Ball Aerospace Expands Testing Capability For Large-Aperture Optics
Ball Aerospace & Technologies announced Monday that its new Horizontal Collimator Assembly (HCA), which tests large telescope systems in a space-like environment, is now operational.
The HCA facilitates the testing of optical systems with apertures up to 30 inches (0.76 meter) in diameter. Since the entire test facility and instrument are vibration isolated inside a thermal/vacuum chamber, risks associated with atmospheric turbulence and air-layering effects are eliminated.
By early 2006, the HCA will be joined by a Vertical Collimator Assembly (VCA), which will allow system-level testing with a 1.5 meter diameter collimator system in a vacuum.
Together, both collimators will be known as the Universal Collimator Assembly (UCA). The UCA will also be capable of testing cryogenic telescopes.
The high-resolution WorldView camera, under development for DigitalGlobe on behalf of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) and satellite imagery customers worldwide, will be the first optical instrument tested in using HCA.
According to Dave Taylor, president and CEO of Ball Aerospace, "The HCA is our next step in the company's long-term commitment to large-aperture optical systems. The system will give us a competitive advantage in the marketplace."
The company also has a growing business base for developing large-aperture systems such as QuickBird, HiRISE, the Spitzer Space Telescope, Kepler and the James Webb Space Telescope.
Ball Aerospace & Technologies
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