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Dr. Leik Myrabo
Dr. Leik N. Myrabo teaches doctoral candidates in Engineering Physics at the Rensselear Polytechic Institute in New York. Before joining the faculty at RPI in 1983, he spent a total of seven years pursuing “Star Wars” research with Physical Sciences, Inc., W.J. Schafer Associates, and the BDM Corporation. He has authored and co-authored more than 200 journal, symposium, and conference articles, and one book – The Future of Flight. Over the past 25 years, he has given hundreds of invited presentations on lightcraft technology to a wide variety of audiences. His lightcraft research has been covered in 18 television documentaries and over 70 print media articles. From Sept. 1996 to Sept. 1999, Leik brought laser propulsion from the raw concept stage to flight reality by flying his laser lightcraft prototypes on a 10 kW high-power infrared laser at White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) in New Mexico, funded with $1 million of combined USAF and NASA support. Since his first WSMR test in July 1996, he has conducted 24 separate test campaigns at the High Energy Laser Systems Test Facility in New Mexico. On 2 October 2000, sponsored under a grant to his company, Lightcraft Technologies, Inc., he established a new world altitude record of 71 meters for laser-boosted vehicles in free flight. On 2 Dec. 2002, he was awarded U.S. Patent #6488233 – “Laser Propelled Vehicle” – covering that successful lightcraft design. In December 1999, he demonstrated the first-ever vacuum photonic thrust measurements for a laser-accelerated lightsail using 5-cm diameter prototypes, constructed from exotic carbon micro-truss fabrics by ESLI. These experiments employed the 100 kW LHMEL II infrared laser at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, within an evacuated 7x9-ft tank. In Dec. 2000, he returned to the LHMEL II facility to carry out vertical wire-guided flights of even more advanced ESLI laser sail materials. Leik’s research is focused on innovative aeronautical, aerospace, and space flight propulsion concepts for the 21st Century and beyond. This advanced energetics research takes a long-term, high-risk approach to identifying areas of potential technological breakthrough. The primary research emphasis is on the application of beamed energy (e.g., laser, microwave, millimeter wave sources) and field propulsion engines for future craft designed for a variety of hypersonic flight missions. These revolutionary beam-powered vehicles have their propulsive energy source on the ground or in space, and carry minimal on-board propellant or expendable coolant. Among other promising engine concepts (i.e., compatible with beamed electromagnetic power), he has investigated pulsed detonation engines, various rocket-based combined cycle engines, the directed-energy AirSpike, magnetohydrodynamic slipstream accelerators, rotary pulsejet, scramjet, and a unique air-breathing “Ion-Breeze” thruster.
Appeared on the following broadcasts:
#1444 - Guest: Dr. Leik Myrabo. Topics: Beamed energy propulsion. We welcomed back to... (10/15/2010)
#1214 - Guest: Dr. Leik Myrabo. Topics: Lightcraft, Beamed Energy Power, low cost space access. ... (8/28/2009)

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