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Battle lasers

accelerated to higher energies in efficient, highly cost-effective accelerators in order to probe deep inside an atom's nucleus. The savings achieved by the Lab's superconducting electron-accelerating technology permit the FELs to remain on 100 percent of the time instead of only one or two percent. The FEL also can recycle more than 90 percent of the energy that is not converted to useful light in a single pass.

"The original one-kilowatt FEL exceeded the Navy's goals and expectations," says ONR project manager, Gil Graff. "No less is expected from the upgraded FEL. This is exciting."

ONR is teamed with the Air Force Research Lab and the Defense Department's Joint Technology Office to support the work of the Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility. The Jefferson Lab is managed for DoE by the Southeastern Universities Research Association, a consortium of universities in the Southeast.

The Navy's interest in this technology is the development and demonstration of an electrically driven tunable laser that can operate at infrared wavelengths (where light is most efficiently transmitted in the atmosphere) for potential applications in shipboard defense.

"What does that mean?" asks Graff. "Think USS Cole. Think what might have been done to prevent such an attack."


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Contact: Gail Cleere
cleereg@onr.navy.mil
703-696-4987
Office of Naval Research
31-Jul-2003


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