Russ Vernon Dies at Age 712019-03-11 09:05:58
|Russ Vernon, an MZA retiree, died from complications due to lung cancer on Monday, March 4, 2019. Russ was 71 and is survived by his wife Ann, four daughters, seven grandchildren, and many other loving family members. His obituary was published online here.Russ was a highly-respected high energy laser (HEL) analyst who put in more than 40 years of service in the field. Russ was a leader in the field of HEL modeling who, as much as anyone else, paved the way for the advances that are beginning to realize deployable HEL weapon systems. More than that, Russ was a true friend and confidant that provided MZA's President with frank advice, perspective, and inspiration in charting the development of MZA capabilities.In 2007, Russ signed on with MZA to start an office in Jupiter, Florida where he expanded MZA's staff of HEL modeling and simulation experts. He supported the development High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator (HELMD), a mobile Army HEL platform which has demonstrated significant counter-RAM and counter-UAS capabilities. He was also the primary analyst that developed the HEL scaling equations implemented in the industry-standard HELCOMES analysis code. Russ retired from MZA in 2013.Prior to joining MZA, Russ had a distinguished career with SAIC, ascending to the position of Vice President of Operations and Chief Systems Engineer for its Applied Sciences Operation. There he worked on numerous HEL programs, most notably, the Airborne Laser (ABL) where he and Dr. Don Link made significant contributions to the early modeling and conceptualization of the program. The ACS code that he and Don developed was a source of inspiration and algorithms for WaveTrain. Before SAIC, Russ worked for United Technologies Corporation (UTC) where he served as HELSTF Site Manager for United Technologies and led the system integration of Navy SEALITE Beam Director and the MIRACL laser. [View Full Size]
MZA Albuquerque is Moving2018-11-18 14:19:57
|After more than twenty years in the same facility, MZA is moving its Albuquerque headquarters effective December 1, 2018. Located in north-central Albuquerque near Paseo del Norte and I-25, the new facility has recently been remodeled and provides n significant improvement in laboratory space, meeting rooms, and general office accommodations. The new address is:
MZA Associates Corporation
4900 Lang Avenue NE, Suite 100
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87109-9708
If you plan to visit MZA, please make note of the new location. Contractual and legal mail to MZA should be handled according to official notifications from MZA. Unsolicited mail should be sent to the new address after Dec. 1. Even after the move, MZA will continue to maintain its satellite laboratories on Yale and Washington.
MZA's AOS affiliate is also moving at the same time. AOS's address will be:
Active Optical Systems, LLC
4900 Lang Avenue NE, Suite 101
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87109-9708 [View Full Size]
Dr. Justin Mansell Named DEPS Fellow2018-02-13 16:29:27
|The Directed Energy Professional Society (DEPS) announced that Dr. Justin Mansell, MZA's Chief Technology Officer, has been invested as a DEPS Fellow. The DEPS announcement said that Dr. Mansell has been "recognized for his development of advanced laser models in the wave optics code, WaveTrain, which has been used to successfully model the COIL, RADICL, and TEXTRON JHPSSL lasers," and for the "design and development of novel high power, low cost adaptive optical components have been critical to the success of the DE Beam Control and High Power Laser Communities." MZA's President, Bob Praus said, "Dr. Mansell's well-deserved recognition is evidence of MZA's continued efforts to make meaningful and leading-edge contributions to the DE industry and the security of our nation." DEPS is the preeminent professional society and venue for exhange of information within the Directed Energy industry. Dr. Mansell will be formally recognized at the 20th Annual Directed Energy Science and Technology Symposium to be held February 26 to March 2, 2018 in Oxnard, CA. [View Full Size]
MZA Supports STEM Initiatives2018-02-13 16:24:32
|Albuquerque's Bosque School took second place in the Rube Goldberg competition at the recent Joint DEPS - ITEA Directed Energy Test & Evaluation Conference held Jan. 16-18, 2018 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. MZA sponsored the team of 6th through 8th graders who were awarded a prize of $750 which will be used for improvements to the school.In Dayton, MZA also supports the BONDS Robotics Team 5811. The team consists of high school students and home schoolers from team comprised of students from Beavercreek, Springboro, Oakwood, West Dayton, Northridge, and CJ. BONDS 5811 members participate in competitions involving the design, development, and test of robot devices, an endeavor that is not so different from the business of MZA.These activities are a continuation of MZA's efforts to support science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) educational activities in its home communities. [View Full Size]
HBDS on AAOL2017-09-25 10:54:06
The High Energy Fiber Laser (HEFL) Helicopter Beam Director Subsystem (HBDS) recently flew on Notre Dame's Airborne Aero Optics Laboratory for the purpose of characterizing aero-effects disturbances in flight. The photograph below is of HBDS in flight and the inset is of the HBDS beam director mounted outside the AAOL.
[View Full Size]
MZA Recognized for Superior Employee Benefits2016-03-22 12:42:26
|MZA Associates Corporation was recently named a winner of the Principal® 10 Best Companies for Employee Financial Security--2015 competition. An Inc. online magazine article announces the award. The competition evaluated the efficacy of the contestants' employee benefits packages in providing for their employees' future financial security and the organization's emphasis on employee health and wellness.Principal provided a $2,500 charitable contribution with the award to which MZA directed the funds to the Albuquerque Explora museum. [View Full Size]
MZA Posts HBDS Testing Video2016-03-05 07:33:02
|MZA Associates Corporation has posted a video that summarizes the results of tests of the High Energy Fiber Laser (HEFL) Helicopter Beam Director Subsystem (HBDS) performed at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Environmental Laser Test Facility (ELTF). The video shows line-of-sight stabilization and moving target tracking tests. MZA is prime contractor for the design and development of the HBDS which has demonstrated precision line-of-sight stabilization and tracking in the harsh vibration environment of the Navy's MH60-S helicopter. The HBDS is the most recent instantiation of MZA's Othela beam directors that use state-of-the-art optical architectures and composite materials to establish the world's most compact and lightweight beam directors for high energy laser weapons applications.
The video can be found on YouTube here.
The development of the HEFL HBDS is sponsored by the Office of Naval Research. A summary of the program can be found here.
Keywords: HBDS, HEFL, HEL, HELWS, MZA, ONR, NAVAIR, AFRL, ELTF, Helicopter Beam Director Subsystem, High Energy Fiber Laser, High Energy Laser, High Energy Laser Weapon System, Office of Naval Research, Air Force Research Laboratory, Environmental Laser Test Facility [View Full Size]
Richard Drye Recognized for Supersonic Aero-optics Research2014-08-12 14:05:55
|MZA Dayton Staff Member Richard Drye was recently recognized by the AFRL Aerospace Systems Directorate (AFRL/RQ) for his work with the test team at the Trisonic Gasdynamic Facility (TGF) wind tunnel for supersonic aero-optics. Richard was the primary optical engineer for these tests, operated the high-speed wavefront sensor, and reduced all the test data. This work was part of MZA's "Turret Integration" contract with AFRL/RQ. The tests completed earlier this year were the first of their kind and provided a critical first-look at operating in this flight regime for aircraft laser systems. The tests are a key point of reference for new AFRL laser system initiatives.
