PLX Space Heritage.
PLX's space heritage dates back to 1975 when the company provided hollow retroreflectors to the Apollo-Soyuz Russian-American space hookup program.
The units were used in the docking procedure to align the two vehicles as well as measure gases in the vehicle environment.
Ever since then PLX has been part of some of the world's most important space missions. And has been privileged to work alongside some of the leading space agencies and companies all over the world more
Announcing our, new expanded line of Roof Mirrors TM (HRM).
More options and sizes with added flexibility and stability, in a newly designed lightweight aluminum housing, for protection and ease of handling.
For any application where a rooftop or Porro prism can be used. Compatible with all major mounting systems, they are available in a variety of accuracies, coatings and custom configurations.
For more information, to view diagrams and 3D models go to http://www.plxinc.com/products/hollow-roof-mirrors-hrmr
The TIRVIM (Thermal Infra-Red V-Shape Interferometer Mounting) Spectrometer is part of the Atmospheric Chemistry Suite (ACS), which is now successfully operating in orbit around Mars.
Its scientific goal is to monitor temperature profiles and measure aerosol content during nadir observations.
TIRVIM is one of three spectrometers on the ACS of the ExoMars 2016 Trace Gas Orbiter launched in March 2016.
PLX retroreflectors in TIRVIM spectrometer currently flying aboard the ExoMars 2016 Trace Gas Orbiter.
This suite of three infrared instruments will help scientists to investigate the chemistry and structure of the Martian atmosphere. ACS will complement NOMAD (a spectrometer suite for nadir and solar occultation observations) by extending the coverage at infrared wavelengths, and by taking images of the Sun to better analyze the solar occultation data.
The PLX Retroreflectors used in the TIRVIM Interferometer offer properties, which enable it to survive launch conditions and to perform in harsh environments while maintaining exceptional stability and accuracy. Their function in the TIRVIM is to maintain optical alignment of the interferometer while they are translated to modulate the infrared radiation.
PLX has designed and supplied optical devices and instruments to the Defense, Space and Commercial Industries around the world.
For more technical information go to our Technical Publications page.
Orlando, Fla., May 25, 2016
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control division has awarded PLX Inc. with one of its prestigious Outstanding Small Business awards.
Lockheed Martin recognizes their small business partners for their commitment to quality and accountability.
One of PLX's significant projects was manufacturing the Modernized Boresight Module for one of Lockheed Martin’s targeting sensors. The Modernized Boresight Module allows simultaneous viewing of multiple lines of site while operating with extreme stability in harsh battlefield conditions.
PLX is proud to be selected amongst the 19 business suppliers out of thousands across the nation.
PLX provides unique optical instruments, technologies and solutions to problems of achieving and maintaining state-of-the-art optical accuracy and stability under severe environmental conditions.
PLX Ball Mounted Hollow Retroreflectors (BMRs) are now available in a new unique Break-Resistant configuration.
PLX’s high accuracy Durable Ball Mounted Retroreflectors (DBMRs) offer increased durability and are designed to work in demanding environments. They are available in 1.5” diameter and two centering options (0.0001” and 0.0005”), and are guaranteed to be compatible with all manufacturers’ laser tracking systems.
All PLX Ball Mounted Retroreflectors are equipped with our standard protected silver coating for the highest durability, reflectance, and distance.
PLX introduces the new, improved Invar mounted USHM, the ultimate in shock and vibration resistance.
PLX’s new USHM’s robust mounting and mirror technology offer properties which enable them to perform exceptionally well in critical applications and harsh conditions.
The improved USHM solidly connects the Retroreflector to the next assembly. It is vacuum compatible, thermally stable and tailored to applications such as military and aerospace where extreme shock and vibration are a concern.
Standard USHM mirror coatings are aluminum, silver and gold and come in both bare metal and protective overcoats. PLX offers custom coatings and configurations as well as lighter weight aluminum mounted versions. MORE
PLX Lateral Transfer Hollow Retroreflectors (LTHR’s™) will be a part of the Alignment Monitoring and Control System (AMCS) of the ATLAS program.
PLX was awarded a contract from Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corporation for two LTHR’s™ for the Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS) program. ATLAS is the sole instrument on the ICESat-2 satellite scheduled for a June 2018 launch.
The two LTHRs™ are part of the Alignment Monitoring and Control System. They are used to keep the laser and receiving telescope bore-sighted to each other during orbit.
The Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2, or ICESat-2, will measure the height of a changing Earth – one laser pulse at a time, 10,000 laser pulses a second. Slated for launch in 2018, ICESat-2 will carry a laser altimeter that detects individual photons, allowing scientists to measure the elevation of ice sheets, sea ice, forests and more in unprecedented detail.
PLX was also awarded a contract by NASA for a 5-inch clear aperture, 18.5 inch offset LTHR™ as part of the ground support equipment for testing the ATLAS system before launch. This LTHR™ provides a return beam from the laser to the receiving telescope to allow validation of the system.
Additional recent satellite projects utilizing PLX Hollow Retroreflectors include the Meteor–M satellite and the Canadian Astro-H Metrology System, as well as units delivered to ABB Bomem for the ACE-FTS, the main instrument on SCISAT-1. This Canadian satellite was designed to make observations of the Earth’s atmosphere.
PLX’s "Metrology System for Inter-Alignment of Lasers, Telescopes, and Mechanical Datum” abstract / manuscript accepted at SPIE for inclusion in their Library of Technical Papers.
In modern scientific and industrial laser applications, inter-alignment of multiple optical devices is frequently a basic requirement to meet a certain specification and performance.
However, the designed optical system combining mechanical elements, lasers and optical sights in various wavelengths frequently deviates from specified goals due to real life imperfections and effects. These may include mechanical tolerances, optical distortion, heating, laser cavity misalignment, overall instabilities, and non-linear effects.
In order to deliver accurately and produce intricate optical systems, a carefully designed method for interalignment is required completing and updating the already existing methods. Thus, we designed and upgraded the performance of an electronic autocollimator and combined it with innovative mechanical manipulation of optical invariants such as a Lateral Transfer Hollow Periscope to greatly improve and expand inter-alignment procedures.
Metrology System for Inter-Alignment of Lasers, Telescopes, and Mechanical Datum: Poster Presentation at OPTIFAB.
Advances in sensor technology have opened the door to new measuring instruments, initiating the development of the new PLX, ACT-25 and ACT-HR Electronic Autocollimator and Alignment Telescope Systems.
The technology is based on autocollimation principles combining laser beam collimation and direction measurement, accurate telescopic measurement, focusing techniques with sophisticated software and computing techniques. Of special interest is the laser analyzing autocollimator since it combines laser-analyzing technology with angular reflection technology.
Don't miss visiting our Poster Presentation at 4:30pm on Oct.14th at the SPIE OPTIFAB Show, learn more about our new All-In-One Electronic Autocollimator and Alignment Telescope solutions.
Experience the latest advancement in Autocollimator technology, the ACT-25 and ACT-HR Autocollimator and Alignment Telescope instruments.
See them at SPIE OPTIFAB, October 13-15th. These high-accuracy instruments are capable of resolution down to fractions of an arc second. Their primary application is to detect and measure small angular deviations.
The ACT-25 and ACT-HR are designed for use in tool rooms, inspection departments and quality control laboratories. For more information call 631-586-4190 or firstname.lastname@example.org
See the new PLX High-Resolution Multifunctional Electronic Autocollimators at the SPIE OPTICS+PHOTONICS Show.
PLX adds the new high-resolution ACT-HR High-Resolution Electronic Autocollimator to its recently introduced ACT-25 Multifunctional Electronic Autocollimator. See them both at the PLX OPTICS+PHOTONICS Show.
The ACT-HR High-Resolution Electronic Autocollimator system has measurement capability down to 0.01 arc second or 0.05 μRad and a clear aperture of 62mm. The complete system includes a collimator unit with USB2.0 CCD camera.
The ACT-25 is an all-in-one Electronic Autocollimator and Alignment Telescope designed with coordinated accessories that greatly increase functionality. Its telescope function allows for measuring lateral displacements as well as angular displacements in the autocollimator mode.
Both units come with a full Software suite for recording and documenting measurements.
Over 40 Years Experience in Space Optics...
PLX’s space heritage dates back to 1975 when the company provided hollow retroreflectors to the Apollo-Soyuz Russian-American space hookup program. The units were used in the docking procedure to align the two vehicles.
Ever since, PLX has been developing new technologies for critical programs. The recent development of our Monolithic Optical Structure Technology (M.O.S.T.™) has led to further state-of-the-art capabilities for Aerospace, Military and Industrial applications.
Introducing the new PLX ACT-25, All-in-One Electronic Autocollimator and Alignment Telescope.
Used to detect and measure small angular deviations this robustly designed unit is practically ready to use right out of the box.
