OPMER Inaugurated

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The Inauguration Ceremony of National Technology Development Infrastructures was held on October 31, 2018 at TÜBİTAK UZAY Optical Systems Laboratory (OPMER) building located at TÜBİTAK SAGE Campus with the participation of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Minister of Industry and Technology Mustafa Varank. Hulusi Akar, Minister of National Defense, Prof. Dr. İsmail Demir, President of Defence Industries, and General Yaşar Güler, Chief of General Staff, were also present at the ceremony.

Emphasizing that Turkey is rapidly progressing towards becoming a country that has a say in all areas of defense, aerospace and space technologies, Erdoğan stated that significant results have been achieved especially in the fields of high-resolution observation and communication satellites and subsystems, satellite launch systems, satellite data processing, storage and information support systems. Reminding that he had always stated that there was an obligation to design, produce and send more advanced satellites into space after the satellite was put into service, Erdoğan said, "One of our goals in this framework was to produce satellite cameras and large-diameter mirrors in our country. The Optical Systems Research Laboratory, or OPMER, which we inaugurated, was established for this purpose within TÜBİTAK UZAY Technologies Research Institute."

Stating that the design, integration and tests of the camera used in the İMECE Satellite Project were carried out by TÜBİTAK, Erdoğan said: "The sensitive optical components such as mirrors, lenses, prisms and filters used in this camera were being supplied from abroad. These components, which are considered critical technology, were both costly and subject to export restrictions. Thanks to the OPMER Project, we were able to develop optical components with sensitive technology with our national capabilities. In this way, we ensure that the know-how and the high costs of critical designs remain in Turkey. The activities of the Optical Systems Research Laboratory are not only limited to the production of optical components, but we will also carry out the design, measurement, integration and testing activities of the products in this facility."

Stating that the OPMER infrastructure consists of a total of 16 laboratories, Erdoğan said that in addition to satellite cameras, the facility will also produce sensitive optics and large-diameter mirrors used in telescopes, which are difficult to supply from abroad. He emphasized that OPMER, the first center established in Turkey in this field, is one of the few laboratories in the world that carries out R&D activities in this field.

After his speech at the Opening Ceremony of the National Technology Development Infrastructures, President Erdoğan inspected the production, metrology and integration activities of the Optical Systems Research Laboratory established within TÜBİTAK UZAY Technologies Research Institute. President Erdoğan was closely interested in the work carried out here. In commemoration of the opening, he was presented with the first precision mirror prototype developed in the infrastructure and used in satellite cameras.

OPMER, the first center established in Turkey for the development of large-scale space-qualified precision optics, is one of the few laboratories in the world to carry out R&D activities on the subject.

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