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Astro Communication Laboratory

Astro Communication Laboratory, commonly abbreviated to ACL, was an electronics development and manufacturing company, incorporated in Gaithersburg (Maryland, US) on 19 November 1964. The company was founded by Joseph H. O'Conner and Charles D.T. Lennhoff, who had previously worked for Communication Electronics Inc. (CEI), together with four other former CEI colleagues.

ACL company logo

The six founding members left CEI because they wanted to start their own business and wanted to compete for government contracts. They concentrated on the use of transistors (solid-state) for the front-ends of their receivers, whilst CEI adhered to thermionic valves (vacuum tubes) [1].

ACL developed a range of high-end surveillance receivers and became a preferred supplier of the US space agency
and of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The company was merged with Aiken Industries on 20 October 1967, but kept trading under the ACL name for many years. ACL equipment can also be found under the brand name of Norlin; another Aiken subsidary.

ACL equipment on this website
SR-209 HF/VHF/UHF/SHF surveillance receiver
Last known address
  • Astro Communication Laboratory
    9125 Gaither Road
    Gaithersburg, Maryland (USA)
  1. ACL catalog
    Date unknown. 1
  1. Document kindly provided by Terry O'Laughlin [1].

  1. Terry O'Laughlin, Astro Communication labs (ACL)
    Retrieved February 2019.
Further information
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