[View Full Size]
MZA Aero-optics Work Featured at Notre Dame2014-07-15 09:19:42
|The University of Notre Dame recently published an article about its Airborne Aero-Optics Laboratory (AAOL). MZA has provided modeling, analysis, and engineering support to the program since it began. The program was recently upgraded with new aircraft that allow aero-optics measurements at transonic speeds. Such measurements are necessary to develop acquisition, tracking, and pointing control algorithms for the deployment of High Energy Lasers (HEL) and laser communications systems on fast moving aircraft. [View Full Size]
MZA Again Named to The Flying Forty2014-07-02 21:37:38
Congratulations to STEM "Scholar of the Week" Sarah Gonzalez2013-04-17 15:09:38
|Congratulations to MZA’s Intern Sarah Gonzalez who was honored this week by Great Minds in STEM as their Scholar of the Week! Click here to read the "Scholar of the Week" post for Sarah. [View Full Size]
MZA HEL Project Receives Coverage2013-01-28 11:58:18
|The DARPA HELLADS program supported by MZA has recently been highlighted in the news. Public release information about the DARPA HELLADS program is reported in CBS News, Fox News, and Popular Science articles. For HELLADS, MZA is a key contributor to the DLWS demonstration program. This is another example of MZA's contributions to the United States' most important and ambitious directed energy weapons programs. [View Full Size]
Ross Blankinship Joins MZA2012-12-31 17:03:56
|MZA is delighted that Mr. Ross Blankinship, a long-time contributor to the development of line-of-sight stabilization and adaptive optics systems for High Energy Lasers (HEL) systems, has joined the MZA technical staff. With a B. S. degree in Astronautical Engineering from the Air Force Academy, Mr. Blankinship has 38 years of experience in control system design and analysis.In the Air Force he analyzed inertial navigation systems at the Central Inertial Guidance Test Facility at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico. In sixteen years at Lockheed Martin, he was lead controls engineer for several BMDO and SDIO programs responsible for design and analysis of wavefront and jitter control systems. As a member of the team composed of Lockheed, Honeywell, and CSA Engineering he designed the structural control system for the Space Integrated Controls Experiment (SPICE) at the Phillips Laboratory at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. He designed and analyzed the beam and isolation control systems in the concept development phase of the Airborne Laser program. His effort in the Alpha-Lamp Integration program was key to successful demonstration of closed-loop control of a high-energy laser beam at the TRW Capistrano Test Site, California. In 14 years at CSA, and then Moog-CSA after Moog acquired CSA, he continued to provide support to the ABL program in control system design, modeling, simulation, and test, culminating in successful missile shootdown.Mr. Blankinship's arrival significantly bolsters MZA's control system design and implementation capabilities. [View Full Size]
Dr. Sal Cusumano Joins MZA2012-10-16 10:22:54
|MZA is honored to announce the addition of Dr. Salvatore J. Cusumano to its Dayton, Ohio staff. Dr. Cusumano is an expert in beam control recognized throughout the directed energy community having made significant contributions to phased arrays, telescope control, pointing and tracking, adaptive optics, and component technologies. Capping off more than 30 years of government service, Dr. Cusumano's most recent appointment was that of the Director of the Center for Directed Energy (CDE) at the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) where he oversaw a 56% growth in center funding.For the Airborne Laser System Program Office (ABL SPO), Dr. Cusumano served in a number of positions including Deputy Directory of Systems Engineering. He was also Deputy Director of Verification and Test and Evaluation. As Branch Chief of Performance and Analysis, Dr. Cusumano envisioned and oversaw a significant improvement in the governments modeling and analysis capabilities, where the group he led received the 2007 US Air Force (USAF) Modeling and Simulation Team Award. On February 11, 2010, the Airborne Laser Test Bed (ALTB) destroyed a boosting ballistic missile. Not only was this the first successful demonstration of a lethal air-to-air laser weapon against a ballistic missile, it is the first time ever that a ballistic missile has been destroyed while in its boost phase.For the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and its predecessors, the Air Force Phillips and Weapons Laboratories (PL and AFWL), Dr. Cusumano made contributions to Airborne Laser tracking, Acquisition, Tracking, and Pointing (ATP) for Ground Based Laser Anti-Satellite (GBL ASAT) concepts, Atmospheric Compensation, the Phasar phased array experiment, advanced stabilization and alignment concepts, digital heterodyne interferometry, resonator alignment, and intracavity adaptive optics.Dr. Cusumano served as an operational pilot during the Vietnam war. He was awarded the Air Medal for supporting the expeditionary forces in 1973. He has over 1,000 flight hours in command of KC-135s and was qualified to pilot four other USAF aircraft including T-39s.Dr. Cusumano received his PhD in control theory from the University of Illinois in 1988, an MSEE from the Air Force Institute of Technology in 1977, and a BSEE from the United States Air Force Academy in 1971. He holds two patents (jointly) for his work in phased arrays. Dr. Cusumano has been recognized with numerous awards including the USAF Modeling and Simulation Team Award in 2007, Phillips Laboratory Sharp and Active Tracking Awards in 1997, an AFWL Fellowship in 1986, the Air Force Scientific Achievement Award for Phasar Work in 1984, the Air Force Meritorious Service Award in 1982, and the Air Medal for Operations over Southeast Asia in 1973. Dr. Cusumano has been lead author or contributor to numerous scientific publications ranging from beam control, adaptive optics, atmospheric characterization, high energy laser weapons concepts, modeling and analysis, and target signatures and effects. Because of his recognized subject matter expertise, he has been an invited participant to conferences, workshops, and task forces.MZA will employ Dr. Cusumano's expertise across a broad range of directed energy programs. His immediate assignment will be to support the Systems Engineering of MZA's Helicopter Beam Director (HBD) for the High Energy Fiber Laser (HEFL) Future Naval Capability (FNC). He'll add formidable capabilities to control systems design and analysis for directed energy ATP systems. Dr. Cusumano's addition to the staff is the latest step in helping to build MZA into the best directed energy technology company in the world. [View Full Size]
Suizu and Hospelhorn Recognized for Exceptional Support of MDA2012-09-24 13:29:31
|Mr. Robert Suizu was named the Technical Contractor of the Year for 2011 for the MiDAESS SPARTA Team that supports the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) MiDAESS Laser Subtask. On this effort, Mr. Suizu supports the development and analysis of Tier II and Tier III models of advanced high power laser concepts for MDA.|
Additionally, Mr. Ron Hospelhorn was named the Technical Contractor of the Quarter for the second quarter of 2012 for the same effort. He also provides Tier II and Tier III modeling and analysis support.
