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Dr. Thomas Mensah

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Uploaded on Apr 14, 2009

Dr. Thomas Mensah, one of the greatest minds of the 21st century, gives Beenabell Productions an exclusive interview. Dr. Thomas Mensah is one of four original innovators and developers of fiber optics technology in this country. He holds 7 patents, all of which were awarded in the past six years. His work in fiber optics led to the much needed bandwidth which transformed the telecommunication and computer / internet platform that gave the US global leadership in this field. Prior to the advent of fiber optics, for example, internet communications were slow and pictures or large files took several hours to transmit because of bandwidth (information carrying capacity) limitations in copper cables. Today an entire encyclopedia can be transmitted in only a few seconds. Since the advent of fiber optics media, and its enormous bandwidth, data can now be transmitted at the speed of light. Currently, over one billion people are connected to the internet because of the bandwidth offered by fiber optics. Long distance cell phone communications and ATM machines worldwide function efficiently because of fiber optics media. One can check account information all over the country at any ATM.
When fiber optics technology was invented in the laboratories at Corning Glass Works, it was challenging to transition into the manufacturing environment, mainly because the delicate glass fibers (125-150 microns thick) broke during any attempt to speed up production. Dr. Thomas Mensah, then a young chemical engineer at Corning Glass Works Sullivan Park Research and development Center, solved this worldwide problem through a series of inventions. His first patent increased the manufacturing speed from 2 meters a second to 20 meters a second, bringing fiber optics costs to the same level as copper, thus making it economical to replace copper cables with fiber optics media throughout the country.
Dr. Mensah went onto AT&T Bell Laboratories where he led a team in the development of a guidance system for smart weapons using fiber optics. At AT&T Bell Labs, Dr. Mensah had to wait a whole year before he could work in the manufacturing area because of a certain clause in his contract at Corning Glass Works. In the meantime, he focused his effort on the design and development of missile systems that are guided by fiber optics. He holds three patents in the fiber optics guided missile FOG-M technology, including the Guided Vehicle Patent. In the fiber optic guided missile technology, a small camera in the nose cone of the missile captures pictures of a given target during missile flight. These pictures are digitized and sent over the optical fiber in real time to the cockpit so that pilots can identify targets and lock on them. The cross hairs seen on television when smart munitions are hitting targets are a staple in modern warfare and owe their accurate performance to fiber optics, GPS and / or other laser guided methods. Dr. Mensah is one of the early innovators in smart missile technology. He and his team developed missiles that were successfully deployed at Mach 1 (the speed of sound) using the FOG-M technology.
Current developments can allow a pilot to direct a smart missile or bomb through a window in a building without damaging other structures nearby. Precision guided bombs and smart missiles are a staple in the arsenal of the US Military and chemical engineers like Dr. Thomas Mensah have had and continue to play a major role in such advanced and innovative warfare.

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