Most UAVs, infrared homing missiles, satellites, and advanced aircraft would be useless without advanced sensors. Playing a small, but crucial, role in these payloads is Deposition Sciences Inc (DSI, booth 4417), a 100-person company that develops advanced coatings, particularly for optical applications.
Tatiana Atkinson, inside sales manager at DSI, says the firm is at the show mainly to meet with providers of sensors. It already works with major players in the defence and aerospace business, such as Boeing, BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin, and Raytheon.
The coating for an infrared sensor, for example, would optimise it for sensitivity to a specific part of the light spectrum. The nose cone of the Raytheon Stinger shoulder-launched missile system, for example, has a coating provided by DSI. The coating means it can "see" only a specific part of the infrared spectrum.
In the satellite realm, DSI provides a coating for communications satellites that protects the craft from the sun's rays while also allowing the transmission of radio signals.
Applying the coatings to a substrate - DSI literature indicates 13 possible substrate candidates - involves delicate application processes. Indeed, the company says coating process is one of its core competencies.
Despite the finesse involved in coating processes, DSI director of special products David Eisenhauer says the coatings are extremely tough once applied.