Joint Release from:

Directed Energy Directorate
United States Air Force
J. Rich Garcia
PHONE: (505) 846-1911
email: Juventino.Garcia@Kirtland.af.mil

New Mexico Tech
George Zamora, Public Information Office
Phone: (505) 835-5617


KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M., April 23, 2003 - Creating new opportunities for technology transfer is the primary purpose of a cooperative research and development agreement signed Friday between the Air Force here and the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in Socorro, N.M.

The Institute's agreement with the Air Force Research Laboratory's Directed Energy Directorate builds upon an educational partnership agreement signed by the two organizations last year. While that initial agreement stressed classroom education in optics, the new agreement expands the capabilities of existing optical laboratories. People from both organizations can use these laboratories to transfer optics research and development skills and knowledge to graduate and undergraduate students enrolled in such related degree programs as engineering and science.

Both organizations are expected to benefit from the agreement. Air Force researchers believe it will improve their ability to provide innovative technologies that can aid the warfighter with critical strategic and tactical defenses. The relationship will also encourage students to consider future employment with the Air Force.

The Institute, also known as New Mexico Tech, anticipates the agreement will attract graduate and undergraduate science, engineering and technology students to the field of optics. Student internships are also expected, which will provide opportunities for research under the guidance of experienced optical engineers, physicists and other experts.

By combining expertise from both organizations, officials believe the results will be world-class capabilities in fabrication, coatings, metrology for meter-class and larger optics, and optical coating technologies for temperature-sensitive lightweight optical components.

New Mexico Tech also has expertise in laser weapons development and testing within its Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center. The Air Force directorate maintains experts in large-aperture telescopes and other optics-based intelligence systems within its Optical Components Engineering Laboratory.

This expertise, combined with joint capabilities, can be applied to a wide range of potential applications for ground, air and space-based systems being worked by Department of Defense organizations, the Department of Energy, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and other government agencies.

New Mexico Tech is a research-oriented public university specializing in science and engineering.

The Air Force directorate is a 600-person organization that conducts research in high-energy lasers, high-power microwaves and other directed energies that have a potential for defense applications.


- AFRL -