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VES Solutions in Action

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    VES personnel participated in a test to determine how well ground sensor systems could measure temperatures on objects in flight at long distances. The expectation was that the measurements would not be within 20% of sensors onboard the object. This is an infrared image of the Space Shuttle in flight 94 kilometers away from the optical tracking system on the ground. Calibrated temperature measurements taken by VES personnel were within 5% of those from thermocouples attached to the Shuttle.
    infrared Image of the Space Shuttle in flight showing strong areas of heat at the nose and edges of wings
    open blue sky, flying object with a vapor trail following it, light beam pointing to the object from an unseen location
    No, we were not shooting down a rocket with a laser. VES personnel used a space launch from Cape Canaveral as a “target of opportunity” for R&D in laser ranging, imaging and sensing. In addition to very accurate ranging and illumination of targets in the dark, lasers enable measurements of things like vibration in a rocket body, and particulates in a rocket’s exhaust plume. Such measurements are helpful in characterizing targets and distinguishing one from another.
    The picture is of a mortar round in flight being engaged by a High Energy Laser (HEL) weapon. The bright spot just behind the nose cone is the laser spot. VES supported several Army HEL weapons programs by evaluating the performance of the HEL. VES personnel and systems tracked the targets the HEL engaged and collected data on the spot size, jitter, drift, and bias of the laser beam.
    grayscale image of a mortar on a dark background taken from tracking imaging
    photo of a large stationary weapon firing with a large plume of reddish smoke coming out
    This picture shows a hypervelocity projectile (HVP) being fired from a 5-inch gun. This HVP was just under two feet long and 3 inches wide and traveled several times the speed of sound. VES personnel successfully tracked numerous HVPs, providing valuable trajectory data to the DoD program.
    The VT-100 tracking gimbal (the white machine in the picture) is shown here with an optical payload selected for the University of Central Florida. It was designed, built, tested, and delivered by VES in 12 months, from start to finish. It has a 400lbs payload capacity, 6 mounting surfaces, a 90 degrees/second tracking rate, and can make unlimited turns in azimuth due to the power and gigabit ethernet sliprings in its pedestal.
    VT-100 Tracking Gimbal
    refurbished Black Mount
    Creatively named “The Black Mount”, this tracking system was built during the Cold War and was refurbished and repurposed by VES. It has been used to track space launches, satellites, and other moving objects. With its 2,000lbs payload, multiple telescopes and sensors can be integrated with it to collect a wide variety of useful data on the target.
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