Dennis Fisher FlightLine Films

About Dennis Fisher

Dennis Fisher

Dennis Fisher has over 40 Years of experience as a Still Photographer, Cinematographer, and Range Optics Manager/Engineer. He began his storied career serving in the United States Marine Corps as a combat photographer with the 1st Marine Division in Vietnam. Later, he would spend 21 years working in management and engineering for the Western Test Range Optical Instrumentation Branch at Vandenberg AFB. He has received national and international peer recognition for his achievements and innovation in the field of Test Range Optics including:

  • Unified long range vision for optical instrumentation improvement and modernization projects for fixed optical sites, mobile optical systems, launch pad cameras systems, and technical documentation systems on the Western Range.
  • Acquired $38M for optics improvement and modernization projects during a period of reduced funding in the Air Force.
  • Instrumental in the conception and design of new optical systems to meet evolving requirements for ballistic missile, space launch vehicles, general Range testing, and aeronautical test and evaluation programs on the Western Test Range.
  • Developed and implemented a highly successful optical transition plan to move from film based high-speed engineering sequential cameras to digital systems. Also provided leadership and technical guidance to improve image quality through poor atmospheric conditions by the use of NIR, SWIR and MWIR senor systems.
  • Instrumental in the creation of arguably the most advanced optical laboratory on a government Test Range at Vandenberg AFB. The lab is equipped with the latest computerized testing equipment and can perform full wavefront interferometry on systems up to 36” aperture.
  • Managed the design and fabrication of a digital post production facility to support the optical instrumentation mission on the Western Test Range.

In 2007, Dennis established Genesis Applied Imaging, Inc., an optics consulting business that focuses on Range optical systems and their application. Current/recent customers include Red Bull Stratos, ITT Systems Division, Silicon Graphics Inc., QinetiQ North America, Apogen, Inc., Navy Space Warfare Center, Imatest LLC, Photo-Sonics Inc., and Federal Edge, Inc.

Over the years, he has worked as a technical resource advisor and cinematographer on three commercial motion picture projects: Top Gun, Apollo 13, and Firebirds. He also provided engineering photo support for F&W Emmen in Switzerland for their Dragon missile test program.

Among his many achievements is the concept and development of the Mobile Large Aperture Infrared Telescope System (MLAIR-TS) which mounts two 24” and one 34” aperture telescopes on a specially modified Cine-Sextant mobile track mount.

Dennis has worked with FlightLine Films on the design and implementation of Optics Systems used on our various camera systems. He was instrumental in the design of the JLAIR Optical Tracking units which are the world’s first self-powered Tracking Pedestal/Control Room/Satellite Up-link units integrated onto a single vehicle chassis. He serves as the FlightLine Films Tracking Supervisor on JLAIR operations involving missile and rocket launches as well as high performance aircraft tracking.

His professional affiliations include the Range Commander’s Council/Optical Systems Group. The OSG is the Range community’s center of expertise for optical engineering and documentary photography of DoD Test Programs. From 1979-2006 he served as Vice-Chairman for 3 years, Chairman for 4 years, and established and chaired the Long Range Tracking, Infra-Red, and Test Range Improvement and Standardization Committees. As Vice-Chairman he was responsible for the soliciting and organizing the technical presentations and overall technical agenda. As Chairman he organized and planned the semi-annual meetings for all 26 major Range and Test Facility bases and managed the overall operation of the group. He provided the vision and guidance to bring the group from a film based infrastructure to digital. He was often called upon to answer technical questions from the Pentagon and congressional aides concerning Range optics.

Awards and Recognition
  • 2003 TSPI/Electro-Optics Award - International Test & Evaluation Association
  • 2006 US Air Force Idea Program - $10,000 award for reducing the cost of replacing long range tracking telescopes



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