The MiDAESS contract supports the modeling, simulation, and analysis of advanced high power laser systems for MDA in Albuquerque, NM. MZA is a member of the SPARTA MiDAESS team which provides Advisory and Assistance Services (A&AS) to MDA in the development of advanced high power laser concepts. The MiDAESS laser subtask closed out work on the Airborne Laser Test Bed (ALTB) earlier this year and is now developing a next-generation high-power laser concept for MDA. [View Full Size]
MZA Awarded Helicopter Beam Director Contract2012-08-25 09:22:53
MZA Named to the 2012 NM Flying Forty2012-08-25 08:48:49
|For the twelfth year running MZA has been named to the New Mexico Technology Flying Forty, an award given to New Mexico technology companies that demonstrate sustained growth over a four-year period. As reported in an article in the the Albuquerque Journal, MZA is a strong contributor to New Mexico's thriving technology industry. [View Full Size]
Dr. Ernest Paxson, MZA Co-founder, dies2012-04-13 11:00:53
Dr. Ernest B. Paxson (Ernie) of Vernal, Utah, passed away on March 29, 2012. Ernie was one of the four founding members of MZA Associates Corporation. As a well-respected mechanical engineer, Ernie provided structural modeling and opto-mechanical expertise on a number of early MZA projects. He sold his interest in MZA and moved to Vernal, Utah in 1996. Bob Praus, President of MZA, said "I had worked with Ernie very early in my career. He developed a large Nastran model of a space-based-laser telescope and helped to integrate the optical effects of structural vibrations into the Wavefront Control System Simulation (WCSS). Ernie was very exacting in his work and provided me with an appreciation of the care one must take when integrating complex interactions into a large simulation. At the time MZA was started, Ernie had already had a successful business, Paxson Engineering Services. He provided me with inspiration and motivation as an example of an independent analyst who had struck out on his own. His expertise and guidance in the early days of MZA were crucial to getting a good start in a field dominated by large companies."
Ernie's obituary can be viewed on the Vernal Express newspaper's online resources. [View Full Size]
Download MZA's Propagation Demo App.2012-04-02 11:14:48
|MZA has published an application which demonstrates the effect of turbulence on beam propagation. The application uses WaveTrain to interactively compute and display the instantaneous beam intensity pattern resulting from propagation through turbulence having a user-specified strength and distribution. The user may also adjust the wavelength of the light, aperture diameter, propagation path length, and wind speed.|
Download the application here:
32-bit Installer for users that do not already have a .NET runtime library.
Smaller 32-bit Installer for users that already have the .NET runtime library.
64-bit Installer for users that do not already have a .NET runtime library.
Smaller 64-bit Installer for users that already have the .NET runtime library.
Download the application and press the 'Play' button appearing above the phrase "Intensity Pattern." Click on any of the circled 'i' icons to display additional instructions and a discussion of the physical effects modeled by the application.
[View Full Size]
MZA to Present a Short Course on Laser Propagation2012-02-16 17:29:16
|On April 2, 2012 the Dr. Boris Venet and Mr. Robert Praus of MZA will present a short course on Laser Propagation at the Directed Energy Professional Society's (DEPS) Directed Energy Systems Symposium in Rockville, Maryland. The half-day course will cover the theoretical and applied analysis of laser propagation, including propagation through random media. The first half of the course will provide the fundamental theories of free space propagation and propagation through random media including scattering, absorption, and wave front effects. The second half of the course will cover the computation of laser propagation effects using statistical and wave-optics approaches. Students will be introduced to the modeling of laser propagation using SHaRE and WaveTrain software tools. The fundamentals of atmospheric compensation will be reviewed. Follow the links to obtain more information on DEPS, the symposium, and the course. [View Full Size]
MZA Kicks-off its 20th Anniversary Celebration2011-09-26 13:20:00
On Sep. 17 MZA kicked off its 20th anniversary celebration with an employee family picnic at North Domingo Baca Park in Albuquerque. Cathy McGinnis, MZA's contracts administrator, coordinated the event. There was a barbeque for all and fun activities for the children. The Albuquerque employees presented MZA's President, Bob Praus, with a beautiful New Mexico-shaped plaque congratulating him on reaching the twenty year milestone. Mr. Praus announced the kick-off of MZA's 20/20 initiative with which MZA will commemorate its 20th year through a series of public activities and announcements including an on-going retrospective of twenty significant accomplishments that MZA has made to the industry throughout its history.
Continuing the celebration, the Dayton facility held its employee picnic on Saturday, Sep. 24, at Yankee Park in Centerville, OH. Vice President and Dayton Operations Manager, Dr. Matt Whiteley, provided a series of amusing comparisons between Albuquerque, New Mexico and Dayton, Ohio. He then presented Bob Praus with a necktie with a historical design representing Dayton's importance in aerospace history and a can of Skyline Chili, a favorite among Cincinatti locals. After the presentations, Mr. Praus demonstrated his clear lack of skill in the beanbag tossing game called "cornhole."
MZA 20/20: Celebrating 20 years of technical excellence and service to the United States Armed Forces and looking forward with clear 20/20 vision.
[View Full Size]
Dr. Jason Schmidt Appointed Senior Scientist at MZA2011-09-09 09:25:00
MZA is pleased to announce that Dr. Jason Schmidt has recently joined the Technical Staff at MZA as a Senior Scientist in the Dayton, Ohio office. Dr. Schmidt was most recently an Assistant Professor of Electro-Optics at the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT). During his time at AFIT, Dr. Schmidt was the primary faculty member in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering working in the area of advanced adaptive optics (AO) and laser propagation research. While at AFIT, he successfully advised a total of 11 Masters students and 5 Ph.D. students and was responsible for the AFIT AO Laboratories. Also during this time, but independent from his AFIT duties, Dr. Schmidt authored a book entitled Numerical Simulation of Optical Wave Propagation with Examples in MATLAB which has been published through SPIE Press. Dr. Schmidt's book is available on-line through the SPIE website (discounted for SPIE members) or at Amazon. Prior to his teaching position at AFIT, Dr. Schmidt was stationed at Kirtland Air Force Base where he worked at the Starfire Optical Range, directing satellite tracking tests and analyzing live-test AO system data. Dr. Schmidt holds a B.S. in Physics from Marquette University, M.S. in Physics from The Ohio State University, and Ph.D. in Electro-Optics from the University of Dayton.
From the SPIE website:
Wave-optics simulation is an immensely useful tool for many applications. The simulation techniques in this book are directly applicable to atmospheric imaging, astronomy, adaptive optics, free-space optical communications, and LADAR. In addition, many of the basic techniques are applicable to integrated optics and nonlinear, anisotropic, and optically active media.
Numerical Simulation of Optical Wave Propagation is solely dedicated to wave-optics simulations. The book discusses digital Fourier transforms (FT), FT-based operations, multiple methods of wave-optics simulations, sampling requirements, and simulations in atmospheric turbulence.
This book will benefit optical scientists and engineers at all levels as a guide for FT-based data analysis, imaging system analysis, and wave-optics simulations. Professors can use this book to augment their Fourier optics courses and for independent studies with students. Problem sets are given at the end of each chapter. Students will learn principles and techniques from this book that can be utilized throughout their careers in optics. All readers will also benefit from the use of the MATLAB? scripting language and the provided CD that contains code for the basic tools and examples used throughout the book.
[View Full Size]
MZA Adopts a New Logo2011-09-09 09:25:00
As part of its upcoming 20th anniversary celebration, MZA has adopted a new logo. The original design is the creation of Mrs. Justina Whiteley, the wife of one of MZA's Vice Presidents, Dr. Matthew Whiteley. When asked about her inspiration for the logo, Mrs. Whiteley responded "...I wanted something that presented a clear connection to the original MZA logo. The forward-swept lettering is reminiscent of MZA's legacy in aerospace programs. The red graphic device is a direct reference to MZA's expertise in laser technology. It had to be an integral part of the logo, not just something off to the side. Just as I can't imagine MZA without the laser, I can't imagine laser systems progressing into the future without MZA."
Mrs. Whiteley is no stranger to the Directed Energy world. She served the Military Personnel Manager at AFRL's Directed Energy Directorate from 1999-2002, where she had daily interactions with all the Air Force leadership in laser directed energy. Her contributions in that position included revitalizing the process of having more Air Force Officers trained in lasers and electro-optics to be stationed at Kirtland AFB.
