The Townes Institute Science and Technology Experimentation Facility (TISTEF) is a unique facility supporting research and development of electro-optic sensing technologies, laser beam propagation, object tracking and lasing, and advanced atmospheric characterization. Located within the secure area at Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral Florida, the facility offers unique scientific opportunity to study laser propagation in a completely secure environment with access to an onsite suite of sensors and diagnostic equipment.
The TISTEF site provides:
- 1 km terrestrial range (extension to 3&5 km in process), with access to a 13 kilometer slant path range to the roof of the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) and currently in process of deploying overwater saline ranges of 1-10 km
- Indoor fully equipped laser labs with direct access to the 1 kilometer terrestrial range, as well as to a Coude path projector
- Lase to various sites around the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) and the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) from the projection systems
- Ability to clear airspace, get approvals from FAA and LCH, and lase to orbiting spacecraft, and receive data back from orbit (JLDSS onsite)
- Can track and lase using our database of TLE’s, or load custom TLE’s from multiple tracking mounts; all mounts configurable for various experiment, per requirements
- A full suite of mobile labs, towers, vehicles, and diagnostic equipment
- Access to the Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) for HEL testing, and atmospheric measurements
- Ability to host mobile laser systems and platforms on the range, and various locations onsite to meet testing requirements
- Onsite team of subject matter experts that span the range of directed energy and sensing technologies, full machine shop with 5 Ton overhead crane, and assorted diagnostic and repair equipment for field maintenance
- A proven track record of safe outdoor laser testing, compliance, and mission success
TISTEF is a unique government asset supporting research and development of electro-optic sensing technologies, laser beam wave propagation, and asset tracking located at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. UCF has agreements with the US Air Force and NASA to operate at the site, and a CRADA with SPAWAR for cooperative research and equipment use. This facility is operated by the University of Central Florida’s Wave Propagation Research Group (WPRG). The WPRG has over 50 years of combined experience in the study of laser beam propagation through atmospheric turbulence. TISTEF is a multi-use facility, encompassing indoor laser and optics labs and outdoor test ranges, but is primarily a field test facility. The TISTEF site offers a 1 kilometer outdoor range for lasing in addition to a observatory dome. The facility also hosts various labs for different applications such as a mechanical lab, UV lab, and electro-optical lab.
Meteorological Measurements and Services
We offer a wide arrangement of meteorological instruments to provide measurements for various parameters such as air temperature, relative humidity, Cn2, wind speed, and more.
Our experiments can be set up anywhere! Not just TISTEF. We have set up our instruments all over the United States and have access to various unique sites at the Kennedy Space Center that best meet our customer’s needs.
The WPRG is headed by two UCF emeritus professors, Dr. Larry C. Andrews and Dr. Ronald L. Phillips. Dr. Andrews and Dr. Phillips are world renowned in the field of laser beam propagation through atmospheric turbulence with many years of experience and publications in this field. They provide all the theoretical analysis and mathematical modeling needed to characterize this phenomenon across our projects.
Fiber-Optic Fabrication Facility
CREOL owns one of the most unique facilities in the nation to process novel optical fiber materials, and fabricate state-of-the-art fiber-optic devices and systems. The facility includes a modified chemical vapor deposition (MCVD) system to grow fiber preforms, a drawing tower to pull out the preforms and attain nanostructured fibers, as well as several auxiliary labs to fuse, splice, assemble and characterize fully-functional and packaged modern fiber-optic components.
Optical Materials Laboratory
The Optical Materials Laboratory provides 4,000 square-foot of state-of-the-art research laboratories for the fabrication of crystals, optical ceramics, glass and glass-ceramics. It features dedicated ceramic laboratories with extensive powder processing and sintering equipment, infrared glasses and glass-ceramic advanced manufacturing, and cutting-edge MOCVD fiber-preform fabrication. These laboratories also include post-processing capabilities and analytical tools for material characterization. The OML is located on the UCF main campus, in a close proximity to the College of Optics and Photonics, the Material Characterization Facility (MCF) and local industrial partners.