DE Applications

See our many technical papers under Projects/Technical Papers

Directed Energy Propulsion for Relativistic Flight

Part of our background is working with directed energy (DE) systems with a goal of scaling to sufficiently larger powers and baselines using a MOPA design to allow photonic propulsion of small spacecraft to achieve relativistic speeds. We have published a number of technical papers on this subject in our research group at UC Santa Barbara. See our links and papers below for a better understanding of this technology and the radical consequences that will come from it.

Relevant research links to our UC Santa Barbara group:

NASA programs

Overview paper – “A Roadmap to Interstellar Flight” – Lubin 2015

Video Interview with TIME Magazine – Nov 7, 2015

Time – Inside the Plan to go to the Stars

February 2016 – NASA 360 Video on Interstellar NIAC Results


Watch it on Facebook

Watch it on YouTube

YouTube NASA 360 Channel

Video from NASA 360

Audio Interview with the Tennessee Valley Interstellar Workshop February 2016


Directed Energy for Planetary Defense

At UC Santa Barbara we have done work on directed energy planetary defense since 2009. We have performed numerous laboratory measurements to test the effectiveness of directed energy planetary defense and published a large number of articles on the results. This technique is unique in that it can be operated without physically taking the system to the threat. This is known as a stand-off mode and allows the future possibility of complete planetary defense.

Relevant research links to our UC Santa Barbara group:



Directed Energy for Space Debris Mitigation


In order to get to the Interstellar Medium we must pave the way for further exploration in our own solar system. We plan to do this by implementing Directed Energy into Satellites to track space debris and then de-orbit or vaporize it as they cause an increasing threat to larger space missions in the future.