[View Full Size]
MZA Awarded DLWS Contract2011-09-08 21:30:00
MZA was awarded a multi-year contract to continue the development of the AFRL HELLADS Demonstrator Laser Weapons System (DLWS). For this effort, MZA will support directed energy systems engineering, embedded software development, test support, and end-to-end modeling activities.
The Statement of Work (SOW) for this effort requires MZA to complete development of the Beam Transfer Subsystem (which is one of the subsystems of the DLWS system), complete hardware and software assemblies, which they have been responsible for on the DLWS safety systems, continue the system performance modeling effort that supports design decisions, test planning support, and continue the software engineering management. The SOW also requires MZA to verify that the Beam Transfer Subsystem meets all subsystem requirements, and to provide test support for the Beam Transfer Subsystem during DLWS system testing.
The on-going DLWS effort extends MZA's legacy of technical excellence and value in the support of the United States' most important and ambitious directed energy weapons programs. [View Full Size]
MZA named to 2010 NM Flying 402011-06-17 07:45:00
For the 11th year in a row, MZA was named to the New Mexico Technology Flying 40, a selection of the top 40 revenue-generating technology companies headquartered in the state of New Mexico. MZA was selected for the award based on outstanding revenue growth over a four year period. Dr. Don Washburn accepted the award at the annual luncheon on June 16 at University Arena, the UNM Pit. He was asked to represent MZA due to his past and on-going contributions to advances in MZA's technology base. [View Full Size]
Othela Beam Director Ready for Lab Testing2011-05-07 16:30:00
The first instantiation of the MZA's Othela beam director (shown below) has been fabricated and is ready for laboratory tests. The Othela line of beam directors provides complete lightweight, compact telescope transceivers featuring on-gimbal beam control including adaptive optic wave front compensation. The 30 cm telescope shown in the photograph below was designed and fabricated by a team led by Dr. Don Washburn in response to the need to reduce the cost, complexity, and footprint of mobile high energy laser systems. Last year MZA completed a series of tests which demonstrated the soundness of Othela's novel wave front control scheme. The 30 cm device will now be subjected to simulated platform disturbances to test and demonstrate the line-of-sight stabilization system.
Addressing a high priority need identified by the Air Force Research Laboratory in 2007, MZA undertook the challenge to develop lightweight compact beam directors for high power laser applications. This required investigation into the use of advanced composite materials and novel beam control concepts. The result has been the development of MZA's Othela line of beam directors that utilize the latest technologies in opto-mechanical materials, gimbals, optical coatings, and sensors to reduce the number of high power optics in order to institute on-gimbal beam control concepts. This effort has resulted in the design and prototype of complete tactical beam directors with integrated beam control systems that are less than 1 cubic meter in volume and weigh less than 500 lbs.
[View Full Size]
Dr. Scott Sallberg Named ALTB SPO 2010 Technical Contractor of the Year2011-05-04 13:30:00
Dr. Scott Sallberg was named the Technical Contractor of the Year for 2010 by the Airborne Laser Testbed System Program Office (ALTB SPO). As part of MZA's long-standing relationship with the ALTB program, Dr. Sallberg provides engagement and beam control system modeling as an on-site contractor to the SPO. His efforts represent yet another way in which MZA has distinguished itself in support of the United States' flagship high energy laser weapons program.
Dr. Sallberg's is the latest honor that MZA employees have received from the ALTB SPO. MZA's contributions were recently identified as key to the ALTB Performance Analysis team having received the 2010 Annual Air Force Modeling and Simulation Award for Cross Functional modeling and Mr. Robert Suizu has been recognized for his ALTB accomplishments in past periods.
On February 11, 2010, the ALTB destroyed a boosting ballistic missile (see the video). Not only is this the first successful demonstration of a lethal air-to-air laser weapon against a ballistic missile, it is the first time ever that a ballistic missile has been destroyed while in its boost phase. MZA has been a leader in modeling and analysis of the ALTB since the High Energy Laser (HEL) system was first conceived in the early 1990's. MZA provided risk reduction analysis during the initial conception and procurement of the system and then, starting in 2000, MZA provided the Missile Defense Agency's program office simulation, modeling, and analysis expertise in the areas of beam control, weapons performance prediction, and engagement analysis. As a long-time contributor to directed energy programs, MZA played a crucial role in this proof-of-concept demonstration. [View Full Size]
AFIT CDE, Notre Dame Successfully Tests AAPT2011-04-20 17:00:00
The Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) Center for Directed Energy (CDE) and the University of Notre Dame have successfully tested the AFIT Active Pointer Tracker (AAPT) in flight. This is a key component of the Airborne Aero-Optics Multi-Research Initiative sponsored by the High Energy Laser Joint Technology Office. MZA supports AFIT and Notre Dame in the AAOL development with modeling, analysis, and aero-optical data reduction. The recent successful AAOL tests are chronicled in an article by AFIT CDE and in a video news article published by WZZM, an ABC affiliate in Grand Rapids, MI. [View Full Size]
Steve Rehnberg named MZA's CFO2011-04-07 19:00:00
Steve Rehnberg was named MZA's Chief Financial Officer in September 2010. Mr. Rehnberg is both a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) as well as a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) and has more than thirty years of experience in business and finance. He recently served as the Director of Finance & Business Operations of the US Department of Energy National Training Center for Chenega Global Services. Prior to that, he was a Finance Director & Controller at Eclipse Aviation. He holds an MBA from the University of Alaska and a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Drexel University. MZA hopes to make good use of Mr. Rehnberg's experience in order to improve its business operations and to position the company's finances for significant growth. [View Full Size]
Airborne Laser Shootdown2011-04-07 19:00:00
On February 11, 2010, the Airborne Laser Test Bed (ALTB) destroyed a boosting ballistic missile (see the video). Not only is this the first successful demonstration of a lethal air-to-air laser weapon against a ballistic missile, it is the first time ever that a ballistic missile has been destroyed while in its boost phase. MZA has been a leader in modeling and analysis of the ALTB since the High Energy Laser (HEL) system was first conceived in the early 1990's. MZA provided risk reduction analysis during the initial conception and procurement of the system and then, starting in 2000, MZA provided the Missile Defense Agency's program office simulation, modeling, and analysis expertise in the areas of beam control, weapons performance prediction, and engagement analysis. As a long-time contributor to directed energy programs, MZA played a crucial role in this proof-of-concept demonstration. [View Full Size]
MZA on winning MiDAESS ALTB Team2011-04-07 18:21:00
MZA was awarded a contract to continue to provide Advisory and Assistance Services (A&AS) to the Airborne Laser Test Bed (ALTB) program. The work is MZA's first task order on the Missile Defense Agency's MiDAESS contract for which SPARTA is the prime contractor. For this effort, MZA will continue to support the ALTB test program by providing beam control and engagement modeling and analysis using MZA's WaveTrain and SHaRE products. [View Full Size]
MZA Aero-Optics Research Takes Flight2010-06-03 09:11:00
MZA has teamed with the University of Notre Dame and the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) on the Airborne Aero-Optics Laboratory (AAOL) project. AAOL aircraft testing will allow unprecedented insight into the nature of aero-optical disturbances for laser propagation from jet aircraft and allow for testing of advanced beam control technologies. MZA has primary responsibility for test modeling, simulation, and data analysis in the AAOL project. The University of Notre Dame has produced a video regarding this research. [View Full Size]
MZA was named to the 2010 New Mexico Technology Flying 402010-06-01 12:00:00
For the tenth year in a row, MZA was named to the New Mexico Technology Flying 40, a group of technology businesses recognized for their rapid growth. [View Full Size]
Madison Cole and Matthew Heino join Albuquerque Staff2009-09-23 11:00:00
Madison Cole earned his M.S. degree from Northern Illinois University in 1997 in Electrical Engineering with a double emphasis in Digital Control Systems and Digital Signal Processing. He also holds a B.S. degree, earned in 1993, in Electrical Engineering also from Northern Illinois University. Previous to MZA, he worked for Boeing-SVS in Albuquerque, NM for over 12 years as an Associate Technical Fellow, where he led simulation and modeling efforts for various DoD directed energy systems. He was a key contributor to the Air Borne Laser program, and author of many of the Fire Control algorithms used in the ABL primary missions. Over the course of his tenure at Boeing his teams developed simulation architecture tools that were subsequently leveraged by multiple programs from small tactical systems to multi-billion dollar weapon systems. Prior to SVS, he was employed at Reed-Chatwood in Rockford, IL where he was successful in converting their multi-million dollar line of textile capital equipment to PC and PLC control.
