ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA - November 17, 2008 – Scientists from the Office of Naval Research (ONR) are on hand at the Eleventh Annual Directed Energy Symposium (www.deps.org/DEPSpages/DEsymp08.html) held in Honolulu, Hawaii November 17-21. The annual symposium brings together leading scientists in the field for S&T collaboration. ONR’s delegation represents several experts in Directed Energy including fiber lasers, high power microwaves, maritime weapons of mass destruction and the innovative Free Electron Laser (FEL).
ONR is investing nearly $25 million in the FEL program during fiscal year 2009. The overall goal is to make revolutionary gains for the Navy that will transform ship defense. Eventually the technology is expected to equip U.S. ships with high depth-of-fire and speed-of-light delivery, seconds dwell time and a limitless magazine of munitions to allow a more powerful means for ship self-defense.
According to Quentin Saulter, ONR FEL program manager, “FEL is plugged into the Navy’s S&T focus areas of maritime domain awareness, ship self-defense, and power projection. These elements uphold the Navy’s overall Maritime Strategy to ensure freedom of maneuver, access and control at sea.”
The Navy’s future weapon system is heralded for the potential to be “game-changing.” FEL advancements at ONR underscore the organization as the place to go with new ideas for innovation and discovery and its ability to attract the best and brightest minds of scientific research.
FEL also boasts the prospective capability to offer layered ship defense and supports a wide range of missions. Other benefits of FEL include its ability to engage multiple targets at light speed, reduced dependency on explosive magazine, provide counter-surveillance at sea, flexible defense of the battle group, advanced maritime situational awareness and high-resolution imagery.
To learn more about ONR’s work in Directed Energy visit http://www.onr.navy.mil/sci_tech/35/.
The Office of Naval Research (ONR) manages science and technology research for the Navy and Marine Corps. ONR sponsors basic and applied research in oceanography, advanced materials, sensors, robotics, biomedical science and technology, electronics, surveillance, mathematics, manufacturing technology, information science, advanced combat systems, and technologies for ships, submarines, aircraft, ground vehicles—and much more. For information about ONR's programs, go to http://www.onr.navy.mil.