Power lab receives worldwide attention
Pulsed Power, Beams and Microwaves Laboratory may sound complex
but the mission is simple: To educate, perform basic research,
encourage undergraduate participation and collaborate with national
and international groups.
principal mission is education, said Edl Schamiloglu,
laboratory director and Gardner-Zemke Professor in the Department
of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE).
founded in 1989, is one of only a handful at universities throughout
the country performing basic research on pulsed power, intense
beams and their applications. The lab receives national and
international attention and has been utilized by numerous visiting
scientists worldwide including Russia, Germany, Japan, India,
Israel and others.
is engaged in on-going research with numerous international
organizations. Leading-edge research is most successfully performed
in collaborations where each party both contributes and benefits,
one group can be an expert in all facets of a complicated problem,
he said. By collaborating with engineers and scientists
that have complementary capabilities, new approaches emerge
and we pursue them jointly.
performed in the laboratory can be categorized, High Energy
Density Plasma Physics. The broad title covers on-going
research such as Sandia National Laboratories Z-accelerator,
Los Alamos National Laboratorys Atlas project,
and the Shiva, and high power microwave research
at the Air Force Research Laboratory. It also includes the intense
beam and high power microwave research performed at UNM.
is important to realize is that New Mexico is host to the most
significant amount of research in this technical area in the
country. Schamiloglu said. It is only natural that
UNM, which basically sits in the geographic hub of this activity,
has a significant presence in this discipline.
Schamiloglus group within the Applied Electromagnetics
Area of the ECE Department has five federally-funded research
programs. The first is studying the generation of high power
microwaves. Second is understanding how novel materials and
topologies can lead to more compact sources of pulsed power
pulsed power is an enabling technology common to all high
energy density plasma physics research. Third is using low power
microwaves to measure the velocity profile of accelerating objects.
The fourth is understanding the behavior of a variety of materials
influenced by bombarding electrons, and the final project explores
how to take extremely high current relativistic electron beams
and focus them onto as small a spot size as possible.
of researchers in the Applied Elecromagnetics area include ECE
assistant professors Scott Tyo and Mark Gilmore. Tyo, a co-principal
(co-PI) investigator on the compact pulsed power Multidisciplinary
University Research Initiative (MURI) program, is also building
a program pertaining to polarimetric imaging. Gilmore, new to
the department, is building a program in magnetic confinement
and inertial confinement fusion plasmas and their diagnostics.
Chair Christos Christodoulou, also a co-PI on the compact pulsed
power MURI program, has diverse research interests ranging from
antennas for communications up to the Terahertz range, to MEMS
microelectromechanical systems tiny machines that
can sense, compute, act and communicate.
More than $10 million in funding sources for research performed
in the lab has come from various agencies including the Defense
Research and Engineering, NASA, NATO, Los Alamos and Sandia
National Laboratories, Jet Propulsion Laboratory and more. The
laboratory does not receive money from the state or UNM.
have built up our infrastructure over the past 15 years from
the ground-up, Schamiloglu said.
has been receiving significant exposure in the press recently
including an article in the New York Times and in NBC local
affliate KOB-TV because of the medias interest in high
power microwave sources.
said plans for the laboratory are to continue doing the best
to perform first-rate research, giving both undergraduate and
graduate students the best education possible, and to help strengthen
the economic base of the state.
overall Applied Electromagnetics Area is rapidly becoming one
of the top programs in this area in the greater Southwest, and
will undoubtedly continue to receive greater national and international
visibility, Schamiloglu said.