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North Logan — Utah State University's Space Dynamics Laboratory has entered into a Space Act Agreement with Goddard Space Flight Center's Innovative Partnerships Office to develop a high-resolution optical encoder.
The partnership, funded by SDL through a Reimbursable Space Act Agreement, allows for the joint development of a high-resolution cryogenic optical encoder – an angular position sensor – to be used in conjunction with the laboratory's large, evacuated Thermal and Optical Research (THOR) chamber. The period of performance is for one year from Oct. 10, 2012.
The encoder will be used to measure the pointing angle of a large, high precision mirror in a second vacuum chamber connected to THOR. Using this encoder technology, the Space Dynamics Laboratory expects to reduce uncertainties in the performance and calibration of space-based sensor systems and increase efficiency of sensor calibrations they perform for NASA and the Department of Defense programs.