Matthew Heino holds degrees in physics from Kent State University and Western Illinois University. He has worked in electro-optical engineering and science for 12 years with Lawrence Livermore national lab, Northrop Grumman, and Boeing. He is an experienced horseman in the natural style, and volunteers at Walking in Circles Ranch rehabilitating abused and neglected horses. What's left of his time is used in astronomy, mostly astrophotography and satellite tracking, or searching for asteroids and comets. [View Full Size]
New MZA Website Launched2009-08-29 10:13:00
The new MZA website went live today. Please send any comments regarding the design and/or functionality to Laura Korte (ABQ). Employees can submit bug reports via Mantis. [View Full Size]
MZA Dayton at the Crossroads of Research and Technology2008-04-01 12:00:00
MZA Dayton has moved to a new office space as of April 1. We are now located at the intersection of Research Blvd and Technology Ct...hence the motto. This location is just minutes from the R&D centers at Wright Patterson AFB, including the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) and the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT). We are also a short drive from the University of Dayton's Laser Radar and Optical Communications Institute (LOCI). The new facility provides 6,300 sq. ft of space for offices, conference rooms, optics laboratory, and computing labs. The new optics lab allows us to significantly increase our adaptive optics testing capabilities. While the new conference facility located on-site has room for hosting meetings with up to 40 participants.
The new address, directions with map, and contact information are now available. [View Full Size]
MZA Dayton Hosts Adaptive-Optics Laboratory2007-11-01 12:00:00
The Dayton office now hosts an optics laboratory for testing promising AO technologies. The laboratory hardware includes laser sources, spatial light modulators, optical components, polymer deformable mirrors, wavefront sensors, scoring cameras, and support electronics for proving AO beam control approaches previously simulated using WaveTrain. Our current tests focus on compensation of aero-optical disturbances on aircraft-based lasers using advanced control approaches for directed energy and laser communication applications. MZA recently added 2 new staff members for Dayton laboratory operations, both graduates of the University of Dayton’s Electro-Optics graduate program.
Richard Drye holds B.S.E.E. (2002, U.D.) and M.S. Electro-Optics (2005, U.D.) degrees with a background in optics, infrared measurements, control systems, MATLAB modeling and graphical-user-interface (GUI) development. As a research engineer at Mission Research, Richard was a major contributor of analysis tools and GUI’s for MATLAB toolboxes such as SCALE and SHaRE, and ABLPAT (AirBorne Laser Performance and Analysis Toolkit), providing a highly-integrated and comprehensive engagement modeling capability for ABL. Richard’s work experience includes a position in ATK’s Infrared Measurements Group where he developed/tested infrared targets and made detailed emissivity measurements. He also assembled a system to control an IR environmental chamber for emissivity/reflectivity measurements and programmed the laboratory control logic.
Jeff Widiker's professional degrees include: B.S. Engineering Physics (2001, University of Wisconsin-Platteville) and M.S. Electro-Optics (2004, U.D.). As a co-op student in the Sensors Directorate of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL/SN), Jeff developed a novel design method for a high-speed 2-D Shack-Hartmann wave-front sensor operating at 1 MHz frame rate, and utilized it to perform simultaneous wave-front and flow diagnostics to study aero-optical effects. At AFRL, Jeff also worked with liquid-crystal based spatial light modulators (SLMs), using them for wave-front manipulation. Jeff continued his work with SLM technology at ATK Mission Research, refining SLM calibration techniques to simulate atmospheric turbulence and other wave-front aberrations in a laboratory setting. Jeff also served as the optical hardware lead for the combined (RF/EO) aperture program for the Optical Signatures and Sensors group. [View Full Size]
MZA was named to the 2007 New Mexico Technology Flying 402007-06-01 12:00:00
MZA Associates Corporation reaches the 15-year mark2006-12-01 12:00:00
MZA was incorporated in October 1991 to meet a need for advanced simulation and analysis of adaptive optics systems at what is now the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). Because of the ongoing reduction in SDI-related research, the business climate called for a leaner approach to providing such support and created an opportunity for the formation of MZA. In December of 1992, MZA was awarded a four-year, three-million dollar simulation and analysis support contract (AMASS).
The company has been growing and thriving ever since. In the past 15 years, MZA played a key role in the completion of AFRL's landmark ABLEX and ABLE ACE high-altitude atmospheric characterization experiments. We developed data acquisition and optical systems to help build the ABL-ACT facilities on White Sands Missile Range and provided significant simulation and data analysis for the subsequent experiments. We wrote WaveTrain and distributed it to more than one hundred organizations, significantly increasing the number of scientists that perform wave-optics analysis of advanced optical systems.
For the past six years, MZA has played a major role in the performance prediction and assessment of the Airborne Laser (ABL) for the ABL SPO. Concurrently, we invented, built, and patented the Adaptive Dynamic Range Wave Front Sensor (ADRWFS). We are also proud of the fact that MZA has been named to the New Mexico Technology Flying Forty for these last six years running.
