"I often tell people I work on base and that I'm a scientist, and their first (comment) always is, 'Oh, you work at Sandia,'" Hardy said. "Before I leave, I hope someone will say, 'Which lab do you work at ?'" adding that the
Two of the AFRL's nine "directorates" are located at
Together, the two have an annual budget of
"I want us to be the first nation in the world that figures out how to use high-power lasers on aircraft, because that would give us a great strategic advantage over our adversaries," Hardy said. "My other imperative is, I don't want to be the second nation that figures out how to use high-power lasers on aircraft."
Hardy said the
CHAMP is a powerful, microwave-emitting device that can knock out an adversary's electronic systems.
Last October, a CHAMP system aboard a cruise missile successfully knocked out electrical and computer systems in a two-story building set up at the
The directorate is also working on the Automated Navigation and Guidance Experiment for Local Space, or ANGELS program, which hopes to field small, highly maneuverable satellites that can closely observe other satellites in space.
Hardy said an ANGELS satellite could be launched as soon as next year.
Another directorate project deals with lasers that can destroy munitions smaller than missiles, such as incoming mortar rounds and artillery shells. That project, being developed with the
Hardy also stressed the AFRL's ongoing efforts to get students of all ages interested in pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and math.
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