The Directed Energy Newsletter

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Lasers: Ten Million Degrees in 20 Femptoseconds
(posted: 18 November 2015)

Theoretical physicists from Imperial College London have devised an extremely rapid heating mechanism that they believe could heat certain materials to ten million degrees in 20 femptoseconds. The method could be relevant to new avenues of research in thermonuclear fusion energy. More.

Santa Fe Memorial Scheduled for DEPS Director Emeritus Ed Pogue
(posted: 11 November 2015)

A memorial has been scheduled for Ed Pogue for 4 pm on Monday, 23 November at the La Fonda Hotel in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Ed was a stalwart of our DE community and an emeritus member of the DEPS Board of Directors. More.

Companies Tout Weaponry To Destroy, Disrupt Small Drones
(posted: 5 November 2015)

With the proliferation of small commercial drones posing a new threat to military and civilian targets, several defense firms are selling counter unmanned aerial system capabilities, from lasers to point-and-shoot devices. Systems developed by DEPS Platinum Sponsors Battelle, Boeing, and Lockheed Martin are featured in this article. More.

Army Advertises for Directed Energy Physicist in Huntsville, Alabama
(posted: 5 November 2015)

U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/U. S. Army Forces Strategic Command is advertising for a physicist whose duties will include serving as a recognized authority on specialized, highly-complex physics related devices, systems and hardware applications covering the broad area of Directed Energy. Applicants are limited to Federal employees (not a straightforward phrase-check the Web page for details). More.

Northrop Grumman to Build New Shipboard Laser Weapon
(posted: 28 October 2015)

Officials of the Office of Naval Research announced a $53.2 million contract to the Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems segment in Redondo Beach, Calif., for the initial phase of the Solid State High Power Laser Weapon System Demonstrator (LWSD) program. LWSD seeks to produce a laser weapon prototype that builds on technologies developed for the Navy's AN/SEQ-3(XN-1) Laser Weapon System (LaWS). Northrop Grumman is a DEPS Platinum Sponsor. More.

$24B Worldwide Directed Energy Weapons Market by 2020
(posted: 27 October 2015)

An analysis has been published that values the worldwide Directed Energy weapons market at $6.70 Billion in 2015 and projects it to reach $24.31 Billion by 2020. Emerging markets including nations such as Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Turkey as well as India and China have become attractive locations for companies in the development of directed energy weapons. More.

Guy Creates Handheld Railgun with a 3D-Printer
(posted: 20 October 2015)

YouTube user "Xtamared" built a partly 3D-printed railgun that can fire aluminum or graphite projectiles at over 250 meters per second (560 mph). The "handheld" weapon houses six capacitors that weigh 20 pounds and deliver over 3,000 kilojoules of energy per shot. More.

Lockheed Martin Prototype Turret Expands Laser Performance at Jet Speeds
(posted: 15 October 2015)

Lockheed Martin has developed a prototype laser turret that paves the way for laser weapon systems on tactical aircraft. The Aero-adaptive Aero-optic Beam Control turret is the first ever to demonstrate a 360-degree field of regard for laser weapon systems on an aircraft flying near the speed of sound. More.

Army Space and Strategic Defense Command Advertises Senior Optics Position
(posted: 15 October 2015)

U.S. Army Space and Strategic Defense Command is seeking a physicist who will have responsibility for assigned projects involving the development of optical sensor technology for advanced ballistic missile defense systems and performing studies and investigations in assigned technology areas such as optical signature codes design and development, signal processing, nuclear hardening, calibration, and testing. The position is in Huntsville, Alabama. More.

Lockheed Considering Laser Weapon Concepts for F-35
(posted: 6 October 2015)

Lockheed Martin’s F-35 has not yet seen combat, but already the defense manufacturer is exploring “concepts” for installing and employing a high-power fibre laser weapon on the new-generation combat jet for shooting down missiles and other airborne threats. Lockheed Martin is a DEPS Platinum Sponsor. More.

AFRL/DE Director David Hardy Departs for Washington Assignment
(posted: 6 October 2015)

Air Force Research Laboratory Directed Energy Directorate Director David A. Hardy is leaving his post at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico to take over as assistant deputy undersecretary of the Air Force for space. More.

DEPS Director Emeritus Ed Pogue Passes
(posted: 5 October 2015)

The Directed Energy Professional Society is sad to announce the passing of Ed Pogue, after a brief illness. Ed was a stalwart of our DE community, and an emeritus member of the DEPS Board of Directors. More.

