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CHIPS Articles: NSWC Crane drives electro-optical innovation with latest, high-tech equipment

NSWC Crane drives electro-optical innovation with latest, high-tech equipment
By NSWC Crane Corporate Communications - October 23, 2018
CRANE, Ind. – Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane) accelerates electro-optical innovation by investing in the latest technology for a new, agile lab. This new technology advances the capabilities of NSWC Crane’s recently launched Naval Innovative Threat Exploitation and Optical Warfare Laboratory (NITE OWL), ensuring the continued safety of United States service men and women in the field.

This new cutting-edge technology in NITE OWL was funded by the Naval Innovative Science & Engineering (NISE) program. The NISE program provides funding for research and development within Department of Defense laboratories to grow internal technical capabilities of the workforce. The over half-million-dollar investment in NITE OWL cultivates creative warfighter-driven solutions, maintains the scientific and technical vitality of the Navy and Armed Forces, and facilitates advanced research and development initiatives that support the transition to operational use.

Electro-optics, infrared countermeasures and radiofrequency technology, and electronic warfare have been a focus at NSWC Crane for decades. NITE OWL leverages the combined knowledge, equipment, and technology at NSWC Crane to efficiently solve the electro-optical threats warfighters face.

“Recent investments in state-of-the-art lasers and prototyping equipment have helped future proof the laboratory,” said a lead scientist at NSWC Crane. “By combining this advanced lab’s upgraded technical capabilities with the largest collection of electro-optical warfare expertise in the nation, we are positioned to neutralize a wide variety of threats.”

NITE OWL is the result of a growing need to address current and future technical challenges. NITE OWL’s collaborative nature creates a space where expertise can easily co-locate to solve specific problems. This adaptability puts solutions directly in Sailor’s hands.

“Today, both technology and our adversaries evolve at such a rapid pace,” said a lead engineer at NSWC Crane. “It was imperative we established a lab with the ability to be as versatile, mobile, and fast-acting as our Warfighters themselves. Whenever a new threat appears, we have the technical capability, breadth, and depth of expertise to solve it.”

NITE OWL impacts several defense organizations, including Naval Sea Systems Command, Naval Air Systems Command, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Office of Naval Research, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, the Army, and Air Force. NITE OWL also partners with academic institutions and industry.

“As a federal lab, NSWC Crane is in a unique position to evaluate new technology from other research institutions and from businesses. We have access to military members to test technology directly and we have available military hardware that may assist in bridging the technical gaps,” said a lead scientist at NSWC Crane. “This investment allows us to stay on the forefront of electro-optical innovation, keeping the U.S. operating at a technical advantage.”

NSWC Crane is a naval laboratory and a field activity of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) with mission areas in expeditionary warfare, strategic missions and electronic warfare. The warfare center is responsible for multi-domain, multi- spectral, full life cycle support of technologies and systems enhancing capability to today's warfighter.

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