Moon goddess beckons as industry waits and Congress appropriates

Dec. 20, 1999
In October, a House-Senate conference committee approved a $10 billion defense budget to upgrade the Free Electron Laser (FEL) at the US Department of Energy Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (Jefferson Lab; Newport News, VA).

In October, a House-Senate conference committee approved a $10 billion defense budget to upgrade the Free Electron Laser (FEL) at the US Department of Energy Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (Jefferson Lab; Newport News, VA). Among researchers interested in using an FEL to beam power from the ground to orbiting satellites, the budget recommendation was no doubt good news.

A Jefferson Lab announcement last summer that they had experimentally demonstrated 1.7 kW of average power output from their 1-kW FEL served as a hopeful sign for Alexander Zholents, a physicist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley, CA). He said the Jefferson Lab experiment showed that FEL power can be increased predictably and controllably by upgrading design specifications. "It shows they can reach what they design [to]," he said.

About the Author

Hassaun A. Jones-Bey | Senior Editor and Freelance Writer

Hassaun A. Jones-Bey was a senior editor and then freelance writer for Laser Focus World.

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