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This week in Edwards flight test history

EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --

On March 15, 2007, the YAL-1 Airborne Laser conducted the first in-flight test firings of its Target Illuminator Laser. Multiple beams of photons were directed against an NKC-135E Big Crow target aircraft off the California coastline. The kilowatt-class TIL tracks a potential target and measures atmospheric turbulence for the YAL-1’s main weapon, the megawatt-class chemical oxygen iodine laser.