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Sample records for laser altimeter system

  1. The Geoscience Laser Altimeter System Laser Transmitter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Afzal, R. S.; Dallas, J. L.; Yu, A. W.; Mamakos, W. A.; Lukemire, A.; Schroeder, B.; Malak, A.

    2000-01-01

    The Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS), scheduled to launch in 2001, is a laser altimeter and lidar for tile Earth Observing System's (EOS) ICESat mission. The laser transmitter requirements, design and qualification test results for this space- based remote sensing instrument are presented.

  2. Geoscience laser altimeter system - stellar reference system

    SciTech Connect

    Millar, Pamela S.; Sirota, J. Marcos

    1998-01-15

    GLAS is an EOS space-based laser altimeter being developed to profile the height of the Earth's ice sheets with {approx}15 cm single shot accuracy from space under NASA's Mission to Planet Earth (MTPE). The primary science goal of GLAS is to determine if the ice sheets are increasing or diminishing for climate change modeling. This is achieved by measuring the ice sheet heights over Greenland and Antarctica to 1.5 cm/yr over 100 kmx100 km areas by crossover analysis (Zwally 1994). This measurement performance requires the instrument to determine the pointing of the laser beam to {approx}5 urad (1 arcsecond), 1-sigma, with respect to the inertial reference frame. The GLAS design incorporates a stellar reference system (SRS) to relate the laser beam pointing angle to the star field with this accuracy. This is the first time a spaceborne laser altimeter is measuring pointing to such high accuracy. The design for the stellar reference system combines an attitude determination system (ADS) with a laser reference system (LRS) to meet this requirement. The SRS approach and expected performance are described in this paper.

  3. Laser altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1972-01-01

    The development of a laser altimeter for use in the Apollo Lunar Orbital Experiments mission is discussed. The altimeter provides precise measurement of an Apollo vehicle above the lunar surface from an orbit of 40 to 80 nautical miles. The technical characteristics of the altimeter are described. Management of the altimeter development program is analyzed.

  4. Laser Transmitter Design for the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Afzal, R. S.; Yu, A. W.; Mamakos, W.; Lukemire, A.; Dallas, J. L.; Schroeder, B.; Green, J. W.

    1998-01-01

    NASA is embarking on a new era of laser remote sensing instruments from space. This paper focuses specifically on the laser technology involved in one of the present NASA missions. The Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) scheduled to launch in 2001 is a laser altimeter and lidar for the Earth Observing System's (EOS) ICESat mission. The laser transmitter for this space-based remote sensing instrument is discussed in the context of the mission requirements.

  5. ICESat laser altimeter measurement time validation system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Magruder, L. A.; Suleman, M. A.; Schutz, B. E.

    2003-11-01

    NASA launched its Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) in January 2003. The primary goal of this laser altimeter mission is to provide determination of volumetric changes in the ice sheets, specifically in Antarctica and Greenland. The instrument performance requirements are driven by the scientific goal of determining a change in elevation on the centimetre level over the course of a year's time. One important aspect of the altimeter data is the time of measurement, or bounce time, associated with each laser shot, as it is an important factor that assists in revealing the temporal changes in the surface (land/ice/sea) characteristics. In order to provide verification that the laser bounce time is accurately being determined, a ground-based detector system has been developed. The ground-based system methodology time-tags the arrival of the transmitted photons on the surface of the Earth with an accuracy of 0.1 ms. The timing software and hardware that will be used in the ground-based system has been developed and extensively tested. One particular test utilized an airborne laser equipped to produce a similar signal to that of ICESat. The overflight of the detectors by the aircraft was successful in that the signals were detected by the electro-optical devices and appropriately time-tagged with the timing hardware/software. There are many calibration and validation activities planned with the intention to help resolve the validity of the ICESat data, but pre-launch analysis suggests the ground-based system will provide the most accurate recovery of timing bias.

  6. Optical system design and integration of the mercury laser altimeter.

    PubMed

    Ramos-Lzquierdo, Luis; Scott, V Stanley; Schmidt, Stephen; Britt, Jamie; Mamakos, William; Trunzo, Raymond; Cavanaugh, John; Miller, Roger

    2005-03-20

    The Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA), developed for the 2004 MESSENGER mission to Mercury, is designed to measure the planet's topography by laser ranging. A description of the MLA optical system and its measured optical performance during instrument-level and spacecraft-level integration and testing are presented. PMID:15813279

  7. Optical System Design and Integration of the Mercury Laser Altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ramos-Izquierdo, Luis; Scott, V. Stanley, III; Schmidt, Stephen; Britt, Jamie; Mamakos, William; Trunzo, Raymond; Cavanaugh, John; Miller, Roger

    2005-01-01

    The Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA). developed for the 2004 MESSENGER mission to Mercury, is designed to measure the planet's topography via laser ranging. A description of the MLA optical system and its measured optical performance during instrument-level and spacecraft-level integration and testing are presented.

  8. Shuttle Laser Altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bufton, Jack L.; Harding, David J.; Garvin, James B.

    1999-01-01

    The Shuttle Laser Altimeter (SLA) is a Hitchhiker experiment that has flown twice; first on STS-72 in January 1996 and then on STS-85 in August 1997. Both missions produced successful laser altimetry and surface lidar data products from approximately 80 hours per mission of SLA data operations. A total of four Shuttle missions are planned for the SLA series. This paper documents SLA mission results and explains SLA pathfinder accomplishments at the mid-point in this series of Hitchhiker missions. The overall objective of the SLA mission series is the transition of the Goddard Space Flight Center airborne laser altimeter and lidar technology to low Earth orbit as a pathfinder for NASA operational space-based laser remote sensing devices. Future laser altimeter sensors will utilize systems and approaches being tested with SLA, including the Multi-Beam Laser Altimeter (MBLA) and the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS). MBLA is the land and vegetation laser sensor for the NASA Earth System Sciences Pathfinder Vegetation Canopy Lidar (VCL) Mission, and GLAS is the Earth Observing System facility instrument on the Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat). The Mars Orbiting Laser Altimeter, now well into a multi-year mapping mission at the red planet, is also directly benefiting from SLA data analysis methods, just as SLA benefited from MOLA spare parts and instrument technology experience [5] during SLA construction in the early 1990s.

  9. Laser pointing determination for the geoscience laser altimeter system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, Pamela S.; Sirota, J. Marcos

    1998-01-01

    The Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) is a space-based lidar being developed to monitor changes in the mass balance of the Earth's polar ice sheets (Thomas et al. 1985). GLAS is part of NASA's Earth Observing System (Schutz 1995), and is being designed to launch into a 600 km circular polar orbit in the year 2001, for continuous operation over 3 to 5 years. The orbit's 94 degree inclination has been selected to allow good coverage and profile patterns over the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica. The GLAS mission uses a small dedicated spacecraft provided by Ball Aerospace, which is required to have a very stable nadir and zenith pointing platform which points to within approximately 100 urad (20 arcseconds) of Nadir. Accurate knowledge of the laser beam's pointing angle (in the far field) is critical since pointing the laser beam away from nadir biases the altimetry measurements (Gardner 1992, Bufton et al. 1991). This error is a function of the distance of the laser centroid off nadir multiplied by the orbit altitude and the tangent of the slope angle of the terrain. Most of the ice sheet surface slopes are less than 1? resulting in pointing knowledge bias of only 7.6 cm with 7.3 urad accuracy, and overall single shot height accuracy of approximately 15 cm. However, over a 3 deg surface slope pointing knowledge to approximately 7.3 urad is the largest error source (23 cm) in achieving 26 cm height accuracy. The GLAS design incorporates a stellar reference system (SRS) to relate the laser beam pointing angle to the star field to an accuracy of 7.3 urad. The stellar reference system combines an attitude determination system (ADS) operating from 4 to 10 Hz coupled to a 40 Hz laser reference system (LRS) to perform this task.

  10. Lessons Learned from the Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garrison, Matt; Patel, Deepak; Bradshaw, Heather; Robinson, Frank; Neuberger, Dave

    2016-01-01

    The ICESat-2 Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS) instrument is an upcoming Earth Science mission focusing on the effects of climate change. The flight instrument passed all environmental testing at GSFC (Goddard Space Flight Center) and is now ready to be shipped to the spacecraft vendor for integration and testing. This presentation walks through the lessons learned from design, hardware, analysis and testing perspective. ATLAS lessons learned include general thermal design, analysis, hardware, and testing issues as well as lessons specific to laser systems, two-phase thermal control, and optical assemblies with precision alignment requirements.

  11. Atmospheric Measurements by the 2002 Geoscience Laser Altimeter System Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spinhirne, James D.; Starr, David OC. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    The NASA Earth Observing System (EOS) program is a multiple platform NASA initiative for the study of global change. As part of the EOS project, the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) was selected as a laser sensor filling complementary requirements for several earth science disciplines including atmospheric and surface applications. Late in 2002, the GaAs instrument is to be launched for a three to five year observational mission. For the atmosphere, the instrument is designed to full fill comprehensive requirements for profiling of radiatively significant cloud and aerosol. Algorithms have been developed to process the cloud and aerosol data and provide standard data products. After launch there will be a three-month project to analyze and understand the system performance and accuracy of the data products. As an EOS mission, the GaAs measurements and data products will be openly available to all investigators. An overview of the instrument, data products and evaluation plan is given.

  12. The Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) for the ICESAT Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abshire, James B.; Sun, Xia-Li; Ketchum, Eleanor A.; Afzal, Robert S.; Millar, Pamela S.; Smith, David E. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    The Laser In space Technology Experiment, Shuttle Laser Altimeter and the Mars Observer Laser Altimeter have demonstrated accurate measurements of atmospheric backscatter and Surface heights from space. The recent MOLA measurements of the Mars surface have 40 cm vertical resolution and have reduced the global uncertainty in Mars topography from a few km to about 5 m. The Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) is a next generation lidar for Earth orbit being developed as part of NASA's Icesat Mission. The GLAS design combines a 10 cm precision surface lidar with a sensitive dual wavelength cloud and aerosol lidar. GLAS will precisely measure the heights of the Earth's polar ice sheets, establish a grid of accurate height profiles of the Earth's land topography, and profile the vertical backscatter of clouds and aerosols on a global scale. GLAS is being developed to fly on a small dedicated spacecraft in a polar orbit with a 590 630 km altitude at inclination of 94 degrees. GLAS is scheduled to launch in the summer 2001 and to operate continuously for a minimum of 3 years with a goal of 5 years. The primary mission for GLAS is to measure the seasonal and annual changes in the heights of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. GLAS will continuously measure the vertical distance from orbit to the Earth's surface with 1064 nm pulses from a ND:YAG laser at a 40 Hz rate. Each 5 nsec wide laser pulse is used to produce a single range measurement, and the laser spots have 66 m diameter and about 170 m center-center spacings. When over land GLAS will profile the heights of the topography and vegetation. The GLAS receiver uses a 1 m diameter telescope and a Si APD detector. The detector signal is sampled by an all digital receiver which records each surface echo waveform with I nsec resolution and a stored echo record lengths of either 200, 400, or 600 samples. Analysis of the echo waveforms within the instrument permits discrimination between cloud and surface echoes

  13. Atmospheric Measurements by the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System: Initial Results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spinhirne, J. D.; Palm, S. P.; Hlavka, D. L.; Hart, W. D.; Mahesh, A.; Welton, E. J.

    2003-01-01

    The Geoscience Laser Altimeter System launched in early 2003 is the first satellite instrument in space to globally observe the distribution of clouds and aerosol through laser remote sensing. The instrument is a basic backscatter lidar that operates at two wavelengths, 532 and 1064 nm. The mission data products for atmospheric observations include the calibrated, observed, attenuated backscatter cross section for cloud and aerosol; height detection for multiple cloud layers; planetary boundary layer height; cirrus and aerosol optical depth and the height distribution of aerosol and cloud scattering cross section profiles. The data is expected to significantly enhance knowledge in several areas of atmospheric science, in particular the distribution, transport and influence of atmospheric aerosol. Measurements of the coverage and height of polar and cirrus cloud should be significantly more accurate than previous global measurement. Initial result from the first several months of operation will be presented.

  14. MESSENGER Laser Altimeter

    NASA Video Gallery

    MESSENGER's Mercury Laser Altimeter sends out laser pulses that hit the ground and return to the instrument. The amount of light that returns for each pulse gives the reflectance at that point on t...

  15. Receiver Design, Performance Analysis, and Evaluation for Space-Borne Laser Altimeters and Space-to-Space Laser Ranging Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Davidson, Frederic M.; Sun, Xiaoli; Field, Christopher T.

    1996-01-01

    This progress report consists of two separate reports. The first one describes our work on the use of variable gain amplifiers to increase the receiver dynamic range of space borne laser altimeters such as NASA's Geoscience Laser Altimeter Systems (GLAS). The requirement of the receiver dynamic range was first calculated. A breadboard variable gain amplifier circuit was made and the performance was fully characterized. The circuit will also be tested in flight on board the Shuttle Laser Altimeter (SLA-02) next year. The second report describes our research on the master clock oscillator frequency calibration for space borne laser altimeter systems using global positioning system (GPS) receivers.

  16. Geoscience Laser Altimeter System: Characteristics and Performance of the Altimeter Receiver

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sun, Xiao-Li; Yi, Dong-Hui; Abshire, James B.

    2003-01-01

    The Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) on board ICESat spacecraft measures the surface height (altimetry) via the time of flight of its 1064 nm laser pulse. The GLAS laser transmitter produces 6 ns wide pulses with 70 mJ energy at 1064 nm at a 40 Hz rate. The altimeter receiver consists of a telescope, aft optics, a silicon avalanche photodiode, and electronic amplifiers. The transmitted and echo pulse waveforms are digitized at 1 GHz rate. The laser pulse time of flight is determined on the ground from the two digitized pulse waveforms and their positions in the full waveform record (about 5.4 ms ong) by computing the pulse centroids or by curve fitting. The GLAS receiver algorithms in on board software selects the two waveform segments containing the transmitted and the echo pulses and sends them to ground. The probability of echo pulse detection and the accuracy of time of flight measurement depend on the received signal level, the background light within the receiver field of view, the inherent detector and amplifier noise, the quantization of the digitizer, and some times by cloud obscurations. A receiver model has been developed to calculate the probability of detection and accuracy of the altimeter measurements with these noise sources. From prelaunch testing, the minimum detectable echo pulse energy for 90% detection probability was about 0.1 fj/pulse onto the detector. Such a receiver sensitivity allows GLAS to measure the surface height through clouds with optical density less than 2. The echo pulse energy required to achieve 10 cm ranging accuracy was found to be about 3 times higher than the minimum detectable signal level. The smallest single shot range measurement error, which was determined by ranging to a fixed target with strong echo pulses and no background light, was 2 to 3cm. The maximum linear response echo pulse energy was 10 fJ/pulse for the strongest echo signals, assuming a Lambertian scattering snow surface, clear sky atmosphere

  17. Atmospheric Science Measurements by the EOS Geoscience Laser Altimeter System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spinhirne, James

    1999-01-01

    Scheduled for Launch in July 2001, the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) is to be the first satellite instrument to provide full global lidar profiling of clouds and aerosol in the earth's atmosphere. GLAS is an EOS program instrument that is on its own satellite, now called the Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite. The instrument is both a surface laser ranging system and an atmospheric profiling lidar. A most important surface measurement for the instrument is to study the change in the mass balance of the polar ice sheets by measuring the change in regional altitudes to an accuracy of 1.5 cm per year. The strategy to combine the surface measurement with a Cloud and aerosol lidar profiling mission is based on the compatibility of the altimetry instrument requirements with those for the required lidar measurements. The primary atmospheric science goal of the GLAS cloud and aerosol measurement is to determine the radiative forcing and vertically resolved atmospheric heating rate due to cloud and aerosol by directly observing the vertical structure and magnitude of cloud and aerosol parameters that are important for the radiative balance of the earth-atmosphere system, but which are ambiguous or impossible to obtain from existing or planned passive remote sensors. A further goal is to directly measure the height of atmospheric transition layers (inversions) which are important for dynamics and mixing, the planetary boundary layer and lifting condensation level.

  18. Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) for the ICESat Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abshire, James B.; Sun, Xiaoli; Ketchum, Eleanor A.; Millar, Pamela S.; Riris, Haris

    2002-01-01

    The Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) is a new generation lidar and is the primary science payload for NASA's ICESat Mission. The GLAS design combines a 10 cm precision surface lidar with a sensitive dual wavelength cloud and aerosol lidar. GLAS will precisely measure the heights of the Earth's polar ice sheets, establish a grid of accurate height profiles of the Earth's land topography, and profile the vertical distribution of clouds and aerosols on a global scale. GLAS will be integrated onto a small spacecraft built by Ball Aerospace, and will be launched into a polar orbit with a 590-630 km altitude at an inclination of 94 degrees. ICESat is is currently planned to launch in winter 2002/03 and GLAS is designed to operate continuously in space for a minimum of 3 years. GLAS will measure the vertical distance from orbit to the Earth's surface with pulses from a ND:YAG laser at a 40 Hz rate. Each 6 nsec wide 1064 nm laser pulse is used to produce a single range measurement. On the surface, the laser footprints have 66 m diameter and approx. 170 m center-center spacings. The GLAS receiver uses a I m diameter telescope to detect laser backscatter and a Si APD to detect the 1064 nm signals. The detector's output is sampled by a digital ranging receiver, which records each transmitted pulse and surface echo waveform with 1 nsec (15 cm) resolution. Each echo pulse is digitized and is reported to ground with a record length of from 200 to 544 samples, depending on the spacecraft's location . The GLAS location and epoch times are measured by a precision GPS receiver carried on the ICESat spacecraft. Initial processing of the echo waveforms within GLAS permits discrimination between cloud and surface echoes for selecting appropriate waveform samples. This selection is guided by an on-board DEM which is used to set the boundaries for the echo pulse search algorithm. Subsequent ground-based echo pulse analysis, along with GPS-based clock frequency estimates, permit

  19. Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zuber, Maria T.

    1997-01-01

    The objective of this study was to support the rebuild and implementation of the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) investigation and to perform scientific analysis of current Mars data relevant to the investigation. The instrument is part of the payload of the NASA Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) mission. The instrument is a rebuild of the Mars Observer Laser Altimeter that was originally flown on the ill-fated Mars Observer mission. The instrument is currently in orbit around Mars and has so far returned remarkable data.

  20. Mars Observer Laser Altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zuber, Maria T.

    1997-01-01

    The objective of this study was to support the rebuild and implementation of the Mars Orbiter Laser Aftimeter (MOLA) investigation and to perform scientific analysis of current Mars data relevant to the future investigation. The instrument is part of the payload of the NASA Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) mission. The instrument is a rebuild of the Mars Observer Laser Altimeter that was originally flown on the ill-fated Mars Observer mission.

  1. Optical system design and integration of the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter.

    PubMed

    Ramos-Izquierdo, Luis; Scott, V Stanley; Connelly, Joseph; Schmidt, Stephen; Mamakos, William; Guzek, Jeffrey; Peters, Carlton; Liiva, Peter; Rodriguez, Michael; Cavanaugh, John; Riris, Haris

    2009-06-01

    The Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA), developed for the 2009 Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission, is designed to measure the Moon's topography via laser ranging. A description of the LOLA optical system and its measured optical performance during instrument-level and spacecraft-level integration and testing are presented. PMID:19488116

  2. Space-qualified laser system for the BepiColombo Laser Altimeter.

    PubMed

    Kallenbach, Reinald; Murphy, Eamonn; Gramkow, Bodo; Rech, Markus; Weidlich, Kai; Leikert, Thomas; Henkelmann, Reiner; Trefzger, Boris; Metz, Bodo; Michaelis, Harald; Lingenauber, Kay; DelTogno, Simone; Behnke, Thomas; Thomas, Nicolas; Piazza, Daniele; Seiferlin, Karsten

    2013-12-20

    The space-qualified design of a miniaturized laser for pulsed operation at a wavelength of 1064 nm and at repetition rates up to 10 Hz is presented. This laser consists of a pair of diode-laser pumped, actively q-switched Nd:YAG rod oscillators hermetically sealed and encapsulated in an environment of dry synthetic air. The system delivers at least 300 million laser pulses with 50 mJ energy and 5 ns pulse width (FWHM). It will be launched in 2017 aboard European Space Agency's Mercury Planetary Orbiter as part of the BepiColombo Laser Altimeter, which, after a 6-years cruise, will start recording topographic data from orbital altitudes between 400 and 1500 km above Mercury's surface. PMID:24513938

  3. Receiver design, performance analysis, and evaluation for space-borne laser altimeters and space-to-space laser ranging systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Davidson, Frederic M.; Sun, Xiaoli; Field, Christopher T.

    1994-01-01

    Accomplishments in the following areas of research are presented: receiver performance study of spaceborne laser altimeters and cloud and aerosol lidars; receiver performance analysis for space-to-space laser ranging systems; and receiver performance study for the Mars Environmental Survey (MESUR).

  4. Cloud and Aerosol Lidar Channel Design and Performance of the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System on the ICESat Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sun, Xiaoli; Abshire, James B.; Krainak, Michael A.; Spinhirne, James D.; Palm, Steve S.; Lancaster, Redgie S.; Allan, Graham R.

    2004-01-01

    The design of the 532 and 1064nm wavelength atmosphere lidar channels of the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System on the ICESat spacecraft is described. The lidar channel performance per on orbit measurements data will be presented.

  5. Robust Control for the Mercury Laser Altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenberg, Jacob S.

    2006-01-01

    Mercury Laser Altimeter Science Algorithms is a software system for controlling the laser altimeter aboard the Messenger spacecraft, which is to enter into orbit about Mercury in 2011. The software will control the altimeter by dynamically modifying hardware inputs for gain, threshold, channel-disable flags, range-window start location, and range-window width, by using ranging information provided by the spacecraft and noise counts from instrument hardware. In addition, because of severe bandwidth restrictions, the software also selects returns for downlink.

  6. In-Flight Thermal Performance of the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) Instrument

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Grob, Eric; Baker, Charles; McCarthy, Tom

    2003-01-01

    The Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) instrument is NASA Goddard Space Flight Center's first application of Loop Heat Pipe technology that provides selectable/stable temperature levels for the lasers and other electronics over a widely varying mission environment. GLAS was successfully launched as the sole science instrument aboard the Ice, Clouds, and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) from Vandenberg AFB at 4:45pm PST on January 12, 2003. After SC commissioning, the LHPs started easily and have provided selectable and stable temperatures for the lasers and other electronics. This paper discusses the thermal development background and testing, along with details of early flight thermal performance data.

  7. The Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) for the ICESAT Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abshire, James B.; Sun, Xiao-Li; Ketchum, Eleanor A.; Afzal, Robert S.; Millar, Pamela S.

    1999-01-01

    surfaces. For surfaces with 2 deg. slopes, knowledge of pointing angle of the beam centroid to about 8 urad is required to achieve 10 cm height accuracy. GLAS uses a stellar reference system (SRS) to determine the pointing angle of each laser firing relative to inertial space. The SRS uses a high precision star camera oriented toward local zenith whose measurements are combined with a gyroscope to determine the inertial orientation of the SRS optical bench. The far field pattern of each laser pulse is measured with a laser reference system (LRS). Optically measuring each laser far field pattern relative to the star camera and gyroscope permits the angular offsets of each laser pulse to be determined. GLAS will also determine the vertical distributions of clouds and aerosols by measuring atmospheric backscatter profiles at both 1064 and 532 nm. The 1064 nm measurements use an analog detector and profile the height and vertical structure of thicker clouds. Measurements at 532 nm use new highly sensitive photon counting detectors, and measure the height distributions of very thin clouds and aerosol layers. With averaging these can be used to determine the height of the planetary boundary layer. The instrument design and expected performance will be discussed.

  8. Multi-beam laser altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bufton, Jack L.; Harding, David J.; Ramos-Izquierdo, Luis

    1993-01-01

    Laser altimetry provides a high-resolution, high-accuracy method for measurement of the elevation and horizontal variability of Earth-surface topography. The basis of the measurement is the timing of the round-trip propagation of short-duration pulses of laser radiation between a spacecraft and the Earth's surface. Vertical resolution of the altimetry measurement is determined primarily by laser pulsewidth, surface-induced spreading in time of the reflected pulse, and the timing precision of the altimeter electronics. With conventional gain-switched pulses from solid-state lasers and sub-nsec resolution electronics, sub-meter vertical range resolution is possible from orbital attitudes of several hundred kilometers. Horizontal resolution is a function of laser beam footprint size at the surface and the spacing between successive laser pulses. Laser divergence angle and altimeter platform height above the surface determine the laser footprint size at the surface, while laser pulse repetition-rate, laser transmitter beam configuration, and altimeter platform velocity determine the space between successive laser pulses. Multiple laser transitters in a singlaltimeter instrument provide across-track and along-track coverage that can be used to construct a range image of the Earth's surface. Other aspects of the multi-beam laser altimeter are discussed.

  9. Receiver design, performance analysis, and evaluation for space-borne laser altimeters and space-to-space laser ranging systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Davidson, Frederic M.; Field, Christopher T.; Sun, Xiaoli

    1996-01-01

    We report here the design and the performance measurements of the breadboard receiver of the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS). The measured ranging accuracy was better than 2 cm and 10 cm for 5 ns and 30 ns wide received laser pulses under the expected received signal level, which agreed well with the theoretical analysis. The measured receiver sensitivity or the link margin was also consistent with the theory. The effects of the waveform digitizer sample rate and resolution were also measured.

  10. Ranging performance of satellite laser altimeters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gardner, Chester S.

    1992-01-01

    Topographic mapping of the earth, moon and planets can be accomplished with high resolution and accuracy using satellite laser altimeters. These systems employ nanosecond laser pulses and microradian beam divergences to achieve submeter vertical range resolution from orbital altitudes of several hundred kilometers. Here, we develop detailed expressions for the range and pulse width measurement accuracies and use the results to evaluate the ranging performances of several satellite laser altimeters currently under development by NASA for launch during the next decade. Our analysis includes the effects of the target surface characteristics, spacecraft pointing jitter and waveform digitizer characteristics. The results show that ranging accuracy is critically dependent on the pointing accuracy and stability of the altimeter especially over high relief terrain where surface slopes are large. At typical orbital altitudes of several hundred kilometers, single-shot accuracies of a few centimeters can be achieved only when the pointing jitter is on the order of 10 mu rad or less.

  11. System Accommodation of Propylene Loop Heat Pipes For The Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) Instrument

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Grob, Eric W.; Powers, Edward I. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Loop Heat Pipes (LHP) are used for precise temperature control for NASA Goddard Space Flight Center's Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) Instrument in a widely varying LEO thermal environment. Two propylene LHPs are utilized to provide separate thermal control for the Nd:YAG Lasers and the remaining avionics/detector components suite. Despite a rigorous engineering development and test plan to demonstrate the performance in the restrictive GLAS design, the flight units failed initial thermal vacuum acceptance testing at GSFC. Subsequent investigation revealed that compromises in the mechanical packaging of these systems resulted in inadequate charge levels for a concentric wick LHP. The redesign effort included larger compensation chambers that provide more fluid to the wick for start-up scenarios and highlighted the need to fully understand the limitations and accommodation requirements of new technologies in a system design application. Once again, seemingly minor departures from heritage configurations and limited resources led to performance and operational issues. This paper provides details into the GLAS LHP engineering development program and acceptance testing of the flight units, including the redesign effort.

  12. Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) on the ICESat Mission: Science Measurement Performance since Launch

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sun, Xiao-Li; Abshire, James B.; Riris, Haris; McGarry, Jan; Sirota, Marcos

    2004-01-01

    The Geoscience Laser Altimeter System is the primary space lidar on NASA's ICESat mission. Since launch in January 2003 GLAS has produced about 544 million measurements of the Earth's surface and atmosphere. It has made global measurements of the Earth's icesheets, land topography and atmosphere with unprecedented vertical resolution and accuracy. GLAS was first activated for science measurements in February 2003. Since then its operation and performance has confirmed many pre-launch expectations and exceed a few of the most optimistic expectations in vertical resolution. However GLAS also suffered an unexpected failure of its first laser, and the GLAS measurements have yielded some surprises in other areas. The talk will give a post launch assessment of the science measurement performance of the GLAS instrument, and compare the science measurements and engineering operation to pre-launch expectations. It also will address some of what has been learned from the GLAS operations and data, which may benefit future space lidar.

  13. Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) on the ICESat Mission: Initial Science Measurement Performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abshire, James B.; Sun, Xiaoli; Riris, Haris; Sirota, Marcos; McGarry, J.; Palm, Steve

    2003-01-01

    The Geoscience Laser Altimeter System is the space lidar on the NASA ICESat mission. Its design combines an altimeter with 5 cm precision with a laser pointing angle determination system and a dual wavelength cloud and aerosol lidar. GLAS measures the range to the Earth s surface with 1064 nm laser pulses. Each laser pulse produces a precision pointing measurement from the stellar reference system (SRS) and an echo pulse waveform, which permits range determination and waveform spreading analysis. The single shot ranging accuracy is < 10 cm for ice surfaces with slopes < 2 degrees. GLAS also measures atmospheric backscatter profiles at both 1064 and 532 nm. The 1064 nm measurements use an analog Si APD detector and measure the height and profile the backscatter signal from thicker clouds. The measurements at 532 nm use photon counting detectors, and will measure the vertical height distributions of optically thin clouds and aerosol layers Before launch, the measurement performance of GLAS was evaluated using a lidar test instrument called the Bench Check Equipment (BCE). The BCE was developed in parallel with GLAS and served as an inverse altimeter, inverse lidar and a stellar source simulator. It was used to simulate the range of expected optical inputs to the GLAS receiver by illuminating its telescope with simulated background light as well as laser echoes with known powers, energy levels, widths and delay times. The BCE also allowed monitoring of the transmitted laser energy, the angle measurements of the SRS, the co-alignment of the transmitted laser beam to the receiver line of sight, and performance of the flight science algorithms. Performance was evaluated during the GLAS development, before and after environmental tests, and after delivery to the spacecraft. The ICESat observatory was launched into a 94 degree inclination, 590 km altitude circular polar orbit on January 12,2003. Beginning in early February, GLAS was powered on tested in stages. Its 1064 nm

  14. Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) Loop Heat Pipes: An Eventual First Year On-Orbit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Grob, E.; Baker, C.; McCarthy, T.

    2004-01-01

    Goddard Space Flight Center's Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) is the sole scientific instrument on the Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) that was launched on January 12, 2003 from Vandenberg AFB. A thermal control architecture based on propylene Loop Heat Pipe technology was developed to provide selectable/stable temperature control for the lasers and other electronics over the widely varying mission environment. Following a nominal LHP and instrument start-up, the mission was interrupted with the failure of the first laser after only 36 days of operation. During the 5-month failure investigation, the two GLAS LHPs and the electronics operated nominally, using heaters as a substitute for the laser heat load. Just prior to resuming the mission, following a seasonal spacecraft yaw maneuver, one of the LHPs deprimed and created a thermal runaway condition that resulted in an emergency shutdown of the GLAS instrument. This paper presents details of the LHP anomaly, the resulting investigation and recovery, along with on-orbit flight data during these critical events.

  15. Mars Observer Laser Altimeter: laser transmitter.

    PubMed

    Afzal, R S

    1994-05-20

    The Mars Observer Laser Altimeter utilizes a space-qualified diode-laser-pumped Q-switched Nd:YAG laser transmitter. A simple numerical model of the laser energetics is presented, which predicts the pulse energy and pulse width. Comparisons with the measured data available are made. The temperature dependence of the laser transmitter is also predicted. This dependence prediction is particularly important in determining the operational temperature range of the transmitter. Knowing the operational temperature range is especially important for a passive, thermally controlled laser operating in space. PMID:20885685

  16. Multishot laser altimeter: design and performance.

    PubMed

    Sun, X; Abshire, J B; Davidson, F M

    1993-08-20

    The maximum measurement range of a laser altimeter can be extended by averaging the measurements from multiple laser shots at the same target. We present the principles of operation and design of such a multishot laser altimeter, which uses a Si avalanche photodiode detector. As an example, the performance of a spaceborne multishot altimeter containing components similar to those of the single-shot Mars Observer Laser Altimeter are given under operating conditions that would be encountered near Saturn. With 100-shot averages, we show that the multishot laser altimeter is capable of accurate ranging at fly-by distances of 10,000 km from an icy satellite. With 100-shot averages, the minimum optical signal level at a 90% correct-measurement probability under nighttime background is 9.8 detected signal photons per pulse as compared with 76 photons per pulse with a single shot. PMID:20830120

  17. Testing of the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) Prototype Loop Heat Pipe

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Douglas, Donya; Ku, Jentung; Kaya, Tarik

    1998-01-01

    This paper describes the testing of the prototype loop heat pipe (LHP) for the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS). The primary objective of the test program was to verify the loop's heat transport and temperature control capabilities under conditions pertinent to GLAS applications. Specifically, the LHP had to demonstrate a heat transport capability of 100 W, with the operating temperature maintained within +/-2K while the condenser sink was subjected to a temperature change between 273K and 283K. Test results showed that this loop heat pipe was more than capable of transporting the required heat load and that the operating temperature could be maintained within +/-2K. However, this particular integrated evaporator-compensation chamber design resulted in an exchange of energy between the two that affected the overall operation of the system. One effect was the high temperature the LHP was required to reach before nucleation would begin due to inability to control liquid distribution during ground testing. Another effect was that the loop had a low power start-up limitation of approximately 25 W. These Issues may be a concern for other applications, although it is not expected that they will cause problems for GLAS under micro-gravity conditions.

  18. Optical system design and integration of the Mars Observer Laser Altimeter.

    PubMed

    Ramos-Izquierdo, L; Bufton, J L; Hayes, P

    1994-01-20

    The Mars Observer Laser Altimeter, developed for flight on the Mars Observer spacecraft payload in September 1992, is designed to measure the topography of the Martian surface over a 2-year period from a 400-km mapping orbit. A 40 mJ pulse diode-pumped laser together with a 0.5-m-diameter beryllium telescope and a silicon avalanche photodiode are the principal optical subassemblies of this active remote-sensing instrument. Optical design rationale and measured optical performances during assembly and integration are presented. PMID:20862020

  19. Receiver design, performance analysis, and evaluation for space-borne laser altimeters and space-to-space laser ranging systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Davidson, Frederic M.; Sun, Xiaoli; Field, Christopher T.

    1995-01-01

    Laser altimeters measure the time of flight of the laser pulses to determine the range of the target. The simplest altimeter receiver consists of a photodetector followed by a leading edge detector. A time interval unit (TIU) measures the time from the transmitted laser pulse to the leading edge of the received pulse as it crosses a preset threshold. However, the ranging error of this simple detection scheme depends on the received, pulse amplitude, pulse shape, and the threshold. In practice, the pulse shape and the amplitude are determined by the target target characteristics which has to be assumed unknown prior to the measurement. The ranging error can be improved if one also measures the pulse width and use the average of the leading and trailing edges (half pulse width) as the pulse arrival time. The ranging error becomes independent of the received pulse amplitude and the pulse width as long as the pulse shape is symmetric. The pulse width also gives the slope of the target. The ultimate detection scheme is to digitize the received waveform and calculate the centroid as the pulse arrival time. The centroid detection always gives unbiased measurement even for asymmetric pulses. In this report, we analyze the laser altimeter ranging errors for these three detection schemes using the Mars Orbital Laser Altimeter (MOLA) as an example.

  20. Receiver design, performance analysis, and evaluation for space-borne laser altimeters and space-to-space laser ranging systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davidson, Frederic M.; Sun, Xiaoli; Field, Christopher T.

    1995-05-01

    Laser altimeters measure the time of flight of the laser pulses to determine the range of the target. The simplest altimeter receiver consists of a photodetector followed by a leading edge detector. A time interval unit (TIU) measures the time from the transmitted laser pulse to the leading edge of the received pulse as it crosses a preset threshold. However, the ranging error of this simple detection scheme depends on the received, pulse amplitude, pulse shape, and the threshold. In practice, the pulse shape and the amplitude are determined by the target target characteristics which has to be assumed unknown prior to the measurement. The ranging error can be improved if one also measures the pulse width and use the average of the leading and trailing edges (half pulse width) as the pulse arrival time. The ranging error becomes independent of the received pulse amplitude and the pulse width as long as the pulse shape is symmetric. The pulse width also gives the slope of the target. The ultimate detection scheme is to digitize the received waveform and calculate the centroid as the pulse arrival time. The centroid detection always gives unbiased measurement even for asymmetric pulses. In this report, we analyze the laser altimeter ranging errors for these three detection schemes using the Mars Orbital Laser Altimeter (MOLA) as an example.

  1. Global Lidar Measurements of Clouds and Aerosols from Space Using the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hlavka, Dennis L.; Palm, S. P.; Welton, E. J.; Hart, W. D.; Spinhirne, J. D.; McGill, M.; Mahesh, A.; Starr, David OC. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    The Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) is scheduled for launch on the ICESat satellite as part of the NASA EOS mission in 2002. GLAS will be used to perform high resolution surface altimetry and will also provide a continuously operating atmospheric lidar to profile clouds, aerosols, and the planetary boundary layer with horizontal and vertical resolution of 175 and 76.8 m, respectively. GLAS is the first active satellite atmospheric profiler to provide global coverage. Data products include direct measurements of the heights of aerosol and cloud layers, and the optical depth of transmissive layers. In this poster we provide an overview of the GLAS atmospheric data products, present a simulated GLAS data set, and show results from the simulated data set using the GLAS data processing algorithm. Optical results from the ER-2 Cloud Physics Lidar (CPL), which uses many of the same processing algorithms as GLAS, show algorithm performance with real atmospheric conditions during the Southern African Regional Science Initiative (SAFARI 2000).

  2. Cloud Algorithm Design and Performance for the 2002 Geoscience Laser Altimeter System Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spinhirne, J. D.; Palm, S. P.; Hart, W. D.; Hlavka, D. L.; Mahesh, A.; Starr, David (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    A satellite borne lidar instrument, the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS), is to be launched in late 2002 and will provide continuous profiling of atmospheric clouds and aerosol on a global basis. Data processing algorithms have been developed to provide operational data products in near real time. Basic data products for cloud observations are the height of the top and bottom of single to multiple cloud layers and the lidar calibrated observed backscatter cross section up to the level of signal attenuation. In addition the optical depth and vertical profile of visible extinction cross section of many transmissive cloud layers and most haze layers are to be derived. The optical thickness is derivable in some cases from the attenuation of the molecular scattering below cloud base. In other cases an assumption of the scattering phase function is required. In both cases a estimated correction for multiple scattering is required. The data processing algorithms have been tested in part from aircraft measurements used to simulated satellite data. The GLAS lidar observations will be made from an orbit that will allow inter comparison with all other existing satellite cloud measurements.

  3. Space Borne Cloud and Aerosol Measurements by the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System: Initial Results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spinhirne, James D.; Palm, Steven P.; Hlavka, Dennis L.; Hart, William D.; Mahesh, Ashwin; Welton, Ellsworth J.

    2003-01-01

    In January 2003 the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) was successfully launched into orbit. Beginning in March 2003 GLAS will provide global coverage lidar measurement of the height distribution of clouds and aerosol in the atmosphere for up to five years. The characteristic and value of the unique data will be presented. The instrument is a basic backscatter lidar that operates at two wavelengths, 532 and 1064 nm. The mission data products for atmospheric observations include the calibrated, observed, attenuated backscatter cross section for cloud and aerosol; height detection for multiple cloud layers; planetary boundary layer height; cirrus and aerosol optical depth and the height distribution of aerosol and cloud scattering cross section profiles. The data is expected to significantly enhance knowledge in several areas of atmospheric science, in particular the distribution, transport and influence of atmospheric aerosol and thin clouds. Measurements of the coverage and height of polar and cirrus cloud should be significantly more accurate than previous global observations. In March and April 2003, airborne and ground based data verification experiments will be carried out. Initial results from the verification experiments and the first several months of operation will be presented.

  4. Initial Validation and Results of Geoscience Laser Altimeter System Optical Properties Retrievals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hlavka, Dennis L.; Hart, W. D.; Pal, S. P.; McGill, M.; Spinhirne, J. D.

    2004-01-01

    Verification of Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) optical retrievals is . problematic in that passage over ground sites is both instantaneous and sparse plus space-borne passive sensors such as MODIS are too frequently out of sync with the GLAS position. In October 2003, the GLAS Validation Experiment was executed from NASA Dryden Research Center, California to greatly increase validation possibilities. The high-altitude NASA ER-2 aircraft and onboard instrumentation of Cloud Physics Lidar (CPL), MODIS Airborne Simulator (MAS), and/or MODIS/ASTER Airborne Simulator (MASTER) under-flew seven orbit tracks of GLAS for cirrus, smoke, and urban pollution optical properties inter-comparisons. These highly calibrated suite of instruments are the best data set yet to validate GLAS atmospheric parameters. In this presentation, we will focus on the inter-comparison with GLAS and CPL and draw preliminary conclusions about the accuracies of the GLAS 532nm retrievals of optical depth, extinction, backscatter cross section, and calculated extinction-to-backscatter ratio. Comparisons to an AERONET/MPL ground-based site at Monterey, California will be attempted. Examples of GLAS operational optical data products will be shown.

  5. Receiver design, performance analysis, and evaluation for space-borne laser altimeters and space-to-space laser ranging systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Davidson, Frederic M.; Sun, Xiaoli; Field, Christopher T.

    1994-01-01

    This interim report consists of two reports: 'Space Radiation Effects on Si APDs for GLAS' and 'Computer Simulation of Avalanche Photodiode and Preamplifier Output for Laser Altimeters.' The former contains a detailed description of our proton radiation test of Si APD's performed at the Brookhaven National Laboratory. The latter documents the computer program subroutines which were written for the upgrade of NASA's GLAS simulator.

  6. Atmospheric and Surface Reflectance Measurements by the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spinhirne, James D.; Palm, Steven P.; Hlavka, Dennis L.; Hart, William D.; Mehesh, Ashwin; Welton, Ellsworth J.

    2004-01-01

    The Geoscience Laser Altimeter System launched in early 2003 is the first satellite instrument IC space to globally observe the distribution of clouds and aerosol through laser remote sensing. The instrument is a basic backscatter lidar that operates at two wavelengths, 532 and 1064 nm. The mission data products for atmospheric observations include the calibrated, observed, attenuated backscatter cross section for cloud and aerosol; height detection for multiple cloud layers; planetary boundary layer height; cirrus and aerosol optical depth and the height distribution of aerosol and cloud scattering cross section profiles. The data will enhance knowledge in several areas of atmospheric science: the distribution, transport and influence of atmospheric aerosol, significantly more accurate measurements of the coverage and height of cirrus and other clouds, polar cloud climatology and radiation influence, the dynamics planetary boundary layer and others. An overview and summary of initial results are presented. Initial results from the first months of operation show the detailed height structure of clouds and aerosol on a global basis as expected. The 532 nm channel was expected to be the more sensitive and primary channel for aerosol measurements, but extensive aerosol loading in many regions are observed by the 1064 nm channel. Sensitivities are down to a few times l0(exp 6) l/(m-sr), much better than originally expected. The 532 channel adds an order of magnitude addition sensitivity. Initial comparisons to aerosol models have been done. Similarly for global cloud cover, good results are obtained just from the 1064 nm channel and from both channels, a measurement of multiple layers and cloud overlap has been made. Antarctica observations show high levels of total cloud cover including unique low-level cirrus and blowing snow. Data products have been generated for cloud, aerosol and PBL presence and heights in addition to the basic scattering cross section profiles.

  7. Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) Instrument: Flight Loop Heat Pipe (LHP) Acceptance Thermal Vacuum Test

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baker, Charles; Butler, Dan; Ku, Jentung; Grob, Eric; Swanson, Ted; Nikitkin, Michael; Powers, Edward I. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Two loop heat pipes (LHPs) are to be used for tight thermal control of the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) instrument, planned for flight in late 2001. The LHPs are charged with Propylene as a working fluid. One LHP will be used to transport 110 W from a laser to a radiator, the other will transport 160 W from electronic boxes to a separate radiator. The application includes a large amount of thermal mass in each LHP system and low initial startup powers. The initial design had some non-ideal flight design compromises, resulted in a less than ideal charge level for this design concept with a symmetrical secondary wick. This less than ideal charge was identified as the source of inadequate performance of the flight LHPs during the flight thermal vacuum test in October of 2000. We modified the compensation chamber design, re-built and charged the LHPs for a final LHP acceptance thermal vacuum test. This test performed March of 2001 was 100% successful. This is the last testing to be performed on the LHPs prior to instrument thermal vacuum test. This sensitivity to charge level was shown through varying the charge on a Development Model Loop Heat Pipe (DM LHP) and evaluating performance at various fill levels. At lower fills similar to the original charge in the flight units, the same poor performance was observed. When the flight units were re-designed and filled to the levels similar to the initial successful DM LHP test, the flight units also successfully fulfilled all requirements. This final flight Acceptance test assessed performance with respect to startup, low power operation, conductance, and control heater power, and steady state control. The results of the testing showed that both LHPs operated within specification. Startup on one of the LHPs was better than the other LHP because of the starter heater placement and a difference in evaporator design. These differences resulted in a variation in the achieved superheat prior to startup. The LHP with

  8. Multibeam Laser Altimeter for Planetary Topographic Mapping

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garvin, J. B.; Bufton, J. L.; Harding, D. J.

    1993-01-01

    Laser altimetry provides an active, high-resolution, high-accuracy method for measurement of planetary and asteroid surface topography. The basis of the measurement is the timing of the roundtrip propagation of short-duration pulses of laser radiation between a spacecraft and the surface. Vertical, or elevation, resolution of the altimetry measurement is determined primarily by laser pulse width, surface-induced spreading in time of the reflected pulse, and the timing precision of the altimeter electronics. With conventional gain-switched pulses from solid-state lasers and nanosecond resolution timing electronics, submeter vertical range resolution is possible anywhere from orbital altitudes of approximately 1 km to altitudes of several hundred kilometers. Horizontal resolution is a function of laser beam footprint size at the surface and the spacing between successive laser pulses. Laser divergence angle and altimeter platform height above the surface determine the laser footprint size at the surface, while laser pulse repetition rate, laser transmitter beam configuration, and altimeter platform velocity determine the spacing between successive laser pulses. Multiple laser transmitters in a single laser altimeter instrument that is orbiting above a planetary or asteroid surface could provide across-track as well as along-track coverage that can be used to construct a range image (i.e., topographic map) of the surface. We are developing a pushbroom laser altimeter instrument concept that utilizes a linear array of laser transmitters to provide contiguous across-track and along-track data. The laser technology is based on the emerging monolithic combination of individual, 1-sq cm diode-pumped Nd:YAG laser pulse emitters. Details of the multi-emitter laser transmitter technology, the instrument configuration, and performance calculations for a realistic Discovery-class mission will be presented.

  9. Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) Final Test Report of DM LHP TV Testing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baker, Charles

    2000-01-01

    Two loop heat pipes (LHPs) are to be used for thermal control of the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS), planned for flight in 2001. One LHP will be used to transport 100 W from a laser to the radiator, the other will transport 210 W from electronic boxes to the radiator. In order to verify the LHP design for the GLAS application, an LHP Development Model has been fabricated, and ambient and thermal vacuum tested. Two aluminum blocks of 15 kg and 30 kg, respectively, were attached to the LHP to simulate the thermal masses connected to the heat sources. A 20 W starter heater was installed on the evaporator to aid the loop startup. A new concept to thermally couple the vapor and liquid line was also incorporated in the LHP design. Such a thermal coupling would reduce the power requirement on the compensation chamber in order to maintain the loop set point temperature. To avoid freezing of the liquid in the condenser during cold cases, propylene was selected as the working fluid. The LHP was tested under reflux mode and with adverse elevation. Tests conducted included start-up, power cycle, steady state and transient operation during hot and cold cases, and heater power requirements for the set point temperature control of the LHP. Test results showed very successful operation of the LHP under all conditions. The 20 W starter heater proved necessary in order to start the loop when a large thermal mass was attached to the evaporator. The thermal coupling between the liquid line and the vapor line significantly reduced the heater power required for loop temperature control, which was less than 5 watts in all cases, including a cold radiator. The test also demonstrated successful operation with a propylene working fluid, with successful startups with condenser temperatures as low as 100 C. Furthermore, the test demonstrated accurate control of the loop operating temperature within +/- 0.2 C, and a successful shutdown of the loop during the survival mode of

  10. Design and Performance Measurement of the Mercury Laser Altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sun, Xiao-Li; Cavanaugh, John F.; Smith, James C.; Bartels, Arlin E.

    2004-01-01

    We report the design and test results of the Mercury Laser Altimeter on MESSENGER mission to be launched in May 2004. The altimeter will provide planet surface topography measurements via laser pulse time of flight.

  11. Comparison of retracking algorithms using airborne radar and laser altimeter measurements of the Greenland ice sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferraro, Ellen J.; Swift, Calvin T.

    1995-05-01

    In 1991, NASA conducted a multisensor airborne altimetry experiment over the Greenland ice sheet. The experiment consisted of ten flights. Four types of radar altimeter retracking algorithms which include the Advanced Application Flight Experiment (AAFE) Ku-band altimeter, the NASA Airborne Oceanographic Lidar (AOL), the NASA Airborne Terrain Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS) and the NASA Ka-band Surface Contour Radar (SCR) were used. In this paper, these four continental ice sheet radar altimeter tracking algorithms were compared.

  12. On Orbit Receiver Performance Assessment of the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) on ICESAT

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sun, Xiaoli; Abshire, James B.; Spinhirne, James D.; McGarry, Jan; Jester, Peggy L.; Yi, Donghui; Palm, Stephen P.; Lancaster, Redgie S.

    2006-01-01

    The GLAS instrument on the NASA's ICESat mission has provided over a billion measurements of the Earth surface elevation and atmosphere backscattering at both 532 and 1064-nm wavelengths. The receiver performance has stayed nearly unchanged since ICESat launch in January 2003. The altimeter receiver has achieved a less than 3-cm ranging accuracy when excluding the effects of the laser beam pointing angle determination uncertainties. The receiver can also detect surface echoes through clouds of one-way transmission as low as 5%. The 532-nm atmosphere backscattering receiver can measure aerosol and clouds with cross section as low as 1e-7/m.sr with a 1 second integration time and molecular backscattering from upper atmosphere with a 60 second integration time. The 1064-nm atmosphere backscattering receiver can measure aerosol and clouds with a cross section as low as 4e-6/m.sr. This paper gives a detailed assessment of the GLAS receiver performance based on the in-orbit calibration tests.

  13. Ranging performance of satellite laser altimeters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gardner, Chester S.

    1992-01-01

    Detailed expressions for the range and pulse width measurement accuracies are developed and used to evaluate the ranging performances of several satellite laser altimeters currently under development by NASA for launch during the next decade. The analysis includes the effects of the target surface characteristics, spacecraft pointing jitter, and waveform digitizer characteristics. The results show that ranging accuracy is critically dependent on the pointing accuracy and stability of the altimeter especially over high relief terrain where surface slopes are large. At typical orbital altitudes of several hundred kilometers, single-shot accuracies of a few centimeters can be achieved only when the pointing jitter is on the order of 10 microrad or less.

  14. Scientific Measurements of Hayabusa-2 Laser Altimeter (LIDAR)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noda, H.; Mizuno, T.; Namiki, N.; Senshu, H.; Yamada, R.; Hirata, N.; Lidar-Science Team

    2015-01-01

    As a successor of Japanese Hayabusa Asteroid mission, Hayabusa-2 is scheduled to be launched in winter 2014. The Laser Altimeter called LIDAR will contribute not only to the satellite bus system but also to the science of the target asteroid.

  15. Sidelooking laser altimeter for a flight simulator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Webster, L. D. (Inventor)

    1983-01-01

    An improved laser altimeter for a flight simulator which allows measurement of the height of the simulator probe above the terrain directly below the probe tip is described. A laser beam is directed from the probe at an angle theta to the horizontal to produce a beam spot on the terrain. The angle theta that the laser beam makes with the horizontal is varied so as to bring the beam spot into coincidence with a plumb line coaxial with the longitudinal axis of the probe. A television altimeter camera observes the beam spot and has a raster line aligned with the plumb line. Spot detector circuit coupled to the output of the TV camera monitors the position of the beam spot relative to the plumb line.

  16. Retrievals of Thick Cloud Optical Depth from the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) by Calibration of Solar Background Signal

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yang, Yuekui; Marshak, Alexander; Chiu, J. Christine; Wiscombe, Warren J.; Palm, Stephen P.; Davis, Anthony B.; Spangenberg, Douglas A.; Nguyen, Louis; Spinhirne, James D.; Minnis, Patrick

    2008-01-01

    Laser beams emitted from the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS), as well as other space-borne laser instruments, can only penetrate clouds to a limit of a few optical depths. As a result, only optical depths of thinner clouds (< about 3 for GLAS) are retrieved from the reflected lidar signal. This paper presents a comprehensive study of possible retrievals of optical depth of thick clouds using solar background light and treating GLAS as a solar radiometer. To do so we first calibrate the reflected solar radiation received by the photon-counting detectors of GLAS' 532 nm channel, which is the primary channel for atmospheric products. The solar background radiation is regarded as a noise to be subtracted in the retrieval process of the lidar products. However, once calibrated, it becomes a signal that can be used in studying the properties of optically thick clouds. In this paper, three calibration methods are presented: (I) calibration with coincident airborne and GLAS observations; (2) calibration with coincident Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) and GLAS observations of deep convective clouds; (3) calibration from the first principles using optical depth of thin water clouds over ocean retrieved by GLAS active remote sensing. Results from the three methods agree well with each other. Cloud optical depth (COD) is retrieved from the calibrated solar background signal using a one-channel retrieval. Comparison with COD retrieved from GOES during GLAS overpasses shows that the average difference between the two retrievals is 24%. As an example, the COD values retrieved from GLAS solar background are illustrated for a marine stratocumulus cloud field that is too thick to be penetrated by the GLAS laser. Based on this study, optical depths for thick clouds will be provided as a supplementary product to the existing operational GLAS cloud products in future GLAS data releases.

  17. Diode-pumped laser altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Welford, D.; Isyanova, Y.

    1993-01-01

    TEM(sub 00)-mode output energies up to 22.5 mJ with 23 percent slope efficiencies were generated at 1.064 microns in a diode-laser pumped Nd:YAG laser using a transverse-pumping geometry. 1.32-micron performance was equally impressive at 10.2 mJ output energy with 15 percent slope efficiency. The same pumping geometry was successfully carried forward to several complex Q-switched laser resonator designs with no noticeable degradation of beam quality. Output beam profiles were consistently shown to have greater than 90 percent correlation with the ideal TEM(sub 00)-order Gaussian profile. A comparison study on pulse-reflection-mode (PRM), pulse-transmission-mode (PTM), and passive Q-switching techniques was undertaken. The PRM Q-switched laser generated 8.3 mJ pulses with durations as short as 10 ns. The PTM Q-switch laser generated 5 mJ pulses with durations as short as 5 ns. The passively Q-switched laser generated 5 mJ pulses with durations as short as 2.4 ns. Frequency doubling of both 1.064 microns and 1.32 microns with conversion efficiencies of 56 percent in lithium triborate and 10 percent in rubidium titanyl arsenate, respectively, was shown. Sum-frequency generation of the 1.064 microns and 1.32 microns radiations was demonstrated in KTP to generate 1.1 mJ of 0.589 micron output with 11.5 percent conversion efficiency.

  18. Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS): Final Test Report of DM LHP TV Testing. Revised

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baker, Charles

    2000-01-01

    The Demonstration Model (DM) Loop Heat Pipe (LHP) was tested at Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) during September and October, 1999. The LHP system was placed in the Dynavac 36 in. chamber in Building 4. The test lasted for about 6 weeks. The LHP was built, designed, and manufactured at Dynatherm Corporation, Inc. In Hunt Valley, MD according to GSFC specifications. The purpose of the test was to evaluate the performance of a propylene LHP for the Geoscience Laser Altimetry System (GLAS) instrument application.

  19. Receiver design, performance analysis, and evaluation for space-borne laser altimeters and space-to-space laser ranging systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Davidson, Frederic M.; Sun, Xiaoli; Field, Christopher T.

    1995-01-01

    This Interim report consists of a manuscript, 'Receiver Design for Satellite to Satellite Laser Ranging Instrument,' and copies of two papers we co-authored, 'Demonstration of High Sensitivity Laser Ranging System' and 'Semiconductor Laser-Based Ranging Instrument for Earth Gravity Measurements. ' These two papers were presented at the conference Semiconductor Lasers, Advanced Devices and Applications, August 21 -23, 1995, Keystone Colorado. The manuscript is a draft in the preparation for publication, which summarizes the theory we developed on space-borne laser ranging instrument for gravity measurements.

  20. Observations of Dust Using the NASA Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS): New New Measurements of Aerosol Vertical Distribution From Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Welton, Ellsworth; Spinhirne, James D.; Palm, Steven P.; Hlavka, Dennis; Hart, William

    2003-01-01

    On January 12, 2003 NASA launched the first satellite-based lidar, the Geoscience Laser -Altimeter System (GLAS), onboard the ICESat spacecraft. The GLAS atmospheric measurements introduce a fundamentally new and important tool for understanding the atmosphere and climate. In the past, aerosols have only been studied from space using images gathered by passive sensors. Analysis of this passive data has lead to an improved understanding of aerosol properties, spatial distribution, and their effect on the earth's climate. However, these images do not show the aerosol's vertical distribution. As a result, a key piece of information has been missing. The measurements now obtained by GLAS will provide information on the vertical distribution of aerosols and clouds, and improve our ability to study their transport processes and aerosol-cloud interactions. Here we show an overview of GLAS, provide an update of its current status, and present initial observations of dust profiles. In particular, a strategy of characterizing the height profile of dust plumes over source regions will be presented.

  1. Simulation of Full-Waveform Laser Altimeter Echowaveform

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lv, Y.; Tong, X. H.; Liu, S. J.; Xie, H.; Luan, K. F.; Liu, J.

    2016-06-01

    Change of globe surface height is an important factor to study human living environment. The Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) on ICESat is the first laser-ranging instrument for continuous global observations of the Earth. In order to have a comprehensive understanding of full-waveform laser altimeter, this study simulated the operating mode of ICESat and modeled different terrains' (platform terrain, slope terrain, and artificial terrain) echo waveforms based on the radar equation. By changing the characteristics of the system and the targets, numerical echo waveforms can be achieved. Hereafter, we mainly discussed the factors affecting the amplitude and size (width) of the echoes. The experimental results implied that the slope of the terrain, backscattering coefficient and reflectivity, target height, target position in the footprint and area reacted with the pulse all can affect the energy distribution of the echo waveform and the receiving time. Finally, Gaussian decomposition is utilized to decompose the echo waveform. From the experiment, it can be noted that the factors which can affect the echo waveform and by this way we can know more about large footprint full-waveform satellite laser altimeter.

  2. Recent Data Campaigns and Results from the Laser Vegetation Imaging Sensor (LVIS): An Airborne, Medium-Footprint, Full-Waveform, Swath Mapping Laser Altimeter System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blair, J. B.; Hofton, M. A.; Rabine, D. L.; Luthcke, S. B.; Greim, H.

    2005-12-01

    The Laser Vegetation Imaging Sensor (LVIS) is an airborne, medium-sized footprint laser altimeter system. By digitally recording the shape of the returning laser pulse (waveform), LVIS provides a precise and accurate view of the vertical structure within each footprint/pixel including both the sub-canopy and canopy-top topography. Applications of LVIS data include biomass estimation for a wide variety of forest types, ground surface change detection for tectonic studies, mapping sea surface topography to assist in coastal hazard assessment, and hydrology studies utilizing sub-canopy topography in densely forested regions. Since 1998, LVIS data have been collected in various areas of New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, California, Maryland, Panama and Costa Rica. The data calibration and geolocation processing system utilizes a formal Bayesian least-squares-estimation of pointing, ranging and timing parameters based on a batch reduction of altimeter range residuals. Data are released publicly on the LVIS website at http://lvis.gsfc.nasa.gov. Results show data precisions of <50 cm are routinely achieved in all forest types and <5 cm in bare ground conditions. Because of its unique capability to simultaneously map vegetation and sub-canopy ground topography, LVIS data can be used to assess the accuracy of other remote sensing systems. For example, ground and canopy top elevations generated by LVIS were used to assess the accuracy of Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) elevations at study sites with different levels of relief and land cover type. Results showed that the mean vertical offset between the SRTM elevations and LVIS ground elevations varied with landcover type and study site location. Comparisons between LVIS and ICESat will also be presented.

  3. Mapping Mars with a Laser Altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, David E.

    2001-01-01

    In November 1996 the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) spacecraft was launched to Mars. One of the instruments on the spacecraft was a laser altimeter, MOLA, for measuring the shape and topography of the planet. The altimeter has a diode pumped Q-switched ND:YAG laser at 1064nm, operating at 10Hz with an 8 nsec pulse width. The pulse energy is 48mJ, and the instrument has a 37cm ranging precision. The laser illuminates a spot on the surface of Mars approximately 160 meters in diameter and the instrument has accumulated over 600 million range measurements of the surface since arrival at Mars in September 1997. MOLA has operated continuously for over 2 years and has mapped the planet at a horizontal resolution of about 1 km and a radial accuracy of about a meter. MOLA has measured the shape of the planet, the heights of the volcanoes, the depths of the canyons, and the volumes of the polar icecaps. It has detected carbon dioxide clouds and measured the accumulation of seasonal CO2 on the polar icecaps. This new remote sensing tool has helped transform our understanding of Mars and its geological history, and opened a new door to planetary exploration.

  4. Receiver characteristics of laser altimeters with avalanche photodiodes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sun, Xiaoli; Davidson, Frederic M.; Boutsikaris, Leo; Abshire, James B.

    1992-01-01

    The receiver characteristics of a laser altimeter system containing an avalanche photodiode photodetector are analyzed using the Gaussian approximation, the saddle-point approximation, and a nearly exact analysis. The last two methods are shown to yield very similar results except when the background noise is extremely low and the probability of false alarm is high. However, the Gaussian approximation method is shown to cause significant errors even under relatively high levels of background noise and received signal energy.