French Naval Delegation Visits NSWC Dahlgren
(posted: 30 September 2015)

French military officials received briefings on Navy technical programs including directed energy while touring Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division. French Rear Admiral Jean-Philippe Chaineau, Deputy Chief of Naval Staff Plans and Programs, and French Rear Admiral Christian Dugué, Naval Technical Director for the Defense Procurement Agency, led the delegation. More.

Drones Armed With High Energy Lasers May Arrive In 2017
(posted: 24 September 2015)

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., or GA-ASI, is undertaking a privately funded study to integrate a 150-kilowatt solid-state laser onto its Avenger (née Predator-C) drone. If the company succeeds, a drone with a high-energy laser will be a reality at some point in 2017, company executives said. GA-ASI is a DEPS Gold Sponsor. More.

USAF to Field Laser Weapons by 2020
(posted: 17 September 2015)

The U.S. Air Force is on course to field a podded, tactical laser on the AC-130W by 2020, and eventually the fighter community will get a laser weapon as well. Speaking at the Air Force Association Air and Space Conference, Air Force Special Operational Command chief, Lt. Gen. Bradley Heithold, said the laser will generate power greater than 120kw and is meant for destroying ground targets, not humans. More.

Rheinmetall Shows Off Naval Laser Mount
(posted: 16 September 2015)

Rheinmetall displayed its latest high energy laser configuration at DSEI 2015, with five 20 kW-class laser beam forming units fitted to an MLG27 light naval gun mount. Dr Markus Jung, Rheinmetall's vice-president for directed energy, told IHS Jane's that the system is a Technology Readiness Level 7 demonstrator and confirmed that the company is conducting a programme of over-water firing trials. More.

Royal Navy Aims to Put Laser Weapon on Ships by 2020
(posted: 15 September 2015)

The Royal Navy hopes to develop a ship-mounted “death ray” laser cannon by 2020, the first sea lord, Admiral Sir George Zambellas, has announced at one of the world’s biggest arms fairs. This year the Ministry of Defence said it had instructed its development arm, the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL), to look at building a prototype. More.

General Atomics Advertises Senior Laser Positions
(posted: 2 September 2015)

General Atomics is advertising three senior laser positions in San Diego: SR Laser Weapon System Chief Engineer, SR Laser Scientist, and Sr Laser Weapon System Architect. The position codes for the respective positions are 6153BR, 5835BR and 6247BR. General Atomics is a DEPS Gold Sponsor. More.

Peter Morrison Honored for Laser Weapon System
(posted: 26 August 2015)

The annual “Sammie” awards, handed out in the fall by the Partnership for Public Service, honor federal employees for their accomplishments. Finalists include Peter Morrison, a program officer with the Office of Naval Research, who led the laser weapons system project, which provides the Navy with new technology to shoot down unmanned aerial vehicles, detonate shipboard ordnance and disable small attack boats. More.

China Joins the Laser Arms Race
(posted: 24 August 2015)

Lasers and other directed energy weapons are all the rage in D.C., with a U.S. general recently declaring at a conference dedicated to the topic that "Directed energy brings the dawn of an entirely new era in defense." Lasers are a crucial part of long-term plans to defeat the threat of higher numbers of Chinese anti-ship missiles. But just like in other areas of technology, China does not plan on being easily "offset." More.

SMDC Turns to Lockheed for Laser Alternative
(posted: 17 August 2015)

The Army is entering a new Cooperative Research & Development Agreement for a laser weapon with defense titan Lockheed Martin, Lt. Gen. David Mann, the head of Space & Missile Defense Command, said today. The Lockheed agreement, not yet formally announced, will lead up to a live-fire test against drones and mortar rounds at White Sands Missile Range next summer. More.

Graduate Directed Energy Scholars Announced for 2015-2016
(posted: 13 August 2015)

The graduate students listed below have been selected to receive Graduate Directed Energy Scholarships for 2015-2016. Funding for these scholarships is made available by a grant from the High Energy Laser Joint Technology Office and by DEPS.

