Air Force chooses fast-steering mirrors from Optics In Motion for weapons test facility
EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla., 9 April 2014. U.S. Air force weapons experts needed fast-steering mirrors for the Guided Weapons Evaluation Facility (GWEF) at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., They found their solution from Optics In Motion LLC in Long Beach, Calif.
Officials of the Air Force Materiel Command at Eglin announced plans Friday to award a sole-source contract to Optics In Motion for two 3-inch-diameter clear aperture fast-steering mirrors and two 3.5-inch-diameter diffusing aperture fast steering mirrors. The value of the contract has yet to be negotiated.
Weapons test experts at the Air Force 96th Test Wing at Eglin will configure the Optics In Motion mirrors with a diffusing aperture substrate mirror at Eglin's Guided Weapons Evaluation Facility as part of the GWEF's infrared jammer simulation used for test & measurement of infrared countermeasures capabilities, Air Force officials say.
The 96th Test Wing is the test and evaluation center for Air Force air-delivered weapons, navigation and guidance systems, command and control systems, and Air Force Special Operations Command systems. The wing performs developmental test and evaluation for Air Force systems program offices, the Air Force Research Laboratory, logistics and product centers; major commands; other U.S. Department of Defense services and U.S. government agencies; foreign military sales; and private industry.
The Optics In Motion fast-steering mirrors are critical elements in the GWEF infrared jammer simulator, and without these mirrors experts cannot be prepared for testing guided weapons and their responses to various countermeasures, officials say.
These fast-steering mirrors enable technicians to build an exact replica of the existing simulators for testing new hardware compatibility.
Two of the mirrors from Optics In Motion will have a clear aperture diameter of 3 inches, have extremely flat surfaces, will have gold coatings for maximum reflection in the necessary spectral region, have high pointing accuracy, allow for at least 30 Hz frequency of operation at full amplitude operation, and allow for circular angular range of motion of at least five degrees.
The other two mirrors will have diameters of 3.5 inches and high precision pointing accuracy. Optics In Motion is the only company able to meet all the Air Force's requirements, officials say.
The Guided Weapons Evaluation Facility, operated by the 96th Test Wing at Eglin, is the only facility of its kind in the world, Air Force officials say.
The GWEF can evaluate the millimeter wave, laser, infrared, radio frequency, and visible light spectra of munitions seekers and inertial and GPS systems. The GWEF helps certify missiles before they are deployed in combat.
The facility provides real-time hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) tests of weapon systems to help the military evaluate performance by simulating environmental conditions and determining how weapons would respond during actual flights.