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IEEE President Moura on the Importance of Financial Transparency

Timely, meaningful, and reliable disclosures are critical

3 min read
Photo of José M. F. Moura
Photo: Carnegie Mellon

THE INSTITUTEIEEE is a distributed management association with many organizational units. Conduct that is transparent and accountable is critical to building trust among members, volunteers,
and professional staff. Wise conduct requires consistent understanding, particularly of financial determinations, at all levels to make decisions that benefit all of IEEE and its members.

IEEE is financially sound. But, as I stated in 2017 in my president-elect platform, my goal was to overcome the then persistent operational deficits. To run IEEE with a balanced budget, healthy reserves, and the ability to invest wisely in our future requires understanding, in sufficient detail, our revenue and cost structures. To do so, we need transparency with preparation and distribution of timely operational financial data at the level of detail needed to consistently manage our distributed organization.

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Economics Drives Ray-Gun Resurgence

Laser weapons, cheaper by the shot, should work well against drones and cruise missiles

4 min read
In an artist’s rendering, a truck is shown with five sets of wheels—two sets for the cab, the rest for the trailer—and a box on the top of the trailer, from which a red ray is projected on an angle, upward, ending in the silhouette of an airplane, which is being destroyed

Lockheed Martin's laser packs up to 300 kilowatts—enough to fry a drone or a plane.

Lockheed Martin

The technical challenge of missile defense has been compared with that of hitting a bullet with a bullet. Then there is the still tougher economic challenge of using an expensive interceptor to kill a cheaper target—like hitting a lead bullet with a golden one.

Maybe trouble and money could be saved by shooting down such targets with a laser. Once the system was designed, built, and paid for, the cost per shot would be low. Such considerations led planners at the Pentagon to seek a solution from Lockheed Martin, which has just delivered a 300-kilowatt laser to the U.S. Army. The new weapon combines the output of a large bundle of fiber lasers of varying frequencies to form a single beam of white light. This laser has been undergoing tests in the lab, and it should see its first field trials sometime in 2023. General Atomics, a military contractor in San Diego, is also developing a laser of this power for the Army based on what’s known as the distributed-gain design, which has a single aperture.

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