The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, or AFRL, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony, Dec. 7, 2022, for the opening of the new High-Power Electromagnetic, or HPEM, Effects and Modeling Facility, a 12,000-square-foot, $6 million project. The new facility with 30 office spaces, a secure area and a nearly 4,000-square-foot high bay laboratory will enhance AFRL’s world-class status as a leading HPEM science and technology organization. QA Engineering, LLC, an engineering and construction firm in Albuquerque, worked with AFRL to ensure the facility met all requirements and warfighter needs.
“This new facility will allow for greater collaboration as we advance our nation’s directed energy technologies. We have the world’s brightest innovators working here, and this state-of-the-art facility will give them the infrastructure they deserve. Enabling our staff to work from the same location will increase the efficiency and effectiveness of research and system integration, provide robust collaboration opportunities and enable demonstration of rapid response capabilities,” said Kenneth Miller, chief of the High-Power Electromagnetics Division of AFRL’s Directed Energy Directorate.
“The HPEM Effects and Modeling Facility includes test beds for benchtop electronic component testing, anechoic chambers for free-field radiation testing of electronic systems and a circuit board forensics lab for determining fault mechanisms of electronic components. It also features high-performance computing for modeling and simulation of HPEM sources, energy propagation, and mission effectiveness of high-powered microwave systems,” said Dr. Michael Lambrecht, chief engineer of AFRL’s High-Power Electromagnetics Division.
The new space will be used for planning, developing, prototyping, testing and deploying high-powered radio frequency weapons systems in addition to co-locating an entire branch of personnel. The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, or AFRL, is the primary scientific research and development center for the Department of the Air Force. AFRL plays an integral role in leading the discovery, development, and integration of affordable warfighting technologies for our air, space, and cyberspace force. With a workforce of more than 11,500 across nine technology areas and 40 other operations across the globe, AFRL provides a diverse portfolio of science and technology ranging from fundamental to advanced research and technology development.