2008 Directed Energy Symposium Short Courses
17 November 2008 Honolulu, Hawaii

These short courses were offered in conjunction with the Eleventh Annual Directed Energy Symposium, held 18-21 November 2008 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Continuing Education Unit (CEU) credits were awarded upon successful completion of these DEPS short courses.

Course 1.  Introduction to High Energy Laser Systems

Classification: Unclassified

Instructor: John Albertine, Consultant

Duration: Half-day course, starts at 0800

CEUs awarded: 0.35

Course Description: This lecture will introduce the field of HEL weapons and their associated technologies using an interweaving of technical requirements, history, and accomplishments. The basic attributes of HEL weapons will be covered, leading into discussions of laser-material interaction, lethality, potential weapon applications, system requirements, laser power scaling, propagation, and beam control. DoD interest in tactical applications, current technical issues, and areas of research emphasis will be highlighted.

Intended Audience: This course is geared to those with a technical background who seek an overview of HEL technology and the current state of the art. Individuals who are beginning to work in the field or technical managers who wish an integrated overview would benefit from the class.

Instructor Biography: Mr. Albertine has his B.S. and M.S. in Physics from Rose Polytechnic Institute and Johns Hopkins University respectively. Prior to working for the Navy, he was a senior staff physicist in the Space Division of The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. From 1976 through 1997, he worked in the Navy's High Energy Laser (HEL) Program Office, directing the Navy’s technology development for the last 15 years. During that time, he led the development and test of the first megawatt class HEL system in the free world. He retired from civil service in 1997 and now consults for OSD, the Air Force, ONR, the Navy HEL program office, and Penn State in the Directed Energy field. Mr. Albertine is a member of the Air Force Science Advisory Board and has served as Executive Vice President and a member of the Board of Directors of the Directed Energy Professional Society. Mr. Albertine is also a DEPS Fellow.

Course 2.  Introduction to High Power Microwave Systems

Classification: Unclassified

Instructor: Dr. Al Kehs, Army Research Laboratory

Duration: Half-day course, starts at 0800

CEUs awarded: 0.35

Course Description: This course will provide an introduction to RF Directed Energy weapons, also known as High Power Microwave (HPM) weapons. The course consists of four parts: 1) a general introduction to the basic terms and concepts, 2) a discussion of the varous types of effects that can be induced and how they are characterized, 3) the technologies that enable RF-DEW weaponization, and 4) hardening techniques and technologies.

At the end of the class, students will know what RF-DEWs are and how they differ from classical Electronic Warfare and nuclear EMP. Students will learn the various ways in which microwaves couple into a target (i.e., front door/back door, in-band/out-of-band) and some of the many sorts of effects that they can precipitate. Technology discussions will show the difference between narrow band (NB) and ultra-wide band (UWB) sources, antennas and diagnostics, as well as the principal elements of the power systems needed to support them. The course concludes with a discussion of hardening techniques and technologies.

Topics to be covered include:

  • Definitions, motivation, notional concepts
  • Effects on targets of interest
  • Technology - Sources, Antennas, Diagnostics, Power Conditioning and Power Sources
  • Hardening Technologies and Techniques

Intended Audience: Newcomers to the field of RF-DEW or managers with some background in science and engineering will benefit the most from this course.

Instructor Biography: R. Alan Kehs received the B.S. and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering and the M.S. and PhD degrees in Physics from the University of Maryland, College Park in 1970, 1973, 1984, and 1987 respectively. Dr. Kehs joined the Army's Harry Diamond laboratories in 1975 and his a recognized expert on the generation and use of intense relativistic electron beams for the production of high-power microwave radiation. Some of this major studies include the reflex diode as a source of both ion beams and High Power Microwaves (HPM) and the intense relativistic electron beam-driven backward wave oscillator as a source for HPM and as a pump for a free-electron laser.

