US Air Force officials are working with microwave experts to conduct experiments with high power electromagnetic (HPEM) technology. The work offers the potential to enhance missile defense and electronic warfare capabilities. “This will innovate the technology for future warfare,” said Erin Pettyjohn, Deputy Division Chief of the High Power Electromagnetics Division of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Directed Energy Directorate. “We’re pursuing development, application and design of high power microwave systems for non-lethal, non-kinetic weapons,” said Pettyjohn.
The experiments being conducted explore how features of HPEM, such as carrier frequency or pulse repetition frequency can determine the ideal ratio for electronic warfare operations. This ratio would maximize the amount of electromagnetic energy that makes it from the HPEM system to the enemy target.