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Sample records for lunar laser ranging

  1. Mobile Lunar Laser Ranging Station

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Intellect, 1977

    1977-01-01

    Harlan Smith, chairman of the University of Texas's Astronomy Department, discusses a mobile lunar laser ranging station which could help determine the exact rates of movement between continents and help geophysicists understand earthquakes. He also discusses its application for studying fundamental concepts of cosmology and physics. (Editor/RK)

  2. APOLLO: millimeter lunar laser ranging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murphy, T. W., Jr.; Adelberger, E. G.; Battat, J. B. R.; Hoyle, C. D.; Johnson, N. H.; McMillan, R. J.; Stubbs, C. W.; Swanson, H. E.

    2012-09-01

    Lunar laser ranging (LLR) has for decades stood at the forefront of tests of gravitational physics, including tests of the equivalence principle (EP). Current LLR results on the EP achieve a sensitivity of Δa/a ≈ 10-13 based on few-centimeter data/model fidelity. A recent push in LLR, called APOLLO (the Apache Point Observatory Lunar Laser-ranging Operation) produces millimeter-quality data. This paper demonstrates the few-millimeter range precision achieved by APOLLO, leading to an expectation that LLR will be able to extend EP sensitivity by an order-of-magnitude to Δa/a ˜ 10-14, once modeling efforts improve to this level.

  3. The lunar laser ranging experiment.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bender, P. L.; Currie, D. G.; Poultney, S. K.; Dicke, R. H.; Eckhardt, D. H.; Kaula, W. M.; Mulholland, J. D.; Plotkin, H. H.; Silverberg, E. C.; Faller, J. E.

    1973-01-01

    The scientific objectives achievable through high-accuracy range measurements to lunar retroreflectors are considered. A specific study of design questions related to the operation of retroreflectors on the lunar surface indicated that a reflector panel containing a number of solid fused silica corner reflectors would be capable of maintaining essentially diffraction limited performance under direct solar illumination. Initial Apollo 11 observations are discussed together with the installation of additional lunar retroreflectors in connection with the Luna 17, Apollo 14, Apollo 15, and Luna 21 missions. Range measurements at the McDonald Observatory are considered along with new results from lunar range data, and prospects regarding future lunar ranging stations.

  4. Tests of gravity Using Lunar Laser Ranging

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Merkowitz, Stephen M.

    2010-01-01

    Lunar laser ranging (LLR) has been a workhorse for testing general relativity over the pat four decades. The three retrorefiector arrays put on the Moon by the Apollo astronauts and the French built array on the second Soviet Lunokhod rover continue to be useful targets, and have provided the most stringent tests of the Strong Equivalence Principle and the time variation of Newton's gravitational constant. The relatively new ranging system at the Apache Point :3.5 meter telescope now routinely makes millimeter level range measurements. Incredibly. it has taken 40 years for ground station technology to advance to the point where characteristics of the lunar retrorefiectors are limiting the precision of the range measurements. In this article. we review the gravitational science and technology of lunar laser ranging and discuss prospects for the future.

  5. Lunar laser ranging data identification and management

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1979-01-01

    Activity under the subject grant during the first half of fiscal year 1979 at the University of Texas at Austin is reported. Raw lunar laser ranging data submitted by McDonald Observatory, Fort Davis, Texas and by the Australian Division of National Mapping at Orroral Valley, Australia were processed. This processing includes the filtering of signal events from noise photons, normal point formation, data archive management, and data distribution. System-wide program maintenance and up-grade carried out wherever and whenever necessary. Lunar laser ranging data is being transmitted from Austin to Paris for the extraction of earth rotation information during the EROLD campaign.

  6. Precision Lunar Laser Ranging For Lunar and Gravitational Science

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Merkowitz, S. M.; Arnold, D.; Dabney, P. W.; Livas, J. C.; McGarry, J. F.; Neumann, G. A.; Zagwodzki, T. W.

    2008-01-01

    Laser ranging to retroreflector arrays placed on the lunar surface by the Apollo astronauts and the Soviet Lunar missions over the past 39 years have dramatically increased our understanding of gravitational physics along with Earth and Moon geophysics, geodesy, and dynamics. Significant advances in these areas will require placing modern retroreflectors and/or active laser ranging systems at new locations on the lunar surface. Ranging to new locations will enable better measurements of the lunar librations, aiding in our understanding of the interior structure of the moon. More precise range measurements will allow us to study effects that are too small to be observed by the current capabilities as well as enabling more stringent tests of Einstein's theory of General Relativity. Setting up retroreflectors was a key part of the Apollo missions so it is natural to ask if future lunar missions should include them as well. The Apollo retroreflectors are still being used today, and nearly 40 years of ranging data has been invaluable for scientific as well as other studies such as orbital dynamics. However, the available retroreflectors all lie within 26 degrees latitude of the equator, and the most useful ones within 24 degrees longitude of the sub-earth meridian. This clustering weakens their geometrical strength.

  7. Universal time - Results from lunar laser ranging

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    King, R. W.; Counselman, C. C., III; Shapiro, I. I.

    1978-01-01

    A least squares analysis of lunar laser ranging observations from the McDonald Observatory is used to estimate universal time. In addition to the ranging observations, the analysis simultaneously takes into account the parameters representing the locations of McDonald and the lunar retroreflectors, the orbits of the earth and the moon, and the moon's physical libration. The root-mean-square of the postfit range residuals for the 5-year period from October 1970 to November 1975 is 28 cm. The results are compared with those obtained by the Bureau International de l'Heure and by Stolz et al. (1976), and the reasons for discrepancies are discussed. It is suggested that problems in modeling the moon's motion make difficult the determination of UT with the accuracy inherent in the ranging observations.

  8. Relativity Parameters Determined from Lunar Laser Ranging

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, J. G.; Newhall, X. X.; Dickey, J. O.

    1996-01-01

    Analysis of 24 years of lunar laser ranging data is used to test the principle of equivalence, geodetic precession, the PPN parameters beta and gamma, and G/G. Recent data can be fitted with a rms scatter of 3 cm. (a) Using the Nordtvedt effect to test the principle of equivalence, it is found that the Moon and Earth accelerate alike in the Sun's field. The relative accelerations match to within 5 x 10(exp -13) . This limit, combined with an independent determination of y from planetary time delay, gives beta. Including the uncertainty due to compositional differences, the parameter beta differs from unity by no more than 0.0014; and, if the weak equivalence principle is satisfied, the difference is no more than 0.0006. (b) Geodetic precession matches its expected 19.2 marc sec/yr rate within 0.7%. This corresponds to a 1% test of gamma. (c) Apart from the Nordtvedt effect, beta and gamma can be tested from their influence on the lunar orbit. It is argued theoretically that the linear combination 0.8(beta) + 1.4(gamma) can be tested at the 1% level of accuracy. For solutions using numerically derived partial derivatives, higher sensitivity is found. Both 6 and y match the values of general relativity to within 0.005, and the linear combination beta+ gamma matches to within 0,003, but caution is advised due to the lack of theoretical understanding of these sensitivities. (d) No evidence for a changing gravitational constant is found, with absolute value of G/G less than or equal to 8 x lO(exp -12)/yr. There is significant sensitivity to G/G through solar perturbations on the lunar orbit.

  9. Earth rotation from lunar laser ranging

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dickey, J. O.; Williams, J. G.

    1983-01-01

    The rotational orientation (Universal Time and the variation of latitude at McDonald Observatory, Texas) of the earth has been determined between mid 1970 and mid 1982 from McDonald Observatory lunar laser ranging (LLR) data. Universal Time, UT1, is calculated and supplied in three forms, the raw daily decomposition values, the Gaussian filtered values and the Fourier smoothed values. Formal error estimates are available for all three types. LLR can calculate corrections to one component of polar motion, the variation of latitude at McDonald Observatory. Modelling improvements have been applied here and a significant drop is seen in the residuals. The rms weighted residual for the entire thirteen year data span (3,326 'normal' points acquired between August 1969 and May 1982) is 18.7 cm.

  10. Lunar laser ranging: a continuing legacy of the apollo program.

    PubMed

    Dickey, J O; Bender, P L; Faller, J E; Newhall, X X; Ricklefs, R L; Ries, J G; Shelus, P J; Veillet, C; Whipple, A L; Wiant, J R; Williams, J G; Yoder, C F

    1994-07-22

    On 21 July 1969, during the first manned lunar mission, Apollo 11, the first retroreflector array was placed on the moon, enabling highly accurate measurements of the Earthmoon separation by means of laser ranging. Lunar laser ranging (LLR) turns the Earthmoon system into a laboratory for a broad range of investigations, including astronomy, lunar science, gravitational physics, geodesy, and geodynamics. Contributions from LLR include the three-orders-of-magnitude improvement in accuracy in the lunar ephemeris, a several-orders-of-magnitude improvement in the measurement of the variations in the moon's rotation, and the verification of the principle of equivalence for massive bodies with unprecedented accuracy. Lunar laser ranging analysis has provided measurements of the Earth's precession, the moon's tidal acceleration, and lunar rotational dissipation. These scientific results, current technological developments, and prospects for the future are discussed here. PMID:17781305

  11. 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.

  12. Laser Ranging for Gravitational, Lunar and Planetary Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Merkowitz, Stephen M.; Dabney, Philip W.; Livas, Jeffrey C.; McGarry, Jan F.; Neumann, Gregory A.; Zagwodzki, Thomas W.

    More precise lunar and Martian ranging will enable unprecedented tests of Einstein's theory of general relativity as well as lunar and planetary science. NASA is currently planning several missions to return to the Moon, and it is natural to consider if precision laser ranging instruments should be included. New advanced retroreflector arrays at carefully chosen landing sites would have an immediate positive impact on lunar and gravitational studies. Laser transponders are currently being developed that may offer an advantage over passive ranging, and could be adapted for use on Mars and other distant objects. Precision ranging capability can also be combined with optical communications for an extremely versatile instrument. In this paper we discuss the science that can be gained by improved lunar and Martian ranging along with several technologies that can be used for this purpose.

  13. Lunar Laser Ranging: Glorious Past And A Bright Future

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shelus, Peter J.

    Lunar Laser Ranging (LLR), a part of the NASA Apollo program, has beenon-going for more than 30 years. It provides the grist for a multi-disciplinarydata analysis mill. Results exist for solid Earth sciences, geodesy and geodynamics,solar system ephemerides, terrestrial and celestial reference frames, lunar physics,general relativity and gravitational theory. Combined with other data, it treatsprecession of the Earth''s spin axis, lunar induced nutation, polar motion/Earthrotation, Earth orbit obliquity to the ecliptic, intersection of the celestial equatorwith the ecliptic, luni-solar solid body tides, lunar tidal deceleration, lunar physicaland free librations, structure of the moon and energy dissipation in the lunar interior.LLR provides input to lunar surface cartography and surveying, Earth station and lunar retroreflector location and motion, mass of the Earth-moon system, lunar and terrestrial gravity harmonics and Love numbers, relativistic geodesic precession, and the equivalence principle of general relativity. With the passive nature of the reflectors and steady improvement in observing equipment and data analysis, LLR continues to provide state-of-the-art results. Gains are steady as the data-base expands. After more than 30 years, LLR remains the only active Apollo experiment. It is important to recognize examples of efficient and cost effective progress of research. LLR is just such an example.

  14. Lunar Laser Ranging Experiment for Japanese SELENE-2 landing mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noda, H.; Kunimori, H.; Araki, H.; Fuse, T.; Hanada, H.; Katayama, M.; Otsubo, T.; Sasaki, S.; Tazawa, S.; Tsuruta, S.; Funazaki, K.; Taniguchi, H.; Murata, K.

    2012-04-01

    We present the development status of the Lunar Laser Ranging experiment proposed to Japanese SELENE-2 lunar landing mission. The Lunar Laser Ranging measures the distance between laser link stations on the Earth and retroreflectors on the Moon, by detecting the time of flight of photons of high-powered laser emitted from the ground station. Since the Earth-Moon distance contains information of lunar orbit, lunar solid tides, and lunar orientation and rotation, we can estimate the inner structure of the Moon through orientation, rotation and tide. Retroreflectors put by the Apollo and Luna missions in 1970's are arrays of many small Corner Cube Prisms (CCP). Because of the tilt of these arrays from the Earth direction due to the optical libration, the returned laser pulse is broaden, causing the main range error of more than 1.5 cm ([1]). Therefore retroreflectors with larger single aperture are necessary for more accurate ranging, and we propose a large single retroreflector of hollow-type with 15 cm aperture. Larger aperture up to 20 cm might be favorable if more mass is permitted for payloads. To cancel the velocity aberration, a large, single aperture retroreflector needs small amount of offset angle between the reflecting planes to spoil the return beam pattern. This angle offset, called Dihedral Angle Offset (DAO) must be optimized to be less than 1 second of arc with 0.1 seconds of arc accuracy to accumulate more photons [2, 3]. The realization of such small DAO is challenging with current technology, therefore the development of fabrication method is important. As for the mirror material, some ceramic products (ZPF: Zero-expansion Pore-free ceramics or SiC: silicon carbide) are under consideration in terms of weight, hardness and handling. The thermal quality of the material can be evaluated by both the thermal conductivity and the coefficient of thermal expansion. The method to fasten three planes each other with precise DAO must be developed.

  15. Laser enhancements for Lunar Laser Ranging at 532 nm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martinot-Lagarde, G.; Aimar, M.; Albanèse, D.; Courde, C.; Exertier, P.; Fienga, A.; Mariey, H.; Métris, G.; Rigard-Cerison, R.; Samain, E.; Torre, J.-M.; Viot, H.

    This article exposes how we improved (by more than a factor of four) the green Lunar Laser Ranging instrumental sensitivity of the French telemetric station of the "Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur" in 2012. The primary reason for this success is the doubling of the pulse energy of our green Nd:YAG laser, reaching now 200 mJ at 10 Hz. This first gain is due to the replacement (inside our oscillator cavity) of the dye cell with a CR4+:YAG crystal saturable absorber. Complementary spatial beam profile improvements are also described, regarding polarisation, flashlamp geometry and specific lens arrangements (to exclude ghosts from focusing on the 8 m long amplification chain). Those combined laser enhancements pave the way to future science breakthrough linked to quasi-millimetric determination of the Earth-Moon dynamics (Murphy, 2013). Jointly, we propose an empirical thermal lensing model, varying with the cycle ratio of the flashlamps. Our model connects Koechner's (1970) continuous pumping to our intermittent pumping case, with a "normalised heating coefficient" equalling 0.05 only if the electrical lamp input power is equal to 6 kW and scaling as this [electrical input power into the lamps] to the power of [half the pumping cycle ratio].

  16. Probing Gravity with Next Generation Lunar Laser Ranging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martini, Manuele; Dell'Agnello, Simone

    Lunar and satellite laser ranging (LLR/SLR) are consolidated techniques which provide a precise, and at the same time, cost-effective method to determine the orbits of the Moon and of satellites equipped with laser retroreflectors with respect to the International Celestial Reference System. We describe the precision tests of general relativity and of new theories of gravity that can be performed with second-generation LLR payloads on the surface of the Moon (NASA/ASI MoonLIGHT project), and with SLR/LLR payloads deployed on spacecraft in the Earth-Moon system. A new wave of lunar exploration and lunar science started in 2007-2008 with the launch of three missions (Chang'e by China, Kaguya by Japan, Chandrayaan by India), missions in preparation (LCROSS, LRO, GRAIL/LADEE by NASA) and other proposed missions (like MAGIA in Italy). This research activity will be greatly enhanced by the future robotic deployment of a lunar geophysics network (LGN) on the surface of the Moon. A scientific concept of the latter is the International Lunar Network (ILN, see http://iln.arc.nasa.gov/). The LLR retroreflector payload developed by a US-Italy team described here and under space qualification at the National Laboratories of Frascati (LNF) is the optimum candidate for the LGN, which will be populated in the future by any lunar landing mission.

  17. Astrophysics and the Next Generation of Lunar Laser Ranging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Currie, Douglas G.; Dell'Agnello, S.; Delle Monache, G.; Zacny, K.; Behr, B.

    2012-05-01

    The unique science results addressing Gravitational Science and General Relativity (GR) that have been produced by the Lunar Laser Ranging Program (LLRP) to date will be described. While the Apollo retroreflector arrays are still operation and continue to produce new state-of-the-art science results, the combination of the lunar librations and the design of the arrays currently limit the range accuracy obtained for each single photo-electron return to 20 mm. A next generation lunar retroreflector (e.g., the Lunar Laser Ranging Retroreflector for the 21st Century or LLRRA-21) holds promise for great improvements in the existing values on the various tests of General Relativity. This is critical due to: 1) the inconsistency between GR and Quantum Mechanics and 2) our lack of understanding of Dark Energy. These puzzles have engendered a variety of alternate theories of gravitation which need to be tested against GR. The magnitude of these improvements will depend critically on the method of robotic deployment of the LLRRA-21. The deployment will be reviewed, especially those that can be supported by the Google Lunar X Prize flights of the next couple of years. The expected magnitude of the return signal from the optical/thermal simulations will be described in detail. This expected signal return will be similar to signal return that is currently being obtained from the Apollo 15 array, so we can evaluate the capability of various ground stations to conduct regular ranging programs. This will address number of ground stations that can contribute and the frequency of observations what would be available for the science analysis. Finally, the lifetime issues related to the Apollo arrays and the projection to the current design of the LLRRA-21 will be discussed. This work has been supported by the LUNAR team of the NASA/NLSI and the INFN-LNF and ASI.

  18. The coordinate frame of the lunar laser ranging network

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, J. G.; Newhall, X. X.; Dickey, J. O.

    1986-01-01

    The geocentric coordinates for four instruments, which were derived using lunar laser ranging, are compared with the 84L02 coordinates determined from the Lageos satellite. The determination of the geocentric coordinates for the 2.7 m and McDonald Observatory laser ranging system telescopes at McDonald Observatory, the Haleakala site, and the CERGA site near Grasse, France is described. Consideration is given to the McDonald Observatory colocation and station motion due to continential drift. A rms difference of 18 cm is determined for the two sets of geocentric coordinates; however, removing a data anomaly reduces the rms difference to 13 cm.

  19. Lunar laser ranging and limits due to the Earth's atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Currie, Douglas; Prochazka, Ivan

    2015-10-01

    The ultimate limits on high accuracy laser ranging to satellites from the ground appear to be caused by the effects of the earth's atmosphere. Other impediments in terms of lasers, timing equipment and calibration seem to be evolving to the point of providing very high accuracy. We shall address the role of the earth's atmosphere for lunar laser ranging. In the near future, the robotic deployment of next generation lunar laser retroreflectors is planned. With proper robotic deployment, these retroreflectors may support single photo-electron ranging accuracy at the 100 micron level or better. In particular, there are questions of the random and systematic delays and broadening of a very narrow laser pulse. Theoretical and experimental results will be discussed that address estimates of the magnitudes of these effects and the issue of precision vs. accuracy. These effects may be roughly divided into three domains: High frequency effects due to atmospheric turbulence, low frequency effects due to atmospheric "slopes" and atmospheric waves and tides and spectral dispersion of the narrow pulse. In conclusion, the route to better ranging through the earth's atmosphere appears to be more advance modeling of local meteorological effects, in a program that can be implemented at a reasonable cost.

  20. A Lunar Laser Ranging Retroreflector for the 21st Century

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Currie, D.; Dell-Agnello, S.; Delle Monache, G.

    Over the past forty years, Lunar Laser Ranging (LLR) to the Apollo Cube Corner (CCR) Retroreflector arrays has supplied almost all of the significant tests of General Relativity. The LLR program has evaluated the PPN parameters and addressed, for example, the possible change in the gravitational constant and the properties of the self-energy of the gravitational field. In addition, LLR has provided significant information on the composition and origin of the moon. These arrays are the only experiment of the Apollo program that are still in operation. Initially the Apollo Lunar Arrays contributed a negligible portion of the error budget used to achieve these results. Over the decades, the performance of ground stations has greatly upgraded so that the ranging accuracy has improved by more than two orders of magnitude, i.e., a factor of 140. Now, after forty years, because of the lunar librations the existing Apollo retroreflector arrays contribute significant fraction of the limiting errors in the range measurements. The University of Maryland, as the Principal Investigator for the original Apollo arrays, is now proposing a new approach to the Lunar Laser CCR array technology. The investigation of this new technology, with Professor Currie as Principal Investigator, is currently being supported by two NASA programs and, in part, also by INFN/LNF. Thus after the proposed installation on the next Lunar landing, the new arrays will support ranging observations that are a factor 100 more accurate than the current Apollo LLRRAs, from the centimeter level to the micron level. The new fundamental physics and the lunar physics that this new LLRRA can provide will be described. In the design of the new array, there are three major challenges: 1) Validate that the specifications of the CCR required for the new array, with are significantly beyond the properties of current CCRs, can indeed be achieved. 2) Address the thermal and optical effects of the absorption of solar

  1. Lunar Laser Ranging trial at Koganei SLR station

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noda, Hirotomo; Kunimori, Hiroo; Araki, Hiroshi

    Introduction: The Lunar Laser Ranging (LLR) is a technique to measure the distance between laser stations on the Earth and retroreflectors on the Moon, by detecting the time of flight of high-powered laser emitted from the ground station. Since the Earth-Moon distance contains information of lunar orbit, lunar solid tides, and lunar orientation and rotation, observation data of LLR have contributed to the lunar science, especially for the estimation of the inner structure of the Moon through orientation, rotation and tide. There are five refroreflectors on the Moon, Apollo 11, 14, 15 (U. S. A.), Lunokhod 1 and 2 (french-made, carried by former U. S. S. R.). The Apollo 15 has largest aperture among them, and almost 75 % of the total LLR data are from Apollo 15 site. System Description: Since there is no Japanese station which can range the Moon so far, a precursor ranging experiment by using the Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) facility in the NICT Koganei campus in Tokyo is ongoing. The SLR station has a 1.5 m Cassegrain telescope with Coude focus. Normally it is equipped with a laser with 20mJ, 20Hz repetition rate, and 35 picoseconds pulse width for satellite ranging. In addition to it, a wide-pulse width laser (3 nanoseconds, which corresponds to 45 cm in 2-way range) with energy of about 350 mJ per shot, repetition rate of 10Hz, wavelength of 532 nm is introduced to detect photons from the lunar retroreflectors for demonstration. As the pulse width is broad, the high accuracy ranging is not expected, therefore it is solely used for the confirmation of the optical link budget between the ground station and retroreflectors on the Moon. As the photon detector, we use a SPAD (Single Photon Avalanche Diode) and also an MCP (Micro Channel Plate) photo multiplier whose quantum efficiency is twice as much as that of the SPAD in use. For the pointing, a CCD imager is also available in the same detector box. They can be switched by reflecting mirrors. To suppress the

  2. Probing General Relativity and New Physics with Lunar Laser Ranging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dell'Agnello, S.; Maiello, M.; Currie, D. G.; Boni, A.; Berardi, S.; Cantone, C.; Delle Monache, G. O.; Intaglietta, N.; Lops, C.; Garattini, M.; Martini, M.; Patrizi, G.; Porcelli, L.; Tibuzzi, M.; Vittori, R.; Bianco, G.; Coradini, A.; Dionisio, C.; March, R.; Bellettini, G.; Tauraso, R.; Chandler, J.

    2012-11-01

    Over the past 40 years, Lunar Laser Ranging (LLR, developed by the Univ. of Maryland (PI) and INFN-LNF (Co-PI)) to the Apollo Cube Corner Retroreflector (CCR) arrays have supplied almost all the significant tests of General Relativity (Currie et al., 2009 [12]). LLR can evaluate the PPN (Post Newtonian Parameters), addressing this way both the possible changes in the gravitational constant and the self-energy properties of the gravitational field. In addition, the LLR has provided significant information on the composition and origin of the Moon. This is the only Apollo experiment that is still in operation. Initially the Apollo LLR arrays contributed a negligible fraction of the ranging error budget. Over the decades, the ranging capabilities of the ground stations have improved by more than two orders of magnitude. Now, because of the lunar librations, the existing Apollo retroreflector arrays contribute a significant fraction of the limiting errors in the range measurements. We built a new experimental apparatus (the ‘Satellite/Lunar Laser Ranging Characterization Facility', SCF) and created a new test procedure (the SCF-Test) to characterize and model the detailed thermal behavior and the optical performance of cube corner laser retroreflectors in space for industrial and scientific applications (Dell'Agnello et al., 2011 [13]). Our key experimental innovation is the concurrent measurement and modeling of the optical Far Field Diffraction Pattern (FFDP) and the temperature distribution of the SLR retroreflector payload under thermal conditions produced with a close-match solar simulator. The apparatus includes infrared cameras for non-invasive thermometry, thermal control and real-time movement of the payload to experimentally simulate satellite orientation on orbit with respect to both solar illumination and laser interrogation beams. These unique capabilities provide experimental validation of the space segment for SLR and Lunar Laser Ranging (LLR). The

  3. Scientific achievements from ten years of lunar laser ranging

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mulholland, J. D.

    1980-01-01

    In the 10 years since lunar laser ranging became a reality the need to analyze the observations has motivated improvements in several aspects of the mathematical model of earth-moon dynamics. Application of the data to improved estimates of the physical parameters of the earth-moon system has yielded significant astronomical, selenophysical, geophysical, and cosmological results. The scientific impact, both in improved theories and in numerical applications, is surveyed. The underlying physics and major difficulties are discussed, as well as the scientific results.

  4. New test of the equivalence principle from lunar laser ranging

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, J. G.; Dicke, R. H.; Bender, P. L.; Alley, C. O.; Currie, D. G.; Carter, W. E.; Eckhardt, D. H.

    1976-01-01

    An analysis of six years of lunar-laser-ranging data gives a zero amplitude for the Nordtvedt term in the earth-moon distance yielding the Nordtvedt parameter eta = 0.00 plus or minus 0.03. Thus, earth's gravitational self-energy contributes equally, plus or minus 3%, to its inertial mass and passive gravitational mass. At the 70% confidence level this result is only consistent with the Brans-Dicke theory for omega greater than 29. We obtain the absolute value of beta - 1 less than about 0.02 to 0.05 for five-parameter parametrized post-Newtonian theories of gravitation with energy-momentum conservation.

  5. Lunar Laser Ranging Science: Gravitational Physics and Lunar Interior and Geodesy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, James G.; Turyshev, Slava G.; Boggs, Dale H.; Ratcliff, J. Todd

    2004-01-01

    Laser pulses fired at retroreflectors on the Moon provide very accurate ranges. Analysis yields information on Earth, Moon, and orbit. The highly accurate retroreflector positions have uncertainties less than a meter. Tides on the Moon show strong dissipation, with Q=33+/-4 at a month and a weak dependence on period. Lunar rotation depends on interior properties; a fluid core is indicated with radius approx.20% that of the Moon. Tests of relativistic gravity verify the equivalence principle to +/-1.4x10(exp -13), limit deviations from Einstein's general relativity, and show no rate for the gravitational constant G/G with uncertainty 9x10(exp -13)/yr.

  6. Simultaneous Laser Ranging and Communication from an Earth-Based Satellite Laser Ranging Station to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter in Lunar Orbit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sun, Xiaoli; Skillman, David R.; Hoffman, Evan D.; Mao, Dandan; McGarry, Jan F.; Neumann, Gregory A.; McIntire, Leva; Zellar, Ronald S.; Davidson, Frederic M.; Fong, Wai H.; Krainak, Michael A.; Zuber, Maria T.; Smith, David E.

    2013-01-01

    We report a free space laser communication experiment from the satellite laser ranging (SLR) station at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) in lunar orbit through the on board one-way Laser Ranging (LR) receiver. Pseudo random data and sample image files were transmitted to LRO using a 4096-ary pulse position modulation (PPM) signal format. Reed-Solomon forward error correction codes were used to achieve error free data transmission at a moderate coding overhead rate. The signal fading due to the atmosphere effect was measured and the coding gain could be estimated.

  7. Simultaneous laser ranging and communication from an Earth-based satellite laser ranging station to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter in lunar orbit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Xiaoli; Skillman, David R.; Hoffman, Evan D.; Mao, Dandan; McGarry, Jan F.; Neumann, Gregory A.; McIntire, Leva; Zellar, Ronald S.; Davidson, Frederic M.; Fong, Wai H.; Krainak, Michael A.; Zuber, Maria T.; Smith, David E.

    2013-03-01

    We report a free space laser communication experiment from the satellite laser ranging (SLR) station at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) in lunar orbit through the on board one-way Laser Ranging (LR) receiver. Pseudo random data and sample image files were transmitted to LRO using a 4096-ary pulse position modulation (PPM) signal format. Reed-Solomon forward error correction codes were used to achieve error free data transmission at a moderate coding overhead rate. The signal fading due to the atmosphere effect was measured and the coding gain could be estimated.

  8. The Lunar Laser Ranging Experiment: Accurate ranges have given a large improvement in the lunar orbit and new selenophysical information.

    PubMed

    Bender, P L; Currie, D G; Poultney, S K; Alley, C O; Dicke, R H; Wilkinson, D T; Eckhardt, D H; Faller, J E; Kaula, W M; Mulholland, J D; Plotkin, H H; Silverberg, E C; Williams, J G

    1973-10-19

    The lunar ranging measurements now being made at the McDonald Observatory have an accuracy of 1 nsec in round-trip travel time. This corresponds to 15 cm in the one-way distance. The use of lasers with pulse-lengths of less than 1 nsec is expected to give an accuracy of 2 to 3 cm in the next few years. A new station is under construction in Hawaii, and additional stations in other countries are either in operation or under development. It is hoped that these stations will form the basis for a worldwide network to determine polar motion and earth rotation on a regular basis, and will assist in providing information about movement of the tectonic plates making up the earth's surface. Several mobile lunar ranging stations with telescopes having diameters of 1.0 m or less could, in the future, greatly extend the information obtainable about motions within and between the tectonic plates. The data obtained so far by the McDonald Observatory have been used to generate a new lunar ephemeris based on direct numerical integration of the equations of motion for the moon and planets. With this ephemeris, the range to the three Apollo retro-reflectors can be fit to an accuracy of 5 m by adjusting the differences in moments of inertia of the moon about its principal axes, the selenocentric coordinates of the reflectors, and the McDonald longitude. The accuracy of fitting the results is limited currently by errors of the order of an arc second in the angular orientation of the moon, as derived from the best available theory of how the moon rotates in response to the torques acting on it. Both a new calculation of the moon's orientation as a function of time based on direct numerical integration of the torque equations and a new analytic theory of the moon's orientation are expected to be available soon, and to improve considerably the accuracy of fitting the data. The accuracy already achieved routinely in lunar laser ranging represents a hundredfold improvement over any

  9. Earth orientation from lunar laser range-differencing. Ph.D. Thesis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leick, A.

    1978-01-01

    For the optimal use of high precision lunar laser ranging (LLR), an investigation regarding a clear definition of the underlying coordinate systems, identification of estimable quantities, favorable station geometry and optimal observation schedule is given.

  10. High-Precision Lunar Ranging and Gravitational Parameter Estimation With the Apache Point Observatory Lunar Laser-ranging Operation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, Nathan H.

    This dissertation is concerned with several problems of instrumentation and data analysis encountered by the Apache Point Observatory Lunar Laser-ranging Operation. Chapter 2 considers crosstalk between elements of a single-photon avalanche photodiode detector. Experimental and analytic methods were developed to determine crosstalk rates, and empirical findings are presented. Chapter 3 details electronics developments that have improved the quality of data collected by detectors of the same type. Chapter 4 explores the challenges of estimating gravitational parameters on the basis of ranging data collected by this and other experiments and presents resampling techniques for the derivation of standard errors for estimates of such parameters determined by the Planetary Ephemeris Program (PEP), a solar-system model and data-fitting code. Possible directions for future work are discussed in Chapter 5. A manual of instructions for working with PEP is presented as an appendix.

  11. MLRS - A lunar/artificial satellite laser ranging facility at the McDonald Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shelus, P. J.

    1985-01-01

    Experience from lunar and satellite laser ranging experiments carried out at McDonald Observatory has been used to design the McDonald Laser Ranging Station (MLRS). The MLRS is a dual-purpose installation designed to obtain observations from the LAGEOS satellite and lunar targets. The instruments used at the station include a telescope assembly 0.76 meters in diameter; a Q-switched doubled neodymium YAG laser with a pulse rate of three nanoseconds; and a GaAs photodetector with Fabry-Perot interferometric filter. A functional diagram of the system is provided. The operating parameters of the instruments are summarized in a table.

  12. Corner-Cube Retroreflector Instrument for Advanced Lunar Laser Ranging

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Turyshev, Slava G.; Folkner, William M.; Gutt, Gary M.; Williams, James G.; Somawardhana, Ruwan P.; Baran, Richard T.

    2012-01-01

    A paper describes how, based on a structural-thermal-optical-performance analysis, it has been determined that a single, large, hollow corner cube (170- mm outer diameter) with custom dihedral angles offers a return signal comparable to the Apollo 11 and 14 solid-corner-cube arrays (each consisting of 100 small, solid corner cubes), with negligible pulse spread and much lower mass. The design of the corner cube, and its surrounding mounting and casing, is driven by the thermal environment on the lunar surface, which is subject to significant temperature variations (in the range between 70 and 390 K). Therefore, the corner cube is enclosed in an insulated container open at one end; a narrow-bandpass solar filter is used to reduce the solar energy that enters the open end during the lunar day, achieving a nearly uniform temperature inside the container. Also, the materials and adhesive techniques that will be used for this corner-cube reflector must have appropriate thermal and mechanical characteristics (e.g., silica or beryllium for the cube and aluminum for the casing) to further reduce the impact of the thermal environment on the instrument's performance. The instrument would consist of a single, open corner cube protected by a separate solar filter, and mounted in a cylindrical or spherical case. A major goal in the design of a new lunar ranging system is a measurement accuracy improvement to better than 1 mm by reducing the pulse spread due to orientation. While achieving this goal, it was desired to keep the intensity of the return beam at least as bright as the Apollo 100-corner-cube arrays. These goals are met in this design by increasing the optical aperture of a single corner cube to approximately 170 mm outer diameter. This use of an "open" corner cube allows the selection of corner cube materials to be based primarily on thermal considerations, with no requirements on optical transparency. Such a corner cube also allows for easier pointing requirements

  13. Photon counting detector for space debris laser tracking and lunar laser ranging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prochazka, Ivan; Kodet, Jan; Blazej, Josef; Kirchner, Georg; Koidl, Franz

    2014-08-01

    We are reporting on a design, construction and performance of solid state photon counting detector package which has been designed for laser tracking of space debris. The detector has been optimized for top photon detection efficiency and detection delay stability. The active area of the commercially available avalanche photodiode manufactured on Si (SAP500 supplied by Laser Components, Inc.) is circular with a diameter of 500 μm. The newly designed control circuit enables to operate the detection sensor at a broad range of biases 5-50 V above its breakdown voltage of 125 V. This permits to select a right trade-off between photon detection efficiency, timing resolution and dark count rate. The photon detection efficiency exceeds 70% at the wavelength of 532 nm. This is the highest photon detection efficiency ever reported for such a device. The timing properties of the detector have been investigated in detail. The timing resolution is better than 80 ps r.m.s, the detection delay is stable within units of picoseconds over several hours of operation. The detection delay stability in a sense of time deviation of 800 fs has been achieved. The temperature change of the detection delay is 0.5 ps/K. The detector has been tested as an echo signal detector in laser tracking of space debris at the satellite laser station in Graz, Austria. Its application in lunar laser ranging is under consideration by several laser stations.

  14. Development of the Retroreflector on the Moon for the Future Lunar Laser Ranging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Araki, Hiroshi; Kunimori, Hiroo; Kashima, Shingo; Noda, Hirotomo; Chiba, Kohta; Otsubo, Toshimichi; Utsunomiya, Makoto; Matsumoto, Yoshiaki

    Lunar Laser Ranging (LLR) data are important for the investigations of the lunar rotation, tide, and lunar deep interior structure. The range accuracy of LLR has been less than 2 cm for the last 20 years due to the progress of laser transmit/receive system on the ground stations and the atmospheric signal delay model, however, one order or more accurate ranging than 2cm is needed for better understanding of the lunar deep interior. We are developing 'single aperture and hollow' retroreflector (Corner Cube Mirror; CCM) to be aboard future lunar landing missions. The aperture of CCM is 20cm because the reflection efficiency of that size is found to be higher than that of Apollo 11 array CCP (Corner Cube Prism). For the CCM ultra low expansion glass-ceramic (ClearCeramRZ-EX, OHARA Inc.; hereafter CCZ-EX)' or 'single crystal Si' is selected for candidate material of CCM taking into account small |CTE|/K (Thermal expansion coefficient over thermal diffusivity) and large specific Young modulus. The optical performance of CCM deformed by lunar gravity or solar illumination in the holder model is presented for some cases.

  15. Hollow Retroreflectors for Lunar Laser Ranging at Goddard Space Flight Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Preston, Alix M.; Merkowitz, Stephen M.

    2012-01-01

    Laser ranging to the retroreflector arrays placed on the lunar surface by the Apollo astronauts and the Soviet Luna missions have dramatically increased our understanding of gravitational physics along with Earth and Moon geophysics, geodesy, and dynamics. Although the precision of the range measurements has historically been limited by the ground station capabilities, advances in the APOLLO instrument at the Apache Point facility in New Mexico is beginning to be limited by errors associated with the lunar arrays. At Goddard Space Flight Center, we have developed a facility where we can design, build, and test next-generation hollow retroreflectors for Lunar Laser Ranging. Here we will describe this facility as well as report on the bonding techniques used to assemble the retroreflectors. Results from investigations into different high reflectivity mirror coatings, as well as dust mitigation coatings will also be presented.

  16. Lunar laser ranging data processing in a Unix/X windows environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ricklefs, Randall L.; Ries, Judit G.

    1993-01-01

    In cooperation with the NASA Crustal Dynamics Project initiative placing workstation computers at each of its laser ranging stations to handle data filtering and normalpointing, MLRS personnel have developed a new generation of software to provide the same services for the lunar laser ranging data type. The Unix operating system and X windows/Motif provides an environment for both batch and interactive filtering and normalpointing as well as prediction calculations. The goal is to provide a transportable and maintainable data reduction environment. This software and some sample displays are presented. that the lunar (or satellite) datacould be processed on one computer while data was taken on the other. The reduction of the data was totally interactive and in no way automated. In addition, lunar predictions were produced on-site, another first in the effort to down-size historically mainframe-based applications. Extraction of earth rotation parameters was at one time attempted on site in near-realtime. In 1988, the Crustal Dynamics Project SLR Computer Panel mandated the installation of Hewlett-Packard 9000/360 Unix workstations at each NASA-operated laser ranging station to relieve the aging controller computers of much of their data and communications handling responsibility and to provide on-site data filtering and normal pointing for a growing list of artificial satellite targets. This was seen by MLRS staff as an opportunity to provide a better lunar data processing environment as well.

  17. Large-Scale Hollow Retroreflectors for Lunar Laser Ranging at Goddard Space Flight Center

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Preston, Alix M.

    2012-05-01

    Laser ranging to the retroreflector arrays placed on the lunar surface by the Apollo astronauts and the Soviet Luna missions have dramatically increased our understanding of gravitational physics along with Earth and Moon geophysics, geodesy, and dynamics. Although the precision of the range measurements has historically been limited by the ground station capabilities, advances in the APOLLO instrument at the Apache Point facility in New Mexico is beginning to be limited by errors associated with the lunar arrays. We report here on efforts at Goddard Space Flight Center to develop the next generation of lunar retroreflectors. We will describe a new facility that is being used to design, assemble, and test large-scale hollow retroreflectors. We will also describe results from investigations into various bonding techniques used to assemble the open corner cubes and mirror coatings that have dust mitigation properties.

  18. Large-Scale Hollow Retroreflectors for Lunar Laser Ranging at Goddard Space Flight Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Preston, Alix

    2012-01-01

    Laser ranging to the retroreflector arrays placed on the lunar surface by the Apollo astronauts and the Soviet Luna missions have dramatically increased our understanding of gravitational physics along with Earth and Moon geophysics, geodesy, and dynamics. Although the precision of the range measurements has historically been limited by the ground station capabilities, advances in the APOLLO instrument at the Apache Point facility in New Mexico is beginning to be limited by errors associated with the lunar arrays. We report here on efforts at Goddard Space Flight Center to develop the next generation of lunar retroreflectors. We will describe a new facility that is being used to design, assemble, and test large-scale hollow retroreflectors. We will also describe results from investigations into various bonding techniques used to assemble the open comer cubes and mirror coatings that have dust mitigation properties.

  19. Asymmetric dihedral angle offsets for large-size lunar laser ranging retroreflectors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Otsubo, Toshimichi; Kunimori, Hiroo; Noda, Hirotomo; Hanada, Hideo; Araki, Hiroshi; Katayama, Masato

    2011-08-01

    The distribution of two-dimensional velocity aberration is off-centered by 5 to 6 microradians in lunar laser ranging, due to the stable measurement geometry in the motion of the Earth and the Moon. The optical responses of hollow-type retroreflectors are investigated through numerical simulations, especially focusing on large-size, single-reflector targets that can ultimately minimize the systematic error in future lunar laser ranging. An asymmetric dihedral angle offset, i.e. setting unequal angles between the three back faces, is found to be effective for retroreflectors that are larger than 100 mm in diameter. Our numerical simulation results reveal that the optimized return energy increases approximately 3.5 times more than symmetric dihedral angle cases, and the optimized dihedral angle offsets are 0.65-0.8 arcseconds for one angle, and zeroes for the other two angles.

  20. Receiver performance of laser ranging measurements between the Lunar Observer and a subsatellite for lunar gravity studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Davidson, Frederic M.; Sun, Xiaoli

    1992-01-01

    The optimal receiver for a direct detection laser ranging system for slow Doppler frequency shift measurement is shown to consist of a phase tracking loop which can be implemented approximately as a phase lock loop with a 2nd or 3rd order loop filter. The laser transmitter consists of an AlGaAs laser diode at a wavelength of about 800 nm and is intensity modulated by a sinewave. The receiver performance is shown to be limited mainly by the preamplifier thermal noise when a silicon avalanche photodiode is used. A high speed microchannel plate photomultiplier tube is shown to outperform a silicon APD despite its relatively low quantum efficiency at wavelengths near 800 nm. The maximum range between the Lunar Observer and the subsatellite for lunar gravity studies is shown to be about 620 km when using a state-of-the-art silicon APD and about 1000 km when using a microchannel plate photomultiplier tube in order to achieve a relative velocity measurement accuracy of 1 millimeter per second. Other parameters such as the receiver time base jitter and drift also limit performance and have to be considered in the design of an actual system.

  1. Corner-cube retro-reflector instrument for advanced lunar laser ranging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turyshev, Slava G.; Williams, James G.; Folkner, William M.; Gutt, Gary M.; Baran, Richard T.; Hein, Randall C.; Somawardhana, Ruwan P.; Lipa, John A.; Wang, Suwen

    2013-08-01

    Lunar laser ranging (LLR) has made major contributions to our understanding of the Moon's internal structure and the dynamics of the Earth-Moon system. Because of the recent improvements of the ground-based laser ranging facilities, the present LLR measurement accuracy is limited by the retro-reflectors currently on the lunar surface, which are arrays of small corner-cubes. Because of lunar librations, the surfaces of these arrays do not, in general, point directly at the Earth. This effect results in a spread of arrival times, because each cube that comprises the retroreflector is at a slightly different distance from the Earth, leading to the reduced ranging accuracy. Thus, a single, wide aperture corner-cube could have a clear advantage. In addition, after nearly four decades of successful operations the retro-reflectors arrays currently on the Moon started to show performance degradation; as a result, they yield still useful, but much weaker return signals. Thus, fresh and bright instruments on the lunar surface are needed to continue precision LLR measurements. We have developed a new retro-reflector design to enable advanced LLR operations. It is based on a single, hollow corner cube with a large aperture for which preliminary thermal, mechanical, and optical design and analysis have been performed. The new instrument will be able to reach an Earth-Moon range precision of 1-mm in a single pulse while being subjected to significant thermal variations present on the lunar surface, and will have low mass to allow robotic deployment. Here we report on our design results and instrument development effort.

  2. Orbit determination of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter using laser ranging and radiometric tracking data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Löcher, Anno; Kusche, Jürgen

    2014-05-01

    The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) launched in 2009 by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) still orbits the Moon in a polar orbit at an altitude of 50 kilometers and below. Its main objective is the detailed exploration of the Moon's surface by means of the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) and three high resolution cameras bundled in the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) unit. Referring these observations to a Moon-fixed reference frame requires the computation of highly accurate and consistent orbits. For this task only Earth-based observations are available, primarily radiometric tracking data from stations in the United States, Australia and Europe. In addition, LRO is prepared for one-way laser measurements from specially adapted sites. Currently, 10 laser stations participate more or less regularly in this experiment. For operational reasons, the official LRO orbits from NASA only include radiometric data so far. In this presentation, we investigate the benefit of the laser ranging data by feeding both types of observations in an integrated orbit determination process. All computations are performed by an in-house software development based on a dynamical approach improving orbit and force parameters in an iterative way. Special attention is paid to the determination of bias parameters, in particular of timing biases between radio and laser stations and the drift and aging of the LRO spacecraft clock. The solutions from the combined data set will be compared to radio- and laser-only orbits as well as to the NASA orbits. Further results will show how recent gravity field models from the GRAIL mission can improve the accuracy of the LRO orbits.

  3. Single photon detection and timing in the Lunar Laser Ranging Experiment.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Poultney, S. K.

    1972-01-01

    The goals of the Lunar Laser Ranging Experiment lead to the need for the measurement of a 2.5 sec time interval to an accuracy of a nanosecond or better. The systems analysis which included practical retroreflector arrays, available laser systems, and large telescopes led to the necessity of single photon detection. Operation under all background illumination conditions required auxiliary range gates and extremely narrow spectral and spatial filters in addition to the effective gate provided by the time resolution. Nanosecond timing precision at relatively high detection efficiency was obtained using the RCA C31000F photomultiplier and Ortec 270 constant fraction of pulse-height timing discriminator. The timing accuracy over the 2.5 sec interval was obtained using a digital interval with analog vernier ends. Both precision and accuracy are currently checked internally using a triggerable, nanosecond light pulser. Future measurements using sub-nanosecond laser pulses will be limited by the time resolution of single photon detectors.

  4. Tidal dissipation in the Earth and Moon from lunar laser ranging

    SciTech Connect

    Yoder, C.F.; Williams, J.G.; Dickey, J.O.; Newhall, X.X.

    1984-01-01

    The evolution of the Moon's orbit which is governed by tidal dissipation in the Earth while the evolution of its spin is controlled by its own internal dissipation is discussed. Lunar laser ranging data from August 1969 through May 1982 yields the values of both of these parameters. It is suggested that if the Moon has orbited the Earth since its formation, this must be an anomalously high value presumably due to changes in dissipation in the oceans due to continental drift. The explanation that the dissipation occurs at the interface between the mantle and a liquid core of shell is preferred.

  5. Tidal dissipation in the Earth and Moon from lunar laser ranging

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yoder, C. F.; Williams, J. G.; Dickey, J. O.; Newhall, X. X.

    1984-01-01

    The evolution of the Moon's orbit which is governed by tidal dissipation in the Earth while the evolution of its spin is controlled by its own internal dissipation is discussed. Lunar laser ranging data from August 1969 through May 1982 yields the values of both of these parameters. It is suggested that if the Moon was orbited the Earth since its formation, this must be an anomalously high value presumably due to changes in dissipation in the oceans due to continental drift. The explanation that the dissipation occurs at the interface between the mantle and a liquid core of shell is preferred.

  6. Next generation retroreflector for lunar laser ranging: science, design and flight status

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Currie, Douglas; Richards, Robert; Delle Monache, Giovanni

    2016-07-01

    The retroreflectors deployed during the Apollo Mission are still operating after 45 years. Analysis of the ranging data has resulted in the discovery and measurement of the liquid core of the moon about 15 years ago. This lunar laser ranging (LLR) program has also produced most of the best tests of Gravitation and General Relativity. However, over the years the ground stations have improved by a factor of ~200 so today the limit in ranging accuracy is due to the combination of the libration of the moon and the design of the Cube Corner Reflector (CCR) arrays. To address this, the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) and the INFN-LNF are developing the Next Generation Retroreflectors (NGR. Recently the UMCP and the LNF have signed an agreement with Moon Express, Inc., a commercial company pursuing the Google Lunar X Prize and a space transport business, to deploy four NGRs on the lunar surface, the first of which is expected to fly in the second quarter of 2017. A brief discussion will address the expected improvements in the understanding of Gravitational and General Relativity and the impact this may have on the multiple theories that have been proposed to explain Dark Matter and Dark Energy. The basic objectives, requirements and design will be reviewed. In particular, in order to maintain a signal level similar to that of Apollo 15, thermal gradients within the CCR must be maintain to less than 0.2oK. Since during lunar morning the CCR is at about 70oK and the housing is more than 300oK, the thermal design is critical. The structure and results of the required simulation programs will be reviewed. Finally, the current design of the entire package will be addressed. Looking toward the future, two areas look particularly interesting in extending the coverage of the theories of Gravitation, General Relativity, Dark Matter and Dark Energy. They will support even greater ranging accuracy, additional ground stations and increased coverage. The first is to

  7. Simulation of optical response of retroreflectors for future lunar laser ranging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Otsubo, Toshimichi; Kunimori, Hiroo; Noda, Hirotomo; Hanada, Hideo

    2010-03-01

    We numerically examined various retroreflectors as laser ranging targets for future missions to the Moon. The geometric conditions, such as the angle of incidence and velocity aberration, with lunar targets are much more restricted than those with most of the earth-orbiting artificial satellites. The numerical optical response simulation carried out in this study indicates that a single retroreflector with a diameter of 150-250 mm performs similar to the existing Apollo retroreflector arrays. Further, no dihedral angle is required for small retroreflectors with diameters below 150 mm for uncoated ones and below 100 mm for coated and hollow ones. Retroreflectors with larger diameters require dihedral angles of 0.20, 0.25, and 0.35 arcsec for coated, uncoated and hollow types, respectively. The objective of this fundamental study is to underlie the development of future laser ranging targets that are to be placed on the Moon.

