SAN DIEGO - Tucked away on the ground floor of an office building in Carmel Valley, Torrey Pines Logic is a small defense contractor with big plans.
"We're not trying to reinvent the wheel, just make it better," said Russ Purcell, who demonstrated how the company's LightSpeed binoculars could make one of the most perilous ship-to-ship maneuvers at sea safer.
Underway replenishment occurs when a supply ship and a Navy ship team up at sea to transfer everything from fuel to mail.
Purcell – who was a sailor on a guided missile cruiser – said the way it is done now is that crew members hold communication lines which also have increments of measurements on them to tell the distance between the two ships, which are usually just 300 feet apart.
"What LightSpeed does is take the guesswork out of it," Purcell said.
He said it does that by automatically calculating distance and closing speed when the binoculars are tied into a computer.
"Every ship has binoculars," Purcell said. "What we did is adapt technology to them to make them more functional."
Special Forces are already using the device because of the secure communications link built in.
One other device the company made for the Marine Corps is the Beam 100.
"Essentially, it is a countermeasure anti-sniper device," said Purcell. The device continually scans, looking for optical devices such as a scope used by snipers.
"We can detect the sniper long before a convoy comes near," Purcell said.
Both devices are still in the evaluation stage.
"There will still be an operational need that has to be met and there's still room for technology improvements," Purcell said.