HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - The Space and Missile Defense Symposium continues today. On the Von Braun Center South Hall exhibit floor, you'll find hundreds of companies showing off their high-tech wares. It's a place where you'll get very impressed by... radar.
Right this moment, there are human beings, some American, on the International Space Station. It's a home in the most hostile of environments, and it's in space where more than a half million pieces of debris also orbit. There is a model of the radar being built to keep track of all that dangerous space junk on view at the Symposium.
There is also radar on display for protecting troops on the battlefield, and it's deployed right now with the U.S. military. It might surprise you to learn that both radars are products of Lockheed Martin.
"A lot of people they see Lockheed Martin as building the F-35 fighter, the F-22 fighter, or the C-130," says Brad Hicks of Lockheed Martin. "And yeah, a lot of people see us as an aerospace company, but we have been building radars for 70 years."
Another Lockheed radar on display is for detecting things hundreds miles away. All the radars on display at the Space and Missile Defense Symposium are part of a Lockheed reminder - "To show the customers, both in the Department of Defense and the Army, the services, what we do and what we can deliver them," says Hicks.
In this case, Lockheed thinking about American war fighters serving in hostile places. To those men and women, radar, and its detection prowess, is vital. "Because we know it does save lives," says Hicks. "It provides early warning and allows them to go after the bad guys quickly."
The radars have big jobs. Lockheed Martin is showing them off at the Von Braun Center because there might be a future industry partner on the floor, or maybe a customer. Two reasons why the Symposium is the place to be.
Organizers say one of the main attractions of the SMD Symposium is networking and it will continue at a frantic pace through tomorrow afternoon.
Don't forget, you can check out the exhibits, as they are open to the public. All you need is a photo ID to register in the South Hall of the VBC.