  8. Precision Time Transfer and Obit Determination Using Laser Ranging to Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mao, D.; Barker, M. K.; Clarke, C. B.; Golder, J. E.; Hoffman, E.; Horvath, J. E.; Mazarico, E.; Mcgarry, J.; Neumann, G. A.; Torrence, M. H.; Rowlands, D. D.; Skillman, D.; Smith, D. E.; Sun, X.; Zuber, M. T.

    2011-12-01

    Since the commissioning of LRO in June, 2009, one-way laser ranging (LR) to Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has been conducted successfully from NASA's Next Generation Satellite Laser Ranging System (NGSLR) at Goddard Geophysical and Astronomical observatory (GGAO) in Greenbelt, Maryland. With the support of the International Laser Ranging Service (ILRS), ten international satellite laser ranging (SLR) ground stations have participated in this experiment and over 1200 hours of ranging data have been collected. In addition to supplementing the precision orbit determination (POD) of LRO, LR is able to perform time transfer between the ground station and the spacecraft clocks. The LRO clock oscillator is stable to 1 part in 10^{12} over several hours, and as stable for much longer periods after correcting for a long-term drift rate and an aging rate. With a precisely-determined LRO ephemeris, the oscillator-determined laser pulse receive time can be differenced with ground station clock transmit times using H-maser and GPS-steered Rb oscillators as references. Simultaneous ranging to LRO among 2, 3, or 4 ground stations has made it possible for relative time transfer among the participating LR stations. Results have shown about 100 ns difference between some LR stations and the primary NGSLR station. At present, the time transfer accuracy is limited to 100 ns at NGSLR. However, an All-View GPS receiver has been installed, which, in combination with a H-maser, is expected to improve the accuracy to 1 ns r.m.s. at NGSLR. Results of new ranging and time transfer experiments using the new time base will be reported. The ability to use LR for time transfer validates the selection of a commercially-supplied, oven-controlled crystal oscillator on board LRO for one-way laser ranging.The increased clock accuracy also provides stronger orbit constraints for LRO POD. The improvements due to including LR data in the LRO POD will be presented.

  9. Investigating relativity using lunar laser ranging - Geodetic precession and the Nordtvedt effect

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dickey, J. O.; Newhall, X. X.; Williams, J. G.

    1989-01-01

    The emplacement of retroreflectors on the moon by Apollo astronauts and the Russian Lunakhod spacecraft marked the inception of lunar laser ranging (LLR) and provided a natural laboratory for the study of general relativity. Continuing acquisition of increasingly accurate LLR data has provided enhanced sensitivity to general relativity parameters. Two relativistic effects are investigated in this paper: (1) the Nordtvedt effect, yielding a test of the strong equivalence principle, would appear as a distortion of the geocentric lunar orbit in the direction of the sun. The inclusion of recent LLR data limits the size of any such effect to 3 + or - 4 cm. The sensitivities to the various PPN quantities are also highlighted. (2) the geodetic precession of the lunar perigee is predicted by general relativity as a consequence of the motion of the earth-moon system about the sun; its theoretical magnitude is 19.2 mas/yr. Analysis presented here confirms this value and determines this quality to a 2 percent level.

  10. Laser Ranging to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter: improved timing and orbits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mao, D.; Mcgarry, J.; Sun, X.; Torrence, M. H.; Skillman, D.; Hoffman, E.; Mazarico, E.; Rowlands, D. D.; Golder, J.; Barker, M. K.; Neumann, G. A.; Smith, D. E.; Zuber, M. T.

    2013-12-01

    The Laser ranging (LR) experiment to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has been under operation for more than 4 years, since the launch of the spacecraft in June 2009. Led by NASA's Next Generation Satellite Laser Ranging(NGSLR) station at Greenbelt, Maryland, ten laser ranging stations over the world have been participating in the experiment and have collected over 3,200 hours of ranging data. These range measurements are used to monitor the behavior of the LRO clock and to generate orbital solutions for LRO. To achieve high-quality results in range, ground stations like NGSLR are using H-maser clocks to obtain a stable and continuous time baseline for the orbit solutions. An All-View GPS receiver was included at NGSLR since January 2013 which monitors the H-maser time against the master clock at the United State Naval Observatory (USNO) via the GPS satellites. NGSLR has successfully established nano-second level epoch time accuracy and 10-15 clock stability since then. Time transfer experiments using LRO as a common receiver have been verified in ground testing between NGSLR and MOBLAS7 via a ground terminal with a Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA)-like receiver at Greenbelt, Maryland. Two hour-long ground tests using a LOLA-like detector and two different ground targets yielded results consistent with each other, and those from the previous 10-minute test completed one year ago. Time transfer tests between NGSLR and MOBLAS7 via LRO are ongoing. More time transfer tests are being planned from NGSLR to McDonald Laser Ranging Station (MLRS) in Texas and later from NGSLR to European satellite laser ranging (SLR) stations. Upon the completion of these time transfer experiments, nanosecond-level epoch time accuracy will be brought to stations besides NGSLR, and such high precision of the ground time can contribute to the LRO precision orbit determination (POD) process. Presently, by using the high-resolution GRAIL gravity models, the LRO orbits determined from

  11. Utilizing the Lunar Laser Ranging datasets alongside the radioscience data from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter to improve the dynamical model of the Moon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Viswanathan, Vishnu; Fienga, Agnes; Laskar, Jacques; Manche, Herve; Torre, Jean-Marie; Courde, Clément; Exertier, Pierre

    2015-08-01

    In this poster we elaborate the use of raw navigation data (range and Doppler observations) from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) available on the Planetary Data System (PDS), in order to study the orbit of this probe using the orbit determination software (GINS) developed by the French space agency (CNES). The constraints that are derived from this process on combining with the high precision Lunar Laser Ranging (LLR) datasets which are spread over 40 years, facilitates an improved dynamical modeling of the Moon. In addition, the possible advantages that could be exploited by the LLR experiments when operated with lasers in the IR wavelength are analyzed.

  12. Post-Newtonian Reference Frames for Advanced Theory of the Lunar Motion and a New Generation of Lunar Laser Ranging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xie, Yi; Kopeikin, Sergei

    2010-08-01

    We overview a set of post-Newtonian reference frames for a comprehensive study of the orbital dynamics and rotational motion of Moon and Earth by means of lunar laser ranging (LLR). We employ a scalar-tensor theory of gravity depending on two post-Newtonian parameters, and , and utilize the relativistic resolutions on reference frames adopted by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) in 2000. We assume that the solar system is isolated and space-time is asymptotically flat at infinity. The primary reference frame covers the entire space-time, has its origin at the solar-system barycenter (SSB) and spatial axes stretching up to infinity. The SSB frame is not rotating with respect to a set of distant quasars that are forming the International Celestial Reference Frame (ICRF). The secondary reference frame has its origin at the Earth-Moon barycenter (EMB). The EMB frame is locally-inertial and is not rotating dynamically in the sense that equation of motion of a test particle moving with respect to the EMB frame, does not contain the Coriolis and centripetal forces. Two other local frames geocentric (GRF) and selenocentric (SRF) have their origins at the center of mass of Earth and Moon respectively and do not rotate dynamically. Each local frame is subject to the geodetic precession both with respect to other local frames and with respect to the ICRF because of their relative motion with respect to each other. Theoretical advantage of the dynamically non-rotating local frames is in a more simple mathematical description. Each local frame can be aligned with the axes of ICRF after applying the matrix of the relativistic precession. The set of one global and three local frames is introduced in order to fully decouple the relative motion of Moon with respect to Earth from the orbital motion of the Earth-Moon barycenter as well as to connect the coordinate description of the lunar motion, an observer on Earth, and a retro-reflector on Moon to directly measurable

  13. High-precision gravimetric survey in support of lunar laser ranging at Haleakala, Maui, 1976 - 1978

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schenck, B. E.; Laurila, S. H.

    1978-01-01

    The planning, observations and adjustment of high-precision gravity survey networks established on the islands of Maui and Oahu as part of the geodetic-geophysical program in support of lunar laser ranging at Haleakala, Maui, Hawaii are described. The gravity survey networks include 43 independently measured gravity differences along the gravity calibration line from Kahului Airport to the summit of Mt. Haleakala, together with some key points close to tidal gauges on Maui, and 40 gravity differences within metropolitan Honolulu. The results of the 1976-1978 survey are compared with surveys made in 1961 and in 1964-1965. All final gravity values are given in the system of the international gravity standardization net 1971 (IGSN 71); values are obtained by subtracting 14.57 mgal from the Potsdam value at the gravity base station at the Hickam Air Force Base, Honolulu.

  14. Testing for Lorentz Violation: Constraints on Standard-Model-Extension Parameters via Lunar Laser Ranging

    SciTech Connect

    Battat, James B. R.; Chandler, John F.; Stubbs, Christopher W.

    2007-12-14

    We present constraints on violations of Lorentz invariance based on archival lunar laser-ranging (LLR) data. LLR measures the Earth-Moon separation by timing the round-trip travel of light between the two bodies and is currently accurate to the equivalent of a few centimeters (parts in 10{sup 11} of the total distance). By analyzing this LLR data under the standard-model extension (SME) framework, we derived six observational constraints on dimensionless SME parameters that describe potential Lorentz violation. We found no evidence for Lorentz violation at the 10{sup -6} to 10{sup -11} level in these parameters. This work constitutes the first LLR constraints on SME parameters.

  15. MoonLIGHT: A USA-Italy lunar laser ranging retroreflector array for the 21st century

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martini, M.; Dell'Agnello, S.; Currie, D.; Delle Monache, G.; Vittori, R.; Chandler, J. F.; Cantone, C.; Boni, A.; Berardi, S.; Patrizi, G.; Maiello, M.; Garattini, M.; Lops, C.; March, R.; Bellettini, G.; Tauraso, R.; Intaglietta, N.; Tibuzzi, M.; Murphy, T. W.; Bianco, G.; Ciocci, E.

    2012-12-01

    Since the 1970s Lunar Laser Ranging (LLR) to the Apollo Cube Corner Retroreflector (CCR) arrays (developed by the University of Maryland, UMD) have supplied significant tests of General Relativity: possible changes in the gravitational constant, gravitational self-energy, weak equivalence principle, geodetic precession, inverse-square force-law. LLR has also provided significant information on the composition and origin of the Moon. This is the only Apollo experiment still in operation. In the 1970s Apollo LLR arrays contributed a negligible fraction of the ranging error budget. Since the ranging capabilities of ground stations improved by more than two orders of magnitude, now, because of the lunar librations, Apollo CCR arrays dominate the error budget. With the project MoonLIGHT (Moon Laser Instrumentation for General relativity High-accuracy Tests), in 2006 INFN-LNF joined UMD in the development and test of a new-generation LLR payload made by a single, large CCR (100 mm diameter) unaffected by librations. In particular, INFN-LNF built and is operating a new experimental apparatus (Satellite/lunar laser ranging Characterization Facility, SCF) and created a new industry-standard test procedure (SCF-Test) to characterize and model the detailed thermal behavior and the optical performance of CCRs in laboratory-simulated space conditions, for industrial and scientific applications. Our key experimental innovation is the concurrent measurement and modeling of the optical Far Field Diffraction Pattern (FFDP) and the temperature distribution of retroreflector payloads under thermal conditions produced with a solar simulator. The apparatus includes infrared cameras for non-invasive thermometry, thermal control and real-time payload movement to simulate satellite orientation on orbit with respect to solar illumination and laser interrogation beams. These capabilities provide: unique pre-launch performance validation of the space segment of LLR/SLR (Satellite Laser

  16. Demonstration of orbit determination for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter using one-way laser ranging data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bauer, S.; Hussmann, H.; Oberst, J.; Dirkx, D.; Mao, D.; Neumann, G. A.; Mazarico, E.; Torrence, M. H.; McGarry, J. F.; Smith, D. E.; Zuber, M. T.

    2016-09-01

    We used one-way laser ranging data from International Laser Ranging Service (ILRS) ground stations to NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) for a demonstration of orbit determination. In the one-way setup, the state of LRO and the parameters of the spacecraft and all involved ground station clocks must be estimated simultaneously. This setup introduces many correlated parameters that are resolved by using a priori constraints. Moreover the observation data coverage and errors accumulating from the dynamical and the clock modeling limit the maximum arc length. The objective of this paper is to investigate the effect of the arc length, the dynamical and modeling accuracy and the observation data coverage on the accuracy of the results. We analyzed multiple arcs using lengths of 2 and 7 days during a one-week period in Science Mission phase 02 (SM02, November 2010) and compared the trajectories, the post-fit measurement residuals and the estimated clock parameters. We further incorporated simultaneous passes from multiple stations within the observation data to investigate the expected improvement in positioning. The estimated trajectories were compared to the nominal LRO trajectory and the clock parameters (offset, rate and aging) to the results found in the literature. Arcs estimated with one-way ranging data had differences of 5-30 m compared to the nominal LRO trajectory. While the estimated LRO clock rates agreed closely with the a priori constraints, the aging parameters absorbed clock modeling errors with increasing clock arc length. Because of high correlations between the different ground station clocks and due to limited clock modeling accuracy, their differences only agreed at the order of magnitude with the literature. We found that the incorporation of simultaneous passes requires improved modeling in particular to enable the expected improvement in positioning. We found that gaps in the observation data coverage over 12 h (≈6 successive LRO orbits

  17. Time-transfer experiments between satellite laser ranging ground stations via one-way laser ranging to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mao, D.; Sun, X.; Skillman, D. R.; Mcgarry, J.; Hoffman, E.; Neumann, G. A.; Torrence, M. H.; Smith, D. E.; Zuber, M. T.

    2014-12-01

    Satellite laser ranging (SLR) has long been used to measure the distance from a ground station to an Earth-orbiting satellite in order to determine the spacecraft position in orbit, and to conduct other geodetic measurements such as plate motions. This technique can also be used to transfer time between the station and satellite, and between remote SLR sites, as recently demonstrated by the Time Transfer by Laser Link (T2L2) project by the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiaes (CNES) and Observatorire de la Cote d'Azur (OCA) as well as the Laser Time Transfer (LTT) project by the Shanghai Astronomical Observatory, where two-way and one-way measurements were obtained at the same time. Here we report a new technique to transfer time between distant SLR stations via simultaneous one-way laser ranging (LR) to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft at lunar distance. The major objectives are to establish accurate ground station times and to improve LRO orbit determination via these measurements. The results of these simultaneous LR measurements are used to compare the SLR station times or transfer time from one to the other using times-of-flight estimated from conventional radio frequency tracking of LRO. The accuracy of the time transfer depends only on the difference of the times-of-flight from each ground station to the spacecraft, and is expected to be at sub-nano second level. The technique has been validated by both a ground-based experiment and an experiment that utilized LRO. Here we present the results to show that sub-nanosecond precision and accuracy are achievable. Both experiments were carried out between the primary LRO-LR station, The Next Generation Satellite Laser Ranging (NGSLR) station, and its nearby station, Mobile Laser System (MOBLAS-7), both at Greenbelt, Maryland. The laser transmit time from both stations were recorded by the same event timer referenced to a Hydrogen maser. The results have been compared to data from a common All

  18. 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.

  19. Lunar laser ranging data deposited in the National Space Science Data Center normal points, filtered observations, and unfiltered photon detections

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shelus, P. J.

    1979-01-01

    The lunar laser ranging project at McDonald Observatory provides the unique opportunity to acquire successfully precise range data for the earth-moon system. From the experiment's inception, the obligation was recognized to make these data available to the general scientific community in a reasonably useable form and in a realistic time frame. The documentation to be used in conjunction with the 1979 April deposit into the National Space Science Data Center which contains normal points, filtered observations and unfiltered photon stops for the months July through December, 1978 are reported.

  20. Precise Gravity Measurements for Lunar Laser Ranging at Apache Point Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crossley, D. J.; Murphy, T.; Boy, J.; De Linage, C.; Wheeler, R. D.; Krauterbluth, K.

    2012-12-01

    Lunar Laser Ranging (LLR) at Apache Point Observatory began in 2006 under the APOLLO project using a 3.5 m telescope on a 2780 m summit in New Mexico. Recent improvements in the technical operations are producing uncertainties at the few-mm level in the 1.5 x 10^13 cm separation of the solar orbits of the Earth and Moon. This level of sensitivity permits a number of important aspects of gravitational theory to be tested. Among these is the Equivalence Principle that determines the universality of free fall, tests of the time variation of the Gravitational Constant G, deviations from the inverse square law, and preferred frame effects. In 2009 APOLLO installed a superconducting gravimeter (SG) on the concrete pier under the main telescope to further constrain the deformation of the site as part of an initiative to improve all aspects of the modeling process. We have analyzed more than 3 years of high quality SG data that provides unmatched accuracy in determining the local tidal gravimetric factors for the solid Earth and ocean tide loading. With on-site gravity we have direct measurements of signals such as polar motion, and can compute global atmospheric and hydrological loading for the site using GLDAS and local hydrology models that are compared with the SG observations. We also compare the SG residuals with satellite estimates of seasonal ground gravity variations from the GRACE mission. Apache Point is visited regularly by a team from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency to provide absolute gravity values for the calibration of the SG and to determine secular gravity changes. Nearby GPS location P027 provides continuous position information from the Plate Boundary Observatory of Earthscope that is used to correlate gravity/height variations at the site. Unusual aspects of the data processing include corrections for the telescope azimuth that appear as small offsets at the 1 μGal level and can be removed by correlating the azimuth data with the SG

  1. Thermo-optical simulation and experiment for the assessment of single, hollow, and large aperture retroreflector for lunar laser ranging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Araki, Hiroshi; Kashima, Shingo; Noda, Hirotomo; Kunimori, Hiroo; Chiba, Kouta; Mashiko, Hitomi; Kato, Hiromasa; Otsubo, Toshimichi; Matsumoto, Yoshiaki; Tsuruta, Seiitsu; Asari, Kazuyoshi; Hanada, Hideo; Yasuda, Susumu; Utsunomiya, Shin; Takino, Hideo

    2016-06-01

    A single aperture and hollow retroreflector [corner-cube mirror (CCM)] that in principle has no internal optical path difference is a key instrument for achieving lunar laser ranging one order or more accurate than the current level (~2 cm). We are developing CCM whose aperture is 20 cm with optimized dihedral angles. The 20-cm CCM yields two times peak height for returned laser pulse compared with Apollo 15's retroreflector. Two investigations were conducted to confirm the feasibility of the 20-cm aperture CCM. The first is thermo-optical simulation and evaluation of the 20-cm CCM in the lunar thermal environment. Through this simulation, it has turned out for the first time that 20-cm aperture CCM made of single-crystal Si or "ultra-low expansion glass-ceramics" such as CCZ-EX® (OHARA Inc.) can be used for CCM with no thermal control, if the perfectly fixed point of CCM is limited to one. The second is annealing and shear loading experiments of single-crystal silicon (Si) samples. Through these experiments, high-temperature annealing from 100 to 1000 °C is confirmed to be effective for the enhancement of the adhesive strength between optically contacted surfaces with no optical damage in roughness and accuracy, indicating that this annealing process would enhance the rigidity of CCM fabricated by the optically contacted plates.

  2. Lunar and Artificial Satellite Laser Ranging: The Use of Queue Scheduling and Worth Functions to Maximize Scientific Results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shelus, P. J.; Ricklefs, R. L.; Wiant, J. R.; Ries, J. G.

    2003-08-01

    The lunar and artificial satellite laser ranging network, part of the International Laser Ranging Service, monitors a large number of targets. Many scientific disciplines are investigated using these data. These include the realization and maintenance of the International Terrestrial Reference Frame; the 3-dimensional deformation of the solid Earth; Earth orientation; variations in the topography and volume of the liquid Earth, including ocean circulation, mean sea level, ice sheet thickness, and wave heights; tidally generated variations in atmospheric mass distribution; calibration of microwave tracking techniques; picosecond global time transfer; determination of the dynamic equinox, the obliquity of the ecliptic, the precession constant and theories of nutation; gravitational and general relativistic studies, including Einstein's Equivalence Principle, the Robertson-Walker b parameter and time rate of change of the gravitational constant; lunar physics, including the dissipation of rotational energy, shape of the core-mantle boundary (Love Number k2), and free librations and their stimulating mechanisms; Solar System ties to the International Celestial Reference Frame. With shrinking resources, we must not only assess specific data requirements for each target, but also maximize the efficiency of the observing network. Several factors must be considered. First, not only does a result depend critically upon the quality and quantity of the data, it also depends upon the data distribution. Second, as technology improves, the cost of obtaining data can increase. Both require that scientific endeavor pay close attention to the manner in which the data is gathered. We examine the evolution of the laser network, using data analysis requirements and efficient network scheduling to maximize the scientific return. This requires an understanding of the observing equipment, as well as the scientific principles being studied. Queue scheduling and worth functions become

  3. The lunar laser communication demonstration time-of-flight measurement system: overview, on-orbit performance, and ranging analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stevens, M. L.; Parenti, R. R.; Willis, M. M.; Greco, J. A.; Khatri, F. I.; Robinson, B. S.; Boroson, D. M.

    2016-03-01

    The Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration (LLCD) flown on the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) satellite achieved record uplink and downlink communication data rates between a satellite orbiting the Moon and an Earth-based ground terminal. In addition, the high-speed signals of the communication system were used to accurately measure the round-trip time-of-flight (TOF) of signals sent to the Moon and back to the Earth. The measured TOF data, sampled at a 20-kS/s rate, and converted to distance, was processed to show a Gaussian white noise floor typically less than 1 cm RMS. This resulted in a precision for relative distance measurements more than two orders-of-magnitude finer than the RF-based navigation and ranging systems used during the LADEE mission. This paper presents an overview of the LLCD TOF system, a summary of the on-orbit measurements, and an analysis of the accuracy of the measured data for the mission.

  4. Prospects in the orbital and rotational dynamics of the Moon with the advent of sub-centimeter lunar laser ranging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kopeikin, S. M.; Pavlis, E.; Pavlis, D.; Brumberg, V. A.; Escapa, A.; Getino, J.; Gusev, A.; Müller, J.; Ni, W.-T.; Petrova, N.

    2008-10-01

    Lunar laser ranging (LLR) measurements are crucial for advanced exploration of the laws of fundamental gravitational physics and geophysics as well as for future human and robotic missions to the Moon. The corner-cube reflectors (CCR) currently on the Moon require no power and still work perfectly since their installation during the project Apollo era. Current LLR technology allows us to measure distances to the Moon with a precision approaching 1 mm. As NASA pursues the vision of taking humans back to the Moon, new, more precise laser ranging applications will be demanded, including continuous tracking from more sites on Earth, placing new CCR arrays on the Moon, and possibly installing other devices such as transponders, etc. for multiple scientific and technical purposes. Since this effort involves humans in space, then in all situations the accuracy, fidelity, and robustness of the measurements, their adequate interpretation, and any products based on them, are of utmost importance. Successful achievement of this goal strongly demands further significant improvement of the theoretical model of the orbital and rotational dynamics of the Earth-Moon system. This model should inevitably be based on the theory of general relativity, fully incorporate the relevant geophysical processes, lunar librations, tides, and should rely upon the most recent standards and recommendations of the IAU for data analysis. This paper discusses methods and problems in developing such a mathematical model. The model will take into account all the classical and relativistic effects in the orbital and rotational motion of the Moon and Earth at the sub-centimeter level. The model is supposed to be implemented as a part of the computer code underlying NASA Goddard's orbital analysis and geophysical parameter estimation package GEODYN and the ephemeris package PMOE 2003 of the Purple Mountain Observatory. The new model will allow us to navigate a spacecraft precisely to a location on the

  5. Lunar laser ranging data deposited in the National Space Science Data Center: Filtered Observations for July through December 1972 and unfiltered photon dections for January through July 1973

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mulholland, J. D.; Shelus, P. J.

    1974-01-01

    The data acquired by the lunar laser ranging experiment are described for the six months period ending 31 December, 1972. The data are contained on two files of a binary tape written in card image format, using a CDC 6400/6600 computer. Photon detections, and unfiltered photon stops are included.

  6. Determination of the extragalactic-planetary frame tie from joint analysis of radio interferometric and lunar laser ranging measurements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Folkner, W. M.; Charlot, P.; Finger, M. H.; Williams, J. G.; Sovers, O. J.; Newhall, XX; Standish, E. M., Jr.

    1994-01-01

    Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) observations of extragalactic radio sources provide the basis for defining an accurate non-rotating reference frame in terms of angular positions of the sources. Measurements of the distance from the Earth to the Moon and to the inner planets provide the basis for defining an inertial planetary ephemeris reference frame. The relative orientation, or frame tie, between these two reference frames is of interest for combining Earth orientation measurements, for comparing Earth orientation results with theories referred to the mean equator and equinox, and for determining the positions of the planets with respect to the extragalactic reference frame. This work presents an indirect determination of the extragalactic-planetary frame tie from a combined reduction of VLBI and Lunar Laser Ranging (LLR) observations. For this determination, data acquired by LLR tracking stations since 1969 have been analyzed and combined with 14 years of VLBI data acquired by NASA's Deep Space Network since 1978. The frame tie derived from this joint analysis, with an accuracy of 0.003 sec, is the most accurate determination obtained so far. This result, combined with a determination of the mean ecliptic (defined in the rotating sense), shows that the mean equinox of epoch J2000 is offset from the x-axis of the extragalactic frame adopted by the International Earth Rotation Service for astrometric and geodetic applications by 0.078 sec +/- 0.010 sec along the y-direction and y 0.019 sec +/- 0.001 sec. along the z-direction.

  7. MoonLIGHT, a Lunar Laser Ranging Retroreflector Array for the 21st Century, and the ASI-INFN Etrusco-2 project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delle Monache, Giovanni O.; Dell'Agnello, S.; Currie, D.; Martini, M.; Vittori, R.; Cantone, C.; Boni, A.; Berardi, S.; Patrizi, G.; Maiello, M.; Tibuzzi, M.; Garattini, M.; Lops, C.; Ciocci, E.; Graziosi, C.; Bianco, G.; Intaglietta, N.

    2012-05-01

    Since the 1970s Lunar Laser Ranging (LLR) to the Apollo Cube Corner Retroreflector (CCR) arrays supplied almost all significant tests of General Relativity and significant information on the composition and origin of the moon. In the 1970s Apollo LLR arrays contributed a negligible fraction of the ranging error budget. Since the ranging capabilities of ground stations improved by more than two orders of magnitude, now, because of the lunar librations, Apollo CCR arrays dominate the error budget. With the project MoonLIGHT in 2006 INFN-LNF joined UMD in the development and test of a new-generation LLR payload made by a single CCR unaffected by librations. In particular, INFN-LNF built and is operating a new experimental apparatus (SCF) and created a new industry-standard test procedure (SCF-Test) to characterize the thermal behavior and the optical performance of CCRs in simulated space conditions. Our key experimental innovation is the concurrent measurement and modeling of the optical FFDP and the temperature distribution of retroreflector payloads under thermal conditions produced with a close-match solar simulator. These capabilities provide: unique pre-launch performance validation of the space segment of LLR/SLR. Results of the SCF-Test of our CCR payload will be presented. Negotiations are underway to propose our payload and SCF-Test services for precision gravity and lunar science measurements with next robotic lunar landing missions. We will describe the addition of the CCR optical Wavefront Fizeau Interferogram (WFI) concurrently to FFDP/temperature measurements in the framework of an ASI-INFN project, ETRUSCO-2. The main goals of the latter are: development of a standard GNSS laser Retroreflector Array; a second SCF; SCF-Test of Galileo, GPS and other ‘as-built’ GNSS retroreflector payloads. Results on analysis of Apollo LLR data and search of new gravitational physics with LLR, Mercury Radar Ranging, SLR of LAGEOS (Laser GEOdynamics Satellite) will

  8. High-precision laser distance measurement in support of lunar laser ranging at Haleakala, Maui, 1976-1977

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Berg, E.; Carter, J. A.; Harris, D.; Laurila, S. H.; Schenck, B. E.; Sutton, G. H.; Wolfe, J. E.; Cushman, S. E.

    1978-01-01

    The Hawaii Institute of Geophysics has implemented a comprehensive geodetic-geophysical support program to monitor local and regional crustal deformation on the island of Maui. Presented are the actual laser-measured line lengths and new coordinate computations of the line terminals, and the internal consistency of the measured line lengths is discussed. Several spacial chord lengths have been reduced to a Mercator plane, and conditioned adjustments on that plane have been made.

  9. Lunar laser ranging data deposited in the National Space Science Data Center: Filtered observations for 1971 July through 1971 December and unfiltered photon detections for 1972 January through 1972 June

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mulholland, J. D.; Shelus, P. J.

    1973-01-01

    Documentation to be used in conjunction with data deposited in the National Space Science Data Center is presented which concerns the filtered observations obtained during laser ranging operations between the McDonald Observatory and the Apollo 11, 14, and 15 reflectors, and the unfiltered photon detections. As part of the Lunar Laser Ranging Experiment, three widely separated reflector arrays were placed on the moon. Laser ranging equipment, both ground based on lunar based, is described, and coordinates of the intersection of the polar and transverse axes of the telescope are given. Filtered and unfiltered data are defined and discussed.

  10. Lunar orbiter ranging data: initial results.

    PubMed

    Mulholland, J D; Sjogren, W L

    1967-01-01

    Data from two Lunar Orbiter spacecraft have been used to test the significance of corrections to the lunar ephemeris. Range residuals of up to 1700 meters were reduced by an order of magnitude by application of the corrections, with most of the residuals reduced to less than 100 meters. Removal of gross errors in the ephemeris reveals residual patterns that may indicate errors in location of observing stations, as well as the expected effects of Lunar nonsphericity. PMID:17799149

  11. Analysis of lunar laser ranging data for Earth dynamics applications. [determining the axial rotation of the Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Counselman, C. C., III

    1980-01-01

    The effects of elasticity and of tidal friction within the Moon were incorporated into the numerical model of the Moon's rotation which was used in an effort to determine the axial rotation of the Earth, as measured by Universal Time. Some 2,651 normal points representing ranges measured to Lunokhod 2, and to the Apollo 11, 14, and 15 retroflectors were analyzed. Smoothed estimates derived from the lunar rangefinding were compared with smoothed values published by the International Bureau of Time, in the 1968 and 1969 systems. The derived values at the observation sight were connected to corresponding values at the Conventional International Origin, using the BIH data for polar motion. Differences are discussed.

  12. Free Space Laser Communication Experiments from Earth to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter in Lunar Orbit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sun, Xiaoli; Skillman, David R.; Hoffman, Evan D.; Mao, Dandan; McGarry, Jan F.; Zellar, Ronald S.; Fong, Wai H; Krainak, Michael A.; Neumann, Gregory A.; Smith, David E.

    2013-01-01

    Laser communication and ranging experiments were successfully conducted from the satellite laser ranging (SLR) station at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) in lunar orbit. The experiments used 4096-ary pulse position modulation (PPM) for the laser pulses during one-way LRO Laser Ranging (LR) operations. Reed-Solomon forward error correction codes were used to correct the PPM symbol errors due to atmosphere turbulence and pointing jitter. The signal fading was measured and the results were compared to the model.

  13. Free space laser communication experiments from Earth to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter in lunar orbit.

    PubMed

    Sun, Xiaoli; Skillman, David R; Hoffman, Evan D; Mao, Dandan; McGarry, Jan F; McIntire, Leva; Zellar, Ronald S; Davidson, Frederic M; Fong, Wai H; Krainak, Michael A; Neumann, Gregory A; Zuber, Maria T; Smith, David E

    2013-01-28

    Laser communication and ranging experiments were successfully conducted from the satellite laser ranging (SLR) station at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) in lunar orbit. The experiments used 4096-ary pulse position modulation (PPM) for the laser pulses during one-way LRO Laser Ranging (LR) operations. Reed-Solomon forward error correction codes were used to correct the PPM symbol errors due to atmosphere turbulence and pointing jitter. The signal fading was measured and the results were compared to the model. PMID:23389171

  14. 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

  15. Alternative wavelengths for laser ranging

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hamal, Karel

    1993-01-01

    The following are considered to be necessary to accomplish multicolor laser ranging: the nature of the atmospheric dispersion and absorption, the satellite/lunar/ground retro-array characteristics, and ground/satellite ranging machine performance. The energy balance and jitter budget have to be considered as well. It is concluded that the existing satellite/laser retroreflectors seem inadequate for future experiments. The Raman Stokes/Anti-Stokes (0.68/0.43 micron) plus solid state detector appear to be promising instrumentation that satisfy the ground/satellite and satellite/ground ranging machine requirements on the precision, compactness, and data processing.

  16. 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.

  17. Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration operations architecture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khatri, Farzana I.; Robinson, Bryan S.; Semprucci, Marilyn D.; Boroson, Don M.

    2015-06-01

    Radio waves have been the standard method for deep-space communications since the earliest days of space exploration. However, the recent success of the Lunar Laser Communications Demonstration (LLCD) program will clearly revolutionize the way data is sent and received from deep space. LLCD demonstrated record-breaking optical up/downlinks between Earth and the Lunar Lasercom Space Terminal (LLST) payload on NASA's Lunar Atmosphere Environment Explorer (LADEE) satellite orbiting the Moon. A space-to-ground optical downlink as fast as 622 Mbps was demonstrated as well as a ground-to-space uplink as fast as 20 Mbps. The LLCD operations architecture was designed to support a wide range of operations conditions, multiple ground terminals with varying designs and capabilities, short contact times including energy and thermal constraints, and limited viewing opportunities. This paper will explore the operations architecture used for the LLCD as well as present ideas on how best to make future laser communications operations routine and suitable for wide-scale deployment.

  18. 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.

  19. Eighth International Workshop on Laser Ranging Instrumentation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Degnan, John J. (Compiler)

    1993-01-01

    The Eighth International Workshop for Laser Ranging Instrumentation was held in Annapolis, Maryland in May 1992, and was sponsored by the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The workshop is held once every 2 to 3 years under differing institutional sponsorship and provides a forum for participants to exchange information on the latest developments in satellite and lunar laser ranging hardware, software, science applications, and data analysis techniques. The satellite laser ranging (SLR) technique provides sub-centimeter precision range measurements to artificial satellites and the Moon. The data has application to a wide range of Earth and lunar science issues including precise orbit determination, terrestrial reference frames, geodesy, geodynamics, oceanography, time transfer, lunar dynamics, gravity and relativity.

  20. The Lunar Laser OCTL Terminal (LLOT)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Biswas, Abhijit; Kovalik, Joseph M.

    2013-01-01

    The NASA owned Optical Communication Telescope Laboratory (OCTL) telescope located at Table Mountain, CA is being readied as a backup ground station for the upcoming Lunar Laser Communications Demonstration (LLCD). The backup ground terminal is called the Lunar Laser OCTL Terminal (LLOT). The 1-m diameter telescope will be configured as a mono-static transceiver for transmitting a laser beacon and receiving downlink at a data-rate of 39 Mb/s. Interfaces to an operations center with near-real time exchange of monitored data at OCTL will also be developed. A system level overview of this backup ground station for LLCD will be presented.

  1. Poisson filtering of laser ranging data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ricklefs, Randall L.; Shelus, Peter J.

    1993-01-01

    The filtering of data in a high noise, low signal strength environment is a situation encountered routinely in lunar laser ranging (LLR) and, to a lesser extent, in artificial satellite laser ranging (SLR). The use of Poisson statistics as one of the tools for filtering LLR data is described first in a historical context. The more recent application of this statistical technique to noisy SLR data is also described.

  2. Lunar Radio_phase Ranging in Chinese Lunar Lander Mission for Astrometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ping, Jinsong; Meng, Qiao; Li, Wenxiao; Wang, Mingyuan; Wang, Zhen; Zhang, Tianyi; Han, Songtao

    2015-08-01

    The radio tracking data in lunar and planetary missions can be directly applied for scientific investigation. The variations of phase and of amplitude of the radio carrier wave signal linked between the spacecraft and the ground tracking antenna are used to deduce the planetary atmospheric and ionospheric structure, planetary gravity field, mass, ring, ephemeris, and even to test the general relativity. In the Chinese lunar missions, we developed the lunar and planetary radio science receiver to measure the distance variation between the tracking station-lander by means of open loop radio phase tracking. Using this method in Chang’E-3 landing mission, a lunar radio_phase ranging (LRR) technique was realized at Chinese deep space tracking stations and astronomical VLBI stations with H-maser clocks installed. Radio transponder and transmitter had been installed on the Chang’E-3/4. Transponder will receive the uplink S/X band radio wave transmitted from the two newly constructed Chinese deep space stations, where the high quality hydrogen maser atomic clocks have been used as local time and frequency standard. The clocks between VLBI stations and deep space stations can be synchronized to UTC standard within 20 nanoseconds using satellite common view methods. In the near future there will be a plan to improve this accuracy to 5 nanoseconds or better, as the level of other deep space network around world. In the preliminary LRR experiments of Chang'E-3, the obtained 1sps phase ranging observables have a resolution of 0.2 millimeter or better, with a fitting RMS about 2~3 millimeter, after the atmospheric and ionospheric errors removed. This method can be a new astrometric technique to measure the Earth tide and rotation, lunar orbit, tides and liberation, by means of solo observation or of working together with Lunar Laser Ranging. After differencing the ranging, we even obtained 1sps doppler series of 2-way observables with resolution of 0.07mm/second, which can

  3. 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

  4. Petrography and Geochemistry of Lunar Meteorite Miller Range 13317

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zeigler, R. A.; Korotev, R. L.

    2016-01-01

    Miller Range (MIL) 13317 is a 32-g lunar meteorite collected during the 2013-2014 ANSMET (Antarctic Search for Meteorites) field season. It was initially described as having 25% black fusion crust covering a light- to dark-grey matrix, with numerous clasts ranging in size up to 1 cm; it was tenta-tively classified as a lunar anorthositic breccia. Here we present the petrography and geochemistry of MIL 13317, and examine possible pairing relationships with previously described lunar meteorites.

  5. Lunar laser ranging data deposited in the National Space Science Data Center: Filtered observations for January - June 1971 and unfiltered photon detections for July - December 1971

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mulholland, J. D.; Shelus, P. J.

    1973-01-01

    The filtered data are discussed which were obtained during laser ranging operations with Apollo reflectors placed on the moon at Tranquility Base, Fra Mauro, and Hadley. Unfiltered photon detections are described.

  6. 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

  7. The Lunar Laser OCTL Terminal (LLOT) Optical Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roberts, W. Thomas; Wright, Malcolm W.

    2013-01-01

    The Lunar Laser OCTL Terminal is an auxiliary ground station terminal for the Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration (LLCD). The LLOT optical systems exercise modulation and beam divergence control over six 10-watt fiber-based laser transmitters at 1568 nanometers, which act as beacons for pointing of the space-based terminal. The LLOT design transmits these beams from distinct sub-apertures of the F/76 OCTL telescope at divergences ranging from 110 microrad to 40 microrad. LLOT also uses the same telescope aperture to receive the downlink signal at 1550 nanometers from the spacecraft terminal. Characteristics and control of the beacon lasers, methods of establishing and maintaining beam alignment, beam zoom system design, co-registration of the transmitted beams and the receive field of view, transmit/receive isolation, and downlink signal manipulation and control are discussed.

  8. 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.

  9. Power transmission by laser beam from lunar-synchronous satellites to a lunar rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, M. D.; Deyoung, R. J.; Schuster, G. L.; Choi, S. H.; Dagle, J. E.; Coomes, E. P.; Antoniak, Z. I.; Bamberger, J. A.; Bates, J. M.; Chiu, M. A.

    1992-01-01

    This study addresses the possibility of beaming laser power from synchronous lunar orbits (L1 and L2 LaGrange points) to a manned long-range lunar rover. The rover and two versions of a satellite system (one powered by a nuclear reactor; the other by photovoltaics) are described in terms of their masses, geometry, power needs, mission and technological capabilities. Laser beam power is generated by a laser diode array in the satellite and converted to 30 kW of electrical power at the rover. Present technological capabilities, with some extrapolation to near future capabilities, are used in the descriptions. The advantages of the two satellite/rover systems over other such systems and over rovers with on-board power are discussed along with the possibility of enabling other missions.

  10. Lunar laser ranging data deposited in the National Space Science Data Center: Filtered observations for January - June 1972 and unfiltered photon detections for July - December 1972

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mulholland, J. D.; Shelus, P. J.

    1974-01-01

    The documentation to be used in conjunction with the filtered data deposited in the National Space Science Data Center is presented. The data was obtained during laser ranging operations between the McDonald Observatory and Apollo 11, 14, and 15 reflectors for the six months ending June 30, 1972. Unfiltered photon detections for the succeeding six months are also included in the system. Nominal coordinates for the laser ranging equipment are given and the calibration code for filtered data is shown. Data format using the CDC 6600 computer is described.

  11. Laser ranging data analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1988-01-01

    Near real-time Lageos laser ranging data are analyzed in terms of range bias, time bias, and internal precision, and estimates for earth orientation parameters X(sub p), Y(sub p), and UT1 are obtained. The results of these analyses are reported in a variety of formats. Copies of monthly summaries from November, 1986 through November, 1987 are included.

  12. Enabling lunar and space missions by laser power transmission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Deyoung, R. J.; Nealy, J. E.; Humes, D. H.; Meador, W. E.

    1992-01-01

    Applications are proposed for laser power transmission on the Moon. A solar-pumped laser in lunar orbit would beam power to the lunar surface for conversion into either electricity or propulsion needs. For example, lunar rovers could be much more flexible and lighter than rovers using other primary power sources. Also, laser power could be absorbed by lunar soil to create a hard glassy surface for dust-free roadways and launch pads. Laser power could also be used to power small lunar rockets or orbital transfer vehicles, and finally, photovoltaic laser converters could power remote excavation vehicles and human habitats. Laser power transmission is shown to be a highly flexible, enabling primary power source for lunar missions.

  13. Testing gravitational physics with satellite laser ranging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ciufolini, Ignazio; Paolozzi, Antonio; Pavlis, Erricos C.; Ries, John; Koenig, Rolf; Matzner, Richard; Sindoni, Giampiero; Neumeyer, Hans

    2011-08-01

    Laser ranging, both Lunar (LLR) and Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR), is one of the most accurate techniques to test gravitational physics and Einstein's theory of General Relativity. Lunar Laser Ranging has provided very accurate tests of both the strong equivalence principle, at the foundations of General Relativity, and of the weak equivalence principle, at the basis of any metric theory of gravity; it has provided strong limits to the values of the so-called PPN (Parametrized Post-Newtonian) parameters, that are used to test the post-Newtonian limit of General Relativity, strong limits to conceivable deviations to the inverse square law for very weak gravity and accurate measurements of the geodetic precession, an effect predicted by General Relativity. Satellite laser ranging has provided strong limits to deviations to the inverse square gravity law, at a different range with respect to LLR, and in particular has given the first direct test of the gravitomagnetic field by measuring the gravitomagnetic shift of the node of a satellite, a frame-dragging effect also called Lense-Thirring effect. Here, after an introduction to gravitomagnetism and frame-dragging, we describe the latest results in measuring the Lense-Thirring effect using the LAGEOS satellites and the latest gravity field models obtained by the space mission GRACE. Finally, we describe an update of the LARES (LAser RElativity Satellite) mission. LARES is planned for launch in 2011 to further improve the accuracy in the measurement of frame-dragging.

  14. Power transmission by laser beam from lunar-synchronous satellite

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, M. D.; Deyoung, R. J.; Schuster, G. L.; Choi, S. H.; Dagle, J. E.; Coomes, E. P.; Antoniak, Z. I.; Bamberger, J. A.; Bates, J. M.; Chiu, M. A.

    1993-01-01

    The possibility of beaming power from synchronous lunar orbits (the L1 and L2 Lagrange points) to a manned long-range lunar rover is addressed. The rover and two versions of a satellite system (one powered by a nuclear reactor, the other by photovoltaics) are described in terms of their masses, geometries, power needs, missions, and technological capabilities. Laser beam power is generated by a laser diode array in the satellite and converted to 30 kW of electrical power at the rover. Present technological capabilities, with some extrapolation to near future capabilities, are used in the descriptions. The advantages of the two satellite/rover systems over other such systems and over rovers with onboard power are discussed along with the possibility of enabling other missions.

  15. Comparative analysis of planetary laser ranging concepts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dirkx, D.; Bauer, S.; Noomen, R.; Vermeersen, B. L. A.; Visser, P. N.

    2014-12-01

    Laser ranging is an emerging technology for tracking interplanetary missions, offering improved range accuracy and precision (mm-cm), compared to existing DSN tracking. The ground segment uses existing Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) technology, whereas the space segment is modified with an active system. In a one-way system, such as that currently being used on the LRO spacecraft (Zuber et al., 2010), only an active detector is required on the spacecraft. For a two-way system, such as that tested by using the laser altimeter system on the MESSENGER spacecraft en route to Mercury (Smith et al., 2006), a laser transmitter system is additionally placed on the space segment, which will asynchronously fire laser pulses towards the ground stations. Although the one-way system requires less hardware, clock errors on both the space and ground segments will accumulate over time, polluting the range measurements. For a two-way system, the range measurements are only sensitive to clock errors integrated over the the two-way light time.We investigate the performance of both one- and two-way laser range systems by simulating their operation. We generate realizations of clock error time histories from Allan variance profiles, and use them to create range measurement error profiles. We subsequently perform the orbit determination process from this data to quanitfy the system's performance. For our simulations, we use two test cases: a lunar orbiter similar to LRO and a Phobos lander similar to the Phobos Laser Ranging concept (Turyshev et al., 2010). For the lunar orbiter, we include an empirical model for unmodelled non-gravitational accelerations in our truth model to include errors ihe dynamics. We include the estimation of clock parameters over a number of arc lengths for our simulations of the one-way range system and use a variety of state arc durations for the lunar orbiter simulations.We perform Monte Carlo simulations and generate true error distributions for both

  16. Satellite Laser Ranging operations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pearlman, Michael R.

    1994-01-01

    Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) is currently providing precision orbit determination for measurements of: 1) Ocean surface topography from satellite borne radar altimetry, 2) Spatial and temporal variations of the gravity field, 3) Earth and ocean tides, 4) Plate tectonic and regional deformation, 5) Post-glacial uplift and subsidence, 6) Variations in the Earth's center-of-mass, and 7) Variations in Earth rotation. SLR also supports specialized programs in time transfer and classical geodetic positioning, and will soon provide precision ranging to support experiments in relativity.

  17. First 3-Way Lunar Radio Phase Ranging and Doppler Experiment in Chang'E-3 Lander Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    PING, J.; Meng, Q.; Tang, G.; Jian, N.; Wang, Z.; Li, W.; Chen, C.; Wang, M.; Wang, M.; Lu, Y.; Yu, Q.; Mao, Y.; Miao, C.; Lei, Y.; Shu, F.; Cao, J.

    2014-04-01

    Radio science experiments have been involved in all of the Chinese lunar missions with different research objectives. In Chang'E-3 landing mission, a 3-way open loop lunar radio phase ranging and Doppler technique was suggested and tested. This technique is modified and updated from early multi-channel oneway Doppler deep space tracking technique developed for Chinese Mars mission Yinghuo-1. In the 1st preliminary experiments, we obtained 1sps continuous phase ranging data before and after the successful landing period, with a resolution of 0.5 millimeter or better. This method, called Lunar Radio Phase Ranging (LRPR) can be a new space geodetic technique to measure the station position, earth tide and rotation, lunar orbit, tide and liberation, by means of independent observation, or to work together with Lunar Laser Ranging. Also, it can be used in future Mars mission.

  18. Lunar Meteorite Queen Alexandra Range 93069 and the Iron Concentration of the Lunar Highlands Surface

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Korotev, Randy L.; Jolliff, Bradley L.; Rockow, Kaylynn M.

