2014 International HPLA and BEP Symposium

Please join us for the combined International High Power Laser Ablation (HPLA) and the International Beamed Energy Propulsion (BEP) Symposium. These two events have been combined to provide an even greater opportunity for exchange of ideas, collaboration, and networking. The HPLA side of the meeting focuses on the physics and application of high power laser-materials interaction, including advances in relevant high power laser sources and problems of beam propagation and detection, while the BEP portion of the meeting focuses on the development of beamed-energy propulsion vehicles, engines, schemes and concepts into space transportation systems of the future, as well as microwave sources and lasers as drivers. These meetings offer an exceptional opportunity for researchers in the HPLA & BEP fields to network and present the current results of their studies.

What is high power laser ablation? The light from high-power pulsed lasers can be so intense that it makes a “jet” of material come from solid stuff – space junk, for example. Multiple pulses make multiple jets and can propel the object in a controlled way. You can lower or raise the space junk orbit that way or, if it’s small, make it burn up in the atmosphere. Every time someone launches a satellite, they also make space junk – second stages, explosive bolts and the like. We now have 300,000 pieces of it larger than 1cm (about 0.4 inches) circling the Earth, ready to puncture a live rocket or satellite and make even more space junk, and so on. That is the all-too-real instability featured in the movie “Gravity.” Hundreds of dead, uncontrollable satellites weighing tons are up there, and will circle the Earth until they re-enter and crash on Earth. We can use lasers to control, or at least lower or raise an object so it’s harmless, and clear out the little pieces. Space junk control is the most dramatic of a range of applications that include nanoengineering, laser lightcraft for space travel, transdermal drug injections, laser “direct writing,” and making strange events called phase explosions with pulses a millionth of a billionth of a second long. Beamed energy propulsion is a broader field that uses microwaves for the energy source, not just laser beams.

A majority of our speakers come to Santa Fe from outside the U.S., including Russia, France, the U.K., Germany, Ukraine, Japan, Australia and China. Dr. Claude Phipps first organized HPLA at the Santa Fe Hilton in 1998, and is the Chair of the 2014 HPLA/BEP Symposium. In conjunction with Dr. Phipps, the events are organized by Blue52 Productions, LLC, a technical event production company based out of Dayton, OH. The intention was to create a new kind of physics symposium that would emphasize the broad relationships in laser ablation research and its applications rather than focusing on a single narrow technology. This year, for the first time, we are also joined by Beamed Energy Propulsion, a symposium Dr. Phipps also chaired in 2009.

This year the Symposium has a very diverse and hard hitting line up of speakers. Our distinguished keynote speakers include Prof. Eric Mazur from the Harvard Physics Department, Dr. Johannes Pedarnig of the Johannes Kepler University in Austria, Dr. Bruno Esmiller of Astrium Space Transportation in France, and Prof. David Neely from the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in the U.K. There are 21 sessions all told in two parallel tracks, in which 94 oral papers will be given plus a poster session featuring 60 more presentations. We expect 200 attendees.

For more information or to register, visit: www.usasymposium.com/hplabep

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