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Air Force Research Lab, University Partner to Establish Directed Energy Research Center; Kelly Hammett

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The Air Force Research Laboratory and the University of New Mexico will collaborate on a congressionally funded project to establish a research center that will focus on exploring fiber lasers and other high-power technology.

AFRL said the partnership expects the future Directed Energy Center at UNM’s Science and Technology Park to commence operations by 2025.

“One of the important aspects of using DE weapons systems is that they are much less costly than traditional kinetic systems and result in less collateral damage,” said Kelly Hammett, director of AFRL’s directed energy directorate.

Edl Schamiloglu, professor in the university’s electrical and computer engineering department, will assume leadership of the center and his fellow professor Ganesh Balakrishnan will become the hub’s associate director.

Both academic professionals serve as principal investigators on a four-year, $2.4 million cooperative agreement between AFRL and UNM.