    1996-01-01

    Lunar meteorite Queen Alexandra Range 93069 is a clast-rich, glassy-matrix regolith breccia of ferroan, highly aluminous bulk composition. It is similar in composition to other feldspathic lunar meteorites but differs in having higher concentrations of siderophile elements and incompatible trace elements. Based on electron microprobe analyses of the fusion crust, glassy matrix, and clasts, and instrumental neutron activation analysis of breccia fragments, QUE 93069 is dominated by nonmare components of ferroan, noritic- anorthosite bulk composition. Thin section QUE 93069,31 also contains a large, impact-melted, partially devitrified clast of magnesian, anorthositic-norite composition. The enrichment in Fe, Sc, and Cr and lower Mg/Fe ratio of lunar meteorites Yamato 791197 and Yamato 82192/3 compared to other feldspathic lunar meteorites can be attributed to a small proportion (5-10%) of low-Ti mare basalt. It is likely that the non- mare components of Yamato 82192/3 are similar to and occur in similar abundance to those of Yamato 86032, with which it is paired. There is a significant difference between the average FeO concentration of the lunar highlands surface as inferred from the feldspathic lunar meteorites (mean: approx. 5.0%; range: 4.3-6.1 %) and a recent estimate based on data from the Clementine mission (3.6%).

  19. 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.

  20. Range imaging laser radar

    DOEpatents

    Scott, Marion W.

    1990-01-01

    A laser source is operated continuously and modulated periodically (typicy sinusoidally). A receiver imposes another periodic modulation on the received optical signal, the modulated signal being detected by an array of detectors of the integrating type. Range to the target determined by measuring the phase shift of the intensity modulation on the received optical beam relative to a reference. The receiver comprises a photoemitter for converting the reflected, periodically modulated, return beam to an accordingly modulated electron stream. The electron stream is modulated by a local demodulation signal source and subsequently converted back to a photon stream by a detector. A charge coupled device (CCD) array then averages and samples the photon stream to provide an electrical signal in accordance with the photon stream.

  1. Range imaging laser radar

    DOEpatents

    Scott, M.W.

    1990-06-19

    A laser source is operated continuously and modulated periodically (typically sinusoidally). A receiver imposes another periodic modulation on the received optical signal, the modulated signal being detected by an array of detectors of the integrating type. Range to the target determined by measuring the phase shift of the intensity modulation on the received optical beam relative to a reference. The receiver comprises a photoemitter for converting the reflected, periodically modulated, return beam to an accordingly modulated electron stream. The electron stream is modulated by a local demodulation signal source and subsequently converted back to a photon stream by a detector. A charge coupled device (CCD) array then averages and samples the photon stream to provide an electrical signal in accordance with the photon stream. 2 figs.

  2. Performance of NASA laser ranging systems during MERIT

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Coates, Robert J.

    1986-01-01

    The performances of the NASA satellite laser ranging (SLR) systems operating during the 1983-1984 MERIT campaign (SAO 1-2, Moblas 1-8, Hollas, MLRS, TLRS 1-2, and NLRS) are compared. Data for the single shot rms precisions and ranges per pass are given for these systems after most of them were upgraded with Quantel lasers. The Moblas 4-8 and the Hollas systems operated with high signal strength returns; single shot rms precisions of 3.5 to 4 cm and average ranges per pass of 2404 to 2606 points were achieved as compared with the values of 7.5 and 756, respectively, for the TLRS-2 system. In addition to the SLR systems, the NASA lunar laser ranging systems (McDonald 2.7M, MLRS, and NLRS) and their capabilities are discussed together with the history of the lunar laser ranging data quality.

  3. Pairing Relationships Among Feldspathic Lunar Meteorites from Miller Range, Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zeigler, Ryan A.; Korotev, R. L.; Jolliff, B. L.

    2012-01-01

    The Miller Range ice fields have been amongst the most prolific for lunar meteorites that ANSMET has searched [1-3]. Six different stones have been recovered during the 2005, 2007, and 2009 field seasons: MIL 05035 (142 g), MIL 07006 (1.4 g), MIL 090034 (196 g), MIL 090036 (245 g), MIL 090070 (137 g), and MIL 090075 (144 g). Of these, the five stones collected during the 2007 and 2009 seasons are feldspathic breccias. Previous work on the Miller Range feldspathic lunar meteorites (FLMs) has suggested that they are not all paired with each other [4-5]. Here we examine the pairing relationships among the Miller Range FLMs using petrography in concert with traceand major-element compositions.

  4. 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.

  5. Effects of rocket engines on laser during lunar landing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wan, Xiong; Shu, Rong; Huang, Genghua

    2013-11-01

    In the Chinese moon exploration project “ChangE-3”, the laser telemeter and lidar are important equipments on the lunar landing vehicle. A low-thrust vernier rocket engine works during the soft landing, whose plume may influence on the laser equipments. An experiment has first been accomplished to evaluate the influence of the plume on the propagation characteristics of infrared laser under the vacuum condition. Combination with our theoretical analysis has given an appropriate assessment of the plume's effects on the infrared laser hence providing a valuable basis for the design of lunar landing systems.

  6. Dust Degradation of Apollo Lunar Laser Retroreflectors and the Implications for the Next Generation Lunar Laser Retroreflectors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Currie, D. G.; Delle Monache, G.; Dell'Agnello, S.; Murphy, T.

    2013-12-01

    The Apollo Lunar Laser Retroreflectors deployed during Apollo 11, 14 and 15 are still operating after 44 years and producing unique new science addressing some of the best tests of General Relativity (e. g., the Strong Equivalence Principle, the inertial properties of gravitational fields and constraints on the temporal and spatial variation of the gravitational constant -G) and lunar physics (e. g., the discover and parameters of the inner liquid core, the free librations, and various crustal properties). However, the magnitude of the return signal has decreased by a factor ten to one hundred since the arrays were deployed. While this degradation in the signal level has not decreased the ranging accuracy from which the science is derived, the source and behavior of the cause must be addressed within the current program to develop the next generation Lunar laser retroreflector, that is, the 'Lunar Laser Ranging Retroreflector Array for the 21st Century' or LLRRA-21. During lunar night, the return signal strength is about 10% of the expected signal strength, based upon an analysis of the ground station and retroreflector arrays. Around full moon, the signal level drops to about 1% of the expected return. While a deposit of lunar dust on the front faces of the Cube Corner Reflectors (CCRs) is the most likely candidate, other causes have been postulated: darkening due to UV and/or particle exposure, micrometeorite bombardment or change in the properties of the thermal coating due to dust, UV and or particle exposure. The dust may be due to secondary eject from micrometeorite impacts in the near vicinity, electrically levitated dust and/or dust from the LEM liftoff. Again, understanding the causes of this degradation is critical in the design of the LLRRA-21, impacting the design of the current sun/dust shade, choice of thermal control surfaces etc. Crucial observational data has been obtained by a recent set of observation during a lunar eclipse by the APOLLO ranging

  7. Earth rotation and polar motion from laser ranging to the moon and artificial satellites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Aardoom, L.

    1978-01-01

    Earth-based laser ranging to artificial satellites and to the moon is considered as a technique for monitoring the Earth's polar motion and diurnal rotation. The kinematics of Earth rotation as related to laser ranging is outlined. The current status of laser ranging as regards its measuring capabilities is reviewed. The relative merits of artificial satellite and lunar laser ranging are pointed out. It appears that multistation combined artificial satellite and lunar laser ranging is likely to ultimately meet a 0.002 arcseconds in pole position and 0.1 msec in UT1 daily precision requirement.

  8. Current Trends in Satellite Laser Ranging

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pearlman, M. R.; Appleby, G. M.; Kirchner, G.; McGarry, J.; Murphy, T.; Noll, C. E.; Pavlis, E. C.; Pierron, F.

    2010-01-01

    detectors are implemented. Automation and pass interleaving at some stations is already expanding temporal coverage. Web-based safety keys are allowing the SLR network stations to range to optically vulnerable satellites. Some stations are experimenting with two-wavelength operation as a means of better understanding the atmospheric refraction and with very low power laser to improve eye-safety conditions. New retroreflector designs are improving the signal link and enable daylight ranging. Dramatic improvements have also been made with lunar ranging with the new APOLLO Site in New ?Mexico, USA and the upgraded lunar station "MEO" in Grasse,

  9. 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.

  10. Applications of laser ranging and VLBI observations for selenodetic control

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fajemirokun, F. A.

    1971-01-01

    The observation equations necessary to utilize lunar laser ranging and very long baseline interferometry measurements were developed for the establishment of a primary control network on the moon. The network consists of coordinates of moon points in the selenodetic Cartesian coordinate system, which is fixed to the lunar body, oriented along the three principal axes of inertia of the moon, and centered at the lunar center of mass. The observation equations derived are based on a general model in which the unknown parameters included: the selenodetic Cartesian coordinates, the geocentric coordinates of earth stations, parameters of the orientation of the selenodetic coordinate system with respect to a fixed celestial system, the parameters of the orientation of the average terrestrial coordinate system with respect to a fixed celestial coordinate system, and the geocentric coordinates of the center of mass of the moon, given by a lunar ephemeris.

  11. International Laser Ranging Service (ILRS) 2003-2004 Annual Report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pearlman, Michael (Editor); Noll, Carey (Editor)

    2005-01-01

    The International Laser Ranging Service (ILRS) organizes and coordinates Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) and Lunar Laser Ranging (LLR) to support programs in geodetic, geophysical, and lunar research activities and provides the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS) with products important to the maintenance of an accurate International Terrestrial Reference Frame (ITRF). This reference frame provides the stability through which systematic measurements of the Earth can be made over thousands of kilometers, decades of time, and evolution of measurement technology. This 2003-2004 ILRS annual report is comprised of individual contributions from ILRS components within the international geodetic community for the years 2003-2004. The report documents changes and progress of the ILRS and is also available on the ILRS Web site at http://ilrs.gsfc.nasa.gov/reports/ilrs_reports/ilrsar_2003.html.

  12. 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.

  13. First Demonstration on Direct Laser Fabrication of Lunar Regolith Parts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Balla, Vamsi Krishna; Roberson, Luke B.; OConnor, Gregory W. O.; Trigwell, Stephen; Bose, Susmita; Bandyopadhyay, Amit

    2010-01-01

    Establishment of a lunar or Martian outpost necessitates the development of methods to utilize in situ mineral resources for various construction and resource extraction applications. Fabrication technologies are critical for habitat structure development, as well as repair and replacement of tools and parts at the outpost. Herein we report the direct fabrication of lunar regolith simulant parts, in freeform environment, using lasers. We show that raw lunar regolith can be processed at laser energy levels as a low as 2.12 J mm-2 resulting in nanocrystalline and/or amorphous microstructures. Potential applications of laser based fabrication technologies to make useful regolith parts for various applications including load bearing composite structures, radiation shielding, and solar cell substrates is described.

  14. NASA Satellite Laser Ranging Network

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carter, David L.

    2004-01-01

    I will be participating in the International Workshop on Laser Ranging. I will be presenting to the International Laser Ranging Service (ILRS) general body meeting on the recent accomplishments and status of the NASA Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) Network. The recent accomplishments and NASA's future plans will be outlined and the benefits to the scientific community will be addressed. I am member of the ILRS governing board, the Missions working group, and the Networks & Engineering working group. I am the chairman of the Missions Working and will be hosting a meeting during the week of the workshop. I will also represent the NASA SLR program at the ILRS governing board and other working group meetings.

  15. Lunar geophysics, geodesy, and dynamics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, J. G.; Dickey, J. O.

    2002-01-01

    Experience with the dynamics and data analyses for earth and moon reveals both similarities and differences. Analysis of Lunar Laser Ranging (LLR) data provides information on the lunar orbit, rotation, solid-body tides, and retroreflector locations.

  16. Accuracy of site coordinates obtainable by a mobile lunar laser station

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Loumos, G. L.; Mulholland, J. D.; Shelus, P. J.; Silverberg, E. C.

    1975-01-01

    The accuracy with which a mobile lunar laser station can be located was the subject of a modeling study. The influence of the number and accuracy of fixed lunar ranging stations, the uncertainty in polar motion, and data loss due to weather and similar factors were considered, and the results are given in a cartographic form. In general, all three coordinates (for coordinates to latitude + or - 60 deg) were determined to better than the pole uncertainty, given three or more fixed sites and reasonable weather. This result indicates that one or more mobile stations would be suitable for the study of geotectonics.

  17. Contribution of laser ranging to Earth's sciences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Exertier, Pierre; Bonnefond, Pascal; Deleflie, Florent; Barlier, François; Kasser, Michel; Biancale, Richard; Ménard, Yves

    2006-11-01

    Satellite and Lunar Laser Ranging (SLR and LLR, respectively) are based on a direct measurement of a distance by exactly measuring the time transit of a laser beam between a station and a space target. These techniques have proven to be very efficient methods for contributing to the tracking of both artificial satellites and the Moon, and for determining accurately their orbit and the associated geodynamical parameters, although hampered by the non-worldwide coverage and the meteorological conditions. Since more than 40 years, the French community (today 'Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur', CNES, 'Observatoire de Paris', and IGN) is largely involved in the technological developments as well as in the scientific achievements. The role of the laser technique has greatly evolved thanks to the success of GPS and DORIS; the laser technique teams have learnt to focus their effort in fields where this technique is totally specific and irreplaceable. The role of SLR data in the determination of terrestrial reference systems and in the modelling of the first terms of the gravity field (including the terrestrial constant GM that defines the scale of orbits) has to be emphasized, which is of primary importance in orbitography, whatever the tracking technique used. In addition, the role of LLR data (with two main stations, at Mac Donald (United States) and Grasse (France), since 30 years) has been of particular importance for improving solar system ephemeris and contributing to some features of fundamental physics (equivalence principle). Today, the role of the SLR technique is ( i) to determine and to maintain the scale factor of the global terrestrial reference frame, ( ii) to strengthen the vertical component (including velocity) of the positioning, which is crucial for altimetry missions and tectonic motions, ( iii) to locate the geocenter with respect to the Earth's crust, ( iv) to avoid any secular and undesirable drift of geodetic systems thanks to a very good accuracy

  18. Asynchronous Laser Transponders for Precise Interplanetary Ranging and Time Transfer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2001-01-01

    The feasibility of a two-way asynchronous (i.e. independently firing) interplanetary laser transponder pair, capable of decimeter ranging and subnanosecond time transfer from Earth to a spacecraft anywhere within the inner Solar System, is discussed. In the Introduction, we briefly discuss the current state-of-the-art in Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) and Lunar Laser Ranging (LLR) which use single-ended range measurements to a passive optical reflector, and the limitations of this approach in ranging beyond the Moon to the planets. In Section 2 of this paper, we describe two types of transponders (echo and asynchronous), introduce the transponder link equation and the concept of "balanced" transponders, describe how range and time can be transferred between terminals, and preview the potential advantages of photon counting asynchronous transponders for interplanetary applications. In Section 3, we discuss and provide mathematical models for the various sources of noise in an interplanetary transponder link including planetary albedo, solar or lunar illumination of the local atmosphere, and laser backscatter off the local atmosphere. In Section 4, we introduce the key engineering elements of an interplanetary laser transponder and develop an operational scenario for the acquisition and tracking of the opposite terminal. In Section 5, we use the theoretical models of th previous sections to perform an Earth-Mars link analysis over a full synodic period of 780 days under the simplifying assumption of coaxial, coplanar, circular orbits. We demonstrate that, using slightly modified versions of existing space and ground based laser systems, an Earth-Mars transponder link is not only feasible but quite robust. We also demonstrate through analysis the advantages and feasibility of compact, low output power (<300 mW photon-counting transponders using NASA's developmental SLR2000 satellite laser ranging system as the Earth terminal. Section 6 provides a summary of the results

  19. Laser ranging contributions to monitoring and interpreting Earth orientation changes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gross, R. S.

    2002-01-01

    The groundwork for a new field in the geophysical sciences - space geodesy - was laid in the 1960s with the development of satellite and lunar laser ranging systems, along with the development of very long baseline interferometry systems, for the purpose of studying crustal plate motion and deformation, the Earth's gravitational field, and Earth orientation changes. The availability of accurate, routine determinations of the Earth orientation parameters (EOPs) afforded by the launch of the LAser GEOdynamics Satellite (LAGEOS) on May 4, 1976, and the subsequent numerous studies of the LAGEOS observations, has led to a greater understanding of the causes of the observed changes in the Earth's orientation.

  20. A Lunar Laser Retroreflector for the FOR the 21ST Century (LLRRA-21): Selenodesy, Science and Status

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Currie, D. G.; Delle Monache, G.; Dell'Agnello, S.

    2010-12-01

    The Lunar Laser Ranging Program using the Apollo Cube Corner Retroreflector (CCR) Arrays [1] has operated as the only active experiment on the lunar surface for the past 4 decades. During this time it has provided control points for the lunar coordinate system, contributed to the determination of the physical properties of the moon and provided some of the best tests of General Relativity [2]. In terms of the physical properties of the moon, Lunar Laser Ranging (LLR) has detected, evaluated the shape and the frictional behavior of the boundaries of the liquid core. This and other areas will be addressed. The LLR Program has evaluated the PPN parameters, addressed the possible changes in the gravitational constant and the properties of the self-energy of the gravitational field. Initially the Apollo CCRs contributed a negligible fraction of the ranging error. Over the decades, the ground stations have improved by more than a factor of 200. Now, the existing Apollo retroreflector arrays contribute a significant fraction of the limiting errors in the range measurements due to the lunar librations tilting of the array of CCRs and thus contribution to the spreading of the return laser pulse. The University of Maryland, as the Principal Investigator for the original Apollo arrays, is now proposing a new approach to the Lunar Laser Array technology [3]. The investigation of this new technology, by two teams with Professor Currie as PI, is currently being supported by two NASA programs, the LSSO and LUNAR. The LUNAR program at the University of Colorado the is funded through the NLSI. Both LSSO and the LUNAR programs are in collaboration with the INFN-LNF in Frascati, Italy. After the proposed installation during the next lunar landing, the new arrays will support ranging observations that are a factor 100 more accurate than the current Apollo Cube Corner Retroreflector (CCR) Arrays. The new fundamental selenodetic, cosmological physics and the lunar physics [3] that this

  1. 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.

  2. Estimability and simple dynamical analyses of range (range-rate range-difference) observations to artificial satellites. [laser range observations to LAGEOS using non-Bayesian statistics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vangelder, B. H. W.

    1978-01-01

    Non-Bayesian statistics were used in simulation studies centered around laser range observations to LAGEOS. The capabilities of satellite laser ranging especially in connection with relative station positioning are evaluated. The satellite measurement system under investigation may fall short in precise determinations of the earth's orientation (precession and nutation) and earth's rotation as opposed to systems as very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) and lunar laser ranging (LLR). Relative station positioning, determination of (differential) polar motion, positioning of stations with respect to the earth's center of mass and determination of the earth's gravity field should be easily realized by satellite laser ranging (SLR). The last two features should be considered as best (or solely) determinable by SLR in contrast to VLBI and LLR.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Interplanetary Laser Ranging. Analysis for Implementation in Planetary Science Missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dirkx, Dominic

    2015-10-01

    Measurements of the motion of natural (and artificial) bodies in the solar system provide key input on their interior structre and properties. Currently, the most accurate measurements of solar system dynamics are performed using radiometric tracking systems on planetary missions, providing range measurement with an accuracy in the order of 1 m. Laser ranging to Earth-orbiting satellites equipped with laser retroreflectors provides range data with (sub-)cm accuracy. Extending this technology to planetary missions, however, requires the use of an active space segment equipped with a laser detector and transmitter (for a two-way system). The feasibility of such measurements have been demonstrated at planetary distances, and used operationally (with a one-way system) for the Lunar Reconaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission. The topic of this dissertation is the analysis of the application of interplanetary laser ranging (ILR) to improve the science return from next-generation space missions, with a focus on planetary science objectives. We have simulated laser ranging data for a variety of mission and system architectures, analyzing the influence of both model and measurement uncertainties. Our simulations show that the single-shot measurement precision is relatively inconsequential compared to the systematic range errors, providing a strong rationale for the consistent use of single-photon signal-intensity operation. We find that great advances in planetary geodesy (tidal, rotational characteristics, etc.) could be achieved by ILR. However, the laser data should be accompanied by commensurate improvements in other measurements and data analysis models to maximize the system's science return. The science return from laser ranging data will be especially strong for planetary landers, with a radio system remaining the preferred choice for many orbiter missions. Furthermore, we conclude that the science case for a one-way laser ranging is relatively weak compared to next

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Analysis and interpretation of lunar laser altimetry.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kaula, W. M.; Schubert, G.; Lingenfelter, R. E.; Sjogren, W. L.; Wollenhaupt, W. R.

    1972-01-01

    About 4.5 revolutions of laser altimetry were obtained by Apollo 15. This altimetry indicates a 2-km displacement of the center of mass from the center of figure toward the earthside. The terrae are quite rough, with frequent changes of 1 km or more in successive altitudes at about 33-km intervals. The mean altitude of terrae above maria is about 3 km with respect to the center of mass, indicating a thickness of about 24 km for a high-alumina crust. The maria are extremely level, with elevations varying not more than plus or minus 150 m about the mean over some stretches of 200 to 600 km. However, different maria have considerably different mean elevations. The largest unanticipated feature found is a 1400 km wide depression centered at about 180 deg longitude, and 2 km deep with respect to a 1737-km sphere (about 6 km deep with respect to the surrounding terrae). This basin has the appearance of typical terrae, although there are indications of a ring structure of about 600-km radius in the Orbiter photography. Altitudes across circum-Orientale features suggest that Mare Orientale is also a deep basin. The data appear to corroborate a model of early large-scale differentiation of a crust, followed a considerable time later by short intense episodes of mare filling with low viscosity lavas.

  9. 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

  10. Compact laser sources for laser designation, ranging and active imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goldberg, Lew; Nettleton, John; Schilling, Brad; Trussel, Ward; Hays, Alan

    2007-04-01

    Recent advances in compact solid sate lasers for laser designation, eye-safe range finding and active imaging are described. Wide temperature operation of a compact Nd:YAG laser was achieved by end pumping and the use of multi-λ diode stacks. Such lasers enabled construction of fully operational 4.7 lb laser designator prototypes generating over 50 mJ at 10-20 Hz PRF. Output pulse energy in excess of 100 mJ was demonstrated in a breadboard version of the end-pumped laser. Eye-safe 1.5 μm lasers based on flash-pumped, low PRF, Monoblock lasers have enabled compact STORM laser range finders that have recently been put into production. To achieve higher optical and electrical efficiency needed for higher PRF operation, Monoblock lasers were end-pumped by a laser diode stack. Laser diode end-pumped Monoblock lasers were operated at 10-20 Hz PRF over a wide temperature range (-20 to +50 °C). Compared with bulk compact solid state lasers, fiber lasers are characterized by lower pulse energy, higher PRF's, shorter pulses and higher electrical efficiency. An example of fiber lasers suitable for LIDAR, and atmospheric measurement applications is described. Eye-safe, low intensity diode pumped solid state green warning laser developed for US Army checkpoint and convoy applications is also described.

  11. Laser one-dimensional range profile and the laser two-dimensional range profile of cylinders

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gong, Yanjun; Wang, Mingjun; Gong, Lei

    2015-10-01

    Laser one-dimensional range profile, that is scattering power from pulse laser scattering of target, is a radar imaging technology. The laser two-dimensional range profile is two-dimensional scattering imaging of pulse laser of target. Laser one-dimensional range profile and laser two-dimensional range profile are called laser range profile(LRP). The laser range profile can reflect the characteristics of the target shape and surface material. These techniques were motivated by applications of laser radar to target discrimination in ballistic missile defense. The radar equation of pulse laser is given in this paper. This paper demonstrates the analytical model of laser range profile of cylinder based on the radar equation of the pulse laser. Simulations results of laser one-dimensional range profiles of some cylinders are given. Laser range profiles of cylinder, whose surface material with diffuse lambertian reflectance, is given in this paper. Laser range profiles of different pulse width of cylinder are given in this paper. The influences of geometric parameters, pulse width, attitude on the range profiles are analyzed.

  12. Producing propellants from water in lunar soil using solar lasers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Morais Mendonca Teles, Antonio

    , collect soil and retract itself to put the material on the top of the spacecraft inside a hole which will be opened; 3) an infrared laser based on solar electrical energy -a "solar laser" -when the soil be inside the chamber inside the spacecraft, the solar laser will be turned on and it will strike against the soil, heating it up, and release all oxygen and hydrogen from it. The oxygen and hydrogen molecules will be separated from the rest of the material by a mass spectrometer and they will be liquefied by thermal and pressure internal control sub-systems of the spacecraft, and pumped to vessels in a way similar to a micro-industrial line production process; the vessels with the propellants will be then ready to be taken by astronauts, from a small door outside the LPM. The shape of this spacecraft must be conical in order to not unbalance it during the landing and roving maneuvers and soil cargoes, and it will be shielded externally from heat and radiation from the Sun, and micrometeoroids, to prevent the internal thermal conduction and electronic operations from damaging. A solar array externally deployed can produce 44 KW of electric soil energy for the production process. This miniature chemical-processing plant can possibly have an output of 100 Kg of liquid oxygen and 200 Kg of liquid hydrogen per day. Telecommunications with Earth will provide the onboard computer courses for roving to new mapped areas with richer propellants content in the soil. The spacecraft can weight approximately 6,000 Kg (at launch time from Earth). It will be necessary two LPMs for providing all the liquid oxygen and hydrogen needed to supply spacecrafts next to a semi-permanent small manned lunar base. With the Lunar Propellant Manufacturer it will solve the problem of not-expensively producing great quantities of propellants for a manned spacecraft to explore Mars and beyond In the Solar System.

  13. An improved light source for laser ranging

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hamal, Karel; Richardson, Martin

    1993-01-01

    The development of a new laser material, Cr-doped LiSAF, makes possible the development of a laser source for satellite ranging systems that is more superior in performance capabilities than current Nd:YAG-based laser sources. This new material offers the potential of shorter pulses and more preferable wavelengths (850 and 425 nm) than multiwavelength Nd:YAG systems, leading to superior ranging resolution and greater detection sensitivity. We are embarking on a feasibility study of a two-wavelength, mode-locked laser system based on Cr:LiSAF, providing shorter pulses for improved ranging resolution.

  14. Apollo laser altimetry and inferences as to lunar structure

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kaula, W. M.; Schubert, G.; Lingenfelter, R. E.; Sjogren, W. L.; Wollenhaupt, W. R.

    1974-01-01

    Weighted mean laser altimetry data from Apollo 15, 16, and 17 tracks were analyzed, yielding a mean lunar radius of 1737.7 km and an offset of center-of mass from center of figure of 2.55 km toward 24 deg E. Weighted mean elevations with respect to a 1738 km radius sphere for various terrain types are: (1) farside terrae +1.8 km, (2) nearside terrae -1.4 km, (3) ringed maria -4.0 km, and (4) other maria -2.3 km. Comparison of gravity and topography data indicates that there is a variation in density in the outer parts of the moon and that the moon has a crust which is equivalent to at least 60 km of material of 2.95 grams per cu cm density. This result and moment-of-inertia data are consistent with a lunar interior model with a uniform density gradient in the mantle to the bottom of the lithosphere, constant density in the asthenosphere, and no core.

  15. 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.

  16. Multiple-Zone Diffractive Optic Element for Laser Ranging Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ramos-Izquierdo, Luis A.

    2011-01-01

    A diffractive optic element (DOE) can be used as a beam splitter to generate multiple laser beams from a single input laser beam. This technology has been recently used in LRO s Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) instrument to generate five laser beams that measure the lunar topography from a 50-km nominal mapping orbit (see figure). An extension of this approach is to use a multiple-zone DOE to allow a laser altimeter instrument to operate over a wider range of distances. In particular, a multiple-zone DOE could be used for applications that require both mapping and landing on a planetary body. In this case, the laser altimeter operating range would need to extend from several hundred kilometers down to a few meters. The innovator was recently involved in an investigation how to modify the LOLA instrument for the OSIRIS asteroid mapping and sample return mission. One approach is to replace the DOE in the LOLA laser beam expander assembly with a multiple-zone DOE that would allow for the simultaneous illumination of the asteroid with mapping and landing laser beams. The proposed OSIRIS multiple-zone DOE would generate the same LOLA five-beam output pattern for high-altitude topographic mapping, but would simultaneously generate a wide divergence angle beam using a small portion of the total laser energy for the approach and landing portion of the mission. Only a few percent of the total laser energy is required for approach and landing operations as the return signal increases as the inverse square of the ranging height. A wide divergence beam could be implemented by making the center of the DOE a diffractive or refractive negative lens. The beam energy and beam divergence characteristics of a multiple-zone DOE could be easily tailored to meet the requirements of other missions that require laser ranging data. Current single-zone DOE lithographic manufacturing techniques could also be used to fabricate a multiple-zone DOE by masking the different DOE zones during

  17. Results of laser ranging collocations during 1983

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kolenkiewicz, R.

    1984-01-01

    The objective of laser ranging collocations is to compare the ability of two satellite laser ranging systems, located in the vicinity of one another, to measure the distance to an artificial Earth satellite in orbit over the sites. The similar measurement of this distance is essential before a new or modified laser system is deployed to worldwide locations in order to gather the data necessary to meet the scientific goals of the Crustal Dynamics Project. In order to be certain the laser systems are operating properly, they are periodically compared with each other. These comparisons or collocations are performed by locating the lasers side by side when they track the same satellite during the same time or pass. The data is then compared to make sure the lasers are giving essentially the same range results. Results of the three collocations performed during 1983 are given.

  18. Laser Induced-Plasma Ion Mass Spectrometry for Characterization of Lunar and Planetary Surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiens, R. C.; Blacic, J. D.; Cremers, D. A.; Ritzau, S. M.; Nordholt, J. E.; Funsten, H. O.

    1999-03-01

    LIMS is being developed to perform isotopic and elemental analysis of lunar and planetary surfaces at standoff distances. It uses an advanced ion mass spectrometer to obtain mass and energy spectra from the ionized plume produced by a laser.

  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. 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.

  1. Early Operations Flight Correlation of the Lunar Laser Communications Demonstration (LLCD) on the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Peabody, Hume; Yang, Kan; Nguyen, Daniel; Cornwell, Donald

    2015-01-01

    The Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) mission launched on September 7, 2013 with a one month cruise before lunar insertion. The LADEE spacecraft is a power limited, octagonal, composite bus structure with solar panels on all eight sides with four vertical segments per side and 2 panels dedicated to instruments. One of these panels has the Lunar Laser Communications Demonstration (LLCD), which represents a furthering of the laser communications technology demonstration proved out by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). LLCD increases the bandwidth of communication to and from the moon with less mass and power than LROs technology demonstrator. The LLCD Modem and Controller boxes are mounted to an internal cruciform composite panel and have no dedicated radiator. The thermal design relies on power cycling of the boxes and radiation of waste heat to the inside of the panels, which then reject the heat when facing cold space. The LADEE mission includes a slow roll and numerous attitudes to accommodate the challenging thermal requirements for all the instruments on board. During the cruise phase, the internal Modem and Controller avionics for LLCD were warmer than predicted by more than modeling uncertainty would suggest. This caused concern that if the boxes were considerably warmer than expected while off, they would also be warmer when operating and could limit the operational time when in lunar orbit. The thermal group at Goddard Space Flight Center evaluated the models and design for these critical avionics for LLCD. Upon receipt of the spacecraft models and audit was performed and data was collected from the flight telemetry to perform a sanity check of the models and to correlate to flight where possible. This paper describes the efforts to correlate the model to flight data and to predict the thermal performance when in lunar orbit and presents some lessons learned.

  2. Next-generation Lunar Laser Retroreflectors for Precision Tests of General Relativity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ciocci, Emanuele; dell'Agnello, Simone; Delle Monache, Giovanni; Martini, Manuele; Contessa, Stefania; Porcelli, Luca; Tibuzzi, Mattia; Salvatori, Lorenzo; Patrizi, Giordano; Maiello, Mauro; Intaglietta, Nicola; Mondaini, Chiara; Currie, Douglas; Chandler, John; Bianco, Giuseppe; Murphy, Tom

    2016-04-01

    Since 1969, Lunar Laser Ranging (LLR) to the Apollo Cube Corner Retroreflectors (CCRs) has supplied almost all significant tests of General Relativity (GR). When first installed in the 1970s, the Apollo CCRs geometry contributed only a negligible fraction of the ranging error budget. Today, because of lunar librations, this contribution dominates the error budget, limiting the precision of the experimental tests of gravitational theories. The new MoonLIGHT-2 (Moon Laser Instrumentation for General relativity High-accuracy Tests) apparatus is a new-generation LLR payload developed by the SCF_Lab (http://www.lnf.infn.it/esperimenti/etrusco/) at INFN-LNF in collaboration with the Maryland University. With the unique design of a single large CCR unaffected by librations, MoonLIGHT-2 can increase up to a factor 100 the precision of the measurement of the lunar geodetic precession and other General Relativity (GR) tests respect to Apollo CCRs. MoonLIGHT-2 is approved to be launched with the Moon Express mission MEX-1 and will be deployed on the Moon surface in 2018. MoonLIGHT-2 is also proposed for the Roscosmos mission Luna-27. To validate/optimize MoonLIGHT-2 for MEX-1, the SCF_Lab is carrying out a unique experimental test called SCF-Test: the concurrent measurement of the optical Far Field Diffraction Pattern (FFDP) and the temperature distribution of the CCR under thermal conditions produced with a close-match solar simulator and simulated space environment. We perform test of GR with current LLR data and also different GR simulation of the expected improvement in GR test provided by MoonLIGHT-2, using the Planetary Ephemeris Program in collaboration with CfA. Our ultimate goal is to improve GR tests by a factor up to 100, and provide constraints on the new gravitational theories like non-miminally coupled gravity and spacetime torision.

  3. Lunar Power Dissipated by Tides and Core-Mantle Interaction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, J. G.; Boggs, D. H.; Ratcliff, J. T.; Yoder, C. F.; Dickey, J. O.

    2000-01-01

    Analysis of Lunar Laser Ranges gives information on lunar tidal dissipation and a molten core. For the ancient moon tidal heating of the interior and heating at the core-mantle boundary could have rivaled radiogenic heating.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Laser System for Precise, Unambiguous Range Measurements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dubovitsky, Serge; Lay, Oliver

    2005-01-01

    The Modulation Sideband Technology for Absolute Range (MSTAR) architecture is the basis of design of a proposed laser-based heterodyne interferometer that could measure a range (distance) as great as 100 km with a precision and resolution of the order of 1 nm. Simple optical interferometers can measure changes in range with nanometer resolution, but cannot measure range itself because interference is subject to the well-known integer-multiple-of-2 -radians phase ambiguity, which amounts to a range ambiguity of the order of 1 m at typical laser wavelengths. Existing rangefinders have a resolution of the order of 10 m and are therefore unable to resolve the ambiguity. The proposed MSTAR architecture bridges the gap, enabling nanometer resolution with an ambiguity range that can be extended to arbitrarily large distances. The MSTAR architecture combines the principle of the heterodyne interferometer with the principle of extending the ambiguity range of an interferometer by using light of two wavelengths. The use of two wavelengths for this purpose is well established in optical metrology, radar, and sonar. However, unlike in traditional two-color laser interferometry, light of two wavelengths would not be generated by two lasers. Instead, multiple wavelengths would be generated as sidebands of phase modulation of the light from a single frequency- stabilized laser. The phase modulation would be effected by applying sinusoidal signals of suitable frequencies (typically tens of gigahertz) to high-speed electro-optical phase modulators. Intensity modulation can also be used

  8. Demonstration of high sensitivity laser ranging system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Millar, Pamela S.; Christian, Kent D.; Field, Christopher T.

    1994-01-01

    We report on a high sensitivity semiconductor laser ranging system developed for the Gravity and Magnetic Earth Surveyor (GAMES) for measuring variations in the planet's gravity field. The GAMES laser ranging instrument (LRI) consists of a pair of co-orbiting satellites, one which contains the laser transmitter and receiver and one with a passive retro-reflector mounted in an drag-stabilized housing. The LRI will range up to 200 km in space to the retro-reflector satellite. As the spacecraft pair pass over the spatial variations in the gravity field, they experience along-track accelerations which change their relative velocity. These time displaced velocity changes are sensed by the LRI with a resolution of 20-50 microns/sec. In addition, the pair may at any given time be drifting together or apart at a rate of up to 1 m/sec, introducing a Doppler shift into the ranging signals. An AlGaAs laser transmitter intensity modulated at 2 GHz and 10 MHz is used as fine and medium ranging channels. Range is measured by comparing phase difference between the transmit and received signals at each frequency. A separate laser modulated with a digital code, not reported in this paper, will be used for coarse ranging to unambiguously determine the distance up to 200 km.

  9. The Moon as a Laser-ranged Test Body for General Relativity and New Gravitational Physics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dell'Agnello, Simone; Currie, Douglas

    Since the 1970s Lunar Laser Ranging (LLR) to the Apollo/Lunokhod Cube Corner Retroreflector (CCR) Arrays supplied some of the best tests of General Relativity (GR): possible changes in the gravitational constant, gravitational self-energy (PPN parameter beta), weak equivalence principle, geodetic precession, inverse-square force-law. Secondly, LLR has provided significant information on the composition of the deep interior of the Moon. LLR physics analysis also allows to set constraints on extensions of GR (like spacetime torsion) and, possibly, on new gravitational physics which may explain the gravitational universe without Dark Matter and Dark Energy (like, for example, Non-Minimally Coupled gravity, NMC). LLR is the only Apollo/Lunokhod experiment still in operation, since 45 years. In the 1970s Apollo/Lunokohd LLR Arrays contributed a negligible fraction of the ranging error budget. Since the ranging capabilities of ground stations improved by more than two orders of magnitude, now, because of the lunar librations, Apollo/Lunokhod CCR arrays dominate the error budget. With the US/Italy project "LLRRA21/MoonLIGHT (Lunar Laser Ranging Retroreflector Array for the 21st century / Moon Laser Instrumentation for General relativity High accuracy Tests)", University of Maryland and INFN-LNF developed and tested a next-generation LLR payload made by a single, large CCR (100 mm diameter), unaffected by the effect of librations. In fact, we will show that MoonLIGHT reflectors will improve the LLR accuracy by a factor of ten to one hundred in a few years. INFN-LNF also developed a laser retroreflector micropayload to be deployed on the lunar surface to be laser-ranged by lunar orbiters. The latter micropayload will further extend the physics reach of Apollo, Lunokhod and MoonLIGHT CCRs to improve all precision tests of GR and new gravitational physics using LLR data. As an added value for the LRR and SLR (Satellite Laser ranging) disciplines INFN-LNF built and is

  10. Earth rotation parameters from an on-site study of laser ranging data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shelus, Peter J.

    1992-01-01

    A multi-faceted effort was maintained to achieve the following goals: (1) provide for state-of-the-art, on-site, near-real-time Earth orientation parameter determinations at levels of precision and accuracy commensurate with a 'quick-look' type of an analysis, using the lunar laser ranging (LLR) data type from the McDonald Laser Ranging Station (MLRS) and other LLR facilities around the world; (2) create a state-of-the-art, highly transportable, LLR-based Earth orientation solution package, which could be easily implemented at LLR facilities other than the MLRS; (3) accommodate, within the routine MLRS lunar range prediction and Earth orientation data analysis software packages, the standard set of Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Solar System ephemerides, lunar librations, and Solar System partial derivatives; and (4) examine, wherever possible, opportunities for the performance of state-of-the-art, on-site, joint, simultaneous, quick-look analysis for Earth orientation parameters, using both MLRS lunar and LAGEOS (and, perhaps, Etalon) ranging observations, as well as from multiple LLR station observations. Excellent results were obtained at all levels of effort and it can be said that all of these goals were attained. The reader is referred to the complete series of our semi-annual reports for a full description of our efforts.

  11. 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.

  12. Space Debris Laser Ranging at Graz

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirchner, Georg; Koidl, Franz; Kucharski, Daniel; Ploner, Martin; Riede, Wolfgang; Voelker, Uwe; Buske, Ivo; Friedrich, Fabian; Baur, Oliver; Krauss, Sandro; Wirnsberger, Harald

    2013-08-01

    The Graz Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) station usually measures distances to retro-reflector equipped satellites with an accuracy of few millimetres, using short laser pulses with 10 ps pulse width, a low energy of 400 μJ, and a repetition rate of 2 kHz. To test laser ranging possibilities to space debris, we installed two stronger lasers (a diode-pumped 25 mJ / 1 kHz / 10 ns / 532 nm laser, exchanged later to a flash lamp pumped 150 mJ / 100 Hz / 3 ns / 532 nm laser) - both on loan from DLR / German Aerospace Centre Stuttgart -, and built lownoise single-photon detection units. With this configuration, we successfully tracked ≈ 100 passes of almost 50 different space debris targets, in distances between 600 km and up to more than 2500 km, with radar cross sections from > 15 m2 down to < 0.3 m2 , and measured their distances with an average accuracy of 0.7 m (10 ns laser) resp. ≈ 0.5 m (3 ns laser) RMS. The resulting data will be used to calculate improved orbits of the tracked debris objects, and to compare them with radar-based TLE (two-line element) orbits. As demonstration experiment, here we provide findings for ENVISAT normal point analysis. As a next step, we plan to additionally taking pointing information into account. Potentially, the joint analysis of both ranges and orientation angles further improves space debris orbit accuracy. Orbit determination and prediction was done with the GEODYN software package. In addition, we successfully tested a 'bi-static' mode: Graz fired laser pulses to ENVISAT; while Graz detected photons reflected from the retro-reflector, the Swiss SLR station Zimmerwald detected the photons diffusely reflected from the satellite body.

  13. CO2 laser ranging systems study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Filippi, C. A.

    1975-01-01

    The conceptual design and error performance of a CO2 laser ranging system are analyzed. Ranging signal and subsystem processing alternatives are identified, and their comprehensive evaluation yields preferred candidate solutions which are analyzed to derive range and range rate error contributions. The performance results are presented in the form of extensive tables and figures which identify the ranging accuracy compromises as a function of the key system design parameters and subsystem performance indexes. The ranging errors obtained are noted to be within the high accuracy requirements of existing NASA/GSFC missions with a proper system design.

  14. 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.

  15. Ranging performance of active laser detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Huayan; Xiong, Fei; Gu, Suolin

    2006-06-01

    Ranging performance is described for photoelectric equipment reconnaissance using an active laser detection system that is based on the 'cat's eyes' effect of optical windows. Active laser detection systems have an advantage over passive systems because they can measure target velocity and spatial coordinates. However, there are several challenging problems here because of the great distances involved, the low returned power of the uncooperative target, and the optical aberrations induced by the atmosphere. In the design of this system, the principle of detection is based on the 'cat's eyes' effect according to which the optical windows of photoelectric equipments have a strong reflect character towards incident laser beam. With 'cat's eyes' effect, the detection of uncooperative target can be translated into one of a cooperative target, so the ratio of returned laser can be increased. In this paper, the ranging performance presented here takes into account all the various elements of the system, from the laser emission, target, atmospheric propagation to the detector. The characteristics of back-reflected laser and an estimate of the laser Cross Section (LCS) from 'cat's eyes target' are investigated in theory and simulation. The Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) is calculated by combining the probability of detection of the system for given electronic characteristics of the system and for a given probability of false alarms. On the basis of analysis of SNR, minimum detectable signal power, operating distance of the system and factors affecting the ranging performance is analyzed. Results indicate that system has characters of long range, and high sensitivity. It can be used to detect the aerial targets such as reconnaissance drone, navigate missile, reconnaissance satellite etc.

  16. Two wavelength satellite laser ranging using SPAD

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Prochazka, Ivan; Hamal, Karel; Jelinkova, Helena; Kirchner, Georg; Koidl, F.

    1993-01-01

    When ranging to satellites with lasers, there are several principal contributions to the error budget: from the laser ranging system on the ground, from the satellite retroarray geometry, and from the atmosphere. Using a single wavelength, we have routinely achieved a ranging precision of 8 millimeters when ranging to the ERS-1 and Starlette satellites. The systematic error of the atmosphere, assuming the existing dispersion models, is expected to be of the order of 1 cm. Multiple wavelengths ranging might contribute to the refinement of the existing models. Taking into account the energy balance, the existing picosecond lasers and the existing receiver and detection technology, several pairs or multiple wavelengths may be considered. To be able to improve the atmospheric models to the subcentimeter accuracy level, the differential time interval (DTI) has to be determined within a few picoseconds depending on the selected wavelength pair. There exist several projects based on picosecond lasers as transmitters and on two types of detection techniques: one is based on photodetectors, like photomultipliers or photodiodes connected to the time interval meters. Another technique is based on the use of a streak camera as an echo signal detector, temporal analyzer, and time interval vernier. The temporal analysis at a single wavelength using the streak camera showed the complexity of the problem.

  17. Ground based laser ranging for satellite location

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gilbreath, G. C.; Newby, Harold D.

    1993-01-01

    In this article, we describe a new satellite laser ranging capability which is a joint effort between the Naval Research Laboratory and Air Force Optical Tracking Facility at Malabar, Florida. Initial measurements off LAGEOS indicate that uncorrected radial range rms values of 8 mm are readily achievable. The number of photoelectron counts are on the order of 180 which are off by an order of magnitude from predicted values.

  18. Determining Spatial Coordinates By Laser Ranging

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schumacher, Larry L.

    1990-01-01

    Three range-measuring lasers arranged in triangle measure location of point. Set of three measurements of distances (ranges) of retroreflector on object from three rangefinders provides sufficient information to calculate coordinates of retroreflector in coordinate system defined by rangefinders. If at least three noncollinear retroreflectors attached to object, orientation of object also determined. Potential applications include observation and control of large structures, robotics, and machine vision.

  19. Vehicle Based Laser Range Finding in Crops

    PubMed Central

    Ehlert, Detlef; Adamek, Rolf; Horn, Hans-Juergen

    2009-01-01

    Laser rangefinders and laser scanners are widely used for industrial purposes and for remote sensing. In agriculture information about crop parameters like volume, height, and density can support the optimisation of production processes. In scientific papers the measurement of these parameters by low cost laser rangefinders with one echo has been presented for short ranges. Because the cross section area of the beam increases with the measuring range, it can be expected that laser rangefinders will have a reduced measuring accuracy in small sized crops and when measuring far distances. These problems are caused by target areas smaller than the beam and by the beam striking the edges of crop objects. Lab tests under defined conditions and a real field test were performed to assess the measuring properties under such difficult conditions of a chosen low cost sensor. Based on lab tests it was shown that the accuracy was reduced, but the successful use of the sensor under field conditions demonstrated the potential to meet the demands for agricultural applications, Insights resulting from investigations made in the paper contribute to facilitating the choice or the development of laser rangefinder sensors for vehicle based measurement of crop parameters for optimisation of production processes. PMID:22412333

  20. A contribution to laser range imaging technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Defigueiredo, Rui J. P.; Denney, Bradley S.

    1991-02-01

    The goal of the project was to develop a methodology for fusion of a Laser Range Imaging Device (LRID) and camera data. Our initial work in the project led to the conclusion that none of the LRID's that were available were sufficiently adequate for this purpose. Thus we spent the time and effort on the development of the new LRID with several novel features which elicit the desired fusion objectives. In what follows, we describe the device developed and built under contract. The Laser Range Imaging Device (LRID) is an instrument which scans a scene using a laser and returns range and reflection intensity data. Such a system would be extremely useful in scene analysis in industry and space applications. The LRID will be eventually implemented on board a mobile robot. The current system has several advantages over some commercially available systems. One improvement is the use of X-Y galvonometer scanning mirrors instead of polygonal mirrors present in some systems. The advantage of the X-Y scanning mirrors is that the mirror system can be programmed to provide adjustable scanning regions. For each mirror there are two controls accessible by the computer. The first is the mirror position and the second is a zoom factor which modifies the amplitude of the position of the parameter. Another advantage of the LRID is the use of a visible low power laser. Some of the commercial systems use a higher intensity invisible laser which causes safety concerns. By using a low power visible laser, not only can one see the beam and avoid direct eye contact, but also the lower intensity reduces the risk of damage to the eye, and no protective eyeware is required.

  1. 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.

  2. Lunar global shape and polar topography derived from Kaguya-LALT laser altimetry.

    PubMed

    Araki, H; Tazawa, S; Noda, H; Ishihara, Y; Goossens, S; Sasaki, S; Kawano, N; Kamiya, I; Otake, H; Oberst, J; Shum, C

    2009-02-13

    A global lunar topographic map with a spatial resolution of finer than 0.5 degree has been derived using data from the laser altimeter (LALT) on board the Japanese lunar explorer Selenological and Engineering Explorer (SELENE or Kaguya). In comparison with the previous Unified Lunar Control Network (ULCN 2005) model, the new map reveals unbiased lunar topography for scales finer than a few hundred kilometers. Spherical harmonic analysis of global topographic data for the Moon, Earth, Mars, and Venus suggests that isostatic compensation is the prevailing lithospheric support mechanism at large scales. However, simple rigid support is suggested to dominate for the Moon, Venus, and Mars for smaller scales, which may indicate a drier lithosphere than on Earth, especially for the Moon and Venus. PMID:19213910

  3. Automatic laser tracking and ranging system.

    PubMed

    Cooke, C R

    1972-02-01

    An automatic laser tracking and ranging system has been developed for use with cooperative retroreflective targets. Target position is determined with high precision at ranges out to 19 km and sample rates up to one hundred measurements per second. The data are recorded on a magnetic tape in the form of azimuth, elevation, range, and standard time and are computer-compatible. The system is fully automatic with the exception of the initial acquisition sequence, which is performed manually. This eliminates the need for expensive and time-consuming photographic data reduction. Also, position is uniquely determined by a single instrument. To provide convenient operation at remote sites, the system is van-mounted and operates off a portable power generator. The transmitter is a flash-pumped Q-spoiled Nd:YAG laser developing 1 MW peak power in a 10-mrad beam at a rate of 100 pps. The beam, which is coaxial with the receiver, is directed to the target by an azimuth-elevation mirror mount. The return beam is imaged o separate ranging and tracking receivers. The ranging receiver measures time of flight of the 25-nsec laser pulse with range accuracies of +/-15 cm. The tracking receiver uses a quadrant photodiode followed by matched log video amplifiers and achieves a tracking accuracy of +/-0.1 mrad. An optical dynamic range of 30 dB is provided to minimize error due to scintillation. Also, 80 dB of optical dynamic range is provided by adjustable neutral density filters to compensate for changes in target range. PMID:20111495

  4. Multi-target compressive laser ranging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pandit, Pushkar P.; Dahl, Jason R.; Barber, Zeb W.; Babbitt, W. Randall

    2014-05-01

    Compressive laser ranging (CLR) is a method that exploits the sparsity available in the range domain using compressive sensing methods to directly obtain range domain information. Conventional ranging methods are marred by requirements of high bandwidth analog detection which includes severe SNR fall off with bandwidth in analog-to-digital conversion (ADC). Compressive laser ranging solves this problem by obtaining sub-centimeter resolution while using low bandwidth detection. High rate digital pulse pattern generators and off the shelf photonic devices are used to modulate the transmitted and received light from a superluminescent diode. CLR detection is demonstrated using low bandwidth, high dynamic range detectors along with photon counting techniques. The use of an incoherent source eliminates speckle issues and enables simplified CLR methods to get multi-target range profiles with 1-3cm resolution. Using compressive sensing methods CLR allows direct range measurements in the sub-Nyquist regime while reducing system resources, in particular the need for high bandwidth ADC.

