Developing new imaging technology
In the pursuit of expanding and refining the range of meteorological measurements which satellites can collect, Milesham's multidisciplinary team of researchers and technicians achieved a series of minor breakthroughs in multiple systems and how they work together. The net result is a more than fivefold increase in imaging resolution and tenfold increase in data efficiency of those images.
Work on this project began almost two decades ago in partnership with a photographic lens manufacturer. We had discovered a plant derived oil with very unusual refractive properties. Potential applications were not apparent at the time. Following extensive experimentation it became clear that atypical refraction was just the beginning of this oil's surprises. Where it ultimately led us was to the development of a photographic lens made entirely out of biological matter.
We celebrated the achievement but the cost of producing lenses was phenomenal. So much so that it was deemed completely commercially unviable and shelved for more than a decade. Then one of our researchers attempted to produce a lens under low gravity conditions. Yet another facet of the inscrutable oil was revealed. The magnifying power of the lens was four times that of a comparably sized conventional lens.
Commercial viability still eluded us however. Not only is the cost of doing anything in microgravity breathtaking but being biological in origin meant that the lenses were subject to a very small degree of decay. Even the slightest change in the form of a lens - especially lenses this powerful - can deform resulting images. It took thousands of hours to solve the decay problem and thousands more to perfect a method of producing the lenses on earth.
All of that was only one dimension of this new technology. The rest, as they say is, proprietary.