Directed Energy

About the Directed Energy Directorate (RD)

Graphic of THOR equipmentThe Air Force Research Laboratory Directed Energy Directorate is the Department of the Air Force's Center of Expertise for directed energy and optical technologies. Located at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, the Directorate develops and transitions technologies in four core technical competencies: laser systems, high power electromagnetics, weapons modeling and simulation, and directed energy and electro-optics for space superiority.

AFRL pioneered the first and only megawatt-class airborne laser, and is a world leader in ground-based space imaging using adaptive optics with a 3.5-meter telescope in New Mexico, and a 3.6-meter telescope in Hawaii. The Directorate is transitioning game-changing counter-electronics and laser system technologies to the warfighter.

AFRL/RD Leadership

Dr. Kelly D. Hammett, Director, Directed Energy Directorate

Dr. Kelly D. Hammett, a member of the Senior Executive Service, is Director, Directed Energy Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, and interim Deputy Technology Executive Officer (TEO) for Space. Dr. Hammett leads the Air Force's center of expertise for directed energy technology, developing and transitioning research technologies into military systems. The directorate provides pervasive, world-class directed energy and imaging research technologies for users across the Air Force and the Department of Defense. As Deputy TEO for Space, Dr. Hammett leads Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) enterprise level portfolio management for Space Science and Technology (S&T). He is responsible for more than 800 military and civilian scientists, engineers, contractors, and support people and an annual budget exceeding $350 million. He manages numerous state-of-the-art research laboratories and testing facilities at Kirtland AFB, to include the Starfire Optical Range; as well as an off base testing site at the U.S. Army's White Sands Missile Range, N.M; and the Air Force Maui Optical and Supercomputing site in Hawaii. Full Biography