1. The Midcourse Space Experiment, MSX, Missile Defense Agency

The Midcourse Space Experiment, a 10 year $500 million dollar effort, addressed Ballistic Missile Defense technical tasks:

  • Demonstrate operational surveillance system functions to demonstrate midcourse object detection, acquisition, tracking, discrimination and kill assessment feasibility.
  • Identify the limitations imposed upon an operational system functions; temporal variability; target signatures spectral structure; target characteristics and their behavior in realistic environments.
  • Identify the stressing backgrounds against which an operational system would function; what are the temporal, spatial, and spectral characteristics; and their frequency of occurrence with severity, season, geographic location and local time of day.
  • Identify the enabling technologies needed to demonstrate or to develop that prove the feasibility of space-based IR and visible midcourse surveillance missions.

Seven Principal Investigator teams performed the technical work to accomplish these tasks. Mr. Pollock, Co-Principal Investigator the Data Certification and Technology Transfer team, specifically collaborated with the sensor suppliers, vacuum-UV through LWIR, spectrometers, imagers and spectro-graphic imagers, as well as the spacecraft attitude control team to assure data quality adequate to support post-mission data analysis by the PI teams.

The DCATT responsibility included Data Reduction validation to "Level 2" for all sensors, both reconstructed ECI pointing and radiometric data uncertainty as well as the Data Conversion software. The spacecraft during payload integration at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and following Figures are a very brief representation the hardware and the > 1 Tbyte science data set the 12 radiometers collected after the 1996 launch. The VLWIR imager and spectrometer solid hydrogen cryogen coolant began to warm in February 1997. The 10, un-cooled sensors continued to collect science data until the Air Force took command of the spacecraft mission.


Figure 1:MSX Spacecraft Artitst Rendering


Figure 2:Space Craft at final assembly.
Figure 3:Sensor layout.





Figure 4: Thermal lunar image during total eclipse.



Figure 5: STS 85 Plume

Visible wavelengths



Figure 6: STS 85 Plume

ultraviolet wavelengths


2. Airborne Surveillance Testbed, SMDC

Figure 7: AST Sensor Optical System Figure 8: AST Sensor In-flight

3. Trap-MATS LHe cooled background radiation sensor.

Figure 9: 1960's era LN

2 cooled optics, airborne

Mr. Pollock designed the optical, thermal system, assembled, tested and installed functional sensor in a test cupola on a modified KC135 aircraft.

4. Large Area Surveillance giga-pixel Camera.

Figure 10: Resolution 0.5 m at 7.6 km altitude.