Directed Energy Systems Symposium
2-5 April 2012 Gaithersburg, Maryland

The Directed Energy (DE) Systems Symposium focuses on systems aspects of DE in a limited-attendance environment. The Seventh Annual DE Systems Symposium consisted of co-located technical sessions organized by five separate conferences, with joint technical and plenary sessions to encourage discussion outside narrow technical limits. The objective of this yearís symposium was to provide a forum for the interchange of ideas and to focus on near term demonstrations of DE technology. Previous Symposia have been held in Monterey, CA.

View of Washingtonian Waterfront in Gaithersburg
Source: Wikimedia Commons (see reuse liscense)

Portions of the Symposium were conducted at the Secret level, and attendance at all sessions was limited to U.S. citizens, with security clearances, who are employees of the U.S. Government or its contractors.

Symposium Highlights

  • Counter Directed Energy Weapons Conference
  • Directed Energy Modeling and Simulation Conference
  • Employment of Directed Energy Weapons Conference
  • High Energy Laser Lethality Conference
  • RF Directed Energy Weapons Workshop
  • Invited speakers
  • Technical presentations
  • Directed Energy Acquisition Challenges/Solutions Roundtable
  • Short courses
  • Technical Exhibits from Industry, Government, and Academia
  • Tour of NIST facility
  • Evening Reception at the historic Gaithersburg Museum and Train Station


The technical program is available here in PDF format (401Kb) for download. Changes to the program did occur.

Directed Energy Acquisition Challenges/Solutions Roundtable

This roundtable was a unique opportunity to discuss the challenges the DE community faces in getting DE technology integrated into the weapons systems available to our warfighters. It was open forum, with no formal presentations made, allowing for maximum discussion time. It was opportunity for participants as well as some subject matter experts to discuss a wide range of topics. Topics included: Requirements, Funding, Political Support, Legal Issues, Training and any other topic of interest to the participants. The entire session was dedicated to discussion. It was a closed, but unclassified environment, in other words a "non-attribution" environment. All were invited to attend and participate.


Available for the first time, two of our unclassified, public release short courses, The Road to Fielding DE Systems by Bill Decker and Laser Propagation by Boris P. Venet & Robert Praus, were offered by webcast. Webcasting was be synchronous, that is, available only in real time. A means for asking questions of the instructor was available. The courses provided 0.35 CEU each.

Tour of NIST facility

Two tours of the NIST facility were scheduled for Thursday lunch time, 1200 and 1245. The tours were 45 min in length and limited to 25 people per tour.

Location and Accommodations

Administrative Building, NIST Gathersburg
Copyright © Robert Rathe

Sessions of the Symposium were held at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and at the Hilton Gaithersburg.


Registration is no longer possible for this event.

Persons requesting cancellation through 5 March will receive a full refund. Cancellations after 5 March are subject to a $100 cancellation fee. No refunds will be given after 27 March. are provided below.


The conferences of the Seventh Annual DE Systems Symposium will publish all presentations (and papers) that have been properly released by a sponsoring government agency and have proper classification markings. See our Online Store for proceedings from previous Systems Symposia.

Symposium Contacts

Symposium Co-Chairs:    
Bill Decker
Mal O'Neill
Symposium Program Coordinator    
David Loomis (303) 898-3747
Counter Directed Energy Weapons Conference    
David Schafer (505) 853-6083
Directed Energy Modeling and Simulation Conference    
Nicholas Morley (505) 846-0805
Benjamin Call (760) 939-2015
Dwight Smith (505) 853-6758
Employment of Directed Energy Weapons Conference    
John Hartke (845) 938-8611
Kraig Sheetz (845) 938-7915
High Energy Laser Lethality Conference    
Robert Roybal (505) 846-9368
Robert Ulibarri (505) 846-3282
RF Directed Energy Weapon Workshop    
Diana Loree (505) 846-5261
Mike Haworth (505) 845-3636
Symposium Coordinator/Short Courses    
Cynnamon Spain (505) 998-4910
Security Coordinator    
Rhonda Peyton (505) 338-2856
Registration, Payments, and Receipts    
Tiffany Bjelke (505) 998-4910

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Last updated: 14 April 2012