FLARE is a system of high-tech mirrors that can be used to improve the performance of satellite, airborne and drone-based imaging systems. (Credit: Labsphere, Inc.)

Labsphere, Inc. announced plans to locate a Field Line of sight Automated Radiance Exposure (FLARE) testing site at Arizona State University's (ASU) Polytechnic campus as part of the ASU Polytechnic Innovation District. FLARE is a system of high-tech mirrors that can be used to improve the performance of satellite, airborne, and drone-based imaging systems.

This new collaboration between Labsphere and ASU will benefit university students by allowing them to gain real-world experience in areas such as remote sensing and earth observation. It also advances ASU's NewSpace Initiative that fosters partnerships with space exploration and technology companies to discover new research avenues while creating opportunities for student engagement. Additionally, Labsphere will support ASU Polytechnic engineering capstone student projects.

Labsphere will gain access to ASU's resources, and to the Mesa physical environment in which to test and further develop the FLARE technology.

Chris Durell, Director of Business Development for Remote Sensing at Labsphere said, "The ASU location, students and outstanding staff afford Labsphere a very agile resource to conduct satellite testing and explore new technology avenues for FLARE. Capstone projects carried out by ASU students will support the development of new mobile modalities and FLARE design extensions for expanding satellite testing tools and techniques."

Labsphere and ASU have agreed upon the manual deployment of geometric mirror arrays for satellite image quality testing. Also, the partnership provides for a future, fully automated FLARE system installation in addition to the manual array test area.

The FLARE network is a revolutionary new way of optically calibrating imager and sensor's spatial, geometric and radiometric performance. The concept of using stars for calibrating telescopes is one that dates back to the early days of astronomy. Space telescopes including Hubble, as well as the future James Webb Telescope, use star fields to perform image quality and signal testing. This technique was not available on earth until now.

FLARE targets are controlled, automated, adjustable "stars on the ground." Labsphere is using this robust technique and making it available to telescopes imaging the earth so they can perform the same verification and testing in real time.