All things considered, Man is the prettiest and noblest thing in all of Creation…
and He is simultaneously the pettiest, cruelest and ugliest of its rulers.
It all started in 1950 when a young, idealistic, engineer quit his job at Fairchild Camera to pursue a career in an industry that barely existed. He formed a brand new company named Photographic Analysis Company whose sales mark was “Research Through Photography.”
High speed photography is an engineering tool, much as is an oscilloscope or a computer. It is a photographic technique that enables us to visualize and analyze motion. Especially motions that are too fast for the human eye or conventional cameras to perceive.
During the first forty two years of the company’s existence high speed photographic images were generally “captured” on photographic film. The company excelled in teaching and applying high speed photography to numerous clients for a multitude of applications. The company also designed , manufactured and marketed products specific to the high speed photographic needs of its clients. The company’s film based cameras were so widely accepted that they are national stock listed (NSN) by the US DoD.
In 1992 the company decided to form a separate entity that was to design and fabricate high speed electronic imagers that did not rely on photographic film for imaging. That “spin off” was later to be known as Vision Research® Inc. and their family of electronic imagers is currently marketed under the “Phantom®” trade mark.
Vision Research prides itself in the high resolution of its images, the power of its software, the reliability of its products and its high level of attentiveness and dedication to its customers. The company’s innovative approach to high speed electronic “digital” imaging was recognized by the US Patent Office and was granted US Patent #5,625,412.
The future holds more technology innovation and unique products from Vision Research. The company’s development goals include electronic imaging products with higher resolution and faster frame rates and “smarter” cameras with more powerful and robust software.
While hardware and software products are important, the company realizes that its key to future success is the same now as it was in 1950 and that is listening to and serving its customers.
Main site: http://www.visionresearch.com
Photron was founded in 1974 to provide manufacturing, sales and service of professional film and video equipment and photo- instrumentation. Since then, Photron has been offering photo optics and electronic technologies to manufacturing industries, the medical field, film laboratories, major movie and television studios, as well as to the military worldwide. The company name “PHOTRON” combines photon and electron, the basic elements that represent our state-of-the-art technologies.
After gaining experience with image processing systems, Photron branched into the development of high-speed motion analysis cameras. Some highlights of our product launches are:
Photron’s varied product range makes it the first choice for designers, manufacturers, R&D and test engineers to solve their most challenging motion problems. Whether it’s testing a new product design or piece of equipment or trouble-shooting a high-speed production line, Photron’s digital camera systems can capture thousands of high resolution images for playback and analysis. And with Photron Motion Tools software, users can automatically track the motion of any point within a recorded sequence.Photron’s continuing development of new state-of-the-art products shows our commitment to furthering research and development in the areas of digital imaging and motion analysis solutions.
Photron also designs and develops software for the motion-picture and television industries under the Primatte brand. Photron began marketing Primatte in the mid-90s, at which time Scott Gross joined the Primatte team to help introduce, sell and support Primatte software in the U.S. In the ensuing five years since its introduction, Primatte has gone from being one platform with two versions to nearly forty versions on three platforms, a testament to its powerful and versatile ability to create seamless and realistic chromakey compositing effects.
Photron is proud partners with Photonics Online: Digital Marketplace for the photonics industry.
Main site: http://www.photron.com/index.php
“We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.”
President John F. Kennedy – September 12, 1962, Rice University.
The A-10 Thunderbolt is also known as the Warthog, the ‘flying gun’ and the Tankbuster. The aircraft was used extensively during Operation Desert Storm, in support of Nato operations in response to the Kosovo crisis, in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The A-10 is a high-survivability and versatile aircraft, popular with pilots for the ‘get home’ effectiveness.
The mission of the aircraft is ground attack against tanks, armoured vehicles and installations, and close air support of ground forces.
The A-10 is suitable for operation from forward air bases, with short take-off and landing capability. The aircraft has a long range (800 miles), high endurance and can loiter in the battle area.
The manoeuvrability at low speed and low altitude (below 1,000ft) allows accurate and effective targeting and weapon delivery over all types of terrain.
A-10 Thunderbolt development
The first flight of the A-10 was in May 1972, and a total of 713 aircraft were produced. The production of A-10 aircraft came to an end in 1984. Originally manufactured by Fairchild, since 1987 the prime contractor for the A-10 has been Northrop Grumman, which carries out support and structural upgrade programmes from the Integrated Systems and Aerostructures Divisions at Bethpage, New York and at St Augustine in Florida.
Over 367 A-10 aircraft are in service with the US Air Force, Air Combat Command, the US Air Force Reserve and the Air National Guard. The aircraft variants currently in service in the US Air force are A-10 (143), and A-10C (70); Reserve A-10 (46) and OA-10 (6); ANG, A-10 (84) and OA-10 (18).