Recent assignments include Chief of the Directed Energy Branch and Chief of the Nuclear and High Power Microwave Technology Office. Dr. Kehs currently serves as a senior scientist in the Directed Energy and Power Generation Division at the Army Research Laboratory and also serves as the Army principal on several Directed Energy-related panels including the TARA Technical Panel on Directed Energy Weapons and the tri-service HPM technology steering group. Dr. Kehs is a member of Eta Kappa Nu, Sigma Xi, the Old Crows, the American Physical Society, the Society for Scientific Exploration, a Senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and a member of the Board of Directors of the Directed Energy Professional Society.

Course 3.  Introduction to Laser Beam Quality

Classification: Unclassified

Instructor: Sean Ross, AFRL/DE

Duration: Half-day course, starts at 0800

CEUs awarded: 0.35

Course Description: This half day short course covers the general subject of high power laser beam quality. Topics covered include: definitions and applications of common measures of beam quality including Brightness, Power-in-the-bucket, M-squared, 'times diffraction limited', strehl ratio, beam parameter product etc. Special emphasis will be given to choosing an appropriate beam quality metric, tracing the metric to the application of the laser system and to various conceptual pitfalls which arise in this field. Material presented will come from general scientific literature as well as original work done by Dr. Ross and Dr. Pete Latham, both from the Air Force Research Laboratory Directed Energy Directorate.

Intended Audience: This course should benefit anyone with an interest in laser beam quality, including program managers, scientists, engineers, and military personnel who are not experts in the field.

Instructor Biography: Dr. Sean Ross has been with the Air Force Research Laboratory, Directed Energy Directorate, High Power Solid State Laser Branch since he received his PhD from the Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers (CREOL) in 1998. Research interests include nonlinear frequency conversion, high power solid state lasers, thermal management and laser beam quality. Beginning in 2000, frustration with commercial beam quality devices led to the work eventually presented in the Journal of Directed Energy, Vol. 2 No. 1 Summer 2006 "Appropriate Measures and Consistent Standard for High Energy Laser Beam Quality". This paper and its conference version (presented at the 2005 DEPS Symposium) have received awards from the Directed Energy Professional Society and the Directed Energy Directorate.

Course 4.  Introduction to Applications of HEL

Classification: Limited Participation

Instructor: Dr. J. Thomas Schriempf, PMS 405

Duration: Half-day course, starts at 0800

CEUs awarded: 0.35

Course Description:

Intended Audience:

Instructor Biography: Dr. J.T. Schriempf received his Ph.D. in Solid State Physics from Carnegie Mellon University. He has spent the bulk of his professional career in the study of the effects of lasers on materials, with a particular emphasis on applications. While at the Naval Research Laboratory he became a recognized authority within the Department of Defense in the application of very high power lasers as weapons. After some years in private industry, he joined the Applied Physics Laboratory of the Pennsylvania State University as a senior scientist and Department Head, progressing to Assistant Director, in charge of the High Energy Processing Division. Following that he was Director of Laser Technology and Operations at ARL’s Electro-Optics Center in Kittanning, PA, where he was very actively engaged in both management and research in the area of the applications of lasers to the solution of industrial problems. Presently he is on full-time assignment as Assistant Program Manager for Lethality in the Navy Directed energy and Electric Weapons Program Office in Washington, DC. He is presently a Senior Member and Member of the Board of the Laser Institute of America, a Fellow of the American Physical Society, a Fellow of DEPS, and a Member of the Board of DEPS. He has authored over seventy papers and reports on laser applications for both military and industrial purposes.

Course 5.  Program Manager's Survival Guide to Directed Energy Bioeffects

Classification: Secret

Duration:Half-day course, starts at 0800

CEUs awarded: 0.35

Course Description: An introductory overview of RF and laser bioeffects is presented. The discussion will focus on the hazards to eye and skin, and their relationship to various output parameters. How this information is used to develop safety standards and safety margins will be explored, as well as the difference between these. Topics will include: Measurement and Characterization of Damage Thresholds, Mechanisms of Damage, Exposure Limits and Their Interpretation, Analysis Tools for the Estimation of Hazards, Current DOD Regulations and Processes Relating to DEW Safety, Human Use research requirements.

Intended Audience: The course is intended for those involved in the development and fielding of DEW systems that would like to expand their knowledge of factors affecting DEW safety and/or DEW effects in biological systems. The material will require a working knowledge of typical DEW system parameters, but will not require an extensive background in mathematics, physics, biology, or engineering.

