Programs A–Z

Aglite Air Quality Studies

SDL's comprehensive air quality monitoring system, Aglite, is a cost-effective, vehicle-portable, rugged remote sensing system designed to help agricultural operation owners maintain their operations within the regulatory standards for pollution.

Photo taken in Logan, UT of noctilucent clouds (also known as Polar Mesospheric clouds) which will be studied by the AIM mission AIM – SOFIE Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere – Solar Occultation for Ice Experiment

AIM's purpose is to determine the causes of the highest altitude clouds (Polar Mesospheric Clouds) in the Earth's atmosphere.

ARCH board ARCH Advanced Reconnaissance Compression Hardware

Developing the next generation, near real-time image compression hardware solution and standards for the Navy.

PWP Towerhawk ARSS Autonomous Rotorcraft Sniper System

The Precision Weapons Platform (PWP) is a lightweight turret that SDL created for the U.S. Army’s Aviation Applied Technology Directorate (AATD) as part of the Autonomous Rotorcraft Sniper System (ARSS).

Artist's conception of ASTEC ASTEC Advanced Space Technologies and Emerging Concepts

A study to determine the feasibility issues and costs associated with the development and manufacturing of 100 servicing satellites.

BEPoP at Firepond - ready for launch BEPoP Brilliant Eyes Proof of Principle

Designed, built, and calibrated by SDL, the BEPoP sensor incorporates an imaging radiometer with three focal planes for collecting measurements at visible, LWIR, and VLWIR wavelengths.

Bowshock nosecone Bowshock I and II

Funded by MDA to provide the predictive capability to design and deploy effective sensor systems for target acquisition and tracking in future atmospheric interceptor systems.


CIRRIS-1A instrument section CIRRIS IA Cryogenic Infrared Radiance Instrumentation for Shuttle

This SDL-developed infrared telescope contained a high resolution Michelson interferometer-spectrometer and a dual channel radiometer.

Cruise Missile Real-Time Retargeting

CMRTR Cruise Missile Real-Time Retargeting

Working with the Naval Air Warfare Center, SDL is developing LADAR system simulation software for the CMRTR Program.

Partial view of CODA instrument CODA Coupling of Dynamics and Aurora

Successfully launched 21 February 2002, CODA was designed to study the thin upper atmospheric region that is too high for airplanes and balloons but too low for satellites.

  DCGS Distributed Common Ground System

The DoD’s Distributed Common Ground Station (DCGS) is a family of fixed and deployable ground processing systems that support the real-time collection, analysis and dissemination of intelligence and imagery from manned and unmanned reconnaissance sources.

DEBI ready to launch DEBI Dual-mode Experiment on Bowshock Interactions.

DEBI launched successfully on 10 June 2003. The data captured by DEBI will be used to further research on UV> and IR bowshock interactions.

DITP dewar DICE Dynamic Ionosphere CubeSat Experiment

DICE will map geomagnetic Storm Enhanced Density (SED) plasma bulge and plume formations in Earth’s ionosphere.

DITP dewar DITP Discriminating Interceptor Technology Program

SDL supported DITP with flight cryostat assembly and housekeeping and control electronics.


DUSTER Deployable UAV System for Targeting, Exploitation, and Reconnaissance - UAV

DUSTER Deployable UAV System for Targeting, Exploitation, and Reconnaissance

SDL is developing the next generation of exploitation for these UAV-borne sensors. DUSTER will allow a soldier to sit at a safe terminal to collect and analyze data streams from various sensors deployed on multiple UAVs in near real-time.

E-Winds preparing to launch


E-Winds, a NASA-funded program to measure the time history of the nighttime E-region neutral winds, launched 30 June 2003 from Wallops Flight Facility, VA.



Launched in 1998, SDL designed, built and calibrated Eddy to study invisible turbulence using variety of sensors.


E-MAS Enhanced MODIS Airborne Simulator

SDL is providing a cooled optical bench assembly (COB) to enhance the MODIS Airborne Simulator (MAS), a wide-band, multispectral, whiskbroom scanner operated by the NASA Airborne Sensor Facility for Earth-observing campaigns aboard high-altitude NASA platforms.

Excede III Instrument

EXCEDE III Excitation via Controlled Energy Deposition Experiment

Designed by SDL to determine reactions and measure infrared radiance produced in the upper atmosphere by controlled dosing.


F-16 Re-Engineering and Depot Assist

Working with Air Force 309th Maintenance Wing, SDL is re-engineering the video display unit for the F-16 aircraft.



SDL delivered a hardware in-the-loop emulator for the attitude determination and control system and provided instrumentation, fabrication, integration and testing for FAISAT 1 and 2.



FEATHAR Fusion, Exploitation, Algorithm, Targeting High‐Altitude Reconnaissance

The FEATHAR program develops enhanced integrated multi‐intelligence sensor systems and fusion processing algorithms (e.g. high resolution visible/infrared, hyperspectral, synthetic aperture radar, etc.) for multiple‐networked ISR platforms to identify, geo‐locate, and track enemy targets.