  5. 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.

  6. Microwave and optical lunar transponders

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bender, P. L.; Faller, J. E.; Hall, J. L.; Degnan, J. J.; Dickey, J. O.; Newhall, X. X.; Williams, J. G.; King, R. W.; Macknik, L. O.; O'Gara, D.

    1990-01-01

    The scientific areas which used data from the Lunar Laser Ranging Experiment, collected from measurements to the Apollo 11, 14, and 15 and Lunakhod 2, include lunar science (i.e., studies of variations in the lunar angular orientation from that for uniform rotation, lunar tidal displacements, and the lunar mass distribution), geodynamics, astrometry, and gravitational physics. This paper argues that the placement of microwave and optical transponders on the moon would improve the accuracy of laser range measurements by nearly two orders of magnitude and would simplify the measurements. The K-band microwave transponders would be operated at the lunar base and at two remote sites on the moon surface, yielding much improved lunar libration and tidal displacement measurements. A two-wavelength laser transponder also would be operated at the lunar base, allowing accurate tropospheric propagation corrections to be made. This would introduce major improvements in measurements of the lunar orbit and of the earth's rotation, and in tests of general relativity.

  7. Research on techniques for laser ranging to optical corner reflectors on the moon. Research on laser techniques and single photo-electron detection and timing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Alley, C. O.

    1976-01-01

    Experimental studies using a pulsed LED, Cerenkov source, and a 100 ps laser were made of various photomultipliers and discriminator combinations. In addition, a new type of neodymium-YAG frequency doubled laser was used as the basis for the development of a stable, short pulse, high repetition rate laser system. This laser was then used in conjunction with atomic clocks to study the effect of gravitational potential on elapsed time. Avenues to promote the development of international cooperation in the area of lunar laser ranging were also explored.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Using quality metrics with laser range scanners

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MacKinnon, David K.; Aitken, Victor; Blais, Francois

    2008-02-01

    We have developed a series of new quality metrics that are generalizable to a variety of laser range scanning systems, including those acquiring measurements in the mid-field. Moreover, these metrics can be integrated into either an automated scanning system, or a system that guides a minimally trained operator through the scanning process. In particular, we represent the quality of measurements with regard to aliasing and sampling density for mid-field measurements, two issues that have not been well addressed in contemporary literature. We also present a quality metric that addresses the issue of laser spot motion during sample acquisition. Finally, we take into account the interaction between measurement resolution and measurement uncertainty where necessary. These metrics are presented within the context of an adaptive scanning system in which quality metrics are used to minimize the number of measurements obtained during the acquisition of a single range image.

  11. Long range coherence in free electron lasers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Colson, W. B.

    1984-01-01

    The simple free electron laser (FEL) design uses a static, periodic, transverse magnetic field to undulate relativistic electrons traveling along its axis. This allows coupling to a co-propagating optical wave and results in bunching to produce coherent radiation. The advantages of the FEL are continuous tunability, operation at wavelengths ranging from centimeters to angstroms, and high efficiency resulting from the fact that the interaction region only contains light, relativistic electrons, and a magnetic field. Theoretical concepts and operational principles are discussed.

  12. Atmospheric refraction errors in laser ranging systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gardner, C. S.; Rowlett, J. R.

    1976-01-01

    The effects of horizontal refractivity gradients on the accuracy of laser ranging systems were investigated by ray tracing through three dimensional refractivity profiles. The profiles were generated by performing a multiple regression on measurements from seven or eight radiosondes, using a refractivity model which provided for both linear and quadratic variations in the horizontal direction. The range correction due to horizontal gradients was found to be an approximately sinusoidal function of azimuth having a minimum near 0 deg azimuth and a maximum near 180 deg azimuth. The peak to peak variation was approximately 5 centimeters at 10 deg elevation and decreased to less than 1 millimeter at 80 deg elevation.

  13. Potential capabilities of lunar laser ranging for geodesy and relativity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Muller, Jurgen; Williams, James G.; Turshev, Slava G.; Shelus, Peter J.

    2005-01-01

    Here, we review the LLR technique focusing on its impact on Geodesy and Relativity. We discuss the modem observational accuracy and the level of existing LLR modeling. We present the near-term objectives and emphasize improvements needed to fully utilize the scientific potential of LLR.

  14. The International Laser Ranging Service and its support for IGGOS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pearlman, Michael; Noll, Carey; Dunn, Peter; Horvath, Julie; Husson, Van; Stevens, Paul; Torrence, Mark; Vo, Hoai; Wetzel, Scott

    2005-11-01

    The International Laser Ranging Service (ILRS) was established in September 1998 as a service within the IAG to support programs in geodetic, geophysical, and lunar research activities and to provide data products to the International Earth Rotation Service (IERS) in support of its prime objectives. Now in operation for 5 years, the ILRS develops: (1) the standards and specifications necessary for product consistency and (2) the priorities and tracking strategies required to maximize network efficiency. The service collects, merges, analyzes, archives and distributes satellite and lunar laser ranging data to satisfy a variety of scientific, engineering, and operational needs and encourages the application of new technologies to enhance the quality, quantity, and cost effectiveness of its data products. The ILRS works with: (1) the global network to improve station performance; (2) new satellite missions in the design and building of retroreflector targets to maximize data quality and quantity and (3) science programs to optimize scientific data yield. The ILRS Central Bureau maintains a comprehensive web site as the primary vehicle for the distribution of information within the ILRS community. The site, which can be accessed at: http://ilrs.gsfc.nasa.gov is also available at mirrored sites at the Communications Research Laboratory (CRL) in Tokyo and the European Data Center (EDC) in Munich. During the last 2 years, the ILRS has addressed very important challenges: (1) data from the field stations are now submitted hourly and made available immediately through the data centers for access by the user community; (2) tracking on low satellites has been significantly improved through the sub-daily issue of predictions, drag functions, and the real-time exchange of time biases; (3) analysis products are now submitted in SINEX format for compatibility with the other space geodesy techniques; (4) the Analysis Working Group is heavily engaged in Pilot Projects as it works

  15. Development of a novel laser range scanner

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pheiffer, Thomas S.; Lennon, Brian; Simpson, Amber L.; Miga, Michael I.

    2011-03-01

    Laser range scanning an organ surface intraoperatively provides a cost effective and accurate means of measuring geometric changes in tissue. A novel laser range scanner with integrated tracking was designed, developed, and analyzed with the goal of providing intraoperative surface data during neurosurgery. The scanner is fitted with passive spheres to be optically tracked in the operating room. The design notably includes a single-lens system capable of acquiring the geometric information (as a Cartesian point cloud) via laser illumination and charge-coupled device (CCD) collection, as well as the color information via visible light collection on the same CCD. The geometric accuracy was assessed by scanning a machined phantom of known dimensions and comparing relative distances of landmarks from the point cloud to the known distances. The ability of the scanner to be tracked was first evaluated by perturbing its orientation in front of the optical tracking camera and recording the number of spheres visible to the camera at each orientation, and then by observing the variance in point cloud locations of a fixed object when the tracking camera is moved around the scanner. The scanning accuracy test resulted in an RMS error of 0.47 mm with standard deviation of 0.40 mm. The sphere visibility test showed that four diodes were visible in most of the probable operating orientations, and the overall tracking standard deviation was observed to be 1.49 mm. Intraoperative collection of cortical surface scans using the new scanner is currently underway.

  16. Matera Laser Ranging Observatory (MLRO): An overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Varghese, Thomas K.; Decker, Winfield M.; Crooks, Henry A.; Bianco, Giuseppe

    1993-01-01

    The Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI) is currently under negotiation with the Bendix Field Engineering Corporation (BFEC) of the Allied Signal Aerospace Company (ASAC) to build a state-of-the-art laser ranging observatory for the Centro di Geodesia Spaziale, in Matera, Italy. The contract calls for the delivery of a system based on a 1.5 meter afocal Cassegrain astronomical quality telescope with multiple ports to support a variety of experiments for the future, with primary emphasis on laser ranging. Three focal planes, viz. Cassegrain, Coude, and Nasmyth will be available for these experiments. The open telescope system will be protected from dust and turbulence using a specialized dome which will be part of the building facilities to be provided by ASI. The fixed observatory facility will be partitioned into four areas for locating the following: laser, transmit/receive optics, telescope/dome enclosure, and the operations console. The optical tables and mount rest on a common concrete pad for added mechanical stability. Provisions will be in place for minimizing the effects of EMI, for obtaining maximum cleanliness for high power laser and transmit optics, and for providing an ergonomic environment fitting to a state-of-the-art multipurpose laboratory. The system is currently designed to be highly modular and adaptable for scaling or changes in technology. It is conceived to be a highly automated system with superior performance specifications to any currently operational system. Provisions are also made to adapt and accommodate changes that are of significance during the course of design and integration.

  17. Report on the lunar ranging at McDonald Observatory, 1 February - 31 May 1976

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Palm, C. S.; Wiant, J. R.

    1976-01-01

    The four spring lunations produced 105 acquisitions, including the 2000th range measurement made at McDonald Observatory. Statistics were normal for the spring months. Laser and electronics problems are noted. The Loran-C station delay was corrected. Preliminary doubles data is shown. New magnetic tape data formats are presented. R and D efforts include a new laser modification design.

  18. Atmospheric refractivity corrections in satellite laser ranging

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1985-01-01

    Atmospheric refraction can cause significant errors in satellite laser ranging (SLR) systems. There are two techniques which can be used to correct for these errors. Atmospheric models based upon surface measurements of pressure, temperature, and relative humidity have been shown by ray tracing to be accurate to within a few centimeters at 20 deg elevation angle. The residual errors in the models are thought to be primarily caused by horizontal gradients in the refractivity. Although models have been developed to predict the gradient effects, initial studies show that they can be sensitive to local topographic effects. Atmospheric turbulence can introduce random fluctuations in the refractivity, but only introduces centimeter level errors at elevation angles below 10 deg. Pulsed two-color ranging systems can directly measure the atmospheric delay in satellite ranging. These systems require mode-locked multiple-frequency lasers and streak-camera-based receivers and currently appear capable of measuring the atmospheric delay with an accuracy of 0.5 cm or better.

  19. Space Solar Power Technology Demonstration for Lunar Polar Applications: Laser-Photovoltaic Wireless Power Transmission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Henley, M. W.; Fikes, J. C.; Howell, J.; Mankins, J. C.; Howell, Joe T. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Space Solar Power technology offers unique benefits for near-term NASA space science missions, which can mature this technology for other future applications. "Laser-Photo-Voltaic Wireless Power Transmission" (Laser-PV WPT) is a technology that uses a laser to beam power to a photovoltaic receiver, which converts the laser's light into electricity. Future Laser-PV WPT systems may beam power from Earth to satellites or large Space Solar Power satellites may beam power to Earth, perhaps supplementing terrestrial solar photo-voltaic receivers. In a near-term scientific mission to the moon, Laser-PV WPT can enable robotic operations in permanently shadowed lunar polar craters, which may contain ice. Ground-based technology demonstrations are proceeding, to mature the technology for this initial application, in the moon's polar regions.

  20. Sub-meter Precision Lunar Figures from Chang'E-1 and SELENE Laser Altimetry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baki Iz, H.; Shum, C. K.; Chen, Y. Q.; Dai, C. L.

    2010-05-01

    The selenocentric radial footprint radial distances of 8.8 million Chang'E-1, and 8.5 million SELENE laser altimetry measurements were used used to estimate improved triaxial, biaxial and spherical lunar figure parameters together with their geometric centers with respect to the center of mass of the Moon. The estimated equatorial semi-major, minor, and polar axes of the triaxial ellipsoid's shape parameters from the Chang'E-1 and SELENE solutions differ by 143 m, 3 m and 49 m and -186 m, -3 m, and -52 m in their geometric center positions with respect to the lunar center of mass. The new missions' laser altimetry measurements data reveals a more spherical lunar figure and are in better agreement with each other compared to the ULCN 2005's geometrically best fitting lunar figure. The RMS misclosures calculated for Chang'E-1 and SELENE data using all the estimated parameters were used to assess the goodness of fit of each solution. The estimates for geometrically best fitting solution from Chang'E-1's data give the smallest RMS misclosures for both Chang'E-1 and SELENE data. Overall, the spherical harmonic topographical models' RMS misclosures are larger than those best fitting solutions.

  1. Picosecond sources for sub-centimeter laser ranging

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krebs, Danny J.; Dallas, Joseph; Seery, Bernard D.

    1992-01-01

    Some of the tradeoffs involved in selecting a laser source for space-based laser ranging are outlined, and some of the recent developments in the laser field most relevant to space-based lasers for ranging and altimetry are surveyed. Laser pulse width and laser design are discussed. It is argued that, while doubled/tripled ND-host lasers are currently the best choice for laser ranging in two colors, they have the shortcoming that the atmospheric transmission at 355 nm is significantly poorer than it is at longer wavelengths which still have sufficient dispersion for two-color laser ranging. The life requirement appears to demand that laser diode pumping be used for space applications.

  2. Satellite laser ranging and its applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tapley, B. D.; Schutz, B. E.; Eanes, R. J.

    1985-01-01

    Satellite laser ranging (SLR) provides an important capability for precise orbit determination and for geophysical parameter estimation to support a number of contemporary geodynamic and oceanographic investigations. The precision of the SLR measurement has improved from the early meter-level systems to the current capabilities of a few centimeters for the best systems. The accuracy of the orbits and geophysical parameter recovery have shown an associated improvement. Polar motion with accuracies of 2 mas, station coordinates better than 10 cm, and interstation baseline rates indicative of tectonic motion are determined routinely with the current set of global SLR data. This discussion reviews the SLR measurement, analysis approach, and some of the recent results derived from the current SLR data set.

  3. A post-processing receiver for the lunar laser communications demonstration project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Srinivasan, Meera; Birnbaum, Kevin; Cheng, Michael; Quirk, Kevin

    2013-03-01

    The Lunar Laser Communications Demonstration Project undertaken by MIT Lincoln Laboratory and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center will demonstrate high-rate laser communications from lunar orbit to the Earth. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory is developing a backup ground station supporting a data rate of 39 Mbps that is based on a non-real-time software post-processing receiver architecture. This approach entails processing sample-rate-limited data without feedback in the presence high uncertainty in downlink clock characteristics under low signal flux conditions. In this paper we present a receiver concept that addresses these challenges with descriptions of the photodetector assembly, sample acquisition and recording platform, and signal processing approach. End-to-end coded simulation and laboratory data analysis results are presented that validate the receiver conceptual design.

  4. A Post-Processing Receiver for the Lunar Laser Communications Demonstration Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Srinivasan, Meera; Birnbaum, Kevin; Cheng, Michael; Quirk, Kevin

    2013-01-01

    The Lunar Laser Communications Demonstration Project undertaken by MIT Lincoln Laboratory and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center will demonstrate high-rate laser communications from lunar orbit to the Earth. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory is developing a backup ground station supporting a data rate of 39 Mbps that is based on a non-real-time software post-processing receiver architecture. This approach entails processing sample-rate-limited data without feedback in the presence high uncertainty in downlink clock characteristics under low signal flux conditions. In this paper we present a receiver concept that addresses these challenges with descriptions of the photodetector assembly, sample acquisition and recording platform, and signal processing approach. End-to-end coded simulation and laboratory data analysis results are presented that validate the receiver conceptual design.

  5. Long-Range Transhorizon Lunar Surface Radio Wave Propagation in the Presence of a Regolith and a Sparse Exospheric Plasma

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Manning, Robert M.

    2008-01-01

    Long-range, over-the-horizon (transhorizon) radio wave propagation is considered for the case of the Moon. In the event that relay satellites are not available or otherwise unwarranted for use, transhorizon communication provides for a contingency or backup option for non line-of-sight lunar surface exploration scenarios. Two potential low-frequency propagation mechanisms characteristic of the lunar landscape are the lunar regolith and the photoelectron induced plasma exosphere enveloping the Moon. Although it was hoped that the regolith would provide for a spherical waveguide which could support a trapped surface wave phenomena, it is found that, in most cases, the regolith is deleterious to long range radio wave propagation. However, the presence of the plasma of the lunar exosphere supports wave propagation and, in fact, surpasses the attenuation of the regolith. Given the models of the regolith and exosphere adopted here, it is recommended that a frequency of 1 MHz be considered for low rate data transmission along the lunar surface. It is also recommended that further research be done to capture the descriptive physics of the regolith and the exospheric plasma so that a more complete model can be obtained. This comprehensive theoretical study is based entirely on first principles and the mathematical techniques needed are developed as required; it is self-contained and should not require the use of outside resources for its understanding.

  6. Geophysical parameters from the analysis of laser ranging to Starlette

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schutz, B. E.; Shum, C. K.; Tapley, B. D.

    1991-01-01

    The University of Texas Center for Space Research (UT/CSR) research efforts covering the time period from August 1, 1990 through January 31, 1991 have concentrated on the following areas: (1) Laser Data Processing (more than 15 years of Starlette data (1975-90) have been processed and cataloged); (2) Seasonal Variation of Zonal Tides (observed Starlette time series has been compared with meteorological data-derived time series); (3) Ocean Tide Solutions . (error analysis has been performed using Starlette and other tide solutions); and (4) Lunar Deceleration (formulation to compute theoretical lunar deceleration has been verified and applied to several tidal solutions). Concise descriptions of research achievement for each of the above areas are given. Copies of abstracts for some of the publications and conference presentations are included in the appendices.

  7. 3D-Laser-Scanning Technique Applied to Bulk Density Measurements of Apollo Lunar Samples

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Macke, R. J.; Kent, J. J.; Kiefer, W. S.; Britt, D. T.

    2015-01-01

    In order to better interpret gravimetric data from orbiters such as GRAIL and LRO to understand the subsurface composition and structure of the lunar crust, it is import to have a reliable database of the density and porosity of lunar materials. To this end, we have been surveying these physical properties in both lunar meteorites and Apollo lunar samples. To measure porosity, both grain density and bulk density are required. For bulk density, our group has historically utilized sub-mm bead immersion techniques extensively, though several factors have made this technique problematic for our work with Apollo samples. Samples allocated for measurement are often smaller than optimal for the technique, leading to large error bars. Also, for some samples we were required to use pure alumina beads instead of our usual glass beads. The alumina beads were subject to undesirable static effects, producing unreliable results. Other investigators have tested the use of 3d laser scanners on meteorites for measuring bulk volumes. Early work, though promising, was plagued with difficulties including poor response on dark or reflective surfaces, difficulty reproducing sharp edges, and large processing time for producing shape models. Due to progress in technology, however, laser scanners have improved considerably in recent years. We tested this technique on 27 lunar samples in the Apollo collection using a scanner at NASA Johnson Space Center. We found it to be reliable and more precise than beads, with the added benefit that it involves no direct contact with the sample, enabling the study of particularly friable samples for which bead immersion is not possible

  8. Laser-beam power for lunar and space applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Walker, Gilbert H.; Williams, Michael D.; Schuster, Gregory L.; Iles, Peter A.

    1992-01-01

    GaAlAs/GaAs heteroface converters were experimentally tested using DIRECT laser irradiation of photovoltaic devices. It is concluded that the two types of converters are promising for converting diode-laser radiation to electricity. Conversion efficiency as high as 45 and 34.2 percent was obtained using GaAS and Si converters of the SSF type, respectively.

  9. Laser Ranging to the Moon: How Evolving Technology Enables New Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faller, James

    2010-03-01

    Technological advances have long been the enabler of scientific progress. The invention of the laser is a prime example of this symbiotic relationship between technical progress and scientific advances. The laser, which today is omnipresent in each of our lives, made its first appearance during the time that I was a graduate student in Professor Dicke's group at Princeton. A major change occurring during that time period was that technology was transforming the study of gravitational physics from just a theoretical subject into also an experimental subject where one could hope to measure things using by-then-available laboratory technologies and techniques. During this same time, the idea for the lunar laser ranging experiment was born. The history and accomplishments of this experiment--a still ongoing experiment which is one of the real scientific triumphs of NASA's Apollo program--will be given.

  10. Satellite laser ranging to GPS and GLONASS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sośnica, Krzysztof; Thaller, Daniela; Dach, Rolf; Steigenberger, Peter; Beutler, Gerhard; Arnold, Daniel; Jäggi, Adrian

    2015-07-01

    Satellite laser ranging (SLR) to the satellites of the global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) provides substantial and valuable information about the accuracy and quality of GNSS orbits and allows for the SLR-GNSS co-location in space. In the framework of the NAVSTAR-SLR experiment two GPS satellites of Block-IIA were equipped with laser retroreflector arrays (LRAs), whereas all satellites of the GLONASS system are equipped with LRAs in an operational mode. We summarize the outcome of the NAVSTAR-SLR experiment by processing 20 years of SLR observations to GPS and 12 years of SLR observations to GLONASS satellites using the reprocessed microwave orbits provided by the center for orbit determination in Europe (CODE). The dependency of the SLR residuals on the size, shape, and number of corner cubes in LRAs is studied. We show that the mean SLR residuals and the RMS of residuals depend on the coating of the LRAs and the block or type of GNSS satellites. The SLR mean residuals are also a function of the equipment used at SLR stations including the single-photon and multi-photon detection modes. We also show that the SLR observations to GNSS satellites are important to validate GNSS orbits and to assess deficiencies in the solar radiation pressure models. We found that the satellite signature effect, which is defined as a spread of optical pulse signals due to reflection from multiple reflectors, causes the variations of mean SLR residuals of up to 15 mm between the observations at nadir angles of 0 and 14. in case of multi-photon SLR stations. For single-photon SLR stations this effect does not exceed 1 mm. When using the new empirical CODE orbit model (ECOM), the SLR mean residual falls into the range 0.1-1.8 mm for high-performing single-photon SLR stations observing GLONASS-M satellites with uncoated corner cubes. For best-performing multi-photon stations the mean SLR residuals are between and mm due to the satellite signature effect.

  11. Pulse spreading and range correction analysis for satellite laser ranging

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schwartz, Jon A.

    1990-01-01

    The pulse spreading resulting from light detection and ranging measurements of the range to earth-orbiting satellites is described. An analysis quantifying this pulse spreading and the calculation of corrections to be applied to the lidar range determination of satellites is detailed.

  12. Pulse spreading and range correction analysis for satellite laser ranging.

    PubMed

    Schwartz, J A

    1990-09-01

    The pulse spreading resulting from light detection and ranging measurements of the range to earth-orbiting satellites is described. An analysis quantifying this pulse spreading and the calculation of corrections to be applied to the lidar range determination of satellites is detailed. PMID:20567459

  13. New methods of generation of ultrashort laser pulses for ranging

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jelinkova, Helena; Hamal, Karel; Kubecek, V.; Prochazka, Ivan

    1993-01-01

    To reach the millimeter satellite laser ranging accuracy, the goal for nineties, new laser ranging techniques have to be applied. To increase the laser ranging precision, the application of the ultrashort laser pulses in connection with the new signal detection and processing techniques, is inevitable. The two wavelength laser ranging is one of the ways to measure the atmospheric dispersion to improve the existing atmospheric correction models and hence, to increase the overall system ranging accuracy to the desired value. We are presenting a review of several nonstandard techniques of ultrashort laser pulses generation, which may be utilized for laser ranging: compression of the nanosecond pulses using stimulated Brillouin and Raman backscattering; compression of the mode-locked pulses using Raman backscattering; passive mode-locking technique with nonlinear mirror; and passive mode-locking technique with the negative feedback.

  14. A long-range laser velocimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reinath, Michael S.

    1991-01-01

    A long-range laser velocimeter (LV) developed for remote operation from within the flow fields of large wind tunnels is described. Emphasis is placed on recent improvements in optical hardware as well as recent additions to data acquisition and processing techniques. The method used for data reduction of photon resolved signals is outlined in detail, and measurement accuracy is discussed. To study the performance of the LV and verify the measurement accuracy, laboratory measurements were made in the flow field of a 10-cm-diameter, 30-m/s axisymetric jet. The measured velocity and turbulence intensity surveys are compared with measurements made with a hot-wire anemometer. Additionally, the LV was used during the flow calibration of the 80-ft x 120-ft wind tunnel to measure the test-section boundary-layer thickness at the maximum wind tunnel speed of 51.5 m/s. The requirements and techniques used to seed the flow are discussed, and boundary-layer surveys of mean velocity and turbulence intensity of the streamwise component and the component normal to the surface are presented. The streamwise component of mean velocity is compared with data obtained with a total pressure rake.

  15. Laser-beam power for lunar and space applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Walker, Gilbert H.; Williams, Michael D.; Schuster, Gregory L.; Iles, Peter A.

    1992-01-01

    Photovoltaic properties of GaAlAs/GaAs heteroface converters were measured using a 0.81-micron diode laser. Results indicate that the converters under consideration are promising devices for converting diode-laser radiation to electricity. Conversion efficiency as high as 45 percent has been obtained using GaAs devices, while Si converters of the SSF type give efficiencies up to 34.2 percent.

  16. 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

  17. Lunar studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gold, T.

    1979-01-01

    Experimental and theoretical research, concerning lunar surface processes and the nature, origin and derivation of the lunar surface cover, conducted during the period of February 1, 1971 through January 31, 1976 is presented. The principle research involved were: (1) electrostatic dust motion and transport process; (2) seismology properties of fine rock powders in lunar conditions; (3) surface processes that darken the lunar soil and affect the surface chemical properties of the soil grains; (4) laser simulation of micrometeorite impacts (estimation of the erosion rate caused by the microemeteorite flux); (5) the exposure history of the lunar regolith; and (6) destruction of amino acids by exposure to a simulation of the solar wind at the lunar surface. Research papers are presented which cover these general topics.

  18. Development of Shanghai satellite laser ranging station

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yang, Fu-Min; Tan, De-Tong; Xiao, Chi-Kun; Chen, Wan-Zhen; Zhang, J.-H.; Zhang, Z.-P.; Lu, Wen-Hu; Hu, Z.-Q.; Tang, W.-F.; Chen, J.-P.

    1993-01-01

    The topics covered include the following: improvement of the system hardware; upgrading of the software; the observation status; preliminary daylight tracking capability; testing the new type of laser; and future plans.

  19. Integrated laser/radar satellite ranging and tracking system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoge, F. E.

    1974-01-01

    A laser satellite ranging system that is mounted upon and integrated with a microwave tracking radar is reported. The 1-pulse/sec ruby laser transmitter is attached directly to the radar's elevation axis and radiates through a new opening in the radar's parabolic dish. The laser photomultiplier tube receiver utilizes the radar's existing 20-cm diam f/11 boresight telescope and observes through a similar symmetrically located opening in the dish. The laser system possesses separate ranging system electronics but shares the radar's timing, computer, and data handling/recording systems. The basic concept of the laser/radar is outlined together with a listing of the numerous advantages over present singular laser range-finding systems. The developmental laser hardware is described along with preliminary range-finding results and expectations.

  20. Wide-spectral-range laser refractometer.

    PubMed

    Sainov, Simeon; Sarov, Yanko; Kurtev, Stoyan

    2003-05-01

    We present refractometric measurements made in the 266-1064-nm spectral region with a pulsed Nd:YAG laser, and the second, third, and fourth harmonics of the laser's fundamental wavelength. The critical angle is determined by the disappearance of the diffraction orders from a metal grating, forming a microcuvette with the prism's reflecting wall. A fused-silica measuring prism is used in the experiments. PMID:12737464

  1. Satellite laser ranging work at the Goddard Space Flight Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcgunigal, T. E.; Carrion, W. J.; Caudill, L. O.; Grant, C. R.; Johnson, T. S.; Premo, D. A.; Spadin, P. L.; Winston, G. C.

    1975-01-01

    The paper describes the satellite laser ranging system at the Goddard Space Flight Center, its range and accuracy capabilities, and planned improvements for future systems. Major subsystems are described, including the laser, optical/mechanical, receiver, computer/software, timing, and laser data preprocessing subsystems. Operational considerations are examined, with attention given the mobile station layout, manpower requirements, and transportability. System performance is considered, with emphasis on system accuracy (calibration, stability, clock synchronization, atmospheric propagation correction) and range capability.

  2. The solid state detector technology for picosecond laser ranging

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Prochazka, Ivan

    1993-01-01

    We developed an all solid state laser ranging detector technology, which makes the goal of millimeter accuracy achievable. Our design and construction philosophy is to combine the techniques of single photon ranging, ultrashort laser pulses, and fast fixed threshold discrimination while avoiding any analog signal processing within the laser ranging chain. The all solid state laser ranging detector package consists of the START detector and the STOP solid state photon counting module. Both the detectors are working in an optically triggered avalanche switching regime. The optical signal is triggering an avalanche current buildup which results in the generation of a uniform, fast risetime output pulse.

  3. Exposure History of Lunar Meteorites Queen Alexandra Range 93069 and 94269

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nishiizumi, K.; Caffee, M. W.; Jull, A. J. T.; Reedy, R. C.

    1996-01-01

    Cosmic-ray produced C-14 (t(sub 1/2) = 5730 years), 36Cl (3.01 x 10(exp 5 years), Al-26 (7.05 x 10(exp 5 years), and Be-10 (1.5 x 10(exp 6 years) in the recently discovered lunar meteorites Queen Alexandra Range 93069 (QUE 93069) and 94269 (QUE 94269) were measured by accelerator mass spectrometry. The abundance pattern of these four cosmogenic radionuclides and of noble gases indicates QUE 93069 and QUE 94269 were a paired fall and were exposed to cosmic rays near the surface of the Moon for at least several hundred million years before ejection. After the meteorite was launched from the Moon, where it had resided at a depth of 65-80 g/cm square, it experienced a short transition time, approximately 20-50 ka, before colliding with the Earth. The terrestrial age of the meteorite is 5-10 ka. Comparison ofthe cosmogenic nuclide concentrations in QUE 93069/94269 and MAC 88104/88105 clearly shows that these meteorites were not ejected by a common event from the Moon.

  4. Detection capability analysis of lunar retroreflector

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dong, Xue; Zhao, You; Fan, Zhongwei; Yu, Jin; Ma, Yunfeng

    2011-11-01

    The Lunar Laser Ranging (LLR) System is a part of the Lunar Exploration. It is used to detect the photons reflected by the retroreflector on the moon, and to accurately calculate range from the earth to the moon at a certain time, so as to improve the pointing precision of the telescope and correct the lunar orbit. The data is indispensable for other research about the moon. This paper not only analyses the main factors (the performance of chosen telescope, the power of laser used in LLR, the capability of detector) in affecting the detection capability of the Lunar Laser Ranging system, but also analyses the whole detection capability under the situation of all parts of an apparatus that could be attainable around the international areas. At last, the economic, feasible, with high performance-to-price ratio supporting programs are presented.

  5. Short-range laser obstacle detector

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kuriger, W. L.

    1974-01-01

    Detector, designed for slow-moving vehicle to explore surface of Mars, will automatically divert vehicle from obstacles as small as 0.5 m in its path. Detector comprises injection laser operating in pulse time-delay measurement, or radar, mode. It is capable of scanning area extending from few meters to approximately 30 m.

  6. Semiconductor laser-based ranging instrument for earth gravity measurements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abshire, James B.; Millar, Pamela S.; Sun, Xiaoli

    1995-01-01

    A laser ranging instrument is being developed to measure the spatial variations in the Earth's gravity field. It will range in space to a cube corner on a passive co-orbiting sub-satellite with a velocity accuracy of 20 to 50 microns/sec by using AlGaAs lasers intensity modulated at 2 GHz.

  7. Geometric analysis of satellite laser ranging data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Conklin, Brion; Bucey, Steven; Husson, Van S.; Decker, Winfield M.; Degnan, John J.

    1993-01-01

    The analysis of simultaneous laser data is investigated using the method of trilateration. Analysis of data from 1987 to 1992 is presented with selected baseline rates and station positions. The use of simultaneous Etalon data is simulated to demonstrate the additional global coverage these satellites provide. Trilateration has a great potential for regional deformation studies with monthly LAGEOS American solutions between 3-12 millimeters.

  8. LOLA: Defining Lunar Terrain

    NASA Video Gallery

    The Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) instrument on board NASA's LRO spacecraft builds the highest detail topography currently available of the lunar terrain. In this video David Smith, LOLA's P...

  9. Geophysical parameters from the analysis of laser ranging to Starlette

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schutz, B. E.; Shum, C. K.; Tapley, B. D.

    1992-01-01

    The results of geodynamic research from the analysis of satellite laser ranging data to Starlette are summarized. The time period of the investigation was from 15 Mar. 1986 to 31 Dec. 1991. As a result of the Starlette research, a comprehensive 16-year Starlette data set spanning the time period from 17 Mar. 1975 through 31 Dec. 1990, was produced. This data set represents the longest geophysical time series from any geodetic satellite and is invaluable for research in long-term geodynamics. A low degree and order ocean tide solution determined from Starlette has good overall agreement with other satellite and oceanographic tide solutions. The observed lunar deceleration is -24.7 +/- 0.6 arcsecond/century(exp 2), which agrees well with other studies. The estimated value of J2 is (-2.5 +/- 0.3) x 10(exp -11) yr(exp -1), assuming there are no variations in higher degree zonals and that the 18.6-year tide is fixed at an equilibrium value. The yearly fluctuations in the values for S(sub a) and S(sub sa) tides determined by the 16-year Starlette data are found to be associated with changes in the Earth's second degree zonal harmonic caused primarily by meteorological excitation. The mean values for the amplitude of S(sub a) and S(sub sa) variations in J2 are 32.3 x 10(exp -11) and 19.5 x 10(exp -11), respectively; while the rms about the mean values are 4.1 x 10(exp -11) and 6.3(10)(exp -11), respectively. The annual delta(J2) is in good agreement with the value obtained from the combined effects of air mass redistribution without the oceanic inverted-barometer effects and hydrological change. The annual delta(J3) values have much larger disagreements. Approximately 90 percent of the observed annual variation from Starlette is attributed to the meteorological mass redistribution occurring near the Earth's surface.

  10. Satellite laser ranging work at the Goddard Space Flight Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcgunigal, T. E.; Carrion, W. J.; Caudill, L. O.; Grant, C. R.; Johnson, T. S.; Premo, D. A.; Spadin, P. L.; Winston, G. C.

    1975-01-01

    Laser ranging systems, their range and accuracy capabilities, and planned improvements for future systems are discussed, the systems include one fixed and two mobile lasers ranging systems. They have demonstrated better than 10 cm accuracy both on a carefully surveyed ground range and in regular satellite ranging operations. They are capable of ranging to all currently launched retroreflector equipped satellites with the exception of Timation III. A third mobile system is discussed which will be accurate to better than 5 cm and will be capable of ranging to distant satellites such as Timation III and LAGEOS.

  11. Advanced technologies in the ASI MLRO towards a new generation laser ranging system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Varghese, Thomas; Bianco, Giuseppe

    1994-11-01

    Matera Laser Ranging Observatory (MLRO) is a high performance, highly automated optical and astronomical observatory currently under design and development by AlliedSignal for the Italian Space Agency (ASI). It is projected to become operational at the Centro Geodesia Spaziale in Matera, Italy, in 1997. MLRO, based on a 1.5-meter astronomical quality telescope, will perform ranging to spacecraft in earthbound orbits, lunar reflectors, and specially equipped deep space missions. The primary emphasis during design is to incorporate state-of-the-art technologies to produce an intelligent, automated, high accuracy ranging system that will mimic the characteristic features of a fifth generation laser ranging system. The telescope has multiple ports and foci to support future experiments in the areas of laser communications, lidar, astrometry, etc. The key features providing state-of-the-art ranging performance include: a diode-pumped picosecond (50 ps) laser, high speed (3-5 GHz) optoelectronic detection and signal processing, and a high accuracy (6 ps) high resolution (less than 2 ps) time measurement capability. The above combination of technologies is expected to yield millimeter laser ranging precision and accuracy on targets up to 300,000 km, surpassing the best operational instrument performance to date by a factor of five or more. Distributed processing and control using a state-of-the-art computing environment provides the framework for efficient operation, system optimization, and diagnostics. A computationally intelligent environment permits optimal planning, scheduling, tracking, and data processing. It also supports remote access, monitor, and control for joint experiments with other observatories.

  12. Advanced technologies in the ASI MLRO towards a new generation laser ranging system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Varghese, Thomas; Bianco, Giuseppe

    1994-01-01

    Matera Laser Ranging Observatory (MLRO) is a high performance, highly automated optical and astronomical observatory currently under design and development by AlliedSignal for the Italian Space Agency (ASI). It is projected to become operational at the Centro Geodesia Spaziale in Matera, Italy, in 1997. MLRO, based on a 1.5-meter astronomical quality telescope, will perform ranging to spacecraft in earthbound orbits, lunar reflectors, and specially equipped deep space missions. The primary emphasis during design is to incorporate state-of-the-art technologies to produce an intelligent, automated, high accuracy ranging system that will mimic the characteristic features of a fifth generation laser ranging system. The telescope has multiple ports and foci to support future experiments in the areas of laser communications, lidar, astrometry, etc. The key features providing state-of-the-art ranging performance include: a diode-pumped picosecond (50 ps) laser, high speed (3-5 GHz) optoelectronic detection and signal processing, and a high accuracy (6 ps) high resolution (less than 2 ps) time measurement capability. The above combination of technologies is expected to yield millimeter laser ranging precision and accuracy on targets up to 300,000 km, surpassing the best operational instrument performance to date by a factor of five or more. Distributed processing and control using a state-of-the-art computing environment provides the framework for efficient operation, system optimization, and diagnostics. A computationally intelligent environment permits optimal planning, scheduling, tracking, and data processing. It also supports remote access, monitor, and control for joint experiments with other observatories.

  13. Test techniques for determining laser ranging system performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zagwodzki, T. W.

    1981-01-01

    Procedures and results of an on going test program intended to evaluate laser ranging system performance levels in the field as well as in the laboratory are summarized. Tests show that laser ranging system design requires consideration of time biases and RMS jitters of individual system components. All simple Q switched lasers tested were found to be inadequate for 10 centimeter ranging systems. Timing discriminators operating over a typical 100:1 dynamic signal range may introduce as much as 7 to 9 centimeters of range bias. Time interval units commercially available today are capable of half centimeter performance and are adequate for all field systems currently deployed. Photomultipliers tested show typical tube time biases of one centimeter with single photoelectron transit time jitter of approximately 10 centimeters. Test results demonstrate that NASA's Mobile Laser Ranging System (MOBLAS) receiver configuration is limiting system performance below the 100 photoelectron level.

  14. Geodetic studies by laser ranging to satellites.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, D. E.; Kolenkiewicz, R.; Dunn, P. J.

    1972-01-01

    For three months in 1970, two Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) laser tracking systems were used to try to detect the motion of the pole of rotation of the earth. More than two hundred passes of the Beacon Explorer C spacecraft were observed as it passed between the two stations, and these data were used to determine the orbital inclination of the spacecraft. The analysis required the accurate determination of the relative positions of the two tracking stations and the identification of the perturbations to the spacecraft orbit, in particular, those due to the gravitational fields of the earth, sun, and moon and those caused by the solid-earth tides. The results to date indicate that the GSFC laser systems can determine interstation distances with a repeatability of about 25 cm and that a new value of the Love number k that represents the distortion of the earth's gravity field caused by the tidal deformation of the earth is 0.35 plus or minus 0.05.

  15. Science Investigations with Laser Ranging to the Moon and Mars/Phobos: Recent Advances, Technology Demonstrations, and New Ideas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turyshev, Slava G.; Williams, James G.; Folkner, William M.

    2010-05-01

    Since it's initiation by the Apollo 11 astronauts in 1969, LLR has strongly contributed to our understanding of the Moon's internal structure and the dynamics of the Earth-Moon system. The data provide for unique, multi-disciplinary results in the areas of lunar science, gravitational physics, Earth sciences, geodesy and geodynamics, solar system ephemerides, and terrestrial and celestial reference frames. However, the current distribution of the retroreflectors is not optimal, other weaknesses exist. A geographic distribution of new instruments on the lunar surface wider than the current distribution would be a great benefit; the accuracy of the lunar science parameters would increase several times. We are developing the next-generation of the LLR experiment. This work includes development of new retroreflector arrays and laser transponders to be deployed on the lunar surface by a series of proposed missions to the moon. The new laser instruments will enable strong advancements in LLR-derived science. Anticipated science impact includes lunar science, gravitational physics, geophysics, and geodesy. Thus, properties of the lunar interior, including tidal properties, liquid core and solid inner core can be determined from lunar rotation, orientation, and tidal response. Anticipated improvements in Earth geophysics and geodesy would include the positions and rates for the Earth stations, Earth rotation, precession rate, nutation, and tidal influences on the orbit. Strong improvements are also expected in several tests of general relativity. We address the science return enabled by the new laser retroreflectors. We also discuss deployment of pulsed laser transponders with future landers on Mars/Phobos. The development of active laser techniques would extend the accuracies characteristic of passive laser tracking to interplanetary distances. Highly-accurate time-series of the round-trip travel times of laser pulses between an observatory on the Earth and an optical

  16. Production of iron nanoparticles by laser irradiation in a simulation of lunar-like space weathering.

    PubMed

    Sasaki, S; Nakamura, K; Hamabe, Y; Kurahashi, E; Hiroi, T

    2001-03-29

    'Space weathering' is the term applied to the darkening and reddening of planetary surface materials with time, along with the changes to the depths of absorption bands in their optical spectra. It has been invoked to explain the mismatched spectra of lunar rocks and regolith, and between those of asteroids and meteorites. The formation of nanophase iron particles on regolith grains as a result of micrometeorite impacts or irradiation by the solar wind has been proposed as the main cause of the change in the optical properties. But laboratory simulations have not revealed the presence of these particles, although nano-second-pulse laser irradiation did reproduce the optical changes. Here we report observations by transmission electron microscopy of olivine samples subjected to pulse laser irradiation. We find within the amorphous vapour-deposited rims of olivine grains nanophase iron particles similar to those observed in the rims of space-weathered lunar regolith grains. Reduction by hydrogen atoms implanted by the solar wind is therefore not necessary to form the particles. Moreover, the results support the idea that ordinary chondrites came from S-type asteroids, and thereby provides some constraints on the surface exposure ages of those asteroids. PMID:11279486

  17. Nd:YLF laser for airborne/spaceborne laser ranging

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dallas, Joseph L.; Selker, Mark D.

    1993-01-01

    In order to meet the need for light weight, long lifetime, efficient, short pulse lasers, a diode-pumped, Nd:YLF oscillator and regenerative amplifier is being developed. The anticipated output is 20 mJ per 10 picosecond pulse, running at a repetition rate of 40 Hz. The fundamental wavelength is at 1047 nm. The oscillator is pumped by a single laser diode bar and mode locked using an electro-optic, intra-cavity phase modulator. The output from the oscillator is injected as a seed into the regenerative amplifier. The regenerative amplifier laser crystal is optically pumped by two 60W quasi-cw laser diode bars. Each diode is collimated using a custom designed micro-lens bar. The injected 10 ps pulse from the oscillator is kept circulating within the regenerative amplifier until this nanojoule level seed pulse is amplified to 2-3 millijoules. At this point the pulse is ejected and sent on to a more standard single pass amplifier where the energy is boosted to 20 mJ. The footprint of the entire laser (oscillator-regenerative amplifier-amplifier) will fit on a 3 by 4 ft. optical pallet.

  18. Analysis techniques for airborne laser range safety evaluations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramsburg, M. S.; Jenkins, D. L.; Doerflein, R. D.

    1982-08-01

    Techniques to evaluate safety of airborne laser operations on the range are reported. The objectives of the safety evaluations were to (1) protect civilian and military personnel from the hazards associated with lasers, (2) provide users with the least restrictive constraints in which to perform their mission and still maintain an adequate degree of safety, and (3) develop a data base for the Navy in the event of suspected laser exposure of other related incidents involving military or civilian personnel. A microcomputer code, written in ASNI 77 FORTRAN, has been developed, which will provide safe flight profiles for airborne laser systems. The output of this code can also be used in establishing operating areas for ground based Lasers. Input to the code includes output parameters, NOHD and assigned buffer zone for the laser system, as well as parameters describing the geometry of the range.

  19. Millimeter Laser Ranging to the Moon: prospects and challenges in improving the orbital and rotational dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kopeikin, S.; Pavlis, E.; Pavlis, D.

    2008-09-01

    ABSTRACT Lunar Laser Ranging (LLR) measurements are crucial for advanced exploration of the laws of fundamental gravitational physics and geophysics as well as for future human and robotic missions to the Moon. The corner-cube reflectors (CCR) currently on the Moon require no power and still work perfectly since their installation during the project Apollo era. Current LLR technology allows us to measure distances to the Moon with a precision approaching one millimeter [1]. As NASA, ESA, and other space agencies pursues the vision of taking humans back to the Moon, new, more precise laser ranging applications will be demanded, including continuous tracking from more sites on Earth, placing new CCR arrays on the Moon, and possibly installing other devices such as transponders, etc. for multiple scientific and technical purposes [2]. Since this effort involves humans in space, then in all situations the accuracy, fidelity, and robustness of the measurements, their adequate interpretation, and any products based on them, are of utmost importance. Successful achievement of this goal strongly demands further significant improvement of the theoretical model of the orbital and rotational dynamics of the Earth-Moon system. This model should inevitably be based on the theory of general relativity, fully incorporate the relevant geophysical processes, lunar librations, tides, and should rely upon the most recent standards and recommendations of the IAU for data analysis [3]. This talk discusses theoretical ideas, methods and challenges in developing such an advanced mathematical model. The model will take into account all the classical and relativistic effects in the orbital and rotational motion of the Moon and Earth at the millimeter precision. The model is supposed to be implemented as a part of the computer code underlying NASA Goddard's orbital analysis and geophysical parameter estimation package GEODYN [4]. The new model will allow us to make more precise altimetry of

  20. The airborne laser ranging system, its capabilities and applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kahn, W. D.; Degnan, J. J.; Englar, T. S., Jr.

    1982-01-01

    The airborne laser ranging system is a multibeam short pulse laser ranging system on board an aircraft. It simultaneously measures the distances between the aircraft and six laser retroreflectors (targets) deployed on the Earth's surface. The system can interrogate over 100 targets distributed over an area of 25,000 sq, kilometers in a matter of hours. Potentially, a total of 1.3 million individual range measurements can be made in a six hour flight. The precision of these range measurements is approximately + or - 1 cm. These measurements are used in procedure which is basically an extension of trilateration techniques to derive the intersite vector between the laser ground targets. By repeating the estimation of the intersite vector, strain and strain rate errors can be estimated. These quantities are essential for crustal dynamic studies which include determination and monitoring of regional strain in the vicinity of active fault zones, land subsidence, and edifice building preceding volcanic eruptions.

  1. Satellite laser ranging work at the Goddard Space Flight Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcgunigal, T. E.; Carrion, W. J.; Caudill, L. O.; Grant, C. R.; Johnson, T. S.; Premo, D. A.; Spadin, P. L.; Winston, G. C.

    1975-01-01

    The pulsed-laser satellite ranging systems presently being operated by the Goddard Space Flight Center are described along with their range and accuracy capabilities. The major subsystems are outlined, operation of the fixed system and the two mobile systems is discussed, and the performance of all three systems is evaluated. It is noted that these systems have an accuracy of better than 10 cm on a carefully surveyed range as well as in regular satellite ranging operations and are capable of ranging to all currently launched retroreflector-equipped satellites with the exception of Timation III. Future improvements discussed include a third mobile system which will be able to range distant satellites, such as Timation III, with an accuracy of better than 5 cm and the use of a frequency-doubled Nd:YAG laser in place of the ruby lasers now being employed.

  2. Highly mobile laser ranging facilities of the Crustal Dynamics Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Coates, R. J.

