Air Force Research Laboratory
Directed Energy Directorate
Air Force Research Laboratory Directed Energy Directorate

As a part of the Air Force Research Laboratory, the DODís largest laboratory, the Directed Energy Directorate has a workforce of more than 800 people, an annual budget exceeding $300 million and 670,000 square feet of working space.

The directorate places great emphasis on integrating and transitioning research technologies into military systems used by operational commands and maintained by the laboratoryís parent organization, Air Force Materiel Command.

One of the laboratoryís ten directorates, Directed Energy is the Air Forceís center of expertise for the development of high-energy lasers and for getting those technologies to U.S. military forces. Included are semiconductor, gas, fiber, chemical and solid-state lasers.

Responsible for developing techniques and technologies to improve optical systems and then transition those systems to war-fighting commands, the directorate is also working on systems that will accurately place a beam of laser light on a target, such as an attacking missile. Some of this research is in support of the Airborne Laser, a laser-equipped Boeing 747 freighter aircraft capable of destroying missiles hundreds of miles away.
The directorate is the DOD center of excellence for high-power microwave technologies, managing all research and development in that area. This includes high-power microwave hardware and systems, as well as protections against an aggressorís microwave systems.

As a part of the directorate, the Starfire Optical Range, a world-class optical research facility, develops optical sensing, imaging and propagation technologies to support Air Force aerospace missions. Primary experiments consist of using adaptive optics to perform real-time compensation for aberrations induced by the atmosphere. In addition, the range conducts research in space object imaging, advanced tracking, nonlinear optics and atmospheric physics.

The directorate also has the Air Forceís Advanced Electro-Optical System, the largest telescope in DOD, located atop the 10,000-foot-high volcanic mountain Haleakala on Maui, Hawaii. The systemís space surveillance contributing sensor supports the U.S. Space Commandís Space Object Identification Statement of Need. It supports military and environmental missions and astronomy experiments of universities and other agencies.


See Also: 
Starfire Optical Range
Air Forceís Advanced Electro-Optical System

Kirtland AFB, AFRL Directed Energy Directorate 

Directed Energy Directorate:

The Air Force Research Laboratoryís Directed Energy Directorate develops high-energy lasers, high-power microwaves, and other directed energy technologies for the United States Air Force and the Department of Defense . The Directorate is also involved with advanced optics and imaging technologies to improve the nationís ability to precisely project these directed energies at the speed of light anywhere, at any time and with graduated intensity.

Space Vehicles Directorate:

The Air Force Research Laboratory's Space Vehicles Directorate utilizes the assets and personnel of the former Phillips' Space Technology, Space Experiments, and Geophysics Directorates, as well as part of Phillips' Lasers and Imaging Directorate now called the Directed Energy Directorate, also located at Kirtland Air Force Base. The Space Vehicles Directorate is comprised of a talented and dedicated team of 941 military, federal, and contract employees, and has an annual budget of approximately $378 million.


Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL)

Air Force Research Laboratory:

AFRL is the Air Force's only organization wholly dedicated to leading the discovery, development, and integration of warfighting technologies for our air, space and cyberspace forces.

AFRL traces its roots back to the vision of early airpower leaders who understood science as the key to air supremacy. The passionate commitment of our people to realize this vision has helped create the world's best air, space and cyberspace force.

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