Caucus Briefing Strengthening National Defense with Laser Technology


Lyndsay Meyer
The Optical Society

Caucus Briefing: Strengthening National Defense with Laser Technology

Experts to discuss laser technologies being used in Iraq and those being developed for future defense needs

From the ground to the air, lasers play a key role in our country’s national security efforts.  Currently, lasers are being used in Iraq and Afghanistan to defend against surface-to-air missiles, as well as in systems that guide "smart" weapons to their targets.  Lasers are also being developed and tested for many other military missions including deactivation of improvised explosive devices, tracking incoming missiles, laser radar and high-speed, high-bandwidth satellite-to-satellite communications.

Experts say these laser technologies are just the tip of the iceberg. Research being done at federal government agencies like the Office of Naval Research, Air Force Research Laboratory and the Joint Technology Office for High Energy Lasers, as well at universities and businesses, will enable laser-based capabilities to transform and improve military operations in the future. 

The Optical Society of America (OSA) in conjunction with the Congressional R&D Caucus invites reporters to attend this luncheon briefing to hear experts in the field discuss:

  • Emerging laser technology designed to protect U.S. troops and civilians by detecting chemical and biological agents at a distance;
  • The new Skyguard system being developed by Northrop Grumman that provides near-term defense against short-range ballistic missiles, short- and long-range rockets, artillery shells, mortars, unmanned aerial vehicles and cruise missiles;
  • The road to successfully deploying laser communications on the battlefield; and
  • Other significant trends and technologies.

Reporters who cover science or military beats will leave this briefing with a better understanding of the uses of lasers in reconnaissance and active combat.

WHAT: Luncheon Briefing: Strengthening National Defense with Laser Technology
WHERE: 2325 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC
WHEN: Thursday, Sept. 6, 2007
12 p.m.
WHO: Confirmed speakers and topics include:
  • Duncan Moore, Ph.D., University of Rochester, Moderator
  • Robert Pack, Ph.D., Utah State University, Targeting and Reconnaissance with Lasers
  • Douglas P. Crawford, Ph.D., Northrop Grumman, Lasers for Security
  • Don Boroson, Ph.D., MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Laser Communication in Space

Reps. Rush Holt (NJ) and Judy Biggert (IL), co-chairs of the Congressional R&D Caucus, will deliver opening remarks.

For more information or to register, please contact Lyndsay Meyer at or 202.416.1435.