NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera Celebrates First Anniversary in Space
Breakthrough optics developed by LightWorks Optics makes the program a success
Tustin, CA – November 10, 2010 – LightWorks Optics, Inc., the leading provider of premier optical engineering and production solutions for precision assemblies, systems and components, joins NASA, program scientists and suppliers in celebrating the success of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera’s (LROC) first year in orbit around the Moon.
LightWorks Optics was commissioned by Malin Space Sciences Systems in 2005 to design and produce the LROC’s critical narrow and wide-angle optical assemblies, allowing the camera to send unprecedented high-resolution 3D images of the Moon’s surface back to Earth for analysis. Since the LRO’s launch in 2009, camera images have included detailed close-ups of Apollo astronaut tracks and evidence of recent tectonic activity on the Moon’s surface.
“We’ve been fortunate to participate in some of the space industry’s most innovative optical breakthroughs over the last decade,” said Roger Johnston, LightWorks Optics’ Chief Technologist. “The LROC program was no exception. We were continually challenged to explore better design solutions, which makes its current success extremely rewarding.”
The LRO spacecraft is slated to remain in orbit through 2011, with the primary mission of collecting valuable data and images of the Moon’s surface. The program’s Principal Investigator, Mark Robinson, is a professor at Arizona State University’s School of Earth and Space Exploration. Robinson specializes in planetary crusts, including volcanism, tectonism, and regolith development. As part of the mission, Robinson will lead the scientific analysis of the ultra-high resolution (50 cm/pixel) and first-ever global UV imaging through visible imaging (315 nm through 680 nm; 400 and 100 m/pixel) of a planetary body. The LROC optical instruments will provide new opportunities to study the composition of the lunar crust and help determine future exploration goals.
“It was a privilege working with LightWorks Optics on the design and production of the LROC,” said Robinson. “The optical assembly requirements were extremely rigorous, but the technical expertise and collaborative attitude of the design team helped make the mission an overwhelming success. We couldn’t be more pleased with the images LROC is producing.”
LROC images and detailed camera specifications are available at: http://lroc.sese.asu.edu/
For more information about LightWorks Optics, Inc., please call 714-247-7175, or visit the new website at www.lightworksoptics.com.
About LightWorks Optics, Inc.
Founded in 1997, LightWorks Optics, Inc. is the leading provider of precision optical subassemblies, systems and component solutions. The company’s award-winning design engineering and production capabilities meet the complex optical needs of customers in the biomedical, medical device, aerospace, defense and commercial industries. The photonic applications may be diverse, but all LightWorks Optics products share a common focus on rapid development, excellent value, and high performance. The company is employee-owned and ISO 9001:2008 certified.