Course 6.  Free Electron Lasers

Classification: Unclassified

    -  Dr. Henry Freund, SAIC
    -  Dr. Stephen Milton, Argonne National Laboratory

Duration: Full-day course, starts at 0800

CEUs awarded: 0.7

Course Description and Topics: This course begins with an introduction to the theoretical aspects of the free-electron laser, starting from a simple physical description of how an FEL works and going on to provide a basis for the mathematical techniques used in the theory and simulation of FELs. The second half of the course focuses on the practical aspects of designing, building and operating free-electron laser systems. We begin by examining the generation of the electron beam and detailing the significant properties of the beam that will lead to efficient FEL operation. Electron beam transport, acceleration, and beam property tailoring through the accelerator system and FEL interaction region will next be explained and examined. Whether one bases the FEL on a oscillator, amplifier, or a combination of these two system configurations the interaction of the electron beam with the generated electromagnetic field is an essential feature of the FEL process. Many things come into play, the undulator and its tolerances, the optical cavity configuration (if using an oscillator), the stability of the various components including the electron beam, transport and relay optics, etc. We will describe and in some cases go into details of these various systems. Along the way we will provide anecdotal comments about the construction, acquisition, and operation of the equipment. Topics covered include:

  1. Introduction
    1. Basic elements of an FEL
    2. The resonance condition
    3. Phase trapping and the pendulum equation
    4. The saturation condition
  2. Linear Theory
    1. The low gain regime
    2. The exponential gain regime
    3. Thermal effects
    4. Tapered Wigglers
    5. Optical Guiding and Diffraction
    6. Three-dimensional effects
    7. Finite pulse length effects: slippage and lethargy
    8. Optical klystrons
  3. Simulation Techniques
    1. General principles
    2. The quasi-static approximation
    3. The slowly-varying amplitude approximation
    4. Polychromatic generalization
    5. The treatments of time-dependence
  4. Miscellaneous Concepts
    1. Oscillator modeling
    2. Wiggler Imperfections
    3. Multi-Wiggler systems and phase matching
    4. Harmonic generation
    5. Transverse coherence
    6. Parallelization
  1. Electron Sources and Guns
    1. Hermionic
    2. DC
    3. Radio Frequency
    4. Photocathode
  2. Electron Injection Systems
    1. Configurations
    2. Beam properties and control
  3. Beam Transport and Acceleration
    1. Beam transverse property control
    2. Acceleration
    3. Room temperature systems
    4. Superconducting systems
    5. Beam property tailoring
    6. Beam diagnostics
  4. Beam and EM Interaction System
    1. Undulators/Wigglers
    2. Oscillator configurations
    3. Amplifier Configuration
    4. Optics considerations
    5. Stability
  5. Other Considerations
    1. Size
    2. Power needs
    3. Shielding needs
Intended Audience: The course is tailored for students with an undergraduate degree (or higher) in science, physics, or engineering. The introduction will be at a basic level and may benefit managers who wish to get an introduction to FELs. The second half of the course is meant as an overview to the practical design, construction, and operation of various FELs. It is designed for a general audience that is interested in going beyond the theory of FELs and on to a practical understanding of these devices.

Instructor Biographies: Dr. Henry Freund is a Senior Research Physicist with SAIC where he has worked since 1979. He is an internationally recognized expert on FELs, and his work spans 25 years and includes investigation of orbital stability and spontaneous and stimulated emission of radiation. He has made important contributions to both linear theory and simulation for FELs. He has pioneered the development of non-wiggler-averaged simulations, and has re-ignited interest in harmonic emission from FELs with the description of nonlinear harmonic generation. He has collaborated with experimenters at a wide range of universities (MIT, Columbia, Univ. of Md.), government laboratories (Naval Research Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Jefferson Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory) and internationally, and has had a substantial impact on the design and interpretation of a wide range of free-electron laser experiments. In recognition of his contributions to these fields, he has been elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society. He has published more than 140 papers in refereed journals, made numerous contributions to books and published proceedings, and has published a widely used monograph on the subject of FELs. He serves on the program committee of the annual FEL conference and the Navy’s Technical Area Working Group on FELs. Dr. Freund has also worked in the field of traveling wave tubes (TWTs). His initial activity was devoted to helix TWTs in which he developed small signal field theories of helix TWTs. Building on his experience, he has developed a 2-1/2 dimensional, time-dependent, large signal simulation code called GATOR which is currently in use at a wide range of companies producing helix and coupled-cavity TWTs.

