SDI Program:

Evaluation of DOE's Answers to Questions on X-Ray Laser Experiment

NSIAD-86-140BR: Published: Jun 2, 1986. Publicly Released: Jun 2, 1986.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO evaluated the Department of Energy's (DOE) responses to a series of congressional questions on the X-Ray Laser Program, under which DOE is conducting a series of tests for the Department of Defense (DOD).

GAO found that the questions derived from a press account of the program which stated that DOE obtained inaccurate test data because its diagnostic instrumentation was flawed. GAO also found that: (1) DOE reconfigured its test equipment; (2) DOE did not need to delay the latest laser test; (3) the laser has a number of potential military applications; (4) DOD has not accelerated the program; (5) there appeared to be no basis upon which to question DOE and DOD claims that the program has been a success to date; and (6) DOE does not intend to test the laser in space or in the atmosphere.

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