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Honeywell and U.S. Air Force Extend HALAS Demonstration Partnership

Honeywell and U.S. Air Force Extend HALAS Demonstration Partnership

Under a two-year extension to a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) originally signed in 2021, Honeywell and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) will continue a partnership formed to demonstrate and mature breakthrough atmospheric sensing technology.

Developed by Honeywell, the High-Altitude LiDAR Atmosphere Sensing (HALAS) solution uses pulsed lasers to measure altitude and gather relevant weather data in the airspace above launch sites. HALAS is a transportable, remotely operated system that can deliver highly accurate, high-altitude data in near real-time.  

Extension of the CRADA reinforces Honeywell’s commitment to realizing the long-term benefits HALAS can deliver to the space launch community. Honeywell engineers have made significant technological improvements to HALAS over the last two years to enable rapid acquisition and delivery of high-altitude weather data to rocket launch crews.

Availability of up-to-date weather information is critical to enable launch decision authorities to make informed last-minute “go/no-go” decisions in launch windows. HALAS can deliver atmospheric data to operators in 15 minutes or less. Alternative technologies, like weather balloons, provide data that is sometimes hours old, which is much less useful for launch-planning purposes.

HALAS sends as many as 10 laser beams per second into the sky over a targeted area of interest. The returns are used to measure atmospheric pressure, temperature, humidity, wind speed, and wind direction so launch teams can assess critical mission parameters such as wind shear in the airspace above launch sites. HALAS provides near-real time data with confidence levels up to and exceeding 100,000 feet above ground level.

In the next phase of the CRADA, Honeywell will deploy HALAS to Vandenberg Space Force Base (VSFB), California, to demonstrate the system’s capabilities to the 30th Operations Support Squadron weather team at the nation’s Western Range. 

The USSF is seeking technologies that can streamline launch operations at launch ranges including VSFB, Cape Canaveral Space Force Station (CCSFS), Florida, and future Spaceports to support increased launch cadence and emerging responsive space missions.

Adam Kress
Director, External Communications