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National Lab Briefs

Los Alamos Wins Laser War... An outbreak of pragmatism in the Defense Department’s “Star Wars” program has tipped the balance toward Los Alamos National Lab in its 10-year competition with Lawrence Livermoew National Labs to develop a ground-based free-electron laser. in October, the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization picked Los Alamos and its partner, Boeing Aerospace and Electronics, for the $500 million project. The decision will mean $75 million over the next five

The Scientist Staff

Los Alamos Wins Laser War...

An outbreak of pragmatism in the Defense Department’s “Star Wars” program has tipped the balance toward Los Alamos National Lab in its 10-year competition with Lawrence Livermoew National Labs to develop a ground-based free-electron laser. in October, the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization picked Los Alamos and its partner, Boeing Aerospace and Electronics, for the $500 million project. The decision will mean $75 million over the next five years for basic work by Los Alamos scientists, and $425. million for Boeing engineers to develop the design. The key factor appears to be a February decision by SDIO to settle on a laser that produces only one tenth as much power as had been originally planned, and less than one hundredth the level a 1987 American Physical Society report calculatqd as needed for strategic defense. That report found that a ground-based free-electron laser must be capable of...

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