Sept 18, 2014 - Stephen R. Wilk

How the Ray Gun Got Its Zap! Odd Excursions in Optics

Joint Meeting with the New England Section of SID

The Ray Gun is a familiar pop culture icon, ubiquitous in science fiction and fantasies from Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon through Star Trek and Star Wars to the latest movies. But it is not an obvious or inevitable outgrowth of speculative fiction – there are no ray guns in the works of Jules Verne, or in Edgar Rice Burroughs’s stories of Mars (at least, until they started to appear elsewhere in fiction). Where did it come from, and how did it assume the central position it occupies in futuristic and alien armories? 



Read more: Sept 18, 2014 - Stephen R. Wilk

October 16, 2014 - Larry Maver

Global Applications of UTC Aerospace ISR Systems

NOTE: This meeting will be held at UTC Aerospace Systems. Attendance is limited to U.S. Citizens with a driver's license or government issued photo ID

Aerial imaging systems have been used for a variety of applications since photography came into being in the 1800’s. The First World War saw the first widespread use of aerial photography for military reconnaissance missions. Today, ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) is a critical military asset used in theaters worldwide to counter the varied threats that exist across the globe.


UTC Aerospace ISR Systems (Westford, MA), the former Itek Optical Systems, has been at the forefront of space-borne and airborne ISR systems for more than a half century. The United States and more than a dozen countries use reconnaissance systems designed and manufactured at ISR Systems. The presentation will describe the operational employment of these systems in global environments and illustrate how imagery is used for both military and civilian applications.



Read more: October 16, 2014 - Larry Maver

November 20, 2014 - Farzana Khatri

The Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration: a Successful First Step for Deep-Space Lasercom Systems


Radio waves have been the standard method for deep-space communications since the Apollo Mission. However, the recent success of the Lunar Laser Communications Demonstration (LLCD) program will clearly revolutionize the way data is sent and received from deep space. LLCD demonstrated record-breaking optical up/downlinks between Earth and the Lunar Lasercom Space Terminal (LLST) payload on NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere Environment Explorer (LADEE) satellite orbiting the Moon.  The system included the development of a novel space terminal, a novel ground terminal, two major upgrades of existing ground terminals, and a capable and flexible ground operations infrastructure. This talk will give an overview of the system architecture and the several terminals, basic operations of both the link and the whole system, and some typical results focusing on operations.

This work is sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under Air Force Contract #FA8721-05-C-0002. Opinions, interpretations, conclusions and recommendations are those of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by the United States Government.



Read more: November 20, 2014 - Farzana Khatri

Page 2 of 2