  5. Multicolor laser altimeter for barometric measurements over the ocean - Experimental

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abshire, J. B.; Kalshoven, J. E., Jr.

    1983-01-01

    Measurement theory and results from testing a breadboard multiwavelength (355-, 532- and 1064-nm) laser altimeter over horizontal paths are presented. They show that pressure accuracies of 3 mbar can be achieved when ranging at nadir to cube corner targets when using a 500-psec resolution waveform digitizer and utilizing new calibration techniques. Streak camera-based receivers will be required for the same or higher accuracies when ranging to the ocean surface. System design calculations for aircraft and spaceborne experiments are presented.

  6. Remote sensing of sea state by laser altimeters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tsai, B.; Gardner, C. S.

    1981-01-01

    The reflection of short laser pulses from the ocean surface was analyzed based on the specular point theory of scattering. The expressions for the averaged received signal, shot noise and speckle induced noise were derived for a direct detection system. It is found that the reflected laser pulses have an average shape closely related to the probability density function associated with the surface profile. This result is applied to estimate the mean sea level and significant wave height from the receiver output of the laser altimeter.

  7. In Orbit Performance of Si Avalanche Photodiode Single Photon Counting Modules in the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System on ICESat

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sun, X.; Jester, P. L.; Palm, S. P.; Abshire, J. B.; Spinhime, J. D.; Krainak, M. A.

    2006-01-01

    Si avalanche photodiode (APD) single photon counting modules (SPCMs) are used in the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) on Ice, Cloud, anti land Elevation Satellite (ICESat), currently in orbit measuring Earth surface elevation and atmosphere backscattering. These SPCMs are used to measure cloud and aerosol backscatterings to the GLAS laser light at 532-nm wavelength with 60-70% quantum efficiencies and up to 15 millions/s maximum count rates. The performance of the SPCMs has been closely monitored since ICESat launch on January 12, 2003. There has been no measurable change in the quantum efficiency, as indicated by the average photon count rates in response to the background light from the sunlit earth. The linearity and the afterpulsing seen from the cloud and surface backscatterings profiles have been the same as those during ground testing. The detector dark count rates monitored while the spacecraft was in the dark side of the globe have increased almost linearly at about 60 counts/s per day due to space radiation damage. The radiation damage appeared to be independent of the device temperature and power states. There was also an abrupt increase in radiation damage during the solar storm in 28-30 October 2003. The observed radiation damage is a factor of two to three lower than the expected and sufficiently low to provide useful atmosphere backscattering measurements through the end of the ICESat mission. To date, these SPCMs have been in orbit for more than three years. The accumulated operating time to date has reached 290 days (7000 hours). These SPCMs have provided unprecedented receiver sensitivity and dynamic range in ICESat atmosphere backscattering measurements.

  8. Space Borne Swath Mapping Laser Altimeters - Comparison of Measurement Approaches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, X.; Abshire, J. B.; Harding, D. J.

    2007-12-01

    Laser altimetry is an important technique for studying the surface topography of the planets and the Earth from orbit. Presently orbital laser altimeters profile surface height along a single ground track, such as the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) on Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat). NASA is developing new technologies for an orbiting swath mapping laser altimeter with faster pulse rate and smaller footprint size to provide an instantaneous 3-dimentional measurement of the of icesheets, land topography and vegetation structure. The goal is to provide a greater than 200 m wide swath with 5 to 10 m diameter laser footprint from a 400 km altitude orbit. To achieve these goals, we have to use more efficient laser transmitters and more sensitive detectors to allow simultaneous multi-channel measurement with a reasonable instrument size and electrical power requirement. The measurement efficiency in terms of electrical energy needed per laser ranging measurement needs to be improved by more than an order of magnitude. Several different approaches were considered, including the use of fiber lasers, shorter laser pulse widths, lower noise analog detectors and photon counting detectors. The receiver sensitivity was further improved by averaging the results from a number of laser pulse measurements. Different laser pulse modulation formats, such as the pseudo random noise code modulation used in the Global Position System (GPS), were investigated to give more flexibility in laser selection and to further improve the ranging performance. We have analyzed and compared measurement performance for several different approaches using the receiver models that was validated with GLAS in orbit measurement data. We compared measurement performance with the traditional high-power low-pulse-rate laser transmitters to those with low-energy high-pulse-rate laser transmitters. For this work we considered laser characteristics representative of Microchip lasers

  9. Lunar Shape via the Apollo Laser Altimeter.

    PubMed

    Sjogren, W L; Wollenhaupt, W R

    1973-01-19

    Data from the Apollo 15 and Apollo 16 laser altimeters reveal the first accurate elevation differences between distant features on both sides of the moon. The large far-side depression observed in the Apollo 15 data is not present in the Apollo 16 data. When the laser results are compared with elevations on maps from the Aeronautical Chart and Information Center, differences of 2 kilometers over a few hundred kilometers are detected in the Mare Nubium and Mare Tranquillitatis regions. The Apollo 16 data alone would put a 2-kilometer bulge toward the earth; however, the combined data are best fit by a sphere of radius 1737.7 kilometers. The offset of the center of gravity from the optical center is about 2 kilometers toward the earth and 1 kilometer eastward. The polar direction parameters are not well determined. PMID:17802353

  10. Engineering study for pallet adapting the Apollo laser altimeter and photographic camera system for the Lidar Test Experiment on orbital flight tests 2 and 4

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kuebert, E. J.

    1977-01-01

    A Laser Altimeter and Mapping Camera System was included in the Apollo Lunar Orbital Experiment Missions. The backup system, never used in the Apollo Program, is available for use in the Lidar Test Experiments on the STS Orbital Flight Tests 2 and 4. Studies were performed to assess the problem associated with installation and operation of the Mapping Camera System in the STS. They were conducted on the photographic capabilities of the Mapping Camera System, its mechanical and electrical interface with the STS, documentation, operation and survivability in the expected environments, ground support equipment, test and field support.

  11. Gaussian Decomposition of Laser Altimeter Waveforms

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hofton, Michelle A.; Minster, J. Bernard; Blair, J. Bryan

    1999-01-01

    We develop a method to decompose a laser altimeter return waveform into its Gaussian components assuming that the position of each Gaussian within the waveform can be used to calculate the mean elevation of a specific reflecting surface within the laser footprint. We estimate the number of Gaussian components from the number of inflection points of a smoothed copy of the laser waveform, and obtain initial estimates of the Gaussian half-widths and positions from the positions of its consecutive inflection points. Initial amplitude estimates are obtained using a non-negative least-squares method. To reduce the likelihood of fitting the background noise within the waveform and to minimize the number of Gaussians needed in the approximation, we rank the "importance" of each Gaussian in the decomposition using its initial half-width and amplitude estimates. The initial parameter estimates of all Gaussians ranked "important" are optimized using the Levenburg-Marquardt method. If the sum of the Gaussians does not approximate the return waveform to a prescribed accuracy, then additional Gaussians are included in the optimization procedure. The Gaussian decomposition method is demonstrated on data collected by the airborne Laser Vegetation Imaging Sensor (LVIS) in October 1997 over the Sequoia National Forest, California.

  12. The Mars Observer laser altimeter investigation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zuber, M. T.; Smith, D. E.; Solomon, S. C.; Muhleman, D. O.; Head, J. W.; Garvin, J. B.; Abshire, J. B.; Bufton, J. L.

    1992-01-01

    The primary objective of the Mars Observer laser altimeter (MOLA) investigation is to determine globally the topography of Mars at a level suitable for addressing problems in geology and geophysics. Secondary objectives are to characterize the 1064-nm wavelength surface reflectivity of Mars to contribute to analyses of global surface mineralogy and seasonal albedo changes, to assist in addressing problems in atmospheric circulation, and to provide geodetic control and topographic context for the assessment of possible future Mars landing sites. The principal components of MOLA are a diode-pumped, neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet laser transmitter that emits 1064-nm wavelength laser pulses, a 0.5-m-diameter telescope, a silicon avalanche photodiode detector, and a time interval unit with 10-ns resolution. MOLA will provide measurements of the topography of Mars within approximately 160-m footprints and a center-to-center along-track foot print spacing of 300 m along the Mars Observer subspacecraft ground track. The elevation measurements will be quantized with 1.5 m vertical resolution before correction for orbit- and pointing induced errors. MOLA profiles will be assembled into a global 0.2 deg x 0.2 deg grid that will be referenced to Mars' center of mass with an absolute accuracy of approximately 30 m. Other data products will include a global grid of topographic gradients, corrected individual profiles, and a global 0.2 deg x 0.2 deg grid of 1064-nm surface reflectivity.

  13. A sample design for globally consistent biomass estimation using lidar data from the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS)

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Lidar height data collected by the Geosciences Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) from 2002 to 2008 has the potential to form the basis of a globally consistent sample-based inventory of forest biomass. GLAS lidar return data were collected globally in spatially discrete full waveform “shots,” which have been shown to be strongly correlated with aboveground forest biomass. Relationships observed at spatially coincident field plots may be used to model biomass at all GLAS shots, and well-established methods of model-based inference may then be used to estimate biomass and variance for specific spatial domains. However, the spatial pattern of GLAS acquisition is neither random across the surface of the earth nor is it identifiable with any particular systematic design. Undefined sample properties therefore hinder the use of GLAS in global forest sampling. Results We propose a method of identifying a subset of the GLAS data which can justifiably be treated as a simple random sample in model-based biomass estimation. The relatively uniform spatial distribution and locally arbitrary positioning of the resulting sample is similar to the design used by the US national forest inventory (NFI). We demonstrated model-based estimation using a sample of GLAS data in the US state of California, where our estimate of biomass (211 Mg/hectare) was within the 1.4% standard error of the design-based estimate supplied by the US NFI. The standard error of the GLAS-based estimate was significantly higher than the NFI estimate, although the cost of the GLAS estimate (excluding costs for the satellite itself) was almost nothing, compared to at least US$ 10.5 million for the NFI estimate. Conclusions Global application of model-based estimation using GLAS, while demanding significant consolidation of training data, would improve inter-comparability of international biomass estimates by imposing consistent methods and a globally coherent sample frame. The methods presented here

  14. Photogrammetry and altimetry. Part A: Apollo 16 laser altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wollenhaupt, W. R.; Sjogren, W. L.

    1972-01-01

    The laser altimeter measures precise altitudes of the command and service module above the lunar surface and can function either with the metric (mapping) camera or independently. In the camera mode, the laser altimeter ranges at each exposure time, which varies between 20 and 28 sec (i.e., 30 to 43 km on the lunar surface). In the independent mode, the laser altimeter ranges every 20 sec. These altitude data and the spacecraft attitudes that are derived from simultaneous stellar photography are used to constrain the photogrammetric reduction of the lunar surface photographs when cartographic products are generated. In addition, the altimeter measurements alone provide broad-scale topographic relief around the entire circumference of the moon. These data are useful in investigating the selenodetic figure of the moon and may provide information regarding gravitational anomalies on the lunar far side.

  15. Development of the Laser Altimeter (LIDAR) for Hayabusa2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mizuno, T.; Kase, T.; Shiina, T.; Mita, M.; Namiki, N.; Senshu, H.; Yamada, R.; Noda, H.; Kunimori, H.; Hirata, N.; Terui, F.; Mimasu, Y.

    2016-02-01

    Hayabusa2 was launched on 3 December 2014 on an H-IIA launch vehicle from the Tanegashima Space Center, and is, at the time of writing, cruising toward asteroid 162137 Ryugu ( 1999JU3). After reaching the asteroid, it will stay for about 1.5 years to observe the asteroid and collect surface material samples. The light detection and ranging (LIDAR) laser altimeter on Hayabusa2 has a wide dynamic range, from 25 km to 30 m, because the LIDAR is used as a navigation sensor for rendezvous, approach, and touchdown procedures. Since it was designed for use in planetary explorers, its weight is a low 3.5 kg. The LIDAR can serve not only as a navigation sensor, but also as observation equipment for estimating the asteroid's topography, gravity and surface reflectivity (albedo). Since Hayabusa2 had a development schedule of just three years from the start of the project to launch, minimizing development time was a particular concern. A key to shortening the development period of Hayabusa2's LIDAR system was heritage technology from Hayabusa's LIDAR and the SELENE lunar explorer's LALT laser altimeter. Given that the main role of Hayabusa2's LIDAR is to serve as a navigation sensor, we discuss its development from an engineering viewpoint. However, detailed information about instrument development and test results is also important for scientific analysis of LIDAR data and for future laser altimetry in lunar and planetary exploration. Here we describe lessons learned from the Hayabusa LIDAR, as well as Hayabusa2's hardware, new technologies and system designs based on it, and flight model evaluation results. The monolithic laser used in the laser module is a characteristic technology of this LIDAR. It was developed to solve issues with low-temperature storage that were problematic when developing the LIDAR system for the first Hayabusa mission. The new module not only solves such problems but also improves reliability and miniaturization by reducing the number of parts.

  16. Test Port for Fiber-Optic-Coupled Laser Altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ramos Izquierdo, Luis; Scott, V. Stanley; Rinis, Haris; Cavanaugh, John

    2011-01-01

    A test port designed as part of a fiber optic coupled laser altimeter receiver optical system allows for the back-illumination of the optical system for alignment verification, as well as illumination of the detector(s) for testing the receiver electronics and signal-processing algorithms. Measuring the optical alignment of a laser altimeter instrument is difficult after the instrument is fully assembled. The addition of a test port in the receiver aft-optics allows for the back-illumination of the receiver system such that its focal setting and boresight alignment can be easily verified. For a multiple-detector receiver system, the addition of the aft-optics test port offers the added advantage of being able to simultaneously test all the detectors with different signals that simulate the expected operational conditions. On a laser altimeter instrument (see figure), the aft-optics couple the light from the receiver telescope to the receiver detector(s). Incorporating a beam splitter in the aft-optics design allows for the addition of a test port to back-illuminate the receiver telescope and/or detectors. The aft-optics layout resembles a T with the detector on one leg, the receiver telescope input port on the second leg, and the test port on the third leg. The use of a custom beam splitter with 99-percent reflection, 1-percent transmission, and a mirrored roof can send the test port light to the receiver telescope leg as well as the detector leg, without unduly sacrificing the signal from the receiver telescope to the detector. The ability to test the receiver system alignment, as well as multiple detectors with different signals without the need to disassemble the instrument or connect and reconnect components, is a great advantage to the aft-optics test port. Another benefit is that the receiver telescope aperture is fully back-illuminated by the test port so the receiver telescope focal setting vs. pressure and or temperature can be accurately measured (as

  17. New Measurements of Aerosol Vertical Structure from Space using the NASA Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS): Applications for Aerosol Transport Models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Welton, E. J.; Spinhime, J.; Palm, S.; Hlavka, D.; Hart, W.; Ginoux, P.; Chin, M.; Colarco, P.

    2004-01-01

    In the past, satellite measurements of aerosols have only been possible using passive sensors. Analysis of passive satellite data has lead to an improved understanding of aerosol properties, spatial distribution, and their effect on the earth,s climate. However, direct measurement of aerosol vertical distribution has not been possible using only the passive data. Knowledge of aerosol vertical distribution is important to correctly assess the impact of aerosol absorption, for certain atmospheric correction procedures, and to help constrain height profiles in aerosol transport models. On January 12,2003 NASA launched the first satellite-based lidar, the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS), onboard the ICESat spacecraft. GLAS is both an altimeter and an atmospheric lidar, and obtains direct measurements of aerosol and cloud heights. Here we show an overview of GLAS, provide an update of its current status, and discuss how GLAS data will be useful for modeling efforts. In particular, a strategy of using GLAS to characterize the height profile of dust plumes over source regions will be presented, along with initial results. Such information can be used to validate and improve output from aerosol transport models. Aerosol height profile comparisons between GLAS and transport models will be shown for regions downwind of aerosol sources. We will also discuss the feasibility of assimilating GLAS profiles into the models in order to improve their output.

  18. New Measurements of Aerosol Vertical Structure from Space Using the NASA Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS): Applications for Aerosol Transport Models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Welton, Ellsworth J.; Ginoux, Paul; Colarco, Peter; Chin, Mian; Spinhirne, James D.; Palm, Steven P.; Hlavka, Dennis; Hart, William

    2003-01-01

    In the past, satellite measurements of aerosols have only been possible using passive sensors. Analysis of passive satellite data has lead to an improved understanding of aerosol properties, spatial distribution, and their effect on the earth s climate. However, direct measurement of aerosol vertical distribution has not been possible using only the passive data. Knowledge of aerosol vertical distribution is important to correctly assess the impact of aerosol absorption, for certain atmospheric correction procedures, and to help constrain height profiles in aerosol transport models. On January 12,2003 NASA launched the first satellite-based lidar, the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS), onboard the ICESat spacecraft. GLAS is both an altimeter and an atmospheric lidar, and obtains direct measurements of aerosol and cloud heights. Here we show an overview of GLAS, provide an update of its current status, and discuss how GUS data will be useful for modeling efforts. In particular, a strategy of using GLAS to characterize the height profile of dust plumes over source regions will be presented, along with initial results. Such information can be used to validate and improve output from aerosol transport models. Aerosol height profile comparisons between GLAS and transport models will be shown for regions downwind of aerosol sources. We will also discuss the feasibility of assimilating GLAS profiles into the models in order to improve their output,

  19. Mars laser altimeter based on a single photon ranging technique

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Prochazka, Ivan; Hamal, Karel; Sopko, B.; Pershin, S.

    1993-01-01

    The Mars 94/96 Mission will carry, among others things, the balloon probe experiment. The balloon with the scientific cargo in the gondola underneath will drift in the Mars atmosphere, its altitude will range from zero, in the night, up to 5 km at noon. The accurate gondola altitude will be determined by an altimeter. As the Balloon gondola mass is strictly limited, the altimeter total mass and power consumption are critical; maximum allowed is a few hundred grams a few tens of mWatts of average power consumption. We did propose, design, and construct the laser altimeter based on the single photon ranging technique. Topics covered include the following: principle of operation, altimeter construction, and ground tests.

  20. First Laser Altimeter Measurements of Mercury from the MESSENGER Flyby

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sun, Xiaoli; Neumann, Gregory A.; Cavanaugh, John F.; McGarry, Jan F.; Smith, David E.; Zuber, Maria T.

    2008-01-01

    The Mercury Laser Altimeter performed the first laser ranging measurements to Mercury during the Mercury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) flyby in January 2008. The instrument successfully ranged to 600 km at an off-nadir angle >60 and to >1600 km in the nadir direction.

  1. The Mercury Laser Altimeter Instrument for the MESSENGER Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cavanaugh, John F.; Smith, James C.; Sun, Xiaoli; Bartels, Arlin E.; Ramos-Izquierdo, Luis; Krebs, Danny J.; Novo-Gradac, Anne marie; McGarry, Jan F.; Trunzo, Raymond; Britt, Jamie L.

    2006-01-01

    The Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA) is one of the payload science instruments on the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) mission, which launched on 3 August 2004. The altimeter will measure the round trip time-of-flight of transmitted laser pulses reflected from the surface of the planet that, in combination with the spacecraft orbit position and pointing data, gives a high-precision measurement of surface topography referenced to Mercury's center of mass. The altimeter measurements will be used to determine the planet's forced librations by tracking the motion of large-scale topographic features as a function of time. MLA's laser pulse energy monitor and the echo pulse energy estimate will provide an active measurement of the surface reflectivity at 1064 nm. This paper describes the instrument design, prelaunch testing, calibration, and results of post-launch testing.

  2. Single photon laser altimeter data processing, analysis and experimental validation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vacek, Michael; Peca, Marek; Michalek, Vojtech; Prochazka, Ivan

    2015-10-01

    Spaceborne laser altimeters are common instruments on-board the rendezvous spacecraft. This manuscript deals with the altimeters using a single photon approach, which belongs to the family of time-of-flight range measurements. Moreover, the single photon receiver part of the altimeter may be utilized as an Earth-to-spacecraft link enabling one-way ranging, time transfer and data transfer. The single photon altimeters evaluate actual altitude through the repetitive detections of single photons of the reflected laser pulses. We propose the single photon altimeter signal processing and data mining algorithm based on the Poisson statistic filter (histogram method) and the modified Kalman filter, providing all common altimetry products (altitude, slope, background photon flux and albedo). The Kalman filter is extended for the background noise filtering, the varying slope adaptation and the non-causal extension for an abrupt slope change. Moreover, the algorithm partially removes the major drawback of a single photon altitude reading, namely that the photon detection measurement statistics must be gathered. The developed algorithm deduces the actual altitude on the basis of a single photon detection; thus, being optimal in the sense that each detected signal photon carrying altitude information is tracked and no altitude information is lost. The algorithm was tested on the simulated datasets and partially cross-probed with the experimental data collected using the developed single photon altimeter breadboard based on the microchip laser with the pulse energy on the order of microjoule and the repetition rate of several kilohertz. We demonstrated that such an altimeter configuration may be utilized for landing or hovering a small body (asteroid, comet).

  3. Refinement of Phobos Ephemeris Using Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter Radiometry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Neumann, G. A.; Bills, B. G.; Smith, D. E.; Zuber, M. T.

    2004-01-01

    Radiometric observations from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) can be used to improve the ephemeris of Phobos, with particular interest in refining estimates of the secular acceleration due to tidal dissipation within Mars. We have searched the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) radiometry data for shadows cast by the moon Phobos, finding 7 such profiles during the Mapping and Extended Mission phases, and 5 during the last two years of radiometry operations. Preliminary data suggest that the motion of Phobos has advanced by one or more seconds beyond that predicted by the current ephemerides, and the advance has increased over the 5 years of Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) operations.

  4. Participation in the Mars Orbiting Laser Altimeter Experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pettengill, Gordon H.

    2002-01-01

    This NASA Grant, 5-4434, has covered the active participation of the Principal Investigator, Prof. Gordon Pettengill, and his Co-Investigator, Peter Ford, in the Mars Orbiting Laser Altimeter (MOLA) Experiment, over a period of five years. This participation has included attending team meetings, planning observing operations, developing data-reduction software algorithms, and processing data, as well as presenting a number of oral reports at scientific meetings and published papers in refereed journals. This research has concentrated on the various types of Martian clouds that were detected by the laser altimeter.

  5. Waveform model of a laser altimeter for an elliptical Gaussian beam.

    PubMed

    Yue, Ma; Mingwei, Wang; Guoyuan, Li; Xiushan, Lu; Fanlin, Yang

    2016-03-10

    The current waveform model of a laser altimeter is based on the Gaussian laser beam of the fundamental mode, whose cross section is a circular spot, whereas some of the cross sections of Geoscience Laser Altimeter System lasers are closer to elliptical spots. Based on the expression of the elliptical Gaussian beam and the waveform theory of laser altimeters, the primary parameters of an echo waveform were derived. In order to examine the deduced expressions, a laser altimetry waveform simulator and waveform processing software were programmed and improved under the circumstance of an elliptical Gaussian beam. The result shows that all the biases between the theoretical and simulated waveforms were less than 0.5%, and the derived model of an elliptical spot is universal and can also be used for the conventional circular spot. The shape of the waveforms is influenced by the ellipticity of the laser spot, the target slope, and the "azimuth angle" between the major axis and the slope direction. This article provides the waveform theoretical basis of a laser altimeter under an elliptical Gaussian beam. PMID:26974789

  6. Mars orbiter laser altimeter: receiver model and performance analysis.

    PubMed

    Abshire, J B; Sun, X; Afzal, R S

    2000-05-20

    The design, calibration, and performance of the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) receiver are described. The MOLA measurements include the range to the surface, which is determined by the laser-pulse time of flight; the height variability within the footprint determined by the laser echo pulse width; and the apparent surface reflectivity determined by the ratio of the echo to transmitted pulse energies. PMID:18345159

  7. Lunar Observer Laser Altimeter observations for lunar base site selection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garvin, James B.; Bufton, Jack L.

    1992-01-01

    One of the critical datasets for optimal selection of future lunar landing sites is local- to regional-scale topography. Lunar base site selection will require such data for both engineering and scientific operations purposes. The Lunar Geoscience Orbiter or Lunar Observer is the ideal precursory science mission from which to obtain this required information. We suggest that a simple laser altimeter instrument could be employed to measure local-scale slopes, heights, and depths of lunar surface features important to lunar base planning and design. For this reason, we have designed and are currently constructing a breadboard of a Lunar Observer Laser Altimeter (LOLA) instrument capable of acquiring contiguous-footprint topographic profiles with both 30-m and 300-m along-track resolution. This instrument meets all the severe weight, power, size, and data rate limitations imposed by Observer-class spacecraft. In addition, LOLA would be capable of measuring the within-footprint vertical roughness of the lunar surface, and the 1.06-micron relative surface reflectivity at normal incidence. We have used airborne laser altimeter data for a few representative lunar analog landforms to simulate and analyze LOLA performance in a 100-km lunar orbit. We demonstrate that this system in its highest resolution mode (30-m diameter footprints) would quantify the topography of all but the very smallest lunar landforms. At its global mapping resolution (300-m diameter footprints), LOLA would establish the topographic context for lunar landing site selection by providing the basis for constructing a 1-2 km spatial resolution global, geodetic topographic grid that would contain a high density of observations (e.g., approximately 1000 observations per each 1 deg by 1 deg cell at the lunar equator). The high spatial and vertical resolution measurements made with a LOLA-class instrument on a precursory Lunar Observer would be highly synergistic with high-resolution imaging datasets, and

  8. One GHz digitizer for space based laser altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Staples, Edward J.

    1991-01-01

    This is the final report for the research and development of the one GHz digitizer for space based laser altimeter. A feasibility model was designed, built, and tested. Only partial testing of essential functions of the digitizer was completed. Hybrid technology was incorporated which allows analog storage (memory) of the digitally sampled data. The actual sampling rate is 62.5 MHz, but executed in 16 parallel channels, to provide an effective sampling rate of one GHz. The average power consumption of the one GHz digitizer is not more than 1.5 Watts. A one GHz oscillator is incorporated for timing purposes. This signal is also made available externally for system timing. A software package was also developed for internal use (controls, commands, etc.) and for data communication with the host computer. The digitizer is equipped with an onboard microprocessor for this purpose.

  9. SRTM and Laser Altimeter Views of Western Washington State Topography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harding, D. J.; Carabajal, C. C.

    2001-12-01

    Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) and laser altimeter measurements of topography provide complimentary approaches to characterize landforms. Results from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) will provide an unprecedented, near-global, public-domain topography data set at 90 m resolution using a single pass C-band (5.6 cm wavelength) radar interferometer. In vegetated terrains, the C-band radar energy will penetrate part way into vegetation cover. The elevation of the resulting radar phase center, somewhere between the canopy top and underlying ground, will depend on the vegetation density, structure, and presence or absence of foliage. The high vertical accuracy and spatial resolution achieved by laser altimeters, and their capability to directly measure vegetation height and ground topography beneath vegetation cover, provides a method to evaluate InSAR representations of topography. Here a preliminary C-band SRTM digital elevation model (DEM) for a portion of western Washington State is evaluated using laser altimeter data to assess its elevation accuracy and the extent of vegetation penetration. The SRTM DEM extends from the Cascades Range westward to the Olympic Peninsula. The laser altimeter data includes two profiles acquired by the second flight of the Shuttle Laser Altimeter (SLA-02) in August, 1997, numerous transects acquired by the airborne Scanning Lidar Imager of Canopies by Echo Recovery (SLICER) in September, 1995, and comprehensive mapping in the Puget Lowland region acquired by Terrapoint, LLC for the Puget Sound Lidar Consortium in the winters of 2000 and 2001. SLA-02 and SLICER acquired waveforms that record the height distribution of illuminated surfaces within 120 m and 10 m diameter footprints, respectively. The Terrapoint elevations consist of up to four discrete returns from 1 m footprints spaced 1.5 apart, with all areas mapped twice. Methods for comparing laser altimeter and SRTM topography developed here will be

  10. Lunar Geodetic Opportunities with the Laser Altimeter on LRO

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zuber, Maria T.; Smith, David E.

    2006-01-01

    The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) is to be launched at the end of 2008 and will carry 7 instruments, one of which is a laser altimeter (LOLA), and obtain observations of the Moon for a period of 1 year. The orbit will be near polar and approximately circular at 50 km altitude with monthly orbital adjustments to maintain the mean altitude. The LOLA instrument has a -10 cm single-shot accuracy, with 5 beams, and operates at 28 Hz. It provides 5 adjacent profiles, each approximately 12 to 15 meters apart with a swath of approximately 65 meters. The 5 beams are arranged in a cross-shaped pattern that provides simultaneous along and cross track altimetry and providing slopes in 2 orthogonal directions every 50 meters along track. In combination with the LRO tracking data LOLA will be used to improve the model of the lunar gravity by using the altimeter on both the lunar near-side and far-side as an additional tracking system to enable precise positioning of the LRO spacecraft at about the 50 meter level rms. The instrument is expected to provide full polar coverage at very high northern and southern latitudes with spatial resolutions of 25 meters or better. In addition to the range to the surface LOLA measures the surface roughness from the spreading of the laser pulse and also the reflectance of the surface at 1064 nm. These measurements in conjunction with the altimetry will assist in the selection of future landing sites for future robotic and human missions to the Moon.

  11. Development of the Mars Observer Laser Altimeter (MOLA)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Bertrand L., Jr

    1993-01-01

    The Mars Observer (MO) spacecraft payload scientific mission is to gather data on Martian global topography, gravity, weather, magnetic field and its interaction with the solar flux, surface chemistry, and mineralogy over one Mars year. In mid-1988 the need for a replacement altimeter as part of the payload complement arose. The Mars Observer Laser Altimeter (MOLA) was proposed by GSFC as an in-house effort and shortly afterward was 'conditionally' accepted. Constraints on funding, schedule, power, and mass were imposed with periodic reviews during the instrument development to authorize continuation. MOLA was designed, tested, and delivered in less than 36 months and integrated with the spacecraft. During spacecraft payload testing, the laser failed due to contamination in the laser cavity. In only 6 months, the laser was removed, rebuilt from spare parts, retested, and the instrument reassembled, realigned, requalified, and again delivered for spacecraft integration. Other aspects of the development of the MOLA are presented.

  12. Qualification of Laser Diode Arrays for Mercury Laser Altimeter Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stephen, Mark; Vasilyev, Aleksey; Schafer, John; Allan, Graham R.

    2004-01-01

    NASA's requirements for high reliability, high performance satellite laser instruments have driven the investigation of many critical components; specifically, 808 nm laser diode array (LDA) pump devices. The MESSENGER mission is flying the Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA) which is a diode-pumped Nd:YAG laser instrument designed to map the topography of Mercury. The environment imposed on the instrument by the orbital dynamics places special requirements on the laser diode arrays. In order to limit the radiative heating of the satellite from the surface of Mercury, the satellite is designed to have a highly elliptical orbit. The satellite will heat near perigee and cool near apogee. The laser power is cycled during these orbits so that the laser is on for only 30 minutes (perigee) in a 12 hour orbit. The laser heats 10 C while powered up and cools while powered down. In order to simulate these operational conditions, we designed a test to measure the LDA performance while being temperature and power cycled. Though the mission requirements are specific to NASA and performance requirements are derived from unique operating conditions, the results are general and widely applicable. We present results on the performance of twelve LDAs operating for several hundred million pulses. The arrays are 100 watt, quasi-CW, conductively-cooled, 808 nm devices. Prior to testing, we fully characterize each device to establish a baseline for individual array performance and status. Details of this characterization can be found in reference. Arrays are divided into four groups and subjected to the temperature and power cycling matrix are shown.

  13. The Laser Vegetation Imaging Sensor (LVIS): An Airborne Laser Altimeter for Mapping Vegetation and Topography

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bryan, J.; Rabine, David L.

    1998-01-01

    The Laser Vegetation Imaging Sensor (LVIS) is an airborne laser altimeter designed to quickly and extensively map surface topography as well as the relative heights of other reflecting surfaces within the laser footprint. Since 1997, this instrument has primarily been used as the airborne simulator for the Vegetation Canopy Lidar (VCL) mission, a spaceborne mission designed to measure tree height, vertical structure and ground topography (including sub-canopy topography). LVIS is capable of operating from 500 m to 10 km above ground level with footprint sizes from 1 to 60 m. Laser footprints can be randomly spaced within the 7 degree telescope field-of-view, constrained only by the operating frequency of the ND:YAG Q-switched laser (500 Hz). A significant innovation of the LVIS altimeter is that all ranging, waveform recording, and range gating are performed using a single digitizer, clock base, and detector. A portion of the outgoing laser pulse is fiber-optically fed into the detector used to collect the return signal and this entire time history of the outgoing and return pulses is digitized at 500 Msamp/sec. The ground return is then located using software digital signal processing, even in the presence of visibly opaque clouds. The surface height distribution of all reflecting surfaces within the laser footprint can be determined, for example, tree height and ground elevation. To date, the LVIS system has been used to monitor topographic change at Long Valley caldera, CA, as part of NASA's Topography and Surface Change program, and to map tree structure and sub-canopy topography at the La Selva Biological Research Station in Costa Rica, as part of the pre-launch calibration activities for the VCL mission. We present results that show the laser altimeter consistently and accurately maps surface topography, including sub-canopy topography, and vegetation height and structure. These results confirm the measurement concept of VCL and highlight the benefits of

  14. Remote sensing of atmospheric pressure and sea state using laser altimeters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gardner, C. S.

    1985-01-01

    Short-pulse multicolor laser ranging systems are currently being developed for satellite ranging applications. These systems use Q-switched pulsed lasers and streak-tube cameras to provide timing accuracies approaching a few picoseconds. Satellite laser ranging systems have been used to evaluate many important geophysical phenomena such as fault motion, polar motion and solid earth tides, by measuring the orbital perturbations of retroreflector equipped satellites. Some existing operational systems provide range resolution approaching a few millimeters. There is currently considerable interest in adapting these highly accurate systems for use as airborne and satellite based altimeters. Potential applications include the measurement of sea state, ground topography and atmospheric pressure. This paper reviews recent progress in the development of multicolor laser altimeters for use in monitoring sea state and atmospheric pressure.

  15. Lunar Topography: Results from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Neumann, Gregory; Smith, David E.; Zuber, Maria T.; Mazarico, Erwan

    2012-01-01

    The Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) onboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has been operating nearly continuously since July 2009, accumulating over 6 billion measurements from more than 2 billion in-orbit laser shots. LRO's near-polar orbit results in very high data density in the immediate vicinity of the lunar poles, with full coverage at the equator from more than 12000 orbital tracks averaging less than 1 km in spacing at the equator. LRO has obtained a global geodetic model of the lunar topography with 50-meter horizontal and 1-m radial accuracy in a lunar center-of-mass coordinate system, with profiles of topography at 20-m horizontal resolution, and 0.1-m vertical precision. LOLA also provides measurements of reflectivity and surface roughness down to its 5-m laser spot size. With these data LOLA has measured the shape of all lunar craters 20 km and larger. In the proposed extended mission commencing late in 2012, LOLA will concentrate observations in the Southern Hemisphere, improving the density of the polar coverage to nearly 10-m pixel resolution and accuracy to better than 20 m total position error. Uses for these data include mission planning and targeting, illumination studies, geodetic control of images, as well as lunar geology and geophysics. Further improvements in geodetic accuracy are anticipated from the use of re ned gravity fields after the successful completion of the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission in 2012.

  16. Shuttle Laser Altimeter (SLA): A pathfinder for space-based laser altimetry and lidar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bufton, Jack; Blair, Bryan; Cavanaugh, John; Garvin, James

    1995-01-01

    The Shuttle Laser Altimeter (SLA) is a Hitchhiker experiment now being integrated for first flight on STS-72 in November 1995. Four Shuttle flights of the SLA are planned at a rate of about a flight every 18 months. They are aimed at the transition of the Goddard Space Flight Center airborne laser altimeter and lidar technology to low Earth orbit as a pathfinder for operational space-based laser remote sensing devices. Future alser altimeter sensors such as the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS), an Earth Observing System facility instrument, and the Multi-Beam Laser Altimeter (MBLA), the land and vegetation laser altimeter for the NASA TOPSAT (Topography Satellite) Mission, will utilize systems and approaches being tested with SLA. The SLA Instrument measures the distance from the Space Shuttle to the Earth's surface by timing the two-way propagation of short (approximately 10 na noseconds) laser pulses. laser pulses at 1064 nm wavelength are generated in a laser transmitter and are detected by a telescope equipped with a silicon avalanche photodiode detector. The SLA data system makes the pulse time interval measurement to a precision of about 10 nsec and also records the temporal shape of the laser echo from the Earth's surface for interpretation of surface height distribution within the 100 m diam. sensor footprint. For example, tree height can be determined by measuring the characteristic double-pulse signature that results from a separation in time of laser backscatter from tree canopies and the underlying ground. This is accomplished with a pulse waveform digitizer that samples the detector output with an adjustable resolution of 2 nanoseconds or wider intervals in a 100 sample window centered on the return pulse echo. The digitizer makes the SLA into a high resolution surface lidar sensor. It can also be used for cloud and atmospheric aerosol lidar measurements by lengthening the sampling window and degrading the waveform resolution. Detailed test

  17. Shuttle Laser Altimeter (SLA): A pathfinder for space-based laser altimetry and lidar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bufton, Jack; Blair, Bryan; Cavanaugh, John; Garvin, James

    1995-09-01

    The Shuttle Laser Altimeter (SLA) is a Hitchhiker experiment now being integrated for first flight on STS-72 in November 1995. Four Shuttle flights of the SLA are planned at a rate of about a flight every 18 months. They are aimed at the transition of the Goddard Space Flight Center airborne laser altimeter and lidar technology to low Earth orbit as a pathfinder for operational space-based laser remote sensing devices. Future alser altimeter sensors such as the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS), an Earth Observing System facility instrument, and the Multi-Beam Laser Altimeter (MBLA), the land and vegetation laser altimeter for the NASA TOPSAT (Topography Satellite) Mission, will utilize systems and approaches being tested with SLA. The SLA Instrument measures the distance from the Space Shuttle to the Earth's surface by timing the two-way propagation of short (approximately 10 na noseconds) laser pulses. laser pulses at 1064 nm wavelength are generated in a laser transmitter and are detected by a telescope equipped with a silicon avalanche photodiode detector. The SLA data system makes the pulse time interval measurement to a precision of about 10 nsec and also records the temporal shape of the laser echo from the Earth's surface for interpretation of surface height distribution within the 100 m diam. sensor footprint. For example, tree height can be determined by measuring the characteristic double-pulse signature that results from a separation in time of laser backscatter from tree canopies and the underlying ground. This is accomplished with a pulse waveform digitizer that samples the detector output with an adjustable resolution of 2 nanoseconds or wider intervals in a 100 sample window centered on the return pulse echo. The digitizer makes the SLA into a high resolution surface lidar sensor. It can also be used for cloud and atmospheric aerosol lidar measurements by lengthening the sampling window and degrading the waveform resolution. Detailed test

  18. Return Echoes from Medium-Large Footprint Laser Altimeters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blair, J. Bryan; Hofton, Michelle A.; Rabine, David L.

    1999-01-01

    For just over 10 years, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center has been at the forefront of developing return echo laser altimeters and analysis techniques for a variety of both space and airborne applications. In 1991, the Laser Remote Sensing Branch began investigating the use of medium-large diameter footprint return waveforms for measuring vegetation height and structure and sub-canopy topography. Over the last 8 years, using a variety of profiling and scanning laser altimeters (i.e. ATLAS, SLICER, SLA, and LVIS), we have collected return waveforms over a variety of terrestrial surface types. We describe the effects of instrument characteristics and within-footprint surface structure on the shape of the return waveform and suggest several techniques for extracting this information. Specifically for vegetation returns, we describe the effects of canopy parameters such as architecture and closure on the shape of the return waveform. Density profiles, statistics, and examples from a variety of vegetation types will be presented, as well as comparisons with small-footprint laser altimeter data.

  19. A Laser Altimeter for a Planetary Flyby Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, D. E.; Zuber, M. T.; Sun, X.; Cavanaugh, J.; Neumann, G. A.; Mazarico, E.; Genova, A.

    2014-12-01

    Several planetary missions are contemplated as flybys of planets, asteroids, and natural satellites. In many cases the option to orbit the body is impractical and observations during one or many flybys represent the only reasonable option. A laser altimeter provides measurements of topography and shape, surface roughness, and normal reflectivity at the laser wavelength and has been shown to be very effective at Mars, Mercury and the Moon when in orbit about the body and also when in proximity of an asteroid. But flyby missions are less able to provide the coverage and uniformity of the data being acquired by the instruments on the s/c because of the variation in range of the spacecraft from the body during a flyby. To address this problem, we have modified the design of our single beam Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA), currently collecting observations on the MESSENGER mission, to provide an operating range of several thousand kilometers by increasing the output from the laser, providing a variable pulse-rate while maintaining constant electrical power, that can provide quasi-contiguous altimeter pixels during the flyby, and by storing the complete output from the detector. This approach will provide accurate topographic and shape data and enable improved orbit determination of the spacecraft by the use of orbital crossovers with minimal interpolation errors between measurements. The mass, power and data rate of the instrument is compatible with typical constraints in planetary missions.

  20. Laser Altimeter Evaluation of an SRTM DEM for Western Washington State

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carabajal, C. C.; Harding, D. J.

    2002-05-01

    Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) and laser altimeter measurements of topography provide complimentary approaches to characterize landforms. Results from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) will provide an unprecedented, near-global, Digital Elevation Model (DEM) at 30 m resolution using a single pass C-band (5.6 cm wavelength) radar interferometer. In vegetated terrains, the C-band radar energy penetrates part way into vegetation cover. The elevation of the resulting radar phase center, somewhere between the canopy top and underlying ground, depends on the vegetation height, density, structure, and presence or absence of foliage. The high vertical accuracy and spatial resolution achieved by laser altimeters, and their capability to directly measure the vertical distribution of vegetation and underlying ground topography, provides a method to evaluate InSAR representations of topography. In order to provide an independent assessment of SRTM DEM accuracy and error characteristics, a simple but rigorous methodology based on comparisons to airborne and satellite laser altimeter profiles has been developed and tested. Initially, an SRTM DEM produced for a large part of western Washington State by the JPL PI processor has been compared to Shuttle Laser Altimeter (SLA) and airborne Scanning Lidar Imager of Canopies by Echo Recovery (SLICER) data. The accuracy of the laser altimeter data sets has been previously characterized. For SLICER profiles, each about 40 km long, the mean and standard deviation of elevation differences between the SRTM DEM and SLICER-defined canopy top and ground are computed. The SRTM DEM is usually located between the canopy top and ground. A poor correlation is observed between the per-pixel error estimate provided with the SRTM DEM and the observed SLICER to SRTM elevation differences. In addition to these profile comparisons, a very high resolution DEM acquired by Terrapoint, LLC for the Puget Sound Lidar Consortium

  1. A Boresight Adjustment Mechanism for use on Laser Altimeters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hakun, Claef; Budinoff, Jason; Brown, Gary; Parong, Fil; Morell, Armando

    2004-01-01

    This paper describes the development of the Boresight Adjustment Mechanism (BAM) for the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) Instrument. The BAM was developed late in the integration and test phase of the GLAS instrument flight program. Thermal vacuum tests of the GLAS instrument indicated that the instrument boresight alignment stability over temperature may be marginal. To reduce the risk that GLAS may not be able to meet the boresight alignment requirements, an intensive effort was started to develop a BAM. Observatory-level testing and further evaluation of the boresight alignment data indicated that sufficient margin could be obtained utilizing existing instrument resources and therefore the BAM was never integrated onto the GLAS Instrument. However, the BAM was designed fabricated and fully qualified over a 4 month timeframe to be capable of precisely steering (< 1 arcsec over 300 arcsec) the output of three independent lasers to ensure the alignment between the transmit and receive paths of the GLAS instrument. The short timeline for the development of the mechanism resulted in several interesting design solutions. This paper discusses the requirement definition, design, and testing processes of the BAM development effort, how the design was affected by the extremely tight development schedule, and the lessons learned throughout the process.

  2. A Boresight Adjusment Mechanism For Use in Laser Altimeters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hakun, Claef; Budinoff, Jason; Brown, Gary; Parong, Fil; Morell, Armando

    2004-01-01

    This paper describes the development of the Boresight Adjustment Mechanism (BAM) for the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) Instrument. The BAM was developed late in the integration and test phase of the GLAS instrument flight program. Thermal vacuum tests of the GLAS instrument indicated that the instrument-boresight alignment stability over temperature may be marginal. To reduce the risk that GLAS may not be able to meet the boresight alignment requirements an intensive effort was started to develop a BAM. Observatory-level testing and further evaluation of the boresight alignment data indicated that sufficient margin could be obtained utilizing existing instrument resources and therefore the BAM was never integrated onto the GLAS Instrument. However, the BAM was designed fabricated and fully qualified over a 4 month timeframe to be capable of precisely steering (less than 2 arcsec over plus or minus 300 arcsec) the output of three independent lasers to ensure the alignment between the transmit and receive paths of the GLAS instrument. The short timeline for the development of the mechanism resulted in several interesting design solutions. This paper discusses the requirement definition design, and testing processes of the BAM development effort how the design was affected by the extremely tight development schedule and the lessons learned throughout the process.

  3. Single photon laser altimeter simulator and statistical signal processing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vacek, Michael; Prochazka, Ivan

    2013-05-01

    Spaceborne altimeters are common instruments onboard the deep space rendezvous spacecrafts. They provide range and topographic measurements critical in spacecraft navigation. Simultaneously, the receiver part may be utilized for Earth-to-satellite link, one way time transfer, and precise optical radiometry. The main advantage of single photon counting approach is the ability of processing signals with very low signal-to-noise ratio eliminating the need of large telescopes and high power laser source. Extremely small, rugged and compact microchip lasers can be employed. The major limiting factor, on the other hand, is the acquisition time needed to gather sufficient volume of data in repetitive measurements in order to process and evaluate the data appropriately. Statistical signal processing is adopted to detect signals with average strength much lower than one photon per measurement. A comprehensive simulator design and range signal processing algorithm are presented to identify a mission specific altimeter configuration. Typical mission scenarios (celestial body surface landing and topographical mapping) are simulated and evaluated. The high interest and promising single photon altimeter applications are low-orbit (˜10 km) and low-radial velocity (several m/s) topographical mapping (asteroids, Phobos and Deimos) and landing altimetry (˜10 km) where range evaluation repetition rates of ˜100 Hz and 0.1 m precision may be achieved. Moon landing and asteroid Itokawa topographical mapping scenario simulations are discussed in more detail.

  4. Co-registration of Laser Altimeter Tracks with Digital Terrain Models and Applications in Planetary Science

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Glaeser, P.; Haase, I.; Oberst, J.; Neumann, G. A.

    2013-01-01

    We have derived algorithms and techniques to precisely co-register laser altimeter profiles with gridded Digital Terrain Models (DTMs), typically derived from stereo images. The algorithm consists of an initial grid search followed by a least-squares matching and yields the translation parameters at sub-pixel level needed to align the DTM and the laser profiles in 3D space. This software tool was primarily developed and tested for co-registration of laser profiles from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) with DTMs derived from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) stereo images. Data sets can be co-registered with positional accuracy between 0.13 m and several meters depending on the pixel resolution and amount of laser shots, where rough surfaces typically result in more accurate co-registrations. Residual heights of the data sets are as small as 0.18 m. The software can be used to identify instrument misalignment, orbit errors, pointing jitter, or problems associated with reference frames being used. Also, assessments of DTM effective resolutions can be obtained. From the correct position between the two data sets, comparisons of surface morphology and roughness can be made at laser footprint- or DTM pixel-level. The precise co-registration allows us to carry out joint analysis of the data sets and ultimately to derive merged high-quality data products. Examples of matching other planetary data sets, like LOLA with LRO Wide Angle Camera (WAC) DTMs or Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) with stereo models from the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) as well as Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA) with Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS) are shown to demonstrate the broad science applications of the software tool.

  5. Co-registration of laser altimeter tracks with digital terrain models and applications in planetary science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gläser, P.; Haase, I.; Oberst, J.; Neumann, G. A.

    2013-12-01

    We have derived algorithms and techniques to precisely co-register laser altimeter profiles with gridded Digital Terrain Models (DTMs), typically derived from stereo images. The algorithm consists of an initial grid search followed by a least-squares matching and yields the translation parameters at sub-pixel level needed to align the DTM and the laser profiles in 3D space. This software tool was primarily developed and tested for co-registration of laser profiles from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) with DTMs derived from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) stereo images. Data sets can be co-registered with positional accuracy between 0.13 m and several meters depending on the pixel resolution and amount of laser shots, where rough surfaces typically result in more accurate co-registrations. Residual heights of the data sets are as small as 0.18 m. The software can be used to identify instrument misalignment, orbit errors, pointing jitter, or problems associated with reference frames being used. Also, assessments of DTM effective resolutions can be obtained. From the correct position between the two data sets, comparisons of surface morphology and roughness can be made at laser footprint- or DTM pixel-level. The precise co-registration allows us to carry out joint analysis of the data sets and ultimately to derive merged high-quality data products. Examples of matching other planetary data sets, like LOLA with LRO Wide Angle Camera (WAC) DTMs or Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) with stereo models from the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) as well as Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA) with Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS) are shown to demonstrate the broad science applications of the software tool.

  6. LASER ALTIMETER CANOPY HEIGHT PROFILES: METHODS AND VALIDATION FOR CLOSED-CANOPY, BROADLEAF FORESTS. (R828309)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Abstract

    Waveform-recording laser altimeter observations of vegetated landscapes provide a time-resolved measure of laser pulse backscatter energy from canopy surfaces and the underlying ground. Airborne laser altimeter waveform data was acquired using the Scanning Lid...

  7. ICESAT Laser Altimeter Pointing, Ranging and Timing Calibration from Integrated Residual Analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Luthcke, Scott B.; Rowlands, D. D.; Carabajal, C. C.; Harding, D. H.; Bufton, J. L.; Williams, T. A.

    2003-01-01

    On January 12, 2003 the Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) was successfully placed into orbit. The ICESat mission carries the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS), which has a primary measurement of short-pulse laser- ranging to the Earth s surface at 1064nm wavelength at a rate of 40 pulses per second. The instrument has collected precise elevation measurements of the ice sheets, sea ice roughness and thickness, ocean and land surface elevations and surface reflectivity. The accurate geolocation of GLAS s surface returns, the spots from which the laser energy reflects on the Earth s surface, is a critical issue in the scientific application of these data. Pointing, ranging, timing and orbit errors must be compensated to accurately geolocate the laser altimeter surface returns. Towards this end, the laser range observations can be fully exploited in an integrated residual analysis to accurately calibrate these geolocation/instrument parameters. ICESat laser altimeter data have been simultaneously processed as direct altimetry from ocean sweeps along with dynamic crossovers in order to calibrate pointing, ranging and timing. The calibration methodology and current calibration results are discussed along with future efforts.

  8. 20,000 Photons Under the Snow: Subsurface Scattering of Visible Laser Light and the Implications for Laser Altimeters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greeley, A.; Kurtz, N. T.; Shappirio, M.; Neumann, T.; Cook, W. B.; Markus, T.

    2014-12-01

    Existing visible light laser altimeters such as ATM (Airborne Topographical Mapper) with NASA's Operation IceBridge and NASA's MABEL (Multiple Altimeter Beam Experimental Lidar; a simulator for NASA's ICESat-2 mission) are providing scientists with a view of Earth's ice sheets, glaciers, and sea ice with unprecedented detail. Measuring how these surfaces evolve in the face of a rapidly changing climate requires the utmost attention to detail in the design and calibration of these instruments, as well as understanding the changing optical properties of these surfaces. As single photon counting lidars, MABEL and NASA's ATLAS (Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System) on the upcoming ICESat-2 mission provide fundamentally different information compared with waveform lidars such as ATM, or GLAS (Geoscience Laser Altimeter System) on NASA's previous ICESat-1 mission. By recording the travel times of individual photons, more detailed information about the surface, and potentially the subsurface, are available and must be considered in elevation retrievals from the observed photon cloud. Here, we investigate possible sources of uncertainty associated with monochromatic visible light scattering in subsurface snow, which may affect the precision and accuracy of elevation estimates. We also explore the capacity to estimate snow grain size in near surface snow using experimental visible light laser data obtained in laboratory experiments.

  9. Biomass accumulation rates of Amazonian secondary forest and biomass of old-growth forests from Landsat time series and the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Helmer, Eileen H.; Lefsky, Michael A.; Roberts, Dar A.

    2009-01-01

    We estimate the age of humid lowland tropical forests in Rondônia, Brazil, from a somewhat densely spaced time series of Landsat images (1975-2003) with an automated procedure, the Threshold Age Mapping Algorithm (TAMA), first described here. We then estimate a landscape-level rate of aboveground woody biomass accumulation of secondary forest by combining forest age mapping with biomass estimates from the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS). Though highly variable, the estimated average biomass accumulation rate of 8.4 Mg ha-1 yr-1 agrees well with ground-based studies for young secondary forests in the region. In isolating the lowland forests, we map land cover and general types of old-growth forests with decision tree classification of Landsat imagery and elevation data. We then estimate aboveground live biomass for seven classes of old-growth forest. TAMA is simple, fast, and self-calibrating. By not using between-date band or index differences or trends, it requires neither image normalization nor atmospheric correction. In addition, it uses an approach to map forest cover for the self-calibrations that is novel to forest mapping with satellite imagery; it maps humid secondary forest that is difficult to distinguish from old-growth forest in single-date imagery; it does not assume that forest age equals time since disturbance; and it incorporates Landsat Multispectral Scanner imagery. Variations on the work that we present here can be applied to other forested landscapes. Applications that use image time series will be helped by the free distribution of coregistered Landsat imagery, which began in December 2008, and of the Ice Cloud and land Elevation Satellite Vegetation Product, which simplifies the use of GLAS data. Finally, we demonstrate here for the first time how the optical imagery of fine spatial resolution that is viewable on Google Earth provides a new source of reference data for remote sensing applications related to land cover.

  10. Multicolor laser altimeter for barometric measurements over the ocean - Theoretical

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gardner, C. S.; Tsai, B. M.; Im, K. E.

    1983-01-01

    It is noted that the optical path length from a satellite to the earth's surface strongly depends on the atmospheric pressure along the propagation path. The theoretical basis of a surface pressure measurement technique, which uses a two-color laser altimeter to observe the change with wavelength in the optical path length from a satellite to the ocean surface, is evaluated. The statistical characteristics of the ocean-reflected pulses and the expected measurement accuracy are analyzed in terms of the altitude parameters. The results show that it is feasible to obtain a pressure accuracy of a few millibars.

  11. Lunar altimetric datasets: Global comparisons with the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter elevation model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neumann, G. A.; Duxbury, T. C.; Lemoine, F. G.; Mazarico, E.; Oberst, J.; Robinson, M. S.; Smith, D. E.; Torrence, M. H.; Zuber, M. T.

    2010-12-01

    Starting with the Apollo program, increasingly precise orbital and Earth-based measurements of the topography of the Moon have been performed with radar and laser altimeters. Orbital measurements are the most accurate, being relative to the center of mass, while Earth-based radar must generally be adjusted to match controls. Recent data from high-resolution laser altimeters reveal substantial errors in earlier datasets. We present the results of over 2.4 billion measurements (as of Sept. 1, 2010) from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA), with near-global coverage, 10-cm vertical precision, and meter-level radial accuracy, to which datasets from the Arecibo and Goldstone radar, the photogrammetric Unified Lunar Control Network 2005, and from the Clementine (DOD), LALT (JAXA), LAM (CSA) and LLRI (ISA) laser altimeters may be compared. The geodetic network being generated by LOLA will be applied to images and stereophotogrammetric solutions being generated by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter to create a reference dataset suitable for exploration and science. The LOLA data, either as 5-point multibeam swaths or as digital elevation models, may also be used to assess the orbital, attitude, and timing accuracy of other mapping instruments. Examples will be shown using the densely-sampled, polar 20-m digital elevation models being provided to the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate and Planetary Data System of NASA as part of the LRO Project. With other altimetric datasets and mapping camera solutions filling in the gaps between LOLA swaths, a consistent, accurate, and international altimetric dataset will emerge.

  12. Crossover Analysis of CHANG'E-1 Laser Altimeter Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, W.; Yue, Z.; Di, K.

    2011-08-01

    This paper presents a preliminary result of crossover analysis and adjustment of Chang'E-1(CE-1) Laser Altimeter (LAM) data of the Moon for global and regional mapping applications. During the operation of Chang'E-1 from November 28, 2007 to December 4, 2008, the laser altimeter acquired 1400 orbital profiles with about 9.12 million altimetric points. In our experiment, we derived more than 1.38 million crossovers from 1395 ground tracks covering the entire lunar surface after eliminating outliers of orbits and altimetric points. A method of least-squares crossover adjustment with a series of basis functions of time (trigonometric functions and polynomials) is developed to reconcile the LAM data by minimizing the crossover residuals globally. The normal equations are very large but sparse; therefore they are stored and solved using sparse matrix technique. In a test area (0°N~60°N, 50°W~0°W), the crossover residuals are reduced from 62.1m to 32.8m, and the quality of the DEM generated from the adjusted LAM data is improved accordingly. We will optimize the method for the global adjustment to generate a high precision consistent global DEM, which can be used as absolute control for lunar mapping with orbital images.

  13. An Imaging Laser Altimeter for Lunar Scientific Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    A new approach to laser altimetry is offered by the development of micro-lasers and pixilated detectors that enable very high resolution measurement of topography and relatively wide swath observations. An imaging altimeter with a 8x8 array detector working at a probability of less than a single photon/shot could map the Moon or similar sized body in approximately 2 years and provide 5 meter horizontal resolution topography and a 10 centimeter vertical accuracy. In addition, it would provide surface roughness and surface slopes on similar length scales of 5 meters and be able to address a range of problems for which topography or lunar shape is important at the decimeter level. This includes the topography of the polar regions, where ice is thought to have been identified, and also the cratering history of the Moon which could be assessed with a dataset of uniform quality and high resolution.

  14. Night and Day: The Opacity of Clouds Measured by the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Neumann, G. A.; Wilson, R. J.

    2006-01-01

    The Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) [l] on the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft ranged to clouds over the course of nearly two Mars years [2] using an active laser ranging system. While ranging to the surface, the instrument was also able to measure the product of the surface reflectivity with the two-way atmospheric transmission at 1064 nm. Furthermore, the reflectivity has now been mapped over seasonal cycles using the passive radiometric capability built into MOLA [3]. Combining these measurements, the column opacity may be inferred. MOLA uniquely provides these measurements both night and day. This study examines the pronounced nighttime opacity of the aphelion season tropical water ice clouds, and the indiscernibly low opacity of the southern polar winter clouds. The water ice clouds (Figure 1) do not themselves trigger the altimeter but have measured opacities tau > 1.5 and are temporally and spatially correlated with temperature anomalies predicted by a Mars Global Circulation Model (MGCM) that incorporates cloud radiative effects [4]. The south polar CO2 ice clouds trigger the altimeter with a very high backscatter cross-section over a thickness of 3-9 m and are vertically dispersed over several km, but their total column opacities lie well below the MOLA measurement limit of tau = 0.7. These clouds correspond to regions of supercooled atmosphere that may form either very large specularly reflecting particles [2] or very compact, dense concentrations (>5x10(exp 6)/cu m) of 100-p particles

  15. Straylight analysis of the BepiColombo Laser Altimeter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weigel, T.; Rugi-Grond, E.; Kudielka, K.

    2008-09-01

    The BepiColombo Laser Altimeter (BELA) shall profile the surface of planet Mercury and operates on the day side as well as on the night side. Because of the high thermal loads, most interior surfaces of the front optics are highly reflective and specular, including the baffle. This puts a handicap on the straylight performance, which is needed to limit the solar background. We present the design measures used to reach an attenuation of about 10-8. We resume the method of backward straylight analysis which starts the rays at the detector and analyses the results in object space. The backward analysis can be quickly compiled and challenges computer resources rather than labor effort. This is very useful in a conceptual design phase when a design is iterated and trade-offs are to be performed. For one design, we compare the results with values obtained from a forward analysis.

  16. Participation in the Mars Orbiting Laser Altimeter Experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pettengil, Gordon H.; Ford, Peter

    2004-01-01

    The Mars Orbiting Laser Altimeter (MOLA) instrument [1,2] carried aboard the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) spacecraft, has observed strong echoes from cloud tops at 1.064 microns on 61% of its orbital passes over the winter north pole (235deg L(sub S), < 315deg) and on 58% of the passes over the winter south pole (45deg < L(sub S), < 135deg). The clouds are unlikely to be composed of water ice since the vapor pressure of H2O is very low at the Martian nighttime polar temperatures measured by the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) [3], and by an analysis of MGS radio occultations [4]. Dust clouds can also be ruled out since no correlation is seen between clouds and global dust storms. The virtually certain composition for the winter polar clouds is CO2 ice.

  17. Laser altimeter observations from MESSENGER's first Mercury flyby.

    PubMed

    Zuber, Maria T; Smith, David E; Solomon, Sean C; Phillips, Roger J; Peale, Stanton J; Head, James W; Hauck, Steven A; McNutt, Ralph L; Oberst, Jürgen; Neumann, Gregory A; Lemoine, Frank G; Sun, Xiaoli; Barnouin-Jha, Olivier; Harmon, John K

    2008-07-01

    A 3200-kilometers-long profile of Mercury by the Mercury Laser Altimeter on the MESSENGER spacecraft spans approximately 20% of the near-equatorial region of the planet. Topography along the profile is characterized by a 5.2-kilometer dynamic range and 930-meter root-mean-square roughness. At long wavelengths, topography slopes eastward by 0.02 degrees , implying a variation of equatorial shape that is at least partially compensated. Sampled craters on Mercury are shallower than their counterparts on the Moon, at least in part the result of Mercury's higher gravity. Crater floors vary in roughness and slope, implying complex modification over a range of length scales. PMID:18599773

  18. Vertical roughness of Mars from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garvin, James B.; Frawley, James J.; Abshire, James B.

