Our Contribution to science:
In 2013 Lindel Engineering received a request from the University of Arizona regarding a project that they were working on. U of A was in the development of a camera housing unit that would consequently be launched into space. This camera housing and satellite that it would be traveling in, developed in partnership with NASA, University of Arizona and many others including Lindel Engineering would find itself being launched into space on Sept 8th, 2016. As we approach the one year anniversary of its launch Lindel Engineering would like to share with you a little story behind the project.
The spacecraft, OSIRIS-REx which stands for Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (try to say that fast) was developed to be launched into space to gather information and small samples from Bennu, an asteroid traveling millions of miles from earth. Sounds like a science fiction novel, doesn’t it. The spacecraft would have the assignment to begin a detailed survey of Bennu two months after slowing to encounter Bennu. Yes that means it took two months to slow down in order to be able to start the informational process of gathering the data!
So you are probably asking yourself what did Lindel Engineering have to do with such an amazing endeavor! Well it seems that the OSIRIS-REx camera suite known as OCAMS, a system consisting of three cameras which were provided by the University of Arizona, GO WILDCATS, would need to be equipped with special lenses, no big surprise, right! These housing units are just the type of work that Lindel Engineering specialize in. The housings would consist of many features being built into the part. Because of the complex nature of the housings and the critical nature of the parts, the manufacturing couldn’t be given to just any shop. These housings would need to be manufactured without flaws and to tight tolerances. We are very proud that Lindel Engineering was one of a few that were chosen to partner in this project! Why were these lenses so critical you ask? Well these camera units would be the cornerstone of the operation taking pictures as the mission progressed. They would be providing global image mapping as well as sample site image mapping. One of the cameras that is being used is MapCam-a camera that maps the surface of the asteroid in four colors. PolyCam would also be used-an 8 inch telescope that would be the first to image the asteroid from 1.24 million miles away and if that wasn’t enough, it would also provide high-resolution microscope-like images of the surface! The third camera to be used would be SamCam- a camera that would image the sample acquisition event and examine the sample collector to verify successful acquisitions. And did I mention this would happen as fast as 1.6 seconds! Not only was this an outstanding opportunity for Lindel Engineering in the optics industry but it also help facilitate our movement into the aerospace industry, ultimately leading to our AS9100 certification.
So as you can see, Lindel Engineering is proud to have been a part of such an exciting project and we look forward to our growth and future in the remaining 2017 year as well as many years to follow.
OSIRIS-Rex, Bennu, University of Arizona, Optics, Aerospace, Defense, AS9100, ISO 9001