Laser powered accelerators have been under intensive study for the past decade due to their promise of high gradients
and leveraging of rapid technological progress in photonics. Of the various acceleration schemes under examination,
those based on dielectric structures may enable the production of relativistic electron beams in breadbox sized systems.
When combined with undulators having optical-wavelength periods, these systems could produce high brilliance x-rays
which find application in, for instance, medical and industrial imaging. These beams also may open the way for table-top
atto-second sciences. Development and testing of these dielectric structures faces a number of challenges including
complex beam dynamics, new demands on lasers and optical coupling, beam injection schemes, and fabrication. We
describe one approach being pursued at UCLA-the Micro Accelerator Platform (MAP). A structure similar to the MAP
has also been designed which produces periodic deflections and acts as an undulator for radiation production, and the
prospects for this device will be considered. The lessons learned from the multi-year effort to realize these devices will
be presented. Challenges remain with acceleration of sub-relativistic beams, focusing, beam phase stability and
extension of these devices to higher beam energies. Our progress in addressing these hurdles will be summarized.
Finally, the demands on laser technology and optical coupling will be detailed.