    The vertical roughness of the martian surface at ˜250 m spatial scales has been determined in two global latitude bands: an equatorial and a high northern band acquired from 18 tracks of data by the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) during the Fall of 1997. The distribution of RMS vertical roughness, as derived from MOLA pulse widths, for the equatorial band is non-gaussian, with an overall mean of 2.8 m RMS, but with secondary populations at 1.5 m and 2-6 m RMS. The higher latitude northern plains of Mars are almost uniformly ˜1 m RMS in their vertical roughness characteristics, suggesting that they are smoother than virtually any terrestrial deserts. We suggest that dust mantling has muted the local topography of Mars, rendering it as smooth as 1-2 m RMS. Heavily cratered uplands near the martian equator are noticeably rougher, indicating more rugged and less-mantled local topography.

  19. In-Flight Performance of the Mercury Laser Altimeter Laser Transmitter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yu, Anthony W.; Sun, Xiaoli; Li, Steven X.; Cavanaugh, John F.; Neumann, Gregory A.

    2014-01-01

    The Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA) is one of the payload instruments on the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft, which was launched on August 3, 2004. MLA maps Mercury's shape and topographic landforms and other surface characteristics using a diode-pumped solid-state laser transmitter and a silicon avalanche photodiode receiver that measures the round-trip time of individual laser pulses. The laser transmitter has been operating nominally during planetary flyby measurements and in orbit about Mercury since March 2011. In this paper, we review the MLA laser transmitter telemetry data and evaluate the performance of solid-state lasers under extended operation in a space environment.

  20. Remote sensing of atmospheric pressure and sea state from satellites using short-pulse multicolor laser altimeters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gardner, C. S.; Tsai, B. M.; Abshire, J. B.

    1983-01-01

    Short pulse multicolor laser ranging systems are currently being developed for satellite ranging applications. These systems use Q-switched pulsed lasers and streak tube cameras to provide timing accuracies approaching a few picoseconds. Satellite laser ranging systems was used to evaluate many important geophysical phenomena such as fault motion, polar motion and solid earth tides, by measuring the orbital perturbations of retroreflector equipped satellites. Some existing operational systems provide range resolution approaching a few millimeters. There is currently considerable interest in adapting these highly accurate systems for use as airborne and satellite based altimeters. Potential applications include the measurement of sea state, ground topography and atmospheric pressure. This paper reviews recent progress in the development of multicolor laser altimeters for use in monitoring sea state and atmospheric pressure.

  1. In-orbit Calibration of the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter Via Two-Way Laser Ranging with an Earth Station

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, X.; Barker, M. K.; Mao, D.; Marzarico, E.; Neumann, G. A.; Skillman, D. R.; Zagwodzki, T. W.; Torrence, M. H.; Mcgarry, J.; Smith, D. E.; Zuber, M. T.

    2014-12-01

    Orbiting planetary laser altimeters have provided critical data on such bodies as the Earth, Mars, the Moon, Mercury, and 433 Eros. The measurement accuracy of these instruments depends on accurate knowledge of not only the position and attitude of the spacecraft, but also the pointing of the altimeter with respect to the spacecraft coordinate system. To that end, we have carried out several experiments to measure post-launch instrument characteristics for the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) onboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. In these experiments, the spacecraft points away from the Moon and scans the Earth in a raster pattern as the LOLA laser fires (the downlink) while a ground station on Earth fires its own laser to the spacecraft (the uplink). The downlink pulse arrival times and digitized waveforms are recorded at the ground station, the Goddard Geophysical and Astronomical Observatory in Greenbelt, MD, and the uplink arrival times and pulse widths are measured by LOLA. From early in the mission, the experiments have helped to confirm a pointing anomaly when LOLA is facing towards deep space or the cold side of the Moon. Under these conditions, the downlink data indicate a laser bore-sight pointing offset of about -400 and 100 microradians in the cross-track and along-track directions, respectively. These corrections are consistent with an analysis of LOLA ground-track crossovers spread throughout the mission to determine lunar tidal flexure. The downlink data also allow the reconstruction of the laser far-field pattern. From the uplink data, we estimate a correction to the receiver telescope nighttime pointing of ~140 microradians in the cross-track direction. By comparing data from such experiments shortly after launch and nearly 5 years later, we have directly measured the changes in the laser characteristics and obtained critical data to understand the laser behavior and refine the instrument calibration.

  2. The OSIRIS-REx laser altimeter (OLA): Development progress

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daly, M.; Barnouin, O.; Johnson, C.; Bierhaus, E.; Seabrook, J.; Dickinson, C.; Haltigin, T.; Gaudreau, D.; Brunet, C.; Cunningham, G.; Lauretta, D.; Boynton, W.; Beshore, E.

    2014-07-01

    Introduction: The NASA New Frontiers Origins Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission will be the first to sample the B-type asteroid (101955) Bennu [1]. This asteroid is thought to be primitive and carbonaceous, and is probably closely related to CI and/or CM meteorites [2]. The OSIRIS-REx mission hopes to better understand both the physical and geochemical origin and evolution of carbonaceous asteroids through its investigation of Bennu. The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will launch in September 2016, and arrive at Bennu two years later. The Canadian Space Agency is contributing a scanning lidar system known as the OSIRIS-REx Laser Altimeter (OLA), to the OSIRIS-REx Mission. The OLA instrument is part of suite of onboard instruments [3] including cameras (OCAMS) [4], a visible and near- infrared spectrometer (OVIRS) [5], a thermal emission spectrometer (OTES), and an X-ray imaging spectrometer (REXIS) [6]. OLA Objectives: The OLA instrument has a suite of scientific and mission operations purposes. At a global scale, it will update the shape and mass of Bennu to provide insights on the geological origin and evolution of Bennu, by, for example, further refining constraints on its bulk density. With a carefully undertaken geodesy campaign, OLA-based precision ranges, constraints from radio science (2-way tracking) data and stereo OCAMS images, it will yield broad-scale, quantitative constraints on any internal heterogeneity of Bennu and hence provide further clues to Bennu's origin and subsequent collisional evolution. OLA-derived global asteroid maps of slopes, elevation relative to the asteroid geoid, and vertical roughness will provide quantitative insights on how local-regional surfaces on Bennu evolved subsequent to the formation of the asteroid. In addition, OLA data and derived products support the assessment of the safety and sampleability of potential sample sites. At the sample-site scale, the OLA instrument

  3. The Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) Laser Transmitter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yu, Anthony W.; Novo-Gradac, Anne Marie; Shaw, George B.; Unger, Glenn; Lukemire, Alan

    2008-01-01

    We present the final configuration of the space flight laser transmitter as delivered to the LOLA instrument. The laser consists of two oscillators with co-aligned outputs on a single bench, each capable of providing one billion plus shots.

  4. Laser Transmitter for the Lunar Orbit Laser Altimeter (LOLA) Instrument

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yu, Anthony W.; Novo-Gradac, Anne-Marie; Shaw, George B.; Li, Steven X.; Krebs, Danny C.; Ramos-Izquierdo, Luis A.; Unger, Glenn; Lukemire, Alan

    2008-01-01

    We present the final configuration of the space flight laser transmitter as delivered to the LOLA instrument. The laser consists of two oscillators on a single bench, each capable of providing one billion plus shots.

  5. The Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter Archive: Final Precision Experiment Data Record Release and Status of Radiometry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Neumann, Gregory A.; Lemoine, F. G.; Smith, D. E.; Zuber, M. T.

    2003-01-01

    A final release (Version L) of the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) Precision Experiment Data Record (PEDR) has been submitted to the Planetary Data System (PDS). Additional gridded data record products are forthcoming. These products have evolved since their original description, owing in part to improved gravity modeling and cartographic reference frames, and in part to refinements in calibration. An additional component, the 1064 nm narrowband radiometry data, is also being archived. These data will be invaluable for future studies by Mars explorers and scientists.

  6. Modeling Laser Altimeter Return Waveforms Over Complex Vegetation Using High-Resolution Elevation Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blair, J. Bryan; Hofton, Michelle A.

    1999-01-01

    The upcoming generation of laser altimeters record the interaction of emitted laser radiation with terrestrial surfaces in the form of a digitized waveform. We model these laser altimeter return waveforms as the sum of the reflections from individual surfaces within laser footprints, accounting for instrument-specific properties. We compare over 1000 modeled and recorded waveform pairs using the Pearson correlation. We show that we reliably synthesize the vertical structure information for vegetation canopies contained in a medium-large diameter laser footprint from a high-resolution elevation data set.

  7. New Morphometric Measurements of Peak-Ring Basins on Mercury and the Moon: Results from the Mercury Laser Altimeter and Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baker, David M. H.; Head, James W.; Prockter, Louise M.; Fassett, Caleb I.; Neumann, Gregory A.; Smith, David E.; Solomon, Sean C.; Zuber, Maria T.; Oberst, Juergen; Preusker, Frank; Gwiner, Klaus

    2012-01-01

    Peak-ring basins (large impact craters exhibiting a single interior ring) are important to understanding the processes controlling the morphological transition from craters to large basins on planetary bodies. New image and topography data from the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft have helped to update the catalogs of peak-ring basins on Mercury and the Moon [1,2] and are enabling improved calculations of the morphometric properties of these basins. We use current orbital altimeter measurements from the Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA) [3] and the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) [4], as well as stereo-derived topography [5], to calculate the floor depths and peak-ring heights of peak-ring basins on Mercury and the Moon. We present trends in these parameters as functions of rim-crest diameter, which are likely to be related to processes controlling the onset of peak rings in these basins.

  8. Research Participation in the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter Experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pettengill, Gordon H.

    2003-01-01

    This report describes the tasks that have been completed by the Principal Investigator, Gordon Pettengill, and his team during the first year of this grant. Dr. Pettengill was assisted by Dr. Peter Ford and Ms. Joan Quigley. Our main task has been to analyze the polar clouds detected by MOLA (Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter) during the nominal mission of the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) in 1999-2001 and to correlate the results with other data sets, in particular that from TES, the MGS thermal emission spectrometer. Starting with the Martian cloud database that we constructed prior to the start of this grant, we have examined all TES footprints that overlap MOLA clouds in time and space, correlating the thermal signature against specific categories that we assign to MOLA clouds on the basis of visual inspection. We are particularly interested in clouds in the region of "cold spots", areas of anomalously low thermal brightness temperature that have been detected in the polar winter by several instruments beginning with IRIS on Mariner 9. They are thought to indicate regions of active CO2 sublimation or snowfall, and it is hoped that MOLA measurements may tell us more about these regions.

  9. 3000 Mile Laser Altimeter Profile Across Northern Hemisphere of Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    Topographic profile across the northern hemisphere of Mars from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA). The profile was obtained during the Mars Global Surveyor Capture Orbit Calibration Pass on September 15, 1997 and represents 20 minutes of data collection. The profile has a length of approximately 3000 miles (5000 kilometers). The large bulge is the western part of the Elysium rise, the second largest volcanic province on Mars, and shows over 3 miles (5 kilometers) of vertical relief. This area contains deep chasms that reflect tectonic, volcanic and erosional processes. In contrast is the almost 1featureless1 northern plains region of Mars, which shows only hundreds of meters of relief at scales the size of the United States. Plotted for comparison is the elevation of the Viking Lander 2 site, which is located 275 miles (445 kilometers) west of the profile. At the southernmost extent of the trace is the transition from the northern plains to the ancient southern highlands. Characterizing the fine-scale nature of topography in this chaotic region is crucial to testing theories for how the dichotomy between the geologically distinctive northern lowlands and southern uplands formed and subsequently evolved. The spatial resolution of the profile is approximately 1000 feet (330 meters) and the vertical resolution is approximately 3 feet (1 meter). When the Mars Global Surveyor mapping mission commences in March, 1998, the MOLA instrument will collect 72 times as much data every day for a period of two years.

  10. A Mars orbital laser altimeter for rover trafficability: Instrument concept and science potential

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garvin, J. B.; Zuber, M. T.

    1988-01-01

    Limited information on the types of geologic hazards (boulders, troughs, craters etc.) that will affect rover trafficability on Mars are available for the two Viking Lander sites, and there are no prospects for increasing this knowledge base in the near future. None of the instrument payloads on the upcoming Mars Observer or Soviet PHOBOS missions can directly measure surface obstacles on the scales of concern for rover safety (a few meters). Candidate instruments for the Soviet Mars 92 orbiter/balloon/rover mission such as balloon-borne stereo imaging, rover panoramic imaging, and orbital synthetic aperature imaging (SAR) are under discussion, but data from this mission may not be available for target areas of interest for the U.S. Mars Rover Sample Return (MRSR) mission. In an effort to determine how to directly measure the topography of surface obstacles that could affect rover trafficability on Mars, we are studying how to design a laser altimeter with extremely high spatial and vertical resolution that would be suitable for a future Mars Orbiter spacecraft (MRSR precursor or MRSR orbiter). This report discusses some of the design issues associated with such an instrument, gives examples of laser altimeter data collected for Mars analog terrains on Earth, and outlines the scientific potential of data that could be obtained with the system.

  11. Northern Hemisphere Slopes from Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aharonson, O.; Zuber, M. T.

    1998-12-01

    Slopes, slope distributions, and macroscale surface roughness in the northern hemisphere of Mars have been measured from topographic profiles collected by the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) in the capture orbit, aerobraking hiatus and Science Phasing Orbit phases of the Mars Global Surveyor mission. The distribution function of slopes indicates that portions of the Martian surface fall into statistically distinct categories, distinguished by the histograms of both point-to-point slopes and of longer wavelength (10 and 100 km) slopes. Roughness correlates with elevation such that low regions tend to exhibit low roughness. Areas such as southern hemisphere highlands, dichotomy boundary terrains, and northern hemisphere lowlands all posses unique slope distribution signatures. The slope distribution within the Amazonis Planitia region, particularly member 3 of the Arcadia formation, displays an unusually smooth character. This region of anomalously low thermal inertia and low radar backscatter cross-section exhibits an rms variation in topography of <2 m over a 100-km baseline. Previous interpretations have suggested that this area is composed of accumulation of fine dust. Statistical comparison with other planetary surfaces of varying origin indicates that Amazonis most closely resembles in its smoothness the heavily sedimented surfaces on the Earth, i.e. oceanic abyssal plains and basins characterized by fluvial deposition. The smoothest measured volcanic surfaces as measured by altimetry on the Moon, Venus, and Mars are all significantly rougher than Amazonis. Saharan sand sheets are rougher by a factor of about three. Other regions in the Martian northern hemisphere that exhibit clear evidence of aeolian deposition are rougher than Amazonis as well.

  12. ALR - Laser altimeter for the ASTER deep space mission. Simulated operation above a surface with crater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Brum, A. G. V.; da Cruz, F. C.; Hetem, A., Jr.

    2015-10-01

    To assist in the investigation of the triple asteroid system 2001-SN263, the deep space mission ASTER will carry onboard a laser altimeter. The instrument was named ALR and its development is now in progress. In order to help in the instrument design, with a view to the creation of software to control the instrument, a package of computer programs was produced to simulate the operation of a pulsed laser altimeter with operating principle based on the measurement of the time of flight of the travelling pulse. This software Simulator was called ALR_Sim, and the results obtained with its use represent what should be expected as return signal when laser pulses are fired toward a target, reflect on it and return to be detected by the instrument. The program was successfully tested with regard to some of the most common situations expected. It constitutes now the main workbench dedicated to the creation and testing of control software to embark in the ALR. In addition, the Simulator constitutes also an important tool to assist the creation of software to be used on Earth, in the processing and analysis of the data received from the instrument. This work presents the results obtained in the special case which involves the modeling of a surface with crater, along with the simulation of the instrument operation above this type of terrain. This study points out that the comparison of the wave form obtained as return signal after reflection of the laser pulse on the surface of the crater with the expected return signal in the case of a flat and homogeneous surface is a useful method that can be applied for terrain details extraction.

  13. Comparison of Retracking Algorithms Using Airborne Radar and Laser Altimeter Measurements of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ferraro, Ellen J.; Swift, Calvin T.

    1995-01-01

    This paper compares four continental ice sheet radar altimeter retracking algorithms using airborne radar and laser altimeter data taken over the Greenland ice sheet in 1991. The refurbished Advanced Application Flight Experiment (AAFE) airborne radar altimeter has a large range window and stores the entire return waveform during flight. Once the return waveforms are retracked, or post-processed to obtain the most accurate altitude measurement possible, they are compared with the high-precision Airborne Oceanographic Lidar (AOL) altimeter measurements. The AAFE waveforms show evidence of varying degrees of both surface and volume scattering from different regions of the Greenland ice sheet. The AOL laser altimeter, however, obtains a return only from the surface of the ice sheet. Retracking altimeter waveforms with a surface scattering model results in a good correlation with the laser measurements in the wet and dry-snow zones, but in the percolation region of the ice sheet, the deviation between the two data sets is large due to the effects of subsurface and volume scattering. The Martin et al model results in a lower bias than the surface scattering model, but still shows an increase in the noise level in the percolation zone. Using an Offset Center of Gravity algorithm to retrack altimeter waveforms results in measurements that are only slightly affected by subsurface and volume scattering and, despite a higher bias, this algorithm works well in all regions of the ice sheet. A cubic spline provides retracked altitudes that agree with AOL measurements over all regions of Greenland. This method is not sensitive to changes in the scattering mechanisms of the ice sheet and it has the lowest noise level and bias of all the retracking methods presented.

  14. Modeling Surface Structure Derived from Laser Altimeter Return Waveforms Using High-Resolution Elevation Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blair, J. Bryan; Hofton, M. A.

    1999-01-01

    The upcoming generation of operational spaceborne laser altimeters (i.e VCL and GLAS) record the interaction of emitted laser radiation with terrestrial surfaces in the form of a digitized waveform. We show that we can accurately model return laser altimeter waveforms as the sum of the reflections from individual surfaces within laser footprints. In one case, we predict return waveforms using high resolution elevation data generated by a small-footprint laser altimeter in a dense tropical forest. We compare over 3000 modeled and recorded waveform pairs using the Pearson correlation. The modeled and recorded waveforms are highly correlated, with a mean correlation of 0.90 and a median of 0.95. The mean correlation is highly dependent on the relative positions of the data sets. By shifting the relative locations of the two compared data sets, we infer that the data are colocated to within 0.4$\\sim$m horizontally and 0.12$\\sim$m vertically. The high degree of correlation shows that we can reliably synthesize the vertical structure information measured by medium-large footprint laser altimeters for complex, dense vegetation.

  15. Mercury's rotational state from combined MESSENGER laser altimeter and image data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stark, Alexander; Oberst, Jürgen; Preusker, Frank; Margot, Jean-Luc; Phillips, Roger J.; Neumann, Gregory A.; Smith, David E.; Zuber, Maria T.; Solomon, Sean C.

    2016-04-01

    With orbital data from the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft, we measured the rotational state of Mercury. We developed a novel approach that combined digital terrain models from stereo images (stereo DTMs) and laser altimeter data, and we applied it to 3 years of MESSENGER observations. We find a large libration amplitude, which in combination with the measured obliquity confirms that Mercury possesses a liquid outer core. Our results confirm previous Earth-based observations of Mercury's rotational state. However, we measured a rotation rate that deviates significantly from the mean resonant rotation rate. The larger rotation rate can be interpreted as the signature of a long-period libration cycle. From these findings we derived new constraints on the interior structure of Mercury. The measured rotational parameters define Mercury's body-fixed frame and are critical for the coordinate system of the planet as well as for planning the future BepiColombo spacecraft mission.

  16. MOLA Science Team A Mars' Year of Topographic Mapping with the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, David E.; Zuber, Maria T.

    2001-01-01

    Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) has operated at Mars for a full Mars year and provided a new geodetic and geophysical view of the planet. As the spacecraft enters into the Extended Mission, MOLA will concentrate its observations on the seasonal variability of the icecaps and martian clouds. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  17. Observations of Reflectivity of the Martian Surface in the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) Investigation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ivanov, Anton B.; Muhleman, Duane O.

    2000-01-01

    We are presenting results of calculation of the surface albedo of Mars at 1 micron wavelength from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) reflectivity measurements. The Mars Global Surveyor Thermal Emission Spectrometer (MGS TES) 9 micron opacity is employed to remove opacity from the MOLA measurements.

  18. Future Applications Using Return-Pulse Correlation from Imaging Laser Altimeters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blair, J. Bryan; Hofton, Michelle A.; Rabine, David L.

    2000-01-01

    The Laser Vegetation Imaging Sensor (LVIS) is an airborne, wide-swath, digitization-only laser altimeter capable of collecting full return waveforms (i.e. echoes) from laser footprints ranging in diameter from 1 to 80 m across up to a 1 km wide data swath. The return waveform can be used to enhance the accuracy of laser ranging and to provide information about the vertical structure of vegetation and topography within each laser footprint. Although extremely small laser footprints (< 1 0 cm diameter) generally return simple, impulse responses to their target surface, larger footprints typically exhibit complex returns representing the diverse vertical distributions of surfaces contained in each footprint. Only a handful of airborne and spaceborne laser altimeters record the return echo or return pulse that is reflected from the Earth's surface (i.e. NASA's LVIS, SLA, VCL, and GLAS laser altimeters). Waveforms are currently interpreted to extract a timing or ranging point or points to represent the mean ground elevation or the vertical height of vegetation. But, recent progress using pulse shape correlation techniques shows promise for a variety of science applications involving change detection of surface topography and vegetation as well as potential for improving data processing by correlating images or crossovers to solve systematic biases. We show example correlation images from LVIS and discuss instrument design implications and potential science applications.

  19. LASA (Lidar Atmospheric Sounder and Altimeter) Earth Observing System. Volume 2D: Instrument Panel Report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1987-01-01

    The Earth Observing System (Eos) will provide an ideal forum in which the stronly synergistic characteristics of the lidar systems can be used in concert with the characteristics of a number of other sensors to better understand the Earth as a system. Progress in the development of more efficient and long-lasting laser systems will insure their availability in the Eos time frame. The necessary remote-sensing techniques are being developed to convert the Lidar Atmospheric Sounder and Altimeter (LASA) observations into the proper scientific parameters. Each of these activities reinforces the promise that LASA and GLRS will be a reality in the Eos era.

  20. A digital elevation model of the Greenland ice sheet and validation with airborne laser altimeter data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bamber, Jonathan L.; Ekholm, Simon; Krabill, William B.

    1997-01-01

    A 2.5 km resolution digital elevation model (DEM) of the Greenland ice sheet was produced from the 336 days of the geodetic phase of ERS-1. During this period the altimeter was operating in ice-mode over land surfaces providing improved tracking around the margins of the ice sheet. Combined with the high density of tracks during the geodetic phase, a unique data set was available for deriving a DEM of the whole ice sheet. The errors present in the altimeter data were investigated via a comparison with airborne laser altimeter data obtained for the southern half of Greenland. Comparison with coincident satellite data showed a correlation with surface slope. An explanation for the behavior of the bias as a function of surface slope is given in terms of the pattern of surface roughness on the ice sheet.

  1. The 24 Million Kilometer Optical Link with the Mercury Laser Altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Coyle, Donald B.

    2006-01-01

    A recent experiment has been completed at NASA Goddard Geophysical and Astronomical Observatory (GGAO) where an optical link has been achieved with the Mercury laser altimeter (MLA) instrument about the Messenger spacecraft on its way to Mercury. A pulsed laser source at 1 micron based on Earth has been recorded on MLA. Simultaneously, the spacecrafts altimeter has been properly aimed and laser pulses transmitted to earth where they were detected and recorded at the same facility. This optical link was used to calibrate and verify operation of the MLA instrument and onboard laser, as well as to gain valuable information with the methods and means of very long range optical communication pointing and receiving techniques. An overview of this experiment, the hardware, and data products will be presented.

  2. ICESat Laser Altimeter Pointing, Ranging and Timing Calibration from Integrated Residual Analysis: A Summary of Early Mission Results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lutchke, Scott B.; Rowlands, David D.; Harding, David J.; Bufton, Jack L.; Carabajal, Claudia C.; Williams, Teresa A.

    2003-01-01

    On January 12, 2003 the Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) was successfUlly placed into orbit. The ICESat mission carries the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS), which consists of three near-infrared lasers that operate at 40 short pulses per second. The instrument has collected precise elevation measurements of the ice sheets, sea ice roughness and thickness, ocean and land surface elevations and surface reflectivity. The accurate geolocation of GLAS's surface returns, the spots from which the laser energy reflects on the Earth's surface, is a critical issue in the scientific application of these data Pointing, ranging, timing and orbit errors must be compensated to accurately geolocate the laser altimeter surface returns. Towards this end, the laser range observations can be fully exploited in an integrated residual analysis to accurately calibrate these geolocation/instrument parameters. Early mission ICESat data have been simultaneously processed as direct altimetry from ocean sweeps along with dynamic crossovers resulting in a preliminary calibration of laser pointing, ranging and timing. The calibration methodology and early mission analysis results are summarized in this paper along with future calibration activities

  3. Improvement of Europa's Gravity and Body Tides and Shape with a Laser Altimeter during a Flyby Tour

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mazarico, E.; Genova, A.; Smith, D. E.; Zuber, M. T.

    2014-12-01

    Laser altimeters have been primarily utilized with orbiter spacecraft. Recently, the Mercury Laser Altimeter on MESSENGER successfully operated at Mercury during two flybys and thousands of highly-elliptical orbits, and contributed greatly towards improved understanding of the innermost planet. We show that a laser altimeter instrument on a flyby tour mission such as the planned NASA Europa Clipper can constrain key geophysical parameters when supported by variable-frequency altimetric measurements over repeated ~145°-long arcs across the surface. Previous work by Park et al. (2011, GRL) showed through covariance analysis that a similar trajectory could yield the gravity tidal Love number k2 to good accuracy (0.05). Here, we conduct a full simulation of a 45-flyby trajectory in the Jupiter system with Europa as primary target. We consider reasonable tracking coverage and noise level (dominated by plasma noise), as well as gravity (degree 50) and topography (200m resolution supplemented by realistic fractal noise at shorter wavelengths), informed by relevant existing data (Galileo, Cassini). The simulation is initialized at pessimistic values, with C20, C22, k2, and h2 in error of 90%, 90%, 50%, and 50%, respectively. All other gravity coefficients up to degree 3 have zero a priori values. Assumed altimetric data sampling and noise are derived from the tour trajectory and the instrument performance described by Smith et al. (this meeting). This variable-frequency laser altimeter can greatly improve the surface coverage (for shape recovery) and the number of altimetric crossovers, the best measurement type to constrain the tidal surface deformation. We find from our simulation that the addition of altimetry data significantly improves the determination of the gravity tidal Love number k2 and enables the recovery of the body tidal Love number h2. Low-degree gravity and topography are most important to constrain the interior structure of Europa. Scientific objectives

  4. The Slope Imaging Multi-polarization Photon-counting Lidar: an Advanced Technology Airborne Laser Altimeter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dabney, P.; Harding, D. J.; Huss, T.; Valett, S.; Yu, A. W.; Zheng, Y.

    2009-12-01

    The Slope Imaging Multi-polarization Photon-counting Lidar (SIMPL) is an airborne laser altimeter developed through the NASA Earth Science Technology Office Instrument Incubator Program with a focus on cryopshere remote sensing. The SIMPL instrument incorporates a variety of advanced technologies in order to demonstrate measurement approaches of potential benefit for improved airborne laser swath mapping and spaceflight laser altimeter missions. SIMPL incorporates beam splitting, single-photon ranging and polarimetry technologies at green and near-infrared wavelengths in order to achieve simultaneous sampling of surface elevation, slope, roughness and scattering properties, the latter used to differentiate surface types. The transmitter is a 1 nsec pulse width, 11 kHz, 1064 nm microchip laser, frequency doubled to 532 nm and split into four plane-polarized beams using birefringent calcite crystal in order to maintain co-alignment of the two colors. The 16 channel receiver splits the received energy for each beam into the two colors and each color is split into energy parallel and perpendicular to the transmit polarization plane thereby proving a measure of backscatter depolarization. The depolarization ratio is sensitive to the proportions of specular reflection and surface and volume scattering, and is a function of wavelength. The ratio can differentiate, for example, water, young translucent ice, older granular ice and snow. The solar background count rate is controlled by spatial filtering using a pinhole array and by spectral filtering using temperature-controlled narrow bandwidth filters. The receiver is fiber coupled to 16 Single Photon Counting Modules (SPCMs). To avoid range biases due to the long dead time of these detectors the probability of detection per laser fire on each channel is controlled to be below 30%, using mechanical irises and flight altitude. Event timers with 0.1 nsec resolution in combination the narrow transmit pulse yields single

  5. Theoretical and experimental analysis of laser altimeters for barometric measurements over the ocean

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tsai, B. M.; Gardner, C. S.

    1984-01-01

    The statistical characteristics and the waveforms of ocean-reflected laser pulses are studied. The received signal is found to be corrupted by shot noise and time-resolved speckle. The statistics of time-resolved speckle and its effects on the timing accuracy of the receiver are studied in the general context of laser altimetry. For estimating the differential propagation time, various receiver timing algorithms are proposed and their performances evaluated. The results indicate that, with the parameters of a realistic altimeter, a pressure measurement accuracy of a few millibars is feasible. The data obtained from the first airborne two-color laser altimeter experiment are processed and analyzed. The results are used to verify the pressure measurement concept.

  6. Efficient Swath mapping Laser Altimeter Instrument Incubator Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, A. W.; Harding, D. J.; Krainak, M.; Abshire, J. B.; Sun, X.; Cavanaugh, J. F.; Valett, S. R.; Ramos-Izquierdo, L.; Instrument Development Team Of Swath Mapping Iip

    2010-12-01

    In this paper we will discuss our progress in a three-year Instrument Incubator Program (IIP) funded by NASA Earth Science Technology Office (ESTO) on swath mapping laser altimetry system. The IIP began in 2009 and we are at the end of the second year. This paper will discuss the system approach, instrument development and enabling technologies for swath mapping laser altimetry. The IIP instrument development is to realize the mission goals and objectives of the Lidar Surface Topography (LIST) mission to simultaneous measure 5-m spatial resolution topography and vegetation vertical structure with decimeter vertical precision in an elevation-imaging swath several km wide from a 400 km altitude Earth orbit. To achieve the IIP goals, we are using a single laser to generate sixteen beams for mapping purpose. Backscatter from the surface is collected with a telescope and the spots from the swath are imaged onto a sensitive detector array. The output from each detector element is histogrammed and analyzed to determine ranges to the surface and derive echo waveforms that characterize the vertical structure of the surface. Multi-threshold signal processing technique allows for through-foliage interrogation in order to observe ground surface beneath vegetation cover and vegetation vertical structure. The approach is flexible and scalable in swath width, pixel width, laser power and telescope size. This work has considerable similarities and challenges as those faced by 3-D imaging laser radar (ladar) systems. In the 3rd year of this IIP, we plan to perform airborne demonstrations of the swath-mapping concept. We will leverage our recent experience on a micropulse lidar airplane demonstration, which was previously demonstrated on an ESTO funded IIP with a 1 µJ per beam, a 10 KHz laser, and a single-photon-threshold detector (Geiger-mode APD) based receiver. Our new lidar using micropulse photon-counting approach will demonstrate a laser with 100 µJ per beam, a 10 kHz pulse

  7. 14 CFR 91.411 - Altimeter system and altitude reporting equipment tests and inspections.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 2 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Altimeter system and altitude reporting... reporting equipment tests and inspections. (a) No person may operate an airplane, or helicopter, in... system, each altimeter instrument, and each automatic pressure altitude reporting system has been...

  8. 14 CFR 91.411 - Altimeter system and altitude reporting equipment tests and inspections.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 2 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Altimeter system and altitude reporting... reporting equipment tests and inspections. (a) No person may operate an airplane, or helicopter, in... system, each altimeter instrument, and each automatic pressure altitude reporting system has been...

  9. Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter Radiometry: Phase Functions and the Optical Depth of Nocturnal Water Ice Clouds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neumann, G. A.; Barker, M. K.; Sun, X.

    2014-12-01

    Over the course of more than 3 Mars years the MOLA instrument on board Mars Global Surveyor (from 1999 to the loss of MGS in Nov. 2006) obtained passive reflectance measurements of Mars at 1064 nm wavelength from the solar background. As an altimeter, the quantity of light removed from a laser beam by scattering or absorption during the roundtrip to the surface may be calculated knowing the energy returned, the surface geometric albedo and the instrument parameters for each laser shot. These opacity measurements indicate the combined effects of dust and condensates, particularly those seen during during the night. The measure of opacity, to optical depths exceeding unity, correlates well with daytime measurements by the Hubble Space Telescope and with the broadband Thermal Emission Spectrometer. Applying a simple phase function to passive radiometric observations obtained at emission angles varying from 0 to 80 degrees, upper and lower limits are obtained for atmospheric opacity as a function of season and time of day. The implications for the effects of nocturnal water ice clouds on radiative transfer, and for future applications to the detection of icy plumes from moons of the outer solar system will be discussed.

  10. 14 CFR 29.1325 - Static pressure and pressure altimeter systems.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... between air pressure in the static pressure system and true ambient atmospheric static pressure is not... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Static pressure and pressure altimeter...: Installation § 29.1325 Static pressure and pressure altimeter systems. (a) Each instrument with static air...

  11. 14 CFR 29.1325 - Static pressure and pressure altimeter systems.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... between air pressure in the static pressure system and true ambient atmospheric static pressure is not... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Static pressure and pressure altimeter...: Installation § 29.1325 Static pressure and pressure altimeter systems. (a) Each instrument with static air...

  12. 14 CFR 29.1325 - Static pressure and pressure altimeter systems.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... between air pressure in the static pressure system and true ambient atmospheric static pressure is not... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Static pressure and pressure altimeter...: Installation § 29.1325 Static pressure and pressure altimeter systems. (a) Each instrument with static air...

  13. 14 CFR 29.1325 - Static pressure and pressure altimeter systems.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... between air pressure in the static pressure system and true ambient atmospheric static pressure is not... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Static pressure and pressure altimeter...: Installation § 29.1325 Static pressure and pressure altimeter systems. (a) Each instrument with static air...

  14. 14 CFR 29.1325 - Static pressure and pressure altimeter systems.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... between air pressure in the static pressure system and true ambient atmospheric static pressure is not... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Static pressure and pressure altimeter...: Installation § 29.1325 Static pressure and pressure altimeter systems. (a) Each instrument with static air...

  15. Utility of laser altimeter and stereoscopic terrain models: Application to Martian craters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robbins, Stuart J.; Hynek, Brian M.

    2013-09-01

    The use of numerical datasets of the same type derived from remote sensing instruments is often treated as equivalent in value and utility, within the limits of their spatial resolution. Surface topography is a good example of this. We used gridded digital terrain models (DTMs) derived from both laser altimetry and stereo pairs as well as the original laser data points to quantify the topography of impact craters, which have well-studied morphometry. The primary purpose was to test the accuracy of laser data given an image-based DTM with approximately a factor of 10 better spatial resolution; we used the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter and High-Resolution Stereo Camera datasets for this work. We found that the ability to derive accurate topographic information in laser altimetry diminished well before the ability to visually resolve the feature in the dataset, but we also found that laser point and gridded data-based results were in good agreement down to their resolution limits. Relative to the image-based DTM, pixel-for-pixel, the laser data were more useful in their ability to visibly resolve the impact craters. This work has implications for remote sensing in general, but specifically the application to limited sources of data for planetary surface topography, such as Mercury where the northern hemisphere topography is being measured with a laser altimeter but the southern hemisphere topography is based only on stereo pairs.

  16. Recent Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) Results and Implications for Site Selection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Head, J. W., III

    1999-06-01

    Analysis of data from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) has revealed important information about geological and geophysical processes on Mars that have a bearing on the scientific goals and objectives of future Mars orbiter and lander missions. Here we 1) summarize some preliminary scientific findings relevant to the goals and objectives of future Mars exploration that are also important for landing site selection and surface operations, and 2) show how MOLA data can be used in landing site analyses and engineering studies.

  17. Latest Results from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, David E.; Zuber, Maria T.; Solomon, Sean C.; Phillips, Roger J.; Head, James W.; Gavin, James B.; Frey, Herbert V.; Muhleman, Duane O.; Pettengill, Gordon H.; Zwally, H. Jay

    2000-01-01

    The first MOLA data were acquired in Sept. 1997 shortly after the arrival of Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) at Mars and before the start of aerobraking. Subsequently, data were obtained during several months in the spring and summer of 1998. All these data were obtained over the northern hemisphere. At the beginning of March 1999 the mapping phase of the MGS mission began in the designed 400 km near circular, near polar orbit and MOLA began collecting continuous global data. By the end of 1999 MOLA had acquired over 250 million altimeter measurements of the radius of the planet at accuracies of the order of a few meters radially and about 100 meters horizontally. These observations revealed the detailed structure of the Martian surface, the form of the polar caps, as well as the shape of the planet. The early results provided a unique view of the north polar cap and subsequently of the south polar cap from which an estimate of the total volume of present-day surface water ice of 3.2 to 4.7 million cubic km was obtained. To obtain full coverage of the polar caps it was necessary for MOLA to be pointed off nadir approximately 20 degrees and on several occasions MGS has performed a roll maneuver to make these observations. It is hoped that these off-nadir observations of the central region of the cap (MGS only reaches to latitudes plus or minus 86.5) will assist in the detection of the seasonal deposition of CO2 since it is believed that these high latitudes regions may be the accumulation zone.

  18. A Long Distance Laser Altimeter for Terrain Relative Navigation and Spacecraft Landing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pierrottet, Diego F.; Amzajerdian, Farzin; Barnes, Bruce W.

    2014-01-01

    A high precision laser altimeter was developed under the Autonomous Landing and Hazard Avoidance (ALHAT) project at NASA Langley Research Center. The laser altimeter provides slant-path range measurements from operational ranges exceeding 30 km that will be used to support surface-relative state estimation and navigation during planetary descent and precision landing. The altimeter uses an advanced time-of-arrival receiver, which produces multiple signal-return range measurements from tens of kilometers with 5 cm precision. The transmitter is eye-safe, simplifying operations and testing on earth. The prototype is fully autonomous, and able to withstand the thermal and mechanical stresses experienced during test flights conducted aboard helicopters, fixed-wing aircraft, and Morpheus, a terrestrial rocket-powered vehicle developed by NASA Johnson Space Center. This paper provides an overview of the sensor and presents results obtained during recent field experiments including a helicopter flight test conducted in December 2012 and Morpheus flight tests conducted during March of 2014.

  19. Estimation of Ganymede's Topography, Rotation and Tidal Deformation - a Study of Synthetic Ganymede Laser Altimeter Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steinke, T.; Stark, A.; Steinbrügge, G.; Hussmann, H.; Oberst, J.

    2015-10-01

    We implement an iterative least-squares inversion routine to study the estimation of several dynamic Ganymede rotation parameters by laser altimetry. Based on spherical harmonic expansions of the global topography we use simulated Ganymede Laser Al-timeter observations representing the synthetic topography of the satellite. Besides the static topography we determine the dynamical parameters, such as the rotation rate, the amplitudes of physical librations, the spin pole orientation, and the tidal deformation. This parameters may strengthen implications for a liquid ocean beneath Ganymede's icy shell and, in addition, constrain geodetic frame parameters essential for various space-borne experiments.

  20. Improve the ZY-3 Height Accuracy Using Icesat/glas Laser Altimeter Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Guoyuan; Tang, Xinming; Gao, Xiaoming; Zhang, Chongyang; Li, Tao

    2016-06-01

    ZY-3 is the first civilian high resolution stereo mapping satellite, which has been launched on 9th, Jan, 2012. The aim of ZY-3 satellite is to obtain high resolution stereo images and support the 1:50000 scale national surveying and mapping. Although ZY-3 has very high accuracy for direct geo-locations without GCPs (Ground Control Points), use of some GCPs is still indispensible for high precise stereo mapping. The GLAS (Geo-science Laser Altimetry System) loaded on the ICESat (Ice Cloud and land Elevation Satellite), which is the first laser altimetry satellite for earth observation. GLAS has played an important role in the monitoring of polar ice sheets, the measuring of land topography and vegetation canopy heights after launched in 2003. Although GLAS has ended in 2009, the derived elevation dataset still can be used after selection by some criteria. In this paper, the ICESat/GLAS laser altimeter data is used as height reference data to improve the ZY-3 height accuracy. A selection method is proposed to obtain high precision GLAS elevation data. Two strategies to improve the ZY-3 height accuracy are introduced. One is the conventional bundle adjustment based on RFM and bias-compensated model, in which the GLAS footprint data is viewed as height control. The second is to correct the DSM (Digital Surface Model) straightly by simple block adjustment, and the DSM is derived from the ZY-3 stereo imaging after freedom adjustment and dense image matching. The experimental result demonstrates that the height accuracy of ZY-3 without other GCPs can be improved to 3.0 meter after adding GLAS elevation data. What's more, the comparison of the accuracy and efficiency between the two strategies is implemented for application.

  1. Measuring tidal deformations by laser altimetry. A performance model for the Ganymede Laser Altimeter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steinbrügge, G.; Stark, A.; Hussmann, H.; Sohl, F.; Oberst, J.

    2015-11-01

    Invaluable information about the interior of icy satellites orbiting close to the giant planets can be gained by monitoring the response of the satellite's surfaces to external tidal forces. Due to its geodetic accuracy, laser altimetry is the method of choice to measure time-dependent radial surface displacements from orbit. We present an instrument performance model with special focus on the capabilities to determine the corresponding tidal Love number h2 and apply the model to the Ganymede Laser Altimeter (GALA) on board of the Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE). Based on the instrument and spacecraft performance, we derive the range error and the measurement capabilities of the GALA instrument to determine the amplitude of the tide induced radial displacement of Ganymede's surface using the cross-over technique. We find that h2 of Ganymede can be determined with an accuracy of better than 2% by using data acquired during the nominal mission. Furthermore, we show that this accuracy is sufficient to confirm the presence of a putative subsurface water ocean and, additionally, to constrain the thickness of the overlaying ice shell to ± 20km.

  2. An Experiment to Detect Lunar Horizon Glow with the Lunar Orbit Laser Altimeter Laser Ranging Telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, David E.; Zuber, Maria T.; Barker, Michael; Mazarico, Erwan; Neumann, Gregory A.; McClanahan, Timothy P.; Sun, Xiaoli

    2016-04-01

    Lunar horizon glow (LHG) was an observation by the Apollo astronauts of a brightening of the horizon around the time of sunrise. The effect has yet to be fully explained or confirmed by instruments on lunar orbiting spacecraft despite several attempts. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft carries the laser altimeter (LOLA) instrument which has a 2.5 cm aperture telescope for Earth-based laser ranging (LR) mounted and bore-sighted with the high gain antenna (HGA). The LR telescope is connected to LOLA by a fiber-glass cable to one of its 5 detectors. For the LGH experiments the LR telescope is pointed toward the horizon shortly before lunar sunrise with the intent of observing any forward scattering of sunlight due to the presence of dust or particles in the field of view. Initially, the LR telescope is pointed at the dark lunar surface, which provides a measure of the dark count, and moves toward the lunar limb so as to measure the brightness of the sky just above the lunar limb immediately prior to lunar sunrise. At no time does the sun shine directly into the LR telescope, although the LR telescope is pointed as close to the sun as the 1.75-degree field of view permits. Experiments show that the LHG signal seen by the astronauts can be detected with a four-second integration of the noise counts.

  3. In situ timing and pointing verification of the ICESat altimeter using a ground-based system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Magruder, L.; Silverberg, E.; Webb, C.; Schutz, B.

    2005-11-01

    To provide validation of the ICESat laser altimeter time of measurement and geolocation, a ground-based technique was implemented at White Sands Space Harbor (WSSH), during the Laser 2a and 3a operational periods. The activities used an electro-optical detection system and a passive array of corner cube retro reflectors (CCR). The detectors and the CCRs were designed to provide an independent assessment of the laser footprint location, while the detectors also provide timing verification. This ground-based system unambiguously validated the elevation product time tag to 3 μsec +/- 1 μsec. In addition, the ground equipment provided in situ geolocations of the laser pulse. Comparing the in situ results to the ICESat GLA14 data product the positions differ by 10.6 m +/- 4.5 m for Laser 2a (Release 21) operations and 7.5 m +/- 6.6 m for Laser 3a (Release 23). These comparisons correlate to pointing validations at this site, for the specific overflight configurations.

  4. Two-color short-pulse laser altimeter measurements of ocean surface backscatter.

    PubMed

    Abshire, J B; McGarry, J F

    1987-04-01

    The timing and correlation properties of pulsed laser backscatter from the ocean surface have been measured with a two-color short-pulse laser altimeter. The Nd: YAG laser transmitted 70-and 35-ps wide pulses simultaneously at 532 and 355 nm at nadir, and the time-resolved returns were recorded by a receiver with 800-ps response time. The time-resolved backscatter measured at both 330- and 1291-m altitudes showed little pulse broadening due to the submeter laser spot size. The differential delay of the 355- and 532-nm backscattered waveforms were measured with a rms error of ~75 ps. The change in aircraft altitudes also permitted the change in atmospheric pressure to be estimated by using the two-color technique. PMID:20454319

  5. Evaluation of the TOPEX/POSEIDON altimeter system over the Great Lakes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morris, Charles S.; Gill, Stephen K.

    1994-01-01

    The TOPEX/POSEIDON altimeter measurment system is evaluated for the first 46 repeat cycles (September 23, 1992-December 23, 1992) using tracks over the Great Lakes. The temporal variations in lake level are removed from the altimeter measurements using in-situ lake level measurements, thus permitting the performance of the altimeter system to be assessed. For the NASA altimeter, the root-mean-square (RMS) scatter of the residuals is 3.95 cm using all the tracks over the lakes. However, some of the scatter in this result is probably due to lake tides or seiche, which can amount to a few centimeters amplitude near the ends of the lakes. When the seven best tracks are used, which cross the center of the lakes where tides/seiche effects are minimal, the RMS error is included to either 2.9 or 3.0 cm, depending on whether the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES) or NASA orbit is used. This places an upper limit on the error budget of the altimeter system, excluding ocean tides and inverse barometer effect. There are several short-period variations in the residuals. The most pronounced is a 55-day period, with a 1-cm amplitude, which we believe is (at least in part) due to orbit error. When the model-derived wet tropospheric correction is substituted for the TOPEX microwave radiometer correction, the RMS error increases significantly, possibly resulting in an annual cycle of a few centimeters. Evaluation of the ionospheric correction indicates that the dual-frequency correction provides an average improvement of 0.85 cm over the Doppler orbitography and radiopositioning integrated by satellite (DORIS) correction. Although there are insufficient data to directly assess the CNES altimeter, the relative bias between the altimeters is estimated to be either -14.3 or -15.6 cm (NASA altimeter measuring short), depending on whether the DORIS or dual-frequency ionospheric correction is applied to the NASA altimeter.

  6. Evolution of the Mars Northern Ice Cap and Results From the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muhleman, D. O.; Ivanov, A. B.

    1998-01-01

    Martian ice caps play an extremely important role in regulating climate of Mars. It is well known that they are acting as a reservoir for CO2 and maybe for water and dust. However, a reliable quantitative estimate of the balance or amount of volatiles inside the ice caps was never possible, because little data were available for this purpose. Here we will present initial results and analysis of topography data over the northern ice cap obtained by the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) onboard Mars Global Surveyor (MGS). We interpret the observed shape of the ice caps as created by ablation due to sublimation of water ice.

  7. A BP neural network model for sea state recognition using laser altimeter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shi, Chun-bo; Jia, Xiao-dong; Li, Sheng; Wang, Zhen

    2009-07-01

    A BP neural network method for the recognition of sea state in laser altimeter is presented in this paper. Sea wave is the typical stochastic disturbance factor of laser altimeter effecting on low-altitude defense penetration of the intelligent antiship missiles, the recognition of sea state is studied in order to satisfy the practical needs of flying over the ocean. The BP neural network fed with the feature vector of laser range-measurement presents the analysis of features and outputs the estimation result of sea state. The two most distinguishing features are the mean and the variance of the sea echo, which are extracted from the distance characteristics of sea echo using general theory of statistics. The use of a feedforward network trained with the back-propagation algorithm is also investigated. The BP neural network is trained using sample data set to the neural network, and then the BP neural network trained is tested to recognize the sea state waiting for the classification. The network output shows the recognition accuracy of the model can up to 88%, and the results of tests show that the BP neural network model for the recognition of sea state is feasible and effective.

  8. Polarimetric, Two-Color, Photon-Counting Laser Altimeter Measurements of Forest Canopy Structure

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harding, David J.; Dabney, Philip W.; Valett, Susan

    2011-01-01

    Laser altimeter measurements of forest stands with distinct structures and compositions have been acquired at 532 nm (green) and 1064 nm (near-infrared) wavelengths and parallel and perpendicular polarization states using the Slope Imaging Multi-polarization Photon Counting Lidar (SIMPL). The micropulse, single photon ranging measurement approach employed by SIMPL provides canopy structure measurements with high vertical and spatial resolution. Using a height distribution analysis method adapted from conventional, 1064 nm, full-waveform lidar remote sensing, the sensitivity of two parameters commonly used for above-ground biomass estimation are compared as a function of wavelength. The results for the height of median energy (HOME) and canopy cover are for the most part very similar, indicating biomass estimations using lidars operating at green and near-infrared wavelengths will yield comparable estimates. The expected detection of increasing depolarization with depth into the canopies due to volume multiple-scattering was not observed, possibly due to the small laser footprint and the small detector field of view used in the SIMPL instrument. The results of this work provide pathfinder information for NASA's ICESat-2 mission that will employ a 532 nm, micropulse, photon counting laser altimeter.

  9. NOSS altimeter algorithm specifications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hancock, D. W.; Forsythe, R. G.; Mcmillan, J. D.

    1982-01-01

    A description of all algorithms required for altimeter processing is given. Each description includes title, description, inputs/outputs, general algebraic sequences and data volume. All required input/output data files are described and the computer resources required for the entire altimeter processing system were estimated. The majority of the data processing requirements for any radar altimeter of the Seasat-1 type are scoped. Additions and deletions could be made for the specific altimeter products required by other projects.

  10. Laser network survey and orbit recovery. [altimeter evaluation in GEOS-C project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Berbert, J. H.

    1974-01-01

    Simulations were performed for the anticipated GEOS-C laser network stations at Goddard, Bermuda, and Florida to predict how well survey and orbit will be recovered. Lasers were added one at a time at Grand Turk, Antigua, and Panama to estimate the contribution from these additional sites. Time tag biases of 50 microseconds, survey uncertainties of 10 meters in each coordinate, laser range biases and noise estimates of 20 cm each, and conventional gravity uncertainties were included in the simulations. The results indicate that survey can be recovered to about 1 meter and Grand Turk can be recovered better than Antigua or Panama. Reducing the probably pessimistic assumed time tag biases and gravity field uncertainties improves the results. Using these survey recovery estimates, the short arc GEOS-C satellite heights for altimeter intercomparison orbits can be recovered within the calibration area to better than the required two meters.

  11. The geoscience laser altimeter system (GLAS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abshire, James B.; Smith, James C.; Schutz, Bob E.

    1998-01-01

    GLAS is a space-based lidar designed for NASA's Earth Science Enterprise's Icesat Mission. It is being designed to precisely measure the heights of the polar ice sheets, to determine the height profiles of the Earth's land topography, and to profile the vertical structure of clouds and aerosols on a global scale. GLAS will fly on a small dedicated spacecraft in a polar orbit at 598 km altitude with an inclination of 94 degrees. The instrument is being developed to launch in July 2001 and to operate continuously at 40 Hz for a minimum of 3 years with a goal of 5 years.

  12. Performance of the NEAR laser altimeter at the asteroid 433 Eros after five years in space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cole, Timothy D.; Maurer, Richard H.; Kinnison, James D.

    2002-01-01

    After a 5-year mission, the Near-Earth Asteroid Rendezvous-Shoemaker (NEAR) spacecraft made a controlled landing 12 February 2001 onto the asteroid, 433 Eros. Onboard the spacecraft, the NEAR Laser Rangefinder (NLR), a laser altimeter, gathered over 11 million measurements throughout 2000 and 2001, providing a spatially dense, high-resolution, topographical map of Eros. This instrument, launched in February 1996, was subjected to a constant, albeit, low radiation background predicted during the mission design phase to be 3 krad, cumulative, from solar protons at a shield depth of 1.8 mm aluminum. Using the onboard NLR calibration capability, and through extended observation of NLR measurement performance, the instrument exceeded requirements for this particular radiation environment. Electronic parts for the altimeter had been reviewed, assessed and screened, as necessary, for space quality and radiation hardness during its development. The NEAR mission included an excursion beyond Mars' orbit during its 4-year transit, followed by a one-year mission orbiting the near-Earth asteroid, 433 Eros, continuously collecting altimetry data. The majority of the data collection occurred during solar maximum and, in particular, operated without interruption through the events on Bastille Day, 14 July 2000 (comparable to the large October 1989 events of the previous solar maximum) and 10 November 2000. At Earth, the July 2000 proton level provided in a few days over half of the expected cumulative radiation, predicted through use of Feynman's model. Based on uneventful operation of the NEAR, including the absence of any degradation in solar array currents due to proton displacement damage and the nominal performance of the altimeter, it appears that the 14 July event did not intersect the NEAR location. The NLR-derived topographic data successfully enabled determination of Eros' shape, mass, and density contributing to the understanding the internal structure and collisional

  13. SIMPL Laser Altimeter Measurements of Lake Erie Ice Cover: a Pathfinder for ICESat-2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harding, D. J.; Dabney, P.; Valett, S. R.; Kelly, A.

    2010-12-01

    NASA’s ICESat-2 missions, scheduled for launch in 2015, will make measurements of ice sheet elevation change, sea ice thickness change and vegetation height using a micro-pulse, multi-beam laser altimeter employing single photon ranging at 532 nm (green). Lake Erie ice and snow cover data acquired in February 2009 by the Slope Imaging Multi-polarization Photon-counting Lidar (SIMPL) provides pathfinder information enabling improved understanding of this next-generation altimeter measurement approach. SIMPL is an airborne, multi-beam laser altimeter developed through the NASA Earth Science Technology Office Instrument Incubator Program with a focus on cryopshere remote sensing. SIMPL operates at 532 nm and 1064 nm using a micropulse laser, achieving a ranging precision of 8 cm per single photon, and acquires reflected energy parallel and perpendicular to the transmit pulse polarization plane. Approximately 30,000 single photon returns per second are acquired from snow and ice at the nominal flight altitude of 8,000 ft. The resulting two-color information on surface and volume scattering properties enables differentiation of open water and ice types with varying optical properties. For open water, SIMPL data documents laser pulse penetration at 532 nm in the water column, relative to the surface defined by the 1064 nm data. And increasing amount of perpendicularly polarized light with depth relative to the parallel polarization, indicating an increasing fraction of multiply scattered photons, provides a measure of water column optical depth. The observed ice cover types (skim, nias, new grey ice, new grey-white ice) represent the early stages of sea ice formation. Differences in surface roughness and transparency of the ice types are indicated by the 532 nm and 1064 nm perpendicular/parallel depolarization ratio measures of the degree of multiple scattering. The understanding of laser pulse interactions with water, ice and snow using this first-of-its-kind data set

  14. High accuracy alignment facility for the receiver and transmitter of the BepiColombo Laser Altimeter.

    PubMed

    Chakraborty, Sumita; Affolter, Michael; Gunderson, Kurt; Neubert, Jakob; Thomas, Nicolas; Beck, Thomas; Gerber, Michael; Graf, Stefan; Piazza, Daniele; Pommerol, Antoine; Roethlisberger, Guillaume; Seiferlin, Karsten

    2012-07-10

    The accurate co-alignment of the transmitter to the receiver of the BepiColombo Laser Altimeter is a challenging task for which an original alignment concept had to be developed. We present here the design, construction and testing of a large collimator facility built to fulfill the tight alignment requirements. We describe in detail the solution found to attenuate the high energy of the instrument laser transmitter by an original beam splitting pentaprism group. We list the different steps of the calibration of the alignment facility and estimate the errors made at each of these steps. We finally prove that the current facility is ready for the alignment of the flight instrument. Its angular accuracy is 23 μrad. PMID:22781273

  15. NASA's Operation Icebridge: Using Instrumented Aircraft to Bridge the Observational Gap Between Icesat and Icesat-2 Laser Altimeter Measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Studinger, M.

    2014-12-01

    NASA's Operation IceBridge images Earth's polar ice in unprecedented detail to better understand processes that connect the polar regions with the global climate system. Operation IceBridge utilizes a highly specialized fleet of research aircraft and the most sophisticated suite of innovative science instruments ever assembled to characterize annual changes in thickness of sea ice, glaciers, and ice sheets. In addition, Operation IceBridge collects critical data used to predict the response of Earth's polar ice to climate change and resulting sea-level rise. IceBridge also helps bridge the gap in polar observations between NASA's ICESat satellite missions. Combined with previous aircraft observations, as well as ICESat, CryoSat-2 and the forthcoming ICESat-2 observations, Operation IceBridge will produce a cross-calibrated 17-year time series of ice sheet and sea-ice elevation data over Antarctica, as well as a 27-year time series over Greenland. These time series will be a critical resource for predictive models of sea ice and ice sheet behavior. In addition to laser altimetry, Operation IceBridge is using a comprehensive suite of instruments to produce a three-dimensional view of the Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets, ice shelves and the sea ice. The suite includes two NASA laser altimeters, the Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) and the Land, Vegetation and Ice Sensor (LVIS); four radar systems from the University of Kansas' Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS), a Ku-band radar altimeter, accumulation radar, snow radar and the Multichannel Coherent Radar Depth Sounder (MCoRDS); a Sander Geophysics airborne gravimeter (AIRGrav), a magnetometer and a high-resolution stereographic camera (DMS). Since its start in 2009, Operation IceBridge has deployed 8 geophysical survey aircraft and 19 science instruments. All IceBridge data is freely available from NSIDC (http://nsidc.org/data/icebridge) 6 months after completion of a campaign.

  16. The Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document for the Atmospheric Delay Correction to GLAS Laser Altimeter Ranges. Volume 8

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Herring, Thomas A.; Quinn, Katherine J.

    2012-01-01

    NASA s Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) mission will be launched late 2001. It s primary instrument is the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) instrument. The main purpose of this instrument is to measure elevation changes of the Greenland and Antarctic icesheets. To accurately measure the ranges it is necessary to correct for the atmospheric delay of the laser pulses. The atmospheric delay depends on the integral of the refractive index along the path that the laser pulse travels through the atmosphere. The refractive index of air at optical wavelengths is a function of density and molecular composition. For ray paths near zenith and closed form equations for the refractivity, the atmospheric delay can be shown to be directly related to surface pressure and total column precipitable water vapor. For ray paths off zenith a mapping function relates the delay to the zenith delay. The closed form equations for refractivity recommended by the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG) are optimized for ground based geodesy techniques and in the next section we will consider whether these equations are suitable for satellite laser altimetry.

  17. Estimates of the moon's geometry using lunar orbiter imagery and Apollo laser altimeter data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, R. L.

    1973-01-01

    Selenographic coordinates for about 6000 lunar points identified on the Lunar Orbiter photographs are tabulated and have been combined with those lunar radii derived from the Apollo 15 laser altimeter data. These coordinates were used to derive that triaxial ellipsoid which best fits the moon's irregular surface. Fits were obtaind for different constraints on both the axial orientations and the displacement of the center of the ellipsoid. The semiaxes for the unconstrained ellipsoid were a = 1737.6 km, b = 1735.6 km, and c = 1735.0 km which correspond to a mean radius of about 1736.1 km. These axes were found to be nearly parallel to the moon's principal axes of inertia, and the origin was displaced about 2.0 km from the moon's center of gravity in a direction away from the earth and to the south of the lunar equator.

  18. Topography of the northern hemisphere of Mars from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, D. E.; Zuber, M. T.; Frey, H. V.; Garvin, J. B.; Head, J. W.; Muhleman, D. O.; Pettengill, G. H.; Phillips, R. J.; Solomon, S. C.; Zwally, H. J.; Banerdt, W. B.; Duxbury, T. C.

    1998-01-01

    The first 18 tracks of laser altimeter data across the northern hemisphere of Mars from the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft show that the planet at latitudes north of 50 degrees is exceptionally flat; slopes and surface roughness increase toward the equator. The polar layered terrain appears to be a thick ice-rich formation with a non-equilibrium planform indicative of ablation near the periphery. Slope relations suggest that the northern Tharsis province was uplifted in the past. A profile across Ares Vallis channel suggests that the discharge through the channel was much greater than previously estimated. The martian atmosphere shows significant 1-micrometer atmospheric opacities, particularly in low-lying areas such as Valles Marineris.

  19. A Mars' Year of Topographic Mapping With The Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, David E.; Zuber, Maria T.

    2001-01-01

    Since the end of February 1999 the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) has been mapping the planet continuously except for a 2 month period around solar conjunction in June 2000. At the end of January 2001 the Mars Global Surveyor Spacecraft (MGS) had completed its prime Mission, one Mars year of observing the planet, and begun the Extended Mission of slightly more than 14 months. MOLA will had acquired over 530 million altimetric measurements by early 2001, and continued to work perfectly. During the Extended Mission the main objective for MOLA will be observations of the seasonal variations in the locations and altitudes of clouds, the changes in the elevations of the polar icecaps due to the deposition and sublimation Of CO2, as well as supporting NASA's search for suitable future landing sites.

