Light Table, Cutler-Hammer AIL 1540

U.S. intelligence agencies began using the AIL Information Systems 1540 Multi-Form light tables (MLT 1540s) in 1971 to analyze film returned from U-2s, SR-71s; CORONA, GAMBIT, and HEXAGON satellites; and other photoreconnaissance vehicles. The MLT 1540 improved upon previous light tables. It had motorized features, could handle up to four film rolls of various widths, and enabled analysts to view two rolls stereoscopically. The MLT 1540 also accomodated improved optics, including the Bausch and Lomb Zoom 240 stereoscope displayed here.

Light tables such as the MLT 1540 continued to be used into the 1980s to analyze film returned from satellites and aircraft. Despite the introduction of computerized systems in 1981 to process imagery returned digitally from photoreconnaissance satellites and aircraft, they were also used for over 20 years to analyze some digital imagery that was run off in hard copy because the computerized systems could not process all of it.

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency transferred the MLT 1540 to the Museum in 2004.

Transferred from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

Country of Origin
United States

Manufacturer
Cutler Hammer

Location
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Chantilly, VA
Hangar
James S. McDonnell Space Hangar

Type
EQUIPMENT-Photographic

Materials
Metal, plastic, and glass
Cover: synthetic fabric
Dimensions
Other: 4ft 2in. x 5ft 2in. x 2ft 6in. (127 x 157.48 x 76.2cm)
152.4 x 101.6cm (5ft x 3ft 4in.) (Approximate, cover, laid flat)

U.S. intelligence agencies began using the AIL Information Systems 1540 Multi-Form light tables (MLT 1540s) in 1971 to analyze film returned from U-2s, SR-71s; CORONA, GAMBIT, and HEXAGON satellites; and other photoreconnaissance vehicles. The MLT 1540 improved upon previous light tables. It had motorized features, could handle up to four film rolls of various widths, and enabled analysts to view two rolls stereoscopically. The MLT 1540 also accomodated improved optics, including the Bausch and Lomb Zoom 240 stereoscope displayed here.

Light tables such as the MLT 1540 continued to be used into the 1980s to analyze film returned from satellites and aircraft. Despite the introduction of computerized systems in 1981 to process imagery returned digitally from photoreconnaissance satellites and aircraft, they were also used for over 20 years to analyze some digital imagery that was run off in hard copy because the computerized systems could not process all of it.

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency transferred the MLT 1540 to the Museum in 2004.

Transferred from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

Country of Origin
United States

Manufacturer
Cutler Hammer

Location
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Chantilly, VA
Hangar
James S. McDonnell Space Hangar

Type
EQUIPMENT-Photographic

Materials
Metal, plastic, and glass
Cover: synthetic fabric
Dimensions
Other: 4ft 2in. x 5ft 2in. x 2ft 6in. (127 x 157.48 x 76.2cm)
152.4 x 101.6cm (5ft x 3ft 4in.) (Approximate, cover, laid flat)

ID: A20050091000