  • Joshua Bradford, University of Central Florida
  • Andrew Brown, University of Minnesota
  • Lee Burchett, Air Force Institute of Technology
  • Christopher Dunn, Clemson University
  • Steven Exelby, University of Michigan
  • Evan Hale, University of Central Florida
  • Matthew Kemnetz, Notre Dame University
  • Jeffrey Kraczek, University of Dayton
  • Tyler Rowe, University of Wisconsin
  • Fred Seng, Brigham Young University
  • Alex Sincore, University of Central Florida
  • Michael Steinbock, Air Force Institute of Technology
  • Bradley Thompson, University of Illinois

Electric Fires Range Environmental Assessment Approved at Fort Sill
(posted: 7 August 2015)

The Army’s Fires Center of Excellence and Fort Sill approved the Electric Fires Range Environmental Assessment which concluded with a “Finding of No Significant Impact” when conducting demonstrations of Electric Fires systems (e.g. laser, microwave, and railguns technologies), meaning there will be no significant impact to the environment on Fort Sill or the surrounding areas. This will pave the way for future demonstrations of these technologies to be held on Fort Sill. More.

US Special Forces Pursuing AC-130-based ‘Active Denial System’
(posted: 4 August 2015)

US Air Force Special Operations Command’s plan to mount an airborne laser and active denial system onto its new AC-130J Ghostrider gunship is maturing and has the strong support of the scientific community within the flying branch. AFSOC chief Lt Gen Bradley Heithold outlined his “five-year plan” to install directed energy weapons on several Block 60 Ghostriders. More.

Adversaries Showing Interest in Directed Energy
(posted: 3 August 2015)

The Navy has already seen potential adversaries using directed energy against the fleet and therefore needs to push forward with its DE weapons development faster than the acquisition system has previously allowed, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said. Speaking at the Directed Energy Summit, hosted by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments and Booz Allen Hamilton, the Navy Secretary made clear his service is not the only one pursuing directed energy weapons. More.

The Laser Revolution: This Time It May Be Real
(posted: 30 July 2015)

Laser projects have overpromised and underdelivered for decades, from Reagan’s Star Wars in the eighties to the Airborne Laser, canceled in 2011. Now proponents must convince the skeptics — particularly in Congress — that this time is different. A report from the 28 July Directed Energy Summit, sponsored by CSBA and Booz Allen Hamilton. More.

Weyl Point Observed - Could Lead to New Kinds of High Power Lasers
(posted: 22 July 2015)

The Weyl point has finally been confirmed by direct observation for the first time, says an international team of physicists led by researchers at MIT. The finding could lead to new kinds of high-power single-mode lasers and other optical devices, the team says. More.

Directed Energy Weapons: Will They Ever Be Ready?
(posted: 20 July 2015)

The trials of the Navy’s laser weapon system (LaWS) were hailed as a success. But despite promising test results and decades of research and development, it could be many more years before the military is ready to bring directed energy weapons into the mainstream. More.

Effort to Emphasize Conference Utility to Federal Policymakers Needs Your Help
(posted: 14 July 2015)

DEPS is collaborating with AIAA and AAAS to ask for your help in urging federal policymakers to recognize the importance of conferences and collaboration to the progress of science and technology. Please take a moment to make a submission highlighting the importance of conference participation to a healthy scientific and technical community. More.

Directed Energy Summit Initiated on 28 July in McLean, Virginia
(posted: 9 July 2015)

Booz Allen Hamilton (a DEPS Platinum Sponsor) and the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments are offering the Directed Energy Summit on 28 July 2015 in McLean, Virginia. The Deputy Secretary of Defense, Robert O. Work, has committed to deliver the keynote luncheon speech for the Department of Defense (DoD), Secretary Ray Mabus for the Navy, and Gen. Herbert J. "Hawk" Carlisle, Commander of Air Combat Command, for the Air Force. More.

Laser Weapon System Engineering Group Honored
(posted: 6 July 2015)

The U.S. Navy recently honored the Laser Weapon System (LaWS) Engineering Group of Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren. Named individuals include Joseph Barrasse, Ronald J. Flatley, Theresa Gennaro, David McCormick, David Newton, Melissa Olson, Dr. Robert Pawlak, Lt. Cmdr. Michael Putnam, Gunendran Sivapragasam and David Sullin. More.

MBDA Germany Develops Laser Weapon to Attack Mini-UAVs
(posted: 23 June 2015)

The growing use of mini-UAVs for intrusive surveillance has spurred MBDA Germany to develop a 40-kllowatt laser technology demonstrator it claims can knock out a small drone at three kilometers. More.

