ‘deflector shield’ to protect aircraft from enemy attacks.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The concept mirrors two existing effects in nature – the reflective properties of the ionosphere, and desert mirages.
The ionosphere is a naturally occurring layer in the Earth’s atmosphere that appears at about 40 miles in altitude.
It can be reflective to radio waves, often allowing people to tune in to radio stations that are thousands of miles away.
Radio signals bounce off the ionosphere, and travel very long distances through the air and over the Earth’s surface.