  20. Topography of the northern hemisphere of Mars from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter.

    PubMed

    Smith, D E; Zuber, M T; Frey, H V; Garvin, J B; Head, J W; Muhleman, D O; Pettengill, G H; Phillips, R J; Solomon, S C; Zwally, H J; Banerdt, W B; Duxbury, T C

    1998-03-13

    The first 18 tracks of laser altimeter data across the northern hemisphere of Mars from the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft show that the planet at latitudes north of 50 degrees is exceptionally flat; slopes and surface roughness increase toward the equator. The polar layered terrain appears to be a thick ice-rich formation with a non-equilibrium planform indicative of ablation near the periphery. Slope relations suggest that the northern Tharsis province was uplifted in the past. A profile across Ares Vallis channel suggests that the discharge through the channel was much greater than previously estimated. The martian atmosphere shows significant 1-micrometer atmospheric opacities, particularly in low-lying areas such as Valles Marineris. PMID:9497281

  1. Brightening and Volatile Distribution Within Shackleton Crater Observed by the LRO Laser Altimeter.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, D. E.; Zuber, M. T.; Head, J. W.; Neumann, G. A.; Mazarico, E.; Torrence, M. H.; Aharonson, O.; Tye, A. R.; Fassett, C. I.; Rosengurg, M. A.; Melosh, H. J.

    2012-01-01

    Shackleton crater, whose interior lies largely in permanent shadow, is of interest due to its potential to sequester volatiles. Observations from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter onboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter have enabled an unprecedented topographic characterization, revealing Shackleton to be an ancient, unusually well-preserved simple crater whose interior walls are fresher than its floor and rim. Shackleton floor deposits are nearly the same age as the rim, suggesting little floor deposition since crater formation over 3 billion years ago. At 1064 nm the floor of Shackleton is brighter than the surrounding terrain and the interiors of nearby craters, but not as bright as the interior walls. The combined observations are explainable primarily by downslope movement of regolith on the walls exposing fresher underlying material. The relatively brighter crater floor is most simply explained by decreased space weathering due to shadowing, but a 1-mm-thick layer containing approx 20% surficial ice is an alternative possibility.

  2. MGS Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) - Mars/Earth Relief Comparison

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    Comparison of the cross-sectional relief of the deepest portion of the Grand Canyon (Arizona) on Earth versus a Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) view of a common type of chasm on Mars in the western Elysium region. The MOLA profile was collected during the Mars Global Surveyor Capture Orbit Calibration Pass on September 15, 1997. The Grand Canyon topography is shown as a trace with a measurement every 295 feet (90 meters) along track, while that from MOLA reflects measurements about every 970 feet (400 meters) along track. The slopes of the steep inner canyon wall of the Martian feature exceed the angle of repose, suggesting relative youth and the potential for landslides. The inner wall slopes of the Grand Canyon are less than those of the Martian chasm, reflecting the long period of erosion necessary to form its mile-deep character on Earth.

  3. Shape of the northern hemisphere of Mars from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zuber, Maria T.; Smith, David E.; Phillips, Roger J.; Solomon, Sean C.; Banerdt, W. Bruce; Neumann, Gregory A.; Aharonson, Oded

    1998-12-01

    Eighteen profiles of ˜N-S-trending topography from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) are used to analyze the shape of Mars' northern hemisphere. MOLA observations show smaller northern hemisphere flattening than previously thought. The hypsometric distribution is narrowly peaked with >20% of the surface lying within 200 m of the mean elevation. Low elevation correlates with low surface roughness, but the elevation and roughness may reflect different mechanisms. Bouguer gravity indicates less variability in crustal thickness and/or lateral density structure than previously expected. The 3.1-km offset between centers of mass and figure along the polar axis results in a pole-to-equator slope at all longitudes. The N-S slope distribution also shows a subtle longitude-dependent variation that may represent the antipodal effect of the formation of Tharsis.

  4. Opacity of the Martian atmosphere from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ivanov, Anton B.; Muhleman, Duane O.

    1998-12-01

    In this paper we present an analysis of the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) reflectivity measurements from the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) spacecraft, during period of solar longitudes (Ls) 198° → 212°. Reflectivity can be interpreted as a product of the surface geometrical albedo and the two-way atmospheric transmission. Relative surface albedos were obtained from the red filter of Viking Color Mars Digital Mosaics (MDIM) to derive opacities at the MOLA wavelength (1.064 µm). Opacity measurements are interpreted in terms of atmospheric aerosol loading in the canyons. We also observed sudden increase of opacity in the northern regions (65°N), which we interpret as condensing ice clouds.

  5. Regional Elevations in the Southern Hemisphere of Mars From the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, D. E.; Zuber, M. T.; Frey, H. V.; Garvin, J. B.; Head, J. W.; Muhleman, D. O.; Neumann, G. A.; Pettengill, G. H.; Phillips, R. J.; Solomon, S. C.

    1999-01-01

    The Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) is an instrument on the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) spacecraft that is currently providing the first high vertical and spatial resolution topographic measurements of surface elevations on Mars. The shot size in the mapping orbit is about 100 m and the shot-to-shot spacing is 330 m. The instrument has a vertical precision of 37.5 cm and a vertical accuracy that depends on the radial accuracy of the MGS orbit that is currently in the range 5-30 km. The initial focus on observations in the nominal mapping mission will be on the southern hemisphere, which was not sampled during the MGS aerobraking hiatus and Science Phasing orbits. During the first several weeks of global mapping there will be emphasis on producing a digital terrain model (DTM) of the Mars '98 landing site.

  6. Global Geometric Properties of Martian Impact Craters: A Preliminary Assessment Using Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garvin, J. B.; Sakimoto, S. E. H.; Schnetzler, C.; Frawley, J. J.

    1999-01-01

    Impact craters on Mars have been used to provide fundamental insights into the properties of the martian crust, the role of volatiles, the relative age of the surface, and on the physics of impact cratering in the Solar System. Before the three-dimensional information provided by the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) instrument which is currently operating in Mars orbit aboard the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS), impact features were characterized morphologically using orbital images from Mariner 9 and Viking. Fresh-appearing craters were identified and measurements of their geometric properties were derived from various image-based methods. MOLA measurements can now provide a global sample of topographic cross-sections of martian impact features as small as approx. 2 km in diameter, to basin-scale features. We have previously examined MOLA cross-sections of Northern Hemisphere and North Polar Region impact features, but were unable to consider the global characteristics of these ubiquitous landforms. Here we present our preliminary assessment of the geometric properties of a globally-distributed sample of martian impact craters, most of which were sampled during the initial stages of the MGS mapping mission (i.e., the first 600 orbits). Our aim is to develop a framework for reconsidering theories concerning impact cratering in the martian environment. This first global analysis is focused upon topographically-fresh impact craters, defined here on the basis of MOLA topographic profiles that cross the central cavities of craters that can be observed in Viking-based MDIM global image mosaics. We have considered crater depths, rim heights, ejecta topologies, cross-sectional "shapes", and simple physical models for ejecta emplacement. To date (May, 1999), we have measured the geometric properties of over 1300 impact craters in the 2 to 350 km diameter size interval. A large fraction of these measured craters were sampled with cavity-center cross-sections during the first

  7. Precise Orbit Determination for GEOSAT Follow-On Using Satellite Laser Ranging Data and Intermission Altimeter Crossovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lemoine, Frank G.; Rowlands, David D.; Luthcke, Scott B.; Zelensky, Nikita P.; Chinn, Douglas S.; Pavlis, Despina E.; Marr, Gregory

    2001-01-01

    The US Navy's GEOSAT Follow-On Spacecraft was launched on February 10, 1998 with the primary objective of the mission to map the oceans using a radar altimeter. Following an extensive set of calibration campaigns in 1999 and 2000, the US Navy formally accepted delivery of the satellite on November 29, 2000. Satellite laser ranging (SLR) and Doppler (Tranet-style) beacons track the spacecraft. Although limited amounts of GPS data were obtained, the primary mode of tracking remains satellite laser ranging. The GFO altimeter measurements are highly precise, with orbit error the largest component in the error budget. We have tuned the non-conservative force model for GFO and the gravity model using SLR, Doppler and altimeter crossover data sampled over one year. Gravity covariance projections to 70x70 show the radial orbit error on GEOSAT was reduced from 2.6 cm in EGM96 to 1.3 cm with the addition of SLR, GFO/GFO and TOPEX/GFO crossover data. Evaluation of the gravity fields using SLR and crossover data support the covariance projections and also show a dramatic reduction in geographically-correlated error for the tuned fields. In this paper, we report on progress in orbit determination for GFO using GFO/GFO and TOPEX/GFO altimeter crossovers. We will discuss improvements in satellite force modeling and orbit determination strategy, which allows reduction in GFO radial orbit error from 10-15 cm to better than 5 cm.

  8. Performance Assessment of the Mercury Laser Altimeter on MESSENGER from Mercury Orbit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sun, Xiaoli; Cavanaugh, John F.; Neumann, Gregory A.; Mazarico, Edward M.

    2009-01-01

    The Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA) is one of seven instruments on the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft,a mission in NASA's Discovery Program. MESSENGER was launched on August 3, 2004, and entered into orbit about Mercury on March 29, 2011. As of June 30, 2011 MLA started to collect science Measurements on March 29, 2011. As of June 30, 2011 MLA had accumulated about 3 million laser ranging measurements to the Mercury surface through one Mercury year, i.e ., one complete cycle of the spacecraft thermal environment. The average MLA laser output-pulse energy remained steady despite the harsh thermal environment, in which the laser bench temperature changed by as much as 15 C over a 35 min operating period . The laser beam-collimating telescope experienced a 30 C temperature swing over the same period, and the thermal cycling repeated every 12 hours. Nonetheless, MLA receiver optics appeared to be aligned and in focus throughout these temperature excursions. The maximum ranging distance of MLA was 1500 km at near-zero laser-beam incidence angle (and emission angle) and 600 km at 60 deg incidence angle. The MLA instrument performance in Mercury orbit has been consistent with the performance demonstrated during MESSENGER's Mercury flybys in January and October 2008 and during pre-launch testing. In addition to range measurements, MLA data are being used to estimate the surface reflectance of Mercury at 1064 nm wavelength, including regions of permanent shadow on the floors of polar craters. MLA also provides a measurement of the surface reflectance of sunlight at 1064 nm wavelength by its noise counters, for which output is a monotonic function of the background light.

  9. MARA (Multimode Airborne Radar Altimeter) system documentation. Volume 1: MARA system requirements document

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Parsons, C. L. (Editor)

    1989-01-01

    The Multimode Airborne Radar Altimeter (MARA), a flexible airborne radar remote sensing facility developed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, is discussed. This volume describes the scientific justification for the development of the instrument and the translation of these scientific requirements into instrument design goals. Values for key instrument parameters are derived to accommodate these goals, and simulations and analytical models are used to estimate the developed system's performance.

  10. A High-altitude, Advanced-technology Scanning Laser Altimeter for the Elevation for the Nation Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harding, D. J.

    2007-12-01

    In January of this year the National Research Council's Committee on Floodplain Mapping Technologies recommended to Congress that an Elevation for the Nation program be initiated to enable modernization of the nation's floodplain maps and to support the many other nationwide programs reliant on high-accuracy elevation data. Their recommendation is to acquire a national, high-resolution, seamless, consistent, public-domain, elevation data set created using airborne laser swath mapping (ALSM). Although existing commercial ALSM assets can acquire elevation data of sufficient accuracy, achieving nationwide consistency in a cost-effective manner will be a challenge employing multiple low-flying commercial systems conducting local to regional mapping. This will be particularly true in vegetated terrain where reproducible measurements of ground topography and vegetation structure are required for change-detection purposes. An alternative approach using an advanced technology, wide-swath, high-altitude laser altimeter is described here, based on the Swath Imaging Multi-polarization Photon-counting Lidar (SIMPL) under development via funding from NASA's Instrument Incubator Program. The approach envisions a commercial, federal agency and state partnership, with the USGS providing program coordination, NASA implementing the advanced technology instrumentation, the commercial sector conducting data collection and processing and states defining map product requirements meeting their specific needs. An Instrument Synthesis and Analysis (ISAL) study conducted at Goddard Space Flight Center evaluated an instrument compliment deployed on a long-range Gulfstream G550 platform operating at 12 km altitude. The English Electric Canberra is an alternative platform also under consideration. Instrumentation includes a scanning, multi-beam laser altimeter that maps a 10 km wide swath, IMU and Star Trackers for attitude determination, JPL's Global Differential GPS implementation for

  11. Precise Orbit Determination for GEOSAT Follow-On Using Satellite Laser Ranging Data and Intermission Altimeter Crossovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lemoine, F. G.; Rowlands, D. D.; Luthcke, S. B.; Zelensky, N. P.; Chinn, D. S.; Pavlis, D. E.; Marr, G. C.

    2001-01-01

    The U.S. Navy's GEOSAT Follow-On Spacecraft was launched on February 10, 1998 and the primary objective of the mission was to map the oceans using a radar altimeter. Following an extensive set of calibration campaigns in 1999 and 2000, the US Navy formally accepted delivery of the satellite on November 29, 2000. The spacecraft is tracked by satellite laser ranging (SLR) and Doppler (Tranet-style) beacons. Although a limited amount of GPS data were obtained, the primary mode of tracking remains satellite laser ranging. In this paper, we report on progress in orbit determination for GFO using GFO/GFO and TOPEX/GFO altimeter crossovers. We have tuned the nonconservative force model for GFO and the gravity model using SLR, Doppler and altimeter crossover data spanning over one year. Preliminary results show that the predicted radial orbit error from the gravity field covariance to 70x70 on GEOSAT was reduced from 2.6 cm in EGM96 to 1.9 cm with the addition of only five months of the GFO SLR and GFO/GFO crossover data. Further progress is possible with the addition of more data, particularly the TOPEX/GFO crossovers. We will evaluate the tuned GFO gravity model (a derivative of EGM96) using altimeter data from the GEOSAT mission. In January 2000, a limited quantity of GPS data were obtained. We will use these GPS data in conjunction with the SLR and altimeter crossover data obtained over the same time span to compute quasi-reduced dynamic orbits which will also aid in the evaluation of the tuned GFO geopotential model.

  12. Detection of the lunar body tide by the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter

    PubMed Central

    Mazarico, Erwan; Barker, Michael K; Neumann, Gregory A; Zuber, Maria T; Smith, David E

    2014-01-01

    The Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter instrument onboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft collected more than 5 billion measurements in the nominal 50 km orbit over ∼10,000 orbits. The data precision, geodetic accuracy, and spatial distribution enable two-dimensional crossovers to be used to infer relative radial position corrections between tracks to better than ∼1 m. We use nearly 500,000 altimetric crossovers to separate remaining high-frequency spacecraft trajectory errors from the periodic radial surface tidal deformation. The unusual sampling of the lunar body tide from polar lunar orbit limits the size of the typical differential signal expected at ground track intersections to ∼10 cm. Nevertheless, we reliably detect the topographic tidal signal and estimate the associated Love number h2 to be 0.0371 ± 0.0033, which is consistent with but lower than recent results from lunar laser ranging. Key Points Altimetric data are used to create radial constraints on the tidal deformationThe body tide amplitude is estimated from the crossover dataThe estimated Love number is consistent with previous estimates but more precise PMID:26074646

  13. Airborne Polarimetric, Two-Color Laser Altimeter Measurements of Lake Ice Cover: A Pathfinder for NASA's ICESat-2 Spaceflight Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harding, David; Dabney, Philip; Valett, Susan; Yu, Anthony; Vasilyev, Aleksey; Kelly, April

    2011-01-01

    The ICESat-2 mission will continue NASA's spaceflight laser altimeter measurements of ice sheets, sea ice and vegetation using a new measurement approach: micropulse, single photon ranging at 532 nm. Differential penetration of green laser energy into snow, ice and water could introduce errors in sea ice freeboard determination used for estimation of ice thickness. Laser pulse scattering from these surface types, and resulting range biasing due to pulse broadening, is assessed using SIMPL airborne data acquired over icecovered Lake Erie. SIMPL acquires polarimetric lidar measurements at 1064 and 532 nm using the micropulse, single photon ranging measurement approach.

  14. Two-color, Polarimetric Laser Altimeter Measurements of Forest Canopy Structure and Composition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dabney, P.; Yu, A. W.; Harding, D. J.; Valett, S. R.; Hicks, E.; Shuman, C. A.; Vasilyev, A. A.

    2010-12-01

    Over the past decade lidar remote sensing has proven to be a highly effective method for characterization of forest canopy structure and estimation of biomass stocks. However, traditional measurements only provide information on the vertical distribution of surfaces without ability to differentiate surface types. Also, an unresolved aspect of traditional measurements is the contribution of within-canopy multiple scattering to the lidar profiles of canopy structure. Slope Imaging Multi-polarization Photon-counting Lidar (SIMPL) data was acquired in July and August, 2010 for three sites with well-characterized forest structure in order to address these issues. SIMPL is an airborne, four-beam laser altimeter developed through the NASA Earth Science Technology Office Instrument Incubator Program. It acquires single-photon laser ranging data at 532 and 1064 nm, recording range-resolved measurements of reflected energy parallel and perpendicular to the transmit pulse polarization plane. Prior work with a non-ranging, multi-wavelength laser polarimetry demonstrated differentiation of tree species types based on depolarization differences related to surface and volume multiple scattering at the leaf scale. By adding the ranging component, SIMPL provides a means to investigate the vertical and horizontal distribution of optical scattering properties to better understand the interaction of pulsed laser energy with the foliage, stem and branch components of forest canopies. Data were acquired for the deciduous forest cover at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Maryland and mixed deciduous and pine cover in the New Jersey Pine Barrens, two sites being used by the ICESat-2 project to assess micropulse, single-photon measurements of forest canopies. A third site, in the Huron National Forest in Michigan, has had diverse forest silviculture management practices applied to pine stands. The contrasts in forest stands between these sites will be used to illustrate

  15. Observations of reflectivity of the Martian surface in the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter investigation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ivanov, A. B.; Muhleman, D. O.

    1999-09-01

    The Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) is an instrument on board the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) spacecraft. The laser operates at the 1.064 micron wavelength. MOLA measures range to the planet's surface, reflectivity and returned pulse width. Reflectivity (R) is a ratio of the returned energy to the emitted energy. It can be interpreted as a product of albedo (A) of the Martian surface and two-way atmospheric transmission ( R = A * e({) -2 tau }), where tau is total atmospheric opacity. Attenuation of the MOLA signal in the atmosphere is only due to extinction of photons from the laser beam. There are practically no photons scattered into the laser beam. This allows us a very straightforward calculation of albedo, given the opacity of the atmosphere. At the same time the MGS Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) was performing measurements of opacity at 9 micron wavelength (Smith et al., 1999). We propose to use these opacities to calculate albedo of the Martian surface from MOLA observations. Appropriate scaling should be applied to TES 9 micron opacity to scale it to the 1.064 micron wavelength, where MOLA operates. This scaling depends on the assumed particle size distribution of dust, suspended in the atmosphere. We will investigate the effect of this assumption on our final albedo results. MOLA has performed measurements of reflectivity during Science Phasing (L_s = 300 - 7) and Mapping (L_s = 103-170) orbits. We will concentrate our albedo calculations on reflectivities obtained by MOLA during the mapping orbit in the darker regions of Mars (Chryse Planitia, North Polar Dune fields). The resulting albedo dataset can then used to estimate the opacity during the Science Phasing Orbit period. References. Smith M.D. et al., Mars Global Surveyor Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) observations of dust opacity during aerobraking and science phasing, submitted to JGR-Planets, 1999

  16. A new lunar digital elevation model from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter and SELENE Terrain Camera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barker, M. K.; Mazarico, E.; Neumann, G. A.; Zuber, M. T.; Haruyama, J.; Smith, D. E.

    2016-07-01

    We present an improved lunar digital elevation model (DEM) covering latitudes within ±60°, at a horizontal resolution of 512 pixels per degree (∼60 m at the equator) and a typical vertical accuracy ∼3 to 4 m. This DEM is constructed from ∼ 4.5 ×109 geodetically-accurate topographic heights from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) onboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, to which we co-registered 43,200 stereo-derived DEMs (each 1° × 1°) from the SELENE Terrain Camera (TC) (∼1010 pixels total). After co-registration, approximately 90% of the TC DEMs show root-mean-square vertical residuals with the LOLA data of <5 m compared to ∼ 50% prior to co-registration. We use the co-registered TC data to estimate and correct orbital and pointing geolocation errors from the LOLA altimetric profiles (typically amounting to <10 m horizontally and <1 m vertically). By combining both co-registered datasets, we obtain a near-global DEM with high geodetic accuracy, and without the need for surface interpolation. We evaluate the resulting LOLA + TC merged DEM (designated as "SLDEM2015") with particular attention to quantifying seams and crossover errors.

  17. Lunar Phase Function in the Near-Infrared from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barker, M. K.; Mazarico, E.; Sun, X.; Neumann, G. A.; Smith, D. E.; Zuber, M. T.; Lucey, P. G.; Torrence, M. H.

    2014-12-01

    The reflectance of the lunar surface as a function of wavelength and viewing geometry is a fundamental measurement related to the scattering properties of the regolith particles and the structure of the surface. In this study, we report preliminary results on the near-infrared phase function observed with the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) onboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. Since December 2013, LOLA has been collecting passive radiometry (reflected sunlight) in the northern hemisphere where the spacecraft altitude is too high for normal altimetric ranging. In this mode, LOLA acts as a 4-pixel radiometer with pixel size ~60 m, integration time of 1/28th sec (every ~60 m along-track), and signal-to-noise ratio ~50 per pixel in a single "exposure" at low latitudes. We report on the passive radiometric calibration, and compare the LOLA near-infrared phase function to that at similar and smaller wavelengths measured with other instruments. The unique capability of LOLA to also actively measure the normal albedo from the received pulse energies during altimetric ranging provides a crucial anchor point for the passively-derived phase function that is not easily obtained with typical imagers. Finally, we explore what constraints can be placed on the parameters of physically-motivated phase function models. This work will ultimately provide insight on the wavelength dependence of the phase function, for which the theoretical understanding is presently incomplete.

  18. Mercury's rotational parameters from MESSENGER image and laser altimeter data: A feasibility study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stark, Alexander; Oberst, Jürgen; Preusker, Frank; Gwinner, Klaus; Peale, Stanton J.; Margot, Jean-Luc; Phillips, Roger J.; Zuber, Maria T.; Solomon, Sean C.

    2015-11-01

    A novel method has been developed to determine the rotational parameters of Mercury from data acquired by the MESSENGER spacecraft. We exploit the complementarity of laser altimeter tracks taken at different rotational phases and rigid stereo terrain models to determine a Mercury rotational model. In particular, we solve for the orientation of the spin axis, the rotation rate, and the amplitude of the forced libration. In this paper, we verify the proposed method and carry out an extensive simulation of MESSENGER data acquisition with assumed rotational parameters. To assess the uncertainty in the rotational parameters we use mission-typical assumptions for spacecraft attitude and position knowledge as well as for small-scale terrain morphology. We find that the orientation of the spin axis and the libration amplitude can be recovered with an accuracy of a few arc seconds from three years of MESSENGER orbital observations. The rotation rate can be determined to within 5 arc seconds per year. The method developed here serves as a framework for the ongoing analysis of data from the MESSENGER spacecraft. The rotational parameters of Mercury hold important constraints on the internal structure and evolution of the planet.

  19. Topographic roughness of the northern high latitudes of Mercury from MESSENGER Laser Altimeter data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fa, Wenzhe; Cai, Yuzhen; Xiao, Zhiyong; Tian, Wei

    2016-04-01

    We investigated topographic roughness for the northern hemisphere (>45°N) of Mercury using high-resolution topography data acquired by the Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA) on board the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft. Our results show that there are distinct differences in the bidirectional slope and root-mean-square (RMS) height among smooth plains (SP), intercrater plains (ICP), and heavily cratered terrain (HCT), and that the ratios of the bidirectional slope and RMS height among the three geologic units are both about 1:2:2.4. Most of Mercury's surface exhibits fractal-like behavior on the basis of the linearity in the deviograms, with median Hurst exponents of 0.66, 0.80, and 0.81 for SP, ICP, and HCT, respectively. The median differential slope map shows that smooth plains are smooth at kilometer scale and become rough at hectometer scale, but they are always rougher than lunar maria at the scales studied. In contrast, intercrater plains and heavily cratered terrain are rough at kilometer scale and smooth at hectometer scale, and they are rougher than lunar highlands at scale <˜2 km but smoother at >˜2 km. We suggest that these scale-dependent roughness characteristics are mainly caused by the difference in density and shape of impact craters between Mercury and the Moon.

  20. Seasonal Changes in the Thickness of Martian Polar Crater Deposits From the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmerr, N. C.; Garvin, J. B.; Neumann, G. A.; Sakimoto, S. E.

    2001-12-01

    This study uses near-repeat topographic profiles and gridded data from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter to investigate temporal changes in several ice-filled craters in the North Polar Region of Mars. The craters we investigated are Korolev (73° N, 163° E), "Sasquatch" (77° N, 89° E) and "Frosty" (77° N, 215° E) [Garvin et. al., 2000, Icarus, 144, 329-352]. Profiles are corrected using crossovers that are not affected by seasonal changes. We find that spatially matched but temporally separated MOLA profiles of the central ice deposits within these craters show vertical variation on the order of 1-5 meters. This change in topography temporally correlates to the seasonal deposition and sublimation of frost in the North Polar Region of Mars [Zuber et al., this session] but is locally greater in magnitude. The change is also localized to the south-facing slopes of the ice deposits within the craters. This suggests that up to 5 m of carbon dioxide frost deposition and ablation may be taking place on the south-facing slopes of these craters each Martian year. This rapid change in ice deposit thickness provides a mechanism for geologically swift modification of the polar-layered terrains.

  1. An Overview of the Topography of Mars from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, David E.; Zuber, Maria T.

    2000-01-01

    The Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) spacecraft has now completed more than half of its one-Mars-year mission to globally map Mars. During the MGS elliptical and circular orbit mapping phases, the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA), an instrument on the MGS payload, has collected over 300 million precise elevation measurements. MOLA measures the range from the MGS spacecraft to the Martian surface and to atmospheric reflections. Range is converted to topography through knowledge of the MGS spacecraft orbit. Ranges from MOLA have resulted in a precise global topographic map of Mars. The instrument has also provided measurements of the width of the backscattered optical pulse and of the 1064 nm reflectivity of the Martian surface and atmosphere. The range resolution of the MOLA instrument is 37.5 cm and the along-track resolution of MOLA ground shots is approx. 300 m; the across-track spacing depends on latitude and time in the mapping orbit. The best current topographic grid has a spatial resolution of approx. 1/16 deg and vertical accuracy of approx. one meter. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  2. Observations of the north polar region of Mars from the Mars orbiter laser altimeter.

    PubMed

    Zuber, M T; Smith, D E; Solomon, S C; Abshire, J B; Afzal, R S; Aharonson, O; Fishbaugh, K; Ford, P G; Frey, H V; Garvin, J B; Head, J W; Ivanov, A B; Johnson, C L; Muhleman, D O; Neumann, G A; Pettengill, G H; Phillips, R J; Sun, X; Zwally, H J; Banerdt, W B; Duxbury, T C

    1998-12-11

    Elevations from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) have been used to construct a precise topographic map of the martian north polar region. The northern ice cap has a maximum elevation of 3 kilometers above its surroundings but lies within a 5-kilometer-deep hemispheric depression that is contiguous with the area into which most outflow channels emptied. Polar cap topography displays evidence of modification by ablation, flow, and wind and is consistent with a primarily H2O composition. Correlation of topography with images suggests that the cap was more spatially extensive in the past. The cap volume of 1.2 x 10(6) to 1.7 x 10(6) cubic kilometers is about half that of the Greenland ice cap. Clouds observed over the polar cap are likely composed of CO2 that condensed out of the atmosphere during northern hemisphere winter. Many clouds exhibit dynamical structure likely caused by the interaction of propagating wave fronts with surface topography. PMID:9851922

  3. Martian Polar Region Impact Craters: Geometric Properties From Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) Observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garvin, J. B.; Sakimoto, S. E. H.; Frawley, J. J.; Matias, A.

    1998-01-01

    The Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) instrument onboard the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) spacecraft has so far observed approximately 100 impact landforms in the north polar latitudes (>60 degrees N) of Mars. Correlation of the topography with Viking Orbiter images indicate that many of these are near-center profiles, and for some of the most northern craters, multiple data passes have been acquired. The northern high latitudes of Mars may contain substantial ground ice and be topped with seasonal frost (largely CO2 with some water), forming each winter. We have analyzed various diagnostic crater topologic parameters for this high-latitude crater population with the objective of characterizing impact features in north polar terrains, and we explore whether there is evidence of interaction with ground ice, frost, dune movement, or other polar processes. We find that there are substantial topographic variations from the characteristics of midlatitude craters in the polar craters that are not readily apparent from prior images. The transition from small simple craters to large complex craters is not well defined, as was observed in the midlatitude MOLA data (transition at 7-8 km). Additionally, there appear to be additional topographic complexities such as anomalously large central structures in many polar latitude impact features. It is not yet clear if these are due to target-induced differences in the formation of the crater or post-formation modifications from polar processes.

  4. Initial Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) Measurements of the Mars Surface and Atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abshire, James B.; Sun, Xiaoli; Afzal, Robert S.

    1998-01-01

    The Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) has made an initial set of measurements of the Mars surface and atmosphere. As of this writing 27 orbital passes have been completed, starting Sept. 15, 1997 on orbit Pass 3 and orbits 20-36 and beginning again on March 27, 1998 for orbit passes 203 - 212. The lidar is working well in Mars orbit, and its data show contiguous measurement profiles of the Mars surface to its maximum range of 786 km, an average pulse detection rate of > 99% under clear atmospheric conditions, and < 1 m range resolution. MOLA has profiled the shape and heights of a variety of interesting Mars surface features, including Olympus Mons, the flat northern plains of Mars, Valles Marineris and the northern polar ice cap. It has also detected and profiled a series of cloud layers which occur near the edge of the polar cap and near 60-70 deg N latitude. This is the first time clouds around another planet have been measured using lidar.

  5. Observations of the north polar region of Mars from the Mars orbiter laser altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zuber, M. T.; Smith, D. E.; Solomon, S. C.; Abshire, J. B.; Afzal, R. S.; Aharonson, O.; Fishbaugh, K.; Ford, P. G.; Frey, H. V.; Garvin, J. B.; Head, J. W.; Ivanov, A. B.; Johnson, C. L.; Muhleman, D. O.; Neumann, G. A.; Pettengill, G. H.; Phillips, R. J.; Sun, X.; Zwally, H. J.; Banerdt, W. B.; Duxbury, T. C.

    1998-01-01

    Elevations from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) have been used to construct a precise topographic map of the martian north polar region. The northern ice cap has a maximum elevation of 3 kilometers above its surroundings but lies within a 5-kilometer-deep hemispheric depression that is contiguous with the area into which most outflow channels emptied. Polar cap topography displays evidence of modification by ablation, flow, and wind and is consistent with a primarily H2O composition. Correlation of topography with images suggests that the cap was more spatially extensive in the past. The cap volume of 1.2 x 10(6) to 1.7 x 10(6) cubic kilometers is about half that of the Greenland ice cap. Clouds observed over the polar cap are likely composed of CO2 that condensed out of the atmosphere during northern hemisphere winter. Many clouds exhibit dynamical structure likely caused by the interaction of propagating wave fronts with surface topography.

  6. Geometric properties of Martian impact craters: Preliminary results from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garvin, James B.; Frawley, James J.

    1998-12-01

    The Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) acquired high spatial and vertical resolution topographic data for 18 tracks across the northern hemisphere of Mars during the Fall of 1997. It sampled 98 minimally degraded impact craters between the latitudes of 80°N and 12°S The best fitting depth (d) versus diameter (D) power-law relationship for these craters is: d = 0.14 D0.90 for simple varieties, and d = 0.25 D0.49 for complex structures. The simple-to-complex transition diameter is 8 km (+/-0.5 km). The cross-sectional “shape” of the crater cavities was determined by fitting a power-function to each profile. Variation in the exponent (n) suggest the craters flatten with increasing diameter and impact energy. The ejecta thickness is skewed suggesting that use of existing empirical expressions for the expected radial decay of ejecta thickness is inappropriate for Mars in most cases.

  7. Initial Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) Measurements of the Mars Surface and Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abshire, James B.; Sun, Xiaoli; Afzal, Robert S.

    1998-07-01

    The Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) has made an initial set of measurements of the Mars surface and atmosphere. As of this writing 27 orbital passes have been completed, starting Sept. 15, 1997 on orbit Pass 3 and orbits 20-36 and beginning again on March 27, 1998 for orbit passes 203 - 212. The lidar is working well in Mars orbit, and its data show contiguous measurement profiles of the Mars surface to its maximum range of 786 km, an average pulse detection rate of > 99% under clear atmospheric conditions, and < 1 m range resolution. MOLA has profiled the shape and heights of a variety of interesting Mars surface features, including Olympus Mons, the flat northern plains of Mars, Valles Marineris and the northern polar ice cap. It has also detected and profiled a series of cloud layers which occur near the edge of the polar cap and near 60-70 deg N latitude. This is the first time clouds around another planet have been measured using lidar.

  8. ICESat-2: the next generation laser altimeter mission for polar research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neumann, Thomas; Markus, Thorsten; Martino, Anthony

    2015-04-01

    NASA's Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) mission objectives are to quantify polar ice sheet contributions to sea level change, quantify regional signatures of ice sheet changes to assess driving mechanisms, estimate sea ice thickness, and to enable measurements of global canopy height as a basis for estimating large-scale biomass. Its predecessor ICESat, which operated from 2003 to 2009, pioneered the use of laser altimeters in space to study the elevation of the Earth's surface and its changes. Among other contributions to the cryospheric sciences, ICESat proved adept at making centimeter-level elevation measurements over both ice sheets and sea ice. Since ICESat stopped collecting data in October 2009, the IceBridge and CryoSat-2 missions continue these important observations. The well-documented and ongoing dramatic and rapid changes in the Earth's ice cover have strengthened the need for sustained observations beyond what CryoSat-2 and IceBridge are expected to provide. Lessons learned from ICESat demonstrated the need for cross-track slope information over the ice sheets (realized through ICESat-2's multiple beams), a smaller footprint size, and gapless along-track data collection. These needs resulted in a different measurement concept for ICESat-2. The presentation will provide a brief summary of the measurement concept, the status of hardware development (instrument Integration and Testing has started in May 2014), and progress on geophysical algorithm development.

  9. Tracking system options for future altimeter satellite missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Davis, G. W.; Rim, H. J.; Ries, J. C.; Tapley, B. D.

    1994-01-01

    Follow-on missions to provide continuity in the observation of the sea surface topography once the successful TOPEX/POSEIDON (T/P) oceanographic satellite mission has ended are discussed. Candidates include orbits which follow the ground tracks of T/P GEOSAT or ERS-1. The T/P precision ephemerides, estimated to be near 3 cm root-mean-square, demonstrate the radial orbit accuracy that can be achieved at 1300 km altitude. However, the radial orbit accuracy which can be achieved for a mission at the 800 km altitudes of GEOSAT and ERS-1 has not been established, and achieving an accuracy commensurate with T/P will pose a great challenge. This investigation focuses on the radial orbit accuracy that can be achieved for a mission in the GEOSAT orbit. Emphasis is given to characterizing the effects of force model errors on the estimated radial orbit accuracy, particularly those due to gravity and drag. The importance of global, continuous tracking of the satellite for reduction in these sources of orbit error is demonstrated with simulated GPS tracking data. A gravity tuning experiment is carried out to show how the effects of gravity error may be reduced. Assuming a GPS flight receiver with a full-sky tracking capability, the simulation results indicate that a 5 cm radial orbit accuracy for an altimeter satellite in GEOSAT orbit should be achievable during low-drag atmospheric conditions and after an acceptable tuning of the gravity model.

  10. Two Mars Years of Clouds Detected by the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Neumann, G. A.; Smith, D. E.; Zuber, M. T.

    2002-01-01

    MOLA operated as an atmospheric lidar as well as an altimeter. We present results spanning two Mars years of observations, and some observations concerning cloud waveforms and snow. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  11. The Laser Vegetation Imaging Sensor (LVIS): A Medium-Altitude, Digitization-Only, Airborne Laser Altimeter for Mapping Vegetation and Topography

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blair, J. Bryan; Rabine, David L.; Hofton, Michelle A.

    1999-01-01

    The Laser Vegetation Imaging Sensor (LVIS) is an airborne, scanning laser altimeter designed and developed at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. LVIS operates at altitudes up to 10 km above ground, and is capable of producing a data swath up to 1000 m wide nominally with 25 m wide footprints. The entire time history of the outgoing and return pulses is digitized, allowing unambiguous determination of range and return pulse structure. Combined with aircraft position and attitude knowledge, this instrument produces topographic maps with decimeter accuracy and vertical height and structure measurements of vegetation. The laser transmitter is a diode-pumped Nd:YAG oscillator producing 1064 nm, 10 nsec, 5 mJ pulses at repetition rates up to 500 Hz. LVIS has recently demonstrated its ability to determine topography (including sub-canopy) and vegetation height and structure on flight missions to various forested regions in the U.S. and Central America. The LVIS system is the airborne simulator for the Vegetation Canopy Lidar (VCL) mission (a NASA Earth remote sensing satellite due for launch in 2000), providing simulated data sets and a platform for instrument proof-of-concept studies. The topography maps and return waveforms produced by LVIS provide Earth scientists with a unique data set allowing studies of topography, hydrology, and vegetation with unmatched accuracy and coverage.

  12. Application of Reconfigurable Computing Technology to Multi-KiloHertz Micro-Laser Altimeter (MMLA) Data Processing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Powell, Wesley; Dabney, Philip; Hicks, Edward; Pinchinat, Maxime; Day, John H. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    The Multi-KiloHertz Micro-Laser Altimeter (MMLA) is an aircraft based instrument developed by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center with several potential spaceflight applications. This presentation describes how reconfigurable computing technology was employed to perform MMLA signal extraction in real-time under realistic operating constraints. The MMLA is a "single-photon-counting" airborne laser altimeter that is used to measure land surface features such as topography and vegetation canopy height. This instrument has to date flown a number of times aboard the NASA P3 aircraft acquiring data at a number of sites in the Mid-Atlantic region. This instrument pulses a relatively low-powered laser at a very high rate (10 kHz) and then measures the time-of-flight of discrete returns from the target surface. The instrument then bins these measurements into a two-dimensional array (vertical height vs. horizontal ground track) and selects the most likely signal path through the array. Return data that does not correspond to the selected signal path are classified as noise returns and are then discarded. The MMLA signal extraction algorithm is very compute intensive in that a score must be computed for every possible path through the two dimensional array in order to select the most likely signal path. Given a typical array size with 50 x 6, up to 33 arrays must be processed per second. And for each of these arrays, roughly 12,000 individual paths must be scored. Furthermore, the number of paths increases exponentially with the horizontal size of the array, and linearly with the vertical size. Yet, increasing the horizontal and vertical sizes of the array offer science advantages such as improved range, resolution, and noise rejection. Due to the volume of return data and the compute intensive signal extraction algorithm, the existing PC-based MMLA data system has been unable to perform signal extraction in real-time unless the array is limited in size to one column, This

  13. Polar Dunes Resolved by the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter Gridded Topography and Pulse Widths

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Neumann, Gregory A.

    2003-01-01

    The Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) polar data have been refined to the extent that many features poorly imaged by Viking Orbiters are now resolved in densely gridded altimetry. Individual linear polar dunes with spacings of 0.5 km or more can be seen as well as sparsely distributed and partially mantled dunes. The refined altimetry will enable measurements of the extent and possibly volume of the north polar ergs. MOLA pulse widths have been recalibrated using inflight data, and a robust algorithm applied to solve for the surface optical impulse response. It shows the surface root-mean-square (RMS) roughness at the 75-m-diameter MOLA footprint scale, together with a geological map. While the roughness is of vital interest for landing site safety studies, a variety of geomorphological studies may also be performed. Pulse widths corrected for regional slope clearly delineate the extent of the polar dunes. The MOLA PEDR profile data have now been re-released in their entirety (Version L). The final Mission Experiment Gridded Data Records (MEGDR's) are now provided at up to 128 pixels per degree globally. Densities as high as 512 pixels per degree are available in a polar stereographic projection. A large computational effort has been expended in improving the accuracy of the MOLA altimetry themselves, both in improved orbital modeling and in after-the-fact adjustment of tracks to improve their registration at crossovers. The current release adopts the IAU2000 rotation model and cartographic frame recommended by the Mars Cartography Working Group. Adoption of the current standard will allow registration of images and profiles globally with an uncertainty of less than 100 m. The MOLA detector is still operational and is currently collecting radiometric data at 1064 nm. Seasonal images of the reflectivity of the polar caps can be generated with a resolution of about 300 m per pixel.

  14. An Overview of Observations of Mars' North Polar Region From the Mars Global Surveyor Laser Altimeter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, D. E.; Zuber, M. T.

    1998-01-01

    Since its arrival at Mars on September l5, 1997, the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) has been in a near-polar elliptical orbit, with the orbital eccentricity decreasing during orbital periapse passes where the spacecraft aerobrakes through the martian atmosphere. The Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA), an instrument on the MGS, has the ability to range to the martian surface during nonaerobraking passes. MOLA can operate whenever the range from the spacecraft to the surface is less than 786 km, with the limit determined by the number of bits encoded for the range measurement During the capture orbit, aerobraking hiatus, and science phasing orbit (SPO) mission phases, MOLA acquired approximately 200 profiles across the northern hemisphere of Mars and provided more than 2,000,000 measurements of the radius of the planet. These observations cover the region from the north pole to about 10 degrees S latitude with a precision of a few tens of centimeters and an accuracy (at present) of about 30 in. Absolute accuracy of the elevations is limited by the knowledge of the MGS orbits; these should improve later in the mission due to a more optimal tracking geometry, an improved gravitational field, and the use of the high-gain antenna once the spacecraft achieves its approximately 400-km-altitude circular mapping orbit. MOLA measurements so far show a planet with a low, flat high-latitude region in the north and a higher, topographically rougher terrain nearer the equator. The north polar cap stands approximately 2-3 km above the surrounding terrain and displays deep chasms and complex structure. MOLA measurements of elevation, 1064-nm reflectivity, and backscattered pulse width indicate that the layered terrains are composed mainly of ice.

  15. Full-waveform, Laser Altimeter Measurements of Vegetation Vertical Structure and Sub-canopy Topography in Support of the North American Carbon Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blair, B.; Hofton, M.; Rabine, D.; Padden, P.; Rhoads, J.

    2004-01-01

    Full-waveform, scanning laser altimeters (i.e. lidar) provide a unique and precise view of the vertical and horizontal structure of vegetation across wide swaths. These unique laser altimeters systems are able to simultaneously image sub-canopy topography and the vertical structure of any overlying vegetation. These data reveal the true 3-D distribution of vegetation in leaf-on conditions enabling important biophysical parameters such as canopy height and aboveground biomass to be estimated with unprecedented accuracy. An airborne lidar mission was conducted in the summer of 2003 in support of preliminary studies for the North America Carbon Program. NASA's Laser Vegetation Imaging Sensor (LVIS) was used to image approximately 2,000 sq km in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maryland. Areas with available ground and other data were included (e.g., experimental forests, FLUXNET sites) in order to facilitate numerous bio- and geophysical investigations. Data collected included ground elevation and canopy height measurements for each laser footprint, as well as the vertical distribution of intercepted surfaces (i.e. the return waveform). Data are currently available at the LVIS website (http://lvis.gsfc.nasa.gov/). Further details of the mission, including the lidar system technology, the locations of the mapped areas, and examples of the numerous data products that can be derived from the return waveform data products are available on the website and will be presented. Future applications including potential fusion with other remote sensing data sets and a spaceborne implementation of wide-swath, full-waveform imaging lidar will also be discussed.

  16. Performance Considerations for the SIMPL Single Photon, Polarimetric, Two-Color Laser Altimeter as Applied to Measurements of Forest Canopy Structure and Composition

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dabney, Philip W.; Harding, David J.; Valett, Susan R.; Vasilyev, Aleksey A.; Yu, Anthony W.

    2012-01-01

    The Slope Imaging Multi-polarization Photon-counting Lidar (SIMPL) is a multi-beam, micropulse airborne laser altimeter that acquires active and passive polarimetric optical remote sensing measurements at visible and near-infrared wavelengths. SIMPL was developed to demonstrate advanced measurement approaches of potential benefit for improved, more efficient spaceflight laser altimeter missions. SIMPL data have been acquired for wide diversity of forest types in the summers of 2010 and 2011 in order to assess the potential of its novel capabilities for characterization of vegetation structure and composition. On each of its four beams SIMPL provides highly-resolved measurements of forest canopy structure by detecting single-photons with 15 cm ranging precision using a narrow-beam system operating at a laser repetition rate of 11 kHz. Associated with that ranging data SIMPL provides eight amplitude parameters per beam unlike the single amplitude provided by typical laser altimeters. Those eight parameters are received energy that is parallel and perpendicular to that of the plane-polarized transmit pulse at 532 nm (green) and 1064 nm (near IR), for both the active laser backscatter retro-reflectance and the passive solar bi-directional reflectance. This poster presentation will cover the instrument architecture and highlight the performance of the SIMPL instrument with examples taken from measurements for several sites with distinct canopy structures and compositions. Specific performance areas such as probability of detection, after pulsing, and dead time, will be highlighted and addressed, along with examples of their impact on the measurements and how they limit the ability to accurately model and recover the canopy properties. To assess the sensitivity of SIMPL's measurements to canopy properties an instrument model has been implemented in the FLIGHT radiative transfer code, based on Monte Carlo simulation of photon transport. SIMPL data collected in 2010 over

  17. Mars 1064 nm spectral radiance measurements determined from the receiver noise response of the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter.

    PubMed

    Sun, Xiaoli; Neumann, Gregory A; Abshire, James B; Zuber, Maria T

    2006-06-10

    A technique was developed to compute the radiance of the scene viewed by the optical receiver of the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter. The technique used the detection threshold and the false detection rate of the receiver to provide a passive radiometry measurement of Mars at the 1064 nm wavelength over a 2 nm bandwidth and subkilometer spatial resolution in addition to the altimetry and active radiometry measurements. The passive radiometry measurement is shown to have a 2% or better precision and has been stable over several Martian years. We describe the principle of operation of the instrument and its calibration and assess its performance from sample orbital measurements. PMID:16761033

  18. Radiometry Measurements of Mars at 1064 nm Using the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sun, Xiao-Li; Abshire, James B.; Neumann, Gregory A.; Zuber, Maria T.; Smith, David E. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Measurements by the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) on board the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) may be used to provides a radiometric measurement of Mars in addition to the topographic measurement. We will describe the principle of operation, a mathematical model, and the receiver calibration in this presentation. MOLA was designed primarily to measure Mars topography, surface roughness end the bidirectional reflectance to the laser beam. To achieve the highest sensitivity the receiver detection threshold is dynamically adjusted to be as low as possible while keeping a predetermined false alarm rate. The average false alarm rate 29 monitored in real time on board MOLA via a noise counter, whose output is fed to the threshold control loop. The false alarm rate at a given threshold is a function of the detector output noise which is the sum of the photo detector, shot noise due to the background light seen by the detector and the dark noise. A mathematical model has been developed that can be used to numerically solve for the optical background power given the MOLA threshold setting and the average noise count. The radiance of Mars can then be determined by dividing the optical power by the solid angle subtended by the MOLA receiver, the receiver optical band-width, end the Mars surface area within the receiver field of view. The phase angle which is the sun-Mars-MOLA angle is available from the MGS database. MOLA also measures simultaneously the bidirectional reflectance of Mars vie its 106-lum loser beam at nadir with nearly zero phase angle. The optical bandwidth of the MOLA receiver is 2um full width at half maximum (FWHM) and centered at 106-lum. The receiver field of view is 0.95mrad FWHM. The nominated spacecraft altitude is 100km and the ground track speed is about 3km/s. Under normal operation, the noise counter are read and the threshold levels are updated at 1Hz. The receiver sensitivity is limited by the detector dark noise to about 0.1nW, which

  19. Mars 1064-nm Spectral Radiance Measurements from the Receiver Noise Response of the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sun, Xiaoli; Neumann, Gregory A.; Abshire, James B.; Zuber, Maria T.

    2005-01-01

    The Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter not only provides surface topography from the laser pulse time-of-flight, but also two radiometric measurements, the active measurement of transmitted and reflected laser pulse energy, and the passive measurement of reflected solar illumination. The passive radiometry measurement is accomplished in a novel fashion by monitoring the noise density at the output of the photodetector and solving for the amount of background light. The passive radiometry measurements provide images of Mars at 1064-nm wavelength over a 2 nm bandwidth with sub-km spatial resolution and with 2% or better precision under full illumination. We describe in this paper the principle of operation, the receiver mathematical model, its calibration, and performance assessment from sample measurement data.

  20. NASA's Operation IceBridge: using instrumented aircraft to bridge the observational gap between ICESat and ICESat-2 laser altimeter measurements (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Studinger, M.; Koenig, L.; Martin, S.; Sonntag, J. G.

    2010-12-01

    In 2009, the NASA satellite laser altimeter mission ICESat (Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite), which was launched in 2003, ceased to operate. To bridge the gap in polar laser observations between ICESat and its replacement ICESat-2, which is not scheduled for launch until 2015, Operation IceBridge, a six-year NASA airborne mission, was initiated in 2009. From a series of yearly polar flights, Operation IceBridge uses airborne instruments to map rapidly changing areas in the Arctic and Antarctic, building on two decades of repeat airborne and satellite measurements. Combined with previous aircraft observations, as well as ICESat, CryoSat-2 and the forthcoming ICESat-2 observations, Operation IceBridge will produce a cross-calibrated 17-year time series of ice sheet and sea-ice elevation data over Antarctica, as well as a 27-year time series over Greenland. These time series will be a critical resource for predictive models of sea ice and ice sheet behavior. In addition to laser altimetry, Operation IceBridge is using a comprehensive suite of instruments to produce a three-dimensional view of the Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets, ice shelves and the sea ice. The suite includes two NASA laser altimeters, the Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) and the Land, Vegetation and Ice Sensor (LVIS); four radar systems from the University of Kansas’ Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS), a Ku-band radar altimeter, accumulation radar, snow radar and the Multichannel Coherent Radar Depth Sounder (MCoRDS); a Sander Geophysics airborne gravimeter (AIRGrav) and a high resolution stereographic camera (DMS). The first Operation IceBridge flights were conducted between March and May 2009 over the Arctic and between October and November 2009 over Antarctica. Since its start in 2009, Operation IceBridge has flown 69 science missions, 580 flight hours and collected more than 350,000 km of data. All Operation IceBridge data are available at NSDIC: http

  1. Lunar phase function at 1064 nm from Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter passive and active radiometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barker, M. K.; Sun, X.; Mazarico, E.; Neumann, G. A.; Zuber, M. T.; Smith, D. E.

    2016-07-01

    We present initial calibration and results of passive radiometry collected by the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter onboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter over the course of 12 months. After correcting for time- and temperature-dependent dark noise and detector responsivity variations, the LOLA passive radiometry measurements are brought onto the absolute radiance scale of the SELENE Spectral Profiler. The resulting photometric precision is estimated to be ∼5%. We leverage the unique ability of LOLA to measure normal albedo to explore the 1064 nm phase function's dependence on various geologic parameters. On a global scale, we find that iron abundance and optical maturity (quantified by FeO and OMAT) are the dominant controlling parameters. Titanium abundance (TiO2), surface roughness on decimeter to decameter scales, and soil thermophysical properties have a smaller effect, but the latter two are correlated with OMAT, indicating that exposure age is the driving force behind their effects in a globally-averaged sense. The phase function also exhibits a dependence on surface slope at ∼300 m baselines, possibly the result of mass wasting exposing immature material and/or less space weathering due to reduced sky visibility. Modeling the photometric function in the Hapke framework, we find that, relative to the highlands, the maria exhibit decreased backscattering, a smaller opposition effect (OE) width, and a smaller OE amplitude. Immature highlands regolith has a higher backscattering fraction and a larger OE width compared to mature highlands regolith. Within the maria, the backscattering fraction and OE width show little dependence on TiO2 and OMAT. Variations in the phase function shape at large phase angles are observed in and around the Copernican-aged Jackson crater, including its dark halo, a putative impact melt deposit. Finally, the phase function of the Reiner Gamma Formation behaves more optically immature than is typical for its composition and OMAT

  2. Martian Polar Region Impact Craters: Topographical Perspectives from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garvin, J. B.; Sakimoto, S. E. H.; Frawley, J. J.; Matias, A.

    1998-01-01

    The Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) has acquired over 100 topographic cross-sections of impact landforms in the polar regions of Mars as part of Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Science Phasing Orbit observations during the period from April to July, 1998. These MOLA topographic profiles offer the first three-dimensional perspectives of high latitude craters on Mars yet available, and provide evidence of landform geometries not previously recognized. Indeed, the relatively poor quality of Viking Orbiter images of many high northern latitude regions has allowed the MOLA data to provide insights into the cavities and ejecta topologies of non-degraded impact landforms that have clearly experienced interactions with condensates, either as part of their formation, or as a post-modification stage effect. Here we report a preliminary summary of the results associated with topographic measurements for a statistically significant population of impact features all of which lie north of 60N latitude. MOLA sampled four impact features with frost-related interior deposits, including the 81 km (diameter) Korolev feature. In several cases, there is evidence from near-centerline MOLA cross-sections of crater interior features (i.e., central peak or ice-dust deposits) that are anomalously large relative to the crater cavity. Central structures that make up more than 50% of the volume of a crater cavity are observed, suggesting that either substantial accumulation of mantling materials has occurred, or that crater excavation triggered production of volume-enhancing materials (ice?). Pedestal craters sampled by MOLA also attest to enhanced production of ejecta materials in high latitude terrains. For example, many of the pedestal craters suggest a volume of ejecta (Ve) to volume of cavity (Vc) ratio far in excess of 1.0 (i.e., over 3.0), even in cases where the floor of the cavity appears unfilled. Finally, the well-defined transitions between simple and complex craters observed in

  3. Lunar Phase Function at 1064 Nm from Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter Passive and Active Radiometry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barker, M. K.; Sun, X.; Mazarico, E.; Neumann, G. A.; Zuber, M. T.; Smith, D. E.

    2016-01-01

    We present initial calibration and results of passive radiometry collected by the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter onboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter over the course of 12 months. After correcting for time- and temperature-dependent dark noise and detector responsivity variations, the LOLA passive radiometry measurements are brought onto the absolute radiance scale of the SELENE Spectral Profiler. The resulting photometric precision is estimated to be 5%. We leverage the unique ability of LOLA to measure normal albedo to explore the 1064 nm phase function's dependence on various geologic parameters. On a global scale, we find that iron abundance and optical maturity (quantified by FeO and OMAT) are the dominant controlling parameters. Titanium abundance (TiO2), surface roughness on decimeter to decameter scales, and soil thermo- physical properties have a smaller effect, but the latter two are correlated with OMAT, indicating that exposure age is the driving force behind their effects in a globally-averaged sense. The phase function also exhibits a dependence on surface slope at approximately 300 m baselines, possibly the result of mass wasting exposing immature material and/or less space weathering due to reduced sky visibility. Modeling the photometric function in the Hapke framework, we find that, relative to the highlands, the maria exhibit decreased backscattering, a smaller opposition effect (OE) width, and a smaller OE amplitude. Immature highlands regolith has a higher backscattering fraction and a larger OE width compared to mature highlands regolith. Within the maria, the backscattering fraction and OE width show little dependence on TiO2 and OMAT. Variations in the phase function shape at large phase angles are observed in and around the Copernican-aged Jackson crater, including its dark halo, a putative impact melt deposit. Finally, the phase function of the Reiner Gamma Formation behaves more optically immature than is typical for its composition

  4. Vertical Roughness of the Polar Regions of Mars from Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter Pulse-Width Measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garvin, J. B.; Frawley, J. J.; Sakimoto, S. E. H.

    2000-08-01

    The sub-kilometer scale vertical roughness of the martian surface in the polar regions can be investigated using calibrated, optical pulse width data provided by the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA). Garvin and others have previously discussed initial observations of what we have called "total vertical roughness" or TVR, as derived from MOLA optical pulse width observations acquired during the pre-mapping phases of the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) mission. Here we present the first assessment of the Mars polar region properties of the TVR parameter from more than nine months of continuous mapping by MOLA as part of the MGS mapping mission. Other than meter-scale surface properties directly inferred from Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) images, MOLA measurements of footprint-scale TVR represent the only direct measurements of the local vertical structure of the martian surface at approx. 150 m length scales. These types of data have previously been shown to correlate with geologic process histories for terrestrial desert surfaces on the basis of Shuttle Laser Altimeter (SLA) observations. Additional information is obtained in the original extended abstract.

  5. Vertical Roughness of the Polar Regions of Mars from Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter Pulse-Width Measurements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garvin, J. B.; Frawley, J. J.; Sakimoto, S. E. H.

    2000-01-01

    The sub-kilometer scale vertical roughness of the martian surface in the polar regions can be investigated using calibrated, optical pulse width data provided by the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA). Garvin and others have previously discussed initial observations of what we have called "total vertical roughness" or TVR, as derived from MOLA optical pulse width observations acquired during the pre-mapping phases of the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) mission. Here we present the first assessment of the Mars polar region properties of the TVR parameter from more than nine months of continuous mapping by MOLA as part of the MGS mapping mission. Other than meter-scale surface properties directly inferred from Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) images, MOLA measurements of footprint-scale TVR represent the only direct measurements of the local vertical structure of the martian surface at approx. 150 m length scales. These types of data have previously been shown to correlate with geologic process histories for terrestrial desert surfaces on the basis of Shuttle Laser Altimeter (SLA) observations. Additional information is obtained in the original extended abstract.

  6. Application of the Shuttle Laser Altimeter in an Accuracy Assessment of Global 1-Kilometer Digital Elevation Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harding, David J.; Carabajal, Claudia C.; Luthcke, Scott B.; Gesch, Dean B.

    1998-01-01

    Shuttle Laser Altimeter (SLA) data have been used to evaluate the accuracy of GTOPO30, the first comprehensive, 1 km resolution, global topographic data set. GTOPO30 was developed by the USGS Eros Data Center (EDC), in part, to address NASA's needs for a global topographic model in support of remote sensing instruments aboard the Earth Observing System AM-1 spacecraft. SLA flew as a part of the STS-72 mission in January, 1996 observing the latitude band from +/- 28.5 deg, and on STS-85 in August, 1997 extending the observations to +/- 57 deg. Combining the SLA ranging data with shuttle position and pointing knowledge yields surface elevation data of very high vertical accuracy in an Earth-centered, absolute reference frame (2.8 m rms difference for SLA-01 with respect to ocean reference surface). Use of the well-determined mean sea surface reference for calibration allows propagation of high accuracy altimetry onto the continents. 436,635 SLA-01 land elevations were compared to the GTOPO30 grid after conversion to a mean sea level vertical datum using the Earth Geoid Model 96, jointly developed by Goddard and NIMA. The comparison reveals systematic elevation biases in southern Asia, Africa, Australia, and south America on the order 10's to 100 meters in the GTOPO30 compilation on spatial scales of 100's to 1000's of kilometers. These biases are likely due to vertical datum errors in the topographic source materials used to compile GTOPO30, which primarily consist of Defense Mapping Agency (DMA) digital elevation and topographic map products. These biases imply that elevation corrections applied to land gravity measurements using these DMA source materials will be biased, leading to errors in geoid models incorporating these land gravity data.

  7. Lunar Impact Basins: Stratigraphy, Sequence and Ages from Superposed Impact Crater Populations Measured from Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fassett, C. I.; Head, J. W.; Kadish, S. J.; Mazarico, E.; Neumann, G. A.; Smith, D. E.; Zuber, M. T.

    2012-01-01

    Impact basin formation is a fundamental process in the evolution of the Moon and records the history of impactors in the early solar system. In order to assess the stratigraphy, sequence, and ages of impact basins and the impactor population as a function of time, we have used topography from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) to measure the superposed impact crater size-frequency distributions for 30 lunar basins (D = 300 km). These data generally support the widely used Wilhelms sequence of lunar basins, although we find significantly higher densities of superposed craters on many lunar basins than derived by Wilhelms (50% higher densities). Our data also provide new insight into the timing of the transition between distinct crater populations characteristic of ancient and young lunar terrains. The transition from a lunar impact flux dominated by Population 1 to Population 2 occurred before the mid-Nectarian. This is before the end of the period of rapid cratering, and potentially before the end of the hypothesized Late Heavy Bombardment. LOLA-derived crater densities also suggest that many Pre-Nectarian basins, such as South Pole-Aitken, have been cratered to saturation equilibrium. Finally, both crater counts and stratigraphic observations based on LOLA data are applicable to specific basin stratigraphic problems of interest; for example, using these data, we suggest that Serenitatis is older than Nectaris, and Humboldtianum is younger than Crisium. Sample return missions to specific basins can anchor these measurements to a Pre-Imbrian absolute chronology.

  8. On the calibration of Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter surface roughness estimates using high-resolution DTMs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poole, W.; Muller, J.-P.; Gupta, S.

    2012-04-01

    Planetary surface roughness is critical in the selection of suitable landing sites for robotic lander or roving missions. It has also been used in the identification of terrain, for better calibration of radar returns and improved understanding of aerodynamic roughness [1]. One of the secondary science goals of the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) was the study of surface roughness at 100 m, using the backscatter pulse width of the laser pulse, which has a footprint of 168 m in diameter [2]. The pulse width values in the final release (version L) of the MOLA Precision Experiment Data Record (PEDR) have been corrected for across track slopes and the removal of 'bad points', and footprint diameter was revised to 75 m, with a 35 m response length in [3]. We look here at comparing surface roughness values derived from the MOLA pulse-width data with surface roughness estimates derived at various scales from high-resolution digital terrain models (DTMs) to determine if these theoretically derived surface roughness lengths are physically meaningful. The final four potential landing sites for Mars Science Laboratory were used in this study, as they have extensive HiRISE (1m) and HRSC (50m) DTM coverage [4]. Pulse width data from both the MOLA PEDR (version L) and the data used in [3] was collected and compared for each of the sites against surface roughness estimates at various scales from HiRISE, and HRSC, DTMs using the RMS height. This assumed a circular footprint for each MOLA footprint and that the horizontal geolocation of the PEDR MOLA footprints was sufficiently accurate to only extract those DTM points which lay inside the footprints. Results from the MOLA PEDR data were extremely poor, and show no correlation with surface roughness measurements from DTMs. Results using the corrected data in [3] were mixed. Eberswalde and Holden Craters both show significantly improved correlations for a variety of surface roughness scales. The best correlations were found to

  9. The Keck "Mars 2000" Project: Using Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter Data to Assess Geological Processes and Regional Stratigraphy Near Orcus Patera and Marte Vallis on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Grosfils, E. B.; Sakimoto, S. E. H.; Mendelson, C. V.; Bleacher, J. E.