Stephen Milton received his Ph.D. in accelerator physics from Cornell University in 1989 where he studied electron-positron beam interactions in high-energy physics colliding beam machines. For the next two and one half years he work at the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland working on the design of B-factories, synchrotron light sources. medical accelerators, and free-electron lasers. He began work at the Advanced Photon Source (APS) at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) in 1992 and since then has been the 7-GeV injector synchrotron machine manager during its construction and commissioning, the APS Accelerator Physics Group Leader, and the Low-Energy Undulator Test Line Manager. In this last capacity he designed and oversaw the construction and commissioning of the first operational self-amplified spontaneous emission (SASE) free-electron laser to operate in the visible and ultraviolet wavelength region. For the last two and one half years he has been the ANL Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) Project Director where he is overseeing the design, construction, and eventual commissioning of the 130-m long LCLS x-ray FEL undulator system. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, an Adjunct Professor of Physics at Lund University, Lund Sweden, and a recipient of the IEEE Nuclear and Plasma Science Society Particle Accelerator Science and Technology Award for his work on SASE FELs.

Course 7.  Fiber Lasers

Classification: Unclassified

    -  Mike O'Connor, IPG
    -  William Torruellas, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab

Duration:Full-day course, starts at 0800

CEUs awarded: 0.35

Course Description: Fiber laser technology has the potential to make a significant impact in various defense applications, from LIDAR and remote sensing through to high energy laser weapons systems. This emerging laser technology offers many intrinsic advantages over traditional DPSSL, as highlighted by widespread publications in the research community demonstrating an impressive array of power scaling results, both CW and pulsed and at wavelengths from 1um to the eyesafe 1.5um and now 2um wavelengths. Obvious advantages associated with the technology are high wallplug efficiency leading to reduced electrical power requirements and easier system cooling, but also robustness, good beam quality and highly flexible system performance coupled with (remote) fiber delivery options make the technology unique in certain applications.

The topics to be covered include: an explanation of the basic fiber parameters, double-clad fiber designs and covering such concepts such as large mode area fibers, modal/beam quality, PM fibers etc.; rare earth doping and spectroscopy of Yb-1um, Yb:Er-1550 and Tm-2um; component specifications and availability (couplers, isolators, seed laser diodes etc); limitations to scaling fiber devices, non-linear limitations, damage thresholds, etc.; design rules and concepts for pulsed fiber lasers and amplifier chains, recent results from the literature; and system specifications and the possible application areas, comparison and advantages over other laser technologies.

This tutorial will cover the major aspects of designing and building a fiber laser, from the fiber itself through the various state of the art fiber components and discuss the system parameter space that best makes use of the intrinsic advantages of the technology.

This course will enable you to:

  • Understand the advantages fiber laser technology compared with other lasers and how the technlogy is best utilized in various system designs and applications
  • Identify the relevant architectures, components and fibers involved in designing a fiber laser and the know the steps involved in building one
  • Have an overview of the recent advances in fiber laser technology and an understanding of what the future technology roadmap looks like

Intended Audience: The tutorial is designed for researchers interested in investigating this application area but without the detailed knowledge of fibers and fiber based devices. Higher level managers and system designers/integrators will also be interested in the broad comparisons made between the fiber laser technology and current lasers and how this can impact future system designs.

Instructor Biographies: Michael O’Connor received his M.S. in Geophysics, and B.S. in Physics from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He has 12 years of experience in fiber optic and fiber laser development at Spectran Corp., Lucent, and most recently Nufern. He presently manages Applications Engineering for government applications at Nufern, with a focus on high power fiber lasers for directed energy. Michael is a US Army Special Forces veteran.