In June 2007, Boeing was awarded a $2bn contract for the A-10 wing replacement programme. Boeing will supply 242 replacement wing sets by 2018.
In September 2009, the US Air Force awarded two contracts worth $4.2m to Boeing for modernising its fleet of 365 A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft for a period of three to 18 months. The contract was awarded as part of the total $1.6bn A-10 Thunderbolt life-cycle programme support (TLPS) contract.
The two contracts included A-10 Aircraft Structural Integrity Program (ASIP) which involves providing engineering services to the aircraft and upgraded data transfer unit (UDTU) which include trade study analysis and operational assessment / proof of concept. Both the contracts aim at upgrading the aircraft with avionics architecture to improve memory and data capability.
A-10C – precision engagement upgrade programme
The precision engagement upgrade programme for the A-10 includes enhanced precision target engagement capabilities, which will allow the deployment of precision weapons such as JDAM (joint direct attack munition) and wind-corrected munitions dispenser (WCMD), as well as enabling an extension of the aircraft’s service life to 2028.
Improvements include: hands-on throttle and stick control, two new Raytheon Technical Services 5in×5in multifunction cockpit displays, situational awareness datalinks (SADL), digital stores management system, integrated flight and fire control computer (IFFCC) from BAE Systems Platform Solutions for automated continuously computed weapons delivery, Sniper XR or Litening targeting pods for precision-guided weapons and helmet-mounted sighting
Lockheed Martin Systems Integration-Owego is prime contractor for the program. First flight of the upgraded A-10C was in January 2005. A contract for low-rate initial production (LRIP) of 72 units was awarded in March 2005. The first was delivered to Baltimore Air National Guard in August 2006.
A contract for full-rate production of 107 units was placed in August 2006. The A-10C achieved initial operating capability in August 2007. 100 A-10s had been upgraded by January 2008. The A10C began operational deployment in Iraq in September 2007. 356 A-10 aircraft have been upgraded in the contract.
In February 2004, Lockheed Martin was awarded a contract for the integration of the Sniper XR targeting pod on the A-10 as part of the PE programme. Sniper XR includes mid-wave FLIR (forward-looking infrared), dual mode laser, CCD-TV, laser spot tracker and IR marker.
The single-seat cockpit is protected by all-round armour, with a titanium ‘bathtub’ structure to protect the pilot that is up to 3.8cm thick. The cockpit has a large bulletproof bubble canopy, which gives good all-round vision.
The cockpit is equipped with a head-up display, which is used for targeting and weapon aiming, a Have-Quick secure radio communications system, inertial navigation and a tactical air navigation (TACAN) system.
“The single-seat cockpit is protected by all-round armor, with a titanium ‘bathtub’ structure.”
Lockheed Martin has begun delivery of 21 USAF A-10 aircraft with the embedded global positioning system / inertial navigation system (EGI), which pinpoints the exact location of the aircraft. The aircraft are also to be fitted with BAE Systems terrain profile matching systems (TERPROM).
The pilot is equipped with night-vision goggles and also the infrared imaging display of the Maverick AGM-65.
The aircraft has 11 stores pylons, providing an external load capacity of 7,260kg. There are three pylons under the fuselage and the loads can be configured to use either the centre-line pylon or the two flanking fuselage pylons.
For weapon guidance, the aircraft can be fitted with Pave Penny laser guidance / electronic support measures, pod installed on the starboard fuselage pylon. Each wing carries four stores pylons: three outboard and one inboard of the wheel fairing.
The A-10 can carry up to ten Maverick air-to-surface missiles. The Raytheon Maverick AGM-65 missile uses a variety of guidance systems, including imaging infrared guidance and warheads, including a high-penetration, 57kg conical-shaped charge warhead. Range is more than 45km. The A-10 can also carry the Sidewinder air-to-air missile, which is an all-aspect short-range missile with maximum speed over Mach 2.
The A10 is capable of deploying a wide range of ordnance: for example, the LDGP mk82 226kg, 500lb general-purpose bombs, BLU-1 and BLU-27/B Rockeye II cluster bombs and the cluster bomb unit CBU-52/71.
The Northrop Grumman Litening ER (extended range) targeting pod has been successfully integrated on an A-10. Litening ER features a 640×512 pixel thermal imager, CCD TV, laser spot tracker / rangefinder, IR marker and laser designator.
The aircraft is armed with a General Dynamics GAU-8/A Avenger 30mm cannon, mounted in the nose of the aircraft.