Artist's conception of FIRST instrument

FIRST Far-Infrared Spectroscopy of the Troposphere

FIRST is a long wave imaging interferometer that will measure between 10-100 microns, filling a gap in the existing system that monitors the Earth’s climate.


FISTA Flying Infrared Signatures Technology Aircraft

FISTA is an NKC-135A specially modified to fly infrared sensors and collect data during flight.

FISTA II aircraft

FISTA II Flying Infrared Signatures Technology Aircraft

A follow-on to SDL’s work on infrared signatures, FISTA II focuses on missile and rocket plume signatures for MDA.

SDL's Floating Potential Measurement Unit

FPMU Floating Potential Measurement Unit

FPMU will be used to monitor ISS charging so that steps can be taken to provide a safer environment for the astronauts during Extra Vehicular Activities.

GEMS on the Mir Space Station

GEMS Gas Exchange Measurement System

GEMS is designed to measure the respiration of plants that are being grown in a small greenhouse on the Russian Mir Space Station. The 25-year experiment demonstrated that serial plant propagation in space is possible.

Artist's conception of the Geosynchronous Imaging Fourier Transform Spectrometer

GIFTS Geosynchronous Imaging Fourier Transform Spectrometer

The completion and calibration of the GIFTS engineering development unit has the potential to greatly reduce risk for the HES program.


Artist's conception of the Hyperspectral Imager for the Coastal Ocean

HICO Hyperspectral Imager for the Coastal Ocean

SDL is participating in the development of two hyperspectral imagers for the Navy.


HIP Hyperspectral Imaging Polarimeter

The pathfinder sensor investigates the infrared characteristics of sun-glint from high altitude clouds in order to research techniques to reduce the high incidence of false missile-launch indications from US early-warning satellites.


IBSS Infrared Background Signature Survey

The IBSS sensor consisted of a high-off-axis rejection telescope, a spatial radiometer, and an Ebert-Fastie grating spectrometer.


ICON Ice Content and Odd-Oxygen in Noctilucent Clouds

ICON is a NASA-sponsored program to determine the clouds' composition by measuring their IR and UV radiation and absorption characteristics.


ICON – FUV Ionospheric Connection Explorer – Far Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph

The purpose of NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) mission is to explore how both terrestrial and space weather affect conditions in the ionosphere, the region of plasma forming the boundary between Earth and space.

thermal switch for the James Webb Space Telescope

JWST Heat Switch James Webb Space Telescope

SDL designed and demonstrated an advanced thermal switch for NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).


JWST Thermal Links James Webb Space Telescope

These low-mass links, fabricated from high purity aluminum foils, maximize thermal conductance in their cryogenic operating conditions, minimize mechanical interaction, and provide dynamic flexibility as they transport heat from JWST’s science instruments to their radiators, enabling each instrument to operate at desired temperatures.

Water bubble on plant in Lada

Lada Named for the ancient Russian goddess of spring

Launched on board a Russian Soyuz rocket on 25 September 2002, Lada is a vegetation chamber created to provide a kind of space garden for astronauts and cosmonauts during their long expeditions onboard the International Space Station.


Mars Balloon

Mars Balloon

Working with JPL in designing, fabricating, integrating and flying prototype Mars balloons, SDL's deliverables included balloon storage and deployment containers, pyrotechnic systems, and a large number of control gondolas.

METEORS hardware

METEORS MEsosphere-Thermosphere Emissions for Ozone Remote Sensing

A NASA/LaRC sounding rocket program, the main instruments provided by SDL included a 9.6 µm CVF spectrometer, a 2-channel near-IR WIRR, and an atomic oxygen resonance-fluorescence/absorption experiment.

MSTI-3 hardware

MSTI-3 Miniature Sensor Technology Integration

SDL conducted spatial and radiometric calibrations on the sensor and used interferometric techniques to characterize the sensor spectral response down to 1x10-7 of the in-band transmission.

Navy Input Station

NAVIS Navy Input Station

A state-of-the-art, real-time reconnaissance imagery receiver and display system.


NPOESS National Polar‐orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System

SDL is a long‐standing member of the government team for the National Polar‐orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS).

Naval Research Laboratory Sensor Node

NSN Naval Research Laboratory Sensor Node

NSN is designed to provide distributed screening of real-time, near real-time, and archived data from the latest electro-optical, infrared, multi-spectral, and radar sensors.

Orbiting Carbon Observatory

OCO Orbiting Carbon Observatory

As a subcontractor for Hamilton Sundstrand Sensor Systems, SDL is developing the cryogenic subsystem for the OCO instrument.



ORZS Optimization of Root Zone Substrates

ORZS is a cooperative program with the Russian IBMP and USU’s Soil Physics group. The ORZS program objective is to optimize the plant growth rooting environment.


OSIRIS REx Origins Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security Regolith Explorer

OSIRIS REx is a NASA New Frontiers mission to return a sample of an asteroid to the Earth. SDL is designing, building, and testing the detector electronics assemblies for the three OSIRIS-REx Camera Suite (OCAM) instruments.