We continue to provide simulation and analysis to AFRL for ABL, tactical, relays, and ground-based optical systems. MZA's ABL WaveTrain-based wave-optics model is currently being used to predict and analyze the performance of the ABL which is currently undergoing early flight tests of its beam control system. In 2005, we established our Dayton, Ohio office and inherited an impressive legacy of scaling codes. We also created an affiliate, Active Optical Systems (AOS), which manufactures low-cost, compact adaptive optics hardware. On-going projects include R&D in the areas of optical propagation in the marine environment, wave-optics modeling of laser resonators, adaptive reconstructors for the compensation of aero-optical effects, laser weapon lethality, complex synthetic scene generation, relay mirrors, and isomorphic modeling of complex systems. [View Full Size]
MZA Dayton celebrates 1st anniversary2006-10-01 12:00:00
October 2006 marks the 1st anniversary of MZA's Dayton, OH location. The past year has been busy for MZA -- establishing the new office, expanding our business to new Wright-Patterson customers, and simultaneously, supporting on-going projects in Albuquerque and other locations. [View Full Size]
The MZA Forums are Up and Running2006-06-01 12:00:00
MZA Forums, a moderated site for discussions on topics relevant to the MZA community is now available. Currently, there are forums covering such topics as WaveTrain, tempus, AOS, and MZA systems. This is a Beta version. Please feel free to give feedback -- good and/or bad. Email your comments to forumadmin. [View Full Size]
AOS, MZA, and Justin Mansell Team Up to Create Low Cost Adaptive Optics Systems2006-06-01 12:00:00
With the leadership of senior staffer Dr. Justin Mansell, MZA has spun-off Active Optical Systems, or AOS, to fabricate and market low cost adaptive optics systems. Detailed information on the company and its activities can be seen at http://www.activeopticalsystems.com/. [View Full Size]
AFIT offers WaveTrain course during Summer Quarter 20062006-06-01 00:00:00
The Air Force Institute of Technology is offering a graduate course called 'Wave Optics II' (OENG 646) which focuses on the application of WaveTrain for wave-optics simulation of propagation, imaging and adaptive optics beam control. The course was first offered during summer quarter 2005 and is now part of the academic sequence for Electro-optics Engineering. This year's enrollment consists of military and civilian graduate students at the M.S. and Ph.D. level. The course is being taught by Dr. Matt Whiteley (MZA Dayton). A related course called 'Imaging through Turbulence' (EENG 716) is being taught during summer quarter 2006 by Dr. Eric Magee (MZA Dayton). Students in this course learn the theory associated with wave propagation and imaging in random media. Dr. Whiteley and Dr. Magee are adjunct professors in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (AFIT/ENG). [View Full Size]
MZA was named to the 2006 New Mexico Technology Flying 402006-06-01 00:00:00
tempus Short Course Available for Download2006-04-01 12:00:00
MZA has posted the presentation materials for the half-day introductory course on the theory and application of tempus that Bob Praus presented at the Directed Energy Professional Society's Directed Energy System Symposium March 20-24 in Monterey, CA. tempus is MZA's interdisciplinary simulation executive upon which many of the capabilities of WaveTrain are built. [View Full Size]
Dr. Don Washburn Joins the MZA Staff2006-04-01 00:00:00
MZA is proud to announce the addition of Dr. Don Washburn to the MZA staff. For the past fifteen years at AFRL, Dr. Washburn has been the driving force behind a series of important directed energy research projects including ABLE ACE, ABL advanced concepts and range extension, and high altitude and tactical relays. He also chaired the HEL JTO Beam Control Technical Advisory Working Group that provided recommendations to JTO management on investments in beam control technology.
After graduating from the Air Force Academy, he began his career as an Air Force Operational Pilot, where he eventually became qualified to command eight different aircraft including the F-100 and B-52. He was a Forward Air Controller and Combat Instructor in Vietnam, earning 3 Distinguished Flying Crosses, 18 Air Medals, and an Army Commendation Medal. He later returned to the Academy to teach math and physics courses. In the early eighties he was stationed at the Air Force Weapons Laboratory (a predecessor to AFRL) to serve as the Chief of the Advanced Beam Control Branch.
After retiring from active duty as a Lieutenant Colonel, he worked for Logicon/RDA as a Division Manager overseeing beam control and directed energy simulation projects. He returned to government service as an IPA in 1991 where he provided managerial and technical leadership in the conduct of leading edge directed energy research. Dr. Washburn has a B.S. in Engineering Science from the Air Force Academy, M.S. in Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering from Purdue, and a Ph.D. in Mathematics from UCLA. Dr. Washburn's first assignment will be as program manager of the MZA ABL modeling and simulation efforts. [View Full Size]
Tony Seward is awarded his Doctorate from New Mexico State2006-02-01 00:00:00
New Mexico State University awarded a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering to Tony Seward following completion and defense of his dissertation, "Image Plane Filters and Adaptive Optical Systems". His research details alternative methods of wave front sensing and control for adaptive optics.
Dr. Seward has been an MZA employee for more than six years. For most of that time, he has provided optical engineering support to the AFRL North Oscura Peak and Starfire Optical Range facilities. Dr. Seward is the fourth employee to complete his Ph.D. while working at MZA. [View Full Size]
MZA to Present tempus Short Course at DEPS System Symposium2006-02-01 00:00:00
Dr. Russ Butts Elected an OSA Fellow2005-11-01 00:00:00
Dr. Russ Butts, a Senior Scientist at MZA, was elected a Fellow of the Optical Society of America (OSA) by its Board of Directors at the October 18, 2005 meeting in Tucson, Arizona. The Society's announcement says he is "being recognized for outstanding contributions to the advancement of High Energy Laser beam control in adaptive optics, tracking and pointing, and in understanding the science of laser propagation in the atmosphere."
This is the latest well-deserved honor Dr. Butts has received. In 2001, the Secretary of Defense awarded Dr. Butts the Department of Defense Distinguished Civilian Service Award, the highest award given to career Defense employees, and in 2003, Dr. Butts' contributions to the field led to his selection as a Fellow of the Directed Energy Professional Society. These awards are the results of Dr. Butts' nearly thirty years of service to our country as an Air Force officer and civil servant at the Air Force Research Laboratory and its predecessors. [View Full Size]
MZA Dayton Update2005-11-01 00:00:00
MZA established its Dayton-area office in the suburb of Centerville. Location and contact information can be found on MZA's web pages. In addition to Drs. Whiteley and Magee, the Dayton office has added new staff members.
Mrs. Amy Ngwele has two years experience with anchoring wave-optics results from WaveTrain to adaptive optics system performance scaling codes. She is a contributing author to the Matlab-based scaling codes ATMTools, EngagementTools, SHaRE, and SCALE. Mrs. Ngwele earned a Master's degree in Electrical Engineering with an emphasis in Optics from the University of Michigan, and a Bachelor of Science in Physics and Mathematics from King College in Bristol, Tennessee.
Mr. Joe Riley has performed simulation and analysis of complex optical systems for more than eight years. He is an expert WaveTrain user who has provided significant support to advanced tracking and adaptive optics systems. He also has extensive experience in the area of synthetic scene generation for both passive and active applications. Mr. Riley earned an M.S. in Electro-Optics from the University of Dayton and a B.S. in Physics from Notre Dame. [View Full Size]
MZA Opens new office in the Dayton, Ohio Area2005-10-01 00:00:00
As of the first of October, Drs. Matthew Whiteley and Eric Magee have joined MZA and initiated operations in the Dayton area. Plans are to open a permanent office in the next few weeks. MZA's new office can call upon a significant pool of Dayton-area talent and has more direct access to the Wright Patterson Air Force Base system acquisition centers, AFRL Sensors Directorate, the AFIT Center for Directed Energy (CDE), and the University of Dayton Electro-Optics program.
Dr. Whiteley has been named Vice President of the Dayton office. As a Senior Research Scientist and Group Leader for Alliant Techsystems Mission Research Corporation (ATK MRC), Dr. Whiteley was very successful in building a staff of adaptive optics and atmospheric propagation experts. His group provided analysis, scaling code, and wave optics modeling to a variety of AFRL, Airborne Laser (ABL), and other directed energy projects. Prior to joining ATK MRC, he was a Captain in the USAF serving as the Principal Investigator for the AFRL Dynamic Compensation Experiment (DyCE) performed at the North Oscura Peak (NOP) facility on White Sands Missile Range (WSMR). Dr. Whiteley has a Ph.D. and M.S. in Physics from AFIT and a B.S. in Physics from Carnegie Mellon.
