Since 1989, Thompson Ramo Wooldridge, Inc. (TRW) has been testing and refining the performance of the megawatt-class Alpha chemical laser, which it designed and built for the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization’s Space Base Laser-Integrated Flight Experiment (SBL-IFX program).
On December 12, 2002, Northrop Grumman acquired the TRW Corporation.
The photo (top right) shows a rack with one quadrant of an electroformed, diamond turned beam clipper. The substrate was fabricated at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, and was electroformed over the water cooling passages under the direction of Jack Dini. The assembled beam clipper (4 foot diameter) was then single-point, diamond turned on the Large Optical Diamond-turning Machine (LODM), disassembled and sent to Epner Technology for Laser Gold coating of the individual optical quadrants. TRW awarded ETI its “supplier of the year” award in 1987; the first time this award has ever been given to a plating company.
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