    1984-01-01

    Technical specifications, performance, and applications of the NASA transportable laser ranging systems (TLRS-1 and -2) for use in the Crustal Dynamics Program are described. TLRS-1 is truck-mounted, with the laser deployed through the roof. Interacting with the LAGEOS satellite, TLRS has a photoelectric receiver for gathering data on the roundtrip time of the laser beam for calculations of the range gate. The laser has a 0.1 nsec pulse at 3.5 mJ/pulse. Range is measured to within an error of 9 cm. The TLRS-2 version is configured for ease of air transport and modular breakdown and assembly. It has been activated on Easter Island. TLRS-3 and -4 are in development to serve as mobile units in South America and the Mediterranean area.

  3. Determination of the geocentric gravitational constant from laser ranging on near-earth satellites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lerch, F. J.; Smith, D. E.; Kolenkiewicz, R.; Putney, B. H.; Marsh, J. G.; Laubscher, R. E.; Brownd, J. E.; Klosko, S. M.

    1978-01-01

    Laser range observations taken on the near-earth satellites of Lageos (a = 1.92 e.r.), Starlette (a = 1.15 e.r.), BE-C (a = 1.18 e.r.), and Geos-3 (a = 1.13 e.r.) have been combined to determine an improved value of the geocentric gravitational constant (GM). The value of GM is 398600.61 cu km/sec per sec, based upon a speed of light, c, of 299792.5 km/sec. Using the IAG-adopted value of c equalling 299792.458 km/sec scales GM to 398600.44 cu km/sec per sec. The uncertainty in this value is assessed to be plus or minus 0.02 cu km/sec per sec. Determinations of GM from the data taken on these four satellites individually show variations of only .04 cu km/sec per sec from the combined result. The Lageos information dominated the combined solution, and gave the most consistent results in its data subset solutions. The value obtained for GM from near-earth laser ranging compares quite favorably with the most recent results of the lunar laser and interplanetary experiments.

  4. Detection performance of laser range-gated imaging system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Jun; Li, Xiaofeng; Luo, Jijun; Zhang, Shengxiu; Xu, Yibin

    2010-10-01

    Laser radar is rapidly developing towards very capable sensors for number of applications such as military sensing and guidance, auto collision avoidance, robotic vision and atmospheric sensing. In this paper, the detection performance of non-scanned Laser Rang-gated (LRG) imaging system is studied. In order to compute the detection range of laser active imaging system, the range equation is derived by using laser illuminating model and considering factors which affect system imaging quality. According to the principle of laser radar and the characters of objects and the detectors in special applied setting, it mainly deduced the non-scanned laser radar range equation of the range-gated system, meanwhile, the SNR model of non-scanned LRG imaging system is set up. Then, relationship of the detection probability, the false alarm probability and the signal-to-noise ratio in the non-scanned LRG imaging system are analyzed, the influence factors of system's performance are pointed out, and the solution is proposed. The detection performance simulation software of non-scanned LRG imaging system is designed with MATLAB and the performance of the imaging system is simulated.

  5. Progress in laser ranging to satellites - Achievements and plans

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Plotkin, H. H.; Johnson, T. S.; Minott, P. O.

    1974-01-01

    Theoretical and mathematical considerations involved in the design of retroreflectors for the GEOS-C and Timation III laser ranging satellites are described, laser ranging systems used by the Goddard Space Flight Center are reviewed, and planned systems changes are outlined. Equations are derived for the design of a cube corner array on a gravity gradient stabilized satellite in a circular orbit, and the required cube corner for GEOS-C is computed. Use of fixed threshold triggers and electronic and analytic pulse height compensation in present laser ranging systems is discussed. Proposed changes are outlined, including the incorporation of split gate triggers and trackers into the ranging systems and the use of analog and digital centroid measurement techniques. A theoretical consideration of the effects of velocity aberration on the reflected light beam is appended.

  6. Design of retrodirector arrays for laser ranging of satellites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Minott, P. O.

    1974-01-01

    The radar equation for laser ranging of satellites is described and the effect of the velocity aberration explained. Equations for the cross sections of cube corners and arrays of cube corners are derived. Interference effects on the distribution of the array cross section and upon range error are described. Tolerance requirements for cube corners are briefly outlined.

  7. Compact-range coordinate system established using a laser tracker.

    SciTech Connect

    Gallegos, Floyd H.; Bryce, Edwin Anthony

    2006-12-01

    Establishing a Cartesian coordinate reference system for an existing Compact Antenna Range using the parabolic reflector is presented. A SMX (Spatial Metrix Corporation) M/N 4000 laser-based coordinate measuring system established absolute coordinates for the facility. Electric field characteristics with positional movement correction are evaluated. Feed Horn relocation for alignment with the reflector axis is also described. Reference points are established for follow-on non-laser alignments utilizing a theodolite.

  8. Use of laser range finders and range image analysis in automated assembly tasks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Alvertos, Nicolas; Dcunha, Ivan

    1990-01-01

    A proposition to study the effect of filtering processes on range images and to evaluate the performance of two different laser range mappers is made. Median filtering was utilized to remove noise from the range images. First and second order derivatives are then utilized to locate the similarities and dissimilarities between the processed and the original images. Range depth information is converted into spatial coordinates, and a set of coefficients which describe 3-D objects is generated using the algorithm developed in the second phase of this research. Range images of spheres and cylinders are used for experimental purposes. An algorithm was developed to compare the performance of two different laser range mappers based upon the range depth information of surfaces generated by each of the mappers. Furthermore, an approach based on 2-D analytic geometry is also proposed which serves as a basis for the recognition of regular 3-D geometric objects.

  9. A primer in lunar geology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greeley, R. (Editor); Schultz, P. H. (Editor)

    1974-01-01

    Primary topics in lunar geology range from the evolution of the solar system to lunar photointerpretation, impact crater formation, and sampling to analyses on various Apollo lunar landing site geomorphologies.

  10. Scientific Value of the Laser Ranging of Asteroid Icarus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luo, Yong-Jie; Xia, Yan; Li, Guang-Yu

    2009-10-01

    The space mission of the laser ranging of asteroid Icarus is that a laser reflector and a timer are placed on the No.1566 asteroid and the laser interference ranging is conducted between the asteroid and the ground-based station for making the precise measurements of the PPN parameters γ and β, solar quadrupolar moment J2, time rate of change Ġ/ G of the gravitational constant and barycentric gravitational constant of the solar system objects. With the development of laser techniques, the timing accuracy of 10 ps (or 3 mm expressed by the amount of ranging) can be realized. In 2015 the asteroid Icarus will be close to the earth, which provides a better launch window for the Icarus lander. In the present article the 2003 interplanetary ephemeris frame of the PMOE is adopted to simulate the laser ranging between the ground-based station and the asteroid for 800 days from 2015 September 25 on and obtain the indeterminacies of 18 parameters, among which those of γ, β, J2 and Ġ/ G are respectively 7.8 × 10 -8, 9.0 × 10 -7, 9.8 × 10 -11 and 7.0 × 10-15yr -1, with each being 1 to 3 orders higher than the available experimental accuracy. The simulated result shows that this space mission is of scientific significance to the test of the theory of relativity, determination of the fundamental parameters of solar system and test of the space-time fundamental laws.

  11. Laser Range and Bearing Finder for Autonomous Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Granade, Stephen R.

    2004-01-01

    NASA has recently re-confirmed their interest in autonomous systems as an enabling technology for future missions. In order for autonomous missions to be possible, highly-capable relative sensor systems are needed to determine an object's distance, direction, and orientation. This is true whether the mission is autonomous in-space assembly, rendezvous and docking, or rover surface navigation. Advanced Optical Systems, Inc. has developed a wide-angle laser range and bearing finder (RBF) for autonomous space missions. The laser RBF has a number of features that make it well-suited for autonomous missions. It has an operating range of 10 m to 5 km, with a 5 deg field of view. Its wide field of view removes the need for scanning systems such as gimbals, eliminating moving parts and making the sensor simpler and space qualification easier. Its range accuracy is 1% or better. It is designed to operate either as a stand-alone sensor or in tandem with a sensor that returns range, bearing, and orientation at close ranges, such as NASA's Advanced Video Guidance Sensor. We have assembled the initial prototype and are currently testing it. We will discuss the laser RBF's design and specifications. Keywords: laser range and bearing finder, autonomous rendezvous and docking, space sensors, on-orbit sensors, advanced video guidance sensor

  12. Correction of satellite laser ranging for atmospheric refraction.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mironov, N. T.

    Atmospheric refraction causes significant errors in satellite laser ranging (SLR) systems. Numerous formulas have been developed to partially correct laser ranging data for the effects of atmospheric refraction. These formulas were derived under the assumption that atmospheric refraction is spherically symmetric. The accuracy of the Marini-Murray's spherical correction formula are checked. The residual errors in the spherical model are thought to be primarily caused by horizontal gradients in the refractivity. The effects of horizontal refractivity gradients are investigated by ray tracing through spherically symmetric and three-dimensional refractivity profiles.

  13. The study of lunar rotation by Japanese lunar landing missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kikuchi, Fuyuhiko; Hanada, Hideo; Noda, Hirotomo; Sasaki, Sho; Iwata, Takahiro

    2010-05-01

    The internal structure of the planet is one of the important clues to know its origin and evolution. So far, gravity, rotation, seismic wave, electro-magnetic wave, and heat flow observations have been carried out. In these methods, we plan to load rotation estimation instrument for next Japanese lunar exploration project SELENE-2 and SELENE-3. LLR: The Lunar Laser Ranging (LLR) is the method to measure the distance between the Earth and the Moon using laser beam. For more than 30 years since the Apollo and the Lunokhod mission placed retrograde reflectors on the Moon, LLR produced data on the lunar rotation as well as the lunar orbital evolution. On the basis of LLR data, the state of lunar interior is discussed. Williams discussed the dissipation between the solid mantle and a fluid core from LLR data. LLR observation has also provided information of moment of inertia and tidal Love number of the Moon. We are proposing a new LLR on board SELENE-II. Instead of conventional corner cube reflector (CCR) array, we are planning to use a larger single reflector. This has an advantage over the conventional CCR array, because a single cube should have smaller distance variation within the reflector upon monthly libration of the lunar rotation. We are proposing that a new reflector should be somewhere in the southern hemisphere on the nearside Moon. Then in combination with a powerful A15 CCR, latitudinal component of lunar libration and its dissipation can be measured precisely. We also prepare the inverse-VLBI and ILOM (In situ Lunar Orientation Measurement) missions for post-SELENE-2 mission. ILOM: ILOM is a selenodetic mission to study lunar rotational dynamics by direct observations of the lunar physical libration and the free librations from the lunar surface with an accuracy of 1 millisecond of arc in the post-SELENE project. Year-long trajectories of the stars provide information on various components of the physicallibrations and we will also try to detect the

  14. Nd:YAG development for spaceborne laser ranging system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harper, L. L.; Logan, K. E.; Williams, R. H.; Stevens, D. A.

    1979-01-01

    The results of the development of a unique modelocked laser device to be utilized in future NASA space-based, ultraprecision laser ranger systems are summarized. The engineering breadboard constructed proved the feasibility of the pump-pulsed, actively modelocked, PTM Q-switched Nd:YAG laser concept for the generation of subnanosecond pulses suitable for ultra-precision ranging. The laser breadboard also included a double-pass Nd:YAG amplifier and provision for a Type II KD*P frequency doubler. The specific technical accomplishment was the generation of single 150 psec, 20-mJ pulses at 10 pps at a wavelength of 1.064 micrometers with 25 dB suppression of pre-and post-pulses.

  15. Research on range-gated laser active imaging seeker

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    You, Mu; Wang, PengHui; Tan, DongJie

    2013-09-01

    Compared with other imaging methods such as millimeter wave imaging, infrared imaging and visible light imaging, laser imaging provides both a 2-D array of reflected intensity data as well as 2-D array of range data, which is the most important data for use in autonomous target acquisition .In terms of application, it can be widely used in military fields such as radar, guidance and fuse. In this paper, we present a laser active imaging seeker system based on range-gated laser transmitter and sensor technology .The seeker system presented here consist of two important part, one is laser image system, which uses a negative lens to diverge the light from a pulse laser to flood illuminate a target, return light is collected by a camera lens, each laser pulse triggers the camera delay and shutter. The other is stabilization gimbals, which is designed to be a rotatable structure both in azimuth and elevation angles. The laser image system consists of transmitter and receiver. The transmitter is based on diode pumped solid-state lasers that are passively Q-switched at 532nm wavelength. A visible wavelength was chosen because the receiver uses a Gen III image intensifier tube with a spectral sensitivity limited to wavelengths less than 900nm.The receiver is image intensifier tube's micro channel plate coupled into high sensitivity charge coupled device camera. The image has been taken at range over one kilometer and can be taken at much longer range in better weather. Image frame frequency can be changed according to requirement of guidance with modifiable range gate, The instantaneous field of views of the system was found to be 2×2 deg. Since completion of system integration, the seeker system has gone through a series of tests both in the lab and in the outdoor field. Two different kinds of buildings have been chosen as target, which is located at range from 200m up to 1000m.To simulate dynamic process of range change between missile and target, the seeker system has

  16. Validation and verification of the laser range safety tool (LRST)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kennedy, Paul K.; Keppler, Kenneth S.; Thomas, Robert J.; Polhamus, Garrett D.; Smith, Peter A.; Trevino, Javier O.; Seaman, Daniel V.; Gallaway, Robert A.; Crockett, Gregg A.

    2003-06-01

    The U.S. Dept. of Defense (DOD) is currently developing and testing a number of High Energy Laser (HEL) weapons systems. DOD range safety officers now face the challenge of designing safe methods of testing HEL's on DOD ranges. In particular, safety officers need to ensure that diffuse and specular reflections from HEL system targets, as well as direct beam paths, are contained within DOD boundaries. If both the laser source and the target are moving, as they are for the Airborne Laser (ABL), a complex series of calculations is required and manual calculations are impractical. Over the past 5 years, the Optical Radiation Branch of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL/HEDO), the ABL System Program Office, Logicon-RDA, and Northrup-Grumman, have worked together to develop a computer model called teh Laser Range Safety Tool (LRST), specifically designed for HEL reflection hazard analyses. The code, which is still under development, is currently tailored to support the ABL program. AFRL/HEDO has led an LRST Validation and Verification (V&V) effort since 1998, in order to determine if code predictions are accurate. This paper summarizes LRST V&V efforts to date including: i) comparison of code results with laboratory measurements of reflected laser energy and with reflection measurements made during actual HEL field tests, and ii) validation of LRST's hazard zone computations.

  17. Segmentation of laser range image for pipe anomaly detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Zheng; Krys, Dennis

    2010-04-01

    Laser-based scanning can provide a precise surface profile. It has been widely applied to the inspection of pipe inner walls and is often used along with other types of sensors, like sonar and close-circuit television (CCTV). These measurements can be used for pipe deterioration modeling and condition assessment. Geometric information needs to be extracted to characterize anomalies in the pipe profile. Since the laser scanning measures the distance, segmentation with a threshold is a straightforward way to isolate the anomalies. However, threshold with a fixed distance value does not work well for the laser range image due to the intensity inhomogeneity, which is caused the uncontrollable factors during the inspection. Thus, a local binary fitting (LBF) active contour model is employed in this work to process the laser range image and an image phase congruency algorithm is adopted to provide the initial contour as required by the LBF method. The combination of these two approaches can successfully detect the anomalies from a laser range image.

  18. 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

  19. Observing tectonic plate motions and deformations from satellite laser ranging

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Christodoulidis, D. C.; Smith, D. E.; Kolenkiewicz, R.; Klosko, S. M.; Torrence, M. H.

    1985-01-01

    The scope of geodesy has been greatly affected by the advent of artificial near-earth satellites. The present paper provides a description of the results obtained from the reduction of data collected with the aid of satellite laser ranging. It is pointed out that dynamic reduction of satellite laser ranging (SLR) data provides very precise positions in three dimensions for the laser tracking network. The vertical components of the stations, through the tracking geometry provided by the global network and the accurate knowledge of orbital dynamics, are uniquely related to the center of mass of the earth. Attention is given to the observations, the methodologies for reducing satellite observations to estimate station positions, Lageos-observed tectonic plate motions, an improved temporal resolution of SLR plate motions, and the SLR vertical datum.

  20. Effects of turbulence on the geodynamic laser ranging system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Churnside, James H.

    1993-01-01

    The Geodynamic Laser Ranging System (GLRS) is one of several instruments being developed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for implementation as part of the Earth Observing System in the mid-1990s (Cohen et al., 1987; Bruno et al., 1988). It consists of a laser transmitter and receiver in space and an array of retroreflectors on the ground. The transmitter produces short (100 ps) pulses of light at two harmonics (0.532 and 0.355 microns) of the Nd:YAG laser. These propagate to a retroreflector on the ground and return. The receiver collects the reflected light and measures the round-trip transit time. Ranging from several angles accurately determines the position of the retroreflector, and changes in position caused by geophysical processes can be monitored.

  1. The Airborne Laser Ranging System - Its capabilities and applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kahn, W. D.; Degnan, J. J.; Englar, T. S., Jr.

    1983-01-01

    The Airborne Laser Ranging System is a proposed multibeam short pulse laser ranging system on board an aircraft. It simultaneously measures the distances between the aircraft and six laser retroreflectors (targets) deployed on the earth's surface. Depending on the host aircraft and terrain characteristics, the system can interrogate hundreds of targets distributed over an area as large as 60,000 sq. km in a matter of hours. Potentially, a total of 1.3 million individual range measurements can be made in a 6 hr flight. The precision of these range measurements is approximately 1 cm. These measurements are then used in a procedure which is basically an extension of trilateration techniques to derive the intersite vector between the laser ground targets. By repeating the estimation of the intersite vector, strain and strain rate errors can be estimated. These quantities are essential for crustal dynamic studies which include determination and monitoring of regional strain in the vicinity of active fault zones, land subsidence, and edifice building preceding volcanic eruptions.

  2. Apollo 17 Lunar Surface Experiment: Lunar Atmosphere Composition Experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1972-01-01

    Table-top views of one of the Apollo 17 Lunar Surface Experiments. This view is of the Lunar Atmosphere Composition Experiment (LACE) (Lunar Mass Spectrometer), Experiment S-205, one of the experiments of the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package which will be carried on the Apollo 17 lunar landing mission. The LACE will measrue components in the ambient lunar atmosphere in the range of one to 110 atomic mass units (AMU).

  3. Long range laser propagation: power scaling and beam quality issues

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bohn, Willy L.

    2010-09-01

    This paper will address long range laser propagation applications where power and, in particular beam quality issues play a major role. Hereby the power level is defined by the specific mission under consideration. I restrict myself to the following application areas: (1)Remote sensing/Space based LIDAR, (2) Space debris removal (3)Energy transmission, and (4)Directed energy weapons Typical examples for space based LIDARs are the ADM Aeolus ESA mission using the ALADIN Nd:YAG laser with its third harmonic at 355 nm and the NASA 2 μm Tm:Ho:LuLiF convectively cooled solid state laser. Space debris removal has attracted more attention in the last years due to the dangerous accumulation of debris in orbit which become a threat to the satellites and the ISS space station. High power high brightness lasers may contribute to this problem by partially ablating the debris material and hence generating an impulse which will eventually de-orbit the debris with their subsequent disintegration in the lower atmosphere. Energy transmission via laser beam from space to earth has long been discussed as a novel long term approach to solve the energy problem on earth. In addition orbital transfer and stationkeeping are among the more mid-term applications of high power laser beams. Finally, directed energy weapons are becoming closer to reality as corresponding laser sources have matured due to recent efforts in the JHPSSL program. All of this can only be realized if he laser sources fulfill the necessary power requirements while keeping the beam quality as close as possible to the diffraction limited value. And this is the rationale and motivation of this paper.

  4. Evaluation of a satellite laser ranging technique using pseudonoise code modulated laser diodes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ball, Carolyn Kay

    1987-01-01

    Several types of Satellite Laser Ranging systems exist, operating with pulsed, high-energy lasers. The distance between a ground point and an orbiting satellite can be determined to within a few centimeters. A new technique substitutes pseudonoise code modulated laser diodes, which are much more compact, reliable and less costly, for the lasers now used. Since laser diode technology is only now achieving sufficiently powerful lasers, the capabilities of the new technique are investigated. Also examined are the effects of using an avalanche photodiode detector instead of a photomultiplier tube. The influence of noise terms (including background radiation, detector dark and thermal noise and speckle) that limit the system range and performance is evaluated.

  5. A miniature laser ablation mass spectrometer for quantitative in situ chemical composition investigation of lunar surface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brigitte Neuland, Maike; Grimaudo, Valentine; Mezger, Klaus; Moreno-García, Pavel; Riedo, Andreas; Tulej, Marek; Wurz, Peter

    2016-04-01

    The chemical composition of planetary bodies, moons, comets and asteroids is a key to understand their origin and evolution [Wurz,2009]. Measurements of the elemental and isotopic composition of rocks yield information about the formation of the planetary body, its evolution and following processes shaping the planetary surface. From the elemental composition, conclusions about modal mineralogy and petrology can be drawn. Isotope ratios are a sensitive indicator for past events on the planetary body and yield information about origin and transformation of the matter, back to events that occurred in the early solar system. Finally, measurements of radiogenic isotopes make it possible to carry out dating analyses. All these topics, particularly in situ dating analyses, quantitative elemental and highly accurate isotopic composition measurements, are top priority scientific questions for future lunar missions. An instrument for precise measurements of chemical composition will be a key element in scientific payloads of future landers or rovers on lunar surface. We present a miniature laser ablation mass spectrometer (LMS) designed for in situ research in planetary and space science and optimised for measurements of the chemical composition of rocks and soils on a planetary surface. By means of measurements of standard reference materials we demonstrate that LMS is a suitable instrument for in situ measurements of elemental and isotopic composition with high precision and accuracy. Measurements of soil standards are used to confirm known sensitivity coefficients of the instrument and to prove the power of LMS for quantitative elemental analyses [Neuland,2016]. For demonstration of the capability of LMS to measure the chemical composition of extraterrestrial material we use a sample of Allende meteorite [Neuland,2014]. Investigations of layered samples confirm the high spatial resolution in vertical direction of LMS [Grimaudo,2015], which allows in situ studying of past

  6. Laser Ranging on Space Debris with the Changchun SLR Station

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Chengzhi

    2015-08-01

    The Changchun SLR station has upgraded to track space debris in 2014. The system operates with a 60mJ/10ns/500Hz 532.0nm laser (M2<1.5) and an optical camera for closed-loop tracking. With this configuration, 466 passes of 224 different space debris targets were obtained during 19 terminator sessions, each about 1.5h. Target distances are between 460 km and 1800 km, with RCS (radar cross sections) from >15 m2 down to <1.0 m2. Measured range had an average precision of about 1.0 m RMS. The system can be conveniently operated by one person. The presentation will introduce the technical developments and the observation results obtained. By analyzing the laser range data, range residual of about 1~2 meters is obtained.

  7. Laser ranging error budget for the Topex/Poseidon satellite

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schwartz, Jon A.

    1990-01-01

    A laser ranging error budget is detailed, and a specific error budget is derived for the Topex/Poseidon satellite. A ranging uncertainty of 0.76 cm is predicted for Topex/Poseidon at 20 deg elevation using the presently designed laser retroreflector array and only modest improvements in present system operations. Atmospheric refraction and satellite attitude effects cause the predicted range error to vary with satellite elevation angle from 0.71 cm at zenith to 0.76 cm at 20 deg elevation. This a priori error budget compares well with the about 1.2-cm rms a posteriori polynomial orbital fit using existing data taken for an extant satellite of similar size and orbit.

  8. Satellite laser ranging and gravity field modeling accuracy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosborough, George W.

    1990-01-01

    Gravitational field mismodeling procedures errors in the estimated orbital motion of near Earth satellites. This effect is studied using a linear perturbation approach following the analysis of Kaula. The perturbations in the orbital position as defined by either orbital elements or Cartesian components are determined. From these perturbations it is possible to ascertain the expected signal due to gravitational mismodeling that would be present in station-to-satellite laser ranging measurements. This expected signal has been estimated for the case of the Lageos satellite and using the predicted uncertainties of the GEM-T1 and GEM-T2 gravity field models. The results indicate that observable signal still exists in the laser range residuals given the current accuracy of the range measurements and the accuracy of the gravity field models.

  9. Field tests of laser ranging using PRBS modulation techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kovalik, J.; Wilson, K.; Wright, M.; Williamson, W.

    2011-06-01

    We have developed and tested an optical ranging system using a Pseudo-Random Bit Stream (PRBS) modulation technique. The optical transceiver consisted of an infrared laser transmitter co-aligned with a receiver telescope. The infrared laser beam was propagated to a retro-reflector and then received by a detector coupled to the telescope. The transceiver itself was mounted on a gimbal that could actively track moving targets through a camera that was bore sighted with the optical detector. The detected optical signal was processed in real time to produce a range measurement with sub mm accuracy. This system was tested in the field using both stationary and moving targets up to 5 km away. Ranging measurements to an aircraft were compared with results obtained by differential GPS (Global Positioning System) techniques.

  10. Laser system range calculations and the Lambert W function.

    PubMed

    Steinvall, Ove

    2009-02-01

    The knowledge of range performance versus atmospheric transmission, often given by the visibility, is critical for the design, use, and prediction of laser and passive electro-optic systems. I present a solution of the ladar-lidar equation based on Lambert's W function. This solution will reveal the dependence of the maximum range on the system and target parameters for different atmospheric attenuations and will also allow us to take the signal statistics into account by studying the influence on the threshold signal-to-noise ratio. The method is also applicable to many range calculations for passive systems where the atmospheric loss can be approximated by an exponential term. PMID:19183566

  11. Evaluation of IGS Orbits with Satellite Laser Ranging

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Watkins, M. M.; Bar-Sever, Y. E.; Yuan, D. N.

    1996-01-01

    The accuracy with which orbits for the Global Positioning System (GPS) spacecraft, can be computed directly affects the accuracy of the resulting site coordinates and polar motion. Several groups routinely analyze GPS ground tracking data to compute precise orbits and terrestrial reference frame solutions. In this paper, we infer the accuracy of the orbits of two of the GPS satellites by comparing to independent laser ranges of subcentimeter accuracy obtained by a small but reasonably well distributed network of tracking sites. We find that all seven International GPS Service for Geodynamics (IGS) analysis centers achieve range residual root mean square (rms) errors at or below the 100 mm level. The best orbit solutions, from JPL, CODE, and the IGS combined product, yield a residual rms of about 50 mm. These residuals are consistent with three dimensional orbit errors of less than 150 mm. Estimating yaw rates for the spacecraft during shadow events, and using these estimates to compute the laser residual, significantly improves the fit. A small mean residual value of -15 to -30 mm seems to exist for most centers and laser sites which is not fully explained at present, but may be due to uncertainties in the corrections to the laser data, such as the reflector to spacecraft center of mass vector or small reference frame differences between the SLR sites and the GPS orbits.

  12. Note: Digital laser frequency auto-locking for inter-satellite laser ranging.

    PubMed

    Luo, Yingxin; Li, Hongyin; Yeh, Hsien-Chi

    2016-05-01

    We present a prototype of a laser frequency auto-locking and re-locking control system designed for laser frequency stabilization in inter-satellite laser ranging system. The controller has been implemented on field programmable gate arrays and programmed with LabVIEW software. The controller allows initial frequency calibrating and lock-in of a free-running laser to a Fabry-Pérot cavity. Since it allows automatic recovery from unlocked conditions, benefit derives to automated in-orbit operations. Program design and experimental results are demonstrated. PMID:27250480

  13. Laser beaming demonstrations at the Starfire Optical Range

    SciTech Connect

    Lipinski, R.J.; Meister, D.C.; Tucker, S.; Leatherman, P.; Fugate, R.Q.; Maes, C.; Lange, W.J.; Cowan, W.

    1995-03-01

    The ability to acquire, track, and accurately direct a laser beam to a satellite is crucial for power-beaming and laser-communications. To assess the state of the art in this area, a team consisting of Air Force Phillips Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, and COMSAT Corporation personnel performed some laser beaming demonstrations to various satellites. A ruby laser and a frequency-doubled YAG laser were used with the Phillips Lab Starfire Optical Range (SOR) beam director for this activity. The ruby laser projected 20 J in 6 ms out the telescope with a beam divergence that increased from 1.4 to 4 times the diffraction limit during that time. The doubled YAG projected 0.09 J in 10 ns at 20 Hz. The SOR team demonstrated the ability to move rapidly to a satellite, center it in the telescope, then lock onto it with the tracker, and establish illumination. Several low-earth-orbit satellites with corner-cube retro-reflectors were illuminated at ranges from 1000 to 6000 km with a beam divergence estimated to be about 20 {mu}radians. The return signal from the ruby laser was collected in a 15-cm telescope, detected by a photomultiplier tube, and recorded at 400 kHz. Rapid variations in intensity (as short at 15 {mu}s) were noted, which may be due to speckles caused by phase interference from light reflected from different retro-reflectors on the satellite. The return light from the YAG was collected by a 35-cm telescope and detected by an intensified CCD camera. The satellite brightened by about a factor of 30 in the sunlight when the laser was turned on, and dimmed back to normal when the 50-{mu}radian point-ahead was turned off. The satellite was illuminated at 1 Hz as it entered the earth`s shadow and followed for about 10 seconds in the shadow. In another demonstration, four neighboring GEO satellites were located and centered in succession with a 3.5-m telescope at a rate of about 16 seconds per satellite.

  14. Satellite laser ranging - Current status and future prospects

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Degnan, J. J.

    1985-01-01

    The characteristics and capabilities of instruments and operational techniques in the field of satellite laser ranging (SLR) are discussed. Following a brief introduction to the basic concept of SLR, a developmental history of each of the major components of an SLR hardware is given, including the laser transmitter, photomultiplier, discriminator, and time interval unit. The sources of range error in each of the devices are examined, and techniques for reducing error are described. A description of current SLR hardware is summarized using samples of actual satellite data obtained in 1981, which show that orbital fits with a 1.5 single shot rms and normal point rms error of less than 3 mm with 1-6 percent data entering. The development of even more precise measurement techniques in the future with the advent of the Starlette and LAGEOS II SLR system is also discussed.

  15. Three dimensional map construction using a scanning laser range finder

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang, Yau-Zen; Lee, Shih-Tseng

    2009-01-01

    This paper presents the development of a three-dimensional environment reconstruction system using a laser range finder. The original design of URG-04LX laser range finder, provided by Hokuyo Inc., is efficient in providing two-dimensional distance information. To enhance the capability of the device, we developed a rotation mechanism to provide it a sweep motion for stereo data collection. Geometric equations are derived that includes parameters of misalignment that are unavoidable in manufacturing and assembling. The parameters are calibrated according to practical data measurement of three relatively-perpendicular planes. The calibration is formulated as an optimization problem solved using the Nelder- Mead simplex algorithm. Validity of the calibration scheme is demonstrated by the reconstruction of several real-world scenes.

  16. The construction of a highly transportable laser ranging station

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1980-01-01

    The technology of the transportable Laser Ranging Station (TLRS) used in crustal dynamics studies was examined. The TLRS used a single photoelectron beam of limited energy density returned from the Laser Geodynamic Satellite (LAGEOS). Calibration was accomplished by the diversion of a small portion of the outgoing beam attenuated to the same level as the satellite return. Timing for the system was based on a self calibrating Ortec TD811, 100 picosec time interval device. The system was contained in a modified, single chassis recreational vehicle that allowed rapid deployment. The TLRS system was only airmobile on the largest transport aircraft. A 30 cm simple plano/concave transfer lens telescope aided in beam direction. The TLRS system fulfills the need for an accurate method of obtaining range measurements to the LAGEOS satellite incorporated in a mobile, air transportable, and economical configuration.

  17. New consideration of atmospheric refraction in laser ranging data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yan, Haojian; Wang, Guangli

    1999-08-01

    In this paper we reconsider the formulae of tropospheric refraction correction for the Satellite Laser Range technique. From the expansion of the complementary error function, a new continued fraction form of the mapping function at optical frequencies is derived. The correction terms related to the operation frequency of the laser beam are considered in both the zenith delay and the mapping function. The correction for low-elevation satellites is briefly reviewed. The theoretical accuracy of the new mapping function has been analysed via the ray tracing integrals under the standard atmospheric profile. With respect to the radiosonde data, the deviations of the new mapping function are investigated in an elevation range down to near 1 deg, which is comparable with the results of the Marini-Murray formulae.

  18. New progress of ranging technology at Wuhan Satellite Laser Ranging Station

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Xia, Zhiz-Hong; Ye, Wen-Wei; Cai, Qing-Fu

    1993-01-01

    A satellite laser ranging system with an accuracy of the level of centimeter has been successfully developed at the Institute of Seismology, State Seismological Bureau with the cooperation of the Institute of Geodesy and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Science. With significant improvements on the base of the second generation SLR system developed in 1985, ranging accuracy of the new system has been upgraded from 15 cm to 3-4 cm. Measuring range has also been expanded, so that the ETALON satellite with an orbit height of 20,000 km launched by the former U.S.S.R. can now be tracked. Compared with the 2nd generation SLR system, the newly developed system has the following improvements. A Q modulated laser is replaced by a mode-locked YAG laser. The new device has a pulse width of 150 ps and a repetition rate of 1-4 pps. A quick response photomultiplier has been adopted as the receiver for echo; for example, the adoption of the MCP tube has obviously reduced the jitter error of the transit time and has improved the ranging accuracy. The whole system is controlled by an IBM PC/XT Computer to guide automatic tracking and measurement. It can carry out these functions for satellite orbit calculation, real-time tracking and adjusting, data acquisition and the preprocessed of observing data, etc. The automatization level and reliability of the observation have obviously improved.

  19. 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.

  20. International Laser Ranging Services (ILRS) 2001 Annual Report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pearlman, Michael (Editor); Torrence, Mark (Editor); Noll, Carey (Editor)

    2002-01-01

    This 2001 Annual Report of the International Laser Ranging Services (ILRS) is comprised of individual contributions from ILRS components within the international geodetic community. This report documents the work of the ILRS components for the year 2001. The report documents changes and progress of the ILRS. This document is also available on the ILRS Web site at http://ilrs.gsfc.nasa.gov/reports/ilrs_reports/ilrsar_2001.html.

  1. Long Range Interactions With Laser Cooled Neutral Atoms

    SciTech Connect

    Gattobigio, Giovanni Luca; Michaud, Franck; Labeyrie, Guillaume; Kaiser, Robin; Loureiro, Jorge; Mendonca, Jose Tito; Tercas, Hugo; Pohl, Thomas

    2008-09-07

    Multiple scattering of light in a trap of laser cooled neutral atoms leads to repulsion forces between the atoms. The corresponding interactions have long range behavior in 1/r{sup 2} and are thus similar to Coulomb interaction in an one component confined plasma. Consequences of these interactions will be described in this paper, including the limitation of the spatial density one can obtain in such systems and self-sustained oscillations of the cloud.

  2. Nanosecond time transfer via shuttle laser ranging experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reinhardt, V. S.; Premo, D. A.; Fitzmaurice, M. W.; Wardrip, S. C.; Cervenka, P. O.

    1978-01-01

    A method is described to use a proposed shuttle laser ranging experiment to transfer time with nanosecond precision. All that need be added to the original experiment are low cost ground stations and an atomic clock on the shuttle. It is shown that global time transfer can be accomplished with 1 ns precision and transfer up to distances of 2000 km can be accomplished with better than 100 ps precision.

  3. Covariance analysis of the airborne laser ranging system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Englar, T. S., Jr.; Hammond, C. L.; Gibbs, B. P.

    1981-01-01

    The requirements and limitations of employing an airborne laser ranging system for detecting crustal shifts of the Earth within centimeters over a region of approximately 200 by 400 km are presented. The system consists of an aircraft which flies over a grid of ground deployed retroreflectors, making six passes over the grid at two different altitudes. The retroreflector baseline errors are assumed to result from measurement noise, a priori errors on the aircraft and retroreflector positions, tropospheric refraction, and sensor biases.

  4. International Laser Ranging Service (ILRS) 1999 Annual Report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pearlman, Michael (Editor); Taggert, Linda (Editor)

    2000-01-01

    This 1999 Annual Report of the International Laser Ranging Service (ILRS) is comprised of individual contributions from ILRS components within the international geodetic community. This report documents the work of the ILRS components from the inception of the Service through December 31,1999. Since the service has only recently been established, the ILRS associates decided to publish this Annual report as a reference to our organization and its components.

  5. 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.

  6. Using an eyesafe military laser range finder for atmospheric sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steinvall, Ove; Persson, Rolf; Berglund, Folke; Gustafsson, Ove K. S.; Gustafsson, Frank

    2014-06-01

    Laser Rangefinders are well established components in various electro-optical fire control systems. Recent range finders are often operating at eye safe wavelengths around 1.5 μm which extend their utility. One such extension is the use of the sensor for atmospheric sensing based on the measured backscatter signal. The present paper investigates the use of an eye-safe laser rangefinder at 1.5 μm to obtain information on atmospheric attenuation at various paths in the atmosphere. This knowledge can in turn be used in combination with atmospheric and target/background models to estimate the performance of other EO sensors like TV and thermal imagers beside the laser range finder itself. Such information can be of great value both for estimating own sensor capabilities at a given moment as well as estimating the threat capability. One obvious example is ship defense where it is difficult to obtain visibility along a variable atmosphere especially in darkness. The paper will describe the experimental equipment and the results from measurements of atmospheric backscatter along various atmospheric paths. The backscatter curve is used to evaluate the extinction. This extinction values are compared with those deduced from a point visibility meter and from echo measurements against two similar nets positioned at 2 ranges from the sensor. The results indicated a good correspondence between these results. Finally the results are illustrated in a system perspective by estimating the performance for thermal IR and other EO sensors.

  7. Laser ranging and mapping with a photon-counting detector.

    PubMed

    Priedhorsky, W C; Smith, R C; Ho, C

    1996-01-20

    We propose a new technique for remote sensing: photon-counting laser mapping. MicroChannel plate detectors with a crossed delay-line (MCP/CDL) readout combine high position accuracy and subnanosecond photon timing, at event rates of 10(6) detected photons per second and more. A mapping system would combine an MCP/CDL detector with a fast-pulse, high-repetition-rate laser illuminator. The system would map solid targets with exceptional in-range and cross-range resolution. The resulting images would be intrinsically three dimensional, without resorting to multiple viewing angles, so that objects of identical albedo could be discriminated. For a detector time resolution and pulse width of the order of 10(-10) s, the in-range resolution would be a few centimeters, permitting the discrimination of surfaces by their textures. Images could be taken at night, at illumination levels up to full moonlight, from ground, airborne, or space platforms. We discuss signal to noise as a function of laser flux and background level and present simulated images. PMID:21069029

  8. Lunar Core and Tides

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, J. G.; Boggs, D. H.; Ratcliff, J. T.

    2004-01-01

    Variations in rotation and orientation of the Moon are sensitive to solid-body tidal dissipation, dissipation due to relative motion at the fluid-core/solid-mantle boundary, and tidal Love number k2 [1,2]. There is weaker sensitivity to flattening of the core-mantle boundary (CMB) [2,3,4] and fluid core moment of inertia [1]. Accurate Lunar Laser Ranging (LLR) measurements of the distance from observatories on the Earth to four retroreflector arrays on the Moon are sensitive to lunar rotation and orientation variations and tidal displacements. Past solutions using the LLR data have given results for dissipation due to solid-body tides and fluid core [1] plus Love number [1-5]. Detection of CMB flattening, which in the past has been marginal but improving [3,4,5], now seems significant. Direct detection of the core moment has not yet been achieved.

  9. Detecting Topological Defect Dark Matter Using Coherent Laser Ranging System.

    PubMed

    Yang, Wanpeng; Leng, Jianxiao; Zhang, Shuangyou; Zhao, Jianye

    2016-01-01

    In the last few decades, optical frequency combs with high intensity, broad optical bandwidth, and directly traceable discrete wavelengths have triggered rapid developments in distance metrology. However, optical frequency combs to date have been limited to determine the absolute distance to an object (such as satellite missions). We propose a scheme for the detection of topological defect dark matter using a coherent laser ranging system composed of dual-combs and an optical clock via nongravitational signatures. The dark matter field, which comprises a defect, may interact with standard model particles, including quarks and photons, resulting in the alteration of their masses. Thus, a topological defect may function as a dielectric material with a distinctive frequency-depend index of refraction, which would cause the time delay of a periodic extraterrestrial or terrestrial light. When a topological defect passes through the Earth, the optical path of long-distance vacuum path is altered, this change in optical path can be detected through the coherent laser ranging system. Compared to continuous wavelength(cw) laser interferometry methods, dual-comb interferometry in our scheme excludes systematic misjudgement by measuring the absolute optical path length. PMID:27389642

  10. Detecting Topological Defect Dark Matter Using Coherent Laser Ranging System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Wanpeng; Leng, Jianxiao; Zhang, Shuangyou; Zhao, Jianye

    2016-07-01

    In the last few decades, optical frequency combs with high intensity, broad optical bandwidth, and directly traceable discrete wavelengths have triggered rapid developments in distance metrology. However, optical frequency combs to date have been limited to determine the absolute distance to an object (such as satellite missions). We propose a scheme for the detection of topological defect dark matter using a coherent laser ranging system composed of dual-combs and an optical clock via nongravitational signatures. The dark matter field, which comprises a defect, may interact with standard model particles, including quarks and photons, resulting in the alteration of their masses. Thus, a topological defect may function as a dielectric material with a distinctive frequency-depend index of refraction, which would cause the time delay of a periodic extraterrestrial or terrestrial light. When a topological defect passes through the Earth, the optical path of long-distance vacuum path is altered, this change in optical path can be detected through the coherent laser ranging system. Compared to continuous wavelength(cw) laser interferometry methods, dual-comb interferometry in our scheme excludes systematic misjudgement by measuring the absolute optical path length.

  11. Detecting Topological Defect Dark Matter Using Coherent Laser Ranging System

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Wanpeng; Leng, Jianxiao; Zhang, Shuangyou; Zhao, Jianye

    2016-01-01

    In the last few decades, optical frequency combs with high intensity, broad optical bandwidth, and directly traceable discrete wavelengths have triggered rapid developments in distance metrology. However, optical frequency combs to date have been limited to determine the absolute distance to an object (such as satellite missions). We propose a scheme for the detection of topological defect dark matter using a coherent laser ranging system composed of dual-combs and an optical clock via nongravitational signatures. The dark matter field, which comprises a defect, may interact with standard model particles, including quarks and photons, resulting in the alteration of their masses. Thus, a topological defect may function as a dielectric material with a distinctive frequency-depend index of refraction, which would cause the time delay of a periodic extraterrestrial or terrestrial light. When a topological defect passes through the Earth, the optical path of long-distance vacuum path is altered, this change in optical path can be detected through the coherent laser ranging system. Compared to continuous wavelength(cw) laser interferometry methods, dual-comb interferometry in our scheme excludes systematic misjudgement by measuring the absolute optical path length. PMID:27389642

  12. Laser-guide-stars used for cophasing broad capture ranges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martinez, P.; Janin-Potiron, P.

    2016-08-01

    Context. Segmented primary mirrors are indispensable to master the steady increase in spatial resolution. Phasing optics systems must reduce segment misalignments to guarantee the high optical quality required for astronomical science programs. Aims: Modern telescopes routinely use adaptive optics systems to compensate for the atmosphere and use laser-guide-stars to create artificial stars as bright references in the field of observation. Because multiple laser-guide-star adaptive optics are being implemented in all major observatories, we propose to use man-made stars not only for adaptive optics, but for phasing optics. Methods: We propose a method called the doublet-wavelength coherence technique (DWCT), exploiting the D lines of sodium in the mesosphere using laser guide-stars. The signal coherence properties are then used. Results: The DWCT capture range exceeds current abilities by a factor of 100. It represents a change in paradigm by improving the phasing optics capture range from micrometric to millimetric. It thereby potentially eliminates the need of a man-made mechanical pre-phasing step. Conclusions: Extremely large telescopes require hundreds of segments, several of which need to be substituted on a daily basis to be recoated. The DWCT relaxes mechanical integration requirements and speeds up integration and re-integration process.

  13. Baseline monitoring using aircraft laser ranging. [spaceborne laser simulation and aircraft laser tracking

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krabill, W. B.; Hoge, F. E.; Martin, C. F.

    1982-01-01

    The use of aircraft laser ranging for the determination of baselines between ground based retroreflectors was investigated via simulations and with tests at Wallops Flight Center using the Airborne Oceanographic Lidar (AOL) on the Wallops C-54 aircraft ranging to a reflector array deployed around one of the Wallops runways. The aircraft altitude and reflector spacing were chosen on the basis of scaled down modeling of spacecraft tracking from 1000 km of reflectors separated by some 52 km, or of high altitude (10 km) aircraft tracking of reflectors separated by some 500 m. Aircraft altitudes flown for different passes across the runway reflector array varied from 800 m to 1350 m, with 32 reflectors deployed over an approximtely 300 m x 500 m ground pattern. The AOL transmitted 400 pulses/sec with a scan rate of 5/sec in a near circular pattern, so that the majority of the pulses were reflected by the runway surface or its environs rather than by retroreflectors. The return pulse characteristics clearly showed the high reflectivity of portions of the runway, with several returns indistinguishable in amplitude from reflector returns. For each pass across the reflector field, typically six to ten reflector hits were identified, consistent with that predicted by simulations and the observed transmitted elliptical pulse size.

  14. 3D sensor for indirect ranging with pulsed laser source

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bronzi, D.; Bellisai, S.; Villa, F.; Scarcella, C.; Bahgat Shehata, A.; Tosi, A.; Padovini, G.; Zappa, F.; Tisa, S.; Durini, D.; Weyers, S.; Brockherde, W.

    2012-10-01

    The growing interest for fast, compact and cost-effective 3D ranging imagers for automotive applications has prompted to explore many different techniques for 3D imaging and to develop new system for this propose. CMOS imagers that exploit phase-resolved techniques provide accurate 3D ranging with no complex optics and are rugged and costeffective. Phase-resolved techniques indirectly measure the round-trip return of the light emitted by a laser and backscattered from a distant target, computing the phase delay between the modulated light and the detected signal. Singlephoton detectors, with their high sensitivity, allow to actively illuminate the scene with a low power excitation (less than 10W with diffused daylight illumination). We report on a 4x4 array of CMOS SPAD (Single Photon Avalanche Diodes) designed in a high-voltage 0.35 μm CMOS technology, for pulsed modulation, in which each pixel computes the phase difference between the laser and the reflected pulse. Each pixel comprises a high-performance 30 μm diameter SPAD, an analog quenching circuit, two 9 bit up-down counters and memories to store data during the readout. The first counter counts the photons detected by the SPAD in a time window synchronous with the laser pulse and integrates the whole echoed signal. The second counter accumulates the number of photon detected in a window shifted with respect to the laser pulse, and acquires only a portion of the reflected signal. The array is readout with a global shutter architecture, using a 100 MHz clock; the maximal frame rate is 3 Mframe/s.

  15. GRAIL - A Microwave Ranging Instrument to Map Out the Lunar Gravity Field

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Enzer, Daphna G.; Wang, Rabi T.; Klipstein, William M.

    2010-01-01

    Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory, or GRAIL, is a NASA mission to map out the gravity field of the moon to an unprecedented level of detail. The instrument for this mission is based on GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment), an earth-orbiting mission currently mapping out the gravity field of the earth. This paper will describe the similarities and differences between these two instruments with a focus on the microwave ranging measurements used to determine the gravity parameters and the testbed built at Jet Propulsion Laboratory to demonstrate micron level ranging capability. The onboard ultrastable oscillator and RF instruments will be described and noise contributions discussed.

  16. The GRACE Follow-On Laser Ranging Interferometer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Müller, Vitali

    2016-07-01

    The GRACE Follow-On mission consists of a pair of satellites to be launched in 2017 into a low-Earth polar orbit. As the precursor mission GRACE, it will provide monthly global maps of Earth's gravity field to study mass changes within the System Earth, like glacier melting or ground-water depletion. The new mission will be equipped with two ranging instruments: a conventional Microwave Ranging Instrument, as already present in the precursor mission, and with a Laser Ranging Interferometer (LRI). Latter acts as a technical demonstrator, which will show the capability for enhanced sensitivity and additional precise attitude information of this new technology. The satellite and in particular the LRI working principle will be introduced together with observables and major noise and error contributors. Furthermore potential modifications and extensions for future gravimetric missions are addressed as well as applications in space-based gravitational wave detectors (i.e. eLISA).

