The Center for Directed Energy operates laboratories to support graduate instruction and research. The instructional laboratories complement courses of study in Engineering Physics, Optical Observables, Nuclear Radiation Detection and Instrumentation, Nuclear and Environmental Engineering, Space Weather, Atmospheric Effects, Optics, Lasers and Optical Diagnostics. Equipment is continually updated to remain abreast of the state-of-the-art in engineering physics, optical engineering, space weather, and nuclear engineering. Research laboratories support faculty and student research at the M.S. and Ph.D. levels in laser spectroscopy, nonlinear optics, solid state physics, Mossbauer spectrometry, nuclear radiation detection, nuclear effects, space weather, and environmental engineering.
The Air Force Institute of Technology maintains a 29,914 gross square foot, $8.1M, engineering research laboratory (Bldg 644) on the main campus. The single story building overlooks AFIT Park and is connected to the southeast corner of the Graduate School of Engineering and Management (Bldg. 640). The facility is dedicated to experimental research in aeronautical engineering, applied physics, electrical engineering and environmental science and houses five research suites:
Applied Physics Laboratories
Environmental Science & Engineering Laboratories
The Electronic Devices and Materials (Microelectronics) Laboratory contains an array of integrated circuit fabrication equipment and state-of-the-art diagnostic instrumentation. The fabrication facilities encompass complete photolithography, mask printing, thermal oxidation, dopant diffusion, and metalization capabilities. The diagnostic facilities include a sub-micron probe station and a scanning electron microscope.
Nuclear Engineering Laboratories
Space Weather Laboratory
The Space Weather Computational Laboratory is a Unix and PC based modeling and simulation facility devoted to research analysis of naturally occurring electrically charged gases (a.k.a. geoplasmas) in the outer reaches of Earth’s atmosphere. Research in this field is of growing concern to military operations. Space-based and space-dependent military technologies, including satellite navigation, HF radio communications, and over-the-horizon radars are directly affected by the weather dynamics that occur in geoplasmas.
Faculty and students have acquired many of the leading space weather models within the DoD and scientific communities, along with supporting data and software necessary to pursue publishable research.
Our collaboration currently includes several leading space weather research institutions across the United States, such as the Center for Atmospheric and Space Science (CASS) at Utah State University (USU), the Applied Physics Lab (APL) of Johns Hopkins University (JHU), the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA), the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), the Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate (AFRL/RV), and the Univerity of Massachusetts Lowell Center for Atmospheric Research (UMLCAR).
Adaptive Optics Laboratory
Adaptive Optics is used to sense and correct light that is dynamically aberrated by atmospheric turbulence. In order to defeat the effects inherent atmospheric turbulence, we are using current equipment and methods while developing new techniques, specifying and purchasing more effective systems in order to utilize the turbulence corrections to enable free-space optical communications links between ground, air, and space platforms, laser-based imaging, laser radar, strategic laser weapons, and tactical laser weapons.