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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Space and missile defense experts from around the world are here in Huntsville this week, looking to connect and develop partnerships with one another.

Parsons, a global company that’s been in business for over 75 years and currently has over 14,000 employees, is just one of 230 exhibitors participating.

Michael Dewitz, Parsons Executive Vice President of Engineering & Technical Services, says “We really like to work on the hard problems in this country – space, missile defense, and cyber are our core competencies. Those are all the challenges that the country and the world are facing today. We want to lead that change and innovate.”

This year at the symposium, the company went for an innovate and creative approach to showcase attendees what their company has to offer.

“The display behind me is a launch manifest system integration contract we have where we’re integrating small satellites onto larger vehicles to maximize the efficiency of those launches. It’s something we’re really proud of. We used to do a lot of demos, but we feel what’s more important now is engagement and talking with customers/industry partners to draw more crowd…which is why you see these things here,” added Dewitz. 

Parsons isn’t the only company at the symposium thinking outside the box. Kord Technologies, a subsidiary of KBR Company, unveiled Firefly, which is a 20-kilowatt laser weapon system.
Firefly is designed to find small drones, target them, and then eventually shoot them down.

Scott Schnorrenberg, KBR Vice President of Applied Physics, says “We’ve been working on this for about two years. This is an internal development project. It’s been laborious, but we’re excited to finally be able to unveil this.”

Schnorrenberg says this is a much-needed capability, and it isn’t too expensive.

“We focused on something that would be low enough cost that it could actually be used in other environments that aren’t military. We’re hoping to get a lot of buzz about this product and start generating some sales,” replied Schnorrenberg.

The symposium is open to the public. If you’d like to check out the exhibits on display, organizers say all you have to do is register with a photo ID.