Space lab at USU awarded $5M in funds

By Kim Burges
The Herald Journal
September 17, 2007

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved Department of Defense funding for the next fiscal year, including $5 million for Utah State University’s Space Dynamics Lab.

The money is part of a bill outlining $93.5 million for military projects. It was requested by Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah.

SDL’s funds will build upon previously developed technologies that focus on reconnaissance systems and imagery processing. This new technology will enable soldiers in the field to find, identify and track moving enemy targets in real time using geotracking devices. The SDL is a nonprofit research corporation owned by USU.

In July, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved $500,000 for the SDL. Those funds would go toward examinations of how well equipment temperature sensors are calibrated. Their results will be used by NASA and the Department of Defense.

“Sen. Bennett has been and continues to be a great supporter of USU and SDL,” said Niel Holt, director of the Space Dynamics Lab’s Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance division. “Previous funding has allowed SDL to develop technologies and sensors for reconnaissance systems. The funding in 2008 will add to this capability, additional state-of-the-art technologies and algorithms to more autonomously find, identify and track targets of interest in real time.”

Both bills are now on the Senate calendar and will be considered at a later date. Once approved by the Senate, the House and Senate will have to work out the differences between the two bills before voting on the final passage.

© 2007 The Herald Journal