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 April 17, 2015

News: Army extends benefits to Hood shooting victims¬†- The Army will provide “all possible benefits” to victims of the 2009 Fort Hood shooting who recently were awarded the Purple Heart, the service announced April 16.   Business: Rolls-Royce lands biggest deal in its 109-year history¬†- U.K. engineering company Rolls-Royce has won the largest order in...
 
 

News Briefs April 17, 2015

Army orders financial benefits for 2009 Fort Hood victims Dozens of soldiers and surviving family members of the 2009 Fort Hood, Texas, shooting are receiving additional Army pay that they felt was long overdue. The announcement from Army Sec. John McHugh April 16 comes a week after 36 Purple Hearts were awarded to victims and...
 
 
NASA illustration

NASA awards radiation challenge winners, launches next round

NASA illustration This illustration depicts our heliosphere, showing the approximate locations of Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 spacecraft. Galactic cosmic rays originate outside the heliosphere and stream in uniformly from all direc...
 

 

U.S. Air Force completes operational testing on Raytheon’s MALD-J

Raytheon and the U.S. Air Force successfully completed operational tests of Miniature Air Launched Decoy-Jammer, satisfying all requirements to attain Initial Operational Capability. “MALD-J’s unique capabilities have been proven in 42 successful flight tests during the last two years and brought us closer to full rate production,” said Mike Jarrett, vice president of Raytheon...
 
 

Northrop Grumman to expand North Dakota presence

In partnership with local leadership, Northrop Grumman confirmed its dedication to the future of unmanned systems development in the Red River Valley region by signing a lease agreement to anchor the new Grand Sky Technology Park in Grand Forks County. Northrop Grumman is working to identify specialized opportunities for the Grand Sky facility. The opportunities,...
 
 

Raytheon awarded more than $2 billion for an International Patriot system

Raytheon announced April 17 it has been awarded a contract worth over $2.0 billion to deliver the combat-proven Patriot Air and Missile Defense System to an undisclosed international customer. The contract, awarded April 2, 2015, and booked in the second quarter as a direct commercial sale, includes fully digitized new-production Patriot fire units with the...
 




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>