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.


 
 

 
lm-kmax

Lockheed Martin’s unmanned cargo helicopter team returns from deployment

After lifting more than 4.5 million pounds of cargo and conducting thousands of delivery missions for the U.S. Marine Corps, the Lockheed Martin and Kaman Aerospace Corporation K-MAX cargo unmanned aircraft system has returned ...
 
 

SPEEA files age discrimination charge against Boeing

After months of investigation, the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, IFPTE Local 2001, charged Boeing with age discrimination. Acting on behalf of SPEEA-represented engineers, the union filed the third-party charges July 23 with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Washington State Human Rights Commission. The evidence is overwhelming that Boeing hatched...
 
 

Commercial jets push Boeing profits up 52 percent

Increased production of passenger jets helped push up Boeing’s profit by 52 percent in the second quarter, topping Wall Street’s expectations. The Chicago-based company said net income increased to $1.65 billion, or $2.24 per share, from $1.09 billion, or $1.41 per share, in the same quarter a year ago. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs, came...
 

 

Comprehensive MEADS network tests demonstrate unmatched plug-and-fight missile defense capabilities

The Medium Extended Air Defense System recently completed a comprehensive system demonstration at Pratica di Mare Air Base near Rome, Italy. The two-week test demonstration included significant first-time events that were observed by several national delegations. “The outstanding result is that we have demonstrated the full range of advanced network capabilities that only MEADS can...
 
 

UTC awarded Boeing C-17 Globemaster III MRO landing gear contract

UTC Aerospace Systems has been selected by Boeing to continue to provide landing gear system maintenance services in support of the U.S. Air Force fleet of the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III aircraft. Included as part of the agreement, the company will work with Hill Air Force Base personnel in Ogden, Utah, to jointly manage the...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph by Beth Groom

First two Australian F-35s roll out of factory

Lockheed Martin photograph by Beth Groom Royal Australian Air Force Air Marshal Geoff Brown delivers his remarks at the roll out ceremony for Australia’s first F-35. A ceremony was held July 24 at Lockheed Martin in Fort Wort...
 




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>