  17. Coherent Laser Instrument Would Measure Range and Velocity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chang, Daniel; Cardell, Greg; San Martin, Alejandro; Spiers, Gary

    2005-01-01

    A proposed instrument would project a narrow laser beam that would be frequency-modulated with a pseudorandom noise (PN) code for simultaneous measurement of range and velocity along the beam. The instrument performs these functions in a low mass, power, and volume package using a novel combination of established techniques. Originally intended as a low resource- footprint guidance sensor for descent and landing of small spacecraft onto Mars or small bodies (e.g., asteroids), the basic instrument concept also lends itself well to a similar application guiding aircraft (especially, small unmanned aircraft), and to such other applications as ranging of topographical features and measuring velocities of airborne light-scattering particles as wind indicators. Several key features of the instrument s design contribute to its favorable performance and resource-consumption characteristics. A laser beam is intrinsically much narrower (for the same exit aperture telescope or antenna) than a radar beam, eliminating the need to correct for the effect of sloping terrain over the beam width, as is the case with radar. Furthermore, the use of continuous-wave (CW), erbium-doped fiber lasers with excellent spectral purity (narrow line width) permits greater velocity resolution, while reducing the laser s power requirement compared to a more typical pulsed solid-state laser. The use of CW also takes proper advantage of the increased sensitivity of coherent detection, necessary in the first place for direct measurement of velocity using the Doppler effect. However, measuring range with a CW beam requires modulation to "tag" portions of it for time-of-flight determination; typically, the modulation consists of a PN code. A novel element of the instrument s design is the use of frequency modulation (FM) to accomplish both the PN-modulation and the Doppler-bias frequency shift necessary for signed velocity measurements. This permits the use of a single low-power waveguide electrooptic

  18. Application of VLBI and satellite laser ranging to geodynamics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Coates, R. J.

    1983-01-01

    The NASA Crustal Dynamics Project has developed very-long baseline interferometer (VLBI) systems and satellite laser ranging (SLR) systems for geodynamics measurements. In VLBI, a radio noise signal from a distant quasar is received by two or more radio antennas and coherently recorded. These recordings are cross-correlated to determine the relative signal delays between stations which are used to derive the vector baselines between the stations. The SLR systems accurately determine the range to a retroreflector satellite as a function of time with short laser pulses. These range measurements from several stations to the same satellite are used in orbit analysis programs to determine the position of the stations and the vector baselines between the stations. Measurements with these systems have achieved precisions of a few centimeters in length for distances of several thousand km. These systems are now operating in a global network for measuring the relative motion of the N. American, Pacific, S. American, Nazca, Eurasian and Australian tectonic plates. Highly mobile VLBI and SLR systems are being operated at many sites in the active earthquake areas in western N. America in order to determine the crustal deformation and strain accumulation.

  19. 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.

  20. Geophysical parameters from the analysis of laser ranging to starlette

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schutz, B. E.; Shum, C. K.

    1987-01-01

    Starlette Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) data were used, along with several other satellite data sets, for the solution of a preliminary gravity field model for TOPEX, PTGF1. A further improvement in the earth gravity model was accomplished using data collected by 12 satellites to solve another preliminary gravity model for TOPEX, designated PTGF2. The solution for the Earth Rotation Parameter (ERP) was derived from the analysis of SLR data to Starlette during the MERIT Campaign. Starlette orbits in 1976 and 1983 were analyzed for the mapping of the tidal response of the earth. Publications and conference presentations pertinent to research are listed.

  1. Advanced computer graphic techniques for laser range finder (LRF) simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bedkowski, Janusz; Jankowski, Stanislaw

    2008-11-01

    This paper show an advanced computer graphic techniques for laser range finder (LRF) simulation. The LRF is the common sensor for unmanned ground vehicle, autonomous mobile robot and security applications. The cost of the measurement system is extremely high, therefore the simulation tool is designed. The simulation gives an opportunity to execute algorithm such as the obstacle avoidance[1], slam for robot localization[2], detection of vegetation and water obstacles in surroundings of the robot chassis[3], LRF measurement in crowd of people[1]. The Axis Aligned Bounding Box (AABB) and alternative technique based on CUDA (NVIDIA Compute Unified Device Architecture) is presented.

  2. A comparison between Lageos laser ranging and VLBI determined baselines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kolenkiewicz, R.; Ryan, J. W.

    1984-01-01

    Two independent measurement techniques, Lageos satellite laser ranging (SLR), and very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) are compared in the measurement of distances (or baselines) between several locations in the continental U.S. The results of this analysis is summarized where both the SLR and VLBI baseline lengths and their differences (SLR minus VLBI) are presented. A comparison of the 22 baselines shows a mean difference of 1.0 + or - 1.1 cm with a scatter about zero of 5.2 cm. No apparent systematic scale difference between the networks is evident. A map of the baselines is included and indicates their differences, SLR minus VLBI, in centimeters.

  3. Coregistration of Elevation Data from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter and the SELENE Terrain Camera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-10-01

    Our goal is to produce the most complete, accurate, and precise global terrain model of the lunar surface by coregistering and merging the digital elevation models from LOLA and the SELENE terrain camera.

  4. Reservoir shore development in long range terrestrial laser scanning monitoring.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaczmarek, Halina

    2016-04-01

    Shore zones of reservoirs are in most cases very active, getting transformed as a result of coastal processes and mass movements initiated on the slopes surrounding the reservoir. From the point of view of the users of water reservoirs shore recession strongly undesirable as it causes destruction to infrastructure and buildings located in the immediate vicinity of the reservoir. For this reason, reservoir shores require continuous geodetic monitoring. Fast and accurate geodetic measurements covering shore sections several kilometers long, often in poorly accessible areas, are available using long range terrestrial laser scanning (TLS). The possibilities of using long range terrestrial laser scanning are shown on the example of the reservoir Jeziorsko on the Warta River (Central Poland). This reservoir, created in the years 1986-1992, is a typical retention reservoir, the annual fluctuations of which reach 5 m. Depending on the water level its surface area ranges from 42.3 to 19.6 km2. The width of the reservoir is 2.5 km. The total shore length of the reservoir, developed in Quaternary till and sand-till sediments, is 44.3 km, including 30.1 km of the unreinforced shore. Out of the unreinforced shore 27% is subject to coastal erosion. The cliff heights vary from a few cm to 12.5 meters, and the current rate of the cliff recession ranges from 0 to 1.12 m/y. The study used a terrestrial long range laser scanner Riegl VZ-4000 of a range of up to 4000 m. It enabled conducting the measurements of the cliff recession from the opposite shore of the reservoir, with an angular resolution of 0.002°, which gives about 50 measurement points per 1 m2. The measurements were carried out in the years 2014-2015, twice a year, in early spring before high water level, and in late autumn at a dropping water level. This allowed the separation of the impact of coastal processes and frost weathering on the cliff recession and their quantitative determination. The size and nature of

  5. The precision of today's satellite laser ranging systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dunn, Peter J.; Torrence, Mark H.; Hussen, Van S.; Pearlman, Michael R.

    1993-01-01

    Recent improvements in the accuracy of modern satellite laser ranging (SLR) systems are strengthened by the new capability of many instruments to track an increasing number of geodetic satellite targets without significant scheduling conflict. This will allow the refinement of some geophysical parameters, such as solid Earth tidal effects and GM, and the improved temporal resolution of others, such as Earth orientation and station position. Better time resolution for the locations of fixed observatories will allow us to monitor more subtle motions at the stations, and transportable systems will be able to provide indicators of long term trends with shorter occupations. If we are to take advantage of these improvements, care must be taken to preserve the essential accuracy of an increasing volume of range observations at each stage of the data reduction process.

  6. 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.

  7. Small image laser range finder for planetary rover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wakabayashi, Yasufumi; Honda, Masahisa; Adachi, Tadashi; Iijima, Takahiko

    1994-10-01

    A variety of technical subjects need to be solved before planetary rover navigation could be a part of future missions. The sensors which will perceive terrain environment around the rover will require critical development efforts. The image laser range finder (ILRF) discussed here is one of the candidate sensors because of its advantage in providing range data required for its navigation. The authors developed a new compact-sized ILRF which is a quarter of the size of conventional ones. Instead of the current two directional scanning system which is comprised of nodding and polygon mirrors, the new ILRF is equipped with the new concept of a direct polygon mirror driving system, which successfully made its size compact to accommodate the design requirements. The paper reports on the design concept and preliminary technical specifications established in the current development phase.

  8. Studies of the atmospheric correction for satellite laser ranging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Angus-Leppan, P. V.; Williams, G.

    A study is reported on the factors necessary to achieve further gains in accuracy in laser ranging. The present accuracy of laser ranging is approaching plus or minus 50 mm, which indicates a need to aim for a plus or minus 5 mm accuracy in the determination of the correction for atmospheric refraction. The Marini and Murray formulae are easily programmed and are widely used. They assume hydrostatic equilibrium and a constant vertical temperature gradient in the troposphere. It appears that some refinements are necessary to achieve the accuracy required. The atmospheric correction varies from 2.4 m at the zenith to 13 m at 10 degrees elevation. A number of small effects such as the geometric correction, the water vapor correction, and horizontal temperature gradients are all about plus or minus 30 mm in magnitude. In the study reported, the integral of refractivity is evaluated using numerical methods. The effects of the varying temperature gradients in the lowest kilometer, the boundary layer, have been investigated and a form of boundary layer correction, up to plus or minus 25 mm in magnitude, is suggested. Investigations are continuing, using a theoretical approach and sets of temperature observations on high towers.

  9. 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.

  10. Precise attitude determination of defunct satellite laser ranging tragets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pittet, Jean-Noel; Schildknecht, Thomas; Silha, Jiri

    2016-07-01

    The Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) technology is used to determine the dynamics of objects equipped with so-called retro-reflectors or retro-reflector arrays (RRA). This type of measurement allows to range to the spacecraft with very high precision, which leads to determination of very accurate orbits. Non-active spacecraft, which are not any more attitude controlled, tend to start to spin or tumble under influence of the external and internal torques. Such a spinning can be around one constant axis of rotation or it can be more complex, when also precession and nutation motions are present. The rotation of the RRA around the spacecraft's centre of mass can create both a oscillation pattern of laser range signal and a periodic signal interruption when the RRA is hidden behind the satellite. In our work we will demonstrate how the SLR ranging technique to cooperative targets can be used to determine precisely their attitude state. The processing of the obtained data will be discussed, as well as the attitude determination based on parameters estimation. Continuous SLR measurements to one target can allow to accurately monitor attitude change over time which can be further used for the future attitude modelling. We will show our solutions of the attitude states determined for the non-active ESA satellite ENVISAT based on measurements acquired during year 2013-2015 by Zimmerwald SLR station, Switzerland. The angular momentum shows a stable behaviour with respect to the orbital plane but is not aligned with orbital momentum. The determination of the inertial rotation over time, shows it evolving between 130 to 190 seconds within two year. Parameter estimation also bring a strong indication of a retrograde rotation. Results on other former satellites in low and medium Earth orbit such as TOPEX/Poseidon or GLONASS type will be also presented.

  11. 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

  12. Multi-spectral laser detection and ranging for range profiling and surface characterization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wallace, A. M.; Buller, G. S.; Sung, R. C. W.; Harkins, R. D.; McCarthy, A.; Hernandez-Marin, S.; Gibson, G. J.; Lamb, R.

    2005-06-01

    We describe a new multi-spectral system for range profiling and surface characterization based on time-correlated single photon counting (TCSPC). This system has six laser diode sources with discrete wavelengths in the range 630-972 nm arranged around the circumference of the aperture of a receiving Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope that focuses the multiple wavelength return onto an optical fibre. Single photon avalanche diodes are used to detect the six independent wavelength channels, separated by an optical routing module. We also describe two methods for detecting the numbers, positions, heights and shape parameters of signal returns in the spectra returned from several surfaces within the sensor field of view. The first method has two principal stages, non-parametric bump hunting and maximum likelihood estimation using Poisson statistics. Recently we have adopted a reversible jump Markov chain Monte Carlo approach that has the potential for better detecting hidden or closely overlapping returns.

  13. Seismic Detection of the Layers of the Lunar Core

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weber, Renee C.; Garnero, Edward J.; Lin, Pei-Ying; Williams, Quentin; Lognonne, Philippe

    2010-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews the analysis of Apollo-era seismic data and indirect geophysical measurements (i.e., moment of inertia, lunar laser ranging and electromagnetic induction) and concludes that significant questions still remain. The Apollo deep moonquake seismograms using terrestrial array processing methods is analyzed to infer the structure of the lunar core. The results indicate the presence of a solid inner and fluid outer core.

  14. Orbital analysis of two-color laser ranging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schillak, S. R.

    2013-12-01

    The poster presents the results of analysis of Zimmerwald SLR data for two colors 423nm and 846 nm. Two-color laser ranging were performed by Zimmerwald SLR station from August 2002 to January 2008. The results in each color were treated as two independent stations 7810 Blue and 7810 Infrared. The station positions were determined by NASA Goddard's orbital program GEODYN-II from results of LAGEOS-1 and LAGEOS-2 satellites. The NEU positions stability were equal to 3.5 mm (N), 3.2 mm (E), 16.5 mm (U) for blue and 3.2 mm (N), 2.9 mm (E), 14.6 (U) for infrared. In the period of study were 47 common monthly points for both colors. The difference between N, E, U components in blue and infrared for common points were equal to 0.8×2.0 mm, 0.4×1.9 mm and -4.8×8.7 mm respectively. The differences between Range Biases for both colors independently for LAGEOS-1 and LAGEOS-2 were equal to -5.7×8.6 mm and for -5.0×9.5 mm respectively. The same for both satellites annual wave with amplitude 10 mm was detected. This effect can to be explain by differences in atmospheric correction for each color. This same analysis for station Concepcion (7405) couldn't to be performed due to only 8 common points. In future very important should be laser ranging in two-colors 532 nm and 1064 nm for confirmation presented here results, especially that a new sensitive APD detectors for 1064 nm are now available. The atmospheric correction is critical for SLR accuracy upgrading.

  15. Automatic calibration of laser range cameras using arbitrary planar surfaces

    SciTech Connect

    Baker, J.E.

    1994-06-01

    Laser Range Cameras (LRCs) are powerful tools for many robotic/computer perception activities. They can provide accurate range images and perfectly registered reflectance images of the target scene, useful for constructing reliably detailed 3-D world maps and target characterizations. An LRC`s output is an array of distances obtained by scanning a laser over the scene. To accurately interpret this data, the angular definition of each pixel, i.e., the 3-D direction corresponding to each distance measurement, must be known. This angular definition is a function of the camera`s intrinsic design and unique implementation characteristics, e.g., actual mirror positions, axes of rotation, angular velocities, etc. Typically, the range data is converted to Cartesian coordinates by calibration-parameterized, non-linear transformation equations. Unfortunately, typical LRC calibration techniques are manual, intensive, and inaccurate. Common techniques involve imaging carefully orchestrated artificial targets and manually measuring actual distances and relative angles to infer the correct calibration parameter values. This paper presents an automated method which uses Genetic Algorithms to search for calibration parameter values and possible transformation equations which combine to maximize the planarity of user-specified sub-regions of the image(s). This method permits calibration to be based on an arbitrary plane, without precise knowledge of the LRC`s mechanical precision, intrinsic design, or its relative positioning to the target. Furthermore, this method permits rapid, remote, and on-line recalibration - important capabilities for many robotic systems. Empirical validation of this system has been performed using two different LRC systems and has led to significant improvement in image accuracy while reducing the calibration time by orders of magnitude.

  16. Synthesis and analysis of precise spaceborne laser ranging systems, volume 2. [Spacelab payload

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Paddon, E. A.

    1978-01-01

    The performance capabilities of specific shuttle-based laser ranging systems were evaluated, and interface and support requirements were determined. The preliminary design of a shuttle-borne laser ranging experiment developed as part of the Spacelab program is discussed.

  17. Three-dimensional determination of the center of the Watts datum relative to the lunar center of mass. [photoelectric occultations and laser time delay measurements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mulholland, J. D.

    1977-01-01

    The location of the origin of the Watts datum for the marginal zone of the moon is determined using results of 2770 photoelectric occultation observations obtained over an 18-yr period in combination with 1787 laser time-delay measurements carried out over a five-year period. The lunar ephemeris employed is an experimental one developed from a much shorter span of laser observations. The final solution is obtained by adopting LURE2 parameters and correcting 19 lunar orbital, solar orbital, and coordinate-system parameters. The offsets for the center of the Watts datum are found to be approximately +6.8 km for x1, -2.5 km for x2, and +0.06 km for x3 with respect to the lunar principal axes of inertia.

  18. 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

  19. New test of general relativity - Measurement of de Sitter geodetic precession rate for lunar perigee

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bertotti, Bruno; Ciufolini, Ignazio; Bender, Peter L.

    1987-01-01

    According to general relativity, the calculated rate of motion of lunar perigee should include a contribution of 19.2 msec/yr from geodetic precession. It is shown that existing analyses of lunar-laser-ranging data confirm the general-relativistic rate for geodetic precession with respect to the planetary dynamical frame. In addition, the comparison of earth-rotation results from lunar laser ranging and from VLBI shows that the relative drift of the planetary dynamical frame and the extragalactic VLBI reference frame is small. The estimated accuracy is about 10 percent.

  20. Improved Atmospheric Refraction Correction Models in Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hulley, Glynn

    2004-03-01

    The primary source of unmodeled error in space geodetic techniques such as VLBI, GPS and SLR is atmospheric refraction. SLR uses lasers (532 nm) to measure very precise ranges from ground tracking stations to spaceborne geodetic satellites with accuracies at the millimeter level. Improved refraction modeling is essential in reducing errors in SLR measurements that study variations in the Earth's gravitational field and vertical crustal motion as well as monitoring sea-level rise, post-glacial rebound and earthquake predictions. The Marini and Murray model developed in the 1970's has primarily been used for data analysis, but recent work by Mendes et al., 2002 provides significant improvement in modeling the elevation dependency of the zenith atmospheric delay. The elevation dependency is modeled by what are known as mapping functions. Improvements in modeling the zenith delay itself where achieved by computing the group refractivity using a procedure described by Ciddor [1996] and by including the non-hydrostatic (wet) zenith delay. Two color SLR can also be used to determine the zenith delay by measuring the dispersive delay of two laser pulses each at a different wavelength. By comparing the Mendes and Marini Murray models to this experimental technique, one is able to evaluate the accuracy of the two models. We have found errors between the two models when compared to two color SLR at the centimeter level, which increases significantly at 355 nm, indicating the need for an improvement of existing dispersion formulae.

  1. The role of satellite laser ranging through the 1990's

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Christodoulidis, D. C.; Smith, D. E.

    1983-01-01

    Contributions of Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) in the fields of geodesy, oceanography, geodynamics, and geopotential are reviewed. With the best current systems SLR has successfully defined an absolute vertical datum to 3 cm and a relative horizontal datum with comparable accuracy. In the areas of Earth and space physics SLR has demonstrated its ability to provide information regarding the vertical and horizontal movements of the lithosphere, the rheology of the Earth, improved understanding of the evolution of the Earth-Moon system, the Earth's albedo and upper atmosphere, the polar wander, the frequency structure of the polar motion and in the definition of fundamental constants. Future options are discussed. It is indicated that SLR will continue to provide a unique and powerful tool for the study of space and geosciences.

  2. Active laser ranging with frequency transfer using frequency comb

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Hongyuan; Wei, Haoyun; Yang, Honglei; Li, Yan

    2016-05-01

    A comb-based active laser ranging scheme is proposed for enhanced distance resolution and a common time standard for the entire system. Three frequency combs with different repetition rates are used as light sources at the two ends where the distance is measured. Pulse positions are determined through asynchronous optical sampling and type II second harmonic generation. Results show that the system achieves a maximum residual of 379.6 nm and a standard deviation of 92.9 nm with 2000 averages over 23.6 m. Moreover, as for the frequency transfer, an atom clock and an adjustable signal generator, synchronized to the atom clock, are used as time standards for the two ends to appraise the frequency deviation introduced by the proposed system. The system achieves a residual fractional deviation of 1.3 × 10-16 for 1 s, allowing precise frequency transfer between the two clocks at the two ends.

  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.

    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.

  4. Upgrading NASA/DOSE laser ranging system control computers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ricklefs, Randall L.; Cheek, Jack; Seery, Paul J.; Emenheiser, Kenneth S.; Hanrahan, William P., III; Mcgarry, Jan F.

    1993-01-01

    Laser ranging systems now managed by the NASA Dynamics of the Solid Earth (DOSE) and operated by the Bendix Field Engineering Corporation, the University of Hawaii, and the University of Texas have produced a wealth on interdisciplinary scientific data over the last three decades. Despite upgrades to the most of the ranging station subsystems, the control computers remain a mix of 1970's vintage minicomputers. These encompass a wide range of vendors, operating systems, and languages, making hardware and software support increasingly difficult. Current technology allows replacement of controller computers at a relatively low cost while maintaining excellent processing power and a friendly operating environment. The new controller systems are now being designed using IBM-PC-compatible 80486-based microcomputers, a real-time Unix operating system (LynxOS), and X-windows/Motif IB, and serial interfaces have been chosen. This design supports minimizing short and long term costs by relying on proven standards for both hardware and software components. Currently, the project is in the design and prototyping stage with the first systems targeted for production in mid-1993.

  5. 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.

  6. TOPLEX: Teleoperated Lunar Explorer. Instruments and Operational Concepts for an Unmanned Lunar Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blacic, James D.

    1992-01-01

    A Teleoperated Lunar Explorer, or TOPLEX, consisting of a lunar lander payload in which a small, instrument-carrying lunar surface rover is robotically landed and teleoperated from Earth to perform extended lunar geoscience and resource evaluation traverses is proposed. The rover vehicle would mass about 100 kg and carry approximately 100 kg of analytic instruments. Four instruments are envisioned: (1) a Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectrometer (LIBS) for geochemical analysis at ranges up to 100 m, capable of operating in three different modes; (2) a combined x-ray fluorescence and x-ray diffraction (XRF/XRD) instrument for elemental and mineralogic analysis of acquired samples; (3) a mass spectrometer system for stepwise heating analysis of gases released from acquired samples; and (4) a geophysical instrument package for subsurface mapping of structures such as lava tubes.

  7. 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.

  8. Space Solar Power Technology for Lunar Polar Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Henley, Mark W.; Howell, Joe T.

    2004-01-01

    The technology for Laser-Photo-Voltaic Wireless Power Transistor (Laser-PV WPT) is being developed for lunar polar applications by Boeing and NASA Marshall Space Center. A lunar polar mission could demonstrate and validate Laser-PV WPT and other SSP technologies, while enabling access to cold, permanently shadowed craters that are believed to contain ice. Crater may hold frozen water and other volatiles deposited over billion of years, recording prior impact event on the moon (and Earth). A photo-voltaic-powered rover could use sunlight, when available, and laser light, when required, to explore a wide range of lunar terrain. The National Research Council recently found that a mission to the moon's south pole-Aitkir basin has priority for space science

  9. NASA ground-based and space-based laser ranging systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fitzmaurice, M. W.

    1977-01-01

    The development of NASA laser ranging systems is discussed with reference to applications such as orbit determination, gravity-field studies, and analyses of polar motion, earth tides, and tectonic plate motion. Several laser ranging designs are described noting the first satellite laser ranging experiment, the Moblas II and III systems, and the laser ranging satellites presently in orbit. Primary error sources are identified as atmospheric delay, optical signal-to-noise ratios, the electron multiplier, time-interval measurements, and target noise. Plans for Shuttle-based laser ranging systems are reviewed noting simulation studies of 12-day Shuttle missions.

  10. Determination of crustal motions using satellite laser ranging

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

    Satellite laser ranging has matured over the last decade into one of the essential space geodesy techniques. It has demonstrated centimeter site positioning and millimeter per year velocity determinations in a frame tied dynamically to the mass center of the solid Earth hydrosphere atmosphere system. Such a coordinate system is a requirement for studying long term eustatic sea level rise and other global change phenomena. Earth orientation parameters determined with the coordinate system have been produced in near real time operationally since 1983, at a relatively modest cost. The SLR ranging to Lageos has also provided a rich spectrum of results based upon the analysis of Lageos orbital dynamics. These include significant improvements in the knowledge of the mean and variable components of the Earth's gravity field and the Earth's gravitational parameter. The ability to measure the time variations of the Earth's gravity field has opened as exciting area of study in relating global processes, including meteorologically derived mass transport through changes in the satellite dynamics. New confirmation of general relativity was obtained using the Lageos SLR data.

  11. Tectonic motion and deformation from satellite laser ranging to Lageos

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, David E.; Kolenkiewicz, Ronald; Dunn, Peter J.; Robbins, John W.; Torrence, Mark H.; Klosko, Steve M.; Williamson, Ronald G.; Pavlis, Erricos C.; Douglas, Nancy B.

    1990-01-01

    Data on satellite laser ranging (SLR) to Lageos aquired during the period 1978-1988 are analyzed on the basis of the precise modeling of the orbit dynamics of Lageos, producing estimates of tectonic motion for 22 sites located on seven major plates. It was estimated that intraplate motion within northern Europe is below the 2 mm/yr level in absolute rate, in agreement with conclusions of Zoback et al. (1989) regarding the stress across the region. A comparison of SLR geodesic rates with those from NUVEL-1 and AMO-2 models showed high correlations between tracking sites that are well within plate interiors, but displayed small but significant departures from unity in slope which are attributed to the possibility of recent changes in relative velocities or geologic time scale uncertainties. For lines crossing the Nnorth Atlantic, the San Andreas fault, and within the Basin and Range province, the geodesic rates determined by SLR are in good agreement with those determined by VLBI.

  12. Target recognition using three dimensional laser range imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Defatta, Richard P.

    1986-12-01

    This thesis involved the analysis of computer generated synthetic range imagery for the purpose of autonomous target recognition. The scenario is an air to surface missile sensor using a laser rangefinder to image prospective targets and attempt recognition. Synthetic range images of a sophisticated Soviet T 72 tank model were created. Cross correlation was used as a recognition technique. A reference tank image was tested against rotated images and an array of decoys. The reference image was analyzed for its most prominent features for the purpose of examining feature extraction as a recognition technique. Two methods of image enhancement were compared: gradient (frequency emphasis) and phase only filtering. It was shown that these two methods exhibited equal performance for recognition of rotated targets, but differently in decoy rejection. Phase only filtering was more effective in the process of discriminating simple decoys from actual tanks. Feature analysis of the model tank revealed its correlation was highly dependent upon what method of image enhancement was used.

  13. Precise Orbit Determination of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and inferred gravity field information

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maier, A.; Baur, O.; Krauss, S.

    2014-04-01

    This contribution deals with Precise Orbit Determination of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which is tracked with optical laser ranges in addition to radiometric Doppler range-rates and range observations. The optimum parameterization is assessed by overlap analysis tests that indicate the inner precision of the computed orbits. Information about the very long wavelengths of the lunar gravity field is inferred from the spacecraft positions. The NASA software packages GEODYN II and SOLVE were used for orbit determination and gravity field recovery [1].

  14. GRAIL Refinements to Lunar Seismic Structure

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weber, Renee C.

    2014-01-01

    Gravity field measurements are perhaps the most numerous of the indirect observations relevant to the Moon's internal structure. Multiple recent missions have mapped the global lunar gravity field, each one improving upon the resolution of the last. The details of the Moon's deepest structure, including the parameters that define the lunar core, however, were still largely unaddressed by pre-GRAIL gravity measurements, which were not high enough resolution to resolve the tidal coefficients at a sufficient degree of accuracy. Current constraints on core size and state arise from other indirect measurements, including lunar laser ranging, magnetic induction studies, and analyses of elemental abundances in depth-derived mare basalts. These inferences vary widely, but when considered together with structure models derived from the seismic data gathered during the Apollo missions, a schematic of the lunar interior containing a partially molten deepest mantle layer overlying molten outer and solid inner core layers was obtained. Seismology provides the most direct constraints on the variables that govern the dynamic properties of the body. However, the GRAIL mission's high-resolution measurements of the lunar gravity field are being used to constrain the interior structure of the Moon using a "crust to core" approach. GRAIL's constraints on crustal thickness, mantle structure, core radius and stratification, and core state (solid vs. molten) therefore complement seismic investigations. This work focuses on expanding our knowledge of the Moon's internal structure using joint gravity and seismic analyses, which will improve constraints on the deep lunar mantle and core.

  15. High range precision laser radar system using a Pockels cell and a quadrant photodiode

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jo, Sungeun; Kong, Hong Jin; Bang, Hyochoong; Kim, Jae-Wan; Jeon, Byoung Goo

    2016-05-01

    We have proposed and demonstrated a novel technique to measure distance with high range precision. To meet the stringent requirements of a variety of applications, range precision is an important specification for laser radar systems. Range precision in conventional laser radar systems is limited by several factors, namely laser pulse width, the bandwidth of a detector, the timing resolution of the time to digital converter, shot noise and timing jitters generated by electronics. The proposed laser radar system adopts a Pockels cell and a quadrant photodiode and only measures the energy of a laser pulse to obtain range so that the effect of those factors is reduced in comparison to conventional systems. In the proposed system, the measured range precision was 5.7 mm with 100 laser pulses. The proposed method is expected to be an alternative method for laser radar system requiring high range precision in many applications.

  16. Satellite laser ranging and geological constraints on plate motion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harrison, C. G. A.; Douglas, Nancy B.

    1990-01-01

    Satellite laser ranging (SLR) observed baseline rates of change were measured and compared with rates determined from sea floor spreading rates and directions, and earth-quake solutions. With the number of years of observation now over six for many of the baselines, the inaccuracy of determining baseline rates of change has diminished so that in some cases it is less than a few mm per year. Thus, a direct comparison between baseline rates of change and rates of change established using geophysical information (called geological rates) is now feasible. In most cases, there is good agreement between the rates determined from SLR and geological rates, but in some cases there appear to be discrepancies. These discrepancies involve many of the data for which one end of the baseline is either Quincy (California), Huahine (French Polynesia), or Simosato (Japan). A method for looking at the discrepancies for these SLR observatories has been devised which makes it possible to calculate the motion not modeled by the geologic information.

  17. A 16-channel CMOS preamplifier for laser ranging radar receivers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Ru-qing; Zhu, Jing-guo; Jiang, Yan; Li, Meng-lin; Li, Feng

    2015-10-01

    A 16-channal front-end preamplifier array has been design in a 0.18um CMOS process for pulse Laser ranging radar receiver. This front-end preamplifier array incorporates transimpedance amplifiers(TIAs) and differential voltage post-amplifier(PAMP),band gap reference and other interface circuits. In the circuit design, the regulated cascade (RGC) input stage, Cherry-Hooper and active inductor peaking were employed to enhance the bandwidth. And in the layout design, by applying the layout isolation structure combined with P+ guard-ring(PGR), N+ guard-ring(NGR),and deep-n-well(DNW) for amplifier array, the crosstalk and the substrate noise coupling was reduced effectively. The simulations show that a single channel receiver front-end preamplifier achieves 95 dBΩ transimpedance gain and 600MHz bandwidth for 3 PF photodiode capacitance. The total power of 16-channel front-end amplifier array is about 800mW for 1.8V supply.

  18. Registration of partially overlapping laser-radar range images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lv, Dan; Sun, Jian-Feng; Li, Qi; Wang, Qi

    2015-10-01

    To register partially overlapping three-dimensional point sets from different viewpoints, it is necessary to remove spurious corresponding point pairs that are not located in overlapping regions. Most variants of the iterative closest point (ICP) algorithm require users to manually select the rejection parameters for discarding spurious point pairs between the registering views. This requirement often results in unreliable and inaccurate registration. To overcome this problem, we present an improved ICP algorithm that can automatically determine the rejection percentage to reliably and accurately align partially overlapping laser-radar (ladar) range images. The similarity of k neighboring features of each nonplanar point is employed to determine reasonable point pairs in nonplanar regions, and the distance measurement method is used to find reasonable point pairs in planar regions. The rejection percentage can be obtained from these two sets of reasonable pairs. The performance of our algorithm is compared with that of five other algorithms using various models with low and high curvatures. The experimental results show that our algorithm is more accurate and robust than the other algorithms.

  19. LOTT: A new small telescope to monitor lunar orientation parameters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Cheng-Li

    2015-08-01

    The lunar orientation (mostly libration) is so far mostly determined by lunar laser ranging (LLR), but due to the bad geometry among thelaser ray direction and the lunar reflector array, the lunar orientation parameters (LOP) are determined with precision worse than 0.1 arcsecond, especially of the components perpendicular to the direction pointing to geocenter. The LOP with such bad precision is almost nonsense for studying the lunar interior, and the error in the modeling of LOP becomes also a major error in the lunar ephemerides. Here, we propose a small optical telescope (LOTT: Lunar Orientation Trinity Telescope), with a brand-new design of tri-field of view and to be placed on the Moon, to monitor LOP and its variation. Its precision of LOP determination can be expected to be several milliarcsecond (mas) after two months observation. With this precision, LOP can then be used to derive meaningful information of the physics of the lunar interior. The concept and design of this LOTT will be introduced, and the test observation data of EOP by this principled sample machine on the earth, as well as the design of the second generation of LOTT, will be also presented.

  20. ISA accelerometer and Lunar science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iafolla, V.; Carmisciano, C.; Fiorenza, E.; Lefevre, C.; Magnafico, C.; Peron, R.; Santoli, F.; Nozzoli, S.; Ungaro, D.; Argada, S.

    2012-04-01

    In recent years the Moon has become again a target for exploration activities, as shown by many missions, performed, ongoing or foreseen. The reasons for this new wave are manifold. The knowledge of formation and evolution of the Moon to its current state is important in order to trace the overall history of Solar System. An effective driving factor is the possibility of building a human settlement on its surface, with all the related issues of environment characterization, safety, resources, communication and navigation. Our natural satellite is also an important laboratory for fundamental physics: Lunar Laser Ranging is continuing to provide important data for testing gravitation theories. All these topics are providing stimulus and inspirations for new experiments. ISA (Italian Spring Accelerometer) can provide an important tool for lunar studies. Thanks to its structure (three one--dimensional sensors assembled in a composite structure) it works both in--orbit and on--ground, with the same configuration. It can therefore be used onboard a spacecraft, as a support to a radio science mission, and on the surface of the Moon, as a seismometer. This second option in particular has been proposed as a candidate to be hosted on NASA ILN (International Lunar Network) and ESA First Lunar Lander. After a description of the instrument, its use in the context of the missions will be described and discussed, giving emphasis on its integration with the other components of the respective experiments.

  1. Simulation of signal-to-noise ratio for the laser range-gated imaging system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liang, Weiwei; Chen, Qianrong; Hao, Yongwang; Guo, Hao; Zhang, Wenpan

    2015-10-01

    The laser active imaging system is widely used in night vision, underwater imaging, three-dimension scene imaging and other civilian applications, and the system's detected range increase greatly comparing with the passive imaging system. In recent years, with rapid development of sensor and laser source technique, the laser range-gated imaging system is achieved based on high peak power pulsed laser and gated intensified CCD(ICCD), and it is well known for its properties such as high suppression of backscatter noise from fog and other obscurants, high resolution, long detection range and direct visualization. However, the performance of the laser range-gated imaging system is seriously affected by many factors, and the relationships between system's Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) and influence factors are not further elaborated. In this paper, the simulation of SNR for the laser range-gated imaging system is studied. The principle of the laser range-gated imaging system is shown firstly, and the range equation is derived by means of deducing laser illuminating model according to the principle of laser radar and the characters of objects and the detectors. And then, the sources of noise are analyzed by accurately modeling all noise sources in the detection system, the model of SNR for laser range-gated imaging system is established. Finally, the relationships between SNR of system and influence factors such as gating time, laser pulse width and repetition frequency are discussed, and correspondingly the solutions are proposed.

  2. Laser beam directed at the lunar retro-reflector array: observations of the first returns.

    PubMed

    Faller, J; Winer, I; Carrion, W; Johnson, T S; Spadin, P; Robinson, L; Wampler, E J; Wieber, D

    1969-10-01

    On 1 August between 10:15 and 12:50 Universal Time, with the Lick Observatory 120-inch (304-cm) telescope and a laser operating at 6943 angstroms, return signals from an optical retro-reflector array placed on the moon by the Apollo 11 astronauts were successfully detected. After the return signal was first detected it continued to appear with the expected time delay for the remainder of the night. The observed range is in excellent agreement with the predicted ephemeris. Transmitting between 7 and 8 joules per pulse, we found that each return signal averaged more than one photoelectron. This is in good agreement with calculations of the expected signal strength. PMID:17769756

  3. Validation of Atmospheric Refraction Modeling Improvements in Satellite Laser Ranging.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hulley, G.; Pavlis, E. C.; Mendes, V. B.; Pavlis, D. E.

    2004-12-01

    Atmospheric refraction is an important accuracy-limiting factor in the use of satellite laser ranging (SLR) for high-accuracy science applications. In most of these applications, and particularly for the establishment and monitoring of the TRF, of great interest is the stability of its scale and its implied height system. The modeling of atmospheric refraction in the analysis of SLR data comprises the determination of the delay in the zenith direction and subsequent projection to a given elevation angle, using a mapping function. Standard data analyses practices use the 1973 Marini-Murray model for both zenith delay determination and mapping. This model was tailored for a particular wavelength and is not suitable for all the wavelengths used in modern SLR systems. Mendes et al., [2002] pointed out some limitations in that model, namely as regards the modeling of the elevation dependency of the zenith atmospheric delay (the mapping function component of the model). The mapping functions developed by Mendes et al. [2002] represent a significant improvement over the built-in mapping function of the Marini-Murray model and other known mapping functions. Of particular note is the ability of the new mapping functions to be used in combination with any zenith delay model, used to predict the atmospheric zenith delay. Mendes and Pavlis [2002] concluded also that current zenith delay models have errors at the millimeter level, which increase significantly at 0.355 micrometers, reflecting inadequacy in the dispersion formulae incorporated in these models. In a next step therefore, a more accurate zenith delay model was developed, applicable to the range of wavelengths used in modern SLR instrumentation (0.355 to 1.064 micrometers), [Mendes and Pavlis, 2004]. Using ray tracing through a large database of radiosonde and globally distributed satellite data, as well as the analysis of several years of SLR tracking data, we assess the new zenith delay models and mapping functions

  4. Performance of the upgraded Orroral laser ranging system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Luck, John M.

    1993-01-01

    The topics discussed include the following: upgrade arrangements, system prior to 1991, elements of the upgrade, laser performance, timing system performance, pass productivity, system precision, system accuracy, telescope pointing and future upgrades and extensions.

  5. Enhancement of the phase-modulation range by using cascaded injection-locked semiconductor lasers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Hwan; Cho, Jun-Hyung; Sung, Hyuk-Kee

    2016-03-01

    The phase modulation of an injection-locked semiconductor laser can be controlled by tuning the injection-locking parameters. However, the phase-modulation range is limited to 180°, which significantly hinders its widespread application. In this study, we investigated the phase-modulation characteristics of a single stage of an injection-locked laser configuration by considering a slave laser's bias control as a tuning parameter. Herein, we propose cascaded injection-locked laser configurations to enhance the phase-modulation range and theoretically demonstrate that the achievable phase-modulation range can be increased. The output of the slave laser is used as the input of the next slave laser to produce an accumulated phase modulation. The results show that a phase modulation of 360° can be achieved using the cascaded configurations; moreover, the number of cascaded configurations required to achieve this range is determined for specific laser parameters.

  6. Russian lunar ephemeris EPM-ERA 2012

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vasilyev, M. V.; Yagudina, E. I.

    2014-03-01

    The paper describes the lunar ephemeris EPM-ERA 2012. It is a part of the Ephemerides of Planets and the Moon (EPM) developed at the Institute of Applied Astronomy (IAA) of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS). In order to construct EPM-ERA 2012, 17580 lunar laser ranging (LLR) observations for 1970-2012 have been processed including 21 observations from the Lunokhod 1 reflector found by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) at the end of 2010. EPM-ERA 2012 is compared with American ephemerides DE403, DE405, DE421 ephemeris, and the French ephemeris INPOP10. The possibility of the use of the ephemeris EPM-ERA 2012 to address contemporary problems of ephemeris astronomy is considered.

  7. Bore-Sight Calibration of Multiple Laser Range Finders for Kinematic 3D Laser Scanning Systems

    PubMed Central

    Jung, Jaehoon; Kim, Jeonghyun; Yoon, Sanghyun; Kim, Sangmin; Cho, Hyoungsig; Kim, Changjae; Heo, Joon

    2015-01-01

    The Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) technique has been used for autonomous navigation of mobile systems; now, its applications have been extended to 3D data acquisition of indoor environments. In order to reconstruct 3D scenes of indoor space, the kinematic 3D laser scanning system, developed herein, carries three laser range finders (LRFs): one is mounted horizontally for system-position correction and the other two are mounted vertically to collect 3D point-cloud data of the surrounding environment along the system’s trajectory. However, the kinematic laser scanning results can be impaired by errors resulting from sensor misalignment. In the present study, the bore-sight calibration of multiple LRF sensors was performed using a specially designed double-deck calibration facility, which is composed of two half-circle-shaped aluminum frames. Moreover, in order to automatically achieve point-to-point correspondences between a scan point and the target center, a V-shaped target was designed as well. The bore-sight calibration parameters were estimated by a constrained least squares method, which iteratively minimizes the weighted sum of squares of residuals while constraining some highly-correlated parameters. The calibration performance was analyzed by means of a correlation matrix. After calibration, the visual inspection of mapped data and residual calculation confirmed the effectiveness of the proposed calibration approach. PMID:25946627

  8. Bore-Sight Calibration of Multiple Laser Range Finders for Kinematic 3D Laser Scanning Systems.

    PubMed

    Jung, Jaehoon; Kim, Jeonghyun; Yoon, Sanghyun; Kim, Sangmin; Cho, Hyoungsig; Kim, Changjae; Heo, Joon

    2015-01-01

    The Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) technique has been used for autonomous navigation of mobile systems; now, its applications have been extended to 3D data acquisition of indoor environments. In order to reconstruct 3D scenes of indoor space, the kinematic 3D laser scanning system, developed herein, carries three laser range finders (LRFs): one is mounted horizontally for system-position correction and the other two are mounted vertically to collect 3D point-cloud data of the surrounding environment along the system's trajectory. However, the kinematic laser scanning results can be impaired by errors resulting from sensor misalignment. In the present study, the bore-sight calibration of multiple LRF sensors was performed using a specially designed double-deck calibration facility, which is composed of two half-circle-shaped aluminum frames. Moreover, in order to automatically achieve point-to-point correspondences between a scan point and the target center, a V-shaped target was designed as well. The bore-sight calibration parameters were estimated by a constrained least squares method, which iteratively minimizes the weighted sum of squares of residuals while constraining some highly-correlated parameters. The calibration performance was analyzed by means of a correlation matrix. After calibration, the visual inspection of mapped data and residual calculation confirmed the effectiveness of the proposed calibration approach. PMID:25946627

  9. Tracking strategies for laser ranging to multiple satellite targets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Robbins, J. W.; Smith, D. E.; Kolenkiewicz, R.

    1994-01-01

    By the middle of the decade, several new Laser Geodynamic Satellites will be launched to join the current constellation comprised of the laser geodynamic satellite (LAGEOS) (US), Starlette (France), Ajisai (Japan), and Etalon I and II (USSR). The satellites to be launched, LAGEOS II and III (US & Italy), and Stella (France), will be injected into orbits that differ from the existing constellation so that geodetic and gravimetric quantities are sampled to enhance their resolution and accuracy. An examination of various possible tracking strategies adopted by the network of laser tracking stations has revealed that the recovery of precise geodetic parameters can be obtained over shorter intervals than is currently obtainable with the present constellation of satellites. This is particularly important in the planning of mobile laser tracking operations, given a network of permanently operating tracking sites. Through simulations, it is shown that laser tracking of certain satellite passes, pre-selected to provide optimal sky-coverage, provides the means to acquire a sufficient amount of data to allow the recovery of 1 cm station positions.

  10. 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.

  11. Lunar Analog

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cromwell, Ronita L.

    2009-01-01

    In this viewgraph presentation, a ground-based lunar analog is developed for the return of manned space flight to the Moon. The contents include: 1) Digital Astronaut; 2) Bed Design; 3) Lunar Analog Feasibility Study; 4) Preliminary Data; 5) Pre-pilot Study; 6) Selection of Stockings; 7) Lunar Analog Pilot Study; 8) Bed Design for Lunar Analog Pilot.

  12. ISA accelerometer and Lunar science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iafolla, Valerio; Peron, Roberto; Lucchesi, David; Santoli, Francesco; Lefevre, Carlo; Fiorenza, Emiliano; Nozzoli, Sergio; Lucente, Marco; Magnafico, Carmelo; Milyukov, Vadim

    In recent years the Moon has become again a target for exploration activities, as shown by many missions, performed, ongoing or foreseen. The reasons for this new wave are manifold. The knowledge of formation and evolution of the Moon to its current state is important in order to trace the overall history of the Solar System. An effective driving factor is the possibility of building a human settlement on its surface, with all the related issues of environment characterization, safety, resources, communication and navigation. Our natural satellite is also an important laboratory for fundamental physics: Lunar Laser Ranging is continuing to provide important data for testing gravitation theories. All these topics are providing stimulus and inspirations for new experiments: in fact a wide variety of them has been proposed to be conducted on the lunar surface. ISA (Italian Spring Accelerometer) can provide an important tool for lunar studies. Thanks to its design it works on-ground with the same configuration developed for in-orbit applications. It can therefore be used onboard a spacecraft, as a support to a radio science mission, and on the surface of the Moon, as a seismometer. This second option in particular has been the subject of preliminary studies and has been proposed as a candidate to be hosted on NASA ILN (International Lunar Network) and ESA First Lunar Lander. ISA-S (ISA-Seismometer) has a very high sensitivity, which has already been demonstrated with long time periods of usage on Earth. It features also a wide bandwidth, extended towards the low frequencies. After a description of the instrument, its use in the context of landing missions will be described and discussed, giving emphasis on its integration with the other components of the systems.

  13. Television-and-Laser Range-Measuring System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Russell, J. Kevin

    1988-01-01

    Triangulation system measures angle between two lines of sight to point on object, determining distance to object. Amenable to automation. Includes automatically aimed rotatable mirrors and laser beam to define one of lines of sight. Adjusts automatically to bring two lines of sight into convergence at common point on object.

  14. Design and implementation of range-gated underwater laser imaging system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ge, Wei-long; Zhang, Xiao-hui

    2014-02-01

    A range-gated underwater laser imaging system is designed and implemented in this article, which is made up of laser illumination subsystem, photoelectric imaging subsystem and control subsystem. The experiment of underwater target drone detection has been done, the target of distance 40m far from the range-gated underwater laser imaging system can be imaged in the pool which water attenuation coefficient is 0.159m-1. Experimental results show that the range-gated underwater laser imaging system can detect underwater objects effectively.

  15. Wide Tuning Range Wavelength-Swept Laser With Two Semiconductor Optical Amplifiers

    PubMed Central

    Oh, W. Y.; Yun, S. H.; Tearney, G. J.; Bouma, B. E.

    2010-01-01

    We demonstrate a wide tuning range high-speed wavelength-swept semiconductor laser based on a polygon scanning filter that is common to two laser cavities. Linear wavelength tuning was achieved over 145 nm around 1310 nm at a tuning repetition rate of 20 kHz. The wavelength tuning filter is expandable to accommodate multiple semiconductor optical amplifiers for further widening of the laser wavelength tuning range. PMID:20651947

  16. Active compensation of large dispersion of femtosecond pulses for precision laser ranging.

    PubMed

    Lee, Sang-Hyun; Lee, Joohyung; Kim, Young-Jin; Lee, Keunwoo; Kim, Seung-Woo

    2011-02-28

    We describe an active way of compensation for large dispersion induced in the femtosecond light pulses travelling in air for laser ranging. The pulse duration is consistently regulated at 250 fs by dispersion control, allowing sub-micrometer resolution in measuring long distances by means of time-of-flight measurement. This method could facilitate more reliable applications of femtosecond pulses for satellite laser ranging, laser altimetry and active LIDAR applications. PMID:21369227

  17. Development and Implementation of Joint Programs in Laser Ranging and Other Space Geodetic Techniques

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pearlman, Michael R.; Carter, David (Technical Monitor)

    2004-01-01

    This progress report discusses the status and progress made in joint international programs including: 1) WEGENER; 2) Arabian Peninsula program; 3) Asia-Pacific Space Geodynamics (APSG) program; 4) the Fourteenth International Workshop on Laser Ranging; 5) the International Laser Ranging Service; and 6) current support for the NASA network.

  18. A self-analyzing double-loop digital controller in laser frequency stabilization for inter-satellite laser ranging.

    PubMed

    Luo, Yingxin; Li, Hongyin; Yeh, Hsien-Chi; Luo, Jun

    2015-04-01

    We present a digital controller specially designed for laser frequency stabilization in the application of inter-satellite laser ranging. The prototype of controller is developed using field programmable gate arrays programmed with National Instruments LabVIEW software. The controller is flexible, self-analyzing, and easily optimized with build-in system analysis. Application and performance of the controller to a laser frequency stabilization system designed for spaceborne scientific missions are demonstrated. PMID:25933873

  19. Dynamic techniques for studies of secular variations in position from ranging to satellites. [using laser range measurements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, D. E.; Kolenkiewicz, R.; Agreen, R. W.; Dunn, P. J.

    1974-01-01

    Satellite laser range measurements were applied to the study of latitude variation arising from polar motion, and the solid-earth and ocean tidal distortion of the earth's gravity field. Experiments involving two laser tracking stations were conducted. The relative location of one station with respect to the other was determined by performing simultaneous range measurements to a satellite from two stations several hundred kilometers apart. The application of this technique to the San Andreas Fault Experiment in California is discussed. Future capabilities of spacecraft equipped with laser retroreflectors include: (1) determination of the product of the earth's mass and gravitational constant; (2) measurement of crustal and tectonic motions; (3) determination of the elastic response of the solid-earth tidal forces; (4) measurement of the amplitudes and phase of certain components of the ocean tides; and (5) self-monitoring of the latitude and height variations of the tracking station.

