Townes Institute Science and Technology Experimentation Facility (TISTEF)

Supporting research and development of electro-optic sensing technologies, laser beam propagation, object tracking and lasing, and advanced atmospheric characterization.


Tistef Amenities

  • 1 km terrestrial range (extension to 3&5 km in process), with access to a 13 kilometer slant path range to the roof of the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) and currently in process of deploying overwater saline ranges of 1-10 km
  • Indoor fully equipped laser labs with direct access to the 1 kilometer terrestrial range, as well as to a Coude path projector
  • Lase to various sites around the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) and the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) from the projection systems
  • Ability to clear airspace, get approvals from FAA and LCH, and lase to orbiting spacecraft, and receive data back from orbit (JLDSS onsite)
  • Can track and lase using our database of TLE’s, or load custom TLE’s from multiple tracking mounts; all mounts configurable for various experiment, per requirements
  • A full suite of mobile labs, towers, vehicles, and diagnostic equipment
  • Access to the Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) for HEL testing, and atmospheric measurements
  • Ability to host mobile laser systems and platforms on the range, and various locations onsite to meet testing requirements
  • Onsite team of subject matter experts that span the range of directed energy and sensing technologies, full machine shop with 5 Ton overhead crane, and assorted diagnostic and repair equipment for field maintenance
  • A proven track record of safe outdoor laser testing, compliance, and mission success

TISTEF is part of a larger effort on directed energy at the University of Central Florida (UCF), through the Center for Directed Energy Systems, Science, and Technology (C-DESST). This center provides a consolidated and coordinated effort for all research and educational activities in the general area of DE at UCF. With more than 70,000 students, UCF is one of the largest universities in the U.S and is a preeminent research university located in Orlando, Florida. UCF faculty and students engage in research covering all aspects of Directed Energy including: optics and photonics, atmospherics, remote sensing, lasers, optical fibers, integrated photonics, nonlinear and quantum optics, guidance systems, artificial intelligence, sensor technologies, imaging, sensing and display – to name a few.


Contact us for more information
Tel-4 Rd, Building N6-2247
Kennedy Space Center, FL 32899