MZA Associates Corporation reaches the 15-year mark
2006-12-01 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.