Business

October 16, 2012

Boeing, AFRL sodium guide star laser enhancing space situational awareness mission

A new, 50-watt sodium laser built by Boeing and the Air Force Research Laboratory began operating recently on a 3.5-meter telescope at Kirtland Air Force Base’s Starfire Optical Range, helping scientists and researchers to capture more accurate and detailed images of objects in Earth orbit.

A sodium guide star laser built by Boeing and the Air Force Research Laboratory began operating recently on a telescope at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., greatly increasing the ability of AFRL scientists to acquire detailed images of objects in Earth orbit.

The 50-watt laser, installed on a 3.5-meter telescope at Kirtland’s Starfire Optical Range, illuminates sodium atoms in the atmosphere with an intense laser beam. The laser creates an artificial guide star, which is used to measure the blurring effect caused by turbulence in the Earth’s atmosphere; an adaptive optics system uses this measurement to correct the blurring effect. The guide star laser will increase the detail of the images captured from this telescope.

“The addition of this sodium guide star laser, along with improvements to the AO system sensitivity, will make it possible for us to reliably obtain satellite images with more accurate and precise details than ever before,” said AFRL Principal Investigator Dennis Montera. “This is a critically important step in increasing our capabilities in space situational awareness.”

Boeing has supported the telescopes at Starfire Optical Range for more than 30 years. Under the AFRL’s Innovative Research and Optical Support Services contract, Boeing is responsible for improving the site’s capability in atmospheric compensation, laser communications, and other technical areas.

“This new guide star laser is an evolutionary step in the maturing of adaptive optics technology. It is much more reliable than the device that has been in use for the past eight years. This improved laser will enable the future development of adaptive optics technology,” said David DeYoung, director of Laser Technical Services for Boeing Directed Energy Systems. “The team’s achievement of ‘first light’ is a testament to our close working relationship with the Air Force and our commitment to support current and future missions.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines September 19, 2014

News: McKeon on broader military authorization: Anything can ‘fail or pass’ - Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said if Congress returns after the midterm elections to weigh a broader military authorization for the battle against Islamic State, it might not pass. Defense contractor gets 7 years for giving secrets...
 
 

News Briefs September 19, 2014

U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan at 2,203 As of Sept. 16, 2014, at least 2,203 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count. At least 1,823 military service members have died in Afghanistan as a result...
 
 

Pratt & Whitney, U.S. Air Force complete qualification for F135 engine testing

Pratt & Whitney, a United Technologies Corp. , together with its U.S. Air Force partner at the F135 Heavy Maintenance Center at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., celebrated another significant milestone qualification for F135 engine testing at the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex. OC-ALC which in addition to engine testing is also qualified to perform...
 

 
Navy photograph

Triton has first cross-country flight from Palmdale

Northrop Grumman photograph The MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft System takes off from Northrop Grummanís Palmdale, Calif., facility Sept. 17 for its first cross-country flight to Naval Air Station Patuxent, River, Md. PALMDALE,...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Michael J. Pausic

Future of NATO: Adapting to a new security environment

Air Force photograph by Michael J. Pausic Gen. Phillip Breedlove informs the assembled crowd about the results of the recent NATO Summit and the areas of instability that affect Europe that have regional implications. Seated in...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Scott M. Ash

AFRL commander describes Air Force’s technology vision

Air Force photograph by Scott M. Ash Maj. Gen. Thomas Masiello takes a question from an audience member after discussing Air Force Research Laboratory breakthrough technologies during the 2014 Air Force Association’s Air ...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>