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Managerial Accounting


HABE Laser Systems Engineering Activities

HIGH ALTITUDE BALLOON EXPERIMENT (HABE): The High Altitude Balloon Experiment is an integrated hardware platform designed to evaluate the state-of-the-art in Acquisition, Tracking and Pointing (ATP) technologies to support the Air Force Space and Missiles Center (SMC) Space Based Laser (SBL) Program in the area of ballistic missile defense. The HABE mission provides a unique opportunity for studying ATP-related engagement scenarios and autonomous payload control in a near-space environment. The experiment calls for the HABE payload to be carried aloft to 85,000 feet by a helium balloon, and once thermally and optically calibrated, autonomously acquire, actively illuminate and track, and propagate a surrogate high energy laser marker laser to a boosting missile.

S. Systems Corporation has been involved in the development of the HABE system since September 1996. SSC engineers and scientists have had a lead role in the payload optical system design, fabrication, integration and test. SSC engineers were responsible for directing the fabrication and integration of all mechanical and structural elements of both the primary payload, the host for all optical systems, and the duplicate developmental payload, currently used for engineering validation of balloon and payload operations in near-space environments.

SSC provides the optical systems lead engineer, responsible for end-to-end system performance as well as the design evaluation and integration support for numerous payload sensor upgrades. SSC optical engineers and technicians are responsible for all optical systems alignments and development of simulated targets and detector systems used to validate payload performance in the laboratory, ground-based test ranges and in a thermal/vacuum chamber. SSC technicians conduct scheduled optical evaluation, maintenance and cleaning for all optical elements of the system.

SSC provides the engineering lead for primary payload integration. In this role, SSC directs a team of engineers and technicians for the complete integration of mechanical, optical, data processing and electrical systems. As the mechanical systems lead, SSC engineers and technicians provide hardware design, fabrication, integration and test support for continued evolution of the HABE platforms to support SBL ATP technology development. SSC engineers and technicians support design and the majority of fabrication of electrical cabling for both payloads. SSC also maintains the HABE configuration management system for all drawings, specifications, and documents related to the payloads.

SSC has also provided state-of-the-art optical coating design and fabrication for imaging systems and high power laser applications for the HABE program. Through the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), Phillips Laboratory Site, SSC scientists and engineers are responsible for thin film optical coatings on the vast majority of the optical surfaces within the HABE payloads. In SSC-operated optical coating and evaluation laboratories at the AFRL, state-of-the-art optical coating processes such as DC Magnetron Sputtering, Ion-Assisted Deposition and E-Beam Deposition are utilized to provide high quality, hardened coatings with maximum reliability essential in the harsh environments experienced during the HABE mission. SSC optical engineers and technicians are responsible for all optical component testing and quality assurance using wavelength-dependent interferometry, radiometry and spectroscopy to ensure satisfactory, integrated optical system performance.

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