Funding Canceled Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on January 31, 2013.
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Controversial new thriller from acclaimed Dr. Adam Weigold explores likelihood of Photonic Warfare in a future global conflict.

What ?!

That's right. Photonic Warfare, or the use of laser beams as high precision long range weapons, may soon render guided missiles and unmanned aerial drones obsolete. One of these emerging photonic technologies called Laser Powered EMP (or LEMP) is currently being developed by physicist Dr Adam Weigold and his research team at Lightning Gun. But how does Weigolds new novel Dragon Empire help build a real life laser weapon? All of your questions will be answered - Keep Reading!

OK this is crazy - should I hide?

No need to hide if you are protected by LEMP technology. The Photonic Warfare concept uses long range laser weapons that travel at the speed of light to protect against remote long range offensive weapons such as intercontinental ballistic missiles, medium range missiles, surface-to-air missiles and even portable shoulder launched missiles commonly used by terrorists. 

LEMP technology is a new type of photonic weapon that is non-lethal to humans but deadly to the advanced electronics found in supersonic guided missiles and unmanned aerial drones. Because LEMP is much smaller and cheaper than other photonic weapons (eg: Laser Cannons) it is ideally suited for missile defense in an airborne environment.

For more technical information on how photonic technologies will ultimately render guided missiles obsolete download the following technology white paper:
Technology White Paper - Rendering Guided Missiles Obsolete

Hear what others are saying!

"The Lightning Gun project is a VERY interesting concept worth further investigation...it would be an ideal generic countermeasure against ALL types of missiles and potentially even non-missile threats such as UAV's."
          -Kim Scott, Director of Land & Integrated Systems, BAE Systems


"This concept has GREAT potential in both military and commercial countermeasure applications. Lightning Gun's technology opens a principally new and unique approach to solving the missile countermeasure problem."
           -Dr. Yuri Zakharenkhov, Senior Principal Physicist, Raytheon Inc

About the Novel

Dragon Empire is an epic adventure which depicts the next world war to come as a battle fought on a global scale with directed energy weapons and advanced photonic technologies. Dr Adam Weigold writes with a detailed and intricate knowledge of futuristic warfare technologies that are already in development, including hyper-sonic missiles, Star War style defense grids, high power laser cannons, laser powered EMP guns and optically invisible fighter aircraft. 

Short Synopsis:

It is January 2025 and the first female President of the United States is being inaugurated atop the snow swept steps of the US Capitol building. While Senator Sasha Wolfe creates history by taking the presidential oath of office a devastating surprise attack against America and its allies is happening right across the Pacific. 

The massive Chinese military machine has chosen this precise moment in history to launch simultaneous invasions of Northern Australia, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines and Hawaii. World War III has begun on Sasha’s first day on the job as leader of the free world. 

The expansionist goals of the world’s largest superpower are finally exposed for all to see, and Sasha is the only person in the world who can rally America and its allies to stop China's invasion in its tracks. This new world war will be a conflict like no other ..... the era of Photonic Warfare has arrived !

Want a Sneak Peek?

You're not alone! You can download the first 5 chapters right absolutely free by clicking here. Sneak Peak If you like what you read, come back and donate $10 for the Full e-book Release, or only $29 to have your own paperback shipped to your door.

What will the funds go towards ?

The first $20,000 raised on Kickstarter will pay for the professional editing and marketing of the Dragon Empire book which is due for release in November 2013. All monies raised on Kickstarter above this minimum level will go directly towards funding the Lightning Gun research project. 

Thinking bigger .... if we can raise $300,000 from kickstarter and book sales we will be able to set up a basic laser research lab in the Silicon Valley / Bay Area and employ some research and engineering staff. This should be sufficient to build the infrastructure to qualify for US government funding programs.

How can I help ?

Donate. You can help with donations of any size. If you donate $10 you will receive the Dragon Empire e-book in November 2013, a full month before its release on Amazon. If you really like the book you might want to order the paperback for $29 or the hardcover for $39. 

Share. Like what we're doing? We urge you to share this campaign with your friends on Facebook, Twitter and Linked-in. Click below!

Want to be written into the novel?

We can make that happen! To your right you will find a variety of rewards built to satisfy the Sci-Fi geek in us all. The Limited items will go fast!

  • T-shirts + Computer Backpacks + Caps
  • iPad covers + Mousepads + USB-drives
  • Mugs, Coffee Cups and a range of limited edition glossy posters. 
  • Plus more!

All rewards items other than the novel will be delivered by April 2013. The hard-copy and e-book versions of the novel will be delivered in November 2013.


How did this Story come about ?