    2001-01-01

    During the Keck 'Mars 2000' summer project 10 undergraduates (rising juniors) used Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) data to study a 19x14 degree region they identified as a potential Mars 2003 landing site. Here we introduce the project science and organization. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  10. NASA's Operation IceBridge: using instrumented aircraft to bridge the observational gap between ICESat and ICESat-2 laser altimeter measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Studinger, M.

    2012-12-01

    NASA's Operation IceBridge images Earth's polar ice in unprecedented detail to better understand processes that connect the polar regions with the global climate system. Operation IceBridge utilizes a highly specialized fleet of research aircraft and the most sophisticated suite of innovative science instruments ever assembled to characterize annual changes in thickness of sea ice, glaciers, and ice sheets. In addition, Operation IceBridge collects critical data used to predict the response of Earth's polar ice to climate change and resulting sea-level rise. IceBridge also helps bridge the gap in polar observations betweenNASA's ICESat satellite missions. Combined with previous aircraft observations, as well as ICESat, CryoSat-2 and the forthcoming ICESat-2 observations, Operation IceBridge will produce a cross-calibrated 17-year time series of ice sheet and sea-ice elevation data over Antarctica, as well as a 27-year time series over Greenland. These time series will be a critical resource for predictive models of sea ice and ice sheet behavior. In addition to laser altimetry, Operation IceBridge is using a comprehensive suite of instruments to produce a three-dimensional view of the Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets, ice shelves and the sea ice. The suite includes two NASA laser altimeters, the Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) and the Land, Vegetation and Ice Sensor (LVIS); four radar systems from the University of Kansas' Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS), a Ku-band radar altimeter, accumulation radar, snow radar and the Multichannel Coherent Radar Depth Sounder (MCoRDS); a Sander Geophysics airborne gravimeter (AIRGrav), a magnetometer and a high-resolution stereographic camera (DMS). Since its start in 2009, Operation IceBridge has deployed 7 geophysical survey aircraft, 18 science instruments. All IceBridge data is freely available from NSIDC (http://nsidc.org/data/icebridge) 6 months after completion of a campaign.

  11. NASA's Operation IceBridge: using instrumented aircraft to bridge the observational gap between ICESat and ICESat-2 laser altimeter measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Studinger, M.

    2013-12-01

    NASA's Operation IceBridge images Earth's polar ice in unprecedented detail to better understand processes that connect the polar regions with the global climate system. Operation IceBridge utilizes a highly specialized fleet of research aircraft and the most sophisticated suite of innovative science instruments ever assembled to characterize annual changes in thickness of sea ice, glaciers, and ice sheets. In addition, Operation IceBridge collects critical data used to predict the response of Earth's polar ice to climate change and resulting sea-level rise. IceBridge also helps bridge the gap in polar observations between NASA's ICESat satellite missions. Combined with previous aircraft observations, as well as ICESat, CryoSat-2 and the forthcoming ICESat-2 observations, Operation IceBridge will produce a cross-calibrated 17-year time series of ice sheet and sea-ice elevation data over Antarctica, as well as a 27-year time series over Greenland. These time series will be a critical resource for predictive models of sea ice and ice sheet behavior. In addition to laser altimetry, Operation IceBridge is using a comprehensive suite of instruments to produce a three-dimensional view of the Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets, ice shelves and the sea ice. The suite includes two NASA laser altimeters, the Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) and the Land, Vegetation and Ice Sensor (LVIS); four radar systems from the University of Kansas' Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS), a Ku-band radar altimeter, accumulation radar, snow radar and the Multichannel Coherent Radar Depth Sounder (MCoRDS); a Sander Geophysics airborne gravimeter (AIRGrav), a magnetometer and a high-resolution stereographic camera (DMS). Since its start in 2009, Operation IceBridge has deployed 8 geophysical survey aircraft and 19 science instruments. All IceBridge data is freely available from NSIDC (http://nsidc.org/data/icebridge) 6 months after completion of a campaign.

  12. Orientale Impact Basin and Vicinity: Topographic Characterization from Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Head, J. W.; Smith, D. E.; Zuber, M. T.; Neumann, G. A.; Fassett, C.; Mazarico, E.; Torrence, M. H.; Dickson, J.

    2009-12-01

    The 920 km diameter Orientale basin is the youngest and most well-preserved large multi-ringed impact basin on the Moon; it has not been significantly filled with mare basalts, as have other lunar impact basins, and thus the basin interior deposits and ring structures are very well-exposed and provide major insight into the formation and evolution of planetary multi-ringed impact basins. We report here on the acquisition of new altimetry data for the Orientale basin from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) on board the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. Pre-basin structure had a major effect on the formation of Orientale; we have mapped dozens of impact craters underlying both the Orientale ejecta (Hevelius Formation-HF) and the unit between the basin rim (Cordillera ring-CR) and the Outer Rook ring (OR) (known as the Montes Rook Formation-MRF), ranging up in size to the Mendel-Rydberg basin just to the south of Orientale; this crater-basin topography has influenced the topographic development of the basin rim (CR), sometimes causing the basin rim to lie at a topographically lower level than the inner basin rings (OR and Inner Rook-IR). In contrast to some previous interpretations, the distribution of these features supports the interpretation that the OR ring is the closest approximation to the basin excavation cavity. The total basin interior topography is highly variable and typically ranges ~6-7 km below the surrounding pre-basin surface, with significant variations in different quadrants. The inner basin depression is about 2-4 km deep below the IR plateau and these data permit the quantitative assessment of post-basin-formation thermal response to impact energy input and uplifted isotherms. The Maunder Formation (MF) consists of smooth plains (on the inner basin depression walls and floor) and corrugated deposits (on the IR plateau); this topographic configuration supports the interpretation that the MF consists of different facies of impact melt. The inner

  13. Improved calibration of reflectance data from the LRO Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) and implications for space weathering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lemelin, M.; Lucey, P. G.; Neumann, G. A.; Mazarico, E. M.; Barker, M. K.; Kakazu, A.; Trang, D.; Smith, D. E.; Zuber, M. T.

    2016-07-01

    The Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) experiment on Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) is a laser altimeter that also measures the strength of the return pulse from the lunar surface. These data have been used to estimate the reflectance of the lunar surface, including regions lacking direct solar illumination. A new calibration of these data is presented that features lower uncertainties overall and more consistent results in the polar regions. We use these data, along with newly available maps of the distribution of lunar maria, also derived from LRO instrument data, to investigate a newly discovered dependence of the albedo of the lunar maria on latitude (Hemingway et al., [2015]). We confirm that there is an increase in albedo with latitude in the lunar maria, and confirm that this variation is not an artifact arising from the distribution of compositions within the lunar maria, using data from the Lunar Prospector Neutron Spectrometer. Radiative transfer modeling of the albedo dependence within the lunar maria is consistent with the very weak to absent dependence of albedo on latitude in the lunar highlands; the lower abundance of the iron source for space weathering products in the lunar highlands weakens the latitude dependence to the extent that it is only weakly detectable in current data. In addition, photometric models and normalization may take into account the fact that the lunar albedo is latitude dependent, but this dependence can cause errors in normalized reflectance of at most 2% for the majority of near-nadir geometries. We also investigate whether the latitude dependent albedo may have obscured detection of small mare deposits at high latitudes. We find that small regions at high latitudes with low roughness similar to the lunar maria are not mare deposits that may have been misclassified owing to high albedos imposed by the latitude dependence. Finally, we suggest that the only modest correlations among space weathering indicators defined

  14. Dynamic test of radio altimeter based on IQ modulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pan, Hongfei; Tian, Yu; Li, Miao

    2010-08-01

    This paper based on the analysis and research of radio altimeter and its basic principles, it introduces a design for I/Q modulator's radio altimeter testing system. Further, data got from the test had been analyzed. Combined with the testing data of the altimeter, a construction of the I/Q modulator's radio altimeter testing system is built.

  15. The steepest slopes on the Moon from Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) Data: Spatial Distribution and Correlation with Geologic Features

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kreslavsky, Mikhail A.; Head, James W.

    2016-07-01

    We calculated topographic gradients over the surface of the Moon at a 25 m baseline using data obtained by the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) instrument onboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft. The relative spatial distribution of steep slopes can be reliably obtained, although some technical characteristics of the LOLA dataset preclude statistical studies of slope orientation. The derived slope-frequency distribution revealed a steep rollover for slopes close to the angle of repose. Slopes significantly steeper than the angle of repose are almost absent on the Moon due to (1) the general absence of cohesion/strength of the fractured and fragmented megaregolith of the lunar highlands, and (2) the absence of geological processes producing steep-slopes in the recent geological past. The majority of slopes steeper than 32°-35° are associated with relatively young large impact craters. We demonstrate that these impact craters progressively lose their steepest slopes. We also found that features of Early Imbrian and older ages have almost no slopes steeper than 35°. We interpret this to be due to removal of all steep slopes by the latest basin-forming impact (Orientale), probably by global seismic shaking. The global spatial distribution of the steepest slopes correlates moderately well with the predicted spatial distribution of impact rate; however, a significant paucity of steep slopes in the southern farside remains unexplained.

  16. Icesat-2: The Next Generation Laser Altimeter Mission for Polar Research - an Update on Development Status and Science Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Markus, T.; Neumann, T.; Anthony, M.

    2014-12-01

    NASA's Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) mission objectives are to quantify polar ice sheet contributions to sea level change, quantify regional signatures of ice sheet changes to assess driving mechanisms, estimate sea ice thickness, and to enable measurements of canopy height as a basis for estimating large-scale biomass. Its predecessor ICESat, which operated from 2003 to 2009, pioneered the use of laser altimeters in space to study the elevation of the Earth's surface and its changes. Among other contributions to the cryospheric sciences, ICESat proved adept at making centimeter-level elevation measurements over both ice sheets and sea ice. Since ICESat stopped collecting data in October 2009, the IceBridge and CryoSat-2 missions continue these important observations. The well-documented and ongoing dramatic and rapid changes in the Earth's ice cover have strengthened the need for sustained observations beyond what CryoSat-2 and IceBridge are expected to provide. Lessons learned from ICESat are the need for cross-track slope information (realized through ICESat-2's multiple beams), a smaller footprint size, and gapless along-track data collection. These needs resulted in a different measurement concept for ICESat-2. The talk will provide a brief summary of the measurement concept, the status of hardware development (instrument Integration and Testing has started in May 2014), and progress on geophysical algorithm development.

  17. Performance of the GLAS Laser Transmitter in Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yu, Anthony W.; Afzal, Robert S.; Dallas, Joseph L.; Melak, Anthony; Mamakos, William

    2006-01-01

    The Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS), launched in January 2003, is a laser altimeter and lidar for the Earth Observing System's (EOS) ICESat mission. The laser transmitter requirements, design and qualification test results and in-flight performance for this space-based remote sensing instrument is summarized and presented.

  18. Estimation of the on-orbit distortion of the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA II) primary mirror

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Generie, Pamela; Hayden, William L.

    1996-11-01

    This paper describes the analyses performed to estimate the on-orbit distortion of the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA II) primary mirror. MOLA II is one of five scientific instruments that will be flown on the Mars Global Surveyor. The MOLA II instrument will map the surface profile of Mars for a full Marian year to a resolution of 2 meters vertical and 160 meters horizontal. The MOLA II telescope is an f/6 Cassegrain telescope with a 0.85 milliradian (mrad) field of view. The telescope is made entirely of Brush Wellman S200F vacuum hot pressed beryllium. The primary mirror diameter is 508 mm with a base radius of curvature of 711.2 mm. This mirror is plated first with electroless nickel and then with electrolytic gold. The purpose of these analyses was (1) to estimate the on-orbit distortion of the large primary mirror due to thermal loading, interface stresses, and gravity release and (2) to calculate the expected damage to the mirror surface due to micrometeroid impacts. A detailed NASA structural analysis program finite element model was used as a tool for evaluating the mirror performance. The results of the analyses indicate that a stability error of 2.4 microns peak-to-valley and 0.6 microns root mean square is expected for the on-orbit distortion of the primary mirror surface. The estimated surface damage due to micrometeoroids is 0.03 cm2, which is 0.002 percent of the total surface area. Both of these results are within mission acceptance parameters.

  19. CGPS Implementation and Lidar/Laser Altimeter Experiences at l'Estartit, Ibiza and Barcelona Harbours for Sea Level Monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martinez-Benjamin, J.; Schutz, B.; Urban, T.; Ortiz Castellon, M.; Martinez-Garcia, M.; Ruiz, A.; Perez, B.; Rodriguez-Velasco, G.

    2008-12-01

    In the framework of a Spanish Space Project, the instrumentation of sea level measurements has been improved by providing the Barcelona site with a radar tide gauge and with a continuous GPS station nearby. The radar tide gauge is a Datamar 3000C device and a Thales Navigation Internet-Enabled GPS Continuous Geodetic Reference Station (iCGRS) with a choke ring antenna. It is intended that the overall system will constitute a CGPS Station of the ESEAS (European Sea Level) and TIGA (GPS Tide Gauge Benchmark Monitoring) networks. Puertos del Estado (Spanish Harbours) installed the tide gauge station at Ibiza harbour in January 2003. The station belongs to the REDMAR network, composed at this moment by 21 stations distributed along the whole Spanish waters, including also the Canary islands. The tide gauge also belongs to the ESEAS (European Sea Level) network. At the Barcelona harbour they have installed a radar tide gauge near a GPS station belonging to Puerto de Barcelona. L'Estartit floating tide gauge was set up in 1990. Data are taken in graphics registers from each two hours the mean value is recorded in an electronic support. L'Estartit tide gauge series provides good quality information about the changes in the sea heights at centimeter level, that is the magnitude of the common tides in the Mediterranean. Two airborne calibration campaigns carrying an Optech Lidar ALTM-3025 (ICC) were made on June 16, 2007 with a Partenavia P-68 and October 12, 2007, with a Cessna Caravan 208B flying along two ICESat target tracks including crossover near l'Estartit. The validation of this new technology LIDAR may be useful to fill coastal areas where satellite radar altimeters are not measuring due to the large footprint and the resulting gaps of about 15-30 km within the coastline. Measurements with a GPS Buoy at l'Estartit harbour were made during the June experience and a GPS reference station was installed in Aiguablava. On October 12, 2007, another LIDAR campaign was

  20. Heterodyne laser spectroscopy system

    DOEpatents

    Wyeth, Richard W.; Paisner, Jeffrey A.; Story, Thomas

    1990-01-01

    A heterodyne laser spectroscopy system utilizes laser heterodyne techniques for purposes of laser isotope separation spectroscopy, vapor diagnostics, processing of precise laser frequency offsets from a reference frequency, and provides spectral analysis of a laser beam.

  1. Heterodyne laser spectroscopy system

    DOEpatents

    Wyeth, Richard W.; Paisner, Jeffrey A.; Story, Thomas

    1989-01-01

    A heterodyne laser spectroscopy system utilizes laser heterodyne techniques for purposes of laser isotope separation spectroscopy, vapor diagnostics, processing of precise laser frequency offsets from a reference frequency and the like, and provides spectral analysis of a laser beam.

  2. Single-photon, Dual-color, Polarimetric Laser Altimeter Measurements of Lake Ice Freeboard, Roughness and Scattering Properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harding, D. J.; Dabney, P.; Valett, S.; Shuman, C. A.

    2009-12-01

    The Slope Imaging Multi-polarization Photon-counting Lidar (SIMPL) is an advanced technology airborne laser altimeter developed with a focus on remote sensing of ice sheets and sea ice including their melt state. Its development was sponsored by the NASA Earth Science Technology Office Instrument Incubator Program. SIMPL utilizes micropulse single photon laser ranging at 532 nm (green) and 1064 nm (near-infrared) wavelengths in a four-beam push-broom configuration. Currently, the instrument is capable of flight altitudes of up to 5000 m; this spreads the 4 profiles over a cross-track distance of 30 m providing an estimate of both along-track and cross-track slope magnitudes and directions. For both wavelengths on each beam, depolarization is measured as the ratio of received energy perpendicular and parallel to the plane-polarized transmit beams. The precision of the single photon ranges is 8 cm and a range observation is acquired every 5 to 10 cm at airborne flight speeds. This performance enables measurement of ice freeboard and surface roughness at 5 m length scales based on the height dispersion of single photon ranges aggregated along the profiles. The depolarization ratio is a function of the scattering properties of the target, specifically the proportions of specular reflection and surface and volume scattering. The relationship between surface roughness and depolarization at green and near-IR wavelengths will be illustrated using data acquired during flights over Lake Erie ice cover in February 2009, an analog for sea ice. Observed in simultaneously acquired digital video frames, the ice cover appears to be a heterogeneous amalgamation of ice types, thicknesses and ages. The lake ice is covered by snow in places and contains numerous open water leads to enable ice freeboard detection relative to the water surface. The depolarization ratio differentiates open water, young clear ice, older granular ice and snow cover. The variability of the ratio along a

  3. 14 CFR Appendix E to Part 43 - Altimeter System Test and Inspection

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... further, in the same manner as before, until atmospheric pressure is reached. The reading of the altimeter... atmospheric pressure) shall not differ from the original atmospheric pressure reading by more than the... II during an interval of 1 minute. (vi) Barometric scale error. At constant atmospheric pressure,...

  4. 14 CFR Appendix E to Part 43 - Altimeter System Test and Inspection

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... further, in the same manner as before, until atmospheric pressure is reached. The reading of the altimeter... atmospheric pressure) shall not differ from the original atmospheric pressure reading by more than the... II during an interval of 1 minute. (vi) Barometric scale error. At constant atmospheric pressure,...

  5. 14 CFR Appendix E to Part 43 - Altimeter System Test and Inspection

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... further, in the same manner as before, until atmospheric pressure is reached. The reading of the altimeter... atmospheric pressure) shall not differ from the original atmospheric pressure reading by more than the... II during an interval of 1 minute. (vi) Barometric scale error. At constant atmospheric pressure,...

  6. 14 CFR Appendix E to Part 43 - Altimeter System Test and Inspection

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... further, in the same manner as before, until atmospheric pressure is reached. The reading of the altimeter... atmospheric pressure) shall not differ from the original atmospheric pressure reading by more than the... II during an interval of 1 minute. (vi) Barometric scale error. At constant atmospheric pressure,...

  7. 14 CFR Appendix E to Part 43 - Altimeter System Test and Inspection

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... further, in the same manner as before, until atmospheric pressure is reached. The reading of the altimeter... atmospheric pressure) shall not differ from the original atmospheric pressure reading by more than the... II during an interval of 1 minute. (vi) Barometric scale error. At constant atmospheric pressure,...

  8. Space-based Swath Imaging Laser Altimeter for Cryospheric Topographic and Surface Property Mapping

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abshire, James; Harding, David; Shuman, Chris; Sun, Xiaoli; Dabney, Phil; Krainak, Michael; Scambos, Ted

    2005-01-01

    Uncertainties in the response of the Greenland and Antarctic polar ice sheets to global climatic change inspired the development of ICESat/GLAS as part of NASA's Earth Observing System. ICESat's primary purpose is the measurement of ice sheet surface elevation profiles with sufficient accuracy, spatial density, and temporal coverage so that elevation changes can be derived with an accuracy of <1.5 cm/year for averages of measurements over the ice sheets with areas of 100 x 100 km. The primary means to achieve this elevation change detection is spatial averaging of elevation differences at cross-overs between ascending and descending profiles in areas of low ice surface slope. Additional information is included in the original extended abstract.

  9. A ground track control algorithm for the Topographic Mapping Laser Altimeter (TMLA)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blaes, V.; Mcintosh, R.; Roszman, L.; Cooley, J.

    1993-01-01

    The results of an analysis of an algorithm that will provide autonomous onboard orbit control using orbits determined with Global Positioning System (GPS) data. The algorithm uses the GPS data to (1) compute the ground track error relative to a fixed longitude grid, and (2) determine the altitude adjustment required to correct the longitude error. A program was written on a personal computer (PC) to test the concept for numerous altitudes and values of solar flux using a simplified orbit model including only the J sub 2 zonal harmonic and simple orbit decay computations. The algorithm was then implemented in a precision orbit propagation program having a full range of perturbations. The analysis showed that, even with all perturbations (including actual time histories of solar flux variation), the algorithm could effectively control the spacecraft ground track and yield more than 99 percent Earth coverage in the time required to complete one coverage cycle on the fixed grid (220 to 230 days depending on altitude and overlap allowance).

  10. Integration of Chang'E-2 imagery and LRO laser altimeter data with a combined block adjustment for precision lunar topographic modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Bo; Hu, Han; Guo, Jian

    2014-04-01

    Lunar topographic information is essential for lunar scientific investigations and exploration missions. Lunar orbiter imagery and laser altimeter data are two major data sources for lunar topographic modeling. Most previous studies have processed the imagery and laser altimeter data separately for lunar topographic modeling, and there are usually inconsistencies between the derived lunar topographic models. This paper presents a novel combined block adjustment approach to integrate multiple strips of the Chinese Chang'E-2 imagery and NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Laser Altimeter (LOLA) data for precision lunar topographic modeling. The participants of the combined block adjustment include the orientation parameters of the Chang'E-2 images, the intra-strip tie points derived from the Chang'E-2 stereo images of the same orbit, the inter-strip tie points derived from the overlapping area of two neighbor Chang'E-2 image strips, and the LOLA points. Two constraints are incorporated into the combined block adjustment including a local surface constraint and an orbit height constraint, which are specifically designed to remedy the large inconsistencies between the Chang'E-2 and LOLA data sets. The output of the combined block adjustment is the improved orientation parameters of the Chang'E-2 images and ground coordinates of the LOLA points, from which precision lunar topographic models can be generated. The performance of the developed approach was evaluated using the Chang'E-2 imagery and LOLA data in the Sinus Iridum area and the Apollo 15 landing area. The experimental results revealed that the mean absolute image residuals between the Chang'E-2 image strips were drastically reduced from tens of pixels before the adjustment to sub-pixel level after adjustment. Digital elevation models (DEMs) with 20 m resolution were generated using the Chang'E-2 imagery after the combined block adjustment. Comparison of the Chang'E-2 DEM with the LOLA DEM showed a good

  11. Heterodyne laser diagnostic system

    DOEpatents

    Globig, Michael A.; Johnson, Michael A.; Wyeth, Richard W.

    1990-01-01

    The heterodyne laser diagnostic system includes, in one embodiment, an average power pulsed laser optical spectrum analyzer for determining the average power of the pulsed laser. In another embodiment, the system includes a pulsed laser instantaneous optical frequency measurement for determining the instantaneous optical frequency of the pulsed laser.

  12. Stratigraphy, Sequence, and Crater Populations of Lunar Impact Basins from Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) Data: Implications for the Late Heavy Bombardment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fassett, C. I.; Head, J. W.; Kadish, S. J.; Mazarico, E.; Neumann, G. A.; Smith, D. E.; Zuber, M. T.

    2012-01-01

    New measurements of the topography of the Moon from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA)[1] provide an excellent base-map for analyzing the large crater population (D.20 km)of the lunar surface [2, 3]. We have recently used this data to calculate crater size-frequency distributions (CSFD) for 30 lunar impact basins, which have implications for their stratigraphy and sequence. These data provide an avenue for assessing the timing of the transitions between distinct crater populations characteristic of ancient and young lunar terrains, which has been linked to the late heavy bombardment (LHB). We also use LOLA data to re-examine relative stratigraphic relationships between key lunar basins.

  13. Altimeter waveform software design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hayne, G. S.; Miller, L. S.; Brown, G. S.

    1977-01-01

    Techniques are described for preprocessing raw return waveform data from the GEOS-3 radar altimeter. Topics discussed include: (1) general altimeter data preprocessing to be done at the GEOS-3 Data Processing Center to correct altimeter waveform data for temperature calibrations, to convert between engineering and final data units and to convert telemetered parameter quantities to more appropriate final data distribution values: (2) time "tagging" of altimeter return waveform data quantities to compensate for various delays, misalignments and calculational intervals; (3) data processing procedures for use in estimating spacecraft attitude from altimeter waveform sampling gates; and (4) feasibility of use of a ground-based reflector or transponder to obtain in-flight calibration information on GEOS-3 altimeter performance.

  14. Hypersonic gasdynamic laser system

    SciTech Connect

    Foreman, K.M.; Maciulaitis, A.

    1990-05-22

    This patent describes a visible, or near to mid infra-red, hypersonic gas dynamic laser system. It comprises: a hypersonic vehicle for carrying the hypersonic gas dynamic laser system, and also providing high energy ram air for thermodynamic excitation and supply of the laser gas; a laser cavity defined within the hypersonic vehicle and having a laser cavity inlet for the laser cavity formed by an opening in the hypersonic vehicle, such that ram air directed through the laser cavity opening supports gas dynamic lasing operations at wavelengths less than 10.6{mu} meters in the laser cavity; and an optical train for collecting the laser radiation from the laser cavity and directing it as a substantially collimated laser beam to an output aperture defined by an opening in the hypersonic vehicle to allow the laser beam to be directed against a target.

  15. Laser satellite power systems

    SciTech Connect

    Walbridge, E.W.

    1980-01-01

    A laser satellite power system (SPS) converts solar power captured by earth-orbiting satellites into electrical power on the earth's surface, the satellite-to-ground transmission of power being effected by laser beam. The laser SPS may be an alternative to the microwave SPS. Microwaves easily penetrate clouds while laser radiation does not. Although there is this major disadvantage to a laser SPS, that system has four important advantages over the microwave alternative: (1) land requirements are much less, (2) radiation levels are low outside the laser ground stations, (3) laser beam sidelobes are not expected to interfere with electromagnetic systems, and (4) the laser system lends itself to small-scale demonstration. After describing lasers and how they work, the report discusses the five lasers that are candidates for application in a laser SPS: electric discharge lasers, direct and indirect solar pumped lasers, free electron lasers, and closed-cycle chemical lasers. The Lockheed laser SPS is examined in some detail. To determine whether a laser SPS will be worthy of future deployment, its capabilities need to be better understood and its attractiveness relative to other electric power options better assessed. First priority should be given to potential program stoppers, e.g., beam attenuation by clouds. If investigation shows these potential program stoppers to be resolvable, further research should investigate lasers that are particularly promising for SPS application.

  16. Laser Systems For Use With Airborne Platforms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jepsky, Joseph

    1984-10-01

    This paper describes a family of airborne laser systems in use for terrain profiling, surveying, mapping, altimetry, collision avoidance and shipboard landing systems using fixed and rotary wing aircraft as the platforms. The laser altimeter has also been used in systems compatible with the Army T-16 and. T-22 carrier missiles (platform). Both pulsed gallium arsenide and Nd:YAG (neodymium-doped, yttrium-aluminum-garnet) laser rangefinders have been used for these applications. All of these systems use ACCI's advanced measurement techniques that permit range accuracies of 8 cm, single shot, 1 cm averaged, to be achieved. Pulse rates up to 4 Khz are employed for airborne profiling. This high data density rate provides 1 data point every 2" along the aircraft flight line at aircraft speed of 500 knots. Scanning modes for some applications are employed. Systems have been integrated with all current inertial navigation systems (Litton, Ferranti and Honeywell), as well as a number of microwave positioning systems. Removal of aircraft motion from the laser range measurements by use of an accelerometer is described. Flight data from a number of program performed by U.S. and Canadian Federal Agencies, in addition to those of commercial surveying and mapping companies are described.

  17. Comprehensive study of electro-optic and passive Q-switching in solid state lasers for altimeter applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhardwaj, Atul; Agrawal, Lalita; Pal, Suranjan; Kumar, Anil

    2006-12-01

    Laser Science and Technology Center (LASTEC), Delhi, is developing a space qualified diode pumped Nd: YAG laser transmitter capable of generating 10 ns pulses of 30 mJ energy @ 10 pps. This paper presents the results of experiments for comparative studies between electro-optic and passively Q-switched Nd: YAG laser in a crossed porro prism based laser resonator. Experimental studies have been performed by developing an economical bench model of flash lamp pumped Nd: YAG laser (rod dimension, \

  18. The influence of rain and clouds on a satellite dual frequency radar altimeter system operating at 13 and 35 GHz

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Walsh, E. J.; Monaldo, F. M.; Goldhirsh, J.

    1983-01-01

    The effects of inhomogeneous spatial attenuation resulting from clouds and rain on the altimeter estimate of the range to mean sea level are modelled. It is demonstrated that typical cloud and rain attenuation variability at commonly expected spatial scales can significantly degrade altimeter range precision. Rain cell and cloud scale sizes and attenuations are considered as factors. The model simulation of altimeter signature distortion is described, and the distortion of individual radar pulse waveforms by different spatial scales of attenuation is considered. Examples of range errors found for models of a single cloud, a rain cell, and cloud streets are discussed.

  19. Laser material processing system

    DOEpatents

    Dantus, Marcos

    2015-04-28

    A laser material processing system and method are provided. A further aspect of the present invention employs a laser for micromachining. In another aspect of the present invention, the system uses a hollow waveguide. In another aspect of the present invention, a laser beam pulse is given broad bandwidth for workpiece modification.

  20. Calibration validation for the GEOS-3 altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martin, C. F.; Kolenkiewicz, R.

    1980-01-01

    The absolute bias calibration for the GEOS-3 intensive mode altimeter was measured using two satellite passes whose groundtracks were within 1 km of the Bermuda laser station. The Bermuda laser tracked on the two passes, and was supported by two other NASA lasers on one pass and by the NASA Spacecraft Tracking and Data Network on the other pass. For each pass, the altimeter data around Bermuda was smoothed and extrapolated to the point closest to overhead at the laser site. After correcting for tide heights and sea state effects, the two passes give calibration biases which are in agreement to within 26 cm and have a weighted mean of -5.69 + or - 0.16m for correcting altimeter measurements to the center-of-mass of the spacecraft (i.e., including the antenna tracking point correction). It was found impossible to reconcile the two calibration passes, as well as a set of altimeter crossovers in the middle of the GEOS-3 calibration area, without allowing for a data time tag error. On the bias of a selected set of four crossovers, and an assessment of probable sources of timing error, it was concluded that one interpulse period (10.24 msec) should be added to the data time tags.

  1. Laser cutting system

    SciTech Connect

    Dougherty, Thomas J

    2015-03-03

    A workpiece cutting apparatus includes a laser source, a first suction system, and a first finger configured to guide a workpiece as it moves past the laser source. The first finger includes a first end provided adjacent a point where a laser from the laser source cuts the workpiece, and the first end of the first finger includes an aperture in fluid communication with the first suction system.

  2. Initial test results using the GEOS-3 engineering model altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hayne, G. S.; Clary, J. B.

    1977-01-01

    Data from a series of experimental tests run on the engineering model of the GEOS 3 radar altimeter using the Test and Measurement System (TAMS) designed for preflight testing of the radar altimeter are presented. These tests were conducted as a means of preparing and checking out a detailed test procedure to be used in running similar tests on the GEOS 3 protoflight model altimeter systems. The test procedures and results are also included.

  3. Thickness of Proximal Ejecta from the Orientale Basin from Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) Data: Implications for Multi-Ring Basin Formation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fassett, Caleb I.a; Head, James W.; Smith, David E.; Zuber, Maria T.; Neumann, Gregory A.

    2011-01-01

    Quantifying the ejecta distribution around large lunar basins is important to understanding the origin of basin rings, the volume of the transient cavity, the depth of sampling, and the nature of the basin formation processes. We have used newly obtained altimetry data of the Moon from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) instrument to estimate the thickness of ejecta in the region surrounding the Orientale impact basin, the youngest and best preserved large basin on the Moon. Our measurements yield ejecta thicknesses of approx.2900 m near the Cordillera Mountains, the topographic rim of Orientale, decaying to approx.1 km in thickness at a range of 215 km. These measurements imply a volume of ejecta in the region from the Cordillera ring to a radial range of one basin diameter of approx.2.9 x 10(exp 6)cu km and permit the derivation of an ejecta-thickness decay model, which can be compared with estimates for the volume of excavation and the size of the transient cavity. These data are consistent with the Outer Rook Mountains as the approximate location of the transient cavity s rim crest and suggest a volume of approx.4.8 x 10(exp 6)cu km for the total amount of basin ejecta exterior to this location.

  4. Co-registration of lunar topographic models derived from Chang’E-1, SELENE, and LRO laser altimeter data based on a novel surface matchingmethod

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Bo; Guo, Jian; Hu, Han; Li, Zhilin; Chen, Yongqi

    2013-02-01

    Various lunar digital topographic models (DTMs) have been generated from the data collected from earlier and recent lunar missions. There are usually inconsistencies among them due to differences in sensor configurations, data acquisition periods, and production techniques. To obtain maximum value for science and exploration, the multi-source lunar topographic datasets must be co-registered in a common reference frame. Only such an effort will ensure the proper calibration, registration, and analysis of the datasets, which in turn will permit the full comparative and synergistic use of them. This study presents a multi-feature-based surface matching method for the co-registration of multiple lunar DTMs that incorporates feature points, lines, and surface patches in surface matching to guarantee robust surface correspondence. A combined adjustment model is developed for the determination of seven transformation parameters (one scale factor, three rotations, and three translations), from which the multiple DTMs could be co-registered. The lunar DTMs derived from the Chang’E-1, SELENE, and LRO laser altimeter data in the Apollo 15 landing area and the Sinus Iridum area are examined in this study. Small offsets were found among the Chang’E-1, SELENE, and LRO DTMs. Through experimental analysis, the developed multi-feature-based method was proven able to effectively co-register multiple lunar DTMs. The performances of the multi-feature-based surface matching method were compared with the point-based method, and the former was proven to be superior to the latter.

  5. Infrared laser system

    DOEpatents

    Cantrell, Cyrus D.; Carbone, Robert J.; Cooper, Ralph

    1982-01-01

    An infrared laser system and method for isotope separation may comprise a molecular gas laser oscillator to produce a laser beam at a first wavelength, Raman spin flip means for shifting the laser to a second wavelength, a molecular gas laser amplifier to amplify said second wavelength laser beam to high power, and optical means for directing the second wavelength, high power laser beam against a desired isotope for selective excitation thereof in a mixture with other isotopes. The optical means may include a medium which shifts the second wavelength high power laser beam to a third wavelength, high power laser beam at a wavelength coincidental with a corresponding vibrational state of said isotope and which is different from vibrational states of other isotopes in the gas mixture.

  6. Infrared laser system

    DOEpatents

    Cantrell, Cyrus D.; Carbone, Robert J.; Cooper, Ralph S.

    1977-01-01

    An infrared laser system and method for isotope separation may comprise a molecular gas laser oscillator to produce a laser beam at a first wavelength, Raman spin flip means for shifting the laser to a second wavelength, a molecular gas laser amplifier to amplify said second wavelength laser beam to high power, and optical means for directing the second wavelength, high power laser beam against a desired isotope for selective excitation thereof in a mixture with other isotopes. The optical means may include a medium which shifts the second wavelength high power laser beam to a third wavelength, high power laser beam at a wavelength coincidental with a corresponding vibrational state of said isotope and which is different from vibrational states of other isotopes in the gas mixture.

  7. Precise Orbit Determination for Altimeter Satellites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zelensky, N. P.; Luthcke, S. B.; Rowlands, D. D.; Lemoine, F. G.; Beckley, B. B.; Wang, Y.; Chinn, D. S.

    2002-05-01

    Orbit error remains a critical component in the error budget for all radar altimeter missions. This paper describes the ongoing work at GSFC to improve orbits for three radar altimeter satellites: TOPEX/POSEIDON (T/P), Jason, and Geosat Follow-On (GFO). T/P has demonstrated that, the time variation of ocean topography can be determined with an accuracy of a few centimeters, thanks to the availability of highly accurate orbits (2-3 cm radially) produced at GSFC. Jason, the T/P follow-on, is intended to continue measurement of the ocean surface with the same, if not better accuracy. Reaching the Jason centimeter accuracy orbit goal would greatly benefit the knowledge of ocean circulation. Several new POD strategies which promise significant improvement to the current T/P orbit are evaluated over one year of data. Also, preliminary, but very promising Jason POD results are presented. Orbit improvement for GFO has been dramatic, and has allowed this mission to provide a POESEIDON class altimeter product. The GFO Precise Orbit Ephemeris (POE) orbits are based on satellite laser ranging (SLR) tracking supplemented with GFO/GFO altimeter crossover data. The accuracy of these orbits were evaluated using several tests, including independent TOPEX/GFO altimeter crossover data. The orbit improvements are shown over the years 2000 and 2001 for which the POEs have been completed.

  8. Laser rocket system analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, W. S.; Forsyth, J. B.; Skratt, J. P.

    1979-01-01

    The laser rocket systems investigated in this study were for orbital transportation using space-based, ground-based and airborne laser transmitters. The propulsion unit of these systems utilizes a continuous wave (CW) laser beam focused into a thrust chamber which initiates a plasma in the hydrogen propellant, thus heating the propellant and providing thrust through a suitably designed nozzle and expansion skirt. The specific impulse is limited only by the ability to adequately cool the thruster and the amount of laser energy entering the engine. The results of the study showed that, with advanced technology, laser rocket systems with either a space- or ground-based laser transmitter could reduce the national budget allocated to space transportation by 10 to 345 billion dollars over a 10-year life cycle when compared to advanced chemical propulsion systems (LO2-LH2) of equal capability. The variation in savings depends upon the projected mission model.

  9. TOPEX NASA Altimeter Operations Handbook, September 1992. Volume 6

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hancock, David W., III; Hayne, George S.; Purdy, Craig L.; Bull, James B.; Brooks, Ronald L.

    2003-01-01

    This operations handbook identifies the commands for the NASA radar altimeter for the TOPEX/Poseidon spacecraft, defines the functions of these commands, and provides supplemental reference material for use by the altimeter operations personnel. The main emphasis of this document is placed on command types, command definitions, command sequences, and operational constraints. Additional document sections describe uploadable altimeter operating parameters, the telemetry stream data contents (for both the science and the engineering data), the Missions Operations System displays, and the spacecraft and altimeter health monitors.

  10. Participation of D.O. Muhleman as a Co-Investigator on the Mars Observer Laser Altimeter (MOLA) Team

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Muhleman, Duane O.

    2004-01-01

    The Co-I has been a principle member of the MOLA Team since the beginning of the Mars Observer Project and the MOLA Team formation. The basic area of research for the Co-I involved the interactions of the MOLA laser beam with the Mars atmosphere, ice fields and surface in general. The Co-I was assisted by one graduate student, and later a research assistant, Anton Ivanov, throughout the reporting period. Dr. Ivanov received a PhD from Caltech in 2000 from research involving the MOLA project. Dr. Ivanov continued with the MOLA project after receiving his degree as a research assistant to Professor Muhleman. Most of the funding from this grant was used to support Dr. Ivanov during the later years. The primary results of these investigations included the measurement of Mars atmospheric opacity at the 1 micron wavelength of the laser, the effects of dust within the craters and canyons of Mars, and a detailed study of the North Polar Ice Cap in terms of ice sublimation and the current structure of that ice cap. We were able to show that the sublimation of the ice on the polar cap would create the current average shape of the norther cap. Extensive data collection and study were made of the Mars surface 1 micron reflectivity until the laser mechanically failed during the reporting period. Reflectivity maps of Mars were produced although there were serious problems of the laser echo signal strength calibration. After that event the efforts were mainly to complete the older investigations. All of the work supported by this grant was theoretical in nature and did not lead to any patents.

  11. Mid-Latitude versus Polar-Latitude Transitional Impact Craters: Geometric Properties from Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) Observations and Viking Images

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Matias, A.; Garvin, J. B.; Sakimoto, S. E. H.

    1998-01-01

    One intriguing aspect of martian impact crater morphology is the change of crater cavity and ejecta characteristics from the mid-latitudes to the polar regions. This is thought to reflect differences in target properties such as an increasing presence of ice in the polar regions. Previous image-based efforts concerning martian crater morphology has documented some aspects of this, but has been hampered by the lack of adequate topography data. Recent Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) topographic profiles provide a quantitative perspective for interpreting the detailed morphologies of martian crater cavities and ejecta morphology. This study is a preliminary effort to quantify the latitude-dependent differences in morphology with the goal of identifying target-dependent and crater modification effects from the combined of images and MOLA topography. We combine the available MOLA profiles and the corresponding Viking Mars Digital Image Mosaics (MDIMS), and high resolution Viking Orbiter images to focus on two transitional craters; one on the mid-latitudes, and one in the North Polar region. One MOLA pass (MGS Orbit 34) traverses the center of a 15.9 km diameter fresh complex crater located at 12.8degN 83.8degE on the Hesperian ridge plains unit (Hvr). Viking images, as well as MOLA data, show that this crater has well developed wall terraces and a central peak with 429 m of relative relief. Three MOLA passes have been acquired for a second impact crater, which is located at 69.5degN 41degE on the Vastitas Borealis Formation. This fresh rampart crater lacks terraces and central peak structures and it has a depth af 579 m. Correlation between images and MOLA topographic profiles allows us to construct basic facies maps of the craters. Eight main units were identified, four of which are common on both craters.

  12. Topography, roughness, layering, and slope properties of the Medusae Fossae Formation from Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) and Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sakimoto, Susan E. H.; Frey, Herbert V.; Garvin, James B.; Roark, James H.

    1999-10-01

    The enigmatic Medusae Fossae Formation (MFF) is one of the youngest surficial deposits on Mars. Previously proposed modes of origin include pyroclastic volcanism, eolian mantling, polar sedimentation, carbonate platform, and paleoshorelines. In order to assess mapped member boundaries and constrain likely origin processes we analyze five topographic transects from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) collected during the aerobraking hiatus orbit period of the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) mission together with several simultaneously acquired Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) images to examine the regional and local variations in the relief, slopes, vertical roughness, and relative elevations of mapped MFF members. We find that the members are not particularly flat or level but have average thicknesses of many hundreds of meters and substantially more internal relief than previously thought. Locally, the MFF members are sometimes distinguishable by slope, elevation, and surface roughness characteristics, but no unique formation-wide characteristics are apparent in this analysis of the limited initial data. The relative elevations of the mapped members are not consistent with undeformed planar horizontal layers but may be consistent with layers draped over preexisting topography with subsequent partial removal. Analysis of the initial coincident MOC and MOLA hiatus data suggests the possible presence of local layers, as well as the mislocation of at least a few MFF member and formation boundaries. We conclude that carbonate and shoreline deposit origins are not as well supported in the initial MGS data as they were in the Viking data and that the MFF formation and member boundaries should be reexamined in conjunction with the incoming new MGS data.

  13. Precision laser aiming system

    SciTech Connect

    Ahrens, Brandon R.; Todd, Steven N.

    2009-04-28

    A precision laser aiming system comprises a disrupter tool, a reflector, and a laser fixture. The disrupter tool, the reflector and the laser fixture are configurable for iterative alignment and aiming toward an explosive device threat. The invention enables a disrupter to be quickly and accurately set up, aligned, and aimed in order to render safe or to disrupt a target from a standoff position.

  14. Photon-Counting Multikilohertz Microlaser Altimeters for Airborne and Spaceborne Topographic Measurements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Degnan, John J.; Smith, David E. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    We consider the optimum design of photon-counting microlaser altimeters operating from airborne and spaceborne platforms under both day and night conditions. Extremely compact Q-switched microlaser transmitters produce trains of low energy pulses at multi-kHz rates and can easily generate subnanosecond pulse-widths for precise ranging. To guide the design, we have modeled the solar noise background and developed simple algorithms, based on Post-Detection Poisson Filtering (PDPF), to optimally extract the weak altimeter signal from a high noise background during daytime operations. Practical technology issues, such as detector and/or receiver dead times, have also been considered in the analysis. We describe an airborne prototype, being developed under NASA's instrument Incubator Program, which is designed to operate at a 10 kHz rate from aircraft cruise altitudes up to 12 km with laser pulse energies on the order of a few microjoules. We also analyze a compact and power efficient system designed to operate from Mars orbit at an altitude of 300 km and sample the Martian surface at rates up to 4.3 kHz using a 1 watt laser transmitter and an 18 cm telescope. This yields a Power-Aperture Product of 0.24 W-square meter, corresponding to a value almost 4 times smaller than the Mars Orbiting Laser Altimeter (0. 88W-square meter), yet the sampling rate is roughly 400 times greater (4 kHz vs 10 Hz) Relative to conventional high power laser altimeters, advantages of photon-counting laser altimeters include: (1) a more efficient use of available laser photons providing up to two orders of magnitude greater surface sampling rates for a given laser power-telescope aperture product; (2) a simultaneous two order of magnitude reduction in the volume, cost and weight of the telescope system; (3) the unique ability to spatially resolve the source of the surface return in a photon counting mode through the use of pixellated or imaging detectors; and (4) improved vertical and

  15. The transition from complex crater to peak-ring basin on the Moon: New observations from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) instrument

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baker, David M. H.; Head, James W.; Fassett, Caleb I.; Kadish, Seth J.; Smith, Dave E.; Zuber, Maria T.; Neumann, Gregory A.

    2011-08-01

    Impact craters on planetary bodies transition with increasing size from simple, to complex, to peak-ring basins and finally to multi-ring basins. Important to understanding the relationship between complex craters with central peaks and multi-ring basins is the analysis of protobasins (exhibiting a rim crest and interior ring plus a central peak) and peak-ring basins (exhibiting a rim crest and an interior ring). New data have permitted improved portrayal and classification of these transitional features on the Moon. We used new 128 pixel/degree gridded topographic data from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) instrument onboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, combined with image mosaics, to conduct a survey of craters >50 km in diameter on the Moon and to update the existing catalogs of lunar peak-ring basins and protobasins. Our updated catalog includes 17 peak-ring basins (rim-crest diameters range from 207 km to 582 km, geometric mean = 343 km) and 3 protobasins (137-170 km, geometric mean = 157 km). Several basins inferred to be multi-ring basins in prior studies (Apollo, Moscoviense, Grimaldi, Freundlich-Sharonov, Coulomb-Sarton, and Korolev) are now classified as peak-ring basins due to their similarities with lunar peak-ring basin morphologies and absence of definitive topographic ring structures greater than two in number. We also include in our catalog 23 craters exhibiting small ring-like clusters of peaks (50-205 km, geometric mean = 81 km); one (Humboldt) exhibits a rim-crest diameter and an interior morphology that may be uniquely transitional to the process of forming peak rings. A power-law fit to ring diameters ( Dring) and rim-crest diameters ( Dr) of peak-ring basins on the Moon [ Dring = 0.14 ± 0.10( Dr) 1.21±0.13] reveals a trend that is very similar to a power-law fit to peak-ring basin diameters on Mercury [ Dring = 0.25 ± 0.14( Drim) 1.13±0.10] [Baker, D.M.H. et al. [2011]. Planet. Space Sci., in press]. Plots of ring

  16. Lasers in aviation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goncharov, I. N.; Dezhin, V. N.; Kutakhov, V. P.; Petukhov, A. V.; Sidorin, V. M.; Sukhar, I. M.

    The way in which lasers are being incorporated into the military aircraft of the United States and the countries of Western Europe is discussed. Descriptions are given of laser weapons-guiding systems (including ranger finders and systems for target illumination), laser systems for navigation and flight-safety assurance (gyroscopes, velocity gauges, altimeters, systems providing meteorological data, proximity warning systems), and laser systems for air reconnaissance, communications, and control. Attention is also given to the Glissada laser guide path system, developed in the USSR. The physics of the systems is emphasized in the description and the principles underlying the operation of a laser are discussed in the introduction.

  17. Development of strapdown inertial navigation system with MEMS sensors, barometric altimeter and ultrasonic range meter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kholopov, I. S.

    2015-10-01

    The results of strapdown inertial navigation system (SINS) tests with 9 degrees of freedom MEMS sensor MPU-9150 (triaxial accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer), pressure sensor LPS331 and ultrasonic range meter HC-SR04, implemented on the FPGA Altera Cyclone-II evaluation board DE1 is considered. SINS measures the spatial coordinates and altitude relative to the starting point, the orientation angles and distances to obstacles along the way. It is shown that the relative error of the spatial coordinates estimation does not exceed 1.1% in interval of some minutes.

  18. Short arc orbit determination for altimeter calibration and validation on TOPEX/POSEIDON

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, B. G.; Christensen, E. J.; Yuan, D. N.; Mccoll, K. C.; Sunseri, R. F.

    1993-01-01

    TOPEX/POSEIDON (T/P) is a joint mission of United States' National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and French Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES) design launched August 10, 1992. It carries two radar altimeters which alternately share a common antenna. There are two project designated verification sites, a NASA site off the coast at Pt. Conception, CA and a CNES site near Lampedusa Island in the Mediterranean Sea. Altimeter calibration and validation for T/P is performed over these highly instrumented sites by comparing the spacecraft's altimeter radar range to computed range based on in situ measurements which include the estimated orbit position. This paper presents selected results of orbit determination over each of these sites to support altimeter verification. A short arc orbit determination technique is used to estimate a locally accurate position determination of T/P from less than one revolution of satellite laser ranging (SLR) data. This technique is relatively insensitive to gravitational and non-gravitational force modeling errors and is demonstrated by covariance analysis and by comparison to orbits determined from longer arcs of data and other tracking data types, such as Doppler Orbitography and Radiopositioning Integrated by Satellite (DORIS) and Global Positioning System Demonstration Receiver (GPSDR) data.

  19. The Transition from Complex Crater to Peak-Ring Basin on the Moon: New Observations from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) Instrument

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baker, David M. H.; Head, James W.; Fassett, Caleb I.; Kadish, Seth J.; Smith, Dave E.; Zuber, Maria T.; Neumann, Gregory A.

    2012-01-01

    Impact craters on planetary bodies transition with increasing size from simple, to complex, to peak-ring basins and finally to multi-ring basins. Important to understanding the relationship between complex craters with central peaks and multi-ring basins is the analysis of protobasins (exhibiting a rim crest and interior ring plus a central peak) and peak-ring basins (exhibiting a rim crest and an interior ring). New data have permitted improved portrayal and classification of these transitional features on the Moon. We used new 128 pixel/degree gridded topographic data from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) instrument onboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, combined with image mosaics, to conduct a survey of craters >50 km in diameter on the Moon and to update the existing catalogs of lunar peak-ring basins and protobasins. Our updated catalog includes 17 peak-ring basins (rim-crest diameters range from 207 km to 582 km, geometric mean = 343 km) and 3 protobasins (137-170 km, geometric mean = 157 km). Several basins inferred to be multi-ring basins in prior studies (Apollo, Moscoviense, Grimaldi, Freundlich-Sharonov, Coulomb-Sarton, and Korolev) are now classified as peak-ring basins due to their similarities with lunar peak-ring basin morphologies and absence of definitive topographic ring structures greater than two in number. We also include in our catalog 23 craters exhibiting small ring-like clusters of peaks (50-205 km, geometric mean = 81 km); one (Humboldt) exhibits a rim-crest diameter and an interior morphology that may be uniquely transitional to the process of forming peak rings. Comparisons of the predictions of models for the formation of peak-ring basins with the characteristics of the new basin catalog for the Moon suggest that formation and modification of an interior melt cavity and nonlinear scaling of impact melt volume with crater diameter provide important controls on the development of peak rings. In particular, a power-law model of

  20. Kilometer-scale slopes on Mars and their correlation with geologic units: Initial results from Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kreslavsky, M. A.; Head, J. W.

    1999-09-01

    Martian surface slopes were calculated at baselines from 0.4 to 25 km using profiles obtained by the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) instrument during the aerobraking phase of the Mars Global Surveyor mission. Median slope is proposed as a characteristic measurement of the typical surface roughness at each corresponding scale. Median slope is favored over RMS slope because it is not influenced by the small number of higher slopes at the upper end of the slope-frequency distribution tail. Median slope complements interquartile scale roughness characterization in that it is more sensitive to smaller baseline slopes. A map of the median slope of the northern hemisphere is presented. Median slopes and their scale dependences are used to characterize typical kilometer-scale roughness for a set of geologic units mapped in the northern hemisphere. This analysis demonstrates that many individual units and groups of units are characterized by distinctive surface slopes and that these characteristics are sufficiently different that they hold promise for use in the definition and characterization of units. Characterization of the slope properties of geologic units provides information useful in the interpretation of their origin and evolution. For example, the generally smooth topography of the diverse Vastitas Borealis Formation subunits is dominated by about 3 km, 0.3° steep features almost indistinguishable in Viking images. The roughness characteristics of this unit differ from those of other geologic units on Mars and suggest some distinctive process(es) of formation and/or modification of kilometer-scale topography common for all subunits. The similarity of roughness characteristics of the several highland plateau units suggests that kilometer-scale topography was largely inherited from the period of heavy bombardment. The northern polar cap and layered terrains are largely very smooth at small scale. The long, steep-sloped tails of the slope

  1. NIF injection laser system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wisoff, Peter J.; Bowers, Mark W.; Erbert, Gaylen V.; Browning, Donald F.; Jedlovec, Donald R.

    2004-05-01

    The National Ignition Facility (NIF) is a high-power, 192-beam laser facility being built at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The 192 laser beams that will converge on the target at the output of the NIF laser system originate from a low power fiber laser in the Master Oscillator Room (MOR). The MOR is responsible for generating the single pulse that seeds the entire NIF laser system. This single pulse is phase-modulated to add bandwidth, and then amplified and split into 48 separate beam lines all in single-mode polarizing fiber. Before leaving the MOR, each of the 48 output pulses are temporally sculpted into high contrast shapes using Arbitrary Waveform Generators (AWG). Each output pulse is then carried by optical fiber to the Preamplifier Module (PAM) where it is amplified to the multi-joule level using a diode-pumped regenerative amplifier and a multi-pass, flashlamp-pumped rod amplifier. Inside the PAM, the beam is spatially shaped to pre-compensate for the spatial gain profile in the main laser amplifiers. The output from the PAM is sampled by a diagnostic package called the Input Sensor Package (ISP) and then split into four beams in the Preamplifier Beam Transport System (PABTS). Each of these four beams is injected into one of NIF's 192 beam lines. The combination of the MOR, PAM, ISP and PABTS constitute the Injection Laser System (ILS) for NIF. This system has proven its flexibility of providing a wide variety of pulse shapes and energies during the first experiments utilizing four beam lines of NIF.

  2. Combining multiple altimeter missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jacobs, G. A.; Mitchell, J. L.

    1997-10-01

    Viewing altimeter data only at the points where separate altimeter missions' ground tracks cross provides a method to observe long time period sea surface height (SSH) variations and avoids many of the problems inherent in combining separate altimeter data sets through an independently determined geoid. TOPEX/POSEIDON (T/P) data over the time period from January 1, 1993, to December 31, 1995, form a mean SSH that is used as a reference by other altimeter data sets. A least squares analysis of the mean T/P SSH determines the portion of the Geographically Correlated Orbit Error (GCOE) that may be observed through crossover differences and removes this portion of the GCOE. The analysis removes errors of 0.86 cm RMS at 1 cycle per orbit revolution (cpr) and indicates negligible errors at higher frequencies. After the GCOE removal, the accuracy of the T/P reference mean is better than 1 cm RMS as measured by crossover differences. The GCOE contained in the Geosat-Exact Repeat Mission (ERM) and ERS 1 data with orbit solutions using the Joint Gravity Model (JGM) 3 is evaluated through an adjustment to the T/P reference mean surface. The Geosat-ERM data indicate a bias of about 28 cm averaged over the globe, and the ERS 1 bias is 44 cm. The T/P data used here is not corrected for the oscillator drift correction error so that the actual bias is less by about 13 cm. Both the Geosat-ERM and ERS 1 GCOE are mainly 1 cpr. GCOE estimates at frequencies above 1 cpr indicate little actual orbit error but are more correlated to instrument correction errors (particularly water vapor). Simultaneous T/P and ERS 1 SSH anomalies to the T/P mean indicate good correlation.

  3. Underwater laser detection system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gomaa, Walid; El-Sherif, Ashraf F.; El-Sharkawy, Yasser H.

    2015-02-01

    The conventional method used to detect an underwater target is by sending and receiving some form of acoustic energy. But the acoustic systems have limitations in the range resolution and accuracy; while, the potential benefits of a laserbased underwater target detection include high directionality, high response, and high range accuracy. Lasers operating in the blue-green region of the light spectrum(420 : 570nm)have a several applications in the area of detection and ranging of submersible targets due to minimum attenuation through water ( less than 0.1 m-1) and maximum laser reflection from estimated target (like mines or submarines) to provide a long range of detection. In this paper laser attenuation in water was measured experimentally by new simple method by using high resolution spectrometer. The laser echoes from different targets (metal, plastic, wood, and rubber) were detected using high resolution CCD camera; the position of detection camera was optimized to provide a high reflection laser from target and low backscattering noise from the water medium, digital image processing techniques were applied to detect and discriminate the echoes from the metal target and subtract the echoes from other objects. Extraction the image of target from the scattering noise is done by background subtraction and edge detection techniques. As a conclusion, we present a high response laser imaging system to detect and discriminate small size, like-mine underwater targets.

  4. Summary of Skylab S-193 altimeter altitude results. [orbit calculation and studies of the ocean bottom

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcgoogan, J. T.; Leitao, C. D.; Wells, W. T.

    1975-01-01

    The SKYLAB S-193 altimeter altitude results are presented in a concise format for further use and analysis by the scientific community. The altimeter mission and instrumentation is described along with the altimeter processing techniques and values of parameters used for processing. The determination of reference orbits is discussed, and the tracking systems utilized are tabulated. Techniques for determining satellite pointing are presented and a tabulation of pointing for each data mission included. The geographical location, the ocean bottom topography, the altimeter-determined ocean surface topography, and the altimeter automatic gain control history is presented. Some typical applications of this data are suggested.

  5. Ultra-fast laser system

    SciTech Connect

    Dantus, Marcos; Lozovoy, Vadim V

    2014-01-21

    A laser system is provided which selectively excites Raman active vibrations in molecules. In another aspect of the present invention, the system includes a laser, pulse shaper and detection device. A further aspect of the present invention employs a femtosecond laser and binary pulse shaping (BPS). Still another aspect of the present invention uses a laser beam pulse, a pulse shaper and remote sensing.

  6. Laser angle measurement system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pond, C. R.; Texeira, P. D.; Wilbert, R. E.

    1980-01-01

    The design and fabrication of a laser angle measurement system is described. The instrument is a fringe counting interferometer that monitors the pitch attitude of a model in a wind tunnel. A laser source and detector are mounted above the mode. Interference fringes are generated by a small passive element on the model. The fringe count is accumulated and displayed by a processor in the wind tunnel control room. Optical and electrical schematics, system maintenance and operation procedures are included, and the results of a demonstration test are given.

  7. Geodynamic laser ranging system laser transmitter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dallas, J. L.; Czechanski, J. P.; Coyle, D. B.; Zukowski, B. J.; Seery, B. D.

    1991-01-01

    A description is given of the requirements and design options in the development of a spaceborne laser transmitter for NASA's Geodynamic Laser Ranging System. Three different oscillators are considered. The first is an injection-seeded ring oscillator yielding 1 mJ of energy within a 120-ps pulse. The second is a frequency-modulated mode-locked oscillator emitting 0.30 nJ in a 20-ps pulse. The third is a self-starting, additive pulse mode-locked laser. Detailed design considerations and preliminary results of these lasers are reported as well as the design of a unique multipass amplifier.

  8. Coherent laser vision system

    SciTech Connect

    Sebastion, R.L.

    1995-10-01

    The Coherent Laser Vision System (CLVS) is being developed to provide precision real-time 3D world views to support site characterization and robotic operations and during facilities Decontamination and Decommissioning. Autonomous or semiautonomous robotic operations requires an accurate, up-to-date 3D world view. Existing technologies for real-time 3D imaging, such as AM laser radar, have limited accuracy at significant ranges and have variability in range estimates caused by lighting or surface shading. Recent advances in fiber optic component technology and digital processing components have enabled the development of a new 3D vision system based upon a fiber optic FMCW coherent laser radar. The approach includes a compact scanner with no-moving parts capable of randomly addressing all pixels. The system maintains the immunity to lighting and surface shading conditions which is characteristic to coherent laser radar. The random pixel addressability allows concentration of scanning and processing on the active areas of a scene, as is done by the human eye-brain system.

  9. Laser autostereoscopic projection system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Yuchang; Huang, Junejei

    2013-09-01

    The current autostereoscopic projection system is accomplished by array projectors. It is easy to realize optically but has a drawback with size. Another type is to place the shutter on the screen. It saves the volume but reduces the efficiency depending on how many views are produced. The shutter in the lens aperture has the same efficiency problem, too. To overcome these problems, a full HD autostereoscopic projector based on the lens aperture switching type is proposed. It has RGB laser sources and can produce 16-views or even higher stereoscopic images. This system removes the shutter in the lens aperture by the opti-mechanism itself. The specific light on the lens aperture coming from the point on the DMD is reflected to different angles. The proper angle of light is generated in the object side by the relay and folding system. The UHP lamps or the LED rays are difficult to constrain in a relative small cone angle. For this reason, the laser is applied to the design. The very small etendue of the laser is good for this architecture. The rays are combined by dichroic filter from RGB laser sources then forming and expanding to the mirror. The mirror is synchronized with DMD by the DSP control system. The images of different views are generated by DMD and specific position of the mirror. By the double lenticular screen, the lens aperture is imaged to the observer's viewing zone and the 3D scene is created.

  10. Laser interferometer micrometer system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Logue, S. H.

    1969-01-01

    Laser micrometer measures dimensions of precision gyro and gas bearing parts using the principle of measuring light phase changes rather than a direct fringe count. The system uses light beams to eliminate errors due to deformations and surface irregularities, and three interferometers.

