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.Air turbulence from the missile and the plane plus the earth’s gravity all affects the beam.
If confusing the enemy is required, he would use an RF signal to scramble the electronics – making the gages go squirrelly.
In the lab, we are working on both of these effects.
It was my first hint that “pulsed power and directed energy were where things we see in Star Trek came true.” In my senior year, that summer job and some of the people I met led to me staying on for graduate level degrees in the pulsed power specialty area of the department where we made big voltages and sometimes “big bangs”. I have learned more in the laboratory than in school by far.
Not just technically, but as a team player, team leader, and even in public speaking (I’ve been on Modern Marvels, Fox and Friends, and other shows) and the business end of things (cost, schedule, performance) that are needed for successful programs.
So, how did I end up working as a civilian engineer and program manager for the Air Force in such a fascinating field as Directed Energy Weapons?
Well, my father has a Ph D in Electrical Engineering and was a junior college instructor and department chairman at a school in the Texas panhandle. which meant I was not exactly on track to be a ballerina (more like football player).
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.
Recently the 747 Air Borne Laser Test Bed shot down demonstrator missiles using a megawatt laser.