Dr. Magee, now a Senior Scientist at MZA, was a Senior Research Engineer at ATK MRC. He helped to devise a new phase screen generation method that allows phase screens to be extruded for arbitrary lengths. He applied that technique to help develop a liquid crystal device which simulates atmospheric turbulence in laboratory experiments. He is also a lead author of the ATMTools Matlab library which provides comprehensive geometric and Rytov calculations. Prior to ATK, Dr. Magee was a USAF Major where he was on the AFIT faculty as an Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering. Dr. Magee has a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Pennsylvania State University, an MSEE from AFIT, and a BS in Engineering from Grove City College. [View Full Size]
MZA was named to the 2005 New Mexico Technology Flying 402005-06-01 00:00:00
Updated GUI Added to the Downloads Page2005-05-01 00:00:00
A new version of the GUI can be downloaded from the WaveTrain Downloads page. There are not many changes to the GUI. The most significant is that you can turn off warning messages in the Hierarchy and System Status windows after viewing them. This way, you can cause the status bulbs to turn green after you have determined that the warnings are not detrimental to your application. There is additional flexibility in customizing the operation of the tve and miscellaneous bug and nuisance fixes. [View Full Size]
Dr. Russ Butts Joins the MZA Staff2005-04-01 00:00:00
MZA is proud to announce the addition of Dr. R. Russell Butts to its Technical Staff. Dr. Butts is a world-renowned expert in the area of directed energy weapons systems, with specific emphasis in atmospheric propagation and compensation. He has given nearly thirty years of service to our country as an Air Force officer and civil servant at the Air Force Research Laboratory and it's predecessors. In 2001, the Secretary of Defense awarded Dr. Butts the Department of Defense Distinguished Civilian Service Award, the highest award given to career Defense employees.
During a break from civil service, he supported directed energy research as an analyst and department manager at Logicon/RDA where he mentored Steve Coy and Bob Praus, the principals of MZA. He also taught Mathematics at North Texas State and Mississippi State Universities. He's earned B.A., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Mathematics and has significant additional course work and training in Physics and Engineering. In 2003, Dr. Butts' contributions to the field led to his selection as a Fellow of the Directed Energy Professional Society. He is author or co-author of more than 65 technical publications, most of which are detailed reports and many of which cover ground-breaking research in the areas of atmospheric propagation and compensation. Dr. Butts will provide senior review and direction to nearly all MZA's directed energy projects. For the past fifteen years he has played an important role in the leadership of others. He now wishes to rekindle his detailed participation in simulation and modeling, so he'll be deeply involved in technical work. [View Full Size]
MZA and Teammates to be Featured on Albuquerque Radio Show2005-04-01 00:00:00
Bob Praus of MZA, Justin Libersky of Zia Consortium, and Susan Kocina of Virtual Intelligence Applications will appear Sunday morning, April 17, on Albuquerque-based radio station 770 KKOB's Hi-Tech New Mexico show hosted by Mike Langner. The topic of discussion is a collective effort to create a New Mexico-based small business consortium to provide government organizations efficient solutions to high technology problems. The show will air from 10 to 11 AM MDT. The consortium has recently had its first success in being awarded a contract by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) for modeling and optimization of solid state laser systems. [View Full Size]
MZA is in the News2005-03-01 00:00:00
MZA was at the DEPS Modeling and Simulation Conference in Full Force2005-03-01 00:00:00
MZA staff members participated heavily in the Directed Energy Professional Society's (DEPS) Third Directed Energy Modeling and Simulation Conference in Tampa, Florida. On March 14, Bob Praus presented a half-day short course on "Modeling and Simulation using WaveTrain". The course was based on the WaveTrain tutorial augmented with introductory and foundational materials from an earlier short course that MZA has given. Justin Mansell presented a briefing titled "Experimental Beam Control using WaveTrain" which documents an on-going project where we have successfully used WaveTrain to simultaneously model and control an adaptive optics experiment. Steve Coy extended the propagation sampling requirements analysis on which he has been working and presented a talk called "Choosing Mesh Spacings and Mesh Dimensions for Wave Optics Simulation". Bob Praus presented talks on on-going MZA work, "Recent Progress in Airborne Laser System Performance Model Anchoring" and "Solid State Laser System Modeling and Optimization". We'll add the releasable materials to our WaveTrain and publication pages once they are properly formatted. [View Full Size]
MZA to Present a Short Course on "Modeling and Simulation using WaveTrain" 2005-02-01 00:00:00
On March 14, 2005, Bob Praus will present a half-day short course on "Modeling and Simulation using WaveTrain" at the Directed Energy Professional Society's (DEPS) 2005 Directed Energy Modeling and Simulation Conference in Tampa, Florida. This course will provide a practical introduction to the use of WaveTrain, emphasizing the details of the process of using WaveTrain to model beam control and imaging systems. This course will be distinct from the full-day course we provided at DEPS last October in that it will cover less theory and more applied usage details. MZA will also be presenting a number of modeling and simulation briefings during the main conference sessions. [View Full Size]
DEPS Short Course Materials Posted2004-12-01 00:00:00
On October 18, 2004 MZA presented a short course on Modeling and Simulation of Beam Control Systems at the Directed Energy Professional Society's (DEPS) Seventh Annual Directed Energy Symposium in Rockville, Maryland. Sixteen people attended the course and we received largely positive feedback on the presentation. The course covered a broad range of foundational, numerical, and practical aspects of constructing and analyzing computer simulations of Beam Control Systems (BCS). Of particular interest to wave optics simulationists is a rigorous development of sampling requirements in Parts 2 and 3. The short course materials can be viewed or downloaded here. [View Full Size]
MZA Presented a Short Course on Modeling and Simulation of Beam Control Systems 2004-10-01 00:00:00
On October 18, 2004 MZA presented a short course on Modeling and Simulation of Beam Control Systems at the Directed Energy Professional Society's (DEPS) Seventh Annual Directed Energy Symposium in Rockville, Maryland. Sixteen people attended the course and we received largely positive feedback on the presentation. The course covered a broad range of foundational, numerical, and practical aspects of constructing and analyzing computer simulations of Beam Control Systems (BCS). Of particular interest to wave optics simulationists is a rigorous development of sampling requirements on which Steve Coy has been working. The short course materials can be viewed or downloaded here. [View Full Size]
MZA to Present a Short Course on Modeling and Simulation of Beam Control Systems2004-09-01 00:00:00
On October 18, 2004 the senior staff of MZA will present a short course on Modeling and Simulation of Beam Control Systems at the Directed Energy Professional Society's (DEPS) Seventh Annual Directed Energy Symposium in Rockville, Maryland. The course will cover a broad range of foundational, numerical, and practical aspects of constructing and analyzing computer simulations of Beam Control Systems (BCS), including active and passive imaging systems, High Energy Laser (HEL), Adaptive Optics (AO) and active and passive tracking systems. The class is not narrowly about the use of WaveTrain; rather it covers the topics of modeling, simulation, and analysis in a general fashion and uses WaveTrain to provide practical examples. Follow the links to obtain more information about DEPS. The short course materials can be viewed or downloaded here. [View Full Size]
