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Air Force, Ionatron to Research Lasers

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KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M., Jan. 14 -- The Air Force Research Laboratory's Directed Energy Directorate here and Ionatron Inc., of Tuscon, Ariz., announced today they have signed a joint agreement for research on ultrashort, ultrahigh-intensity lasers to produce ionized optical plasma particles in the atmosphere.

These particles, or filaments, act as a short circuit, or conduction path, to route energy in a particular direction. The lasers are extremely short pulse-width energy beams with pulse widths of less than a trillionth of a second, and with a pulsed peak power output equivalent to the entire world's power grid capacity.

The Air Force said it expects the research to establish the viability of developing laser-induced plasma channel technology to produce highly directional radio frequency energy. The energy could be used as highly directional energy to aid radio frequency transmission and to direct other electrical energies.

The joint research will employ leading researchers to demonstrate the feasibility of such a technology, the Air Force said.

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Jan 2004
Directed Energy DirectorateIonatronionized optical plasma particlesNews & FeaturesThe Air Force Research Laboratorylasers

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