AFIT has been at the forefront of DoD-directed research, education, and innovation since the Air Force first envisioned using high energy lasers and high power microwaves as weapon systems.
The Center for Directed Energy (CDE) was established as a cross-disciplinary center to conduct sponsored research which would influence the evolution of directed energy. CDE focuses on Research, Education, Innovation, and Collaboration.
Research: CDE research is focused on solving DoD research problems related to directed energy technologies and DoD applications. The center develops models and software that are used primarily for educating, consulting, and advising.
Education: CDE is focused on educating the next generation of Directed Energy (DE) professionals. Pre-service and in-service short courses are offered with an emphasis on research to support education. In conjunction with the graduate school and the Engineering Physics Department, CDE offers rigorous academic programs in the DE associated technologies. Additionally, CDE offers unique co-op and internship opportunities that challenge participants to expand their knowledge and apply it to related real-world scenarios.
Innovation: CDE contributes to the DoD directed energy community through robust research solutions and delivery of software addressing critical DoD needs related to directed energy. CDE researches many areas that will enable or influence new sources of laser power, including chemical, gas, and solid state lasers with advanced active tracking and adaptive optics capabilities.
Collaboration: CDE develops Modeling and Simulation products for researchers and war fighters through collaboration with a diverse group of partners in the DoD and directed energy communities. One of CDE's major contributions is the development of software (HELEEOS and LEEDR) to more accurately model atmospheric effects on directed energy propagation.