  20. Laser Diffraction Techniques Replace Sieving for Lunar Soil Particle Size Distribution Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cooper, Bonnie L.; Gonzalez, C. P.; McKay, D. S.; Fruland, R. L.

    2012-01-01

    Sieving was used extensively until 1999 to determine the particle size distribution of lunar samples. This method is time-consuming, and requires more than a gram of material in order to obtain a result in which one may have confidence. This is demonstrated by the difference in geometric mean and median for samples measured by [1], in which a 14-gram sample produced a geometric mean of approx.52 micrometers, whereas two other samples of 1.5 grams resulted in gave means of approx.63 and approx.69 micrometers. Sample allocations for sieving are typically much smaller than a gram, and many of the sample allocations received by our lab are 0.5 to 0.25 grams in mass. Basu [2] has described how the finest fraction of the soil is easily lost in the sieving process, and this effect is compounded when sample sizes are small.

  1. 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).

  2. Pump power stability range of single-mode solid-state lasers with rod thermal lensing

    SciTech Connect

    De Silvestri, S.; La Porta, P.; Magni, V.

    1987-11-01

    The pump power stability range of solid-state laser resonators operating in the TEM/sub 00/ mode has been thoroughly investigated. It has been shown that, for a very general resonator containing intracavity optical systems, rod thermal lensing engenders a pump power stability range which is a characteristic parameter of laser material and pump cavity, but is independent of resonator configuration. Stability ranges have been calculated and critically discussed for Nd:YAG, Nd:Glasses, Nd:Cr:GSGG, and alexandrite. The independence of the pump power stability range from the resonator configuration has been experimentally demonstrated for a CW Nd:YAG laser.

  3. Benefits Derived From Laser Ranging Measurements for Orbit Determination of the GPS Satellite Orbit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Welch, Bryan W.

    2007-01-01

    While navigation systems for the determination of the orbit of the Global Position System (GPS) have proven to be very effective, the current research is examining methods to lower the error in the GPS satellite ephemerides below their current level. Two GPS satellites that are currently in orbit carry retro-reflectors onboard. One notion to reduce the error in the satellite ephemerides is to utilize the retro-reflectors via laser ranging measurements taken from multiple Earth ground stations. Analysis has been performed to determine the level of reduction in the semi-major axis covariance of the GPS satellites, when laser ranging measurements are supplemented to the radiometric station keeping, which the satellites undergo. Six ground tracking systems are studied to estimate the performance of the satellite. The first system is the baseline current system approach which provides pseudo-range and integrated Doppler measurements from six ground stations. The remaining five ground tracking systems utilize all measurements from the current system and laser ranging measurements from the additional ground stations utilized within those systems. Station locations for the additional ground sites were taken from a listing of laser ranging ground stations from the International Laser Ranging Service. Results show reductions in state covariance estimates when utilizing laser ranging measurements to solve for the satellite s position component of the state vector. Results also show dependency on the number of ground stations providing laser ranging measurements, orientation of the satellite to the ground stations, and the initial covariance of the satellite's state vector.

  4. High Precision Ranging and Range-Rate Measurements over Free-Space-Laser Communication Link

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yang, Guangning; Lu, Wei; Krainak, Michael; Sun, Xiaoli

    2016-01-01

    We present a high-precision ranging and range-rate measurement system via an optical-ranging or combined ranging-communication link. A complete bench-top optical communication system was built. It included a ground terminal and a space terminal. Ranging and range rate tests were conducted in two configurations. In the communication configuration with 622 data rate, we achieved a two-way range-rate error of 2 microns/s, or a modified Allan deviation of 9 x 10 (exp -15) with 10 second averaging time. Ranging and range-rate as a function of Bit Error Rate of the communication link is reported. They are not sensitive to the link error rate. In the single-frequency amplitude modulation mode, we report a two-way range rate error of 0.8 microns/s, or a modified Allan deviation of 2.6 x 10 (exp -15) with 10 second averaging time. We identified the major noise sources in the current system as the transmitter modulation injected noise and receiver electronics generated noise. A new improved system will be constructed to further improve the system performance for both operating modes.

  5. South Pole-Aitken Basin: Evidence for Post-Basin Resurfacing from Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

    The lunar farside South Pole-Aitken Basin is the largest and oldest documented basin on the Moon and is thus of interest from the point of view of the scale of production of impact melt at large basin-event sizes and its ring structure and potential depth of sampling at such a large diameter. We used new LOLA data from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter 1) to characterize the basin interior topography, 2) to assess the nature of the nearby and relatively pristine Orientale basin and compare it to the SPA interior, and 3) to compile a new global crater database of all lunar craters ≥20 km in diameter and to assess the population of impact craters superposed on the SPA interior and exterior. We find that impact crater size-frequency distribution plots show that the exterior of the SPA basin is similar to the most heavily cratered regions of the Moon, but that the interior of the basin has a deficiency of craters in the 20-64 km diameter crater range. One interpretation of these data is that some resurfacing process (or processes) has modified the superposed crater population. Among the candidates are 1) impact crater proximity weathering/degradation by adjacent (e.g., Apollo) and nearby (e.g., Orientale) impact basin ejecta, 2) volcanic resurfacing by early non-mare volcanism, cryptomaria and/or maria, and 3) viscous relaxation removing crater topography. We consider viscous relaxation of crater topography to be the least likely due to the wavelength dependence of the process (rim-crests should be preserved and thus detected in our crater counts). Careful analysis of the impact ejecta thickness radial decay suggests that it is an important resurfacing mechanism within a basin radius from the rim crest, but is unlikely to be sufficient to explain the observed deficiency. Morphometric analysis of impact craters, modeling, and simulations of volcanic flooding suggest that the deficiency may be related to the patchy distribution of cryptomaria, suspected from mineralogic

  6. Waist location and Rayleigh range for higher-order mode laser beams

    SciTech Connect

    Luxon, J.T.; Parker, D.E.; Karkheck, J.

    1984-07-01

    Self has presented simple equations for Gaussian-mode laser beams for calculating focused waist location and beam waist magnification in terms of the Rayleigh range. Since the Rayleigh range is a purely geometrical quantity. Self's equations can also be applied to higher-order mode beams. A convenient form of the Rayleigh range for Hermite-Gaussian modes is presented along with representative results for Co/sub 2/ laser industrial processing facilities.

  7. Lunar Resources

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Edmunson, Jennifer

    2010-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews the lunar resources that we know are available for human use while exploration of the moon. Some of the lunar resources that are available for use are minerals, sunlight, solar wind, water and water ice, rocks and regolith. The locations for some of the lunar resouces and temperatures are reviewed. The Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) mission, and its findings are reviewed. There is also discussion about water retention in Permament Shadowed Regions of the Moon. There is also discussion about the Rock types on the lunar surface. There is also discussion of the lunar regolith, the type and the usages that we can have from it.

  8. Beam-powered lunar rover design

    SciTech Connect

    Dagle, J.E.; Coomes, E.P.; Antoniak, Z.I.; Bamberger, J.A.; Bates, J.M.; Chiu, M.A.; Dodge, R.E.; Wise, J.A.

    1992-03-01

    Manned exploration of our nearest neighbors in the solar systems is the primary goal of the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI). An integral part of any manned lunar or planetary outpost will be a system for manned excursions over the surface of the planet. This report presents a preliminary design for a lunar rover capable of supporting four astronauts on long-duration excursions across the lunar landscape. The distinguishing feature of this rover design is that power is provided to rover via a laser beam from an independent orbiting power satellite. This system design provides very high power availability with minimal mass on the rover vehicle. With this abundance of power, and with a relatively small power-system mass contained in the rover, the vehicle can perform an impressive suite of mission-related activity. The rover might be used as the first outpost for the lunar surface (i.e., a mobile base). A mobile base has the advantage of providing extensive mission activities without the expense of establishing a fixed base. This concept has been referred to as Rove First.'' A manned over, powered through a laser beam, has been designed for travel on the lunar surface for round-trip distances in the range of 1000 km, although the actual distance traveled is not crucial since the propulsion system does not rely on energy storage. The life support system can support a 4-person crew for up to 30 days, and ample power is available for mission-related activities. The 8000-kg rover has 30 kW of continuous power available via a laser transmitter located at the Earth-moon L1 libration point, about 50,000 km above the surface of the moon. This rover, which is designed to operate in either day or night conditions, has the flexibility to perform a variety of power-intensive missions. 24 refs.

  9. Beam-powered lunar rover design

    SciTech Connect

    Dagle, J.E.; Coomes, E.P.; Antoniak, Z.I.; Bamberger, J.A.; Bates, J.M.; Chiu, M.A.; Dodge, R.E.; Wise, J.A.

    1992-03-01

    Manned exploration of our nearest neighbors in the solar systems is the primary goal of the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI). An integral part of any manned lunar or planetary outpost will be a system for manned excursions over the surface of the planet. This report presents a preliminary design for a lunar rover capable of supporting four astronauts on long-duration excursions across the lunar landscape. The distinguishing feature of this rover design is that power is provided to rover via a laser beam from an independent orbiting power satellite. This system design provides very high power availability with minimal mass on the rover vehicle. With this abundance of power, and with a relatively small power-system mass contained in the rover, the vehicle can perform an impressive suite of mission-related activity. The rover might be used as the first outpost for the lunar surface (i.e., a mobile base). A mobile base has the advantage of providing extensive mission activities without the expense of establishing a fixed base. This concept has been referred to as ``Rove First.`` A manned over, powered through a laser beam, has been designed for travel on the lunar surface for round-trip distances in the range of 1000 km, although the actual distance traveled is not crucial since the propulsion system does not rely on energy storage. The life support system can support a 4-person crew for up to 30 days, and ample power is available for mission-related activities. The 8000-kg rover has 30 kW of continuous power available via a laser transmitter located at the Earth-moon L1 libration point, about 50,000 km above the surface of the moon. This rover, which is designed to operate in either day or night conditions, has the flexibility to perform a variety of power-intensive missions. 24 refs.

  10. Toxicity of lunar dust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Linnarsson, Dag; Carpenter, James; Fubini, Bice; Gerde, Per; Karlsson, Lars L.; Loftus, David J.; Prisk, G. Kim; Staufer, Urs; Tranfield, Erin M.; van Westrenen, Wim

    2012-12-01

    The formation, composition and physical properties of lunar dust are incompletely characterised with regard to human health. While the physical and chemical determinants of dust toxicity for materials such as asbestos, quartz, volcanic ashes and urban particulate matter have been the focus of substantial research efforts, lunar dust properties, and therefore lunar dust toxicity may differ substantially. In this contribution, past and ongoing work on dust toxicity is reviewed, and major knowledge gaps that prevent an accurate assessment of lunar dust toxicity are identified. Finally, a range of studies using ground-based, low-gravity, and in situ measurements is recommended to address the identified knowledge gaps. Because none of the curated lunar samples exist in a pristine state that preserves the surface reactive chemical aspects thought to be present on the lunar surface, studies using this material carry with them considerable uncertainty in terms of fidelity. As a consequence, in situ data on lunar dust properties will be required to provide ground truth for ground-based studies quantifying the toxicity of dust exposure and the associated health risks during future manned lunar missions.

  11. Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO): Observations for Lunar Exploration and Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keller, J. W.; Vondrak, R. R.; Garvin, J.; Chin, G.

    2009-12-01

    The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has the objectives of mapping the lunar surface, identifying safe landing sites, searching for resources and measuring the space radiation environment. After launch on June 18, 2009, the LRO spacecraft and instruments were activated and calibrated in an eccentric polar lunar orbit until September 15, when LRO was moved to a circular polar orbit with a mean altitude of 50 km. LRO will operate for at least one year to support the goals of NASA’s Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD), and for at least two years of extended operations for additional lunar science measurements supported by NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD). LRO carries six instruments and a technology demonstration. The LRO instruments are: Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER), Diviner Lunar Radiometer Exploration Experiment (DLRE), Lyman-Alpha Mapping Project (LAMP), Lunar Exploration Neutron Detector (LEND), Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA), and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC). The technology demonstration is a synthetic aperture radar system (mini-RF). LRO observations also supports the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS), the lunar impact mission that was co-manifested with LRO on the Atlas V launch vehicle. This paper describes the LRO objectives and measurements that support exploration of the Moon and that address the science objectives outlined by the National Academy of Science’s report on the Scientific Context for Exploration of the Moon (SCEM). We also describe data accessibility by the science community.

  12. Laser-Cluster interaction in Mid-IR range

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, Hyunwook; Wang, Zhou; Agostini, Pierre; Dimauro, Louis

    2015-05-01

    We report an experimental study on high harmonic generation (HHG) from inert gas clusters in direct comparison with atomic gases. In the experiment, noble gas clusters, which are produced by a supersonic pulsed jet, interact with infrared lasers at moderate intensity and generate high-order harmonics. Harmonic yields are recorded as a function of cluster size in an optical spectrometer, and group delay measurements are conducted with RABBITT method. In the HHG amplitude measurements, we observed a fast increase of the yield with the size of the clusters, and slowdown when clusters are larger than a critical size. In the HHG phase measurements, we observed almost identical group delay of harmonics from the cluster comparing with the monomer, which supports three step model in harmonic generation from noble gas clusters. A 1D Lewenstein's model in a cluster is constructed with an assumption of partially delocalized electron behavior. Army Res Office.

  13. Micron-Accurate Laser Fresnel-Diffraction Ranging System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lehner, David; Campbell, Jonathan; Smith, Kelly; Sanders, Alvin; Allison, Stephen; Smaley, Larry

    2008-01-01

    Two versions of an optoelectronic system undergoing development are depicted. The system is expected to be capable of measuring a distance between 2 and 10 m with an error of no more than 1 micrometer. The system would be designed to exploit Fresnel diffraction of a laser beam. In particular, it would be designed to take advantage of the fact that a Fresnel diffraction pattern is ultrasensitive to distance. The two versions would differ in the following respects: In version 1, the focus of the telescope would be in the Fresnel region, and the telescope would have a small depth of focus. As a consequence, the Fresnel pattern would be imaged directly onto the photodetector array; in version 2, a multielement lens module would displace the Fresnel region from the vicinity of the pinhole to the vicinity of the optical receiver. As the distance to be measured varied, the location of the receiver relative to the displaced Fresnel-diffraction region would vary, thereby causing the Fresnel diffraction pattern on the focal plane to vary. The multielement lens module would also correct for aberrations. The processing of the digitized Fresnel diffraction pattern in the computer might be accelerated by using only parts of the pattern or even only one small part - the central pixel. As the distance from the pinhole increased, the central pixel would rapidly cycle between maximum and minimum light intensity. This in itself would not be sufficient to uniquely determine the distance. However, by varying the size of the pinhole or the wavelength of the laser, one could obtain a second cycle of variation of intensity that, in conjunction with the first cycle, could enable a unique determination of distance. Alternatively, for a single wavelength and a single pinhole size, it should suffice to consider the data from only two different key pixels in the Fresnel pattern.

  14. Overview of the surface architecture and elements common to a wide range of Lunar and Mars missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Connolly, John F.; Toups, Larry D.

    1990-01-01

    NASA has studied future missions to the moon and Mars since the 1960's, and most recently during the studies for the Space Exploration Initiative chartered by President Bush. With these most recent studies, the Lunar and Mars Exploration Program Office is looking at a number of possible options for the human exploration of the solar system. Objectives of these options include science and exploration, testing and learning centers, local planetary resource development, and self sufficient bases. To meet the objectives of any particular mission, efforts have focused primarily in three areas: (1) space transportation vehicles, (2) the associated space infrastructure to support these vehicles, and (3) the necessary infrastructure on the planet surface to carry out the mission objectives. This paper looks at work done by the Planet Surface Systems Office at JSC in the third area, and presents an overview of the approach to determining appropriate equipment and elements of the surface infrastructure needed for these mission alternatives. It describes the process of deriving appropriate surface architectures with consideration of mission objectives leading to system concepts, designation of elements and element placement.

  15. 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

  16. Three Dimension Position of Space Debris with Laser Ranging and Optical Astrometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Y.; Li, Y.; Mao, Y. D.; Cao, J. J.; Tang, Z. H.; Zhang, Z. P.

    2015-10-01

    According to the principles of space debris orbit determination, its success rate and reliability will be improved if the celestial coordinates are known at the time of the laser ranging. The method of determining the 3D location of space debris by laser ranging and optical astrometry is presented. A test platform is established by installing a photographic equipment on the 60cm satellite laser ranging telescope system of the Shanghai Astronomical Observatory. Experimental observations are carried out and the satellite Ajisai is chosen as the target. The results show this method is feasible and the angle measurement accuracy of the satellite Ajisai is about 5 arc second.

  17. Real-time high dynamic range laser scanning microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Vinegoni, C.; Leon Swisher, C.; Fumene Feruglio, P.; Giedt, R. J.; Rousso, D. L.; Stapleton, S.; Weissleder, R.

    2016-01-01

    In conventional confocal/multiphoton fluorescence microscopy, images are typically acquired under ideal settings and after extensive optimization of parameters for a given structure or feature, often resulting in information loss from other image attributes. To overcome the problem of selective data display, we developed a new method that extends the imaging dynamic range in optical microscopy and improves the signal-to-noise ratio. Here we demonstrate how real-time and sequential high dynamic range microscopy facilitates automated three-dimensional neural segmentation. We address reconstruction and segmentation performance on samples with different size, anatomy and complexity. Finally, in vivo real-time high dynamic range imaging is also demonstrated, making the technique particularly relevant for longitudinal imaging in the presence of physiological motion and/or for quantification of in vivo fast tracer kinetics during functional imaging. PMID:27032979

  18. Real-time high dynamic range laser scanning microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vinegoni, C.; Leon Swisher, C.; Fumene Feruglio, P.; Giedt, R. J.; Rousso, D. L.; Stapleton, S.; Weissleder, R.

    2016-04-01

    In conventional confocal/multiphoton fluorescence microscopy, images are typically acquired under ideal settings and after extensive optimization of parameters for a given structure or feature, often resulting in information loss from other image attributes. To overcome the problem of selective data display, we developed a new method that extends the imaging dynamic range in optical microscopy and improves the signal-to-noise ratio. Here we demonstrate how real-time and sequential high dynamic range microscopy facilitates automated three-dimensional neural segmentation. We address reconstruction and segmentation performance on samples with different size, anatomy and complexity. Finally, in vivo real-time high dynamic range imaging is also demonstrated, making the technique particularly relevant for longitudinal imaging in the presence of physiological motion and/or for quantification of in vivo fast tracer kinetics during functional imaging.

  19. OPO-laser system for atmospheric sounding in the mid-IR range

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Romanovskii, O. A.; Kharchenko, O. V.; Kondratyuk, N. V.; Protasenya, A. L.; Shumskii, V. K.; Sadovnikov, S. A.; Yakovlev, S. V.

    2015-11-01

    A laser system is designed that provides for tunable generation of nanosecond radiation pulses in the 3-4 μm range. Optical block-diagram and specifications of the system are presented. The laser system as a part of a differential absorption lidar designed can be used for remote control of pollutant concentrations along surface atmospheric paths.

  20. Statistics of the residual refraction errors in laser ranging data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gardner, C. S.

    1977-01-01

    A theoretical model for the range error covariance was derived by assuming that the residual refraction errors are due entirely to errors in the meteorological data which are used to calculate the atmospheric correction. The properties of the covariance function are illustrated by evaluating the theoretical model for the special case of a dense network of weather stations uniformly distributed within a circle.

  1. Method of high precision interval measurement in pulse laser ranging system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Zhen; Lv, Xin-yuan; Mao, Jin-jin; Liu, Wei; Yang, Dong

    2013-09-01

    Laser ranging is suitable for laser system, for it has the advantage of high measuring precision, fast measuring speed,no cooperative targets and strong resistance to electromagnetic interference,the measuremen of laser ranging is the key paremeters affecting the performance of the whole system.The precision of the pulsed laser ranging system was decided by the precision of the time interval measurement, the principle structure of laser ranging system was introduced, and a method of high precision time interval measurement in pulse laser ranging system was established in this paper.Based on the analysis of the factors which affected the precision of range measure,the pulse rising edges discriminator was adopted to produce timing mark for the start-stop time discrimination,and the TDC-GP2 high precision interval measurement system based on TMS320F2812 DSP was designed to improve the measurement precision.Experimental results indicate that the time interval measurement method in this paper can obtain higher range accuracy. Compared with the traditional time interval measurement system,the method simplifies the system design and reduce the influence of bad weather conditions,furthermore,it satisfies the requirements of low costs and miniaturization.

  2. The research of precision timing measurement in application of TDC_GP2 in laser ranging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, Bo; Zheng, Wei

    2013-09-01

    Laser ranging could measure the distance between laser range finder and detection target by calculate the flight time of laser. The laser of laser range finder adopt semiconductor pump laser of 1064nm, PerkinElmer C30659 APD was used in photoelectric detection circuit, STC89C52 MCU and the FPGA of XC3S400 were used as the core of control system. High precision time interval measurement is one of the most important techniques in laser ranging. In this paper, we adopt a high precision time interval measurement time to digital converter chip of ACAM corporation in Germany. TDC_GP2 is the next generation of Acam general-purpose TDCs, higher resolution and smaller package size make it ideal for cost sensitive industrial applications. We select the measurement range 2 of the TDC_GP2, and the maximum time resolution is 65ps. Digital TDCs use internal propagation delays of signals through gates to measure time intervals with very high precision. Through researching the working principle of TDC_GP2, hardware circuit diagram of TDC_GP2、measurement time diagram of TDC_GP2、the system software design of TDC_GP2, and applying in the different measuring distances and different time measurement temperatures, research shows that the precision of time measurement lies on the different measuring distances and different time measurement temperatures. In the end, we make some suggestions of improving the precision of time measurement.

  3. Experiment on diffuse reflection laser ranging to space debris and data analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Hao; Zhang, Hai-Feng; Zhang, Zhong-Ping; Wu, Bin

    2015-06-01

    Space debris poses a serious threat to human space activities and needs to be measured and cataloged. As a new technology for space target surveillance, the measurement accuracy of diffuse reflection laser ranging (DRLR) is much higher than that of microwave radar and optoelectronic measurement. Based on the laser ranging data of space debris from the DRLR system at Shanghai Astronomical Observatory acquired in March-April, 2013, the characteristics and precision of the laser ranging data are analyzed and their applications in orbit determination of space debris are discussed, which is implemented for the first time in China. The experiment indicates that the precision of laser ranging data can reach 39 cm-228 cm. When the data are sufficient enough (four arcs measured over three days), the orbital accuracy of space debris can be up to 50 m. Supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China.

  4. A new bismuth-doped fibre laser, emitting in the range 1625 – 1775 nm

    SciTech Connect

    Dianov, E M; Firstov, S V; Alyshev, S V; Riumkin, K E; Shubin, A V; Medvedkov, O I; Mel'kumov, M A; Khopin, V F; Gur'yanov, A N

    2014-06-30

    CW lasing of a Bi-doped germanosilicate fibre in a wavelength range that covers the spectral region between the emission bands of Er and Tm fibre lasers has been demonstrated for the first time. (letters)

  5. Influence of the Earth's atmosphere on measurements of distances in daytime satellite laser ranging.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mironov, M. T.; Kablak, N. I.

    1998-02-01

    Amospheric refraction in daytime satellite laser ranging is investigated on the basis of radiosounding data gathered during a year. Test of the Marini-Murray formula used by the IERS as a standard is carried out.

  6. The use of laser range finder on a robotic platform for pipe inspection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Zheng; Krys, Dennis

    2012-08-01

    In this paper, we investigate the use of a laser range finder on a robotic platform for buried water pipe inspection. A robotic platform carrying and manipulating multiple nondestructive inspection sensors may require accurately locating robot's body in the pipe. The laser range finder provides an accurate distance measurement, which can generate a profile of the pipe inner surface. This profile, on one hand, can be used to identify the location of the laser source and thus the robot's body. Such information can further help the navigation of the robot. On the other hand, the anomalies presented in the profile can be detected and characterized in terms of the range measurement. The simulated and real data tests presented in this paper demonstrate the feasibility and effectiveness of incorporating the laser range finder into a robotic platform for the underground pipe inspection.

  7. Operation range evaluation of TEA CO2-laser-based DIAL system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sherstov, Igor V.; Ivashchenko, Maxim V.

    2000-12-01

    The outcomes of numerical simulation of echo-location and ethylene sounding ranges in the atmosphere by differential absorption lidar based on TEA CO2 lasers are submitted. Is established, that the lidar echo-location range has close to logarithmic function of energy and peak power of sounding pulses. The echo-location range of IR lidar based on TEA CO2 lasers differs insignificantly on strong and weak emission lines of the laser, that allows to produce the effective sounding of the atmosphere in all range of wavelength tuning of TEA CO2 laser radiation without correction of pulse energy on various emission lines. Is shown, that the application of narrow-band spectral filters is justified at use of low-noise detectors and receiver FOV angles more than 5 mrad. The evaluations of a relative errors of ethylene concentration measurement in the atmosphere in various modes of registration are conducted.

  8. Corrections for atmospheric refractivity in satellite laser ranging

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Iyer, R. S.; Bufton, J. L.

    1977-01-01

    The effects of departures from the spherical symmetry assumption are investigated by describing the refractivity profile on the earth's surface as a generalized function of the surface coordinates. Aspects of satellite ranging geometry are considered and the representation of the true group refractivity of the atmosphere at any point on the earth's surface is discussed. Surface meteorological data obtained from a few east coast weather stations are analyzed to obtain typical values of the higher order bias terms.

  9. A harmonic analysis of lunar gravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bills, B. G.; Ferrari, A. J.

    1980-01-01

    An improved model of lunar global gravity has been obtained by fitting a sixteenth-degree harmonic series to a combination of Doppler tracking data from Apollo missions 8, 12, 15, and 16, and Lunar Orbiters 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, and laser ranging data to the lunar surface. To compensate for the irregular selenographic distribution of these data, the solution algorithm has also incorporated a semi-empirical a priori covariance function. Maps of the free-air gravity disturbance and its formal error are presented, as are free-air anomaly and Bouguer anomaly maps. The lunar gravitational variance spectrum has the form V(G; n) = O(n to the -4th power), as do the corresponding terrestrial and martian spectra. The variance spectra of the Bouguer corrections (topography converted to equivalent gravity) for these bodies have the same basic form as the observed gravity; and, in fact, the spectral ratios are nearly constant throughout the observed spectral range for each body. Despite this spectral compatibility, the correlation between gravity and topography is generally quite poor on a global scale.

  10. Lunar sulfur

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kuck, David L.

    1991-01-01

    Ideas introduced by Vaniman, Pettit and Heiken in their 1988 Uses of Lunar Sulfur are expanded. Particular attention is given to uses of SO2 as a mineral-dressing fluid. Also introduced is the concept of using sulfide-based concrete as an alternative to the sulfur-based concretes proposed by Leonard and Johnson. Sulfur is abundant in high-Ti mare basalts, which range from 0.16 to 0.27 pct. by weight. Terrestrial basalts with 0.15 pct. S are rare. For oxygen recovery, sulfur must be driven off with other volatiles from ilmenite concentrates, before reduction. Troilite (FeS) may be oxidized to magnetite (Fe3O4) and SO2 gas, by burning concentrates in oxygen within a magnetic field, to further oxidize ilmenite before regrinding the magnetic reconcentration. SO2 is liquid at -20 C, the mean temperature underground on the Moon, at a minimum of 0.6 atm pressure. By using liquid SO2 as a mineral dressing fluid, all the techniques of terrestrial mineral separation become available for lunar ores and concentrates. Combination of sulfur and iron in an exothermic reaction, to form iron sulfides, may be used to cement grains of other minerals into an anhydrous iron-sulfide concrete. A sulfur-iron-aggregate mixture may be heated to the ignition temperature of iron with sulfur to make a concrete shape. The best iron, sulfur, and aggregate ratios need to be experimentally established. The iron and sulfur will be by-products of oxygen production from lunar minerals.

  11. Precision laser range finder system design for Advanced Technology Laboratory applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Golden, K. E.; Kohn, R. L.; Seib, D. H.

    1974-01-01

    Preliminary system design of a pulsed precision ruby laser rangefinder system is presented which has a potential range resolution of 0.4 cm when atmospheric effects are negligible. The system being proposed for flight testing on the advanced technology laboratory (ATL) consists of a modelocked ruby laser transmitter, course and vernier rangefinder receivers, optical beacon retroreflector tracking system, and a network of ATL tracking retroreflectors. Performance calculations indicate that spacecraft to ground ranging accuracies of 1 to 2 cm are possible.

  12. Development, Qualification and Integration of the Optical Fiber Array Assemblies for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ott, Melanie N.; Switzer, Robert; Chuska, Richard; LaRocca, Frank; Thomas, William Joe; Macmurphy, Shawn

    2008-01-01

    The NASA Goddard Fiber Optics Team in the Electrical Engineering Division of the Applied Engineering and Technology Directorate, designed, developed and integrated the space flight optical fiber array hardware for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). The two new assemblies that were designed and manufacturing at GSFC for the LRO exist in configurations that are unique in the world for the application of ranging and LIDAR. Described here is an account of the journey and the lessons learned from design to integration for the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter and the Laser Ranging Application on the LRO.

  13. Error analysis for a spaceborne laser ranging system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pavlis, E. C.

    1979-01-01

    The dependence (or independence) of baseline accuracies, obtained from a typical mission of a spaceborne ranging system, on several factors is investigated. The emphasis is placed on a priori station information, but factors such as the elevation cut-off angle, the geometry of the network, the mean orbital height, and to a limited extent geopotential modeling are also examined. The results are obtained through simulations, but some theoretical justification is also given. Guidelines for freeing the results from these dependencies are suggested for most of the factors.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. The Planetary and Lunar Ephemerides DE430 and DE431

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Folkner, W. M.; Williams, J. G.; Boggs, D. H.; Park, R. S.; Kuchynka, P.

    2014-02-01

    The planetary and lunar ephemerides DE430 and DE431 are generated by fitting numerically integrated orbits of the Moon and planets to observations. The present-day lunar orbit is known to submeter accuracy through fitting lunar laser ranging data with an updated lunar gravity field from the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission. The orbits of the inner planets are known to subkilometer accuracy through fitting radio tracking measurements of spacecraft in orbit about them. Very long baseline interferometry measurements of spacecraft at Mars allow the orientation of the ephemeris to be tied to the International Celestial Reference Frame with an accuracy of 0''.0002. This orientation is the limiting error source for the orbits of the terrestrial planets, and corresponds to orbit uncertainties of a few hundred meters. The orbits of Jupiter and Saturn are determined to accuracies of tens of kilometers as a result of fitting spacecraft tracking data. The orbits of Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto are determined primarily from astrometric observations, for which measurement uncertainties due to the Earth's atmosphere, combined with star catalog uncertainties, limit position accuracies to several thousand kilometers. DE430 and DE431 differ in their integrated time span and lunar dynamical modeling. The dynamical model for DE430 included a damping term between the Moon's liquid core and solid mantle that gives the best fit to lunar laser ranging data but that is not suitable for backward integration of more than a few centuries. The ephemeris DE431 is similar to DE430 but was fit without the core/mantle damping term, so the lunar orbit is less accurate than in DE430 for times near the current epoch, but is more suitable for times more than a few centuries in the past. DE431 is a longer integration (covering years -13,200 to +17,191) than DE430 (covering years 1550 to 2650).

  18. Lunar History

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Edmunson, Jennifer E.

    2009-01-01

    This section of the workshop describes the history of the moon, and offers explanations for the importance of understanding lunar history for engineers and users of lunar simulants. Included are summaries of the initial impact that is currently in favor as explaining the moon's formation, the crust generation, the creation of craters by impactors, the era of the lunar cataclysm, which some believe effected the evolution of life on earth, the nature of lunar impacts, crater morphology, which includes pictures of lunar craters that show the different types of craters, more recent events include effect of micrometeorites, solar wind, radiation and generation of agglutinates. Also included is a glossary of terms.

  19. Lunar Seimology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khan, A.; Lognonné, P.; Gagnepain-Beyneix, J.; Chenet, H.; Mosegaard, K.

    2003-04-01

    Seismology has the highest resolving power of all geophysical methods used to study the Earth's structure, and, for this reason, it carries the responsibility of determining many parameters critically important to our understanding of the dynamic behaviour of the Earth. This was probably the main scientific motivation for NASA to deploy seismometers on the lunar surface during the Apollo missions. In the period from 1969 to 1972 the US Apollo missions landed seismographs on the lunar surface. These, of which four of the landed stations constituted a seismic array, were positioned in an approximate equilateral triangle with distances between stations being about 1100 km. The array recorded more than 12000 events in the period 1969-1977 which were continuously signaled to Earth. Subsequent examination of the seismograms revealed a highly complex wave train unlike anything observed on the Earth, hampering at times even the detection of the first-arriving P and S-waves, due to intense scattering in a highly porous regolith. The seismic events constitute man-made impacts, meteoroid impacts, shallow moonquakes and deep moonquakes, of which the latter are by far the most numerous. The deep moonquakes are found to occur half-way toward the center of the moon and are believed to be correlated with the tides raised on the moon by the Earth and the Sun. The shallow moonquakes occur in the depth range from 50-220 km and are thought to be akin to intraplate earthquakes. Generally, the Apollo-era studies were successful in determining the gross features of the lunar interior which resulted in the recognition of the Moon as being a differentiated body with a crust and a mantle whose lower parts were thought to be partially molten. However, details remained perfunctory with questions concerning seismic velocity variations and possible discontinuities in the mantle left unanswered. In the present study we show how we have obtained somewhat more detailed information on the lunar

  20. Lunar Overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clinton, Raymond G., Jr.

    2008-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews the programs and missions that are being planned to enhance our knowledge of the moon. (1) Lunar Precursor Robotics Program (LPRP): the goal of which is to undertake robotic lunar exploration missions that will return data to advance our knowledge of the lunar environment and allow United States (US) exploration architecture objectives to be accomplished earlier and with less cost through application of robotic systems. LPRP will also reduce risk to crew and maximize crew efficiency by accomplishing tasks through precursor robotic missions, and by providing assistance to human explorers on the Moon. The missions under this program ae: the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS), Lunar Mapping Project. (2) The Altair Project, the goal of which is to land a crew of 4 to and from the surface of the moon. The vehicle, the 3 design reference missions (DRMs) and a Draft Lunar Landing schedule are briefly reviewed. (3) Lunar Science Program (LSP) which describes two different lunar missions: (1) Lunar Atmosphere & Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE), and (2) International Lunar Network (ILN).

  1. Detecting laser-range-finding signals in surveying converter lining based on wavelet transform

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Hongsheng; Yang, Xiaofei; Shi, Tielin; Yang, Shuzi

    1998-08-01

    The precision of the laser range finding subsystem has important influences on the performances of the whole measurement system applied to survey the steelmaking converter lining erosion state. In the system, the object of laser beams is some rough lighting surfaces in high temperature. the laser range finding signals to reach the microcomputer system would be submerged in intense disturb environments. Common laser range finding devices could not work normally. This paper presents a method based on the wavelet transform to test solving the problem. The idea of this method includes encoding the measuring signals, decomposing the encoded received signals of components in different frequency scales and time domains by the wavelet transform method, extracting the features of encoded signals according to queer points to confirm the arrival of signals, and accurately calculating out the measured distances. In addition, the method is also helpful to adopt some digital filter algorithms in time. It could make further in improvement on the precision.

  2. Fusing Range Measurements from Ultrasonic Beacons and a Laser Range Finder for Localization of a Mobile Robot

    PubMed Central

    Ko, Nak Yong; Kuc, Tae-Yong

    2015-01-01

    This paper proposes a method for mobile robot localization in a partially unknown indoor environment. The method fuses two types of range measurements: the range from the robot to the beacons measured by ultrasonic sensors and the range from the robot to the walls surrounding the robot measured by a laser range finder (LRF). For the fusion, the unscented Kalman filter (UKF) is utilized. Because finding the Jacobian matrix is not feasible for range measurement using an LRF, UKF has an advantage in this situation over the extended KF. The locations of the beacons and range data from the beacons are available, whereas the correspondence of the range data to the beacon is not given. Therefore, the proposed method also deals with the problem of data association to determine which beacon corresponds to the given range data. The proposed approach is evaluated using different sets of design parameter values and is compared with the method that uses only an LRF or ultrasonic beacons. Comparative analysis shows that even though ultrasonic beacons are sparsely populated, have a large error and have a slow update rate, they improve the localization performance when fused with the LRF measurement. In addition, proper adjustment of the UKF design parameters is crucial for full utilization of the UKF approach for sensor fusion. This study contributes to the derivation of a UKF-based design methodology to fuse two exteroceptive measurements that are complementary to each other in localization. PMID:25970259

  3. Fusing range measurements from ultrasonic beacons and a laser range finder for localization of a mobile robot.

    PubMed

    Ko, Nak Yong; Kuc, Tae-Yong

    2015-01-01

    This paper proposes a method for mobile robot localization in a partially unknown indoor environment. The method fuses two types of range measurements: the range from the robot to the beacons measured by ultrasonic sensors and the range from the robot to the walls surrounding the robot measured by a laser range finder (LRF). For the fusion, the unscented Kalman filter (UKF) is utilized. Because finding the Jacobian matrix is not feasible for range measurement using an LRF, UKF has an advantage in this situation over the extended KF. The locations of the beacons and range data from the beacons are available, whereas the correspondence of the range data to the beacon is not given. Therefore, the proposed method also deals with the problem of data association to determine which beacon corresponds to the given range data. The proposed approach is evaluated using different sets of design parameter values and is compared with the method that uses only an LRF or ultrasonic beacons. Comparative analysis shows that even though ultrasonic beacons are sparsely populated, have a large error and have a slow update rate, they improve the localization performance when fused with the LRF measurement. In addition, proper adjustment of the UKF design parameters is crucial for full utilization of the UKF approach for sensor fusion. This study contributes to the derivation of a UKF-based design methodology to fuse two exteroceptive measurements that are complementary to each other in localization. PMID:25970259

  4. Laser scanning methods and a phase comparison, modulated laser range finder for terrain sensing on a Mars roving vehicle. M.S. Thesis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Herb, G. T.

    1973-01-01

    Two areas of a laser range finder for a Mars roving vehicle are investigated: (1) laser scanning systems, and (2) range finder methods and implementation. Several ways of rapidly scanning a laser are studied. Two digital deflectors and a matrix of laser diodes, are found to be acceptable. A complete range finder scanning system of high accuracy is proposed. The problem of incident laser spot distortion on the terrain is discussed. The instrumentation for a phase comparison, modulated laser range finder is developed and sections of it are tested.

  5. NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Elphic, Richard; Delory, Gregory; Colaprete, Anthony; Horanyi, Mihaly; Mahaffy, Paul; Hine, Butler; McClard, Steven; Grayzeck, Edwin; Boroson, Don

    2011-01-01

    implications for future exploration activities. LADEE will be the first mission based on the Ames Common Bus design. LADEE employs a high heritage instrument payload: a Neutral Mass Spectrometer (NMS), an Ultraviolet/Visible Spectrometer (UVS), and the Lunar Dust Experiment (LDEX). It will also carry a space terminal as part of the Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration (LLCD), which is a technology demonstration. LLCD will also supply a ground terminal. LLCD is funded by the Space Operations Mission Directorate (SOMD), managed by GSFC, and built by MIT Lincoln Lab. NMS was directed to the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and UVS to Ames Research Center (ARC). LDEX was selected through the Stand Alone Missions of Opportunity Notice (SALMON) Acquisition Process, and is provided by the University of Colorado at Boulder. The LADEE NMS covers a m/z range of 2-150 and draws its design from mass spectrometers developed at GSFC for the MSL/SAM, Cassini Orbiter, CONTOUR, and MAVEN missions. The UVS instrument is a next-generation, high-reliability version of the LCROSS UV-Vis spectrometer, spanning 250-800 nm wavelength, with high (<1 nm) spectral resolution. UVS will also perform dust occultation measurements via a solar viewer optic. LDEX senses dust impacts in situ, at LADEE orbital altitudes of 50 km and below, with a particle size range of between 100 nm and 5 micron. Dust particle impacts on a large hemispherical target create electron and ion pairs. The latter are focused and accelerated in an electric field and detected at a microchannel plate. LADEE is an important part of NASA s portfolio of near-term lunar missions; launch is planned for May, 2013. The lunar atmosphere is the most accessible example of a surface boundary exosphere, and may reveal the sources and cycling of volatiles. Dynamic dust activity must be accounted for in the design and operation of lunar surface operations.

  6. Pulsed Fiber Lasers from ns to ms range and their applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Westphäling, Tim

    Fiber lasers are widely used in industry for various applications. For marking applications the most common types are pulsed fiber lasers with low average power (10-20 W), pulse lengths of 100 ns and pulse energy in 0,5-1 mJ range. However for applications of high speed ablations and cleaning of surfaces higher average power and pulse energy is needed to realize shorter production cycle times. For this purpose pulsed fiber lasers with morehockey 17 h than 500 W average power and 50 mJ pulse energy have been developed to realize economic processes. In the long pulse range (μs to ms pulse length) QCW fiber lasers have been introduced that fulfil the demands of high pulse energy (up to 60 J) at lower average power (few 100 W range). These lasers fulfil the requirements that so far only lamp pumped Nd:YAG-lasers have been realized: high peak power and pulse energy with low average power in order to reduce investment costs for such devices. This presentation describes the latest development of such pulsed fiber lasers and their industrial applications and focuses in more details on drilling applications.

  7. On an assessment of surface roughness estimates from lunar laser altimetry pulse-widths for the Moon from LOLA using LROC narrow-angle stereo DTMs.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muller, Jan-Peter; Poole, William

    2013-04-01

    Neumann et al. [1] proposed that laser altimetry pulse-widths could be employed to derive "within-footprint" surface roughness as opposed to surface roughness estimated from between laser altimetry pierce-points such as the example for Mars [2] and more recently from the 4-pointed star-shaped LOLA (Lunar reconnaissance Orbiter Laser Altimeter) onboard the NASA-LRO [3]. Since 2009, the LOLA has been collecting extensive global laser altimetry data with a 5m footprint and ?25m between the 5 points in a star-shape. In order to assess how accurately surface roughness (defined as simple RMS after slope correction) derived from LROC matches with surface roughness derived from LOLA footprints, publicly released LROC-NA (LRO Camera Narrow Angle) 1m Digital Terrain Models (DTMs) were employed to measure the surface roughness directly within each 5m footprint. A set of 20 LROC-NA DTMs were examined. Initially the match-up between the LOLA and LROC-NA orthorectified images (ORIs) is assessed visually to ensure that the co-registration is better than the LOLA footprint resolution. For each LOLA footprint, the pulse-width geolocation is then retrieved and this is used to "cookie-cut" the surface roughness and slopes derived from the LROC-NA DTMs. The investigation which includes data from a variety of different landforms shows little, if any correlation between surface roughness estimated from DTMs with LOLA pulse-widths at sub-footprint scale. In fact there is only any perceptible correlation between LOLA and LROC-DTMs at baselines of 40-60m for surface roughness and 20m for slopes. [1] Neumann et al. Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter pulse width measurements and footprint-scale roughness. Geophysical Research Letters (2003) vol. 30 (11), paper 1561. DOI: 10.1029/2003GL017048 [2] Kreslavsky and Head. Kilometer-scale roughness of Mars: results from MOLA data analysis. J Geophys Res (2000) vol. 105 (E11) pp. 26695-26711. [3] Rosenburg et al. Global surface slopes and roughness of the

  8. 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.

  9. Geophysical evidence for melt in the deep lunar interior and implications for lunar evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khan, A.; Connolly, J. A. D.; Pommier, A.; Noir, J.

    2014-10-01

    Analysis of lunar laser ranging and seismic data has yielded evidence that has been interpreted to indicate a molten zone in the lowermost mantle overlying a fluid core. Such a zone provides strong constraints on models of lunar thermal evolution. Here we determine thermochemical and physical structure of the deep Moon by inverting lunar geophysical data (mean mass and moment of inertia, tidal Love number, and electromagnetic sounding data) in combination with phase-equilibrium computations. Specifically, we assess whether a molten layer is required by the geophysical data. The main conclusion drawn from this study is that a region with high dissipation located deep within the Moon is required to explain the geophysical data. This region is located within the mantle where the solidus is crossed at a depth of ˜1200 km (≥1600°C). Inverted compositions for the partially molten layer (150-200 km thick) are enriched in FeO and TiO2 relative to the surrounding mantle. The melt phase is neutrally buoyant at pressures of ˜4.5-4.6 GPa but contains less TiO2 (<15 wt %) than the Ti-rich (˜16 wt %) melts that produced a set of high-density primitive lunar magmas (density of 3.4 g/cm3). Melt densities computed here range from 3.25 to 3.45 g/cm3 bracketing the density of lunar magmas with moderate-to-high TiO2 contents. Our results are consistent with a model of lunar evolution in which the cumulate pile formed from crystallization of the magma ocean as it overturned, trapping heat-producing elements in the lower mantle.

  10. The role of laser coherence in long-range vibration measurements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Eng, R. S.; Freed, C.; Kingston, R. H.; Schultz, K. I.; Kachelmyer, A. L.; Keicher, W. E.

    1992-01-01

    In this paper, the temporal coherence effect of a laser oscillator will be critically examined using existing laser frequency stability data in the time domain by first converting them to the frequency domain. We limit our discussion to CO2 lasers. To be more specific, our presentation will include the following items: (1) a review of the definitions and representations of laser oscillator frequency stability; (2) a methodology will be developed for determining the dynamic range of vibration measurements; (3) the methodology will show that the conversion of the laser frequency stability from the time domain to the frequency domain can be performed effectively in the optical region; and (4) because of a finite time delay, the phase noise is reduced for offset frequencies close to the carrier frequency.

  11. Intercomparison of satellite laser ranging accuracy of three NASA stations through collocation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Varghese, T.; Husson, V.; Wetzel, S.; Degnan, J. J.; Zagwodzki, T.

    1988-01-01

    The accuracy of laser ranging has been evaluated through comparisons of simultaneous LAGEOS satellite-borne laser ranging data received at three NASA tracking stations in support of the Crustal Dynamics project. Single-shot satellite ranging precisions of 8, 14, and 30 mm have been demonstrated at the three ground stations, with a stability better than 3 mm. The data-processing software used were POLYQUICK and GEODYN; a consistent degree of agreement between the three stations of less than 1 cm is obtained.

  12. Compact silicon photonic wavelength-tunable laser diode with ultra-wide wavelength tuning range

    SciTech Connect

    Kita, Tomohiro Tang, Rui; Yamada, Hirohito

    2015-03-16

    We present a wavelength-tunable laser diode with a 99-nm-wide wavelength tuning range. It has a compact wavelength-tunable filter with high wavelength selectivity fabricated using silicon photonics technology. The silicon photonic wavelength-tunable filter with wide wavelength tuning range was realized using two ring resonators and an asymmetric Mach-Zehnder interferometer. The wavelength-tunable laser diode fabricated by butt-joining a silicon photonic filter and semiconductor optical amplifier shows stable single-mode operation over a wide wavelength range.

  13. Laser Ranging for Effective and Accurate Tracking of Space Debris in Low Earth Orbits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blanchet, Guillaume; Haag, Herve; Hennegrave, Laurent; Assemat, Francois; Vial, Sophie; Samain, Etienne

    2013-08-01

    The paper presents the results of preliminary design options for an operational laser ranging system adapted to the measurement of the distance of space debris. Thorough analysis of the operational parameters is provided with identification of performance drivers and assessment of enabling design options. Results from performance simulation demonstrate how the range measurement enables improvement of the orbit determination when combined with astrometry. Besides, experimental results on rocket-stage class debris in LEO were obtained by Astrium beginning of 2012, in collaboration with the Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur (OCA), by operating an experimental laser ranging system supported by the MéO (Métrologie Optique) telescope.

  14. Compensation for the distortion in satellite laser range predictions due to varying pulse travel times

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Paunonen, Matti

    1993-01-01

    A method for compensating for the effect of the varying travel time of a transmitted laser pulse to a satellite is described. The 'observed minus predicted' range differences then appear to be linear, which makes data screening or use in range gating more effective.

  15. Remote Sensing of Atmospheric Methane with Simultaneous Ranging Using Chirped Laser Dispersion Spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plant, Genevieve; Hangauer, Andreas; Wysocki, Gerard

    2016-06-01

    We present a new sensing technology that allows for simultaneous sensing and ranging using chirped laser dispersion spectroscopy (CLaDS). In conjunction with previous works demonstrating the effectiveness of CLaDS for remote sensing, this new configuration yields spectroscopic and ranging information from a single measurement, and is implemented for continuous, multi-path detection of atmospheric methane.

