Raytheon has won an $11 million Air Force contract to develop the long-range imaging LADAR (LRIL) transceiver. LRIL, an Air Force Research Laboratory project, “will demonstrate the state-of-the-art in inverse synthetic aperture LADAR (ISAL) technology with the objective of producing an ISAL image from a space object in geosynchronous orbit,” according to a Department of Defense announcement.
Under the cost-plus-fixed-fee contract, Phase I will comprise a laboratory demonstration of ISAL at the Maui Space Surveillance Site as well as modeling and simulation. Phase II will be a low-power demonstration of ISAL on a space object in middle Earth orbit or geosynchronous orbit. Phase III will add an adaptive optics atmospheric compensation system, while Phase IV will integrate a high-power laser illuminator as well as ISAL imaging of non-optically augmented geosynchronous objects.
The project is scheduled to be completed by September 2018.