Arizona's rank as a center for astronomy in the world has been declining," said Robert Millis, director of Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff. "I find that disturbing, but it could be reversed." Astronomy research "It transitioned in the first couple of weeks from complete uncertainty to more of a realistic, pragmatic understanding that this was going to affect our defense plans," said Kathleen Perkins, vice president at Breault Research Organization, an optical engineering firm. "So we saw a surge in interest in what we provide." has spawned a $750 million annual optics industry in Arizona, employing nearly 7,000 workers, said Robert Breault, founder of Tucson- based Breault Research Organization, an optics software firm. Copyright , date. All rights reserved.