Directed Energy in the Army (Grad)

Event Date: October 16, 2015
Speaker Affiliation: Army Research Laboratory
Time: 3:30 pm
Location: ME 2004
Priority: No

Multidisciplinary Collaborative Opportunities at Army Research Laboratory

 Steve C. Taulbee/ Army Research Laboratory

The U.S. Army Laboratory is engaged in an intensive, multidisciplinary program to actively investigate disruptive technologies that are potentially capable of providing game-changing enhancements in capabilities for U.S. Soldiers and the equipment they use. Many of these research efforts occur at the fundamental research level -- largely in collaboration with academia partners -- where new discoveries and new theories are made. Other, more transitional efforts -- largely in collaboration with industry partners -- are focused on applying mature technologies into developmental systems and components. This presentation will provide a brief overview of the Army’s research and development organizations executing these programs and of the major areas of technical endeavor being pursued at the Army Research Laboratory, with specific emphasis on the Weapons and Materials Research Directorate. Also included will be a summary of the various mechanisms of engaging with Army laboratories and centers through leveraging and partnerships – with specific emphasis on the new ARL Open Campus Concept, facilitating enhanced collaboration with faculty and students at major U.S. research universities. Finally, the topic of human capital investment will be discussed, including educational outreach programs (e.g., student internships), fellowships, and hiring opportunities.


Steve C. Taulbee

U.S. Army Research Laboratory

Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD  21005

(410) 306-0664

Primary responsibilities include the execution of a comprehensive institutional relations and technical communications program designed to facilitate and enhance collaboration in research with partners from academia, industry, and other government agencies. These activities have recently been closely aligned to the new ARL Open Campus Initiative.

I have represented as a subject matter expert for the ARL Weapons and Materials Research Directorate in numerous technical presentations, laboratory tours, and technical meetings to and amongst a broad range of audiences from among the Department of Defense, Army, industry, and academia. I have co-authored numerous technical publications on the major ARL research programs in protection, lethality, materials, and manufacturing science. I have also served as the primary manager for recruiting new scientists and engineers at various universities as well as a variety of educational outreach programs. During my career, I have received numerous awards from Army and Department of Defense leadership.

Career Chronology:

1992-present  General Engineer/Institutional Relations Manager, U.S. Army Research Laboratory, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD

1987-1992   General Engineer, U.S. Army Laboratory Command, Adelphi, MD

1980-1987   Petroleum Engineer, Standard Oil of Indiana (now part of BP), Houston, TX

University Degrees:

B.S. Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering, 1981, Pennsylvania State University


B.S. Science, 1981, Pennsylvania State University


Ultrashort Pulse Laser Filamentation Generation of Multiscale Periodic Surface Structures

Authors:  Anthony Valenzuela, Kristopher Behler, Andrew Porwitzky, Matthew Weidman, Chase Munson


Sub-picosecond intense laser pulses have proven superior in generating sharp ablation features on opaque solid matter.  Machining with these ultrashort pulse lasers (USPLs), using a short focal length lens (≤ 25 cm), leaves precise ablation craters with minimal spall and a small heat affected zone.  However, USPLs in the correct regime can undergo self-focusing that ionizes air molecules creating a plasma.  A careful balance between the self-focusing, defocusing caused by the plasma, and losses can create a filament that can extend for many meters with minimal diffraction.  The filament is characterized by having a confined intense laser pulse (less than 150 microns in diameter) surrounded by an energy reservoir with a trailing plasma column that can remain for nanoseconds after the initiating pulse.   In addition, recent results demonstrated a thermal waveguiding effect can lead to quasi-steady state propagation with a laser repetition rate of 1 kHz or greater. We sought to examine how the added features of the filament affect ablation of metals, ceramics, composite and polymers.  Our observations lead us to catalog a wide variety of microscopic features in the ablation area, called Laser-induced Periodic Surface Structures (LIPSS).  Filament–generated LIPSS were observed on a wide range of target surfaces at many different scale lengths.  These results lead to a conclusion concerning the polarization of the electromagnetic field in the filament and intriguing applications of filament ablation.  In addition, the talk will also feature the scope and future of relevant research at the US Army Research Laboratory.


Dr. Anthony R. Valenzuela 

Physicist with the US Army Research Laboratory (ARL) specializing in Directed Energy and ultrashort pulse laser (USPL) applications.  He earned his Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences from the University of Michigan in 2005.  His thesis work included observation of optical deflected relativistic electrons from ultrashort intense laser pulses.  This work is related to all-optical generation of ultrashort XUV and soft x-ray pulses from ponderomotively accelerated electrons.  After graduate school, he became a postdoc at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) working on optical characterizations of laser ablation of thin metal films.  While at LANL, he began studies of optical characterization of ultrashort pulse laser generated plasma filaments.  That work continued when he joined ARL in 2008.  His research now includes studying ablation of solid surfaces with filaments and using filaments as a waveguide for other forms of electromagnetic energy.  Dr. Valenzuela recently completed a one-year assignment as a Technical Assistant to the Director in ARL’s Weapons and Materials Research Directorate and is returning to laboratory work.

2015-10-16 16:30:00 2015-10-16 17:30:00 America/New_York Directed Energy in the Army (Grad) ME 2004