MZA was named to the 2004 New Mexico Technology Flying 402004-06-01 00:00:00
Patent Awarded for the Adaptive Dynamic Range Wavefront Sensor2004-04-01 00:00:00
Bill Gruner Joins the Staff2004-03-01 00:00:00
MZA is pleased to announce the addition of Bill Gruner to the MZA professional staff. Bill holds a Master of Science in Applied Statistics from the University of New Mexico. He was previously doing modeling and data analysis in the biomedical technology field. For MZA, he is heading up the development of the Airborne Laser Performance Analysis Tool (ABLPAT) and represents a significant addition to MZA's data analysis capabilities. [View Full Size]
Dr. Justin Mansell Joins the Staff2004-01-01 00:00:00
MZA is pleased to announce the addition of Dr. Justin Mansell to the MZA professional staff. Justin holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University where he did research in MEMS deformable mirrors and adaptive optics systems. He will add substantial capabilities to MZA's adaptive optics analysis group, especially in the areas of experimental design and hardware integration. [View Full Size]
Kavita Chand, Robert Suizu, and Dr. Keith Beardmore Join the Staff2003-10-01 00:00:00
MZA is pleased to announce the additions of Robert Suizu and Dr. Keith Beardmore to the MZA professional staff. Robert Suizu has a Masters of Electrical Engineering from AFIT. He worked in the directed energy community as a Captain in the Air Force and then with RDA. He will be performing analysis and simulation of tracking and adaptive optics controls systems. Dr. Keith Beardmore holds a Ph.D. in Mathematical Sciences from Loughborough University of Technology. His background is in semiconductor materials modeling and analysis. He will be performing analysis and simulation of wave-optics systems. [View Full Size]
Brent Strickler Joins the Staff2003-08-01 00:00:00
MZA is pleased to announce the addition of Dr. Brent Strickler to the MZA professional staff. Brent Strickler was recently awarded a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of Illinois. His background is in experimental physics and numerical simulation. Brent will be working primarily in the area of simulation and data analysis. [View Full Size]
For the third year in a row, MZA was named to the New Mexico Technology Flying 42003-07-01 00:00:00
For the third year in a row, MZA was named to the New Mexico Technology Flying 40, a group of technology businesses recognized for their rapid growth. [View Full Size]
MZA Held a Free WaveTrain Workshop for DEPS Modeling and Simulation Conference A2003-03-01 00:00:00
In conjunction with the Directed Energy Professional Society (DEPS) Directed Energy Simulation and Modeling Conference in Albuquerque, MZA held a free full-day workshop on the use of WaveTrain and its application to closed-loop beam control. The workshop held was Monday, March 24, 2003 at MZA's offices. [View Full Size]
WaveTrain Recognized as Success Story2002-08-01 00:00:00
WaveTrain was singled-out as an example of a successful Air Force Research Laboratory Directed Energy Directorate (AFRL/DE) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) project. In conjunction with this recognition, MZA was allowed to exhibit its WaveTrain display booth at the Briefing for Industry (BFI) held by the Professional Aerospace Contractor's Association of New Mexico and the Air Force Research Laboratory at the Albuquerque Marriott on August 6 and 7. The development of WaveTrain has been supported by AFRL/DEBA ABL technology funding, a Dual Use Science and Technology (DUS&T) grant, and Phase I and Phase II Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) contracts. Recently, WaveTrain's Phase II SBIR contract was extended under the Air Force enhancement program. The enhanced funds will support the integration of thermal blooming and complex scenes into the latest version of WaveTrain. [View Full Size]
tempus Phase I SBIR2002-05-01 00:00:00
MZA was awarded a Phase I SBIR contract by the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) for further development of tempus. tempus is a generalized object-oriented simulation and modeling environment designed to meet the needs of interdisciplinary simulation with complex interactions between subsystems. Even though tempus is fairly mature technology (it's used as the basis of WaveTrain), MZA obtained the Phase I SBIR by proposing to extend tempus technology to general software development. [View Full Size]
MZA was named to the 2002 New Mexico Technology Flying 402002-03-01 00:00:00
In March 2002 MZA was named to the New Mexico Technology Flying 40, a group of technology businesses recognized for their rapid growth. This is the second year in a row that MZA received such distinction. A series of articles in the Albuquerque Journal provides information about the 2002 Flying 40. [View Full Size]
MZA Posts a Photograph of their WaveTrain Booth2002-03-01 00:00:00
MZA Named to New Mexico Business Weekly List of Top Technology Companies in New 2002-02-01 00:00:00
MZA Associates Corporation was listed 21st in New Mexico Business Weekly's list of Top Technology Companies in New Mexico. The list was published February 22, 2002 and is ranked by number of employees. [View Full Size]
MZA Begins Work on the HELMAS Contract2001-10-01 00:00:00
With the new government fiscal year underway, MZA began work on the High Energy Laser Modeling and Simulation (HELMAS) contract. HELMAS is a follow-on to MZA's AMASS II contract which was preceded by the initial AMASS contract that got MZA started. Dr. Boris Venet is the MZA principal investigator for HELMAS. Also, MZA teamed with Boeing-SVS who will provide advanced Optical Engineering and ATP/FC expertise. [View Full Size]
MZA Wins the HELMAS Contract2001-07-01 00:00:00
The Air Force Research Laboratory, Directed Energy Directorate (AFRL/DE) notified MZA that it was the successful bidder for the High Energy Laser Modeling and Simulation (HELMAS) contract. HELMAS is a follow-on to MZA's AMASS II contract which was preceded by the initial AMASS contract that got MZA started. Dr. Boris Venet will be the MZA principal investigator for HELMAS. Also, MZA teamed with Boeing-SVS who will provide advanced Optical Engineering and ATP/FC expertise. [View Full Size]
Dr. Boris Venet Joins the MZA Staff2001-05-01 00:00:00
MZA is pleased to announce the addition of Dr. Boris P. Venet to the MZA professional staff. Boris is a multi-degreed physicist with fourteen years experience in optical physics research. He worked as a researcher at the Air Force Research Laboratory for eleven years before moving on to SRI International for three years in Silicon Valley. He's now returned to Albuquerque to help bolster the analysis and simulation capabilities at MZA. [View Full Size]
MZA was named to the 2001 New Mexico Technology Flying 402001-03-01 00:00:00
In March 2001 MZA was named to the New Mexico Technology Flying 40, a group of technology businesses recognized for their rapid growth. As computed by KPMG LLP, MZA has had 80% growth over the last four years, with revenues for 2000 of $1,790,900. The sponsors of the Flying 40 are Technology Ventures Corporation, KPMG, First State Bank and the Albuquerque Journal. A series of articles in the Albuquerque Journal provides information about the Flying 40.
MZA's President, Bob Praus, attributes the growth to its success in providing a diverse array of services to the Air Force Research Laboratory. "Because we can support such a broad spectrum of technologies, we've been able to grow steadily in the services area, but I believe that even more significant growth will occur in the next two years because of the increasing maturity of WaveTrain." WaveTrain is an object-oriented wave-optics modeling and simulation environment designed to give engineers and analysts insight to the design and performance of adaptive optics systems. Version 2000.11 which provides a significant documentation library was recently released. "Once we get the support and maintenance of WaveTrain down, we plan to hit the ground running with tempus." tempus is a generalized object-oriented simulation and modeling environment designed to meet the needs of interdisciplinary simulation with complex interactions between subsystems. [View Full Size]