Maury Tigner, physics professor emeritus and director of the Laboratory for Elementary-Particle Physics at Cornell University, was a winner of the American Physical Society's (APS) 2005 Leo Szilard Lectureship Award for work on boost phase intercept systems for national missile defense. The annual prize, established "to recognize outstanding accomplishments by physicists in promoting the use of physics for the benefit of society in such areas as the environment, arms control and science policy," was awarded to members of a study group formed by the APS in early 2001. The group, which includes physicists and engineers with a variety of scientific and technical backgrounds, analyzed intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) systems and delivered a report concluding that intercepting incoming ICBMs in their boost phase (just after launch, when they are still under power) would be challenging at best. . . . Military contractor BAE Systems and the US Navy have successfully completed developmental testing of the AN/ALE-55 fiber optic towed decoy (FOTD) on the Navy's F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet. During the flight tests, conducted at Naval Air Station in Patuxent River, Md., the FOTD was subjected to more than 60 risk reduction flights to test the safe employment, endurance and reliability of the FOTD under simulated combat maneuvers. The Integrated Defensive Electronic Countermeasures (IDECM) Block 3 program, which includes the AN/ALE-55 FOTD, will now begin formal development and operational testing; a contract award for the low rate initial production of the ALE-55 is planned for early 2006. . . . Picarro Inc., of Sunnydale, Calif., and Stanford University have extended an exclusive licensing agreement covering several Stanford patents on a sensing technology used in Picarro's trace chemical detection products. The new agreement extends exclusivity on the Stanford patents for a minimum of five more years and as many as eight. It covers eight issued patents and five pending ones. The patents involve a technique, cavity ringdown spectroscopy (CRDS), that Stanford pioneered and the Picarro developed for commercial use in a variety of applications. CRDS uses precision lasers to measure miniscule amounts of specific chemicals in gas or liquid form; it is being used to identify trace chemicals in industrial processes and to study critical changes in atmospheric greenhouse gases. Picarro has incorporated the technology into its ESP-1000 series of trace gas detectors, which are being field tested for monitoring and controlling contaminants in semiconductor manufacturing clean rooms and petrochemical production plants.
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