William E. Torruellas received his PhD from the Optical Sciences Center, University of Arizona in 1991. He is currently a member of the Senior professional staff at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. His work addresses the design of High-Energy-Lasers and their system development and field implementation for Directed-Energy-Weapon systems. He is also involved in active remote sensing evaluations. Previously he was Director of Fiber Optronics for Fibertek, focusing his work on double-cladding fiber amplifiers and transferring terrestrial WDM systems technology to the area of IR remote sensing and space based laser systems. Previous industry positions include Corvis and Raytheon; additionally, he was a senior research associate for CREOL and an assistant professor at Washington State University, where he helped establish an inter-departmental M.Sc in Opto-Electronics supported by the National Science Foundation. He has 51 refereed publications and 30 conference proceedings, one awarded patent, 55 invited talks, and 60 contributed oral presentations. He has been involved in the organization of conferences for SPIE and OSA, and has co-edited a book on nonlinear propagation.

Course 8.  Transitioning DE Technology to the Warfighter

Classification: Limited Participation

Instructor: Bill Decker, Defense Acquisition University

Duration: Half-day course, starts at 1300

CEUs awarded: 0.35

Course Description: The three DoD acquisition processes that must be followed to get a "program of record" established will be presented and discussed. The challenges of transitioning new (directed energy) technology will be addressed, along with lessons learned from other programs to help ensure success for DE programs.

Part of the short course will be a hands-on portion, where specific actions will be developed by the class members on topics such as political strategy, requirements development, involvement of the Warfighters, etc. The course outline follows.

  • Where are we today? Review of DE programs past and present to review lessons learned.
    • The three core systems that support DoD Acquisition
    • The Defense Acquisition System, including the impact of pending changes to DoD Instruction 5000.2
    • The Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System
    • The Planning, Programming, Budgeting and Execution System
  • The political environment in which these three systems operate
  • How non-DE programs are successful
  • Small group discussions/action plan development
    • Educating the Defense community
    • Coordinating the efforts of the DE community
    • Involving the Warfighters/working the JCIDS process
    • Learning from others’ successes
    • Developing political strategy - DE champions

Intended Audience: Program managers, industry and government leaders, scientists and engineers committed to having our Warfighters benefit from DE technology. The only prerequisite is interest and enthusiasm. Please bring a laptop if you have one.

Instructor Biography: Mr. Decker is currently a Professor of Systems Engineering at the Huntsville Campus of the Defense Acquisition University. His experience includes over 25 years in electro-optics with ten years experience in high energy laser systems, including THEL, ABL, ATL and HELLADS, all while employed by Brashear (a division of L-3 Communications) in Pittsburgh, PA. Mr. Decker holds a MS in Physics from the Naval Postgraduate School and a BS in Engineering from Cornell University.

Course 9.  RF Directed Energy Effects

Classification: Limited Participation

    -  John Tatum, ARL
    -  Pat Vail, AFRL/DE

Duration: Half-day course, starts at 1300

CEUs awarded: 0.35

Course Description: This course will provide a basic overview of Radio Frequency Directed Energy (RF DE) and its effects on electronic systems. The course will cover what RF DE is, how it is similar to but different from classic Electronic Warfare (EW) and Nuclear generated Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP), and how it penetrates targets systems and produces effects ranging from temporary interference to permanent damage. We will also discuss the statistical nature of RF coupling to electronics and effects and how effect levels are best described as a probability of effect or failure. Finally we will describe some RF effects models and how they can be used to estimate probability of target effect. Topics include:

  • RF DE Systems-Narrow Band and Wide Band RF
  • RF Propagation and Coupling
  • Effects on Electronic and Probability of Effect
  • Effects Investigation Methodology
  • RF Effects Models and Simulation

Intended Audience: The course is intended for anyone who wants to learn to the basics of RF DE and how it effects on electronics, Even though it does not require a bachelor's degree in science or engineering, it is meant for individual with some back ground in science or engineering and/or in technical program management.