  ProSEDS Propulsive Small Expendable Deployer System

A tether-based propulsion experiment that dissipates power to the space environment around the Earth, allowing the transfer of spacecraft orbital kinetic energy to heat.

PWP Towerhawk PWP – TowerHawk

The Precision Weapons Platform (PWP) is a lightweight turret that SDL created for the U.S. Army’s Aviation Applied Technology Directorate (AATD) as part of the Autonomous Rotorcraft Sniper System (ARSS).

Artist's conception of RAMOS

RAMOS Russian American Observational Satellites

An international cooperative program with the Russian Federation, RAMOS is a two-satellite constellation that will operate in approximately the same plane and altitude of around 500 kilometers.

  RBI Radiation Budget Instrument

RBI will fly on the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS-2) an will measure the emitted and reflected radiation from the Earth and its atmosphere over a very broad wavelength range from approximately 280 nanometers (mid UV) to 100 microns (far IR).

Sounding of the Atmosphere using Broadband Emission Radiometry Hardware

SABER Sounding of the Atmosphere using Broadband Emission Radiometry

SABER, a 10-channel infrared (1.27 to 16.9 µm) radiometer, launched successfully on 7 December 2001 and is one of four instruments on NASA's TIMED mission.


SAL Sporadic Atom Layers

SAL's mission was to investigate the phenomenon of sporadic sodium layers (NaS), thin (1 km) layers of neutral atomic metal which form in the Earth's mesosphere at altitudes near 95 km.


SBIRS High Space Based Infrared System

SBIRS High is a two-tier remote sensing satellite system that will work with other US defense systems to provide global below- and above-the-horizon detection as well as tracking and discrimination of missiles in their boost, post-boost, midcourse and reentry phases of flight.


SBIRS Low Space Based Infrared System

SBIRS Low will be part of the next generation early warning system, providing missile warning, missile defense, battlespace characterization, and technical intelligence.


SHARC Ground Display Station

SHARC Squadron Hi‐Vis Advanced Reconnaissance Computer

Working in conjunction with the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), SDL developed the SHARC ground station for use in aircrew training, mission results validation, target verification, and on‐site maintenance assistance.

Shared Reconnaissance Pod in action

SHARP Shared Reconnaissance Pod

SHARP is a multi-functioned reconnaissance pod, adaptable to several airborne platforms for tactical manned airborne reconnaissance.

Skipper hardware


An international program funded by MDA to produce an atmospheric research satellite.

SPAS III instrument


SPAS III was to be a telescoped, infrared imager featuring two complex focal plane arrays, a 256 x 256 InSb detector operating in the SWIR and MWIR, and a 128 x 128 HgCdTe detector operating in the LWIR.

SPEAR III ready to launch

SPEAR III Space Power Experiments Aboard Rockets

The mission investigated different methods of grounding spacecraft to LEO plasma and obtained quantitative data on different charging effects observed on spacecraft in LEO.

SPIRIT III instrument

SPIRIT III Spatial Infrared Imaging Telescope

SPIRIT III is a long-wave infrared instrumentation package primarily consisting of a high spatial resolution radiometer, a high spectral resolution interferometer-spectrometer, and an extremely high-off-axis-rejection telescope.

Tactical Air-borne Reconnaissance Pod System

TARPS-CD Tactical Air-borne Reconnaissance Pod System - Completely Digital

SDL integrated digital imagery with real-time digital recording, data link transmission and display to provide the capabilities for processing, displaying, and manipulating tactical reconnaissance imagery received in real-time from CDL or from tape.



TARS MVE Theater Airborne Reconnaissance System Mission Verification Equipment

Working in conjunction with the US Air Force, SDL developed the TARS MVE ground station for use in aircrew training, mission results validation, target verification, and on-site maintenance assistance.

TES-FPOMA engineering test unit

TES‐FPOMA Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer‐Focal Plane Opto‐Mechanical Assembly

TES is a high-resolution infrared imaging Fourier transform spectrometer that will measure the state of the Earth’s lower atmosphere.


TIS-SPE Tactical Input Segment Screener Processor Element

SDL developed the hardware and software for the SPE portion of the TIS, a ground station designed to receive, process, and screen tactical imagery.

DART Rocket

Viper Dart

An initiative to develop a small inexpensive suborbital payload that can be used to probe the Earth's upper atmosphere.

Vegetable Production Unit

VPU Vegetable Production Unit

The VPU program conducts plant experiments in Lada, the SDL‐designed plant growth chamber that resides on the ISS.

Artist's conception of WIRE

WIRE Wide-field Infrared Explorer

WIRE is a solid-hydrogen cooled imaging telescope designed for the major measurement goal of studying starburst galaxy evolution.

Photo of  Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer

WISE Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer

WISE, a cryogenically-cooled infrared telescope, is intended to provide a complete stellar infrared map more than 1,000 times more detailed than previous surveys.