Modern warfare is undergoing a major paradigm shift. One of the epicenters of this change is high-energy laser weaponry. It has phenomenal application in air-defense. The accuracy and speed of an air-to-air or surface-to-air laser strike can render even the most advanced fighter planes sterile. A stealth bomber needs to be designed which can counter such a threat from enemy.
Solution in Nature
A moth has to defend itself from a very similar threat. It has to dodge a lightning fast airborne attack from bat which is a much bigger predator than itself. Besides being instant, a bat attack is ultra-precise due to its dependence on radar-tracking system instead of visual engagement. In order to defend itself, a moth has to counter two simultaneous challenges:
1. The returning frequency of a bat should be disrupted so that the speed of its attack becomes its own drawback.
2. The flight trail of moth should not leave an easily decipherable pattern for the bat.
Based on these two requirements, a moth has evolved following two functions:
1. It generates its own radar frequency which deranges the frequency of a bat and
2. Its anatomy (structure, materials and their organization) can support a flight pattern of negative-stability.
Row1Column1: Closeup of a Moth
Row1Column2: Moth Intercepting a Bat Attack
Row1Column3: Belgium Airforce F-16 RAR Fairford
Row1Column4: A Show of F16 Maneuverability
Row2Column1: Lockheed Martin F16 Specifications
Row2Column2: High Energy Laser Weaponry
Row2Column3: Lockheed Martin High Energy Laser Surface-to-Air Attack Concept
Row2Column4: Lockheed Martin F-35 Stealth Bomber
Row3Column1: Thrust Vector of Lockheed Martin F-35
Row3Column2: Systems of Lockheed Martin F-35
Row3Column3: Neri Oxman at MIT Media Lab (Please check out her work for inspiration)
Row3Column4: Research Breakthrough in Solid Metal Hydrogen
Row4Column1: Counter-Stealth Mechanism of Moth Against a Bat
Row4Column2: Laser Weapon Installed on Apache Helicopter
Row4Column3: Light Painting with Moth Trails
Row4Column4: Moth Flight System Analysis (U. Z. Malik)
F-16 was the first plane which was deliberately designed for negative-stability. Its maneuverability in a dogfight is dreaded to this day. However, an unpredictable and disruptive flight pattern which can dodge a laser attack needs much more sophistication in its chaos. Lockheed Martin F-35 can make a vertical take-off and is equipped with state-of-the-art stealth technology. Similarly, China and Russia have recently successfully tested the Ramjet engine technology which consumes oxygen from atmosphere, reaching up speeds of Mach 5 and above. All these technologies must be brought together to obtain a flying machine capable of out-maneuvering a high energy laser attack. Detailed drawings of the aircraft are presented below.