Instructor Biographies: John T. Tatum is an electronics engineer with the Army Research Laboratory (ARL) in Adelphi, Md. He has a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland and has done graduate work in the areas of Radar and Communications. He is a senior level engineer in the Directed Energy Division where he directs and participates in RF effects investigations on military and commercial electronic systems. Mr. Tatum is a fellow of the Directed Energy Professional Society and currently the co chair of the RF DE sub group of the Joint Technical Coordinating Group on Munitions Effectiveness. He has published several papers on RF susceptibility assessment methodology, system effects investigations and effects data bases for both DoD and IEEE conferences. He can be contracted at (301) 394-3012 or DSN 290-3012.

Dr Vail is currently Product Line Leader for Counter Electronics at the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Directed Energy Directorate. He has worked in the HPM effects field since 1985. He has given several previous short courses on HPM effects. He has served as Acting Program Manger for the US Air Force HPM Program and Acting Chief of the HPM Division at AFRL/DE. He has served as Chairman of the National HPM Symposium. He was the first DEPS Fellow to be selected from the HPM community and has served on the DEPS Advisory Council.

Course 10.  Test and Evaluation of High Energy Lasers

Classification: Limited Participation

Instructor: Larry McKee, SAIC

Duration: Half-day course, starts at 1300

CEUs awarded: 0.35

Course Description: An introduction to fundamental considerations for the test and evaluation (T&E) of High Energy Laser (HEL) weapon systems. Students will be given an overview of the various distinct types of HEL testing, including example test concepts/configurations, considerations for test instrumentation, and key testing issues, such as safety and environmental concerns.


  • HEL employment/testing challenges
  • Types of HEL testing
  • Lethality phenomenology testing
    • HEL effects
    • HEL lethality testing types and test diagnostics
  • System output testing
  • System performance testing
    • HEL examples of static ground testing, dynamic OT, OT/Live
    • HEL test measures
  • Instrumentation Considerations
    • HEL instrumentation summary
    • Instrumentation protection
    • Non-intrusive measurements
  • HEL testing considerations
    • HEL testing issues
    • HEL testing safety
    • Test planning tools

Intended Audience: T&E engineers who may be responsible for planning, supporting, and/or executing range tests that involve HEL weapon systems.

Instructor Biography: Dr. Larry McKee has over 30 years experience directing and performing RDT&E programs in directed energy weapon (DEW) T&E, distributed testing, nuclear weapon effects, system survivability, neutral particle beam interactive discrimination, and high energy laser effects. This experience includes 20 years as an Air Force officer with duties in management of advanced R&D programs in DEW technology, R&D leadership as the Air Force Branch and Division levels, development and instruction of advanced graduate courses, and technical direction of underground nuclear tests. He joined SAIC in 1989 and is currently the Chief Scientist for the Directed Energy Test and Evaluation Capability Lead System integrator and also develops and presents High Energy Laser T&E short courses for the Electronic Warfare Directorate at Edwards AFB, CA.

Course 11.  Active Denial Applications

Classification: Secret

Duration: Half-day course, starts at 1300

CEUs awarded: 0.35

Course Description: One of the first overarching tutorials available on the bioeffects, hardware, and employment concepts behind a very proven Directed Energy capability that is on the verge of transition out of the research arena. Upon completion, the student should understand: 1) the bioeffects of the Active Denial weapon capability 95 GHz non-lethal directed energy beam and the AFRL scientific research that verifies the safety and effectiveness of the beam, 2) the technology that produces the effect, including hardware, software, beam profile, and relationships such as spot size and range which ultimately drive the scaling potential, 3) how the Active Denial capability may be employed by military force (in both ground and airborne configurations), the military utility, and legalities associated with employment. Topics include:

  • Bioeffects (history, specific research studies and results, safety thresholds, prohibitions)
  • Technology (history, basic hardware/software, beam geometry and profile, future technical requirements)
  • Operational Use (proven military utility, useful characteristics, and mission enhancements; limitations; countermeasures; policy and legal application)

Intended Audience: Both Government (civilian and military) and industry: project managers, operational testers, and scientific/technical. Technical/scientific education not required, but desirable. Moderate experience level assumed.

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Last updated: 30 March 2009