UNM, along with the many other military research projects it does, also is home to the E-Bomb.
What is the E-Bomb? E-bombs are based on High-Powered Microwaves, stuff that is researched at Kirtland Air Force Base, as we have covered earlier. It disables computers and electronics of enemy targets supposedly without killing people, that “collateral damage” that gives bad PR.(1) But weapons are weapons, used for power, and the US will use this weapon no matter what its effects as long as it can minimize them.
The E-bomb at UNM is developed by Dr. Edl Schamiloglu, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at UNM, and funded through the Air Force Office of Scientific Research. Both of their relations go back a long time. Schamiloglu has been working on the systems behind it since 1988. Back in the 1990’s Schamiloglu received many grants from the AFOSR. They include:
-$125,095 from March 1997 to February 1998 for “Upgrade of a Long Pulse, High Power Backward Wave oscillator to Ultraclean Vacuum Condition.
-$133, 841 from June 1996 to May 1999 for research on “Pulse Shortening in an Annular Electron Beam HPM Amplifier.
-$141, 087 from August 1996 to July 1998 for research on “A Versatile High-Power Laser System for High Spatial Resolution Nanosecond Plasma Diagnostics in Electron Beam-Driven”.(2)
In 2001 UNM’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Department received a $5 million grant from the Defense Department to study ways to reduce the size of pulsed power systems.(3) Pulsed power is used in applications where tremendously high levels of power are needed. Microwaves used in pulsed power technology are the same frequency as a microwave oven, but one trillion times stronger. The military wants smaller systems to place on planes, ships, and vehicles. It is presented as “The Mother of All Weapons.” (4) The project is headed by Schamiloglu, the principal investigator for the grant.
Schamiloglu is involved in using dielectrics, such as gases, to make the systems smaller. Once again it is purported to be used for non-lethal purposes.
“HPM sources are maturing, and one day, in the very near future, they will help revolutionize how U.S. soldiers fight wars,” says Schamiloglu
In 2004 it was reported that he received $12 million to research the directed energy weapons. (5)
Schamiloglu doesn’t deny where his funding comes from. He admits the military is the main source of funding for university science and engineering research. He justifies this by saying that civilian spinoffs are possible, but then again the military doesn’t fund projects they can’t use down the road.
Another UNM researcher who gets money from the military is Mohamed El-Genk, a professor of chemical and nuclear engineering, helping develop the Air Force’s Prometheus nuclear rocket project.
Both professors seem content with the way the system of military funding is. They see no other alternative. Alternatives do exist, and must be presented. A society of war is no just society.
1. Matus, Victorino. “Dropping The E-bomb.” The Weekly Standard. February 5, 2003.
2. Letter, Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFMC), March 13, 1997. (in authors files)
3. Bailey, Justin. “UNM Wins $5 Million Defense Research Grant.” Daily Lobo (UNM). April 17, 2001. http://www.ece.unm.edu/faculty/edl/EdlPDF/muri.pdf.
4. Abrams, Michael. “The Dawn of the E-Bomb.” IEEE Spectrum. November 2003. http://spectrum.ieee.org/biomedical/devices/the-dawn-of-the-ebomb/
5. Floersheim, Ryan. “E-Bombs Future For Weaponry.” Daily Lobo (UNM). February 11, 2004. P. 1, 3.