NAVSEA Advertises for Directed Energy Subject Matter Expert
(posted: 16 June 2015)

Naval Sea Systems Command is advertising for a Directed Energy subject matter expert, who will organize and direct multi-disciplinary technical efforts for major Navy program assignments that require the application of scientific and systems engineering theories, concepts and principles to validate and accomplish critical engineering advancements and solutions to naval capabilities. The application period closes on Friday, 19 June. More.

Successful 2015 DE2DC Event Summarized
(posted: 8 June 2015)

The fourth annual DE2DC 2015 educational outreach event was held in Washington, DC, on Capitol Hill and at the Pentagon from 28-30 April 2015. As a result of educating decision makers and warfighters through the educational efforts of the outreach campaign and the annual educational DE2DC event, informed decisions are being made in regards to DE. More.

HELLADS Laser Achieves Acceptance for Field Testing
(posted: 27 May 2015)

DARPA’s High-Energy Liquid Laser Area Defense System (HELLADS) has demonstrated sufficient laser power and beam quality to advance to a series of field tests. The achievement of government acceptance for field trials marks the end of the program’s laboratory development phase and the beginning of a new and challenging set of tests against rockets, mortars, vehicles and surrogate surface-to-air missiles at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico More.

Schafer Advertises Senior Systems Engineer Position in Albuquerque
(posted: 26 May 2015)

Schafer Corporation is advertising for a Senior Systems Engineer to perform end-to-end analysis of the Advanced Beam Control for Locating and Engagement (ABLE) program supporting the systems engineering process for the High Energy Laser Joint Technology Office (HEL-JTO). The position is located in Albuquerque, New Mexico. More.

USAF Plans 100-kW Laser Weapon for Fighters
(posted: 20 May 2015)

The U.S. Air Force wants to fire a 100-plus-kilowatt laser from a fighter, according to Morley Stone, the Air Force Research Laboratory’s chief technology officer, speaking at “DoD Lab Day” in the Pentagon courtyard. More.

Congress Urges U.S. Navy on Lasers, Rail Guns
(posted: 5 May 2015)

The House Armed Services Committee has passed its draft of the annual defense policy bill, including a provision that “directs the Secretary of the Navy to develop a plan for fielding electric weapon systems” — meaning both lasers and rail guns — “and to provide a briefing on the results of this plan to the House Committee on Armed Services by March 1, 2016.” The Navy is accelerating its efforts to move both lasers and rail guns from the test phase into the fleet. More.

Directed Energy for Planetary Defense
(posted: 4 May 2015)

The University of California Santa Barbara Experimental Cosmology Group has proposed a space-based high energy laser system called DE-STAR to evaporate or deflect earth-threatening asteroids and comets, among other potential missions. More.

2015 Laser Safety Guide Available
(posted: 4 May 2015)

The Laser Safety Guide is a tool for all laser personnel, outlining potential hazards for all types of lasers and providing easy to understand guidelines for controlling laser hazards. The new twelfth edition of the Guide has been completely updated to incorporate the major changes from the recently revised ANSI Z136.1 Safe Use of Lasers standard. More.

Space-Based Laser Idea Returns as Orbital Debris Cleaner
(posted: 20 April 2015)

Space trash is a growing problem as more and more debris is released into our Earth's orbit. Now, scientists have put forward a blueprint for a purely space-based laser system to solve the issue. More.

Hammett, Schriempf Named to Board of Scientific and Engineering Advisors
(posted: 15 April 2015)

Kelly Hammett and Tom Schriempf have been named by the DEPS Board to serve three-year terms on the Board of Scientific and Engineering Advisors. Executive Director Mark Neice has expressed the gratitute of the society to out-going BSEA members Bill Baker and Louis Marquet for their service. More.

Directed Energy Weapons Report Published by Center for a New American Security
(posted: 9 April 2015)

Visiting Senior Fellow Dr. Jason Ellis examines the value of directed energy weapons and makes a series of recommendations for how the U.S. can invest in a cost-effective and time-efficient manner to further mature this important technology. The report is a project of the CNAS 20YY Warfare Initiative, led by 20YY Warfare Initiative Director Paul Scharre. More.

HEL Joint Technology Office News Bulletin Posted
(posted: 7 April 2015)

The High Energy Laser Joint Technology Office News Bulletin for April, 2015 has been posted. This newsletter includes a status report on HEL JTO initiatives including the advanced beam control for locating and engagement (ABLE) initiative. The newsletter also covers current HEL JTO endeavors with the International community. More.

