A reader recently sent me this article about a new system envisioned by engineers at BAE Systems. Here's a summary of how it might work, directly from the article:
Known as the Laser Developed Atmospheric Lens (LDAL) concept, it works by simulating naturally occurring phenomena to temporarily alter small parts of the Earth's atmosphere to create lens-like structures that magnify or alter the path of electromagnetic waves, including radio signals and light. According to BAE, a lens generated in this way could be used as a type of deflector shield to protect aircraft, land vehicles, troops, and ships from assault by future high-powered laser weapons (such as future versions of Lockheed-Martin's ADAM laser weapon system).
While, admittedly, it's still a long way from the gravitic shields depicted in the TFC Saga, you have to admit that it has some conceptual similarities ... and, furthermore, it's undeniably cool!