Using the cannon, the A-10 is capable of disabling a main battle tank from a range of over 6,500m. The cannon can fire a range of ammunition, including armour-piercing incendiary rounds (API) weighing up to 0.75kg, or uranium-depleted 0.43kg API rounds.
The magazine can hold 1,350 rounds of ammunition. The pilot can select a firing rate of 2,100 or 4,200 rounds a minute.
The two non-afterburning turbo fan engines, TF34-GE-100, supplied by General Electric, each supply 9,065lb thrust. The location of the engines, high on the fuselage, allows the pilot to fly the aircraft fairly easily with one engine inoperable.
Primary Function: close air support (A-10), airborne forward air control (OA-10)
Contractor: Fairchild Republic Co.
Unit Cost: $9.8 million (fiscal 98 constant dollars)
Two General Electric TF34-GE-100 turbofans (9,065 pounds each)
Length: 53 feet, 4 inches (16.16 meters)
Wingspan: 57 feet, 6 inches (17.42 meters)
Height: 14 feet, 8 inches (4.42 meters)
Empty: 25,600 lb
Maximum Takeoff: 51,000 lb (22950 kg)
Speed: 420 mph (Mach 0.56)
Ceiling: 45,000 feet (13636 meters)
Range: 800 miles (695 nm)
One 30 mm GAU-8/A seven-barrel Gatling gun; up to 16,000 pounds (7,200 kilograms) of mixed ordnance on eight under-wing and three under-fuselage pylon stations, including 500 pounds (225 kilograms) of Mk-82 and 2,000 pounds (900 kilograms) of Mk-84 series low/high drag bombs, incendiary cluster bombs, combined effects munitions, mine dispensing munitions, AGM-65 Maverick missiles and laser-guided/electro-optically guided bombs; infrared countermeasure flares; electronic countermeasure chaff; jammer pods; 2.75-inch (6.99 centimeters) rockets; illumination flares and AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles.
First Flight: May 10, 1972 (prototype) / April 5, 1972 (A-10)
End of Service: N/A
Number Built: A-10A (721) + A-10B (30) [~751 total]
For those of you who have moved beyond or been rescued from the infantilizing fable of naturalism and strict materialism, it may be time to think beyond those accidental mind-barriers of even the best ideas.
Believer and unbeliever alike have looked deep into the skies and seen mysterious things—worlds, nebulae, stars. Beyond the counting, these celestial wonders serve to instruct us through their orbits, their bursts, and sometimes in their baffling silences. They are also destinations for which we are long overdue.
Some men have stared at our nearest heavenly closet and counted the tenants—tiny hot Mercury, shrouded Venus, our own life-brimming Earth, desolate Mars, mighty Jupiter, well-married Saturn, tilted Uranus, blue blue Neptune, forgotten Pluto and his court, and lesser objects and debris making their wild tours—and find our petty half-baked guesses about them challenged with every new observation.
Surely, these strange and inconsistent spheres with their magnetic anomalies, peculiar weather, confusing arrangements, hopeless atmospheres, impractical orbits, unreasonable temperatures, bewildering surface features, and mystifying rotations… surely these cannot be the work of an Intelligent Designer.
But the universe is not neglected, nor is it an abandoned atomic junkyard.
Despite what the untrained mind may suspect the universe is neither disordered nor un-designed. And though wrecked it is not even the wreckage we see through our telescopes.
The universe, starting with our solar system, is unfinished.
Not for want of Divine enthusiasm—for the day of rest did not catch God by surprise—but for want that Man should, at every half-step, study their rough-hewn shapes and by his great Adamic intellect comprehend and calculate the many unique distances from each of their un-concluded forms to their final polishes.
Our solar system is little more than the riddles of small Divine algebra, little grade school tests sprinkled like beads at mathematically plausible intervals to draw Man into the sky, first by sight then by touch: to understand, solve and shape them as God’s children pleased.
Our solar system is kindergarten, originally intended for undying prodigies unencumbered by our common, modern and mortal limitations. These worlds were gifts from the Creator to His Creator-Children to search out, admire, visit and frame with our unmatched power and imagination.
We were to shape new distant Edens in orbit around our own.
Adam was not some naked, gorgeous Ken doll counting sunsets and eating cashews all the days of his life.
Immortal and magnificent, our ancestors could not be defeated or dethroned even by angels—only deceived.
Only by a trick has Man been separated from his longevity and his genius, his legend now measured in decades, and the great distances of heaven no longer a mere skip…
but tiny, twinkling, teasing ports we can no longer reach.
Today, trillions of similar trespasses later, we remain shipwrecked on a single shore, stranded on our first world, marooned in our broken play ground.