The author, Dr Adam Weigold, has been involved in laser and photonic research for over 20 years and has worked in many photonic startups. He first conceived of the Laser powered EMP weapon in 2010 and over the next 2 years performed small scale experiments to prove the feasibility of the technology, and filed a patent application relating to solving the focal instability problems associated with laser produced plasma. You can find out more information on the Lightning Gun research project by visiting The Lightning Gun Web Site 

Shortly after starting the Lightning Gun project Weigold also started to think about the consequences of Photonic Warfare and how it would ultimately change military strategy and tactics. As an experienced non-fiction author and a sci-fi fan he decided to start writing his first science fiction novel in Dragon Empire as a project that was very synergistic with his research. 

His unique familiarity with photonic technologies has allowed him to portray a highly realistic image of how warfare will evolve in the near future, including detailed descriptions of many futuristic weapons that are already in development around the world (including Laser Powered EMP).

And just who is Dr Adam Weigold ?

Adam Weigold is a dual US and Australian citizen who was born in Washington DC, spent most of his formative years in Australia, and now lives in San Francisco. He completed his PhD in Laser Physics at Macquarie University in Sydney in 1992 specializing in X-Ray Lasers and Laser Produced Plasma. He then worked for the Australian Defense Science and Technology Organization in missile countermeasures research. 

In 1995 he founded Australia's first solid state laser company, Photon Engineering, operating as its CEO and CTO for over 10 years. He has been involved in founding five other Australian technology startups including fiber-optic manufacturer Fiberbyte and telco provider Nomad Networks. 

Adam served for 7 years as the industry representative to the Australian Optical Society and has authored numerous scientific and industry publications. He has also been involved in many non-laser related activities including working as a start-up consultant, an investment adviser, a ghost writer and even a nightclub owner. His passions include travelling, fishing, snow skiing, science fiction, wine-tasting and seafood .

What is the Lighting Gun Project?

The Lightning Gun project is an independent self-funded laser physics experiment with the aim of developing Laser powered EMP as a non-lethal missile defense platform for all types of aircraft. Over the last 2 years the founders have provided around $200,000 of their own funds to prove the feasibility of LEMP technology on a small scale. 

Now the technology needs to be scaled up to real-world power levels. To build the required infrastructure and complete the large scale experiments will cost at least $2 million over 2 years. Dragon Empire is just one of many funding projects planned to assist our future R&D efforts.

You can find out about the rest of the Lightning Gun team here -
Find out more about the Lightning Gun Team

Please help us to fund the development of our non-lethal laser technology into an airborne missile defense platform ..... a platform with the potential to render guided missiles threats from terrorists obsolete. 

Order Dragon Empire now and you may ultimately be helping to make all air travel much safer !

We hope that you can help with a donation. Thank you !

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Dragon Empire is two thirds completed and its release is expected in November 2013. If we reach our minimum goal of $20,000 we will have enough funds to get it professionally edited and then marketed for sale via amazon and other vendors. Hopefully we can also pick up a literary agent who can help us promote the book. Barring the unforeseen death of the author, the only major risk to completion is in terms of time.......worst case scenario is that the book is released a few months later than planned. We are confident we can deliver all other rewards by April. 2013

The Lightning Gun Project is a laser physics experiment with all the risks and challenges associated with cutting edge research. It may take several funding campaigns to get fully funded and even then there is no guarantee that we can successfully scale the experiment results up to kilowatt power levels. But even if we can't scale up the technology successfully we will have learnt a lot of physics along the way. The Lightning Gun project is a research program that focuses on developing only non-lethal and defensive weapons technologies that may actually save lives !

FAQ

  • YES - the concept of Laser Powered EMP is to deliver a small localized burst of EMP energy to a target several miles away. It is ideal for neutralizing fast airborne weapons that rely totally on advanced electronics to guide them.....in other words guided missiles and unmanned drones. It's main application is as an airborne missile countermeasure system to defend against the ever increasing threat of MANPADS (shoulder mounted missiles). Because the area of EMP effect is highly localized it is not very useful for neutralizing larger manned aircraft equipped with multiple redundant systems and pilot control. It is 100% harmless to humans but could in principle be used to cause discomfort for applications such as riot control. However the technology is deemed too expensive and the effect too localized for riot control applications. The driving principle behind LEMP technology is to make both commercial and military aircraft safe from missile attack.

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    GEEKS PACKAGE - Signed Limited Edition print of Scientific Paper "Proposal for a Laser Powered EMP Weapon", Dragon T-shirt, Lightning T-shirt, Lightning Polo & Hoodie, Baseball Cap (specify colours and size for all clothing), Coffee Cup, iPAD cover, 4GB USB drive, Computer Backpack, 4 glossy posters, bound hardback version of Dragon Empire (signed by the author), paperback copy of the book, plus acknowledgment of your contribution at the back of the book, plus the e-book

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    CHARACTER PACKAGE - everything in the Geeks package plus you (or someone you choose) will be written into the novel as a cameo character (subject to editorial approval of your proposed name). A piece of science fiction immortality for you or a friend ....just like Sasha Wolfe !

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Funding period

- (28 days)