HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – The Space and Missile Defense (SMD) Symposium has returned to the Rocket City for its 26th year.

Several experts, engineers and officials offered an inside look at new advancements with News 19 Anchor Steve Johnson. You can watch the interviews and get an inside look at these advancements in the videos below.

Steve started the morning off by giving viewers a rundown of what to expect from the SMD Symposium:

He then met up with Ronnie Chronnister with Lockheed Martin to talk about the THAAD system and Patriot System. Chronnister also showed new systems that will be used in the future on a larger scale.

Next, Bob McCaleb with Northrop Grumman showed the ICBM (Intercontinental Ballistic Missile) Target, which happen to be assembled right here in the Tennessee Valley.

LTG Daniel Karbler with Space and Missile Defense Command is attending the SMD Symposium to talk with eventgoers about the program’s progress.

Steve also spoke with Tim McKechnie, the president and founder of Huntsville-based Plasma Processes. The business specializes in creating objects that burn hotter so that they can perform better.

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Polaris Sensor Technologies is another Huntsville-based company. Steve spoke with John Harchenko about the camera system they specialize in and how they function within the defense arena.

Boeing Huntsville spokesperson Debbie Barnett brought the company’s gound-based interceptor, which is the “only system in the country that protects all Americans across 50 states from long-range intercontinental ballistic missiles.”

Right before the Von Braun Center opens its door to eventgoers, Steve chatted with Sameer Singhal with CFD Research. Singhal added that they are a small company, however, one of their first projects was helping the space program return to flight after the Challenger disaster.

As the doors to the event opened, Steve spoke with BlueHalo’s representative Jimmy Jenkins to learn more about the company’s laser weapons system.

Pierre Bastie of SEMCO and Mike Feldman from ISSAC talk about their data collection and how they use it, as well as the use of artificial intelligence.

There’s a lot more in store over the next two days, as the SMD Symposium continues at the VBC. News 19 will have coverage of the event daily. You can keep up with our coverage on-air or online here.

If you’re interested in attending the SMD Symposium or learning more about the event, click here.