David Titterton Publishes Book "Military Laser Technology and Systems"
(posted: 5 April 2015)

David Titterton's book "Military Laser Technology and Systems" has been published by Artech House. Dr. Titterton, visiting professor of military electronic and systems engineering at Cranfield University, is a long-term DEPS member. More.

Kelly Hammett Named New DEPS Fellow
(posted: 25 March 2015)

Kelly Hammett was invested as a DEPS Fellow on 2 March 2015 at the Annual Directed Energy Symposium in Anaheim, California. He was cited for outstanding leadership and technical contributions in the development, integration, and test of the Airborne Laser and other significant work. More.

Horkovich, Maloney, Ross, Schall Elected New DEPS Officers
(posted: 4 March 2015)

James Horkovich was elected DEPS President at the DEPS Board of Directors meeting on 3 March. The other officers elected were Vice President Jeff Maloney, Secretary Sean Ross and Treasurer Harold Schall. These officers will serve until the next Annual Directed Energy Symposium. More.

Lockheed Martin ATHENA System Stops Truck
(posted: 3 March 2015)

Lockheed Martin’s 30-kilowatt fiber laser weapon system successfully disabled the engine of a small truck during a recent field test. Known as ATHENA, for Advanced Test High Energy Asset, the ground-based prototype system burned through the engine manifold in a matter of seconds from more than a mile away. More.

High Energy Lasers: New Advances in Defense Applications
(posted: 20 February 2015)

Directed-energy weapons systems could provide efficient, cost-effective countermeasures in an age of drones and other airborne threats. Recent scientific and engineering breakthroughs are bringing these systems closer to deployment. More.

Online Journal of Directed Energy Launched
(posted: 19 February 2015)

An online version of the Journal of Directed Energy has been launched. Currently, it contains papers that have completed the review and editing process, making them available as preprints well before the hardcopy issue is published. Later they will be included in online issues that will parallel the hardcopy Journal issues. A link to the Current Papers page is available at the bottom of the Publications box on the DEPS Welcome Page. More.

Global Military Laser Systems Market 2015-2019 Published
(posted: 17 February 2015)

Laser systems are widely used for military and defense purposes as rangefinders, illuminators, laser weapons, directed energy weapons, and infrared countermeasures. This report covers the present scenario and growth prospects of the Global Military Laser Systems market for the period 2015-2019. More.

U.K./U.S. Directed Energy Workshop Announced for June
(posted: 10 February 2015)

Progress in the development and application of high energy laser and high power RF directed energy weapon (DEW) technologies for military missions is explored in this Workshop, held on 15-19 June under bilateral exchange agreements between the U.S. and U.K. governments. The Workshop Committee is seeking contributions. Abstracts are due by 30 March. More.

Chief of Naval Operations Praises Laser Weapons and Railgun
(posted: 4 February 2015)

The Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), Adm. Jonathan Greenert, today outlined the top science and technology objectives for the Navy and Marine Corps of the future, at the Naval Future Force Science and Technology (S&T) EXPO in Washington, D.C “Number one, you’ve got to get us off gunpowder,” said Greenert, noting that Office of Naval Research-supported weapon programs like Laser Weapon System (LaWS) and the Electromagnetic Railgun are vital to the future force. More.

Laser Pioneer Charles Townes Dies
(posted: 31 January 2015)

The US physicist Charles Townes, who shared the 1964 Nobel Prize for Physics for his work that led to the development of the laser, has died at the age of 99. Townes played an integral part in the race to make the first laser by developing its forerunner – the "maser" – which could produce and amplify electromagnetic radiation in the microwave region of the spectrum. More.

Motes Publishes "Laser Beam Combining Methods"
(posted: 28 January 2015)

Andrew Motes has published "Laser Beam Combining Methods", the sixth and most recent in his laser book series. Motes' books are listed on the Member Books page, a listing available for all directed energy books published by DEPS Members. More.

Ball Aerospace Advertises Laser Positions
(posted: 28 January 2015)

Ball Aerospace is advertising laser positions in Albuquerque. Position titles include Senior Laser Research Engineer, Project Engineer I - Thermal, and Project Engineer II - HEL Technology. More More and More.

Turkey Successfully Tests Laser Weapon
(posted: 26 January 2015)

Turkish defense industry engineers successfully tested the first prototype of the High Power Laser Weapons System similar to the U.S.-developed Laser Weapon System, according to a Turkish daily last Monday. More.

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