Nothing would be more effective in getting Southern Marylanders in a tizzy than a mysterious green light beam stretching across the Chesapeake Bay. In fact, many people may blame the strange sight on an extraterrestrial life form or think it a foreign threat, but it is far from it.
On Tuesday night, Navy scientists will test a 150-kilowatt laser across the width of the Chesapeake, Navy officials said in a statement. The laser will not harm the eyesight and will immediately be terminated if a plane or boat nears the beam within 300 meters. The test will divert any notion of intergalactic or domestic threats.
Navy officials are not saying exactly what the laser is, giving more reason to be suspicious about the planned test of a “big laser.”
“The eye-safe green laser will be transmitted across the Chesapeake Bay to evaluate the performance of a laser system at long range over water,” said U.S. Naval Research Laboratory spokesman Steven Van Der Werff.
The “controlled beam” will be shot as far as 13 miles between three points, a watercraft that will be stationed in the Chesapeake Bay, a site on Tilghman Island and the Chesapeake Bay Detachment compound in Calvert County. The 168-acre compound near Chesapeake Beach is utilized to test electronic warfare, optical devices and radar systems, according to the website.
Testing is set to begin at 10:45 p.m. Tuesday.