  11. The transition from complex craters to multi-ring basins on the Moon: Quantitative geometric properties from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baker, David M. H.; Head, James W.; Neumann, Gregory A.; Smith, David E.; Zuber, Maria T.

    2012-03-01

    The morphologic transition from complex impact craters, to peak-ring basins, and to multi-ring basins has been well-documented for decades. Less clear has been the morphometric characteristics of these landforms due to their large size and the lack of global high-resolution topography data. We use data from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) instrument onboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft to derive the morphometric characteristics of impact basins on the Moon, assess the trends, and interpret the processes involved in the observed morphologic transitions. We first developed a new technique for measuring and calculating the geometric/morphometric properties of impact basins on the Moon. This new method meets a number of criteria that are important for consideration in any topographic analysis of crater landforms (e.g., multiple data points, complete range of azimuths, systematic, reproducible analysis techniques, avoiding effects of post-event processes, robustness with respect to the statistical techniques). The resulting data more completely capture the azimuthal variation in topography that is characteristic of large impact structures. These new calculations extend the well-defined geometric trends for simple and complex craters out to basin-sized structures. Several new geometric trends for peak-ring basins are observed. Basin depth: A factor of two reduction in the depth to diameter (d/Dr) ratio in the transition from complex craters to peak-ring basins may be characterized by a steeper trend than known previously. The d/Dr ratio for peak-ring basins decreases with rim-crest diameter, which may be due to a non-proportional change in excavation cavity growth or scaling, as may occur in the simple to complex transition, or increased magnitude of floor uplift associated with peak-ring formation. Wall height, width, and slope: Wall height and width increase with increasing rim-crest diameter, while wall slope decreases; decreasing ratios

  12. Orientale Impact Basin: Topographic Characterization from Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) Data and Implications for Models of Basin Formation and Filling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Head, James; Smith, David; Zuber, Maria; Neumann, Gregory; Fassett, Caleb; Whitten, Jennifer; Garrick-Bethell, Ian

    2010-05-01

    The 920 km diameter Orientale basin is the youngest and most well-preserved large multi-ringed impact basin on the Moon; it has not been significantly filled with mare basalts, as have other lunar impact basins, and thus the basin interior deposits and ring structures are very well-exposed and provide major insight into the formation and evolution of planetary multi-ringed impact basins. We report here on the acquisition of new altimetry data for the Orientale basin from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) on board the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. Pre-basin structure had a major effect on the formation of Orientale; we have mapped dozens of impact craters underlying both the Orientale ejecta (Hevelius Formation-HF) and the unit between the basin rim (Cordillera ring-CR) and the Outer Rook ring (OR) (known as the Montes Rook Formation-MRF), ranging up in size to the 630 km diameter Mendel-Rydberg basin just to the south of Orientale; this crater-basin topography has influenced the topographic development of the basin rim (CR), sometimes causing the basin rim to lie at a topographically lower level than the inner basin rings (OR and Inner Rook-IR). In contrast to some previous interpretations, the distribution of these features supports the interpretation that the OR ring is the closest approximation to the basin excavation cavity. The total basin interior topography is highly variable and typically ranges ~6-7 km below the surrounding pre-basin surface, with significant variations in different quadrants. The inner basin depression is about 2-4 km deep below the IR plateau. These data aid in the understanding of the transition from peak-ring to multi-ringed basins and permit the quantitative assessment of post-basin-formation thermal response to impact energy input and uplifted isotherms. The Maunder Formation (MF) consists of smooth plains (on the inner basin depression walls and floor) and corrugated deposits (on the IR plateau); also observed are depressions

  13. Generation of an ocean geoid map using satellite altimeter data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wells, W. T.; Borman, K. L.; Mcgoogan, J. T.; Leitao, C. D.

    1976-01-01

    A discussion of the techniques and accuracies associated with creating a geoid from satellite altimeter data is given. A sample set of Skylab S-193 altimeter data is utilized to demonstrate the generation of a local ocean geoid contour map in the Atlantic and Caribbean ocean area. The altimeter geoid compares well with existing geoids; possible sources of errors are identified. In addition, the application of a long arc (global type) pass of Skylab data for providing a common reference system and validating localized geoids is illustrated.

  14. Laser autoalignment system

    SciTech Connect

    Bernhard, R.J.; Lloyd, W.B.; Logan, D.R.; Minarik, R.W.

    1981-08-11

    An autoalignment system is disclosed for a laser having a pair of reflector assemblies capable of providing six degrees of freedom of movement to the reflector element formed as part of each of the reflector assemblies. Each reflector assembly is made up of a reflector unit, a gimbal knuckle joint and a translator mechanism. The interconnection between the reflector unit and the gimbal knuckle joint provides for two degrees of freedom while the translator mechanism and its interconnection with the gimbal knuckle joint provides the additional four degrees of freedom. Cooling of the reflector elements is accomplished by way of a coolant system which is incorporated within the autoalignment system of the laser, while motivation of the autoalignment system is in the form of a plurality of drivers operably connected to the various elements of the reflector assembly. During utilization of the system in a vibrational environment, the autoalignment system maintains the correct relationship between the reflecting elements of the laser as well as providing sufficient cooling thereof.

  15. Excimer laser system Profile-500

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Atejev, V. V.; Bukreyev, V. S.; Vartapetov, Serge K.; Semenov, A. D.; Sugrobov, V. A.; Turin, V. S.; Fedorov, Sergei N.

    1999-07-01

    The description of ophthalmological excimer laser system 'PROFILE-500' for photorefractive and physiotherapeutic keratectomy is presented. Excimer Laser Systems 'PROFILE- 500' are optical system that use ArF excimer lasers to perform photorefractive keratectomy or LASIK; surgical procedures used to correct myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism.

  16. Seasat altimeter height calibration. [related to sea surface heights near bermuda

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kolenkiewicz, R.; Martin, C. F.

    1981-01-01

    The Seasat altimeter was calibrated for height bias using four overflight passes of Bermuda which were supported by the Bermuda laser. The altimeter data was corrected for: tides, using recorded tide gauge data; propagation effects, using meteorological data taken around the time of each pass; acceleration lag; and sea state bias, including both surface effects and instrumental effects. Altimeter data for each of the four passes was smoothed and extrapolated across the island. Interpolation between passes then produced an equivalent altimeter measurement to the geoid at the laser site, so that the altimeter bias could be estimated without the use of a geoid model. The estimated height bias was 0.0 + or - 0.07.

  17. Laser system preset unit

    DOEpatents

    Goodwin, William L.

    1977-01-01

    An electronic circuit is provided which may be used to preset a digital display unit of a Zeeman-effect layer interferometer system which derives distance measurements by comparing a reference signal to a Doppler signal generated at the output of the interferometer laser head. The circuit presets dimensional offsets in the interferometer digital display by electronically inducing a variation in either the Doppler signal or the reference signal, depending upon the direction of the offset, to achieve the desired display preset.

  18. Observations of Antarctic Polar Stratospheric Clouds by Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Palm, Stephen P.; Fromm, Michael; Spinhirne, James

    2005-01-01

    Polar Stratospheric Clouds (PSCs) frequently occur in the polar regions during winter and are important because they play a role in the destruction of stratospheric ozone. During late September and early October 2003, GLAS frequently observed PSCs over western Antarctica. At the peak of this activity on September 29 and 30 we investigate the vertical structure and extent, horizontal coverage and backscatter characteristics of the PSCs using the GLAS data. The PSCs were found to cover an area approximately 10 to 15 % of the size of Antarctica in a region where enhanced PSC frequency has been noted by previous PSC climatology studies. The area of PSC formation was found to coincide with the coldest temperatures in the lower stratosphere. In addition, extensive cloudiness was seen within the troposphere below the PSCs indicating that tropospheric disturbances might have played a role in their formation.

  19. Development of a satellite SAR image spectra and altimeter wave height data assimilation system for ERS-1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hasselmann, Klaus; Hasselmann, Susanne; Bauer, Eva; Bruening, Claus; Lehner, Susanne; Graber, Hans; Lionello, Piero

    1988-01-01

    The applicability of ERS-1 wind and wave data for wave models was studied using the WAM third generation wave model and SEASAT altimeter, scatterometer and SAR data. A series of global wave hindcasts is made for the surface stress and surface wind fields by assimilation of scatterometer data for the full 96-day SEASAT and also for two wind field analyses for shorter periods by assimilation with the higher resolution ECMWF T63 model and by subjective analysis methods. It is found that wave models respond very sensitively to inconsistencies in wind field analyses and therefore provide a valuable data validation tool. Comparisons between SEASAT SAR image spectra and theoretical SAR spectra derived from the hindcast wave spectra by Monte Carlo simulations yield good overall agreement for 32 cases representing a wide variety of wave conditions. It is concluded that SAR wave imaging is sufficiently well understood to apply SAR image spectra with confidence for wave studies if supported by realistic wave models and theoretical computations of the strongly nonlinear mapping of the wave spectrum into the SAR image spectrum. A closed nonlinear integral expression for this spectral mapping relation is derived which avoids the inherent statistical errors of Monte Carlo computations and may prove to be more efficient numerically.

  20. Laser multiplexing system

    DOEpatents

    Johnson, Steve A.; English, Jr., Ronald Edward; White, Ronald K.

    2001-01-01

    A plurality of copper lasers, as radiant power sources, emits a beam of power carrying radiation. A plurality of fiber injection assemblies receives power from the plurality of copper lasers and injects such power into a plurality of fibers for individually transmitting the received power to a plurality of power-receiving devices. The power-transmitting fibers of the system are so arranged that power is delivered therethrough to each of the power-receiving devices such that, even if a few of the radiant power sources and/or fibers fail, the power supply to any of the power receiving devices will not completely drop to zero but will drop by the same proportionate amount.

  1. NOSS Altimeter Detailed Algorithm specifications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hancock, D. W.; Mcmillan, J. D.

    1982-01-01

    The details of the algorithms and data sets required for satellite radar altimeter data processing are documented in a form suitable for (1) development of the benchmark software and (2) coding the operational software. The algorithms reported in detail are those established for altimeter processing. The algorithms which required some additional development before documenting for production were only scoped. The algorithms are divided into two levels of processing. The first level converts the data to engineering units and applies corrections for instrument variations. The second level provides geophysical measurements derived from altimeter parameters for oceanographic users.

  2. Comment on satellite altimeter data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bowin, C.

    1974-01-01

    SKYLAB mission SEASAT-B altimeter observations in combination with surface gravity measurements provide useful data on the marine geoid and expected ocean perturbations from analyses of seamount structures.

  3. Compact laser amplifier system

    DOEpatents

    Carr, R.B.

    1974-02-26

    A compact laser amplifier system is described in which a plurality of face-pumped annular disks, aligned along a common axis, independently radially amplify a stimulating light pulse. Partially reflective or lasing means, coaxially positioned at the center of each annualar disk, radially deflects a stimulating light directed down the common axis uniformly into each disk for amplification, such that the light is amplified by the disks in a parallel manner. Circumferential reflecting means coaxially disposed around each disk directs amplified light emission, either toward a common point or in a common direction. (Official Gazette)

  4. Assimilation of Altimeter Data into a Quasigeostrophic Model of the Gulf Stream System. Part 1; Dynamical Considerations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Capotondi, Antonietta; Malanotte-Rizzoli, Paola; Holland, William R.

    1995-01-01

    The dynamical consequences of constraining a numerical model with sea surface height data have been investigated. The model used for this study is a quasigeostrophic model of the Gulf Stream region. The data that have been assimilated are maps of sea surface height obtained as the superposition of sea surface height variability deduced from the Geosat altimeter measurements and a mean field constructed from historical hydrographic data. The method used for assimilating the data is the nudging technique. Nudging has been implemented in such a way as to achieve a high degree of convergence of the surface model fields toward the observations. The assimilation of the surface data is thus equivalent to the prescription of a surface pressure boundary condition. The authors analyzed the mechanisms of the model adjustment and the characteristics of the resultant equilibrium state when the surface data are assimilated. Since the surface data are the superposition of a mean component and an eddy component, in order to understand the relative role of these two components in determining the characteristics of the final equilibrium state, two different experiments have been considered: in the first experiment only the climatological mean field is assimilated, while in the second experiment the total surface streamfunction field (mean plus eddies) has been used. It is shown that the model behavior in the presence of the surface data constraint can be conveniently described in terms of baroclinic Fofonoff modes. The prescribed mean component of the surface data acts as a 'surface topography' in this problem. Its presence determines a distortion of the geostrophic contours in the subsurface layers, thus constraining the mean circulation in those layers. The intensity of the mean flow is determined by the inflow/outflow conditions at the open boundaries, as well as by eddy forcing and dissipation.

  5. Assimilation of Altimeter Data into a Quasigeostrophic Model of the Gulf Stream System. Part 2; Assimilation Results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Capotondi, Antonietta; Holland, William R.; Malanotte-Rizzoli, Paola

    1995-01-01

    The improvement in the climatological behavior of a numerical model as a consequence of the assimilation of surface data is investigated. The model used for this study is a quasigeostrophic (QG) model of the Gulf Stream region. The data that have been assimilated are maps of sea surface height that have been obtained as the superposition of sea surface height variability deduced from the Geosat altimeter measurements and a mean field constructed from historical hydrographic data. The method used for assimilating the data is the nudging technique. Nudging has been implemented in such a way as to achieve a high degree of convergence of the surface model fields toward the observations. Comparisons of the assimilation results with available in situ observations show a significant improvement in the degree of realism of the climatological model behavior, with respect to the model in which no data are assimilated. The remaining discrepancies in the model mean circulation seem to be mainly associated with deficiencies in the mean component of the surface data that are assimilated. On the other hand, the possibility of building into the model more realistic eddy characteristics through the assimilation of the surface eddy field proves very successful in driving components of the mean model circulation that are in relatively good agreement with the available observations. Comparisons with current meter time series during a time period partially overlapping the Geosat mission show that the model is able to 'correctly' extrapolate the instantaneous surface eddy signals to depths of approximately 1500 m. The correlation coefficient between current meter and model time series varies from values close to 0.7 in the top 1500 m to values as low as 0.1-0.2 in the deep ocean.

  6. Seasat altimeter calibration: initial results.

    PubMed

    Tapley, B D; Born, G H; Hagar, H H; Lorell, J; Parke, M E; Diamante, J M; Douglas, B C; Goad, C C; Kolenkiewicz, R; Marsh, J G; Martin, C F; Smith, S L; Townsend, W F; Whitehead, J A; Byrne, H M; Fedor, L S; Hammond, D C; Mognard, N M

    1979-06-29

    Preliminary analysis of radar altimeter data indicates that the instrument has met its specifications for measuring spacecraft height above the ocean surface (+/- 10 centimeters) and significant wave height (+/- 0.5 meter). There is ample evidence that the radar altimeter, having undergone development through three earth orbit missions [Skylab, Geodynamics Experimental Ocean Satellite 3 (GEOS-3), and Seasat], has reached a level of precision that now makes possible its use for important quantitative oceanographic investigations and practical applications. PMID:17814198

  7. Laser interlock system

    SciTech Connect

    Woodruff, Steven D; Mcintyre, Dustin L

    2015-01-13

    A method and device for providing a laser interlock having a first optical source, a first beam splitter, a second optical source, a detector, an interlock control system, and a means for producing dangerous optical energy. The first beam splitter is optically connected to the first optical source, the first detector and the second optical source. The detector is connected to the interlock control system. The interlock control system is connected to the means for producing dangerous optical energy and configured to terminate its optical energy production upon the detection of optical energy at the detector from the second optical source below a predetermined detector threshold. The second optical source produces an optical energy in response to optical energy from the first optical source. The optical energy from the second optical source has a different wavelength, polarization, modulation or combination thereof from the optical energy of the first optical source.

  8. Laser fusion target illumination system.

    PubMed

    Thomas, C E

    1975-06-01

    Laser fusion experiments require the focusing of very intense pulsed laser beams onto very small fuel pellets. All reported experiments to date have used lenses to focus one or more laser beams onto the target. This paper describes a combined refractive/reflective illumination system that provides nearly uniform irradiance with nearly orthogonal incidence over the complete spherical target, with only two laser beams. This illumination system was used in the experiments that produced the first known symmetric target implosions. Furthermore, these experiments produced what we believe were the first thermonuclear neutrons generated by a laser-driven implosion. PMID:20154815

  9. The Sonic Altimeter for Aircraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Draper, C S

    1937-01-01

    Discussed here are results already achieved with sonic altimeters in light of the theoretical possibilities of such instruments. From the information gained in this investigation, a procedure is outlined to determine whether or not a further development program is justified by the value of the sonic altimeter as an aircraft instrument. The information available in the literature is reviewed and condensed into a summary of sonic altimeter developments. Various methods of receiving the echo and timing the interval between the signal and the echo are considered. A theoretical discussion is given of sonic altimeter errors due to uncertainties in timing, variations in sound velocity, aircraft speed, location of the sending and receiving units, and inclinations of the flight path with respect to the ground surface. Plots are included which summarize the results in each case. An analysis is given of the effect of an inclined flight path on the frequency of the echo. A brief study of the acoustical phases of the sonic altimeter problem is carried through. The results of this analysis are used to predict approximately the maximum operating altitudes of a reasonably designed sonic altimeter under very good and very bad conditions. A final comparison is made between the estimated and experimental maximum operating altitudes which shows good agreement where quantitative information is available.

  10. Laser system for isotope separation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shirayama, Shimpey; Mikatsura, Takefumi; Ueda, Hiroaki; Konagai, Chikara

    1990-06-01

    Atomic vapor laser isotope separation (AVLIS) is regarded as the most promising method to obtain srightly enriched economical nuclear fuel for a nuclear power plant. However, achieving a high power laser seems to be the bottle neck in its industrialization. In 1985, after successful development of high power lasers, the U.S. announced that AVLIS would be used for future methods of uranium enrichment. In Japan , Laser Atomic Separation Enrichment Research Associates of Japan (LASER-J), a joint Japanese utility companies research organization, was founded in April, 1987, to push a development program for laser uranium enrichment. Based on research results obtained from Japanese National Labs, and Universities , Laser-J is now constructing an AVLIS experimental facility at Tokai-mura. It is planned to have a 1-ton swu capacity per year in 1991. Previous to the experimental facility construction , Toshiba proceeded with the preliminary testing of an isotope separation system, under contract with Laser-J. Since the copper vapor laser (CVL) and the dye laser (DL) form a good combination , which can obtain high power tunable visible lights ,it is suitable to resonate uranium atoms. The laser system was built and was successfully operated in Toshiba for two years. The system consist of three copper vapor lasers , three dye lasers and appropriate o Atomic vapor laser isotope separation (AVLIS) is regarded as the most promising method to obtain srightly enriched economical nuclear fuel for a nuclear power plant. However, achieving a high power laser seems to be the bottle neck in its industrialization. In 1985, after successful development of high power lasers, the U.S. announced that AVLIS would be used for future methods of uranium enrichment. In Japan , Laser Atomic Separation Enrichment Research Associates of Japan (LASER-J) , a joint Japanese utility companies research organization , was founded in April, 1987, to push a development program for laser uranium enrichment

  11. Laser system using ultra-short laser pulses

    SciTech Connect

    Dantus, Marcos; Lozovoy, Vadim V.; Comstock, Matthew

    2009-10-27

    A laser system using ultrashort laser pulses is provided. In another aspect of the present invention, the system includes a laser, pulse shaper and detection device. A further aspect of the present invention employs a femtosecond laser and binary pulse shaping (BPS). Still another aspect of the present invention uses a laser beam pulse, a pulse shaper and a SHG crystal.

  12. Second generation laser manufacturing systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    La Rocca, Aldo V.

    1996-03-01

    Laser processing can show its full capacity in laser multiprocessing systems applications in which the laser is not hindered by the constraints imposed when the laser is inserted in conventional systems without reassessing the overall system design. In these cases the laser process performance up to now was kept at very low levels because conventional systems would not need or accept higher ones. Instead now said performance must be brought to the upper limits inasmuch as the lasers will be the pacesetter for the performance of the new systems freed from all the old design bondage. Hence the importance to get the maximum performance from each process singly and from their combinations. Better understanding and control of the fluidynamic effects becomes mandatory because of their paramount role on process energy efficiency and thus process productivity and more important yet quality, repeatability and transferability. At present one of the dedicated laser multiprocessing systems of greatest interest is the laser cut-weld of which several have made appearance on the market. Next to come are the 'augmented' laser multiprocessing obtained by combining the laser with conventional processes in a manner which takes advantages of unexpected synergies permitted by the laser. In this manner, the system is allowed to outperform, in all aspects from productivity to quality, the already much higher performance of dedicated all laser multi- processing system. One of the most important 'augmented' laser multiprocessing is the cut- bend-weld. It should be clear that these flexible multiprocessing machines tend to grow naturally in multistation cells and their aggregation in isles and complete manufacturing centers; i.e., the first viable realizations of computer integrated manufacturing.

  13. Laser Ranging in Solar System: Technology Developments and New Science Measurement Capabilities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, X.; Smith, D. E.; Zuber, M. T.; Mcgarry, J.; Neumann, G. A.; Mazarico, E.

    2015-12-01

    Laser Ranging has played a major role in geodetic studies of the Earth over the past 40 years. The technique can potentially be used in between planets and spacecrafts within the solar system to advance planetary science. For example, a direct measurement of distances between planets, such as Mars and Venus would make significant improvements in understanding the dynamics of the whole solar system, including the masses of the planets and moons, asteroids and their perturbing interactions, and the gravity field of the Sun. Compared to the conventional radio frequency (RF) tracking systems, laser ranging is potentially more accurate because it is much less sensitive to the transmission media. It is also more efficient because the laser beams are much better focused onto the targets than RF beams. However, existing laser ranging systems are all Earth centric, that is, from ground stations on Earth to orbiting satellites in near Earth orbits or lunar orbit, and to the lunar retro-reflector arrays deployed by the astronauts in the early days of lunar explorations. Several long distance laser ranging experiments have been conducted with the lidar in space, including a two-way laser ranging demonstration between Earth and the Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA) on the MESSENGER spacecraft over 24 million km, and a one way laser transmission and detection experiment over 80 million km between Earth and the Mars Orbiting Laser Altimeter (MOLA) on the MGS spacecraft in Mars orbit. A one-way laser ranging operation has been carried out continuously from 2009 to 2014 between multiple ground stations to LRO spacecraft in lunar orbit. The Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration (LLCD) on the LADEE mission has demonstrated that a two way laser ranging measurements, including both the Doppler frequency and the phase shift, can be obtained from the subcarrier or the data clocks of a high speed duplex laser communication system. Plans and concepts presently being studied suggest we may be

  14. Large icebergs characteristics from altimeter waveforms analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tournadre, J.; Bouhier, N.; Girard-Ardhuin, F.; Rémy, F.

    2015-03-01

    Large uncertainties exist on the volume of ice transported by the Southern Ocean large icebergs, a key parameter for climate studies, because of the paucity of information, especially on iceberg thickness. Using icebergs tracks from the National Ice Center (NIC) and Brigham Young University (BYU) databases to select altimeter data over icebergs and a method of analysis of altimeter waveforms, a database of 5366 icebergs freeboard elevation, length, and backscatter covering the 2002-2012 period has been created. The database is analyzed in terms of distributions of freeboard, length, and backscatter showing differences as a function of the iceberg's quadrant of origin. The database allows to analyze the temporal evolution of icebergs and to estimate a melt rate of 35-39 m·yr-1 (neglecting the firn compaction). The total daily volume of ice, estimated by combining the NIC and altimeter sizes and the altimeter freeboards, regularly decreases from 2.2 104km3 in 2002 to 0.9 104km3 in 2012. During this decade, the total loss of ice (˜1800 km3·yr-1) is twice as large as than the input (˜960 km3·yr-1) showing that the system is out of equilibrium after a very large input of ice between 1997 and 2002. Breaking into small icebergs represents 80% (˜1500 km3·yr-1) of the total ice loss while basal melting is only 18% (˜320 km3·yr-1). Small icebergs are thus the major vector of freshwater input in the Southern Ocean.

  15. Accuracy Assessment of Altimeter Derived Geostrophic Velocities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leben, R. R.; Powell, B. S.; Born, G. H.; Guinasso, N. L.

    2002-12-01

    Along track sea surface height anomaly gradients are proportional to cross track geostrophic velocity anomalies allowing satellite altimetry to provide much needed satellite observations of changes in the geostrophic component of surface ocean currents. Often, surface height gradients are computed from altimeter data archives that have been corrected to give the most accurate absolute sea level, a practice that may unnecessarily increase the error in the cross track velocity anomalies and thereby require excessive smoothing to mitigate noise. Because differentiation along track acts as a high-pass filter, many of the path length corrections applied to altimeter data for absolute height accuracy are unnecessary for the corresponding gradient calculations. We report on a study to investigate appropriate altimetric corrections and processing techniques for improving geostrophic velocity accuracy. Accuracy is assessed by comparing cross track current measurements from two moorings placed along the descending TOPEX/POSEIDON ground track number 52 in the Gulf of Mexico to the corresponding altimeter velocity estimates. The buoys are deployed and maintained by the Texas Automated Buoy System (TABS) under Interagency Contracts with Texas A&M University. The buoys telemeter observations in near real-time via satellite to the TABS station located at the Geochemical and Environmental Research Group (GERG) at Texas A&M. Buoy M is located in shelf waters of 57 m depth with a second, Buoy N, 38 km away on the shelf break at 105 m depth. Buoy N has been operational since the beginning of 2002 and has a current meter at 2m depth providing in situ measurements of surface velocities coincident with Jason and TOPEX/POSEIDON altimeter over flights. This allows one of the first detailed comparisons of shallow water near surface current meter time series to coincident altimetry.

  16. Satellite height determination using satellite-to-satellite tracking and ground laser systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vonbun, F. O.

    1972-01-01

    An attempt was made to use GEOS-C spacecraft height, as measured by the onboard radar altimeter, for an improved determination of the earth's gravitational field and for the determination of the variation of the physical surface of the oceans. Two tracking system approaches to accurately determine the spacecraft height (orbit) are described and their results stated. These are satellite-to-satellite tracking (SST) and ground-laser tracking (GLT). Height variations can be observed in the dm-regions using SST and in the m-region using present GLT.

  17. Satellite height determination using satellite-to-satellite tracking and ground laser systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vonbun, F. O.

    1972-01-01

    The height of the GEOS-C spacecraft was utilized as measured by the onboard radar altimeter, for an improved determination of the earth's gravitational field and for the determination of the variation of the physical surface of the oceans. Two tracking system approaches to accurately determine the spacecraft height (orbit) are described and their results stated. These are satellite-to-satellite tracking (SST) and ground laser tracking (GLT). Height variations can be observed in the dm-regions using SST and in the m-region using present GLT.

  18. Laser system using regenerative amplifier

    DOEpatents

    Emmett, J.L.

    1980-03-04

    High energy laser system is disclosed using a regenerative amplifier, which relaxes all constraints on laser components other than the intrinsic damage level of matter, so as to enable use of available laser system components. This can be accomplished by use of segmented components, spatial filters, at least one amplifier using solid state or gaseous media, and separated reflector members providing a long round trip time through the regenerative cavity, thereby allowing slower switching and adequate time to clear the spatial filters, etc. The laser system simplifies component requirements and reduces component cost while providing high energy output. 10 figs.

  19. Laser system using regenerative amplifier

    DOEpatents

    Emmett, John L. [Pleasanton, CA

    1980-03-04

    High energy laser system using a regenerative amplifier, which relaxes all constraints on laser components other than the intrinsic damage level of matter, so as to enable use of available laser system components. This can be accomplished by use of segmented components, spatial filters, at least one amplifier using solid state or gaseous media, and separated reflector members providing a long round trip time through the regenerative cavity, thereby allowing slower switching and adequate time to clear the spatial filters, etc. The laser system simplifies component requirements and reduces component cost while providing high energy output.

  20. Development of laser transmission system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, Jiawu; Zhang, Yulan; Yang, Jiandong; Zhang, Xinming

    1998-08-01

    This paper discusses a light transfer system of therapeutic machine using carbon-dioxide laser. This system is based on imitating human being arm motion principle, consists of optical cardans mainly and can move in three-D space freely. Through it carbon-dioxide laser (which wavelength is 10.6 micrometer) is reflected, focused or diverged and transferred to the different therapeutic part of body to realize the purpose of cutting operation, gasification, cauterization and irradiation. This system includes an indicating system using He-Ne laser, by which carbon-dioxide laser can arrive therapeutic part accurately. This system possesses some advantages e.g. an accurate transfer, large moving range, small power consumption, high power density and easy operation. At present the occupancy in home market of this kind laser transfer system products is over 95%. Some products have been exported to other countries.

  1. The evolutionary trend in airborne and satellite radar altimeters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fedor, L. S.; Walsh, E. J.

    1984-01-01

    The manner in which airborne and satellite radar altimeters developed and where the trend is leading was investigated. The airborne altimeters have progressed from a broad beamed, narrow pulsed, nadir looking instrument, to a pulse compressed system that is computer controlled, to a scanning pencil beamed system which produce a topographic map of the surface beneath the aircraft in real time. It is suggested that the airborne systems lie in the use of multiple frequencies. The satellite altimeters evolve towards multifrequency systems with narrower effective pulses and higher pulse compression ratios to reduce peak transmitted power while improving resolution. Applications indicate wide swath systems using interferometric techniques or beam limited systems using 100 m diameter antennas.

  2. Photon-counting multikilohertz microlaser altimeters for airborne and spaceborne topographic measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Degnan, John J.

    2002-11-01

    We consider the optimum design of photon-counting microlaser altimeters operating from airborne and spaceborne platforms under both day and night conditions. Extremely compact, passively Q-switched microlaser transmitters produce trains of low energy pulses at multi-kHz rates and can easily generate subnanosecond pulsewidths for precise ranging. To guide the design, we have modeled the solar noise background and developed simple algorithms, based on post-detection Poisson filtering (PDPF), to optimally extract the weak altimeter signal from a high noise background during daytime operations. The advantages of photon-counting detector arrays followed by multichannel timing receivers for high resolution topographic mapping are discussed. Practical technology issues, such as detector and/or receiver dead times and their impact on signal detection and ranging accuracy and resolution, have also been considered in the analysis. The theoretical results are reinforced by data from an airborne microlaser altimeter, developed under NASA's Instrument Incubator Program. The latter instrument has operated at several kHz rates from aircraft cruise altitudes up to 6.7 km with laser pulse energies on the order of a few microjoules. The instrument has successfully recorded decimeter accuracy or better single photon returns from man-made structures, tree canopies and underlying terrain and has demonstrated shallow water bathymetry at depths to a few meters. We conclude the discussion by analyzing a photon counting instrument designed to produce, over a mission life of 3 years, a globally contiguous map of the Martian surface, with 5 m horizontal resolution and decimeter vertical accuracy, from an altitude of 300 km. The transmitter power-receive aperture product required is comparable to the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) but the number of individual range measurements to the surface is increased by three to four orders of magnitude. For more modest scientific goals, on a

  3. Laser power conversion system analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1982-01-01

    Orbit to orbit and orbit to ground laser power conversion systems and power transfer are discussed. A system overview is presented. Pilot program parameters are considered: SLPS assumptions are listed, a laser SPS overview is presented, specifications are listed, and SLPS coats are considered.

  4. Variable emissivity laser thermal control system

    DOEpatents

    Milner, Joseph R.

    1994-01-01

    A laser thermal control system for a metal vapor laser maintains the wall mperature of the laser at a desired level by changing the effective emissivity of the water cooling jacket. This capability increases the overall efficiency of the laser.

  5. Program Analyzes Radar Altimeter Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vandemark, Doug; Hancock, David; Tran, Ngan

    2004-01-01

    A computer program has been written to perform several analyses of radar altimeter data. The program was designed to improve on previous methods of analysis of altimeter engineering data by (1) facilitating and accelerating the analysis of large amounts of data in a more direct manner and (2) improving the ability to estimate performance of radar-altimeter instrumentation and provide data corrections. The data in question are openly available to the international scientific community and can be downloaded from anonymous file-transfer- protocol (FTP) locations that are accessible via links from altimetry Web sites. The software estimates noise in range measurements, estimates corrections for electromagnetic bias, and performs statistical analyses on various parameters for comparison of different altimeters. Whereas prior techniques used to perform similar analyses of altimeter range noise require comparison of data from repetitions of satellite ground tracks, the present software uses a high-pass filtering technique to obtain similar results from single satellite passes. Elimination of the requirement for repeat-track analysis facilitates the analysis of large amounts of satellite data to assess subtle variations in range noise.

  6. Mars meter-scale roughness: Goldstone Solar System Radar delay-doppler database

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Haldemann, A. F. C.; Jurgens, R. F.; Slade, M. A.

    2002-01-01

    The entire fourteen-year database of Goldstone Solar System Radar Mars near-nadir radar scattering model fits is being revised using the latest topography from the Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter instrument.

  7. The Mars Orbiter Altimeter (MOLA) Investigation of the Shape and Topography of Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, David E.; Zuber, Maria T.

    2001-01-01

    The Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) is an instrument on the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) spacecraft that has been orbiting Mars since September 1997. After some preliminary observations in Sept/Oct, 1997 and in the spring and summer of 1998, the MGS spacecraft entered its mapping orbit of 400 km above the surface of Mars in February 1999. MGS began a 2 year program of systematically mapping the planet with a camera (MOC), thermal emission spectrometer (TES), magnetometer (MAG), laser altimeter (MOLA), and a radio science investigation for gravity and radio occultations. MOLA has a 48mJ, 1064 nrn ND:YAG, diode pumped laser with a 8 nanosecond pulse width, a pulse rate of 10 Hz, and a range precision of less than 40 cm. MOLA has been operating almost continuously for over two years and obtained over 600 million measurements of the radius of Mars. Using very precise orbits for the MGS spacecraft derived from the Doppler and range tracking of MGS by the Deep Space Network a topographical map of Mars has been developed with an average radial accuracy of a meter and a horizontal accuracy of 100 meters. This topographical map has revealed a new Mars, a planet with some of the flattest areas in the solar system and one of the largest impact basins. MOLA has revealed clear evidence of the effect of past fluid action on the surface and found icecaps that contain as much water ice today as the icecap of Greenland.

  8. Photon-Counting Microlaser Rangers, Transponders, and Altimeters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Degnan, John J.; Smith, David E. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    Unlike current manned systems, NASA's next generation SLR2000 Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) station is fully autonomous. eye-safe, relatively compact and inexpensive. and, during daytime tracking operates at signal-to-noise ratios several orders of magnitude below unity. Tiny, passively Q-switched microlasers generate ultra-short pulses with output energies on the order of 100 micron-J at few kHz rates to achieve mm-level ranging precision to satellite altitudes of 20,000 km. Special ranging receivers, combined with Poisson statistical analysis of the received photon distribution, enable the system to rapidly and reliably identify and extract the single photon laser echoes from the solar background. The enhanced rate of return, combined with a uniform signal strength, can actually drive down both systematic and random range errors. The new SLR2000 technology has already spawned exciting new applications. Compact microlaser altimeters, capable of mapping the surface of a planet or other celestial body at multikilohertz rates, is one such application, and a high altitude, airborne version is currently being developed under NASA's Instrument Incubator Program. Interplanetary microlaser transponders would be capable of performing decimeter ranging or subnanosecond time transfer to spacecraft throughout the inner Solar System. resulting in improved knowledge of planetary motions and liberations and enhanced General Relativity experiments.

  9. Estimation of mean sea surfaces in the north Atlantic, the Pacific and the Indian Ocean using GEOS-3 altimeter data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marsh, J. G.; Martin, T. V.; Mccarthy, J. J.; Chovitz, P. S.

    1979-01-01

    The mean surfaces of several regions of the world's oceans were estimated using GEOS-3 altimeter data. The northwest Atlantic, the northeast Pacific off the coast of California, the Indian Ocean, the southwest Pacific, and the Phillipine Sea are included. These surfaces have been oriented with respect to a common earth center-of-mass system by constraining the separate solutions to conform to precisely determined laser reference control orbits. The same reference orbits were used for all regions assuring continuity of the separate solutions. Radial accuracies of the control orbits were in the order of one meter. The altimeter measured sea surface height crossover differences were minimized by the adjustment of tilt and bias parameters for each pass with the exception of laser reference control passes. The tilt and bias adjustments removed long wavelength errors which were primarily due to orbit error. Ocean tides were evaluated. The resolution of the estimated sea surfaces varied from 0.25 degrees off the east coast of the United States to about 2 degrees in part of the Indian Ocean near Australia. The rms crossover discrepancy after adjustment varied from 30 cm to 70 cm depending upon geographic location. Comparisons of the altimeter derived mean sea surface in the North Atlantic with the 5 feet x 5 feet GEM-8 detailed gravimetric geoid indicated a relative consistency of better than a meter.

  10. Radar altimeter calibration using SLR

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Klosko, Steven M.

    1994-01-01

    Clearly a calibration of the TOPEX altimeter (and future TOPEX-class altimeters) which is more accurate and better prepared to meet the demands of global sea level trend monitoring is warranted. TOPEX/Posideon (T/P) is in its second year of data acquisition. If it survives or surpasses the two to five year projected baseline, an unprecedented opportunity for monitoring global sea level trends at mm/y levels will have been lost due to insufficient accuracy in its altimeter calibration. It is therefore paramount to revisit the design of the T/P calibration experiment and implement a more direct approach which better utilizes the accuracy of SLR to perform this needed bias assessment.

  11. The Geoscience Laser Altimetry/Ranging System (GLARS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cohen, S. C.; Degnan, J. J.; Bufton, J. L.; Garvin, J. B.; Abshire, J. B.

    1986-01-01

    The Geoscience Laser Altimetry Ranging System (GLARS) is a highly precise distance measurement system to be used for making extremely accurate geodetic observations from a space platform. It combines the attributes of a pointable laser ranging system making observations to cube corner retroreflectors placed on the ground with those of a nadir looking laser altimeter making height observations to ground, ice sheet, and oceanic surfaces. In the ranging mode, centimeter-level precise baseline and station coordinate determinations will be made on grids consisting of 100 to 200 targets separated by distances from a few tens of kilometers to about 1000 km. These measurements will be used for studies of seismic zone crustal deformations and tectonic plate motions. Ranging measurements will also be made to a coarser, but globally distributed array of retroreflectors for both precise geodetic and orbit determination applications. In the altimetric mode, relative height determinations will be obtained with approximately decimeter vertical precision and 70 to 100 meter horizontal resolution. The height data will be used to study surface topography and roughness, ice sheet and lava flow thickness, and ocean dynamics. Waveform digitization will provide a measure of the vertical extent of topography within each footprint. The planned Earth Observing System is an attractive candidate platform for GLARS since the GLAR data can be used both for direct analyses and for highly precise orbit determination needed in the reduction of data from other sensors on the multi-instrument platform. (1064, 532, and 355 nm)Nd:YAG laser meets the performance specifications for the system.

  12. Geoscience Laser Ranging System design and performance predictions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, Kent L.

    1991-01-01

    The Geoscience Laser System (GLRS) will be a high-precision distance-measuring instrument planned for deployment on the EOS-B platform. Its primary objectives are to perform ranging measurements to ground targets to monitor crustal deformation and tectonic plate motions, and nadir-looking altimetry to determine ice sheet thicknesses, surface topography, and vertical profiles of clouds and aerosols. The system uses a mode-locked, 3-color Nd:YAG laser source, a Microchannel Plate-PMT for absolute time-of-flight (TOF) measurement (at 532 nm), a streak camera for TOF 2-color dispersion measurement (532 nm and 355 nm), and a Si avalanche photodiode for altimeter waveform detection (1064 nm). The performance goals are to make ranging measurements to ground targets with about 1 cm accuracy, and altimetry height measurements over ice with 10 cm accuracy. This paper presents an overview of the design concept developed during a phase B study. System engineering issues and trade studies are discussed, with particular attention to error budgets and performance predictions.

  13. Reflex ring laser amplifier system

    DOEpatents

    Summers, Mark A.

    1985-01-01

    A laser pulse is injected into an unstable ring resonator-amplifier structure. Inside this resonator the laser pulse is amplified, spatially filtered and magnified. The laser pulse is recirculated in the resonator, being amplified, filtered and magnified on each pass. The magnification is chosen so that the beam passes through the amplifier in concentric non-overlapping regions similar to a single pass MOPA. After a number of passes around the ring resonator the laser pulse is spatially large enough to exit the ring resonator system by passing around an output mirror.

  14. Multiple pass laser amplifier system

    DOEpatents

    Brueckner, Keith A.; Jorna, Siebe; Moncur, N. Kent

    1977-01-01

    A laser amplification method for increasing the energy extraction efficiency from laser amplifiers while reducing the energy flux that passes through a flux limited system which includes apparatus for decomposing a linearly polarized light beam into multiple components, passing the components through an amplifier in delayed time sequence and recombining the amplified components into an in phase linearly polarized beam.

  15. Calibration of the TOPEX altimeter using a GPS buoy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Born, G. H.; Parke, Michael E.; Axelrad, P.; Gold, K. L.; Johnson, James; Key, K.; Kubitschek, Daniel G.; Christensen, Edward J.

    1994-01-01

    The use of a spar buoy equipped with a Global Positioning System (GPS) antenna to calibrate the height measurement of the TOPEX radar altimeter is described. In order to determine the height of the GPS antenna phase center above the ocean surface, the buoy was also equipped with instrumentation to measure the instantaneous location of the waterline, and tilt of the bouy from vertical. The experiment was conducted off the California coast near the Texaco offshore oil platform, Harvest, during cycle 34 of the TOPEX/POSEIDON observational period. GPS solutions were computed for the bouy position using two different software packages, K&RS and GIPSY-OASIS II. These solutions were combined with estimates of the waterline location on the bouy to yield the height of the ocean surface. The ocean surface height in an absolute coordinate system combined with knowledge of the spacecraft height from tracking data provides a computed altimeter range measurement. By comparing this computed value to the actual altimeter measurement, the altimeter bias can be calibrated. The altimeter height bias obtained with the buoy using K&RS was -14.6 +/- 4 cm, while with GIPSY-OASIS II it was -13.1 +/- 4 cm. These are 0.1 cm and 1.6 cm different from the -14.7 +/- 4 cm result obtained for this flight overflight with the tide gauge instruments located on Platform Harvest.

  16. On siphons and sediments: A new model for draining active subglacial lakes in Antarctica informed with satellite radar and laser altimeter observations.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carter, S. P.; Fricker, H. A.; Siegfried, M. R.

    2014-12-01

    With the advent of repeat-pass satellite-based surface altimetry over much of Antarctica, approximately 130 new subglacial lakes have been discovered entirely from observations of surface uplift and subsidence; these are commonly referred to as "active lakes". In contrast to the ~160 lakes detected by radar sounding ("RES" lakes), which are typically in mountains bedrock terrain near the ice divide and static with residence times spanning millenia, active lakes are typically located in fast flowing ice streams far from the divides, and have short residence times. To understand how water transfers through active lake systems we have developed a new model based on earlier theoretical work and informed by lake-volume estimates inferred from of ice surface displacements detected by satellite radar and laser altimetry. We find that although the overall pattern of filling and drainage is similar to that for ice dammed lakes in alpine regions via channels thermally eroded into the ice that then creeps shut as water pressure declines, Antarctic lake drainage is better simulated by invoking a channel mechanically eroded into the underlying sediment. The necessity of an erodable deformable substrate to explain lake drainage suggests that the distribution of active lakes is an indicator for the presence of sediment. Furthermore the process of lake drainage appears quite sensitive to the composion and strength of the underlying till. We explore these possibilities by testing the model on subglacial lakes in both East and West Antarctica, including Recovery Glacier and MacAyeal Ice stream.

  17. Receiver design, performance analysis, and evaluation for space-borne laser altimeters and space-to-space laser ranging systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davidson, Frederic M.; Sun, Xiaoli

    1993-10-01

    This interim report consists of four separate reports from our research on the receivers of NASA's Gravity And Magnetic Experiment Satellite (GAMES). The first report is entitled 'Analysis of phase estimation bias of GAMES receiver due to Doppler shift.' The second report is 'Background radiation on GAMES fine ranging detector from the moon, the planets, and the stars.' The third report is 'Background radiation on GAMES receivers from the ocean sun glitter and the direct sun.' The fourth report is 'GAMES receiver performance versus background radiation power on the detectors.'

  18. Receiver design, performance analysis, and evaluation for space-borne laser altimeters and space-to-space laser ranging systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Davidson, Frederic M.; Sun, Xiaoli

    1993-01-01

    This interim report consists of four separate reports from our research on the receivers of NASA's Gravity And Magnetic Experiment Satellite (GAMES). The first report is entitled 'Analysis of phase estimation bias of GAMES receiver due to Doppler shift.' The second report is 'Background radiation on GAMES fine ranging detector from the moon, the planets, and the stars.' The third report is 'Background radiation on GAMES receivers from the ocean sun glitter and the direct sun.' The fourth report is 'GAMES receiver performance versus background radiation power on the detectors.'

  19. Swept Frequency Laser Metrology System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zhao, Feng (Inventor)

    2010-01-01

    A swept frequency laser ranging system having sub-micron accuracy that employs multiple common-path heterodyne interferometers, one coupled to a calibrated delay-line for use as an absolute reference for the ranging system. An exemplary embodiment uses two laser heterodyne interferometers to create two laser beams at two different frequencies to measure distance and motions of target(s). Heterodyne fringes generated from reflections off a reference fiducial X(sub R) and measurement (or target) fiducial X(sub M) are reflected back and are then detected by photodiodes. The measured phase changes Delta phi(sub R) and Delta phi (sub m) resulting from the laser frequency swept gives target position. The reference delay-line is the only absolute reference needed in the metrology system and this provides an ultra-stable reference and simple/economical system.

  20. Assessment of atmospheric height uncertainties for high precision satellite altimeter missions to monitor ocean currents

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Goldhirsh, J.; Rowland, J. R.

    1980-01-01

    The influence of the atmosphere on nadir directed signal associated with satellite altimeters are examined. Frequencies at 6, 13.5, and 35 GHz are selected so as to provide a parameter study. Uncertainties are summarized in both existing and proposed techniques which establish ionospheric and tropospheric height corrections. The error summary thus gives values describing the best you can do in height resolution (as dictated by atmospheric parameters) for a satellite borne altimeter system. The results presented reflect data gleaned from the literature, at large, as well as from the existing body of published literature associated with the Seasat A Altimeter Experiment. Specifically considered are: (1) the effects of precipitation on altimeter signals, (2) range errors due to refractive index variations in both the clear atmosphere (convective and nonconvective) and clouds, and (3) range errors introduced by the ionosphere. A preliminary analysis is pursued establishing the feasibility of incorporating rain rate range gates in a future satellite-borne altimeter system.

  1. Laser beam alignment system

    DOEpatents

    Kasner, William H.; Racki, Daniel J.; Swenson, Clark E.

    1984-01-01

    A plurality of pivotal reflectors direct a high-power laser beam onto a workpiece, and a rotatable reflector is movable to a position wherein it intercepts the beam and deflects a major portion thereof away from its normal path, the remainder of the beam passing to the pivotal reflectors through an aperture in the rotating reflector. A plurality of targets are movable to positions intercepting the path of light traveling to the pivotal reflectors, and a preliminary adjustment of the latter is made by use of a low-power laser beam reflected from the rotating reflector, after which the same targets are used to make a final adjustment of the pivotal reflectors with the portion of the high-power laser beam passed through the rotating reflector.

  2. Radar altimeter waveform modeled parameter recovery. [SEASAT-1 data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1981-01-01

    Satellite-borne radar altimeters include waveform sampling gates providing point samples of the transmitted radar pulse after its scattering from the ocean's surface. Averages of the waveform sampler data can be fitted by varying parameters in a model mean return waveform. The theoretical waveform model used is described as well as a general iterative nonlinear least squares procedures used to obtain estimates of parameters characterizing the modeled waveform for SEASAT-1 data. The six waveform parameters recovered by the fitting procedure are: (1) amplitude; (2) time origin, or track point; (3) ocean surface rms roughness; (4) noise baseline; (5) ocean surface skewness; and (6) altitude or off-nadir angle. Additional practical processing considerations are addressed and FORTRAN source listing for subroutines used in the waveform fitting are included. While the description is for the Seasat-1 altimeter waveform data analysis, the work can easily be generalized and extended to other radar altimeter systems.

  3. Operation of a Radar Altimeter over the Greenland Ice Sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Grund, Matthew D.

    1996-01-01

    This thesis presents documentation for the Advanced Application Flight Experiment (AAFE) pulse compression radar altimeter and its role in the NASA Multisensor Airborne Altimetry Experiment over Greenland in 1993. The AAFE Altimeter is a Ku-band microwave radar which has demonstrated 14 centimeter range precision in operation over arctic ice. Recent repairs and improvements were required to make the Greenland missions possible. Transmitter, receiver and software modifications, as well as the integration of a GPS receiver are thoroughly documented. Procedures for installation, and operation of the radar are described. Finally, suggestions are made for further system improvements.

  4. Altimeter height measurement error introduced by the presence of variable cloud and rain attenuation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Monaldo, F. M.; Goldhirsh, J.; Walsh, E. J.

    1986-01-01

    It has recently been recognized that spatially inhomogeneous clouds and rain can substantially affect the height precision obtainable from a spaceborne radar altimeter system. Through computer simulation, it has been found that typical levels of cloud and rain intensities and associated spatial variabilities may degrade altimeter precision at 13.5 GHz and, in particular, cause severe degradation at 35 GHz. This degradation in precision is a result of radar signature distortion caused by variable attenuation over the beam limited altimeter footprint. Because attenuation effects increase with frequency, imprecision caused by them will significantly impact on the frequency selection of future altimeters. In this paper the degradation of altimeter precision introduced by idealized cloud and rain configurations as well as for a realistic rain configuration as measured with a ground based radar is examined.

  5. Altimeter height measurement errors introduced by the presence of variable cloud and rain attenuation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Monaldo, F. M.; Goldhirsh, J.; Walsh, E. J.

    1984-01-01

    It has recently been recognized that spatially inhomogeneous clouds and rain can substantially affect the height precision obtainable from a spaceborne radar altimeter system. Through computer simulation, it has been found that typical levels of cloud and rain intensities and associated spatial variabilities may degrade altimeter precision at 13.5 GHz and, in particular, cause severe degradation at 35 GHz. This degradation in precision is a result of radar signature distortion caused by variable attenuation over the beam limited altimeter footprint. Because attenuation effects increase with frequency, imprecision caused by them will significantly impact on the frequency selection of future altimeters. In this paper the degradation of altimeter precision introduced by idealized cloud and rain configurations as well as for a realistic rain configuration as measured with a ground based radar is examined.

  6. Guidance system for laser targets

    DOEpatents

    Porter, Gary D.; Bogdanoff, Anatoly

    1978-01-01

    A system for guiding charged laser targets to a predetermined focal spot of a laser along generally arbitrary, and especially horizontal, directions which comprises a series of electrostatic sensors which provide inputs to a computer for real time calculation of position, velocity, and direction of the target along an initial injection trajectory, and a set of electrostatic deflection means, energized according to a calculated output of said computer, to change the target trajectory to intercept the focal spot of the laser which is triggered so as to illuminate the target of the focal spot.

  7. Laser system of extended range

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lehr, C. G.

    1972-01-01

    A pulsed laser system was developed for range measurements from the earth to retroreflecting satellites at distances up to that of the moon. The system has a transportable transmitter unit that can be moved from one location to another. This unit consists of a 0.2 m coude refractor and a high radiance, neodymium-glass, frequency doubled laser that operates in a single transverse mode. It can be used for lunar or distant satellite ranging at any observatory that has a telescope with an aperture diameter of about 1.5 m for the detection of the laser return pulses. This telescope is utilized in the same manner customarily employed for the observation of celestial objects. A special photometric package and the associated electronics are provided for laser ranging.

  8. Laser Pyro System Standardization and Man Rating

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brown, Christopher W.

    2004-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation reviews an X-38 laser pyro system standardization system designed for a new manned rated program. The plans to approve this laser initiation system and preliminary ideas for this system are also provided.

  9. NASA Ocean Altimeter Pathfinder Project. Report 1; Data Processing Handbook

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Koblinsky, C. J.; Beckley, Brian D.; Ray, Richard D.; Wang, Yan-Ming; Tsaoussi, Lucia; Brenner, Anita; Williamson, Ron

    1998-01-01

    The NOAA/NASA Pathfinder program was created by the Earth Observing System (EOS) Program Office to determine how satellite-based data sets can be processed and used to study global change. The data sets are designed to be long time-sedes data processed with stable calibration and community consensus algorithms to better assist the research community. The Ocean Altimeter Pathfinder Project involves the reprocessing of all altimeter observations with a consistent set of improved algorithms, based on the results from TOPEX/POSEIDON (T/P), into easy-to-use data sets for the oceanographic community for climate research. This report describes the processing schemes used to produce a consistent data set and two of the products derived f rom these data. Other reports have been produced that: a) describe the validation of these data sets against tide gauge measurements and b) evaluate the statistical properties of the data that are relevant to climate change. The use of satellite altimetry for earth observations was proposed in the early 1960s. The first successful space based radar altimeter experiment was flown on SkyLab in 1974. The first successful satellite radar altimeter was flown aboard the Geos-3 spacecraft between 1975 and 1978. While a useful data set was collected from this mission for geophysical studies, the noise in the radar measured and incomplete global coverage precluded ft from inclusion in the Ocean Altimeter Pathfinder program. This program initiated its analysis with the Seasat mission, which was the first satellite radar altimeter flown for oceanography.

  10. SLICER Airborne Laser Altimeter Characterization of Canopy Structure and Sub-canopy Topography for the BOREAS Northern and Southern Study Regions: Instrument and Data Product Description

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hall, Forrest G. (Editor); Nickeson, Jaime (Editor); Harding, D. J.; Blair, J. B.; Rabine, D. L.; Still, K. L.

    2000-01-01

    SLICER data were acquired in support of BOREAS at all of the TF sites in the SSA and NSA, and along transects between the study areas. Data were acquired on 5 days between 18-Jul and 30-Jul-1996. Each coverage of a tower site is typically 40 km in length, with a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 10 lines across each tower oriented in a variety of azimuths. The SLICER data were acquired simultaneously with ASAS hyperspectral, multiview angle images. The SLICER Level 3 products consist of binary files for each flight line with a data record for each laser shot composed of 13 parameters and a 600-byte waveform that is the raw record of the backscatter laser energy reflected from Earth's surface. The SLICER data are stored in a combination of ASCII and binary data files.

  11. Rain and cloud effects on a satellite dual-frequency radar altimeter system operating at 13.5 and 35 GHz

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Walsh, E. J.; Monaldo, F. M.; Goldhirsh, J.

    1984-01-01

    The influence of clouds and rain on the return waveform signatures from satellite borne radar altimeters operating at 13.5 and 35 GHz are examined. It is specifically demonstrated that spatial nonuniformity in the cloud liquid water content or variations of the rain rate may result in significant distortions of the altimeter signature. The distorted signal is produced as a result of nonuniform attenuation occurring at the different range bins associated with the reflected signal. Determination of the mean sea height by employing tracking algorithms on these distorted echoes may result in gross errors. Although the influence of clouds on the altimeter signature and hence tracking precision is minimal at 13.5 GHz (e.g., less than 4 cm for a 1-s average), it may produce unacceptable mean sea level uncertainties at 35 GHz (e.g., 20 cm for a 1-s average) assuming a significant waveheight of 4 m. On the other hand, the signatures at both 13.5 GHz and 35 GHz become grossly distorted for rain rates of 10 mm/h and higher resulting in mean sea height errors of 46 and 65 cm, respectively, for significant wave heights of 2 m.

  12. Automated retinal robotic laser system.

    PubMed

    Barrett, S F; Wright, C H; Jerath, M R; Lewis, R S; Dillard, B C; Rylander, H G; Welch, A J

    1995-01-01

    Researchers at the University of Texas and the USAF Academy have worked toward the development of a retinal robotic laser system. The overall goal of this ongoing project is to precisely place and control the depth of laser lesions for the treatment of various retinal diseases such as diabetic retinopathy and retinal tears. Separate low speed prototype subsystems have been developed to control lesion depth using lesion reflectance feedback parameters and lesion placement using retinal vessels as tracking landmarks. Both subsystems have been successfully demonstrated in vivo on pigmented rabbits using an argon continuous wave laser. Recent efforts have concentrated on combining the two subsystems into a single prototype capable of simultaneously controlling both lesion depth and placement. We have designated this combined system CALOSOS for Computer Aided Laser Optics System for Ophthalmic Surgery. Following the dual-use concept, this system is being adapted for clinical use as a retinal treatment system as well as a research tool for military laser-tissue interaction studies. PMID:7654990

  13. Underwater laser imaging system (UWLIS)

    SciTech Connect

    DeLong, M.

    1994-11-15

    Practical limitations with underwater imaging systems area reached when the noise in the back scattered radiation generated in the water between the imaging system and the target obscures the spatial contrast and resolution necessary for target discovery and identification. The advent of high power lasers operating in the blue-green portion of the visible spectrum (oceanic transmission window) has led to improved experimental illumination systems for underwater imaging. Range-gated and synchronously scanned devices take advantage of the unique temporal and spatial coherence properties of laser radiation, respectively, to overcome the deleterious effects of common volume back scatter.

  14. GFO Altimeter Engineering Assessment Report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lockwood, Dennis W.; Hancock, David W., III; Hayne, George S.; Brooks, Ronald L.

    2002-01-01

    The U.S. Navy's Geosat Follow-On (GFO) Mission, launched on February 20, 1998, is one of a series of altimetric satellites which include Seasat, Geosat, ERS-1, and TOPEX/POSEIDON (T/P). The purpose of this report is to document the GFO altimeter performance determined from the analyses and results performed by NASA's GSFC and Wallops altimeter, calibration team. It is the second of an anticipated series of NASA's GSFC and Wallops GFO performance documents, each of which will update assessment results. This report covers the performance from instrument acceptance by the Navy on November 29, 2000, to the end of Cycle 20 on November 21, 2001. Data derived from GFO will lead to improvements in the knowledge of ocean circulation, ice sheet topography, and climate change. In order to capture the maximum amount of information from the GFO data, accurate altimeter calibrations are required for the civilian data set which NOAA will produce. Wallops Flight Facility has provided similar products for the Geosat and T/P missions and is doing the same for GFO.

  15. Photon counting altimeter and lidar for air and spaceborne applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vacek, Michael; Michalek, Vojtech; Peca, Marek; Prochazka, Ivan; Blazej, Josef; Kodet, Jan

    2011-06-01

    We are presenting the concept and preliminary design of modular multipurpose device for space segment: single photon counting laser altimeter, atmospheric lidar, laser transponder and one way laser ranging receiver. For all the mentioned purposes, the same compact configuration of the device is appropriate. Overall estimated device weight should not exceed 5 kg with the power consumption below 10 W. The device will consists of three main parts, namely, receiver, transmitter and control and processing unit. As a transmitter a commercial solid state laser at 532 nm wavelength with 10 mW power will be used. The transmitter optics will have a diameter at most of 50 mm. The laser pulse width will be of hundreds of picoseconds order. For the laser altimeter and atmospheric lidar application, the repetition rate of 10 kHz is planned in order to obtain sufficient number of data for a distance value computing. The receiver device will be composed of active quenched Single Photon Avalanche Diode module, tiny optics, and narrow-band optical filter. The core part of the control and processing unit including high precision timing unit is implemented using single FPGA chip. The preliminary device concept includes considerations on energy balance, and statistical algorithms to meet all the mentioned purposes. Recently, the bread board version of the device is under construction in our labs. The concept, construction, and timing results will be presented.

  16. High resolution laser imaging system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kyle, Thomas G.

    1989-07-01

    Computations indicate that a synthetic aperture laser imaging system can provide images with 10-cm resolution at satellite ranges using a 10-W CW laser. When imaging satellites from the ground, the synthetic aperture system reduces atmospheric degradations. The system uses 20-cm diam receiver optics. The low laser power is made possible by using separate transmitter and receiver optics and coded pulses with a 50 percent transmitter duty cycle. The coded pulses are derived from Hadamard matrices for which there is an efficient algorithm to transform the received data into images. The synthetic aperture yields spatial resolutions independent of range, and the coded pulses result in an effective range dependence of r exp-2 instead of r exp-4.

  17. XI UV Laser Trigger System

    SciTech Connect

    Brickeen, B.K.; Morelli, G.L.; Paiva, R.A.; Powell, C.A.; Sundvold, P.D.

    1999-01-26

    The X1 accelerator project at Sandia National Laboratory/New Mexico utilizes SF6 insulated, multi-stage, UV laser triggered gas switches. A 265 nm UV laser system was designed and built to generate eight simultaneous output pulses of 10 mJ each with a 13 nsec pulse width. A 1061 nm solid-state Nd:Cr:GSGG laser was frequency quadrupled using a two-stage doubling process. The 1061 nm fundamental laser energy was frequency doubled with a KTP crystal to 530 nm, achieving 65% conversion efficiency. The 530 nm output was frequency doubled with KD*P crystal to 265 nm, achieving conversion efficiency of 31%. The 265 nm beam pulse was split into eight parallel channels with a system of partially reflecting mirrors. Low timing jitter and stable energy output were achieved. The entire optical system was packaged into a rugged, o-ring sealed, aluminum structure 10''x19''x2.75''. The size of the electronics was 12''x8''x8''. Subsequent accelerator system requirements dictated a redesign of the triggering system for an output beam with less angular divergence. An unstable, crossed porro prism resonator was designed and incorporated into the system. The beam divergence of the redesigned system was successfully decreased to 0.97 mrad in the UV. The resulting frequency doubling efficiencies were 55% to 530 nm and 25% to 265 nm. The optical output remained at 10 mJ in each channel with an 11 nsec pulse width.

  18. A simple laser system for atom interferometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Merlet, S.; Volodimer, L.; Lours, M.; Pereira Dos Santos, F.

