By Jason B. Cutshaw
USASMDC/ARSTRAT Public Affairs

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama - The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command showed attendees of the Association of the U.S. Army's Global Force Symposium and Exposition March 26-28 why the command is the Army's lead in high energy laser technology and space operations.

At the symposium's Innovator's Corner, USASMDC/ARSTRAT leaders and team members demonstrated through various venues how the command enhances operations, supports the Warfighter, explores new technologies and anticipates the future of integrated air and missile defense and global space operations.

"The presence here in Innovator's Corner is an opportunity to interact with the attendees here at AUSA and to show what innovative science and technology projects the Space and Missile Defense Command's Technical Center is doing to advance the state of the art in current and future developments," said Adam Aberle, SMDC High Energy Laser Division technology development and demonstration lead. "Our goal is to be value added to the Warfighter to make them more effective in their missions and objectives. We are developing basic and applied research as well as integrated demonstrations in an effort to support the Warfighter and we are here to explain how we accomplish that."

The Innovator's Corner featured presentations and exhibits that show how science and technology support the Warfighter and looks to the future for Department of Defense science and technology organizations.

SMDC programs were spotlighted and offered visitors an up-close and personal look at the Army's research and development efforts and the opportunity to hear from the engineers who work on the technologies.

One display was the Kestrel Eye, which is an electro-optical microsatellite-class imagery satellite for tasking by the tactical ground component Warfighter. Capable of producing tactically useful imagery, Kestrel Eye's data can be downlinked directly to the same Warfighter. Kestrel Eye was launched to the International Space Station as a part of a cargo resupply mission in August and deployed from the ISS in October.

"The importance of being here is the ability to showcase the type of work we do at SMDC," said Dr. Matthew Hitt, SMDC Technical Center general engineer. "Our innovations allow us to promote our contributions to the nation and the Warfighter in technical areas, specifically dealing with space and Kestrel Eye."

Also participating were members of SMDC's high energy laser team who explained how the command's efforts are looking to provide operational capability for forward-deployed forces as well as other applications for directed energy technologies.

"Innovator's Corner is important for people here at AUSA to understand the Army's cutting-edge technologies," said Amanda Clark, a physicist with the SMDC Tech Center High Energy Laser Division. "We are here to educate attendees about what we are doing in the Technical Center, especially dealing with high energy lasers."