News

SDL Hosts a Calibration Facility Open House

USURF
November 11, 2002

LOGAN — Utah State University Research Foundation's Space Dynamics Laboratory (SDL) will host a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house for the Lab's Calibration and Optical Research Laboratory, Nov. 15 with the ribbon cutting at 2:30p.m. and open house from to 3p.m. to 7p.m.

"We are excited about the opportunity this facility will bring us to grow and further expand our expertise in calibration, remote sensing and instrument development," said Allan Steed, director of SDL.

The 43,000 square foot facility took a little over a year to complete. The new facility is SDL's fifth building, bringing its total size to 173,000 square feet.

The building houses a large calibration facility donated to SDL by Boeing. It features a vacuum chamber with cryogenic capabilities to accommodate testing and calibration of large space hardware systems. This will allow SDL to test and calibrate systems such as small satellites and optical sensors in a simulated space environment.

The calibration laboratory also includes high bays, clean rooms, an electromagnetic interference and electromagnetic compatibility anechoic testing chamber, an observatory, offices, conference rooms, storage areas and an auditorium.

The auditorium will be used for company meetings and conferences such as the Annual Conference on Characterization and Radiometric Calibration for Remote Sensing, which SDL has hosted for the past decade.

"Developing methods to accurately evaluate and calibrate electro-optical sensors has been a major thrust for SDL over the past 20 years," said Steed. "SDL has gained national and international prominence in this field."

SDL has calibrated instrumentation for NASA, the Department of Defense, Gencorp Aerojet, Northrop Grumman and other organizations.

Accurate calibration of sensors that perform measurements for environmental and defense purposes has become increasingly important for our country and the entire world.

"Gone are the days when pretty pictures from space were all that was required," said Steed, "Now major national decisions involving billions of dollars are being based on minor measurement changes in science parameters."

It is critical that instruments making these measurements are well calibrated so that these measurements can be relied on with confidence.

"This new facility will greatly increase our capability to perform calibration functions to gain this confidence," said Steed.

The public is invited to attend the open house and tour the facility. Refreshments will be served.