    2014-07-01

    We present here a simple laser system for a laser-cooled atom interferometer, where all functions (laser cooling, interferometry and detection) are realized using only two extended cavity laser diodes, amplified by a common tapered amplifier. One laser is locked by frequency modulation transfer spectroscopy, the other being phase locked with an offset frequency determined by an field-programmable gate array-controlled direct digital synthesizer, which allows for efficient and versatile tuning of the laser frequency. Raman lasers are obtained with a double pass acoustooptic modulator. We demonstrate a gravimeter using this laser system, with performances close to the state of the art.

  19. Heterodyne laser instantaneous frequency measurement system

    DOEpatents

    Wyeth, Richard W.; Johnson, Michael A.; Globig, Michael A.

    1990-01-01

    A heterodyne laser instantaneous frequency measurement system is disclosed. The system utilizes heterodyning of a pulsed laser beam with a continuous wave laser beam to form a beat signal. The beat signal is processed by a controller or computer which determines both the average frequency of the laser pulse and any changes or chirp of the frequency during the pulse.

  20. Heterodyne laser instantaneous frequency measurement system

    DOEpatents

    Wyeth, Richard W.; Johnson, Michael A.; Globig, Michael A.

    1989-01-01

    A heterodyne laser instantaneous frequency measurement system is disclosed. The system utilizes heterodyning of a pulsed laser beam with a continuous wave laser beam to form a beat signal. The beat signal is processed by a controller or computer which determines both the average frequency of the laser pulse and any changes or chirp of th frequency during the pulse.

  1. ARGOS laser system mechanical design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deysenroth, M.; Honsberg, M.; Gemperlein, H.; Ziegleder, J.; Raab, W.; Rabien, S.; Barl, L.; Gässler, W.; Borelli, J. L.

    2014-07-01

    ARGOS, a multi-star adaptive optics system is designed for the wide-field imager and multi-object spectrograph LUCI on the LBT (Large Binocular Telescope). Based on Rayleigh scattering the laser constellation images 3 artificial stars (at 532 nm) per each of the 2 eyes of the LBT, focused at a height of 12 km (Ground Layer Adaptive Optics). The stars are nominally positioned on a circle 2' in radius, but each star can be moved by up to 0.5' in any direction. For all of these needs are following main subsystems necessary: 1. A laser system with its 3 Lasers (Nd:YAG ~18W each) for delivering strong collimated light as for LGS indispensable. 2. The Launch system to project 3 beams per main mirror as a 40 cm telescope to the sky. 3. The Wave Front Sensor with a dichroic mirror. 4. The dichroic mirror unit to grab and interpret the data. 5. A Calibration Unit to adjust the system independently also during day time. 6. Racks + platforms for the WFS units. 7. Platforms and ladders for a secure access. This paper should mainly demonstrate how the ARGOS Laser System is configured and designed to support all other systems.

  2. Laser addressed holographic memory system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gange, R. A.; Wagle, E. M.; Steinmetz, C. C.

    1973-01-01

    Holographic recall and storage system uses red-lipid microcrystalline wax as storage medium. When laser beam strikes wax, its energy heats point of incidence enough to pass wax through transition temperature. Holograph image can then be written or erased in softened wax.

  3. Altimeter Data for Operational Use in the Marine Environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Digby, Susan; Antczak, Thomas; Leben, Robert; Born, George; Barth, Suzanne; Cheney, Robert; Foley, David; Goni, Gustavo Jorge; Jacobs, Gregg; Shay, Nick

    1999-01-01

    TOPEX/Poseidon has been collecting altimeter data continuously since October 1992. Altimeter data have been used to produce maps of sea surface height, geostrophic velocity, significant wave height, and wind speed. This information is of proven use to mariners as well as to the scientific community. Uses of the data include commercial and recreational vessel routing, ocean acoustics, input to geographic information systems developed for the fishing industry, identification of marine mammal habitats, fisheries management, and monitoring ocean debris. As with sea surface temperature data from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) in the late 1980s and early 1990s, altimeter data from TOPEX/Poseidon and ERS-1 and -2 are in the process of being introduced to the marine world for operational maritime use. It is anticipated that over the next few years companies that specialize in producing custom products for shipping agencies, fisheries and yacht race competitors will be incorporating altimeter data into their products. The data are also being incorporated into weather and climate forecasts by operational agencies both in the US and Europe. This paper will discuss these products, their uses, operational demonstrations and means of accessing the data.

  4. Airborne laser ranging system for monitoring regional crustal deformation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Degnan, J. J.

    1981-01-01

    Alternate approaches for making the atmospheric correction without benefit of a ground-based meteorological network are discussed. These include (1) a two-color channel that determines the atmospheric correction by measuring the time delay induced by dispersion between pulses at two optical frequencies; (2) single-color range measurements supported by an onboard temperature sounder, pressure altimeter readings, and surface measurements by a few existing meteorological facilities; and (3) inclusion of the quadratic polynomial coefficients as variables to be solved for along with target coordinates in the reduction of the single-color range data. It is anticipated that the initial Airborne Laser Ranging System (ALRS) experiments will be carried out in Southern California in a region bounded by Santa Barbara on the norht and the Mexican border on the south. The target area will be bounded by the Pacific Ocean to the west and will extend eastward for approximately 400 km. The unique ability of the ALRS to provide a geodetic 'snapshot' of such a large area will make it a valuable geophysical tool.

  5. Reflex ring laser amplifier system

    DOEpatents

    Summers, M.A.

    1983-08-31

    The invention is a method and apparatus for providing a reflex ring laser system for amplifying an input laser pulse. The invention is particularly useful in laser fusion experiments where efficient production of high-energy and high power laser pulses is required. The invention comprises a large aperture laser amplifier in an unstable ring resonator which includes a combination spatial filter and beam expander having a magnification greater than unity. An input pulse is injected into the resonator, e.g., through an aperture in an input mirror. The injected pulse passes through the amplifier and spatial filter/expander components on each pass around the ring. The unstable resonator is designed to permit only a predetermined number of passes before the amplified pulse exits the resonator. On the first pass through the amplifier, the beam fills only a small central region of the gain medium. On each successive pass, the beam has been expanded to fill the next concentric non-overlapping region of the gain medium.

  6. Parametric infrared tunable laser system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garbuny, M.; Henningsen, T.; Sutter, J. R.

    1980-01-01

    A parametric tunable infrared laser system was built to serve as transmitter for the remote detection and density measurement of pollutant, poisonous, or trace gases in the atmosphere. The system operates with a YAG:Nd laser oscillator amplifier chain which pumps a parametric tunable frequency converter. The completed system produced pulse energies of up to 30 mJ. The output is tunable from 1.5 to 3.6 micrometers at linewidths of 0.2-0.5 /cm (FWHM), although the limits of the tuning range and the narrower line crystals presently in the parametric converter by samples of the higher quality already demonstrated is expected to improve the system performance further.

  7. Laser satellite power systems - Concepts and issues

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walbridge, E. W.

    A laser satellite power system (SPS) converts solar power captured by Earth-orbiting satellites into electrical power on the Earth's surface, the satellite-to-ground transmission of power being effected by a laser beam. The laser SPS is an alternative to the microwave SPS. Lasers and how they work are described, as are the types of lasers - electric discharge, direct and indirect solar pumped, free electron, and closed-cycle chemical - that are candidates for application in a laser SPS. The advantages of a laser SPS over the microwave alternative are pointed out. One such advantage is that, for the same power delivered to the utility busbar, land requirements for a laser system are much smaller (by a factor of 21) than those for a microwave system. The four laser SPS concepts that have been presented in the literature are described and commented on. Finally key issues for further laser SPS research are discussed.

  8. Ultra-broadband hybrid infrared laser system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Budilova, O. V.; Ionin, A. A.; Kinyaevskiy, I. O.; Klimachev, Yu. M.; Kotkov, A. A.; Kozlov, A. Yu.

    2016-03-01

    A hybrid IR laser system consisting of molecular gas lasers with frequency conversion of laser radiation in a solid-state converter (nonlinear crystal) was developed. One of these gas lasers is a carbon monoxide laser operating in multi-line or single-line mode. Another one is a carbon dioxide laser operating in multi-line mode. The two lasers operate under Q-switching with a joint rotating mirror. Due to sum- and difference-frequency generation in nonlinear crystals, the laser system emits within wavelength range from 2.5 to 16.6 μm. The laser system emitting radiation over such an extremely wide wavelength range (2.7 octaves) is of interest for remote sensing and other applications connected with laser beam propagation in the atmosphere.

  9. Variable emissivity laser thermal control system

    DOEpatents

    Milner, J.R.

    1994-10-25

    A laser thermal control system for a metal vapor laser maintains the wall temperature of the laser at a desired level by changing the effective emissivity of the water cooling jacket. This capability increases the overall efficiency of the laser. 8 figs.

  10. Dual-Laser Schlieren System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Owen, R. B.; Wintherow, W. K.

    1982-01-01

    Proposed schlieren system uses two lasers and two knife edges to simultaneously view perpendicular refractive-index gradients in a test volume. It is improvement over conventional schlieren systems, which monitor gradient along only one axis. Although originally developed to monitor materials-processing experiments in space, it should find application wherever there is need to study two-dimensional temperature, pressure, concentration or other gradients related to index of refraction.

  11. 14 CFR 91.121 - Altimeter settings.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 2 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Altimeter settings. 91.121 Section 91.121 Aeronautics and Space FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (CONTINUED) AIR TRAFFIC AND GENERAL OPERATING RULES GENERAL OPERATING AND FLIGHT RULES Flight Rules General § 91.121 Altimeter settings. (a) Each person operating...

  12. 14 CFR 91.121 - Altimeter settings.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 2 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Altimeter settings. 91.121 Section 91.121... settings. (a) Each person operating an aircraft shall maintain the cruising altitude or flight level of that aircraft, as the case may be, by reference to an altimeter that is set, when operating— (1)...

  13. 14 CFR 91.121 - Altimeter settings.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 2 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Altimeter settings. 91.121 Section 91.121 Aeronautics and Space FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (CONTINUED) AIR TRAFFIC AND GENERAL OPERATING RULES GENERAL OPERATING AND FLIGHT RULES Flight Rules General § 91.121 Altimeter settings. (a) Each person operating...

  14. 14 CFR 91.121 - Altimeter settings.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 2 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Altimeter settings. 91.121 Section 91.121 Aeronautics and Space FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (CONTINUED) AIR TRAFFIC AND GENERAL OPERATING RULES GENERAL OPERATING AND FLIGHT RULES Flight Rules General § 91.121 Altimeter settings. (a) Each person operating...

  15. Lasers in Earth and Planetary Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, David E.

    1998-01-01

    For over 3 decades, lasers have been a tool of the space programs of the world for accomplishing a variety of engineering and scientific objectives. The majority of these uses have, however, been largely Earth-based and only a few lasers have actually been flown and operated in Earth orbit and even fewer on missions to the planets. However, in the last few years laser altimeters, lidars, and ranging systems have been part of space missions to the moon, an asteroid, and Mars; and more are planned and contemplated in the future exploration of the Earth and solar system. Early in 1994, the Clementine mission was launched to the moon and carried a laser altimeter that made the first systematic topographic survey of the moon during its 2-month observation period. This mission significantly improved our understanding of the shape and topography of the moon and along with gravity information obtained from the tracking data modified some of our thinking about the moon, the thickness of ice crust and the isostatic state of the highlands and basins. On September 11, 1997, the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) entered into orbit around Mars and the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) started to map the topography of the planet to unprecedented accuracy. On its first pass across the planet, MOLA showed large areas of the northern hemisphere to be flatter than any other known surface on Earth or any other body explored to date. In January 1999, the NEAR spacecraft which carries a laser ranger (NLR), will arrive at the S-type asteroid, Eros, and during the following year the NLR will help determine the shape and rotational dynamics of this asteroid. In the Spring of 2000, the Vegetation Canopy Lidar (VCL) mission will be launched and employing a multi-beam laser altimeter (MBLA) will measure the Earth's tree canopy shapes and heights and begin to globally monitor the biomass. The following year, in 2001, the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System, which carries a 2 wavelength laser

  16. Underwater laser imaging system (UWLIS)

    SciTech Connect

    DeLong, M.L.; Kulp, T.J.

    1995-03-10

    Practical limitations of underwater imaging systems are reached when the noise in the back scattered radiation generated in the water between the imaging system and the target obscures the spatial contrast and the resolution necessary for target discovery and identification. The advent of high power lasers operating in the oceanic transmission window of the visible spectrum (blue-green portion) has led to improved experimental illumination systems for underwater imaging The properties of laser bearm in range-gated and synchronously scanned devices take advantage of the unique temporal and spatial coherence effect of common volume back scatter to reduce or eliminate noise, increase signal to noise levels. Synchronously scanned systems rely on the highly collimated nature of the laser beam for spatial rejection of common volume back scatter. A synchronous, raster-scanning underwater laser imaging system (UWLIS) has been developed at Lawrence liver-more National Laboratory. The present UWLIS system differs from earlier synchronous scanners in its ability to scan in two dimensions at conventional video frame rate (30 Hz). The imaging performance of the present UWLIS was measured at distances of up to 6.3 AL (at a physical distance of 15.2 meters) during an in-water tank test and 4.5 to 5.0 AL (at a physical distance of 30 meters) during open water oceanic testing. The test results indicate that the UWLIS system is already capable of extending the underwater imaging range beyond that of conventional floodlight illuminated SIT cameras. The real or near real time frame rates of the UWLIS make possible operations in a mode in which the platform speed is randomly varied. This is typical of the operational environment in which the platform is often maneuvered above and around rugged seafloor terrain`s and obstacles.

  17. High-resolution measurements of surface topography with airborne laser altimetry and the global positioning system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garvin, James B.; Bufton, Jack L.; Cavanaugh, John F.; Krabill, William B.; Clem, Thomas D.; Frederick, Earl B.; Ward, John L.

    1991-01-01

    Recently, an airborne lidar system that measures laser pulse time-of-flight and the distortion of the pulse waveform upon reflection from earth surface terrain features was developed and is now operational. This instrument is combined with Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers and a two-axis gyroscope for accurate recovery of aircraft position and pointing attitude. The laser altimeter system is mounted on a high-altitude aircraft platform and operated in a repetitively-pulsed mode for measurements of surface elevation profiles at nadir. The laser transmitter makes use of recently developed short-pulse diode-pumped solid-state laser technology in Q-switched Nd:YAG operating at its fundamental wavelength of 1064 nm. A reflector telescope and silicon avalanche photodiode are the basis of the optical receiver. A high-speed time-interval unit and a separate high-bandwidth waveform digitizer under microcomputer control are used to process the backscattered pulses for measurements of terrain. Other aspects of the lidar system are briefly discussed.

  18. Laser power conversion system analysis, volume 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, W. S.; Morgan, L. L.; Forsyth, J. B.; Skratt, J. P.

    1979-01-01

    The orbit-to-ground laser power conversion system analysis investigated the feasibility and cost effectiveness of converting solar energy into laser energy in space, and transmitting the laser energy to earth for conversion to electrical energy. The analysis included space laser systems with electrical outputs on the ground ranging from 100 to 10,000 MW. The space laser power system was shown to be feasible and a viable alternate to the microwave solar power satellite. The narrow laser beam provides many options and alternatives not attainable with a microwave beam.

  19. Fiber laser coupled optical spark delivery system

    DOEpatents

    Yalin, Azer; Willson, Bryan; Defoort, Morgan; Joshi, Sachin; Reynolds, Adam

    2008-03-04

    A spark delivery system for generating a spark using a laser beam is provided, and includes a laser light source and a laser delivery assembly. The laser delivery assembly includes a hollow fiber and a launch assembly comprising launch focusing optics to input the laser beam in the hollow fiber. The laser delivery assembly further includes exit focusing optics that demagnify an exit beam of laser light from the hollow fiber, thereby increasing the intensity of the laser beam and creating a spark. Other embodiments use a fiber laser to generate a spark. Embodiments of the present invention may be used to create a spark in an engine. Yet other embodiments include collecting light from the spark or a flame resulting from the spark and conveying the light for diagnostics. Methods of using the spark delivery systems and diagnostic systems are provided.

  20. High speed laser tomography system.

    PubMed

    Samsonov, D; Elsaesser, A; Edwards, A; Thomas, H M; Morfill, G E

    2008-03-01

    A high speed laser tomography system was developed capable of acquiring three-dimensional (3D) images of optically thin clouds of moving micron-sized particles. It operates by parallel-shifting an illuminating laser sheet with a pair of galvanometer-driven mirrors and synchronously recording two-dimensional (2D) images of thin slices of the imaged volume. The maximum scanning speed achieved was 120,000 slices/s, sequences of 24 volume scans (up to 256 slices each) have been obtained. The 2D slices were stacked to form 3D images of the volume, then the positions of the particles were identified and followed in the consecutive scans. The system was used to image a complex plasma with particles moving at speeds up to cm/s. PMID:18377040

  1. Issues related to waveform computations for radar altimeter applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Newkirk, Michael H.; Brown, Gary S.

    1992-12-01

    An algorithm has been developed to model the average return power waveforms available from general radar altimeter systems, such as the Multimode Airborne Radar Altimeter (MARA) system operated at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center - Wallops Flight Facility. The algorithm is based on a convolutional model comprised of three functions: the average flat surface impulse response (FSIR), the radar system point target response (PTR), and the height pdf of the specular points on the sea surface. The FSIR is modified to account for the asymmetric antenna beam used by the MARA system, and then certain properties of this modified SIR are exploited to obtain closed-form expressions that can be rapidly evaluated. An FFT convolution routine is used to further speed up the computations. The result is an algorithm that can be used to study the effects of pointing errors in surface measurements.

  2. NASA Wallops Flight Center GEOS-3 altimeter data processing report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stanley, H. R.; Dwyer, R. E.

    1980-01-01

    The procedures used to process the GEOS-3 radar altimeter data from raw telemetry data to a final user data product are described. In addition, the radar altimeter hardware design and operating parameters are presented to aid the altimeter user in understanding the altimeter data.

  3. High power laser perforating tools and systems

    DOEpatents

    Zediker, Mark S; Rinzler, Charles C; Faircloth, Brian O; Koblick, Yeshaya; Moxley, Joel F

    2014-04-22

    ystems devices and methods for the transmission of 1 kW or more of laser energy deep into the earth and for the suppression of associated nonlinear phenomena. Systems, devices and methods for the laser perforation of a borehole in the earth. These systems can deliver high power laser energy down a deep borehole, while maintaining the high power to perforate such boreholes.

  4. System evaluations of laser power beaming options

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Montgomery, Edward E., IV

    1992-01-01

    The major technology options for high-energy FELs and adaptive optics available to the Space Laser Energy (SELENE) program are reviewed. Initial system evaluations of these options are described. A feasibility assessment of laser power beaming is given.

  5. Airborne laser sensors and integrated systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sabatini, Roberto; Richardson, Mark A.; Gardi, Alessandro; Ramasamy, Subramanian

    2015-11-01

    The underlying principles and technologies enabling the design and operation of airborne laser sensors are introduced and a detailed review of state-of-the-art avionic systems for civil and military applications is presented. Airborne lasers including Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR), Laser Range Finders (LRF), and Laser Weapon Systems (LWS) are extensively used today and new promising technologies are being explored. Most laser systems are active devices that operate in a manner very similar to microwave radars but at much higher frequencies (e.g., LIDAR and LRF). Other devices (e.g., laser target designators and beam-riders) are used to precisely direct Laser Guided Weapons (LGW) against ground targets. The integration of both functions is often encountered in modern military avionics navigation-attack systems. The beneficial effects of airborne lasers including the use of smaller components and remarkable angular resolution have resulted in a host of manned and unmanned aircraft applications. On the other hand, laser sensors performance are much more sensitive to the vagaries of the atmosphere and are thus generally restricted to shorter ranges than microwave systems. Hence it is of paramount importance to analyse the performance of laser sensors and systems in various weather and environmental conditions. Additionally, it is important to define airborne laser safety criteria, since several systems currently in service operate in the near infrared with considerable risk for the naked human eye. Therefore, appropriate methods for predicting and evaluating the performance of infrared laser sensors/systems are presented, taking into account laser safety issues. For aircraft experimental activities with laser systems, it is essential to define test requirements taking into account the specific conditions for operational employment of the systems in the intended scenarios and to verify the performance in realistic environments at the test ranges. To support the

  6. A Diode Laser System for Synchronous Photoinjection

    SciTech Connect

    Poelker, M., Hansknecht, J.

    1997-12-31

    A laser system, which is composed of a gain switched diode seed laser and a single-pass diode optical amplifier, is used to drive the polarized electron source at Jefferson Lab. The system emits pulsed laser light synchronized to the accelerating cavity radio frequency (rf) at 1497 MHz or the third subharmonic, 499 MHz. The maximum average output power from the laser system is 500 mW and the optical pulse width is 60 to 80 ps. The laser system is compact and very reliable operating remotely for many days without attention.

  7. Laser Safety Audit and Inventory System Database

    SciTech Connect

    AUGUSTONI, ARNOLD L.

    2003-05-01

    A laser safety auditing and inventory system has been in use at Sandia National Laboratories--Albuquerque for the past five years and has recently been considered for adoption by Sandia National Laboratories--Livermore. The system utilizes the ''Microsoft Access'' database application, part of the Office 2000 software package. Audit and inventory data is available on-line for ready access by laser users. Data is updated weekly to provide users with current information relating to laser facility audits and laser inventories.

  8. The SLAC polarized electron source laser system

    SciTech Connect

    Frisch, J.

    1995-10-01

    The Stanford Linear Collider (SLC) has operated a polarized photocathode electron source and titanium sapphire laser for high energy physics collisions for over 6,500 hours of nearly continuous operation. The laser system for the source has demonstrated > 98.5% total uptime for the duration of the experiment. The laser system uses a pair of titanium sapphire oscillators pumped by frequency doubled YAG lasers to produce 2ns, 250 {micro}J pulses at wavelengths from 740nm to 870nm.

  9. Ionospheric calibration for single frequency altimeter measurements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schreiner, William S.; Born, George H.; Markin, Robert E.

    1994-01-01

    This study is a preliminary analysis of the effectiveness (in terms of altimeter calibration accuracy) of various ionosphere models and the Global Positioning System (GPS) to calibrate single frequency altimeter height measurements for ionospheric path delay. In particular, the research focused on ingesting GPS Total Electron Content (TEC) data into the physical Parameterized Real-Time Ionospheric Specification Model (PRISM), which estimates the composition of the ionosphere using independent empirical and physical models and has the capability of adjusting to additional ionospheric measurements. Two types of GPS data were used to adjust the PRISM model: GPS receiver station data mapped from line-of-sight observations to the vertical at the point of interest and a grid map (generated at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory) of GPS derived TEC in a sun-fixed longitude frame. The adjusted PRISM TEC values, as well as predictions by the International Reference Ionosphere (IRI-90), a climatological (monthly mean) model of the ionosphere, were compared to TOPEX dual-frequency TEC measurements (considered as truth) for a number of TOPEX sub-satellite tracks. For a 13.6 GHz altimeter, a Total Electron Content (TEC) of 1 TECU 10(exp 16) electrons/sq m corresponds to approximately 0.218 centimeters of range delay. A maximum expected TEC (at solar maximum or during solar storms) of 10(exp 18) electrons/sq m will create 22 centimeters of range delay. Compared with the TOPEX data, the PRISM predictions were generally accurate within the TECU when the sub-satellite track of interest passed within 300 to 400 km of the GPS TEC data or when the track passed through a night-time ionosphere. If neither was the case, in particular if the track passed through a local noon ionosphere, the PRISM values differed by more than 10 TECU and by as much as 40 TECU. The IRI-90 model, with no current ability to unseat GPS data, predicted TEC to a slightly higher error of 12 TECU. The performance of

  10. Experimental nonlinear laser systems: Bigger data for better science?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kane, D. M.; Toomey, J. P.; McMahon, C.; Noblet, Y.; Argyris, A.; Syvridis, D.

    2014-10-01

    Bigger data is supporting knowledge discovery in nonlinear laser systems as will be demonstrated with examples from three semiconductor laser based systems - one with optical feedback, a photonic integrated circuit (PIC) chaotic laser and a frequency shifted feedback laser system.

  11. Laser docking system flight experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Erwin, Harry O.

    1986-01-01

    Experiments necessary in the development of the Laser Docking System (LDS) are described. The LDS would be mounted in the Orbiter payload bay, along with a grid connected by fiber optic link to a computer in the cabin. The tests would be performed to aid in the design of an operational sensor which could track a passive target accurately enough to permit soft docking. Additional data would be gained regarding the LDS performance in space, the effects of Orbiter RCS plume impingement on the target, and refinements needed for the flight hardware. A working model which includes an IR laser steered by galvanometer-driven motors for bouncing beams off retroreflectors mounted on targets is described, together with a 300 ft long indoor test facility. Tests on Orbiter flights would first be in a wholly automatic mode and then in a man-in-the-loop mode.

  12. Design of diode laser systems for solid state laser pumping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michel, D.; Luethy, Willy A.; Weber, Heinz P.

    2003-11-01

    In contrast to flashlamps the emission of single stripe laser diodes is highly directional and can be focused rather easily to small spots, which gives access to very high pump intensities. Numerical arrangements are possible for transferring the pump radiation to the solid state laser media. In this paper the most important concepts of diode laser systems for pumping solid state lasers are summarized and described. Thereby the aim is to find the most efficient and powerful method for endpumping a Yb3+-double clad fiber.

  13. Short-pulse Laser Capability on the Mercury Laser System

    SciTech Connect

    Ebbers, C; Armstrong, P; Bayramian, A; Barty, C J; Bibeau, C; Britten, J; Caird, J; Campbell, R; Chai, B; Crane, J; Cross, R; Erlandson, A; Fei, Y; Freitas, B; Jovanovic, I; Liao, Z; Molander, B; Schaffers, K; Stuart, B; Sutton, S; Ladran, T; Telford, S; Thelin, P; Utterback, E

    2006-06-22

    Applications using high energy ''petawatt-class'' laser drivers operating at repetition rates beyond 0.01 Hz are only now being envisioned. The Mercury laser system is designed to operate at 100 J/pulse at 10 Hz. We investigate the potential of configuring the Mercury laser to produce a rep-rated, ''petawatt-class'' source. The Mercury laser is a prototype of a high energy, high repetition rate source (100 J, 10 Hz). The design of the Mercury laser is based on the ability to scale in energy through scaling in aperture. Mercury is one of several 100 J, high repetition rate (10 Hz) lasers sources currently under development (HALNA, LUCIA, POLARIS). We examine the possibility of using Mercury as a pump source for a high irradiance ''petawatt-class'' source: either as a pump laser for an average power Ti:Sapphire laser, or as a pump laser for OPCPA based on YCa{sub 4}O(BO{sub 3}){sub 3} (YCOB), ideally producing a source approaching 30 J /30 fs /10 Hz--a high repetition rate petawatt. A comparison of the two systems with nominal configurations and efficiencies is shown in Table 1.

  14. Precision laser automatic tracking system.

    PubMed

    Lucy, R F; Peters, C J; McGann, E J; Lang, K T

    1966-04-01

    A precision laser tracker has been constructed and tested that is capable of tracking a low-acceleration target to an accuracy of about 25 microrad root mean square. In tracking high-acceleration targets, the error is directly proportional to the angular acceleration. For an angular acceleration of 0.6 rad/sec(2), the measured tracking error was about 0.1 mrad. The basic components in this tracker, similar in configuration to a heliostat, are a laser and an image dissector, which are mounted on a stationary frame, and a servocontrolled tracking mirror. The daytime sensitivity of this system is approximately 3 x 10(-10) W/m(2); the ultimate nighttime sensitivity is approximately 3 x 10(-14) W/m(2). Experimental tests were performed to evaluate both dynamic characteristics of this system and the system sensitivity. Dynamic performance of the system was obtained, using a small rocket covered with retroreflective material launched at an acceleration of about 13 g at a point 204 m from the tracker. The daytime sensitivity of the system was checked, using an efficient retroreflector mounted on a light aircraft. This aircraft was tracked out to a maximum range of 15 km, which checked the daytime sensitivity of the system measured by other means. The system also has been used to track passively stars and the Echo I satellite. Also, the system tracked passively a +7.5 magnitude star, and the signal-to-noise ratio in this experiment indicates that it should be possible to track a + 12.5 magnitude star. PMID:20048888

  15. Development of a New Flight Vent for the LOLA Laser Cavity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ramsey, W. Lawrence; Rosecrans, Glenn

    2007-01-01

    The Lunar Orbiting Laser Altimeter (LOLA) will fly on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). The laser is based upon the one in the Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA). LOLA will fly two lasers instead of one in the laser cavity. The MLA laser has a six year flight to station.

  16. Spaceborne laser instruments for high-resolution mapping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Anthony W.; Krainak, Michael A.; Harding, David J.; Abshire, James B.; Sun, Xiaoli; Valett, Susan; Cavanaugh, John; Ramos-Izquierdo, Luis

    2010-02-01

    We discuss past, present and future spaceborne laser instruments for high-resolution mapping of Earth and planetary surfaces. Previous spaceborne-laser-altimeters projected and imaged a single laser spot for surface-height measurements. In contrast, the recent Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) instrument on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) uses a non-scanning multi-beam system for surface topography mapping. The multi-beam instrument facilitates surface slope measurement and reduces the time-to-completion for global high-resolution topographic mapping. We discuss our first-year progress on a three-year swath-mapping laser-altimetry Instrument Incubator Program (IIP) funded by the NASA Earth Science Technology Office (ESTO). Our IIP is a technology development program supporting the LIdar Surface Topography (LIST) space-flight mission that is a third-tier mission as recommended by the National Research Council (NRC) for NASA's Earth Science programs.

  17. Fission fragment excited laser system

    DOEpatents

    McArthur, David A.; Tollefsrud, Philip B.

    1976-01-01

    A laser system and method for exciting lasing action in a molecular gas lasing medium which includes cooling the lasing medium to a temperature below about 150 K and injecting fission fragments through the lasing medium so as to preferentially excite low lying vibrational levels of the medium and to cause population inversions therein. The cooled gas lasing medium should have a mass areal density of about 5 .times. 10.sup.-.sup.3 grams/square centimeter, relaxation times of greater than 50 microseconds, and a broad range of excitable vibrational levels which are excitable by molecular collisions.

  18. High power laser apparatus and system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Evans, J. C., Jr.; Brandhorst, H. W., Jr. (Inventor)

    1975-01-01

    A high-power, continuous-wave laser was designed for use in power transmission and energy-collecting systems, and for producing incoherent light for pumping a laser material. The laser has a high repetitive pulsing rate per unit time, resulting in a high-power density beam. The laser is composed of xenon flash tubes powered by fast-charging capacitors flashed in succession by a high-speed motor connected to an automobile-type distributor.

  19. Laser Doppler And Range Systems For Spacecraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kinman, P. W.; Gagliardi, R. M.

    1990-01-01

    Report discusses two types of proposed laser systems containing active transponders measuring distance (range) and line-of-sight velocity (via Doppler effect) between deep space vehicle and earth-orbiting satellite. Laser system offers diffraction advantage over microwave system. Delivers comparable power to distant receiver while using smaller transmitting and receiving antennas and less-powerful transmitter. Less subject to phase scintillations caused by passage through such inhomogeneous media as solar corona. One type of system called "incoherent" because range and Doppler measurements do not require coherence with laser carrier signals. Other type of system called "coherent" because successful operation requires coherent tracking of laser signals.

  20. Coherent laser vision system (CLVS)

    SciTech Connect

    1997-02-13

    The purpose of the CLVS research project is to develop a prototype fiber-optic based Coherent Laser Vision System suitable for DOE`s EM Robotics program. The system provides three-dimensional (3D) vision for monitoring situations in which it is necessary to update geometric data on the order of once per second. The CLVS project plan required implementation in two phases of the contract, a Base Contract and a continuance option. This is the Base Program Interim Phase Topical Report presenting the results of Phase 1 of the CLVS research project. Test results and demonstration results provide a proof-of-concept for a system providing three-dimensional (3D) vision with the performance capability required to update geometric data on the order of once per second.

  1. Laser spark distribution and ignition system

    DOEpatents

    Woodruff, Steven; McIntyre, Dustin L.

    2008-09-02

    A laser spark distribution and ignition system that reduces the high power optical requirements for use in a laser ignition and distribution system allowing for the use of optical fibers for delivering the low peak energy pumping pulses to a laser amplifier or laser oscillator. An optical distributor distributes and delivers optical pumping energy from an optical pumping source to multiple combustion chambers incorporating laser oscillators or laser amplifiers for inducing a laser spark within a combustion chamber. The optical distributor preferably includes a single rotating mirror or lens which deflects the optical pumping energy from the axis of rotation and into a plurality of distinct optical fibers each connected to a respective laser media or amplifier coupled to an associated combustion chamber. The laser spark generators preferably produce a high peak power laser spark, from a single low power pulse. The laser spark distribution and ignition system has application in natural gas fueled reciprocating engines, turbine combustors, explosives and laser induced breakdown spectroscopy diagnostic sensors.

  2. Laser fiber optics ordnance initiation system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yang, L. C.

    1976-01-01

    Recent progress on system development in the laser initiation of explosive devices is summarized. The topics included are: development of compact free-running mode and Q-switched lasers, development of low-loss fiber optic bundles and connectors, study of nuclear radiation effects on the system, characterization of laser initiation sensitivities of insensitive high explosives, and the design methods used to achieve attractive system weight and cost savings. Direction for future work is discussed.

  3. Space-qualified fiber optic link for radar altimeter applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suter, Joseph J.; Poret, Jay C.; Rosen, Moshe; Giannini, Judith A.; Bhatnagar, Vipul; Kilgus, Charles C.

    1993-09-01

    This paper reports on the system design of an rf-modulated optical link for spaceborne radar altimeter applications and presents results of rf carrier phase noise and phase stability measurements. Our study involved the transmission of rf-modulated optical signals at 834 nm wavelengths using Bias-T and Mach-Zehnder modulators. The rf/microwave signals' phase coherence, modulation levels, and insertion loss are reported. Phase noise measurements revealed a noise floor of at least -118 dBc/Hz at frequencies greater than 100 Hz from a 5-MHz carrier with direct modulation. The phase noise was degraded by about 10 dBc/Hz for external modulation techniques. The rf insertion losses appear smallest for the Bias-T intensity modulators (approximately 30 dB at an 834 nm optical carrier with 5 MHz modulation). The results of modulation experiments with 320 MHz radar altimeter chirps are also presented with an emphasis on coherence, stability, and rise and fall time. The linear FM chirp signal ramps down at a rate of -3.125 MHz/microsecond(s) (+/- 0.5%) and is flat to within +/- 1 dB. Measurements show that this type of FM chirp modulated on optical carriers at 834 nm meets radar altimeter system requirements.

  4. Multiplex electric discharge gas laser system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Laudenslager, James B. (Inventor); Pacala, Thomas J. (Inventor)

    1987-01-01

    A multiple pulse electric discharge gas laser system is described in which a plurality of pulsed electric discharge gas lasers are supported in a common housing. Each laser is supplied with excitation pulses from a separate power supply. A controller, which may be a microprocessor, is connected to each power supply for controlling the application of excitation pulses to each laser so that the lasers can be fired simultaneously or in any desired sequence. The output light beams from the individual lasers may be combined or utilized independently, depending on the desired application. The individual lasers may include multiple pairs of discharge electrodes with a separate power supply connected across each electrode pair so that multiple light output beams can be generated from a single laser tube and combined or utilized separately.

  5. National Ignition Facility system design requirements Laser System SDR002

    SciTech Connect

    Larson, D.W.; Bowers, J.M.; Bliss, E.S.; Karpenko, V.P.; English, E.

    1996-08-20

    This System Design Requirement document establishes the performance, design, development, and test requirements for the NIP Laser System. The Laser System generates and delivers high-power optical pulses to the target chamber, and is composed of all optical puke creating and transport elements from Puke Generation through Final Optics as well as the special equipment that supports, energizes and controls them. The Laser System consists of the following WBS elements: 1.3 Laser System 1.4 Beam Transport System 1.6 Optical Components 1.7 Laser Control 1.8.7 Final Optics.

  6. Laser beam modeling in optical storage systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Treptau, J. P.; Milster, T. D.; Flagello, D. G.

    1991-01-01

    A computer model has been developed that simulates light propagating through an optical data storage system. A model of a laser beam that originates at a laser diode, propagates through an optical system, interacts with a optical disk, reflects back from the optical disk into the system, and propagates to data and servo detectors is discussed.

  7. The Geoscience Laser Altimetry/Ranging System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cohen, Steven C.; Degnan, John J., III; Bufton, Jack L.; Garvin, James B.; Abshire, James B.

    1987-01-01

    The Geoscience Laser Altimetry/Ranging System (GLARS), a combined laser ranging and altimetry system capable of subcentimeter position determinations of retroflector targets and subdecimeter profiling of topography, is described. The system uses advanced but currently available state-of-the-art components. Laboratory, field, and numerical experiments have indicated the suitability of GLARS as an instrument for Eos and other space platforms.

  8. Systems modeling for laser IFE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meier, W. R.; Raffray, A. R.; Sviatoslavsky, I. N.

    2006-06-01

    A systems model of a laser-driven IFE power plant is being developed to assist in design trade-offs and optimization. The focus to date has been on modeling the fusion chamber, blanket and power conversion system. A self-consistent model has been developed to determine key chamber and thermal cycle parameters (e.g., chamber radius, structure and coolant temperatures, cycle efficiency, etc.) as a function of the target yield and pulse repetition rate. Temperature constraints on the tungsten armor, ferritic steel wall, and structure/coolant interface are included in evaluating the potential design space. Results are presented for a lithium cooled first wall coupled with a Brayton power cycle. LLNL work performed under the auspices of the US Department of Energy by the University of California LLNL under Contract W-7405-Eng-48.

  9. Thermal Performance of ATLAS Laser Thermal Control System Demonstration Unit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ku, Jentung; Robinson, Franklin; Patel, Deepak; Ottenstein, Laura

    2013-01-01

    The second Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite mission currently planned by National Aeronautics and Space Administration will measure global ice topography and canopy height using the Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System {ATLAS). The ATLAS comprises two lasers; but only one will be used at a time. Each laser will generate between 125 watts and 250 watts of heat, and each laser has its own optimal operating temperature that must be maintained within plus or minus 1 degree Centigrade accuracy by the Laser Thermal Control System (LTCS) consisting of a constant conductance heat pipe (CCHP), a loop heat pipe (LHP) and a radiator. The heat generated by the laser is acquired by the CCHP and transferred to the LHP, which delivers the heat to the radiator for ultimate rejection. The radiator can be exposed to temperatures between minus 71 degrees Centigrade and minus 93 degrees Centigrade. The two lasers can have different operating temperatures varying between plus 15 degrees Centigrade and plus 30 degrees Centigrade, and their operating temperatures are not known while the LTCS is being designed and built. Major challenges of the LTCS include: 1) A single thermal control system must maintain the ATLAS at 15 degrees Centigrade with 250 watts heat load and minus 71 degrees Centigrade radiator sink temperature, and maintain the ATLAS at plus 30 degrees Centigrade with 125 watts heat load and minus 93 degrees Centigrade radiator sink temperature. Furthermore, the LTCS must be qualification tested to maintain the ATLAS between plus 10 degrees Centigrade and plus 35 degrees Centigrade. 2) The LTCS must be shut down to ensure that the ATLAS can be maintained above its lowest desirable temperature of minus 2 degrees Centigrade during the survival mode. No software control algorithm for LTCS can be activated during survival and only thermostats can be used. 3) The radiator must be kept above minus 65 degrees Centigrade to prevent ammonia from freezing using no more

  10. Dynamically variable spot size laser system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gradl, Paul R. (Inventor); Hurst, John F. (Inventor); Middleton, James R. (Inventor)

    2012-01-01

    A Dynamically Variable Spot Size (DVSS) laser system for bonding metal components includes an elongated housing containing a light entry aperture coupled to a laser beam transmission cable and a light exit aperture. A plurality of lenses contained within the housing focus a laser beam from the light entry aperture through the light exit aperture. The lenses may be dynamically adjusted to vary the spot size of the laser. A plurality of interoperable safety devices, including a manually depressible interlock switch, an internal proximity sensor, a remotely operated potentiometer, a remotely activated toggle and a power supply interlock, prevent activation of the laser and DVSS laser system if each safety device does not provide a closed circuit. The remotely operated potentiometer also provides continuous variability in laser energy output.

  11. Laser trigger system for the Jupiter module

    SciTech Connect

    Paiva, R.; Sundvoid, S.; Morelli, G.; Powell, C.; Hamil, R.; Corley, J.; Pankuch, P.; Law, K.; Alexander, J.

    1995-10-01

    A UV laser trigger system has been designed to trigger the eight SF6 filled high voltage switches in the Jupiter module. The system is compact and modular, allowing for approximately thirty lasers to be triggered simultaneously in the full Jupiter design. The laser will be kinematically mounted near the high voltage section to minimize the path length to the high voltage switches and decrease the sensitivity to misalignment. The laser system is specifically built for the purpose of triggering the Jupiter module. It is a 265 nm UV laser system designed to generate eight simultaneous laser pulses of 10 mJ each with a 13 nsec pulsewidth. A 1061 nm solid-state Nd:Cr:GSGG laser is frequency quadrupled with a two stage doubling process. The 1061 nm fundamental laser energy is frequency doubled with a type II KTP crystal to generate 530 nm energy. The 530 nm output is frequency doubled with a type I KD*P crystal to generate 265 nm energy. The 265 nm pulse is split into eight parallel channels with a system of partially reflecting mirrors. Low timing jitter and a stable energy output level for the system were achieved. The entire optical system was packaged in a rugged, sealed aluminum structure 10 in. {times} 19 in. {times} 2.75 in. The size of the laser electronics unit is 7 in. {times} 8 in. {times} 8 in.

  12. Copper vapor laser acoustic thermometry system

    DOEpatents

    Galkowski, Joseph J.

    1987-01-01

    A copper vapor laser (CVL) acoustic thermometry system is disclosed. The invention couples an acoustic pulse a predetermined distance into a laser tube by means of a transducer and an alumina rod such that an echo pulse is returned along the alumina rod to the point of entry. The time differential between the point of entry of the acoustic pulse into the laser tube and the exit of the echo pulse is related to the temperature at the predetermined distance within the laser tube. This information is processed and can provide an accurate indication of the average temperature within the laser tube.

  13. Master-Oscillator/Power-Amplifier Laser System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yu, Anthony W.; Krainak, Michael A.; Unger, Glenn L.

    1994-01-01

    Master-oscillator/power-amplifier (MOPA) laser system operates in continuous-wave mode or in amplitude-modulation (e.g., pulse) mode by modulation of oscillator current. Power amplifier is laser-diode-pumped neodymium:yttrium lithium fluoride (Nd:YLF) laser; oscillator is laser diode. Offers relatively high efficiency and power. Because drive current to oscillator modulated, external electro-optical modulator not needed. Potential uses include free-space optical communications, coded laser ranging, and generation of high-power, mode-locked pulses.

  14. A Stochastic Approach to Noise Modeling for Barometric Altimeters

    PubMed Central

    Sabatini, Angelo Maria; Genovese, Vincenzo

    2013-01-01

    The question whether barometric altimeters can be applied to accurately track human motions is still debated, since their measurement performance are rather poor due to either coarse resolution or drifting behavior problems. As a step toward accurate short-time tracking of changes in height (up to few minutes), we develop a stochastic model that attempts to capture some statistical properties of the barometric altimeter noise. The barometric altimeter noise is decomposed in three components with different physical origin and properties: a deterministic time-varying mean, mainly correlated with global environment changes, and a first-order Gauss-Markov (GM) random process, mainly accounting for short-term, local environment changes, the effects of which are prominent, respectively, for long-time and short-time motion tracking; an uncorrelated random process, mainly due to wideband electronic noise, including quantization noise. Autoregressive-moving average (ARMA) system identification techniques are used to capture the correlation structure of the piecewise stationary GM component, and to estimate its standard deviation, together with the standard deviation of the uncorrelated component. M-point moving average filters used alone or in combination with whitening filters learnt from ARMA model parameters are further tested in few dynamic motion experiments and discussed for their capability of short-time tracking small-amplitude, low-frequency motions. PMID:24253189

  15. Applications of spaceborne laser ranger on EOS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Degnan, John J.; Cohen, Steven C.

    1988-01-01

    An account is given of the design concept and potential applications in science and engineering of the spaceborne laser ranging and altimeter apparatus employed by the Geodynamics Laser Ranging System; this is scheduled for 1997 launch as part of the multiple-satellite Earth Observing System. In the retrograding mode for geodynamics, the system will use a Nd:YAG laser's green and UV output for distance determination to ground retroreflectors. Engineering applications encompass land management and long-term ground stability studies relevant to nuclear power plant, pipeline, and aqueduct locations.

  16. Laser Systems for Orbital Debris Removal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rubenchik, A. M.; Barty, C. P. J.; Beach, R. J.; Erlandson, A. C.; Caird, J. A.

    2010-10-01

    The use of a ground based laser for space debris cleaning was investigated by the ORION project in 1996. Since that study the greatest technological advance in the development of high energy pulsed laser systems has taken place within the NIF project at LLNL. The proposed next laser system to follow the NIF at LLNL will be a high rep rate version of the NIF based on diode-pumping rather than flashlamp excitation; the so called "LIFE" laser system. Because a single "LIFE" beamline could be built up in a few year time frame, and has performance characteristics relevant to the space debris clearing problem, such a beamline could enable a near term demonstration of space debris cleaning. Moreover, the specifics of debris cleaning make it possible to simplify the LIFE laser beyond what is required for a fusion drive laser, and so substantially reduce its cost. Starting with the requirements for laser intensity on the target, and then considering beam delivery, we will flow back the laser requirements needed for space debris cleaning. Using these derived requirements we will then optimize the pulse duration, the operational regime, and the output pulse energy of the laser with a focus of simplifying its overall design. Anticipated simplifications include operation in the heat capacity regime, eliminating cooling requirements on the laser gain slabs, and relaxing B-integral and birefrigence requirements.

  17. Laser Systems for Orbital Debris Removal

    SciTech Connect

    Rubenchik, A. M.; Barty, C. P. J.; Beach, R. J.; Erlandson, A. C.; Caird, J. A.

    2010-10-08

    The use of a ground based laser for space debris cleaning was investigated by the ORION project in 1996. Since that study the greatest technological advance in the development of high energy pulsed laser systems has taken place within the NIF project at LLNL. The proposed next laser system to follow the NIF at LLNL will be a high rep rate version of the NIF based on diode-pumping rather than flashlamp excitation; the so called 'LIFE' laser system. Because a single 'LIFE' beamline could be built up in a few year time frame, and has performance characteristics relevant to the space debris clearing problem, such a beamline could enable a near term demonstration of space debris cleaning. Moreover, the specifics of debris cleaning make it possible to simplify the LIFE laser beyond what is required for a fusion drive laser, and so substantially reduce its cost. Starting with the requirements for laser intensity on the target, and then considering beam delivery, we will flow back the laser requirements needed for space debris cleaning. Using these derived requirements we will then optimize the pulse duration, the operational regime, and the output pulse energy of the laser with a focus of simplifying its overall design. Anticipated simplifications include operation in the heat capacity regime, eliminating cooling requirements on the laser gain slabs, and relaxing B-integral and birefrigence requirements.

  18. Laser Systems for Orbital Debris Removal

    SciTech Connect

    Rubenchik, A M; Barty, C P; Beach, R J; Erlandson, A C; Caird, J A

    2010-02-05

    The use of a ground based laser for space debris cleaning was investigated by the ORION project in 1996. Since that study the greatest technological advance in the development of high energy pulsed laser systems has taken place within the NIF project at LLNL. The proposed next laser system to follow the NIF at LLNL will be a high rep rate version of the NIF based on diode-pumping rather than flashlamp excitation; the so called 'LIFE' laser system. Because a single 'LIFE' beamline could be built up in a few year time frame, and has performance characteristics relevant to the space debris clearing problem, such a beamline could enable a near term demonstration of space debris cleaning. Moreover, the specifics of debris cleaning make it possible to simplify the LIFE laser beyond what is required for a fusion drive laser, and so substantially reduce its cost. Starting with the requirements for laser intensity on the target, and then considering beam delivery, we will flow back the laser requirements needed for space debris cleaning. Using these derived requirements we will then optimize the pulse duration, the operational regime, and the output pulse energy of the laser with a focus of simplifying its overall design. Anticipated simplifications include operation in the heat capacity regime, eliminating cooling requirements on the laser gain slabs, and relaxing B-integral and birefrigence requirements.

  19. [Design of an integrative laser laryngoscope system].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yangde; Qiao, Jingliang

    2012-10-01

    Laser technology is widely used in many medical fields such as general surgery, cardio-thoracic surgery, neurosurgery and urology. Laser has the characteristics of identical direction and high energy density, so that a laser knife leaves smooth incisions, less hemorrhage and less infection. The design presented in this paper applied the advanced laser technology in laryngoscopic operations, which increases efficiency and safety of the operation. The design included a laryngoscope, a laser-knife system host machine and a laser-knife, which were integrated in the front of the laryngoscope working terminal. Operators could choose the laser with appropriate wavelength to cut, irradiate, stop bleeding and coagulate the foreign objects or lesions of the larynx. A Chinese national patent (patent number ZL201020537693. 5) has been granted to the design. PMID:23198427

  20. Personal medical information system using laser card

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cho, Seong H.; Kim, Keun Ho; Choi, Hyung-Sik; Park, Hyun Wook

    1996-04-01

    The well-known hospital information system (HIS) and the picture archiving and communication system (PACS) are typical applications of multimedia to medical area. This paper proposes a personal medical information save-and-carry system using a laser card. This laser card is very useful, especially in emergency situations, because the medical information in the laser card can be read at anytime and anywhere if there exists a laser card reader/writer. The contents of the laser card include the clinical histories of a patient such as clinical chart, exam result, diagnostic reports, images, and so on. The purpose of this system is not a primary diagnosis, but emergency reference of clinical history of the patient. This personal medical information system consists of a personal computer integrated with laser card reader/writer, color frame grabber, color CCD camera and a high resolution image scanner optionally. Window-based graphical user interface was designed for easy use. The laser card has relatively sufficient capacity to store the personal medical information, and has fast access speed to restore and load the data with a portable size as compact as a credit card. Database items of laser card provide the doctors with medical data such as laser card information, patient information, clinical information, and diagnostic result information.

  1. Laser Surveillance System for Spent Fuel

    SciTech Connect

    Fiarman, S.; Zucker, M.S.; Bieber, A.M. Jr.

    1980-01-01

    A laser surveillance system installed at spent fuel storage pools (SFSP's) will provide the safeguard inspector with specific knowledge of spent fuel movement that cannot be obtained with current surveillance systems. The laser system will allow for the division of the pool's spent fuel inventory into two populations - those assemblies which have been moved and those which haven't - which is essential for maximizing the efficiency and effectiveness of the inspection effort. We have designed, constructed, and tested a full size laser system operating in air and have used an array of 6 zircaloy BWR tubes to simulate an assembly. The reflective signal from the zircaloy rods is a strong function of position of the assembly, but in all cases is easily discernable from the reference scan of the background with no assembly. A design for a SFSP laser surveillance system incorporating laser ranging is discussed. 10 figures.

  2. Wind waves in tropical cyclones: satellite altimeter observations and modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Golubkin, Pavel; Kudryavtsev, Vladimir; Chapron, Bertrand

    2016-04-01

    Results of investigation of wind-wave generation by tropical cyclones using satellite altimeter data are presented. Tropical cyclones are generally relatively small rapidly moving low pressure systems that are capable of generating severe wave conditions. Translation of a tropical cyclone leads to a prolonged period of time surface waves in the right sector remain under high wind forcing conditions. This effect has been termed extended fetch, trapped fetch or group velocity quasi-resonance. A tropical cyclone wave field is thus likely more asymmetrical than the corresponding wind field: wind waves in the tropical cyclone right sector are more developed with larger heights than waves in the left one. A dataset of satellite altimeter intersections of the Western Pacific tropical cyclones was created for 2010-2013. Data from four missions were considered, i.e., Jason-1, Jason-2, CryoSat-2, SARAL/AltiKa. Measurements in the rear-left and front-right sectors of tropical cyclones were examined for the presence of significant wave asymmetry. An analytical model is then derived to efficiently describe the wave energy distribution in a moving tropical cyclone. The model essentially builds on a generalization of the self-similar wave growth model and the assumption of a strongly dominant single spectral mode in a given quadrant of the storm. The model provides a criterion to anticipate wave enhancement with the generation of trapped abnormal waves. If forced during a sufficient timescale interval, also defined from this generalized self-similar wave growth model, waves can be trapped and large amplification of the wave energy will occur in the front-right storm quadrant. Remarkably, the group velocity and corresponding wavelength of outrunning wave systems will become wind speed independent and solely relate to the translating velocity. The resulting significant wave height also only weakly depends on wind speed, and more strongly on the translation velocity. Satellite

  3. Analysis of short pulse laser altimetry data obtained over horizontal path

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Im, K. E.; Tsai, B. M.; Gardner, C. S.

    1983-01-01

    Recent pulsed measurements of atmospheric delay obtained by ranging to the more realistic targets including a simulated ocean target and an extended plate target are discussed. These measurements are used to estimate the expected timing accuracy of a correlation receiver system. The experimental work was conducted using a pulsed two color laser altimeter.

  4. The Theory of Random Laser Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Xunya Jiang

    2002-06-27

    Studies of random laser systems are a new direction with promising potential applications and theoretical interest. The research is based on the theories of localization and laser physics. So far, the research shows that there are random lasing modes inside the systems which is quite different from the common laser systems. From the properties of the random lasing modes, they can understand the phenomena observed in the experiments, such as multi-peak and anisotropic spectrum, lasing mode number saturation, mode competition and dynamic processes, etc. To summarize, this dissertation has contributed the following in the study of random laser systems: (1) by comparing the Lamb theory with the Letokhov theory, the general formulas of the threshold length or gain of random laser systems were obtained; (2) they pointed out the vital weakness of previous time-independent methods in random laser research; (3) a new model which includes the FDTD method and the semi-classical laser theory. The solutions of this model provided an explanation of the experimental results of multi-peak and anisotropic emission spectra, predicted the saturation of lasing modes number and the length of localized lasing modes; (4) theoretical (Lamb theory) and numerical (FDTD and transfer-matrix calculation) studies of the origin of localized lasing modes in the random laser systems; and (5) proposal of using random lasing modes as a new path to study wave localization in random systems and prediction of the lasing threshold discontinuity at mobility edge.

  5. Fibre laser component technology for 2-micron laser systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stevens, G.; Robertson, A.

    2014-05-01

    We report on recent developments in fibre laser component technology for use in 2-micron laser systems. A range of `building block' components has been built to allow novel fibre laser architectures that exploit the advantages of fibre lasers based on Thulium and Holmium active fibres. Fibre lasers operating around 2-microns are becoming widely used in an increasing number of applications, which is driving the need for components that can operate reliably at high powers and also integrate easily with other components. To that end, we have designed and built a range of fused fibre, acousto-optic and magneto-optic devices that can be readily integrated into a range of novel fibre laser systems. Research has been carried out into improving fused fibre technology for components operating at 2um wavelengths. Side-coupled feed through combiners have been developed with signal losses as low as 0.02dB and kilowatt level end-coupled pump couplers. Alongside this a range of taps, splitters and WDMs have been developed which allows for the implementation of a variety of laser architectures. Optical isolators based on new Faraday materials have been developed, providing over 30dB isolation, low insertion loss and 30W power handling in a fibre-in, fibre-out version. New cell designs and materials for Acousto-Optic devices have been researched leading to the development of fibre-coupled Acousto-Optic Modulators (AOM) and allows for the realisation of all fibre Thulium and Holmium Q-switched and pulsed fibre lasers. Novel Acousto-Optic Tunable Filters (AOTF) designs have been realised to produce narrow resolution AOTFs and zero-shift AOTFs.

  6. FPGA Sequencer for Radar Altimeter Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Berkun, Andrew C.; Pollard, Brian D.; Chen, Curtis W.

    2011-01-01

    A sequencer for a radar altimeter provides accurate attitude information for a reliable soft landing of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL). This is a field-programmable- gate-array (FPGA)-only implementation. A table loaded externally into the FPGA controls timing, processing, and decision structures. Radar is memory-less and does not use previous acquisitions to assist in the current acquisition. All cycles complete in exactly 50 milliseconds, regardless of range or whether a target was found. A RAM (random access memory) within the FPGA holds instructions for up to 15 sets. For each set, timing is run, echoes are processed, and a comparison is made. If a target is seen, more detailed processing is run on that set. If no target is seen, the next set is tried. When all sets have been run, the FPGA terminates and waits for the next 50-millisecond event. This setup simplifies testing and improves reliability. A single vertex chip does the work of an entire assembly. Output products require minor processing to become range and velocity. This technology is the heart of the Terminal Descent Sensor, which is an integral part of the Entry Decent and Landing system for MSL. In addition, it is a strong candidate for manned landings on Mars or the Moon.

  7. ALT space shuttle barometric altimeter altitude analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Killen, R.

    1978-01-01

    The accuracy was analyzed of the barometric altimeters onboard the space shuttle orbiter. Altitude estimates from the air data systems including the operational instrumentation and the developmental flight instrumentation were obtained for each of the approach and landing test flights. By comparing the barometric altitude estimates to altitudes derived from radar tracking data filtered through a Kalman filter and fully corrected for atmospheric refraction, the errors in the barometric altitudes were shown to be 4 to 5 percent of the Kalman altitudes. By comparing the altitude determined from the true atmosphere derived from weather balloon data to the altitude determined from the U.S. Standard Atmosphere of 1962, it was determined that the assumption of the Standard Atmosphere equations contributes roughly 75 percent of the total error in the baro estimates. After correcting the barometric altitude estimates using an average summer model atmosphere computed for the average latitude of the space shuttle landing sites, the residual error in the altitude estimates was reduced to less than 373 feet. This corresponds to an error of less than 1.5 percent for altitudes above 4000 feet for all flights.

  8. Application of laser Doppler velocimeter to chemical vapor laser system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gartrell, Luther R.; Hunter, William W., Jr.; Lee, Ja H.; Fletcher, Mark T.; Tabibi, Bagher M.

    1993-01-01

    A laser Doppler velocimeter (LDV) system was used to measure iodide vapor flow fields inside two different-sized tubes. Typical velocity profiles across the laser tubes were obtained with an estimated +/-1 percent bias and +/-0.3 to 0.5 percent random uncertainty in the mean values and +/-2.5 percent random uncertainty in the turbulence-intensity values. Centerline velocities and turbulence intensities for various longitudinal locations ranged from 13 to 17.5 m/sec and 6 to 20 percent, respectively. In view of these findings, the effects of turbulence should be considered for flow field modeling. The LDV system provided calibration data for pressure and mass flow systems used routinely to monitor the research laser gas flow velocity.

  9. Calibration results for the GEOS-3 altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martin, C. F.; Butler, M. L.

    1977-01-01

    Data from the GEOS-3 altimeter were analyzed, for both the intensive and global modes, to determine the altitude bias levels for each mode and to verify the accuracy of the time tags which have been applied to the data. The best estimates of the biases are -5.30 + or - .2 m (intensive mode) and -3.55 m + or - .4 m (global mode). These values include the approximately 1.6 m offset of the altimeter antenna focal point from the GEOS-3 spacecraft center-of-mass. The negative signs indicate that the measured altitudes are too short. The data is corrected by subtracting the above bias numbers for the respective modes. Timing corrections which should be applied to the altimeter data were calculated theoretically, and subsequently confirmed through crossover analysis for passes 6-8 revolutions apart. The time tag correction that should be applied consists of -20.8 msec + 1 interpulse period (10.240512 msec).

  10. Laser Image Contrast Enhancement System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kurtz, Robert L. (Inventor); Holmes, Richard R. (Inventor); Witherow, William K. (Inventor)

    2002-01-01

    An optical image enhancement system provides improved image contrast in imaging of a target in high temperature surroundings such as a furnace. The optical system includes a source of vertically polarized light such as laser and a beam splitter for receiving the light and directing the light toward the target. A retardation plate is affixed to a target-facing surface of the beam splitter and a vertical polarizer is disposed along a common optical path with the beam splitter between the retardation plate and the target. A horizontal polarizer disposed in the common optical path, receives light passing through a surface of the beam splitter opposed to the target-facing surface. An image detector is disposed at one end of the optical path. A band pass filter having a band pass filter characteristic matching the frequency of the vertically polarized light source is disposed in the path between the horizontal polarizer and the image detector. The use of circular polarization, together with cross polarizers, enables the reflected light to be passed to the detector while blocking thermal radiation.

  11. Study on short distance laser ranging system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bao, Jianan; Li, Jicheng; Zhang, Cong

    2015-02-01

    Laser ranging technology is an industrial non contact measuring technology. With the rapidly development of electronics and optical technology, the measuring precision has been improved continuously. In this paper, a simple structure measuring system which based on laser triangulation measuring theory, was built. The system consist of single point laser and CMOS receiver, its measuring range is from 90mm to 110mm. In order to get a higher position accuracy of light spot, gauss cumulative method was used in this paper. For realize the precision system calibration, a linear calibration method was introduced. The experiment shows that the system get a measuring precision of 10um.

  12. Medical laser system WOLF-1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolf, Leszek; Peszynski-Drews, Cezary; Szydlak, Jerzy; Nowakowski, Wlodzimierz

    2000-11-01

    In CDTL PL a set of lasers was installed with irradiation connected to treatment and operation rooms by energetic optical fibers. The introduction of irradiation of particular lasers into fiberguides is controlled by the computer. Fiber couplers were installed on the entrance of transmission fiberguides, and they were connected to optical fibers with different end-pieces according to medical needs.

  13. Tectonic Motion Monitoring at the Altimeter Calibration Facility on Gavdos, Crete, Greece.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernandez-Ibanez, F.; Soto, J. I.; Morales, J.; Comas, C.; Evans, K.; Pavlis, E. C.; Cadeddu, M. P.; Mertikas, S. P.