It has a 0.1 arc-second resolution and an exceptional focusing range: from 30cm to infinity. The ACT-25 has a built-in laser for course alignment and a long lasting LED light source. Its full-featured software suite allows you to record and document your measurements.
A unique feature of the ACT-25 is the ability to focus down to 30cm (12 inches) in the telescope mode. This capability allows the measurement of lateral displacements, as opposed to the autocollimator mode, which measures angular displacements.
The new PLX Tool Cube is designed for setting up optical axes or intuitive alignment of equipment and instruments at right angles to each other or parallel to each other.
Read more about the PLX Tool Cube on our product page.
Environmental Monitoring Program: New PLX retroreflectors withstand up to 800 degrees F.
PLX has manufactured stainless steel hollow retroreflectors, which can withstand temperatures up to 800 degrees F. These are mounted inside the stacks of coal power plants in programs designed to measure the content of emissions from the plant.
Canadian Astro-H Metrology System (CAMS) Program: PLX Invar-mounted hard mount retroreflectors with 1.94” clear aperture and 0.5-arc second accuracy.
Astro-H is a space-based X-ray observatory scheduled to be launched in 2016. The mission is an international collaboration with participation from institutions in the US, Canada, Europe and Japan. Astro-H will have hard x-ray telescopes of 12 meters focal length. CAMS is the metrology system designed to measure the later (X/Y) and rotational (roll) displacement in the spacecraft’s optical bench relative to the instruments.
PLX manufactured two Invar-mounted hard mount retroreflectors of 1.94” clear aperture and 0.5-arc second accuracy for use on Astro-H. A laser is aimed at each of the units, which returns the beam parallel to itself with a known offset to a two-dimensional detector. Any shift of the units will be read as an offset on the detectors.
Geophysics Interferometer: Long-baseline laser strainmeter in Kamioka uses PLX 15” clear aperture Hollow Retroreflector.
A few hundred meters beneath the surface of the Earth at the Kamioka Underground Observatory, a new laser strainmeter (LSM) is being built. The strainmeter is a highly asymmetrical Michelson type interferometer. The long arm will be 1.5 km in length and will be in an evacuated beam tube. This will be the longest LSM in Japan and one of the largest in the world.
The 1.5 km strainmeter will offer higher sensitivity and resolution than the current “100 meter interferometer” in use at Kamioka. The LSM will be used for geophysical research such as crustal motions, gravitational geophysics, earth tides, fault activities and the Earth’s free oscillations. In addition to this research the LSM will be supporting other experiments at Kamioka, such as the KAGRA project whose aim is to detect gravitational waves.
As part of the Geophysics interferometer, PLX manufactured a 15” clear aperture Hollow Retroreflector of 0.5 arc seconds accuracy for the University of Tokyo Earthquake Research Institute. The instrument was mounted on a super-invar custom-made bracket and utilized PLX light-weighted optics technology. PLX also participated in the original “100 meter interferometer” with our standard 2.5”, 0.5 arc second OmniWave Retroreflector.
ICESat-2 program: PLX vacuum-compatible Lateral Transfer Hollow Retroreflector with a 5” aperture, 18.5” separation and 1 arc second accuracy.
ICESat-2 is NASA’s Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite scheduled for launch in 2017. The mission of the satellite is to deploy a spaceborne sensor to collect altimetry data of the Earth’s surface optimized to measure ice sheet elevation change and sea ice thickness, while generating an estimate of global vegetation biomass.
The sole instrument on ICESat-2 will be the Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System or ATLAS. The ATLAS laser will emit visible, green laser at a wavelength of 532nm. AS ICESat-2 orbits, ATLAS will split the laser into 6 beams, arranged in 3 pairs, with 3.3km between pairs. It will fire at a rate of 10kHz - 10,000 times per second.
PLX manufactured a vacuum-compatible Lateral Transfer Hollow Retroreflector with a 5” aperture, 18.5” separation and 1 arc second accuracy for the ICESat-2 program. It will be used for boresighting and performance testing of ATLAS.
The Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control Preferred Supplier Program, Perfect Performer Award is given for achieving 100 percent Quality and Delivery.
The achievment recognizes PLX's obtaining and sustaining superior performance throughout the year.
This is just one of many awards Lockheed Martin has bestowed on the company for outstanding achievement, PLX has been a valued supplier of Lockheed Martin for many years.
PLX announces a new Ceramic Ball Mounted Hollow Retroreflector. Designed for application involving non-magnetic components.
These non-magnetic BMR’s are available in 2 center accuracies: within .0005” and within .0001”. They are manufactured in 1 ½”, 7/8" and 1/2"diameters.
