From Halopedia, the Halo wiki
Charging columns are a component of the Ark. They emit a beam and provide energy for a given target. During the Second Ark Conflict, the Banished leader Colony attempted to use charging columns to power up a Despair-class fighter for launch. The columns were attacked by United Nations Space Command forces of UNSC Spirit of Fire, using Colossus walkers to disable the columns and buy time to stop the fighter launch..
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