KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M., Dec. 29, 2005 -- Boeing LTS has been awarded an Air Force Research Laboratory contract with a potential value of $413 million to maintain and operate the two largest telescopes in the Department of Defense.
The 3.67-m Advanced Electro Optical System -- housed in the Maui Space Surveillance System in Hawaii -- is the largest telescope in the Department of Defense.
The contract will provide the laboratory's Directed Energy Directorate with specialized optical support in New Mexico and Hawaii over the next seven years. Under a 2004 reorganization and consolidation, the directorate’s optics division operates two optical research sites that include several large telescopes, including a 3.5-m telescope on Kirtland AFB and a 3.6-m telescope in Maui, Hawaii. The sites are used for research, to develop adaptive optics, for active and passive tracking of targets in the air and in space, for space surveillance and to improve how laser energy is propagated and controlled. Boeing LTS, a part of the Boeing Co., will provide the Air Force with the support needed for this work.
“This consolidated support contract is replacing the two independent contracts that were ending,” said Col. Gregory Vansuch, chief of the optics division. “Consolidating this support is a logical and highly beneficial approach for more efficient operations at both our sites.”
Vansuch said that the two sites operate a variety of visible, near-, mid-, and far-infrared sensors and imagers, as well as laser beam directors that project low-to-medium-power laser beams at ground, air and space targets. Included is instrumentation to characterize atmospheric transmittance and the strength of turbulence.
The initial contract is for approximately $224 million but it includes three one-year options that could increase the value of the contract to $413 million over seven years.
For more information, visit: www.de.afrl.af.mil