RSL Projects

From Idea to Function: Lighting the LPD Ship Class

The scenario:

In the late 1990s Ingalls Shipbuilding, a division of Northrop Grumman, was designing the new LPD ship class to include composite mast structures which would reduce the radar cross section (RCS). This vessel design required navigation and signaling lights in places where maintenance could not be done, and Ingalls was looking for a solution for these, essentially, inaccessible lights.

The problem:

Another division of Northrop Grumman, Winchester Electronics, had previously piloted the concept of a remote source lighting system on the DDG 78 USS Porter. The concept of remote source lighting was attractive for vessels with difficult or dangerous areas to reach for required maintenance as it housed the light source (light engine) in an accessible place while the light illuminated elsewhere on the ship. Unfortunately, the early Winchester prototype was not able to meet light intensity requirements and had insufficient reliability for Navy use. So, Ingalls needed a partner who could implement not only a functional, reliable remote source lighting system, but maintain the light’s integrity and precision for high stakes use.