Ceramic BMR’s are lighter, smoother and corrosion and electrically-resistant, with low thermal conductivity.
PLX unconditionally guarantees their BMR’s to provide superior performance and compatibility with laser tracking systems from all manufacturers.
Announcing the USHM from PLX. A new innovation in Hollow Retroreflector technology.
The Ultra Stable Hard-Mounted Hollow Retroreflector (USHM), is a self-compensating mirror that is totally insensitive to position and movement, extremely accurate and available in a variety of coatings and configurations.
The USHM is well suited for critical military, aerospace, analytical and other OEM uses. It exhibits exceptional performance in interferometer applications where high stability is of utmost importance.
Its unique hard mount solidly connects the Retroreflector to the next assembly. Because it is vacuum compatible and can be positioned about the permanently connected post in any orientation, it provides greater freedom for different mounting configurations.
Potential variations include: smaller and larger apertures; special performance glass; modified mounts to meet your interface; super-critical accuracies; dielectric mirror coatings for high-powered lasers; and units able to withstand military and space environments.
For more information go to Ultra Stable Hard-Mounted Hollow Retroreflector (USHM) or visit our contact page
PLX has been named a “STAR SUPPLIER” by Lockheed Martin.
This award signifies PLX’s ability to meet the high-quality standards and delivery requirements for the company.
In 2001, PLX was asked by Lockheed Martin to develop a Modified Boresight Module (MBSM) for the Apache Arrowhead program, using a military version of the PLX Lateral-Transfer Hollow Retroreflector (LTHR™). The MBSM improved accuracy of the existing system from 30 arc minutes to 1 arc second. This was a particularly difficult task because of the state-of-the-art accuracy of this requirement and of the battlefield conditions under which the instrument must operate. Working closely with Lockheed Martin personnel, the MBSM was successfully designed and qualified. PLX continues to provide MBSMs for the Arrowhead program.
PLX has also received the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Subcontractor of the Year Award for 2008, Lockheed Martin’s Small Business of the Year Award for 2003, 2006 and 2007, The Lockheed Martin Eagle Award of Excellence for 2007 and the Northrop Grumman Corporation Bronze, Silver and Gold Supplier Quality Awards, among many other awards.
PLX honored with the SBA 2008 subcontractor of the year award in Washington D.C.
The award PLX received is granted by the United States Small Business Administration for SBA’S Region 2 covering several states in the northeast and is sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Three days of ceremonies were held in Washington DC, including a reception at the White House where President Bush was the keynote speaker.
Among the other featured speakers were former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, Secretary Mike Leavitt, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Ambassador Susan C. Schwab, United States Trade Representative, David Latimore of the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, John Bryant of Operation HOPE, Michael Porter of Harvard University School of Business, other prominent business leaders, CEOs and politicians.
M.O.S.T.™ achieves superb optical stability, unsurpassed shock and vibration resistance and sub-arc second accuracy between optical elements.
Developed by PLX, Monolithic Optical Structure Technology (M.O.S.T.™) is a unique optical innovation that combines all of the elements of a complex optical setup into a single monolithic unit. This technology represents a significant improvement over existing systems that utilize traditional mirror mounts. Traditional mechanical mounts are inherently unstable and require constant adjustment – a true disadvantage in critical applications requiring the permanent and stable fixed positioning of optical elements. Optical engineers typically use M.O.S.T.™ monolithic assemblies in applications such as laser cavities, beam dividers, beam delivery systems, and boresighting. However, by using M.O.S.T.™ you can simplify and improve practically any lab setup you need to convert into an instrument.
PLX Awarded Eagle Award for Excellence by Lockheed Martin.
The Eagle Award is presented annually to an Arrowhead® supplier with superior quality and schedule performance that also makes a significant contribution to the program.
The Arrowhead program, the U.S. Army's Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor (M-TADS/PNVS), is a major upgrade to the Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor fire control system on the AD-64D Apache helicopter. PLX manufactures the Modified Boresight Module for the system.
PLX's Hollow Retroreflectors are also available in diameters from 2mm to 6mm.
These Mini Hollow Retroreflectors are miniaturized devices that provide the same laser and interferometer quality wavefronts as our larger Hollow Retroreflectors (available in diameters up to 125mm). They can be coated with any of PLX's standard coatings, or with custom coatings. With an accuracy of better than 25 arcseconds maximum deviation and 0.2 waves wavefront deformation, they are ideal for numerous applications within high-precision optical, communications and laser systems. For more information on PLX optical technology, contact PLX today.