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Meet the IEEE Fellows Class of 2020

More than 280 senior members have earned the distinction

1 min read
Photo of a Fellows pin.
Photo: Randi Klett

THE INSTITUTE The grade of IEEE Fellow recognizes exceptional distinction in the engineering profession. It is conferred by the IEEE Board of Directors upon senior members with an extraordinary record of accomplishment in any of the IEEE fields of interest.

The total number of IEEE senior members elevated to Fellow in any one year may not exceed one-10th of 1 percent of the total IEEE voting membership on record as of 31 December of the preceding year. This year 282 IEEE senior members were elevated to Fellow.

To view the list of this year’s Fellows, learn about the program, or nominate a senior member, visit the Fellow website.

Rosann Marosy manages IEEE Fellow Activities.

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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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