This program is our Counter-Electronics HPM Advanced Missile Project or CHAMP for short.(We love acronyms in the military.) The purpose of my talk is to help you know the difference between fact and fiction in today’s capabilities of directed energy technology.Directed energy weapons offer speed-of-light delivery – 800 times faster than sound.When Star Trek’s Captain Kirk pulled the trigger on his Phaser ray gun, the effect was instantaneous, as is our lab’s PHa SR laser gun.
As kids, we had loads of punch cards we played with (not that we knew what they were), could sort resistors (dad needed the help), and marveled at the 3D maze game that we could download from a cassette tape and play at home on dad’s Timex Sinclair computer.
Our education on directed energy capabilities comes from these and other science fiction novels with their heroes and villains using lasers, radio frequency (RF), and electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weapons systems to win the battle.
Fans from around the world recognize the formidable “whoosh” of Star Wars’ laser swords.
This directorate is the Air Force’s center of expertise in technologies for high energy lasers, high power microwaves, high power millimeter waves, and advanced optics.
I started here in 1993 as a field engineer working on radio frequency transmitters and field diagnostics.