    2004-12-01

    The intense tectonic activity of Eastern Mediterranean is of great interest for many decades. Recently, sea-level monitoring and climate change studies generated great interest as well as for its regional oceanography. A plethora of observations has convincingly demonstrated the importance of the area for regional meteorological and climatologic changes affecting Eurasia and North Africa. GPS monitors tectonics, while tide gauges record the variations in Mean Sea Level (MSL). Continuous monitoring of tide gauge locations with GPS removes the uncertainties introduced by local tectonics, that contaminate the observed sea level variations. Such a global tide gauge network with long historical records is already used to calibrate satellite altimeters (e.g. on TOPEX/POSEIDON, GFO, JASON-1, ENVISAT, etc.), at present, a common IOC-GLOSS-IGS effort --TIGA. Crete hosts two of the oldest tide gauges in the regional network, at Souda Bay and Heraklion. A third site, state-of-the-art MSL monitoring facility in southwestern Crete was established, on the isle of Gavdos, the southernmost European parcel of land, under a joint effort of the European Union, NASA, and the Swiss Federal Government. The site at Souda Bay is only 5 km away from the continuously operating GPS site at TUC, Chania, with a nearly seven year record of operation. The Gavdos facility is an ideal altimeter calibration site if the tectonic motions are monitored precisely and continuously. This presentation focuses on this aspect of the project, the local and regional tectonic motions relative to the "stable" part of the Eurasian plate. The facility hosts in addition to two tide gauges, multiple GPS receivers, a DORIS beacon for positioning and orbit control, and a transponder for direct calibration. During 2003, the French Transportable Laser Ranging System (FTLRS) completed a co-location campaign at Chania, Crete, for improved orbit control over the site, and to ensure the best possible and most reliable

  14. Seasat altimeter determination of ocean current variability

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bernstein, R. L.; Whritner, R. H.; Born, G. H.

    1982-01-01

    An experiment conducted in the Kuroshio Current, east of Japan, has confirmed the ability of radar altimeters of precision on the order of 10 cm, such as that of the Seasat satellite, to measure the small oceanic height variations associated with geostrophic ocean currents. Changes in surface dynamic height were inferred from data gathered by air-expendable barithermographs, which had been dropped to coincide with the Seasat subtrack, for the periods between the flights of September 25 and October 5 and 13, 1978. The changes registered generally agreed to within + or - 10 cm of the height changes observed in the altimeter data.

  15. A Comparison of Snow Depth on Sea Ice Retrievals Using Airborne Altimeters and an AMSR-E Simulator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cavalieri, D. J.; Marksu, T.; Ivanoff, A.; Miller, J. A.; Brucker, L.; Sturm, M.; Maslanik, J. A.; Heinrichs, J. F.; Gasiewski, A.; Leuschen, C.; Krabill, W.; Sonntag, J.

    2011-01-01

    A comparison of snow depths on sea ice was made using airborne altimeters and an Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for the Earth Observing System (AMSR-E) simulator. The data were collected during the March 2006 National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Arctic field campaign utilizing the NASA P-3B aircraft. The campaign consisted of an initial series of coordinated surface and aircraft measurements over Elson Lagoon, Alaska and adjacent seas followed by a series of large-scale (100 km ? 50 km) coordinated aircraft and AMSR-E snow depth measurements over portions of the Chukchi and Beaufort seas. This paper focuses on the latter part of the campaign. The P-3B aircraft carried the University of Colorado Polarimetric Scanning Radiometer (PSR-A), the NASA Wallops Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) lidar altimeter, and the University of Kansas Delay-Doppler (D2P) radar altimeter. The PSR-A was used as an AMSR-E simulator, whereas the ATM and D2P altimeters were used in combination to provide an independent estimate of snow depth. Results of a comparison between the altimeter-derived snow depths and the equivalent AMSR-E snow depths using PSR-A brightness temperatures calibrated relative to AMSR-E are presented. Data collected over a frozen coastal polynya were used to intercalibrate the ATM and D2P altimeters before estimating an altimeter snow depth. Results show that the mean difference between the PSR and altimeter snow depths is -2.4 cm (PSR minus altimeter) with a standard deviation of 7.7 cm. The RMS difference is 8.0 cm. The overall correlation between the two snow depth data sets is 0.59.

  16. Active polarimeter optical system laser hazard analysis.

    SciTech Connect

    Augustoni, Arnold L.

    2005-07-01

    A laser hazard analysis was performed for the SNL Active Polarimeter Optical System based on the ANSI Standard Z136.1-2000, American National Standard for Safe Use of Lasers and the ANSI Standard Z136.6-2000, American National Standard for Safe Use of Lasers Outdoors. The Active Polarimeter Optical System (APOS) uses a pulsed, near-infrared, chromium doped lithium strontium aluminum fluoride (Cr:LiSAF) crystal laser in conjunction with a holographic diffuser and lens to illuminate a scene of interest. The APOS is intended for outdoor operations. The system is mounted on a height adjustable platform (6 feet to 40 feet) and sits atop a tripod that points the beam downward. The beam can be pointed from nadir to as much as 60 degrees off of nadir producing an illuminating spot geometry that can vary from circular (at nadir) to elliptical in shape (off of nadir). The JP Innovations crystal Cr:LiSAF laser parameters are presented in section II. The illuminating laser spot size is variable and can be adjusted by adjusting the separation distance between the lens and the holographic diffuser. The system is adjusted while platform is at the lowest level. The laser spot is adjusted for a particular spot size at a particular distance (elevation) from the laser by adjusting the separation distance (d{sub diffuser}) to predetermined values. The downward pointing angle is also adjusted before the platform is raised to the selected operation elevation.

  17. Improving the Altimeter Derived Geostrophic Currents Using High Resolution Sea Surface Temperature Images: A Feasibility Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rio, M.-H.; Santoleri, R.; Giffa, A.; Piterbarg, L.

    2015-12-01

    Accurate knowledge of spatial and temporal ocean surface currents at high resolution is essential for a variety of applications. The altimeter observing system, by providing global and repetitive measurements of the Sea Surface Height, has been by far the most exploited system to estimate ocean surface currents in the past 20 years. However it does not allow observing currents departing from the geostrophic equilibrium, nor is capable to resolve the shortest spatial scales of the currents. In order to go beyond these limits, we investigate how the high spatial and temporal resolution information from Sea Surface Temperature (SST) images can improve the altimeter currents by adapting a method first proposed by [1]. It consists in inverting the SST evolution equation for the velocity by prescribing the source and sink terms and by using the altimeter currents as background. The method feasibility is tested using simulated data based on the Mercator-Ocean system.

  18. Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory laser tracking systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pearlman, M. R.; Lanham, N. W.; Lehr, C. G.; Wohn, J.

    1977-01-01

    The four SAO laser satellite-ranging systems, located in Brazil, Peru, Australia, and Arizona, have been in operation for more than five years and have provided ranging data at accuracy levels of a meter or better. The paper examines system hardware (laser transmitter, the electronics, mount, photoreceiver, minicomputer, and station timing) and software (prediction program, calibration programs, and data handling and quick-look programs) and also considers calibration, station operation, and system performance.

  19. Laser Mégajoule synchronization system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luttmann, Michel; Pastor, Jean François; Drouet, Vincent; Prat, Michel; Raimbourg, Jo"l.; Adolf, Alain

    2011-03-01

    This paper describes the synchronisation system under development on the Laser Mégajoule (LMJ) in order to synchronize the laser quads on the target to better than 40ps rms. Our architecture is based on a Timing System (TS) which delivers trigger signals with jitter down to 15ps rms coupled with an ultra precision timing system with 5ps rms jitter. In addition to TS, a sensor placed at the target chamber center measures the arrival times of the 3ω nano joule laser pulses generated by front end shots.

  20. High energy chemical laser system

    DOEpatents

    Gregg, D.W.; Pearson, R.K.

    1975-12-23

    A high energy chemical laser system is described wherein explosive gaseous mixtures of a reducing agent providing hydrogen isotopes and interhalogen compounds are uniformly ignited by means of an electrical discharge, flash- photolysis or an electron beam. The resulting chemical explosion pumps a lasing chemical species, hydrogen fluoride or deuterium fluoride which is formed in the chemical reaction. The generated lasing pulse has light frequencies in the 3- micron range. Suitable interhalogen compounds include bromine trifluoride (BrF$sub 3$), bromine pentafluoride (BrF$sub 5$), chlorine monofluoride (ClF), chlorine trifluoride (ClF$sub 3$), chlorine pentafluoride (ClF$sub 5$), iodine pentafluoride (IF$sub 5$), and iodine heptafluoride (IF$sub 7$); and suitable reducing agents include hydrogen (H$sub 2$), hydrocarbons such as methane (CH$sub 4$), deuterium (D$sub 2$), and diborane (B$sub 2$H$sub 6$), as well as combinations of the gaseous compound and/or molecular mixtures of the reducing agent.

  1. Space Applications Industrial Laser System (SAILS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCay, T. D.; Bible, J. B.; Mueller, R. E.

    1993-10-01

    A program is underway to develop a YAG laser based materials processing workstation to fly in the cargo bay of the Space Shuttle. This workstation, called Space Applications Industrial Laser System (SAILS), will be capable of cutting and welding steel, aluminum, and Inconel alloys of the type planned for use in constructing the Space Station Freedom. As well as demonstrating the ability of a YAG laser to perform remote (fiber-optic delivered) repair and fabrication operations in space, fundamental data will be collected on these interactions for comparison with terrestrial data and models. The flight system, scheduled to fly in 1996, will be constructed as three modules using standard Get-Away-Special (GAS) canisters. The first module holds the laser head and cooling system, while the second contains a high peak power electrical supply. The third module houses the materials processing workstation and the command and data acquisition subsystems. The laser head and workstation cansisters are linked by a fiber-optic cable to transmit the laser light. The team assembled to carry out this project includes Lumonics Industrial Products (laser), Tennessee Technological University (structural analysis and fabrication), Auburn University Center for Space Power (electrical engineering), University of Waterloo (low-g laser process consulting), and CSTAR/UTSI (data acquisition, control, software, integration, experiment design). This report describes the SAILS program and highlights recent activities undertaken at CSTAR.

  2. Space Applications Industrial Laser System (SAILS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mccay, T. D.; Bible, J. B.; Mueller, R. E.

    1993-01-01

    A program is underway to develop a YAG laser based materials processing workstation to fly in the cargo bay of the Space Shuttle. This workstation, called Space Applications Industrial Laser System (SAILS), will be capable of cutting and welding steel, aluminum, and Inconel alloys of the type planned for use in constructing the Space Station Freedom. As well as demonstrating the ability of a YAG laser to perform remote (fiber-optic delivered) repair and fabrication operations in space, fundamental data will be collected on these interactions for comparison with terrestrial data and models. The flight system, scheduled to fly in 1996, will be constructed as three modules using standard Get-Away-Special (GAS) canisters. The first module holds the laser head and cooling system, while the second contains a high peak power electrical supply. The third module houses the materials processing workstation and the command and data acquisition subsystems. The laser head and workstation cansisters are linked by a fiber-optic cable to transmit the laser light. The team assembled to carry out this project includes Lumonics Industrial Products (laser), Tennessee Technological University (structural analysis and fabrication), Auburn University Center for Space Power (electrical engineering), University of Waterloo (low-g laser process consulting), and CSTAR/UTSI (data acquisition, control, software, integration, experiment design). This report describes the SAILS program and highlights recent activities undertaken at CSTAR.

  3. Laser Threat Analysis System (LTAS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pfaltz, John M.; Richardson, Christina E.; Ruiz, Abel; Barsalou, Norman; Thomas, Robert J.

    2002-11-01

    LTAS is a totally integrated modeling and simulation environment designed for the purpose of ascertaining the susceptibility of Air Force pilots and air crews to optical radiation threats. Using LTAS, mission planners can assess the operational impact of optically directed energy weapons and countermeasures. Through various scenarios, threat analysts are able to determine the capability of laser threats and their impact on operational missions including the air crew's ability to complete their mission effectively. Additionally, LTAS allows the risk of laser use on training ranges and the requirement for laser protection to be evaluated. LTAS gives mission planners and threat analysts complete control of the threat environment including threat parameter control and placement, terrain mapping (line-of-site), atmospheric conditions, and laser eye protection (LEP) selection. This report summarizes the design of the final version of LTAS, and the modeling methodologies implemented to accomplish analysis.

  4. Microoptoelectromechanical system (MOEMS) based laser

    DOEpatents

    Hutchinson, Donald P.

    2003-11-04

    A method for forming a folded laser and associated laser device includes providing a waveguide substrate, micromachining the waveguide substrate to form a folded waveguide structure including a plurality of intersecting folded waveguide paths, forming a single fold mirror having a plurality of facets which bound all ends of said waveguide paths except those reserved for resonator mirrors, and disposing a pair of resonator mirrors on opposite sides of the waveguide to form a lasing cavity. A lasing material is provided in the lasing cavity. The laser can be sealed by disposing a top on the waveguide substrate. The laser can include a re-entrant cavity, where the waveguide substrate is disposed therein, the re-entrant cavity including the single fold mirror.

  5. Magnetically switched power supply system for lasers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pacala, Thomas J. (Inventor)

    1987-01-01

    A laser power supply system is described in which separate pulses are utilized to avalanche ionize the gas within the laser and then produce a sustained discharge to cause the gas to emit light energy. A pulsed voltage source is used to charge a storage device such as a distributed capacitance. A transmission line or other suitable electrical conductor connects the storage device to the laser. A saturable inductor switch is coupled in the transmission line for containing the energy within the storage device until the voltage level across the storage device reaches a predetermined level, which level is less than that required to avalanche ionize the gas. An avalanche ionization pulse generating circuit is coupled to the laser for generating a high voltage pulse of sufficient amplitude to avalanche ionize the laser gas. Once the laser gas is avalanche ionized, the energy within the storage device is discharged through the saturable inductor switch into the laser to provide the sustained discharge. The avalanche ionization generating circuit may include a separate voltage source which is connected across the laser or may be in the form of a voltage multiplier circuit connected between the storage device and the laser.

  6. Determination of Barometric Altimeter Errors for the Orion Exploration Flight Test-1 Entry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brown, Denise L.; Bunoz, Jean-Philippe; Gay, Robert

    2012-01-01

    The Exploration Flight Test 1 (EFT-1) mission is the unmanned flight test for the upcoming Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV). During entry, the EFT-1 vehicle will trigger several Landing and Recovery System (LRS) events, such as parachute deployment, based on on-board altitude information. The primary altitude source is the filtered navigation solution updated with GPS measurement data. The vehicle also has three barometric altimeters that will be used to measure atmospheric pressure during entry. In the event that GPS data is not available during entry, the altitude derived from the barometric altimeter pressure will be used to trigger chute deployment for the drogues and main parachutes. Therefore it is important to understand the impact of error sources on the pressure measured by the barometric altimeters and on the altitude derived from that pressure. The error sources for the barometric altimeters are not independent, and many error sources result in bias in a specific direction. Therefore conventional error budget methods could not be applied. Instead, high fidelity Monte-Carlo simulation was performed and error bounds were determined based on the results of this analysis. Aerodynamic errors were the largest single contributor to the error budget for the barometric altimeters. The large errors drove a change to the altitude trigger setpoint for FBC jettison deploy.

  7. Target isolation system, high power laser and laser peening method and system using same

    DOEpatents

    Dane, C. Brent; Hackel, Lloyd A.; Harris, Fritz

    2007-11-06

    A system for applying a laser beam to work pieces, includes a laser system producing a high power output beam. Target delivery optics are arranged to deliver the output beam to a target work piece. A relay telescope having a telescope focal point is placed in the beam path between the laser system and the target delivery optics. The relay telescope relays an image between an image location near the output of the laser system and an image location near the target delivery optics. A baffle is placed at the telescope focal point between the target delivery optics and the laser system to block reflections from the target in the target delivery optics from returning to the laser system and causing damage.

  8. Pulse shaping on the Nova laser system

    SciTech Connect

    Lawson, J.K.; Speck, D.R.; Bibeau, C.; Weiland, T.L.

    1989-02-06

    Inertial confinement fusion requires temporally shaped pulses to achieve high gain efficiency. Recently, we demonstrated the ability to produce complex temporal pulse shapes at high power at 0.35 microns on the Nova laser system. 2 refs., 2 figs.

  9. An improved instantaneous laser Doppler velocity system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Desio, Charles V.; Olcmen, Semih; Schinetsky, Philip

    2016-02-01

    In this paper, improvements made on a single velocity component instantaneous laser Doppler velocimetry (ILDV) system are detailed. The ILDV system developed in this research effort is capable of measuring a single velocity component at a rate as high as two megahertz. The current system accounts for the effects of the laser intensity variation on the measured velocity and eliminates the use of a Pockels cell used in previous ILDV systems. The system developed in the current effort was tested using compressible, subsonic jet flows. The ILDV system developed would be most beneficial where a high data capture rate is needed such as in shock tubes, and high-speed wind tunnels.

  10. Laser power conversion system analysis, volume 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, W. S.; Morgan, L. L.; Forsyth, J. B.; Skratt, J. P.

    1979-01-01

    The orbit-to-orbit laser energy conversion system analysis established a mission model of satellites with various orbital parameters and average electrical power requirements ranging from 1 to 300 kW. The system analysis evaluated various conversion techniques, power system deployment parameters, power system electrical supplies and other critical supplies and other critical subsystems relative to various combinations of the mission model. The analysis show that the laser power system would not be competitive with current satellite power systems from weight, cost and development risk standpoints.

  11. Research of laser ignition detection system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Feng; Zhao, Dong; Xu, Qie; Ai, Xin

    2010-10-01

    Laser ignition is an important means of detonation but the accuracy and security is requested strictly. Based on the above, two points were considered in the design: achieve ignition-Fiber-optical health monitoring in the condition of low-intensity light (ensure the safety of gunpowder); observant the explosive imaging. In the paper, the laser ignition equipment was designed with optical detection and inner optical imaging system for the real-time monitoring to the optical fiber and the process of ignition. This design greatly improved the reliability and the safety of laser ignition system and provided the guarantee for usage and industrialization.

  12. The TileCal Laser Calibration System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giangiobbe, Vincent; On Behalf Of The Atlas Tile Calorimeter Group

    TileCal is the central hadronic calorimeter of the ATLAS detector operating at LHC. It is a sampling calorimeter whose active material is made of scintillating plastic tiles. Scintillation light is read by photomultipliers. A Laser system is used to monitor their gain stability. During dedicated calibration runs the Laser system sends via long optical fibers, a monitored amount of light simultaneously to all the ≈10000 photomultipliers of TileCal. This note describes two complementary methods to measure the stability of the photomultipliers gain using the Laser calibration runs. The results of validation tests are presented for both methods and theirrespective performances and limitations are discussed.

  13. Solid state laser systems for space application

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kay, Richard B.

    1994-01-01

    Since the last report several things have happened to effect the research effort. In laser metrology, measurements using Michelson type interferometers with an FM modulated diode laser source have been performed. The discrete Fourier transform technique has been implemented. Problems associated with this technique as well as the overall FM scheme were identified. The accuracy of the technique is not at the level we would expect at this point. We are now investigating the effect of various types of noise on the accuracy as well as making changes to the system. One problem can be addressed by modifying the original optical layout. Our research effort was also expanded to include the assembly and testing of a diode pumped\\Nd:YAG laser pumped\\Ti sapphire laser for possible use in sounding rocket applications. At this stage, the diode pumped Nd:YAG laser has been assembled and made operational.

  14. Antarctic elevation changes and variability from Envisat and ICESat altimeters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flament, T.; Berthier, E.; Rémy, F.

    2012-04-01

    From 2002 to 2010, Envisat provided continuous radar altimetry measurements every 35 days. ICESat provided laser altimetry measurement from 2003 to 2009 with a lower temporal sampling but a smaller footprint (~70 m), better suited for ice surfaces. We developed an along-track processing to extract elevation time series every kilometre along track for both altimeters. The processing is a classical least square fit, compensating for the local slope and computing an average height trend over the period (dh/dt). Concerning Envisat, we implement some supplementary corrections to take into account changes in snow-pack characteristics that affect the radar echo. Even if small biases can cause large errors for the continental mass balance (1 cm of ice over 12.106 km2 correspond to 110 Gt), significant elevation changes of ±15 cm/yr can still be observed. Comparison with previous results from ERS-2 reveals large scale variations due to the variability in meteorological forcing, especially in East Antarctica. Some coastal areas are experiencing rapid changes with thinning rates reaching several meters per year. Comparison between ICESat and Envisat over the common 2003-2009 period reveals that ICESat is likely overestimating dh/dt in the inner continent while Envisat encounters problems that become apparent north from 70°S and where surface slope exceeds 1°. Both radar and laser altimeter technologies have advantages and drawbacks and combining both allows to go further in the study of many different phenomena from overall continental mass balance to small scale and rapid events such as subglacial lakes drainage. We will focus on the Pine Island Glacier for mass balance as this basin alone lost about 30km3/yr in the last decade, where both sensors agree. A smaller scale analysis is conducted on the Cook ice shelf (East Antarctica) for a singular lake drainage event.

  15. Power spectra of geoid undulations. [definition of altimeter design requirements for geoid recovery

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brown, R. D.

    1975-01-01

    Data from spacecraft altimeters are expected to contribute to an improved determination of the marine geoid. To better define altimeter system design requirements for geoid recovery, amplitudes of geoid undulations at short wavelengths were examined. Models of detailed geoids in selected areas around the earth, developed from a combination of satellite derived spherical harmonics and 1 deg-by-1 deg area mean free-air gravity anomalies, were subjected to a spectral analysis. The resulting undulation power spectra were compared to existing estimates for the magnitude of geoid undulations at short wavelengths. The undulation spectra were found to be consistent with Kaula's rule of thumb, following an inverse third power relationship with spatial frequency for wavelengths at least as small as 300 km. The requirements imposed by this relationship on altimeter accuracy, data rate, and horizontal resolution to meet the goal of a detailed geoid description are discussed.

  16. Laser and solar-photovoltaic space power systems comparison. II.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    De Young, R. J.; Stripling, J.; Enderson, T. M.; Humes, D. H.; Davis, W. T.

    1984-01-01

    A comparison of total system cost is made between solar photovoltaic and laser/receiver systems. The laser systems assume either a solar-pumped CO2 blackbody transfer laser with MHD receiver or a solar pumped liquid neodymium laser with a photovoltaic receiver. Total system costs are less for the laser systems below 300 km where drag is significant. System costs are highly dependent on altitude.

  17. Repetitive output laser system and method using target reflectivity

    DOEpatents

    Johnson, Roy R.

    1978-01-01

    An improved laser system and method for implosion of a thermonuclear fuel pellet in which that portion of a laser pulse reflected by the target pellet is utilized in the laser system to initiate a succeeding target implosion, and in which the energy stored in the laser system to amplify the initial laser pulse, but not completely absorbed thereby, is used to amplify succeeding laser pulses initiated by target reflection.

  18. Laser Safety and Hazardous Analysis for the ARES (Big Sky) Laser System

    SciTech Connect

    AUGUSTONI, ARNOLD L.

    2003-01-01

    A laser safety and hazard analysis was performed for the ARES laser system based on the 2000 version of the American National Standards Institute's (ANSI) Standard Z136.1,for Safe Use of Lasers and the 2000 version of the ANSI Standard Z136.6, for Safe Use of Lasers Outdoors. The ARES laser system is a Van/Truck based mobile platform, which is used to perform laser interaction experiments and tests at various national test sites.

  19. Optical design of laser transmission system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Yulan; Feng, Jinliang; Li, Yongliang; Yang, Jiandong

    1998-08-01

    This paper discusses a design of optical transfer system used in carbon-dioxide laser therapeutic machine. The design of this system is according to the requirement of the therapeutic machine. The therapeutic machine requires the movement of laser transfer system is similar to the movement of human beings arms, which possesses 7 rotating hinges. We use optical hinges, which is composed of 45 degree mirrors. Because the carbon-dioxide laser mode is not good, light beam diameter at focus and divergence angle dissemination are big, we use a collecting lens at the transfer system output part in order to make the light beam diameter at focus in 0.2 to approximately 0.3 mm. For whole system the focus off-axis error is less than 0.5 mm, the transfer power consumption is smaller than 10%. The system can move in three dimension space freely and satisfies the therapeutic machine requirement.

  20. Laser Inertial Fusion Energy Control Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Marshall, C; Carey, R; Demaret, R; Edwards, O; Lagin, L; Van Arsdall, P

    2011-03-18

    A Laser Inertial Fusion Energy (LIFE) facility point design is being developed at LLNL to support an Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) based energy concept. This will build upon the technical foundation of the National Ignition Facility (NIF), the world's largest and most energetic laser system. NIF is designed to compress fusion targets to conditions required for thermonuclear burn. The LIFE control systems will have an architecture partitioned by sub-systems and distributed among over 1000's of front-end processors, embedded controllers and supervisory servers. LIFE's automated control subsystems will require interoperation between different languages and target architectures. Much of the control system will be embedded into the subsystem with well defined interface and performance requirements to the supervisory control layer. An automation framework will be used to orchestrate and automate start-up and shut-down as well as steady state operation. The LIFE control system will be a high parallel segmented architecture. For example, the laser system consists of 384 identical laser beamlines in a 'box'. The control system will mirror this architectural replication for each beamline with straightforward high-level interface for control and status monitoring. Key technical challenges will be discussed such as the injected target tracking and laser pointing feedback. This talk discusses the the plan for controls and information systems to support LIFE.

  1. Fast Offset Laser Phase-Locking System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shaddock, Daniel; Ware, Brent

    2008-01-01

    Figure 1 shows a simplified block diagram of an improved optoelectronic system for locking the phase of one laser to that of another laser with an adjustable offset frequency specified by the user. In comparison with prior systems, this system exhibits higher performance (including higher stability) and is much easier to use. The system is based on a field-programmable gate array (FPGA) and operates almost entirely digitally; hence, it is easily adaptable to many different systems. The system achieves phase stability of less than a microcycle. It was developed to satisfy the phase-stability requirement for a planned spaceborne gravitational-wave-detecting heterodyne laser interferometer (LISA). The system has potential terrestrial utility in communications, lidar, and other applications. The present system includes a fast phasemeter that is a companion to the microcycle-accurate one described in High-Accuracy, High-Dynamic-Range Phase-Measurement System (NPO-41927), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 31, No. 6 (June 2007), page 22. In the present system (as in the previously reported one), beams from the two lasers (here denoted the master and slave lasers) interfere on a photodiode. The heterodyne photodiode output is digitized and fed to the fast phasemeter, which produces suitably conditioned, low-latency analog control signals which lock the phase of the slave laser to that of the master laser. These control signals are used to drive a thermal and a piezoelectric transducer that adjust the frequency and phase of the slave-laser output. The output of the photodiode is a heterodyne signal at the difference between the frequencies of the two lasers. (The difference is currently required to be less than 20 MHz due to the Nyquist limit of the current sampling rate. We foresee few problems in doubling this limit using current equipment.) Within the phasemeter, the photodiode-output signal is digitized to 15 bits at a sampling frequency of 40 MHz by use of the same analog

  2. Radar altimeter mean return wave forms from near-normal-incidence ocean surface scattering

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hayne, G. S.

    1980-01-01

    For a nearly Gaussian transmitted pulse shape scattered from a nearly Gaussian distributed sea surface, a small argument series expansion of one term lead to a several term power series expression for the mean return waveform. Specific expressions are given for the first four terms. These results, which require less computer time than numerical convolution, are useful for data analysis from current or past radar altimeters and for design studies of future systems. Several representative results are presented for an idealized Seasat-1 radar altimeter.

  3. Laser beam control and diagnostic systems for the copper-pumped dye laser system at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

    SciTech Connect

    Bliss, E.S.; Peterson, R.L.; Salmon, J.T.; Thomas, R.A.

    1992-11-01

    The laser system described in the previous paper is used for experiments in which success requires tight tolerances on beam position, direction, and wavefront. Indeed, the optimum performance of the laser itself depends on careful delivery of copper laser light to the dye amplifiers, precise propagation of dye laser beams through restricted amplifier apertures, and accurate monitoring of laser power at key locations. This paper describes the alignment systems, wavefront correction systems, and laser diagnostics systems which ensure that the control requirements of both the laser and associated experiments are met. Because laser isotope separation processes utilize more than one wavelength, these systems monitor and control multiple wavelengths simultaneously.

  4. Scanning afocal laser velocimeter projection lens system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rhodes, D. B. (Inventor)

    1982-01-01

    A method and apparatus for projecting and focusing parallel laser light beams from a laser doppler velocimeter on a target area are described. The system includes three lenses. Two lenses work together as a fixed afocal lens combination. The third lens is a movable scanning lens. Parallel laser beams travel from the velocimeter through the scanning lens and through the afocal lens combination and converge, i.e., are focused, somewhere beyond. Moving the scanning lens relative to the fixed afocal combination results in a scanning of the focus area along the afocal combination's optical axis.

  5. Lasers and space optical systems study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giuliano, Concetto; Annaballi, Angela L.

    1998-01-01

    The Air Force and other government organizations have considered the application of space-based lasers since the early 1970s. Recent studies have identified the enormous potential of lasers and optical systems in space to support the Full-Spectrum Dominance envisioned by the Joint Chiefs of Staff in ``Joint Vision 2010.'' The Air Force Research Laboratory has undertaken the LAsers and S_pace O_ptical S_ystems (LASSOS) Study to examine in detail how space lasers and optics (defined as any laser system based in space or any terrestrial-based laser whose beam transits space) could best be used to satisfy this critical need. This twelve-month study will identify promising technology concepts for space laser/optic systems, develop system concepts based on these technologies with special emphasis on systems capable of performing multiple missions, assess how well these systems can accomplish operational tasks in a quantitative manner, and design technology development roadmaps for selected concepts. Since work on the study had commenced only days before the publication deadline, this manuscript is necessarily limited to a description of the background, motivation, and organization of the study. The ``Concept Definition'' phase of the study is scheduled to be completed by the time of the STAIF conference. By that time, study participants will have identified key concepts that best satisfy criteria for timely and cost-effective augmentation of combat capability. A final report, which will be made available to authorized recipients, will be written after completion of the study in August 1998.

  6. Advanced laser systems for photoacoustic imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klosner, Marc; Sampathkumar, Ashwin; Chan, Gary; Wu, Chunbai; Gross, Daniel; Heller, Donald F.

    2015-03-01

    We describe the ongoing development of laser systems for advanced photoacoustic imaging (PAI). We discuss the characteristics of these laser systems and their particular benefits for soft tissue imaging and next-generation breast cancer diagnostics. We provide an overview of laser performance and compare this with other laser systems that have been used for early-stage development of PAI. These advanced systems feature higher pulse energy output at clinically relevant repetition rates, as well as a novel wavelength-cycling output pulse format. Wavelength cycling provides pulse sequences for which the output repeatedly alternates between two wavelengths that provide differential imaging. This capability improves co-registration of captured differential images. We present imaging results of phantoms obtained with a commercial ultrasound detector system and a wavelength-cycling laser source providing ~500 mJ/pulse at 755 and 797 nm, operating at 25 Hz. The results include photoacoustic images and corresponding pulse-echo data from a tissue mimicking phantom containing inclusions, simulating tumors in the breast. We discuss the application of these systems to the contrast-enhanced detection of various tissue types and tumors.

  7. Experimental nonlinear laser systems: Bigger data for better science?

    SciTech Connect

    Kane, D. M.; Toomey, J. P.; McMahon, C.; Noblet, Y.; Argyris, A.; Syvridis, D.

    2014-10-06

    Bigger data is supporting knowledge discovery in nonlinear laser systems as will be demonstrated with examples from three semiconductor laser based systems – one with optical feedback, a photonic integrated circuit (PIC) chaotic laser and a frequency shifted feedback laser system.

  8. Validation of satellite altimeter range measurements over salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fricker, H. A.; Roca, M.; Laxon, S. W.; Carabajal, C. C.; Quinn, K.; Borsa, A. A.; Minster, J. B.

    2003-12-01

    The salar de Uyuni in the Bolivian altiplano covers approximately 9600 km2, and is the largest dry salt lake in the world. This vast, flat stable surface is ideal for estimation of the range bias on altimeter instruments such as GLAS on board ICESat (launched 12th January 2003), RA-2 on board ENVISAT (launched March 1st 2002) and the ERS-2 radar altimeter (RA, launched 1995), and to compare the measurements from these altimeters. Here we describe a kinematic GPS survey of the salar de Uyuni that was carried out in August/September 2002 and was designed to calibrate GLAS and RA-2. The eastern part of the salar was surveyed with 8 grids 22.5 km x 13.5 km at 2.25 km spacing, and with 2 grids which straddled one ascending and one descending ERS-2/ENVISAT orbit across this part of the salar, one 44.5 x 9 km, the other 18 x 13.5 km. Comparison of GPS heights from one GPS grid to the next and crossover analysis at intersections suggests that RMS accuracy of the GPS measurement is around 2 cm. We retracked the altimeter waveforms by fitting the system point target response to retrieve the altimeter surface elevation. We fitted a gaussian-smoothed surface to the GPS heights collected around the ERS-2/ENVISAT grids and interpolated these surfaces to the locations of altimeter footprints to obtain an estimate of the range bias for each instruments (GLAS, RA-2 and the ERS-2 RA). We also compare our results with data from one cycle of TOPEX data, which was collected during an orbit manoeuvre phase in September 2002. Ground tracks from this cycle serendipitously crossed our survey area at the same time we were on the ground.

  9. Multiple target laser ablation system

    DOEpatents

    Mashburn, Douglas N.

    1996-01-01

    A laser ablation apparatus and method are provided in which multiple targets consisting of material to be ablated are mounted on a movable support. The material transfer rate is determined for each target material, and these rates are stored in a controller. A position detector determines which target material is in a position to be ablated, and then the controller controls the beam trigger timing and energy level to achieve a desired proportion of each constituent material in the resulting film.

  10. Multiple target laser ablation system

    DOEpatents

    Mashburn, D.N.

    1996-01-09

    A laser ablation apparatus and method are provided in which multiple targets consisting of material to be ablated are mounted on a movable support. The material transfer rate is determined for each target material, and these rates are stored in a controller. A position detector determines which target material is in a position to be ablated, and then the controller controls the beam trigger timing and energy level to achieve a desired proportion of each constituent material in the resulting film. 3 figs.

  11. Cutting laser systems for ureteral strictures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Durek, C.; Knipper, Ansgar; Brinkmann, Ralf; Miller, Ado; Gromoll, Bernd; Jocham, Dieter

    1994-02-01

    Acquired ureteral strictures are still treated either with a stent, balloon dilatation, by open surgery or by endoscopic therapy with a `cold knife' or high current density as intubated ureterotomy. The success rates described in the literature range between 50% and 90%. Using the experimental CTH:YAG laser (wavelength 2120 nm) and CT:YAG laser (wavelength 1950 nm), the reduction of invasiveness and of morbidity was evaluated. First, the CTH:YAG laser was investigated on 540 fresh porcine ureters varying the parameters. With a computerized morphometry system, defect depth, defect width, coagulation depth and coagulation width were measured. Then 21 female pigs underwent 7.5 F - 12 F ureteroscopy with CTH:YAG laser, CT:YAG laser, high current density and `cold knife' ureterotomy. An IVP and sacrification with explanation of the whole urinary tract was done on day 6 and around day 60. In practice, laser application via the endoscope was easy to handle and exact cutting was always seen. The CT:YAG laser seems to have the best success results with low ureteral stricture recurrence rates. However, its clinical use remains to be proven.

  12. Satellite Power Systems (SPS) laser studies. Volume 1: Laser environmental impact study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Beverly, R. E., III

    1980-01-01

    The environmental impact of space to Earth power transmission using space borne laser subsystems is emphasized. A laser system is defined, estimates of relevant efficiencies for laser power generation and atmospheric transmission are developed, and a comparison is made to a microwave system. Ancillary issues, such as laser beam spreading, safety and security, mass and volume estimates and technology growth are considered.

  13. Engineering studies related to the GEOS-C radar altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, L. S.; Brown, G. S.

    1974-01-01

    Experiment requirements, technical characteristics, and GEOS-C radar altimeter related analyses are discussed along with results of a study on engineering test data requirements. Statistical analyses related to determination of wave height resolution achievable as a function of system characteristics and averaging period are described, in addition to a discussion on the desirability of using computer procedures to compensate for altitude tracker time-jitter. Data processing considerations for the GEOS-C system are examined. An extensive analysis of the spatial filter effect is given and results of a computation of geoidal power spectral density, based on Skylab altimeter data, is displayed and interpreted in terms of projected GEOS-C random errors. This information is then used in deriving minimum-mean-square filter procedures for both geoid undulation and slope data. The characteristics of mean received waveforms as a function of off-nadir angle are used to obtain tracker bias as a function of sea state and pointing angle. The angle estimation process proposed by the GEOS-C hardware contractor is also investigated from a standpoint of achievable angular resolution.

  14. GEOSAT Follow-On Radar Altimeter Satellite Performance Studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Finkelstein, J. L.; Rau, M.; McMillan, J. D.

    2002-12-01

    Under a Navy Contract with Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corporation, the first GFO satellite was completed in 1997 and launched on 10 February 1998 on an Orbital Taurus launch vehicle. The satellite was operationally accepted on 29 November 2000. With an anticipated 8-year or more life, GFO (http://gfo.bmpcoe.org/Gfo) is a DoD satellite mission managed by the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command's (SPAWAR's) Meteorological and Oceanographic (METOC) Systems Program Office (PMW 155) located in San Diego, California. The satellite is in the same Exact Repeat Orbit (ERO) as the original GEOSAT (800 km by 108 degrees inclination). All GFO's data products are available to the scientific community and are distributed by NOAA's Laboratory for Satellite Altimetry. The primary program objective was to develop an operational series of radar altimeter satellites to maintain continuous ocean observation for accurate global measurements of both mesoscale and basin-scale oceanography. Since its acceptance, Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), under contract with the Navy, has provided a team known as the GFO Cal/Val and assisted by NASA and NOAA personnel has undertaken extensive and continuing calibration and validation activities on an exact repeat cycle basis. This paper will discuss the results of those Cal/Val efforts and present charts showing the performance history of the satellite, its sensors (both the Radar Altimeter and the Water Vapor Radiometer), and other relevant performance measures such as orbit accuracy.

  15. An analysis of the multibeam altimeter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bush, G. B.; Dobson, E. B.; Matyskiela, R.; Kilgus, C. C.; Walsh, E. J.

    The design concept and computer simulations of a multibeam altimeter (MA) to provide satellite-based oceanographic-feature data for map construction within relatively short times are presented. The limitations of the pulse-limited radar altimeter used on GEOS-3 and SEASAT-A, in particular the narrow swath of each measurement pass, are characterized. The MA uses interferometry with two 1.2-m dish antennas separated by an 11-m boom to cover a total swath width of 100 km at satellite altitude 800 km, nominal repetition rate 6 kp/sec, and nominal integration time 2.5 sec. Simulation analysis of antenna element pattern, echo shape, tracking algorithms, tracking noise, and measurement accuracy was performed, and the general feasibility of ocean-current mapping with a one-week time delay, using two MA-equipped satellites, was demonstrated.

  16. Three ocean state indicators from altimeter products

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rio, M.-H.; Bessières, L.; Boone, C.; Dufau, C.; Pujol, M.-I.

    2012-04-01

    The Sea Level Thematic Assembly Centre from the MyOcean project provides observations of the ocean dynamic topography from altimeter measurements. In order to validate and best make use of the SLTAC products, the ocean state is being monitored through the analysis of ocean indicators based on altimeter data only. Three specific indicators have been developed using the decomposition into principal components (EOF)analysis. The first ocean indicator follows the positive and negative phases of the ENSO events in the Tropical Pacific, the El Niño/La Niña events since 1992. The second ocean indicator allows monitoring the state of the Kuroshio current (contracted or extended). The third ocean indicator, dedicated to the Ionian basin in the Mediterranean Sea, allows to discriminate between the two main circulation patterns of the basin, either anticyclonic (for instance before 1997 or after 2006) or zonal (after 1997 or before 2006).

  17. X-ray laser system, x-ray laser and method

    DOEpatents

    London, Richard A.; Rosen, Mordecai D.; Strauss, Moshe

    1992-01-01

    Disclosed is an x-ray laser system comprising a laser containing generating means for emitting short wave length radiation, and means external to said laser for energizing said generating means, wherein when the laser is in an operative mode emitting radiation, the radiation has a transverse coherence length to width ratio of from about 0.05 to 1. Also disclosed is a method of adjusting the parameters of the laser to achieve the desired coherence length to laser width ratio.

  18. Laser tracking system with automatic reacquisition capability.

    PubMed

    Johnson, R E; Weiss, P F

    1968-06-01

    A laser based tracking system is described that has the capability of automatically performing an acquisition search to locate the target. This work is intended for precision launch phase tracking of the Saturn V launch vehicle. System tracking accuracies limited only by the atmosphere have been demonstrated, as has acquisition over a 1 degrees x 1 degrees field of view. PMID:20068746

  19. Use of a Laser Videodisc System: Attitudes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kelly, Sarah A.

    1988-01-01

    Describes a study that assessed the attitudes of novice searchers before and after using a laser videodisk system. The discussion covers the relationships between the users' initial attitudes, prior computer experience, and success in using the videodisk system. (11 references) (Author/CLB)

  20. Fiber laser front end for high energy petawatt laser systems

    SciTech Connect

    Dawson, J W; Messerly, M J; Phan, H; Mitchell, S; Drobshoff, A; Beach, R J; Siders, C; Lucianetti, A; Crane, J K; Barty, C J

    2006-06-15

    We are developing a fiber laser front end suitable for high energy petawatt laser systems on large glass lasers such as NIF. The front end includes generation of the pulses in a fiber mode-locked oscillator, amplification and pulse cleaning, stretching of the pulses to >3ns, dispersion trimming, timing, fiber transport of the pulses to the main laser bay and amplification of the pulses to an injection energy of 150 {micro}J. We will discuss current status of our work including data from packaged components. Design detail such as how the system addresses pulse contrast, dispersion trimming and pulse width adjustment and impact of B-integral on the pulse amplification will be discussed. A schematic of the fiber laser system we are constructing is shown in figure 1 below. A 40MHz packaged mode-locked fiber oscillator produces {approx}1nJ pulses which are phase locked to a 10MHz reference clock. These pulses are down selected to 100kHz and then amplified while still compressed. The amplified compressed pulses are sent through a non-linear polarization rotation based pulse cleaner to remove background amplified spontaneous emission (ASE). The pulses are then stretched by a chirped fiber Bragg grating (CFBG) and then sent through a splitter. The splitter splits the signal into two beams. (From this point we follow only one beam as the other follows an identical path.) The pulses are sent through a pulse tweaker that trims dispersion imbalances between the final large optics compressor and the CFBG. The pulse tweaker also permits the dispersion of the system to be adjusted for the purpose of controlling the final pulse width. Fine scale timing between the two beam lines can also be adjusted in the tweaker. A large mode area photonic crystal single polarization fiber is used to transport the pulses from the master oscillator room to the main laser bay. The pulses are then amplified a two stage fiber amplifier to 150mJ. These pulses are then launched into the main amplifier

  1. Determining sea-ice boundaries and ice roughness using GEOS-3 altimeter data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dwyer, R. E.; Godin, R. H.

    1980-01-01

    The GEOS-3 satellite and radar altimeter instrumentation are described, detailing the ice boundary discrimination technique utilized and presenting an analyses of the GEOS-3 data with respect to satellite visual and IR imagery. A brief description of the GEOS-3 real time data system is also given.

  2. A pulsed-laser calibration system for the laser backscatter diagnostics at the Omega laser

    SciTech Connect

    Neumayer, P; Sorce, C; Froula, D H; Rekow, V; Loughman, K; Knight, R; Glenzer, S H; Bahr, R; Seka, W

    2009-10-09

    A calibration system has been developed that allows a direct determination of the sensitivity of the laser backscatter diagnostics at the Omega laser. A motorized mirror at the target location redirects individual pulses of a mJ-class laser onto the diagnostic to allow the in-situ measurement of the local point response of the backscatter diagnostics. Featuring dual wavelength capability at the 2nd and 3rd harmonic of the Nd:YAG laser, both spectral channels of the backscatter diagnostics can be directly calibrated. In addition, channel cross-talk and polarization sensitivity can be determined. The calibration system has been employed repeatedly over the last two years and has enabled precise backscatter measurements of both stimulated Brillouin scattering and stimulated Raman scattering in gas-filled hohlraum targets that emulate conditions relevant to those in inertial confinement fusion targets.

  3. Airborne space laser communication system and experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Xiao-Ming; Zhang, Li-zhong; Meng, Li-Xin

    2015-11-01

    Airborne space laser communication is characterized by its high speed, anti-electromagnetic interference, security, easy to assign. It has broad application in the areas of integrated space-ground communication networking, military communication, anti-electromagnetic communication. This paper introduce the component and APT system of the airborne laser communication system design by Changchun university of science and technology base on characteristic of airborne laser communication and Y12 plan, especially introduce the high communication speed and long distance communication experiment of the system that among two Y12 plans. In the experiment got the aim that the max communication distance 144Km, error 10-6 2.5Gbps - 10-7 1.5Gbps capture probability 97%, average capture time 20s. The experiment proving the adaptability of the APT and the high speed long distance communication.

  4. Advanced application flight experiment breadboard pulse compression radar altimeter program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1976-01-01

    Design, development and performance of the pulse compression radar altimeter is described. The high resolution breadboard system is designed to operate from an aircraft at 10 Kft above the ocean and to accurately measure altitude, sea wave height and sea reflectivity. The minicomputer controlled Ku band system provides six basic variables and an extensive digital recording capability for experimentation purposes. Signal bandwidths of 360 MHz are obtained using a reflective array compression line. Stretch processing is used to achieve 1000:1 pulse compression. The system range command LSB is 0.62 ns or 9.25 cm. A second order altitude tracker, aided by accelerometer inputs is implemented in the system software. During flight tests the system demonstrated an altitude resolution capability of 2.1 cm and sea wave height estimation accuracy of 10%. The altitude measurement performance exceeds that of the Skylab and GEOS-C predecessors by approximately an order of magnitude.

  5. Injection mode-locking Ti-sapphire laser system

    DOEpatents

    Hovater, James Curtis; Poelker, Bernard Matthew

    2002-01-01

    According to the present invention there is provided an injection modelocking Ti-sapphire laser system that produces a unidirectional laser oscillation through the application of a ring cavity laser that incorporates no intracavity devices to achieve unidirectional oscillation. An argon-ion or doubled Nd:YVO.sub.4 laser preferably serves as the pump laser and a gain-switched diode laser serves as the seed laser. A method for operating such a laser system to produce a unidirectional oscillating is also described.

  6. Light GPS buoys used in the calibration of ENVISAT altimeter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Torrobella, J.; Grac-Ii Team

    2003-04-01

    Light GPS buoys were used along the Catalan coast (North West Mediterranean) between the months of April and October of 2002, to measure sea level with respect to the Reference Ellipsoid WGS84. These data are being used in order to calibrate ENVISAT RA-2 (altimeter). 45 measurements at 10 different points (aproximately at 10 miles from the coast) corresponding to different ENVISAT tracks were performed simultaneous to satellite overpass. The buoys were left to drift freely around the nominal point within a radius of 1 mile. These GPS buoys recorded data during a period of 3 hours centered in the ENVISAT overpass time. Morever, a reference GPS ground station placed in the coast close to the measurement point was used to derive an estimate of the tropospheric delay. The principle of this technique is based in the precise geocentric positioning of a GPS antenna placed inside a life-safer. The time series of the antenna phase geocentric location can be translated using GIPSY software to sea level estimates, with single errors of few centimeters (1 Hz estimate) and averaged values of 1 cm uncertainty. We present a description of the system used, the campaigns, the data process (model of analysis), the main solutions for the different measurement points (sea level, distance between the buoys, trajectories) and a comparision with altimeter data.

  7. Correction of single frequency altimeter measurements for ionosphere delay

    SciTech Connect

    Schreiner, W.S.; Markin, R.E.; Born, G.H.

    1997-03-01

    Satellite altimetry has become a very powerful tool for the study of ocean circulation and variability and provides data for understanding important issues related to climate and global change. This study is a preliminary analysis of the accuracy of various ionosphere models to correct single frequency altimeter height measurements for ionospheric path delay. In particular, research focused on adjusting empirical and parameterized ionosphere models in the parameterized real-time ionospheric specification model (PRISM) 1.2 using total electron content (TEC) data from the global positioning system (GPS). The types of GPS data used to adjust PRISM included GPS line-of-sight (LOS) TEC data mapped to the vertical, and a grid of GPS derived TEC data in a sun-fixed longitude frame. The adjusted PRISM TEC values, as well as predictions by IRI-90, a climatological model, were compared to TOPEX/Poseidon (T/P) TEC measurements form the dual-frequency altimeter for a number of T/P tracks. When adjusted with GPS LOS data, the PRISM empirical model predicted TEC over 24 1 h data sets for a given local time to within a global error of 8.60 TECU rms during a midnight centered ionosphere and 9.74 TECU rms during a noon centered ionosphere. Using GPS derived sun-fixed TEC data, the PRISM parameterized model predicted TEC within an error of 8.47 TECU rms centered at midnight and 12.83 TECU rms centered at noon.

  8. NASA Ocean Altimeter Pathfinder Project. Report 2; Data Set Validation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Koblinsky, C. J.; Ray, Richard D.; Beckley, Brian D.; Bremmer, Anita; Tsaoussi, Lucia S.; Wang, Yan-Ming

    1999-01-01

    The NOAA/NASA Pathfinder program was created by the Earth Observing System (EOS) Program Office to determine how existing satellite-based data sets can be processed and used to study global change. The data sets are designed to be long time-series data processed with stable calibration and community consensus algorithms to better assist the research community. The Ocean Altimeter Pathfinder Project involves the reprocessing of all altimeter observations with a consistent set of improved algorithms, based on the results from TOPEX/POSEIDON (T/P), into easy-to-use data sets for the oceanographic community for climate research. Details are currently presented in two technical reports: Report# 1: Data Processing Handbook Report #2: Data Set Validation This report describes the validation of the data sets against a global network of high quality tide gauge measurements and provides an estimate of the error budget. The first report describes the processing schemes used to produce the geodetic consistent data set comprised of SEASAT, GEOSAT, ERS-1, TOPEX/ POSEIDON, and ERS-2 satellite observations.

  9. A radio altimeter antenna for a planetary probe

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Beyer, J. B.; Afanasjevs, J.; Levanon, N.

    1976-01-01

    The design of a 400 MHz directional radio altimeter antenna for use in a freely falling probe in a planetary atmosphere is described. It is required that the antenna be physically large to exploit the dependence of the return power on the square of the wavelength. The antenna must be deployable so that it can be stowed behind the heat shield during the phase of atmospheric penetration. The electrical requirement, imposed by the power available and the system noise, is that the gain in the direction of the probe be at least 3 dB over a dipole. The altimeter application imposes the requirement of linear polarization. Dipole elements are impractical because of the proximity of the heat shield, hence monopole elements using the heat shield as an integral part (the ground plane) of the antenna are used. A parasitic element is placed behind the driven element to increase both the front-to-back ratio and the directive gain. The antenna which has been selected has a gain of 4 dB over a dipole, a front-to-back ratio of 8 dB, and a -6 dB beam angle of 34 degrees. Experiments for evaluating the effects of element spacing, length, and tilt angle with respect to the probe axis were conducted on a 1/25 scale model of the antenna at 10 GHz, and impedance measurements were performed on a full scale antenna at 400 MHz.

  10. Laser Altimetry for Earth and Planetary Science

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, David E.; Zuber, Maria T.

    2001-01-01

    Laser altimeters are presently operating on spacecraft at Mars (MOLA), at the asteroid 433 Eros (NLR), and an earlier system operated at the Moon (Clementine) several years ago. These systems have all advanced our understanding of the evolution of the primary body and several more laser altimeter systems will be launched in the next several years around Earth and other planets to address a wide range of scientific problems. Laser technology for precision altimetry and atmospheric lidar is still in its infancy but the promise of the technology and its demonstrated results already show that laser altimetry/lidar will play an important role in future space observations. To date, lasers have mapped the Moon, Mars, and an asteroid but in a short while they will help measure the planetary librations of Mercury, the tidal distortions of Europa, and tree heights, upper atmosphere winds and the icecaps of planet Earth. Major areas of interest for the immediate future are the development of long-life lasers that can withstand the rigors of long planetary missions in extreme thermal and radiation environments and continue to operate successfully for many years.

  11. PHASE NOISE COMPARISON OF SHORT PULSE LASER SYSTEMS

    SciTech Connect

    Shukui Zhang; Stephen Benson; John Hansknecht; David Hardy; George Neil; Michelle D. Shinn

    2006-08-27

    This paper describes phase noise measurements of several different laser systems that have completely different gain media and configurations including a multi-kW free-electron laser. We will focus on state-of-the-art short pulse lasers, especially drive lasers for photocathode injectors. Phase noise comparison of the FEL drive laser, electron beam and FEL laser output also will be presented.

  12. Injection locked oscillator system for pulsed metal vapor lasers

    DOEpatents

    Warner, Bruce E.; Ault, Earl R.

    1988-01-01

    An injection locked oscillator system for pulsed metal vapor lasers is disclosed. The invention includes the combination of a seeding oscillator with an injection locked oscillator (ILO) for improving the quality, particularly the intensity, of an output laser beam pulse. The present invention includes means for matching the first seeder laser pulses from the seeding oscillator to second laser pulses of a metal vapor laser to improve the quality, and particularly the intensity, of the output laser beam pulse.

  13. Laser Ranging Simulation Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Piazolla, Sabino; Hemmati, Hamid; Tratt, David

    2003-01-01

    Laser Ranging Simulation Program (LRSP) is a computer program that predicts selected aspects of the performances of a laser altimeter or other laser ranging or remote-sensing systems and is especially applicable to a laser-based system used to map terrain from a distance of several kilometers. Designed to run in a more recent version (5 or higher) of the MATLAB programming language, LRSP exploits the numerical and graphical capabilities of MATLAB. LRSP generates a graphical user interface that includes a pop-up menu that prompts the user for the input of data that determine the performance of a laser ranging system. Examples of input data include duration and energy of the laser pulse, the laser wavelength, the width of the laser beam, and several parameters that characterize the transmitting and receiving optics, the receiving electronic circuitry, and the optical properties of the atmosphere and the terrain. When the input data have been entered, LRSP computes the signal-to-noise ratio as a function of range, signal and noise currents, and ranging and pointing errors.

  14. Compact, Passively Q-Switched Nd:YAG Laser for the MESSENGER Mission to the Planet Mercury

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krebs, Danny J.; Novo-Gradac, Anne-Marie; Li, Steven X.; Lindauer, Steven J.; Afzal, Robert S.; Yu, Antony

    2004-01-01

    A compact, passively Q-switched Nd:YAG laser has been developed for the Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA) instrument which is an instrument on the MESSENGER mission to the planet Mercury. The laser achieves 5.4 percent efficiency with a near diffraction limited beam. It has passed all space flight environmental tests at system, instrument, and satellite integration. The laser design draws on a heritage of previous laser altimetry missions, specifically ISESAT and Mars Global Surveyor; but incorporates thermal management features unique to the requirements of an orbit of the planet Mercury.

  15. Design of laser diode stable output system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Bo; Cao, Rui-ming

    2008-03-01

    High-stability output's system of laser diode is introduced in this paper. The system which is based on the MCU of MSP430 has been designed light power feedback loop and coller of TEC. It includes stable current, protecting circuit, light power feedback loop, temperature controlling, power display and so on. It is also able to control and show the power at the real time. The power could be set by botton too. The software of slow start up, slow close and the protecting relay are adopted by MCU. DRV592 is introduced as PWM driver to control the current of TEC. The duty cycle is generate by MCU. In order to control temperature, it is changed to influence the current of TEC. The power that is sampled by photodiode which is integrated in the laser diode is controlled by the micro-processing. The laser is monitored by voltage control circuit and current control circuit at the real time.

  16. Laser systems for ablative fractional resurfacing.

    PubMed

    Paasch, Uwe; Haedersdal, Merete

    2011-01-01

    Ablative fractional resurfacing (AFR) creates microscopic vertical ablated channels that are surrounded by a thin layer of coagulated tissue, constituting the microscopic treatment zones (MTZs). AFR induces epidermal and dermal remodeling, which raises new possibilities for the treatment of a variety of skin conditions, primarily chronically photodamaged skin, but also acne and burn scars. In addition, it is anticipated that AFR can be utilized in the laser-assisted delivery of topical drugs. Clinical efficacy coupled with minimal downtime has driven the development of various fractional ablative laser systems. Fractionated CO(2) (10,600-nm), erbium yttrium aluminum garnet, 2940-nm and yttrium scandium gallium garnet, 2790-nm lasers are available. In this article, we present an overview of AFR technology, devices and histopathology, and we summarize the current clinical possibilities with AFR incorporating our personal experience. AFR is still in the exploratory era, and systematic investigations of clinical outcomes related to various system settings are needed. PMID:21158542

  17. Ionospheric calibration for single frequency altimeter measurements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schreiner, William S.; Born, George H.

    1993-01-01

    This report investigates the potential of using Global Positioning System (GPS) data and a model of the ionosphere to supply a measure of the sub-satellite Total Electron Current (TEC) of the required accuracy (10 TECU rms) for the purpose of calibrating single frequency radar altimeter measurements. Since climatological (monthly mean) models are known to be in error by as much as 50 percent, this work focused on the Parameterized Real-Time Ionospheric Specification Model (PRISM) which has the capability to improve model accuracy by ingesting (adjusting to) in situ ionospheric measurements. A set of globally distributed TEC measurements were generated using GPS data and were used as input to improve the accuracy of the PRISM model. The adjusted PRISM TEC values were compared to TOPEX dual frequency TEC measurements (which are considered truth) for a number of TOPEX sub-satellite tracks. The adjusted PRISM values generally compared to the TOPEX measurements within the 10 TECU accuracy requirements when the sub-satellite track passed within 300 to 400 km of the GPS TEC data or when the track passed through a night time ionosphere. However, when the sub-satellite points were greater than 300 to 400 km away from the GPS TEC data or when a local noon ionosphere was sampled, the adjusted PRISM values generally differed by greater than 10 TECU rms with data excursions from the TOPEX TEC measurements of as much as 40 TECU (an 8 cm path delay error at K band). Therefore, it can be concluded from this analysis that an unrealistically large number of GPS stations would be needed to predict sub-satellite TEC at the 10 TECU level in the day time ionosphere using a model such as PRISM. However, a technique currently being studied at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) may provide a means of supplying adequate TEC data to meet the 10 TECU ionospheric correction accuracy when using a realistic number of ionospheric stations. This method involves using global GPS TEC data to

  18. The global light system laser station prototype

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hunt, Patrick R.

    We describe the design and fabrication of a prototype Global Light System (GLS) laser station for the JEM-EUSO project. The GLS will consist of a network of ground-based Ultraviolet (UV) light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and steered lasers to monitor and calibrate the cosmic ray detector planned for install on the International Space Station (ISS). The GLS units will generate optical signatures in the atmosphere that are comparable to tracks from cosmic ray extensive air showers (EASs). Unlike an EAS, the number, time, energy, location and direction (for lasers) of GLS events can be specified as JEM-EUSO passes 400 km overhead. Laser tracks from the GLS prototype will be recorded by prototype detectors in ground-to-ground tests. Distant tracks with low angular speed are of particular interest because these are the types of EAS tracks that will be measured by JEM-EUSO. To do these ground-to-ground tests, the prototype detectors will need to measure the laser through the atmosphere at low elevation viewing angles. The beam energy can be adjusted from 1 to 90 mJ to compensate for this additional atmospheric attenuation. The frequency-tripled Nd:YAG laser produces 355 nm (7 ns pulse) light. This wavelength is near the center of the UV EAS fluorescence spectrum. The system is housed in a utility trailer that can be transported by a small truck for domestic campaigns or shipped in an industry standard 20 foot container for global deployment. In operation mode, the laser platform inside the trailer is isolated mechanically to maintain beam pointing accuracy. A retractable two stage steering head can point in any direction above the horizon. A slip ring eliminates cable wrap problems. The GLS prototype will be used to test the EUSO-TA detector and will also be used in preflight tests of the EUSO-balloon payload planned for a super pressure balloon mission.

  19. Nuclear Powered Laser Driven Plasma Propulsion System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kammash, T.

    A relativistic plasma thruster that could open up the solar system to near-term human exploration is presented. It is based on recent experimental and theoretical research, which show that ultrafast (very short pulse length) lasers can accelerate charged particles to relativistic speeds. In table top-type experiments charge-neutral proton beams containing more than 1014 particles with mean energies of tens of MeV's have been produced when high intensity lasers with femtosecond (10-15 s) pulse lengths are made to strike thin solid targets. When viewed from a propulsion standpoint such systems can produce specific impulses of several million seconds albeit at modest thrusts and require nuclear power systems to drive them. Several schemes are proposed to enhance the thrust and make these systems suitable for manned interplanetary missions. In this paper we set forth the physics principles that make relativistic plasma driven by ultrafast lasers particularly attractive for propulsion applications. We introduce the “Laser Accelerated Plasma Propulsion System” LAPPS, and demonstrate its potential propulsive capability by addressing an interstellar mission to the Oort Cloud, and a planetary mission to Mars. We show that the first can be carried out in a human's lifetime and the second in a matter of months. In both instances we identify the major technological problems that must be addressed if this system is to evolve into a leading contender among the advance propulsion concepts currently under consideration.

  20. COHERENT LASER VISION SYSTEM (CLVS) OPTION PHASE

    SciTech Connect

    Robert Clark

    1999-11-18

    The purpose of this research project was to develop a prototype fiber-optic based Coherent Laser Vision System (CLVS) suitable for DOE's EM Robotic program. The system provides three-dimensional (3D) vision for monitoring situations in which it is necessary to update the dimensional spatial data on the order of once per second. The system has total immunity to ambient lighting conditions.