  16. A wide dynamic range laser rangefinder with cm-level resolution based on AGC amplifier structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Feihu; Gong, Ke; Huo, Yujing

    2012-03-01

    A pulsed time-of-flight (TOF) laser rangefinder with a pulsed laser diode and an avalanche photo diode (APD) receiver is constructed and tested. Trigged by an avalanche transistor, the laser diode can emit a periodic pulse with rise time of ˜2 ns. A new structure with auto gain control (AGC) circuits both in the pre-amplifier and the post-amplifier is presented. Through this technology, not only the dynamic range of the receiver is extended, but also the walk error of timing discriminators is reduced. Large measurement range from 5 m to 500 m is achieved without any cooperative target. The single-shot precision is 3 cm for the weakest signal. Compared with previous laser rangefinders, the complexity of this system is greatly simplified.

  17. Horizontal Position Optimal Solution Determination for the Satellite Laser Ranging Slope Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Yu; Ai, Yu; Hu, Yu; Wang, RenLi

    2016-06-01

    According to the Gaussian-fit laser echo model and the terrain slope model, the regular mean value theorem and the asymptotic principle of the median point of the double integral mean value theorem are used to derive the optimal solution for the horizontal position of a single-mode laser echo. Through simulation experiments, the horizontal position results of the echo signal peak from various terrain slopes are analyzed. When ignoring the effect of the atmosphere and the surface roughness of the target, considering the geometric position of the Gaussian single-mode echo signal peak to be the center of the laser spot is highly accurate. However, as the accuracy significantly decreases when the slope is greater than 26°, making the range of the peak value of the single-mode echo data (for a slope of less than 26°) to be the range of the geometrical center of the laser spot can obtain a higher degree of accuracy.

  18. Design and Development of High-Repetition-Rate Satellite Laser Ranging System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choi, Eun-Jung; Bang, Seong-Cheol; Sung, Ki-Pyoung; Lim, Hyung-Chul; Jung, Chan-Gyu; Kim, In-Yeung; Choi, Jae-Seung

    2015-09-01

    The Accurate Ranging System for Geodetic Observation ? Mobile (ARGO-M) was successfully developed as the first Korean mobile Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) system in 2012, and has joined in the International Laser Ranging Service (ILRS) tracking network, DAEdeoK (DAEK) station. The DAEK SLR station was approved as a validated station in April 2014, through the ILRS station ¡°data validation¡± process. The ARGO-M system is designed to enable 2 kHz laser ranging with millimeter-level precision for geodetic, remote sensing, navigation, and experimental satellites equipped with Laser Retroreflector Arrays (LRAs). In this paper, we present the design and development of a next generation high-repetition-rate SLR system for ARGO-M. The laser ranging rate up to 10 kHz is becoming an important issue in the SLR community to improve ranging precision. To implement high-repetition-rate SLR system, the High-repetition-rate SLR operation system (HSLR-10) was designed and developed using ARGO-M Range Gate Generator (A-RGG), so as to enable laser ranging from 50 Hz to 10 kHz. HSLR-10 includes both hardware controlling software and data post-processing software. This paper shows the design and development of key technologies of high-repetition-rate SLR system. The developed system was tested successfully at DAEK station and then moved to Sejong station, a new Korean SLR station, on July 1, 2015. HSLR-10 will begin normal operations at Sejong station in the near future.

  19. Continuous spatial tuning of laser emissions in a full visible spectral range.

    PubMed

    Jeong, Mi-Yun; Wu, Jeong Weon

    2011-01-01

    In order to achieve a continuous tuning of laser emission, the authors designed and fabricated three types of cholesteric liquid crystal cells with pitch gradient, a wedge cell with positive slope, a wedge cell with negative slope, and a parallel cell. The length of the cholesteric liquid crystal pitch could be elongated up to 10 nm, allowing the lasing behavior of continuous or discontinuous spatial tuning determined by the boundary conditions of the cholesteric liquid crystal cell. In the wedge cell with positive slope, the authors demonstrated a continuous spatial laser tuning in the near full visible spectral range, with a tuning resolution less than 1 nm by pumping with only a single 355 nm laser beam. This continuous tuning behavior is due to the fact that the concentration of pitch gradient matches the fixed helical pitch determined by the cell thickness. This characteristic continuous spatial laser tuning could be confirmed again by pumping with a 532 nm laser beam, over 90 nm in the visible spectral range. The scheme of the spatial laser tuning in the wedge cell bearing a pitch gradient enabled a route to designing small-sized optical devices that allow for a wide tunability of single-mode laser emissions. PMID:21673936

  20. Calculation of impulse laser rangefinders' utmost operating range with sensitivity in different weather

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Yu-dan; Zhou, Bing; Ying, Jia-ju; Mao, Shao-juan; Qian, Xian-mei

    2015-10-01

    As one of the main weapons, impulse laser rangefinders have become the main object of the electro-optical countermeasures. So its real maximum range (defined as utmost operating range in the paper) becomes the most concerned index to evaluate the performance of electro-optical countermeasure weapons. A method for calculating laser rangefinders' utmost operating range by its sensitivity in different weather is obtained. Then a method by experiment for getting the sensitivity is supplied. By analyzing the experiment data which the detectivity is 40%-60%, the laser rangefinders' sensitivity is in the range of 1.7×10-5 W to 9.8×10-5 W. For the reason that in order to get an exact utmost operating range, the experiment accuracy of sensitivity is very important, in the last part of paper, the factors which influence the experiment accuracy of sensitivity are analyzed, such as circuit of automatic gain control, the fluctuation of laser power, incident angle of laser.

  1. Lunar Dust: Characterization and Mitigation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hyatt. Mark J.; Feighery, John

    2007-01-01

    Lunar dust is a ubiquitous phenomenon which must be explicitly addressed during upcoming human lunar exploration missions. Near term plans to revisit the moon as a stepping stone for further exploration of Mars, and beyond, places a primary emphasis on characterization and mitigation of lunar dust. Comprised of regolith particles ranging in size from tens of nanometers to microns, lunar dust is a manifestation of the complex interaction of the lunar soil with multiple mechanical, electrical, and gravitational effects. The environmental and anthropogenic factors effecting the perturbation, transport, and deposition of lunar dust must be studied in order to mitigate it's potentially harmful effects on exploration systems. The same hold true for assessing the risk it may pose for toxicological health problems if inhaled. This paper presents the current perspective and implementation of dust knowledge management and integration, and mitigation technology development activities within NASA's Exploration Technology Development Program. This work is presented within the context of the Constellation Program's Integrated Lunar Dust Management Strategy. This work further outlines the scientific basis for lunar dust behavior, it's characteristics and potential effects, and surveys several potential strategies for its control and mitigation both for lunar surface operations and within the working volumes of a lunar outpost. The paper also presents a perspective on lessons learned from Apollo and forensics engineering studies of Apollo hardware.

  2. Laser ranging with the MéO telescope to improve orbital accuracy of space debris

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hennegrave, L.; Pyanet, M.; Haag, H.; Blanchet, G.; Esmiller, B.; Vial, S.; Samain, E.; Paris, J.; Albanese, D.

    2013-05-01

    Improving orbital accuracy of space debris is one of the major prerequisite to performing reliable collision prediction in low earth orbit. The objective is to avoid false alarms and useless maneuvers for operational satellites. This paper shows how laser ranging on debris can improve the accuracy of orbit determination. In March 2012 a joint OCA-Astrium team had the first laser echoes from space debris using the MéO (Métrologie Optique) telescope of the Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur (OCA), upgraded with a nanosecond pulsed laser. The experiment was conducted in full compliance with the procedures dictated by the French Civil Aviation Authorities. To perform laser ranging measurement on space debris, the laser link budget needed to be improved. Related technical developments were supported by implementation of a 2J pulsed laser purchased by ASTRIUM and an adapted photo detection. To achieve acquisition of the target from low accuracy orbital data such as Two Lines Elements, a 2.3-degree field of view telescope was coupled to the original MéO telescope 3-arcmin narrow field of view. The wide field of view telescope aimed at pointing, adjusting and acquiring images of the space debris for astrometry measurement. The achieved set-up allowed performing laser ranging and angular measurements in parallel, on several rocket stages from past launches. After a brief description of the set-up, development issues and campaigns, the paper discusses added-value of laser ranging measurement when combined to angular measurement for accurate orbit determination. Comparison between different sets of experimental results as well as simulation results is given.

  3. Fibre laser with a subterahertz repetition rate of ultrashort pulses in the telecom range

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andrianov, A. V.; Mylnikov, V. M.; Koptev, M. Yu; Muravyev, S. V.; Kim, A. V.

    2016-04-01

    We have investigated a new fibre laser configuration for the generation of ultrashort pulses at a repetition rate far exceeding the fundamental cavity frequency. The laser configuration includes a nonlinear amplifying mirror as an artificial saturable absorber for mode locking and a spectral comb filter for pulse separation stabilisation. Generation of trains and sequences of ultrashort pulses at a repetition rate tunable in the range 8 – 200 GHz has been demonstrated experimentally. The pulses generated by the laser have been shown to retain an ordered, equidistant structure on a nanosecond timescale.

  4. High-power cw laser bars of the 750 - 790-nm wavelength range

    SciTech Connect

    Degtyareva, N S; Kondakov, S A; Mikayelyan, G T; Gorlachuk, P V; Ladugin, M A; Marmalyuk, Aleksandr A; Ryaboshtan, Yu L; Yarotskaya, I V

    2013-06-30

    We have developed the effective design of semiconductor heterostructures, which allow one to fabricate cw laser diodes emitting in the 750 - 790-nm spectral range. The optimal conditions for fabrication of GaAsP/AlGaInP/GaAs heterostructures by MOCVD have been determined. It is shown that the use of quantum wells with a precisely defined quantity mismatch reduces the threshold current density and increases the external differential efficiency. The results of studies of characteristics of diode laser bars fabricated from these heterostructures are presented. (lasers)

  5. Precision laser tracking for global and polar motion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shawe, M. E.; Adelman, A. G.

    1985-01-01

    This paper provides an overview of the Goddard Laser Tracking Network (GLTN). GLTN station locations, equipment, possible improvements, and data flow are discussed. Locations of the other major laser tracking networks and their present or expected performance are also provided. The material includes a listing of the Lunar Laser Ranging Stations (LLRSs) and their actual or expected performance.

  6. The Current State of the Art in the Use of the Lasers in Space Communication, Laser Ranging and Remote Sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yatskiv, D. Ya.

    The general description of the state of the art in the development of space communication, laser ranging, and remote sensing is given. The methods, set-up, and general parameters of the main devices and experiments are reviewed and discussed. The paper is based on the review of periodicals.

  7. Simulating the star tracks in the field of view of the Lunar polar telescope of the ILOM project in dependence on the Lunar dynamical figure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petrova, N.; Gusev, A.

    2009-04-01

    The measurement of the rotation of the Moon is one of techniques to get the information of the internal structure of celestial body. The Lunar Laser Ranging (LLR) has given unprecedented data on the lunar rotation, and gives some proposals of the state of the core. In situ Lunar Orientation Measurement (ILOM) is an experiment to measure the lunar physical librations in situ on the Moon with a small telescope which tracks stars. Simulating the trajectory of stars due to the lunar rotation observed by the ILOM-telescope in the polar region was already made by using numerical theory DE405 (Noda et al., 2008). We have executed calculations of libration tracks of stars on the basis of analytical libration theory (Petrova, 1996; Chapront et al, 1999). It allowed us to do simulating for various models of Lunar gravity field (Lunar dynamical figure). We used dynamical figures constructed on the basis of data received in the current mission Kaguya (SELENE), and then we compared the results with calculations with other dynamic models constructed on the data obtained by the Clementine (GLGM-2) and the Lunar Prospector (LP150Q). The differences between the models GLGM-2, LP150Q and the Kaguya model are larger than 10 milliseconds of arc. This means that proposed accuracy of ILOM observations - 1 millisecond of arc will be enough to improve many parameters of the Lunar interior. In particular, residual estimations will allow to detect small amplitudes of free libration caused by a liquid Lunar core and to estimate its characteristic, first of all - core's ellipticity. All calculation and comparisons, graphic presentation were executed in the VBA environment for MS Excel. The research was supported by the Russian-Japanese grant RFFI-JSPS N 07-02-91212, (2007 - 2009).

  8. Lunar gravity field recovery: sensitivity studies from simulated tracking data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maier, A.; Baur, O.

    2012-04-01

    The lunar gravity field is essential for understanding the structure and the thermal evolution of the Moon. Typically, the gravity field is inferred from tracking data to satellites orbiting the Moon. Due to the fact that the Moon is in the state of synchronous rotation with the Earth, direct tracking to the farside is impossible. NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), launched in 2009, is equipped with various instruments whose purpose is to prepare for save robotic returns to the Moon. To geolocate LRO, the spacecraft is tracked by means of radiometric techniques (ranges, range rates, angles) and optical laser (laser ranges). We analyzed tracking data to LRO with respect to various aspects, such as the number of observations, their spatial distribution on the lunar surface, and the present noise level. We used these real-data characteristics to simulate tracking data to LRO. We generated three different simulation scenarios: observations were simulated (1) during the exact time spans when LRO was tracked from a specific ground station, (2) whenever the spacecraft was in view from a station, and (3) for the nearside as well as for the farside of the Moon. Based on the resulting trajectories, we estimated three sets of spherical harmonic coefficients representing the lunar gravity field. Moreover, we varied the maximum degree of estimated coefficients and investigated the effect of noise on the estimated parameters. Observation simulation and parameter estimation was accomplished with the software packages GEODYN and SOLVE.

  9. Preliminary results from the portable standard satellite laser ranging intercomparison with MOBLAS-7

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Selden, Michael; Varghese, Thomas K.; Heinick, Michael; Oldham, Thomas

    1993-01-01

    Conventional Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) instrumentation has been configured and successfully used to provide high-accuracy laboratory measurements on the LAGEOS-2 and TOPEX cube-corner arrays. The instrumentation, referred to as the Portable Standard, has also been used for field measurements of satellite ranges in tandem with MOBLAS-7. Preliminary results of the SLR measurements suggest that improved range accuracy can be achieved using this system. Results are discussed.

  10. Field Demonstrations of Active Laser Ranging with Sub-mm Precision

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chen, Yijiang; Birnbaum, Kevin M.; Hemmati, Hamid

    2011-01-01

    Precision ranging between planets will provide valuable information for scientific studies of the solar system and fundamental physics. Current passive ranging techniques using retro-reflectors are limited to the Earth-Moon distance due to the 1/R? losses. We report on a laboratory realization and field implementation of active laser ranging in real-time with two terminals, emulating interplanetary distance. Sub-millimeter accuracy is demonstrated.

  11. Lunar horticulture.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Walkinshaw, C. H.

    1971-01-01

    Discussion of the role that lunar horticulture may fulfill in helping establish the life support system of an earth-independent lunar colony. Such a system is expected to be a hybrid between systems which depend on lunar horticulture and those which depend upon the chemical reclamation of metabolic waste and its resynthesis into nutrients and water. The feasibility of this approach has been established at several laboratories. Plants grow well under reduced pressures and with oxygen concentrations of less than 1% of the total pressure. The carbon dioxide collected from the lunar base personnel should provide sufficient gas pressure (approx. 100 mm Hg) for growing the plants.

  12. Density of the lunar interior.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gast, P. W.; Giuli, R. T.

    1972-01-01

    It is attempted to derive the constraints that can be placed on the density of the lunar interior. The moment of inertia of the moon and its mean density are being considered in the investigation together with the mass and density of the lunar crust that have been inferred from the seismic refraction data recorded by the passive seismometer. The calculations presented show that the density of the lunar interior can easily approach values as high as 3.5 for a fraction of the lunar mass which lies in the range from 1/2 to 2/3.

  13. Underwater pulsed laser range-gated imaging model and its effect on image degradation and restoration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Youwei, Huang; Fengmei, Cao; Weiqi, Jin; Su, Qiu

    2014-06-01

    The imaging of underwater objects illuminated by artificial light has been of long-standing interest to investigators working in oceanographic environments. Pulsed lasers together with range-gated technology have been widely used for underwater optical imaging applications. In order to describe the formation of underwater range-gated images, a pulsed laser underwater imaging model based on pulse spatial and temporal broadening is proposed. Experiments based on a self-assembled laser range-gated imaging system were implemented in our laboratory. Results show good agreements between experiments and simulations. Both results also confirm higher image contrast toward the tail region of the target-reflected light. Furthermore, experiments on underwater image blur and restoration are also implemented and show good image recovery results. The modulation transfer function-based restoration mechanism also implies a way to eliminate the blur effect caused by light forward scattering.

  14. Long-Range Coulomb Effect in Intense Laser-Driven Photoelectron Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quan, Wei; Hao, Xiaolei; Chen, Yongju; Yu, Shaogang; Xu, Songpo; Wang, Yanlan; Sun, Renping; Lai, Xuanyang; Wu, Chengyin; Gong, Qihuang; He, Xiantu; Liu, Xiaojun; Chen, Jing

    2016-06-01

    In strong field atomic physics community, long-range Coulomb interaction has for a long time been overlooked and its significant role in intense laser-driven photoelectron dynamics eluded experimental observations. Here we report an experimental investigation of the effect of long-range Coulomb potential on the dynamics of near-zero-momentum photoelectrons produced in photo-ionization process of noble gas atoms in intense midinfrared laser pulses. By exploring the dependence of photoelectron distributions near zero momentum on laser intensity and wavelength, we unambiguously demonstrate that the long-range tail of the Coulomb potential (i.e., up to several hundreds atomic units) plays an important role in determining the photoelectron dynamics after the pulse ends.

  15. Long-Range Coulomb Effect in Intense Laser-Driven Photoelectron Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Quan, Wei; Hao, XiaoLei; Chen, YongJu; Yu, ShaoGang; Xu, SongPo; Wang, YanLan; Sun, RenPing; Lai, XuanYang; Wu, ChengYin; Gong, QiHuang; He, XianTu; Liu, XiaoJun; Chen, Jing

    2016-01-01

    In strong field atomic physics community, long-range Coulomb interaction has for a long time been overlooked and its significant role in intense laser-driven photoelectron dynamics eluded experimental observations. Here we report an experimental investigation of the effect of long-range Coulomb potential on the dynamics of near-zero-momentum photoelectrons produced in photo-ionization process of noble gas atoms in intense midinfrared laser pulses. By exploring the dependence of photoelectron distributions near zero momentum on laser intensity and wavelength, we unambiguously demonstrate that the long-range tail of the Coulomb potential (i.e., up to several hundreds atomic units) plays an important role in determining the photoelectron dynamics after the pulse ends. PMID:27256904

  16. Long-Range Coulomb Effect in Intense Laser-Driven Photoelectron Dynamics.

    PubMed

    Quan, Wei; Hao, XiaoLei; Chen, YongJu; Yu, ShaoGang; Xu, SongPo; Wang, YanLan; Sun, RenPing; Lai, XuanYang; Wu, ChengYin; Gong, QiHuang; He, XianTu; Liu, XiaoJun; Chen, Jing

    2016-01-01

    In strong field atomic physics community, long-range Coulomb interaction has for a long time been overlooked and its significant role in intense laser-driven photoelectron dynamics eluded experimental observations. Here we report an experimental investigation of the effect of long-range Coulomb potential on the dynamics of near-zero-momentum photoelectrons produced in photo-ionization process of noble gas atoms in intense midinfrared laser pulses. By exploring the dependence of photoelectron distributions near zero momentum on laser intensity and wavelength, we unambiguously demonstrate that the long-range tail of the Coulomb potential (i.e., up to several hundreds atomic units) plays an important role in determining the photoelectron dynamics after the pulse ends. PMID:27256904

  17. A modulated pulse laser for underwater detection, ranging, imaging, and communications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cochenour, Brandon; Mullen, Linda; Muth, John

    2012-06-01

    A new, modulated-pulse, technique is currently being investigated for underwater laser detection, ranging, imag- ing, and communications. This technique represents a unique marriage of pulsed and intensity modulated sources. For detection, ranging, and imaging, the source can be congured to transmit a variety of intensity modulated waveforms, from single-tone to pseudorandom code. The utility of such waveforms in turbid underwater envi- ronments in the presence of backscatter is investigated in this work. The modulated pulse laser may also nd utility in underwater laser communication links. In addition to exibility in modulation format additional variable parameters, such as macro-pulse width and macro-pulse repetition rate, provide a link designer with additional methods of optimizing links based on the bandwidth, power, range, etc. needed for the application. Initial laboratory experiments in simulated ocean waters are presented.

  18. Testing the gravitational interaction in the field of the Earth via satellite laser ranging and the Laser Ranged Satellites Experiment (LARASE)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lucchesi, D. M.; Anselmo, L.; Bassan, M.; Pardini, C.; Peron, R.; Pucacco, G.; Visco, M.

    2015-08-01

    In this work, the Laser Ranged Satellites Experiment (LARASE) is presented. This is a research program that aims to perform new refined tests and measurements of gravitation in the field of the Earth in the weak field and slow motion (WFSM) limit of general relativity (GR). For this objective we use the free available data relative to geodetic passive satellite lasers tracked from a network of ground stations by means of the satellite laser ranging (SLR) technique. After a brief introduction to GR and its WFSM limit, which aims to contextualize the physical background of the tests and measurements that LARASE will carry out, we focus on the current limits of validation of GR and on current constraints on the alternative theories of gravity that have been obtained with the precise SLR measurements of the two LAGEOS satellites performed so far. Afterward, we present the scientific goals of LARASE in terms of upcoming measurements and tests of relativistic physics. Finally, we introduce our activities and we give a number of new results regarding the improvements to the modelling of both gravitational and non-gravitational perturbations to the orbit of the satellites. These activities are a needed prerequisite to improve the forthcoming new measurements of gravitation. An innovation with respect to the past is the specialization of the models to the LARES satellite, especially for what concerns the modelling of its spin evolution, the neutral drag perturbation and the impact of Earth's solid tides on the satellite orbit.

  19. The applications of laser tracking and ranging technology in space rendezvous and docking

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    She, Wenji; Gao, Limin; Zhou, Liang; Li, Dawei; Wang, Rong

    2013-09-01

    With the development of space technology, more and more Rendezvous and Docking (RVD) mission require more precise measurement of relative position and attitude between tracking spacecraft and target spacecraft. In the procedure of docking between near spacecraft , the optical retroreflector on the target Spacecraft were tracked by the laser tracking and ranging device on the tracking spacecraft , the distance data were provided by laser ranging system, and the azimuth data were provided by tracking gimbal, Synthesized the distance data and azimuth data, the relative position information between two spacecraft were provided to the target spacecraft. Furthermore, through tracking more than three point on the target spacecraft ,the complete information of relative position and attitude between two spacecraft were calculated rapidly by the measurement system,which were presented to the control system during the whole RVD operating stage. The laser tracking technology guaranteed continuous measurement and supplied accurate azimuth information, and the laser ranging technology ensured high accuracy of distance information. In addition, the untouched measure mode give no disturbance to the docking operation, moreover, the monochromaticity of laser make the tracking and ranging procedure avoiding to be disturbed by parasitic light of space, thus there will be a effective measurement accompanying the whole docking operating procedure and affording valid data to the control system of docking.

  20. Compact multispectral continuous zoom camera for color and SWIR vision with integrated laser range finder

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hübner, M.; Gerken, M.; Achtner, Bertram; Kraus, M.; Münzberg, M.

    2014-06-01

    In an electro-optical sensor suite for long range surveillance tasks the optics for the visible (450nm - 700nm) and the SWIR spectral wavelength range (900nm - 1700 nm) are combined with the receiver optics of an integrated laser range finder (LRF) .The incoming signal from the observed scene and the returned laser pulse are collected within the common entrance aperture of the optics. The common front part of the optics is a broadband corrected lens design from 450 - 1700nm wavelength range. The visible spectrum is split up by a dichroic beam splitter and focused on a HDTV CMOS camera. The returned laser pulse is spatially separated from the scene signal by a special prism and focused on the laser receiver diode of the integrated LRF. The achromatic lens design has a zoom factor 14 and F#2.6 in the visible path. In the SWIR path the F-number is adapted to the corresponding chip dimensions . The alignment of the LRF with respect to the SWIR camera line of sight can be controlled by adjustable integrated wedges. The two images in the visible and the SWIR spectral range match in focus and field of view (FOV) over the full zoom range between 2° and 22° HFOV. The SWIR camera has a resolution of 640×512 pixels. The HDTV camera provides a resolution of 1920×1080. The design and the performance parameters of the multispectral sensor suite is discussed.

  1. Laser-Ranging Transponders for Science Investigations of the Moon and Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hemmati, Hamid; Chen, Yijiang; Bimbaum, Kevin

    2012-01-01

    An active laser was developed ranging in real-time with two terminals, emulating interplanetary distances, and with submillimeter accuracy. In order to overcome the limitations to ranging accuracy from jitters and delay drifts within the transponders, architecture was proposed based on asynchronous paired one-way ranging with local references. A portion of the transmitted light is directed, via a reference path, to the local detector. This allows for compensation of any jitter in the timing of the emitted laser pulse. The same detector is used to measure the time of the received pulses emitted from the remote terminal. This approach removes any change in the delay caused by the detector or its electronics. Two separate terminals using commercial off-the-shelf hardware were built to emulate active laser ranging over interplanetary distances. The communication link for the command to start recording pulse arrival times and data transfer from one terminal to the other was achieved using a standard wireless link, emulating free space laser communication. The deviation is well below the goal of 1-mm precision. This leaves enough margin to achieve 1-mm precision when including the fluctuations due to atmospheric turbulence while ranging to Mars through the Earth s atmosphere. The two terminals are mounted on translation stages, which can be moved freely on rails to yield a wide range of distances with fine adjustment. The two terminals were separated by approximately 16 meters.

  2. Lunar Fluid Core and Solid-Body Tides

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, J. G.; Boggs, D. H.; Ratcliff, J. T.

    2005-01-01

    Variations in rotation and orientation of the Moon are sensitive to solid-body tidal dissipation, dissipation due to relative motion at the fluid-core/solid-mantle boundary, and tidal Love number k2 [1,2]. There is weaker sensitivity to flattening of the core-mantle boundary (CMB) [2-5] and fluid core moment of inertia [1]. Accurate Lunar Laser Ranging (LLR) measurements of the distance from observatories on the Earth to four retroreflector arrays on the Moon are sensitive to lunar rotation and orientation variations and tidal displacements. Past solutions using the LLR data have given results for dissipation due to solid-body tides and fluid core [1] plus Love number [1-5]. Detection of CMB flattening has been improving [3,5] and now seems significant. This strengthens the case for a fluid lunar core.

  3. Real-time tracking of objects for space applications using a laser range scanner

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blais, F.; Couvillon, R. A.; Rioux, M.; Maclean, S. G.

    1994-01-01

    Real-time tracking of multiple targets and three dimensional object features was demonstrated using a laser range scanner. The prototype was immune to ambient illumination and sun interference. Tracking error feedback was simultaneously obtained from individual targets, global predicted target position, and the human operator. A more complete study of calibration parameters and temperature variations on the scanner is needed to determine the exact performance of the sensor. Lissajous patterns used in three-dimensional real-time tracking prove helpful given their high resolution. The photogrammetry-based Advanced Space Vision System (ASVS) is discussed in combination with the laser range scanner.

  4. Laser-induced short-range disorder in aluminum revealed by ultrafast electron diffuse scattering

    SciTech Connect

    Zhu, Pengfei; Chen, Jie; Li, Runze; Chen, Long; Cao, Jianming; Sheng, Zhengming; Zhang, Jie

    2013-12-02

    We report ultrafast electron diffuse scattering intensity (DSI) measurement in order to study the structural response of aluminum to femtosecond laser excitation. In this measurement, the evolutions of DSI and Bragg peak intensities after the laser excitation are measured and compared in the time domain. Their differences suggest that two kinds of lattice disorder, short-range and long-range, are triggered simultaneously. The former, induced by electron excitation, arises and decays with a faster rate than the latter which is subject to lattice heating. The results presented show that the time-resolved DSI measurements provide complementary insights to the ultrafast diffraction measurements.

  5. Stable Gain-Switched Thulium Fiber Laser With 140-nm Tuning Range

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Fengqiu; Meng, Yafei; Kelleher, Edmund; Guo, Guoxiang; Li, Yao; Xu, Yongbing; Zhu, Shining

    2016-06-01

    We demonstrate a gain-switched thulium fiber laser that can be continuously tuned over 140 nm, while maintaining stable nanosecond single-pulse operation. To the best of our knowledge, this system represents the broadest tuning range for a gain-switched fiber laser. The system simplicity and wideband wavelength tunability combined with the ability to control the temporal characteristics of the gain-switched pulses mean this is a versatile source highly suited to a wide range of applications in the eye-safe region of the infrared, including spectroscopy, sensing and material processing, as well as being a practical seed source for pumping nonlinear processes.

  6. Long-range persistence of femtosecond modulations on laser-plasma-accelerated electron beams

    SciTech Connect

    Tilborg, J. van; Lin, C.; Nakamura, K.; Gonsalves, A. J.; Matlis, N. H.; Sokollik, T.; Shiraishi, S.; Osterhoff, J.; Benedetti, C.; Schroeder, C. B.; Toth, Cs.; Esarey, E.; Leemans, W. P.

    2012-12-21

    Laser plasma accelerators have produced femtosecond electron bunches with a relative energy spread ranging from 100% to a few percent. Simulations indicate that the measured energy spread can be dominated by a correlated spread, with the slice spread significantly lower. Measurements of coherent optical transition radiation are presented for broad-energy-spread beams with laser-induced density and momentum modulations. The long-range (meter-scale) observation of coherent optical transition radiation indicates that the slice energy spread is below the percent level to preserve the modulations.

  7. 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

  8. Deep space laser communications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biswas, Abhijit; Kovalik, Joseph M.; Srinivasan, Meera; Shaw, Matthew; Piazzolla, Sabino; Wright, Malcolm W.; Farr, William H.

    2016-03-01

    A number of laser communication link demonstrations from near Earth distances extending out to lunar ranges have been remarkably successful, demonstrating the augmented channel capacity that is accessible with the use of lasers for communications. The next hurdle on the path to extending laser communication and its benefits throughout the solar system and beyond is to demonstrate deep-space laser communication links. In this paper, concepts and technology development being advanced at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in order to enable deep-space link demonstrations to ranges of approximately 3 AU in the next decade, will be discussed.

  9. Two color satellite laser ranging upgrades at Goddard's 1.2m telescope facility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zagwodzki, Thomas W.; Mcgarry, Jan F.; Degnan, John J.; Varghese, Thomas K.

    1993-01-01

    The ranging laboratory at Goddard's 1.2 m telescope tracking facility has recently been upgraded to include a single photoelectron sensitive Hamamatsu streak camera-based range receiver which uses doubled and tripled Nd:YAG frequencies for satellite laser ranging. Other ranging system upgrades include a new continuum laser, which will deliver up to 30 millijoules (mJ) at both 532 and 355 nm at a pulsewidth of 30 picoseconds (FWHM), and replacement of both ranging and tracking computers with COMPAQ 386 based systems. Preliminary results using a photomultiplier-tube based receiver and waveform digitizer indicate agreement within the accuracy of the measurement with the theoretical Marini and Murray model for atmospheric refraction. Two color streak camera measurements are used to further analyze the accuracy of these and other atmospheric refraction models.

  10. Two color satellite laser ranging upgrades at Goddard's 1.2m telescope facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zagwodzki, Thomas W.; McGarry, Jan F.; Degnan, John J.; Varghese, Thomas K.

    1993-06-01

    The ranging laboratory at Goddard's 1.2 m telescope tracking facility has recently been upgraded to include a single photoelectron sensitive Hamamatsu streak camera-based range receiver which uses doubled and tripled Nd:YAG frequencies for satellite laser ranging. Other ranging system upgrades include a new continuum laser, which will deliver up to 30 millijoules (mJ) at both 532 and 355 nm at a pulsewidth of 30 picoseconds (FWHM), and replacement of both ranging and tracking computers with COMPAQ 386 based systems. Preliminary results using a photomultiplier-tube based receiver and waveform digitizer indicate agreement within the accuracy of the measurement with the theoretical Marini and Murray model for atmospheric refraction. Two color streak camera measurements are used to further analyze the accuracy of these and other atmospheric refraction models.

  11. Laser ranging system and measurement analysis for space debris with high repetition rate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Zhibo; Zhang, Haifeng; Meng, Wendong; Li, Pu; Deng, Huarong; Tang, Kai; Ding, Renjie; Zhang, Zhongping

    2016-01-01

    Laser measurement technology is inherently high accurate and will play an important role in precise orbit determination, accurate catalog, surveillance to space debris. Shanghai Astronomical Observatory (SHAO) has been developing the technology of laser measurement to space debris for several years. Based on the first successful laser ranging measurement to space debris in country, by applying one new set of high power 532nm wavelength laser system with 200Hz repetition rate, and adopting low dark noise APD detector with high quantum efficiency and high transmissivity of narrow bandwidth spectral filter, SHAO have achieved hundreds of passes of laser data from space debris in 2014, and the measured objects with distance between 500km and 2200km, Radar Cross Section (RCS) of >10m2 to <0.5m2 at the precision of <1m RMS for small RCS targets ,and the success rate of measured passes of up to 80%. The results show that laser ranging technology in China can routinely measure space debris and provide enough measurement data with high accuracy to space debris applications and researches such as surveillance activities in the future.

  12. Range Resolved CO2 Atmospheric Backscattering Measurements Using Fiber Lasers and RZPN Code Modulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burris, J.; Sun, X.

    2011-12-01

    We report the use of a return-to- zero (RZPN) pseudo noise modulation technique for making range resolved measurements of CO2 within the planetary boundary layer (PBL) using commercial, off-the-shelf, components. Conventional, range resolved, DIAL measurements require laser pulse widths that are significantly shorter than the desired spatial resolution and necessitate using pulses whose temporal spacing is such that scattered returns from only a single pulse are observed by the receiver at any one time (for the PBL pulse separations must be >~20 microseconds). This imposes significant operational limitations when using currently available fiber lasers because of the resulting low duty cycle (<~0.0005) and consequent low average laser output power. The RZPN modulation technique enables a fiber laser to operate at much higher duty cycles (approaching 0.04) thereby more effectively utilizing the amplifier's output. This increases the counts received by approximately two orders of magnitude. Our approach involves employing two distributed feedback lasers (DFB), each modulated by a different RPZN code, whose outputs are then amplified by a CW fiber amplifier. One laser is tuned to a CO2 absorption line; the other operates offline thereby permitting the simultaneous acquisition of both on and offline signals using independent RZPN codes. This minimizes the impact of atmospheric turbulence on the measurement. The on and offline signals are retrieved by deconvolving the return signal using the appropriate kernels. An assessment of the technique, discussions of measurement precision and error sources as well as preliminary data will be presented.

  13. Range Resolved CO2 Atmospheric Backscattering Measurements Using Fiber Lasers and RZPN Code Modulation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burris, John

    2011-01-01

    We report the use of a return-to- zero (RZPN) pseudo noise modulation technique for making range resolved measurements of CO2 within the planetary boundary layer (PBL) using commercial, off-the-shelf, components. Conventional, range resolved, DIAL measurements require laser pulse widths that are significantly shorter than the desired spatial resolution and necessitate using pulses whose temporal spacing is such that scattered returns from only a single pulse are observed by the receiver at any one time (for the PBL pulse separations must be greater than approximately 20 microseconds). This imposes significant operational limitations when using currently available fiber lasers because of the resulting low duty cycle (less than approximately 0.0005) and consequent low average laser output power. The RZPN modulation technique enables a fiber laser to operate at much higher duty cycles (approaching 0.04) thereby more effectively utilizing the amplifier's output. This increases the counts received by approximately two orders of magnitude. Our approach involves employing two distributed feedback lasers (DFB), each modulated by a different RPZN code, whose outputs are then amplified by a CW fiber amplifier. One laser is tuned to a CO2 absorption line; the other operates offline thereby permitting the simultaneous acquisition of both on and offline signals using independent RZPN codes. This minimizes the impact of atmospheric turbulence on the measurement. The on and offline signals are retrieved by deconvolving the return signal using the appropriate kernels.

  14. Maximum detection range limitation of pulse laser radar with Geiger-mode avalanche photodiode array

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luo, Hanjun; Xu, Benlian; Xu, Huigang; Chen, Jingbo; Fu, Yadan

    2015-05-01

    When designing and evaluating the performance of laser radar system, maximum detection range achievable is an essential parameter. The purpose of this paper is to propose a theoretical model of maximum detection range for simulating the Geiger-mode laser radar's ranging performance. Based on the laser radar equation and the requirement of the minimum acceptable detection probability, and assuming the primary electrons triggered by the echo photons obey Poisson statistics, the maximum range theoretical model is established. By using the system design parameters, the influence of five main factors, namely emitted pulse energy, noise, echo position, atmospheric attenuation coefficient, and target reflectivity on the maximum detection range are investigated. The results show that stronger emitted pulse energy, lower noise level, more front echo position in the range gate, higher atmospheric attenuation coefficient, and higher target reflectivity can result in greater maximum detection range. It is also shown that it's important to select the minimum acceptable detection probability, which is equivalent to the system signal-to-noise ratio for producing greater maximum detection range and lower false-alarm probability.

  15. Laser materials for the 0.67-microns to 2.5-microns range

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Toda, Minoru; Zamerowski, Thomas J.; Ladany, Ivan; Martinelli, Ramon U.

    1987-01-01

    Basic requirements for obtaining injection laser action in III-V semiconductors are discussed briefly. A detailed review is presented of materials suitable for lasers emitting at 0.67, 1.44, 1.93, and 2.5 microns. A general approach to the problem is presented, based on curves of materials properties published by Sasaki et al. It is also shown that these curves, although useful, may need correction in certain ranges. It is deduced that certain materials combinations, either proposed in the literature or actually tried, are not appropriate for double heterostructure lasers, because the refractive index of the cladding material is higher than the index of the active material, thus resulting in no waveguiding, and high threshold currents. Recommendations are made about the most promising approach to the achievement of laser action in the four wavelengths mentioned above.

  16. A demonstration of arm-locking for LISA using the GRACE-FO Laser Ranging Instrument

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thorpe, Ira; McKenzie, Kirk; Sutton, Andrew

    2015-04-01

    The mitigation of laser frequency noise is a key challenge for the design of space-based interferometric gravitational wave detectors such as the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) and its derivatives. Arm locking is novel technique of stabilizing the laser frequency using the LISA arms that has been studied through simulations and in the laboratory. The Laser Ranging Instrument (LRI) on the upcoming GRACE-FO geodesy mission provides an opportunity to perform an on-orbit demonstration of arm-locking in a configuration that is representative of LISA in many aspects. In this talk, I will describe a potential arm-locking experiment for GRACE-FO and present preliminary results from time-domain simulations being used to refine the proposed experiment design.

  17. Injection seeded, diode pumped regenerative ring Nd:YAG amplifier for spaceborne laser ranging technology development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Coyle, D. Barry; Kay, Richard B.; Degnan, John J.; Krebs, Danny J.; Seery, Bernard D.

    1992-01-01

    A small, all solid state, regenerative ring amplifier designed as a prototype for space application is discussed. Novel features include dual side pumping of the Nd:YAG crystal and a triangular ring cavity design which minimizes the number of optical components and losses. The amplifier is relatively small (3 ns round trip time) even though standard optical elements are employed. The ring regeneratively amplifies a 100 ps single pulse by approximately 10(exp 5) at a repetition rate of 10 to 100 Hz. The amplifier is designed to be injection seeded with a pulsed, 100 ps laser diode at 1.06 microns, but another Nd:YAG laser system supplying higher pulse energies was employed for laboratory experiment. This system is a prototype laser oscillator for the Geoscience Laser Ranging System (GLRS) platform. Results on measurements of beam quality, astigmatism, and gain are given.

  18. Design of laser beam expander in underwater high-repetition-rate range-gated imaging system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhong, Wei; Zhang, Xiaohui

    2015-10-01

    Active underwater imaging systems, using an artificial light source for underwater target illumination, have preferable practical value in military and civil domain. Back-scattering of water impacts imaging system performance by reducing image contrast, and this is especially bad when the light source is close to the camera. Range-gated technique can effectively rejecting the back-scattering of water and improve the range of underwater target detection, while it can only collect image at certain distance for every laser impulse. High-repetition-rate green laser is a better light source in underwater range-gated imaging system. It has smaller pulse energy, while it can improve the imaging result. In order to illuminate the proper area underwater according to the different distance between the laser source and targets, there must be a magnifying-ratio variable beam expander to adjust the divergent angle of the laser. Challenges associated with magnifying-ratio computation and designing of beam expander are difficult to overcome due to the obvious refraction and forward-scattering of water. An efficiency computing method is presented to obtain the magnifying-ratio of beam expander. The illuminating area of laser beam can be computed according to the refraction index and beam spread function (BSF) which has already considered forward-scattering process. The magnifying-ratio range of beam expander should be 0.925~3.09 in order to obtain about φ1m illuminating area when the distance between laser and target is 10~40m. A magnifying-ratio variable beam expander is designed according to computation. Underwater experiments show that this beam expander plays an effective role on illuminating in underwater high-repetition-rate range-rated Imaging system.

  19. Laser-Directed Ranging System Implementing Single Camera System for Telerobotics Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wells, Dennis L. (Inventor); Li, Larry C. (Inventor); Cox, Brian J. (Inventor)

    1995-01-01

    The invention relates generally to systems for determining the range of an object from a reference point and, in one embodiment, to laser-directed ranging systems useful in telerobotics applications. Digital processing techniques are employed which minimize the complexity and cost of the hardware and software for processing range calculations, thereby enhancing the commercial attractiveness of the system for use in relatively low-cost robotic systems. The system includes a video camera for generating images of the target, image digitizing circuitry, and an associated frame grabber circuit. The circuit first captures one of the pairs of stereo video images of the target, and then captures a second video image of the target as it is partly illuminated by the light beam, suitably generated by a laser. The two video images, taken sufficiently close together in time to minimize camera and scene motion, are converted to digital images and then compared. Common pixels are eliminated, leaving only a digital image of the laser-illuminated spot on the target. Mw centroid of the laser illuminated spot is dm obtained and compared with a predetermined reference point, predetermined by design or calibration, which represents the coordinate at the focal plane of the laser illumination at infinite range. Preferably, the laser and camera are mounted on a servo-driven platform which can be oriented to direct the camera and the laser toward the target. In one embodiment the platform is positioned in response to movement of the operator's head. Position and orientation sensors are used to monitor head movement. The disparity between the digital image of the laser spot and the reference point is calculated for determining range to the target. Commercial applications for the system relate to active range-determination systems, such as those used with robotic systems in which it is necessary to determine the, range to a workpiece or object to be grasped or acted upon by a robot arm end

  20. Lunar Riometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lazio, J.; Jones, D. L.; MacDowall, R. J.; Burns, J. O.; Kasper, J. C.

    2011-12-01

    The lunar exosphere is the exemplar of a plasma near the surface of an airless body. Exposed to both the solar and interstellar radiation fields, the lunar exosphere is mostly ionized, and enduring questions regarding its properties include its density and vertical extent and its behavior over time, including modification by landers. Relative ionospheric measurements (riometry) are based on the simple physical principle that electromagnetic waves cannot propagate through a partially or fully ionized medium below the plasma frequency, and riometers have been deployed on the Earth in numerous remote and hostile environments. A multi-frequency riometer on the lunar surface would be able to monitor, in situ, the peak plasma density of the lunar exosphere over time. We describe a concept for a riometer implemented as a secondary science payload on future lunar landers, such as those recommended in the recent Planetary Sciences Decadal Survey report. While the prime mission of such a riometer would be probing the lunar exosphere, our concept would also be capable to measuring the properties of nanometer- to micron-scale dust. The LUNAR consortium is funded by the NASA Lunar Science Institute to investigate concepts for astrophysical observatories on the Moon. Part of this research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with NASA.

  1. Combined Infrared Stereo and Laser Ranging Cloud Measurements from Shuttle Mission STS-85

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lancaster, R. S.; Spinhirne, J. D.; Manizade, K. F.

    2004-01-01

    Multiangle remote sensing provides a wealth of information for earth and climate monitoring, such as the ability to measure the height of cloud tops through stereoscopic imaging. As technology advances so do the options for developing spacecraft instrumentation versatile enough to meet the demands associated with multiangle measurements. One such instrument is the infrared spectral imaging radiometer, which flew as part of mission STS-85 of the space shuttle in 1997 and was the first earth- observing radiometer to incorporate an uncooled microbolometer array detector as its image sensor. Specifically, a method for computing cloud-top height with a precision of +/- 620 m from the multispectral stereo measurements acquired during this flight has been developed, and the results are compared with coincident direct laser ranging measurements from the shuttle laser altimeter. Mission STS-85 was the first space flight to combine laser ranging and thermal IR camera systems for cloud remote sensing.

  2. High-energy Laser-accelerated Electron Beams for Long-range Interrogation

    SciTech Connect

    Cunningham, Nathaniel J.; Banerjee, Sudeep; Ramanathan, Vidya; Powers, Nathan; Chandler-Smith, Nate; Umstadter, Donald; Vane, Randy; Schultz, David; Beene, James; Pozzi, Sara; Clarke, Shaun

    2009-03-10

    We are studying the use of 0.1-1.0 GeV laser-accelerated electron beams as active interrogation probes for long-standoff radiography or nuclear activation of concealed special nuclear material. Use of beams in this energy range is largely unexplored, but such beams could provide notable advantages over lower-energy beams and x-rays. High-energy laser-accelerated electrons exhibit large penetration range through air and solids, and low beam divergence for both direct beams and secondary Bremsstrahlung x-rays. We present laboratory measurements of radiography and activation, using the high-power Diodes laser system at the University of Nebraska, as well as MCNP and GEANT Monte Carlo simulation results used to aid experiment design and interpretation.

  3. High-Energy Laser-Accelerated Electron Beams for Long-Range Interrogation

    SciTech Connect

    Cummingham, N. J.; Banerjee, Sudeep; Ramanathan, Vidya; Powell, Nathan; Chandler-Smith, Nate; Vane, C Randy; Schultz, David Robert; Pozzi, Sara; Clarke, Shaun; Beene, James R; Umstadter, Donald

    2009-01-01

    We are studying the use of 0.1 1.0 GeV laser-accelerated electron beams as active interrogation probes for long-standoff radiography or nuclear activation of concealed special nuclear material. Use of beams in this energy range is largely unexplored, but such beams could provide notable advantages over lower-energy beams and x-rays. High-energy laser-accelerated electrons exhibit large penetration range through air and solids, and low beam divergence for both direct beams and secondary Bremsstrahlung x-rays. We present laboratory measurements of radiography and activation, using the high-power Diodes laser system at the University of Nebraska, as well as MCNP and GEANT Monte Carlo simulation results used to aid experiment design and interpretation.

  4. Lunar cement

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Agosto, William N.

    1992-01-01

    With the exception of water, the major oxide constituents of terrestrial cements are present at all nine lunar sites from which samples have been returned. However, with the exception of relatively rare cristobalite, the lunar oxides are not present as individual phases but are combined in silicates and in mixed oxides. Lime (CaO) is most abundant on the Moon in the plagioclase (CaAl2Si2O8) of highland anorthosites. It may be possible to enrich the lime content of anorthite to levels like those of Portland cement by pyrolyzing it with lunar-derived phosphate. The phosphate consumed in such a reaction can be regenerated by reacting the phosphorus product with lunar augite pyroxenes at elevated temperatures. Other possible sources of lunar phosphate and other oxides are discussed.

  5. Linear FMCW Laser Radar for Precision Range and Vector Velocity Measurements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pierrottet, Diego; Amzajerdian, Farzin; Petway, Larry; Barnes, Bruce; Lockhard, George; Rubio, Manuel

    2008-01-01

    An all fiber linear frequency modulated continuous wave (FMCW) coherent laser radar system is under development with a goal to aide NASA s new Space Exploration initiative for manned and robotic missions to the Moon and Mars. By employing a combination of optical heterodyne and linear frequency modulation techniques and utilizing state-of-the-art fiber optic technologies, highly efficient, compact and reliable laser radar suitable for operation in a space environment is being developed. Linear FMCW lidar has the capability of high-resolution range measurements, and when configured into a multi-channel receiver system it has the capability of obtaining high precision horizontal and vertical velocity measurements. Precision range and vector velocity data are beneficial to navigating planetary landing pods to the preselected site and achieving autonomous, safe soft-landing. The all-fiber coherent laser radar has several important advantages over more conventional pulsed laser altimeters or range finders. One of the advantages of the coherent laser radar is its ability to measure directly the platform velocity by extracting the Doppler shift generated from the motion, as opposed to time of flight range finders where terrain features such as hills, cliffs, or slopes add error to the velocity measurement. Doppler measurements are about two orders of magnitude more accurate than the velocity estimates obtained by pulsed laser altimeters. In addition, most of the components of the device are efficient and reliable commercial off-the-shelf fiber optic telecommunication components. This paper discusses the design and performance of a second-generation brassboard system under development at NASA Langley Research Center as part of the Autonomous Landing and Hazard Avoidance (ALHAT) project.

  6. Measuring Earth: Current status of the GRACE Follow-On Laser Ranging Interferometer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schütze, Daniel; LRI team

    2016-05-01

    The GRACE mission that was launched in 2002 has impressively proven the feasibility of low-orbit satellite-to-satellite tracking for Earth gravity observations. Especially mass transport related to Earth's hydrological system could be well resolved both spatially and temporally. This allows to study processes such as polar ice sheet decline and ground water depletion in great detail. Owing to GRACE's success, NASA and GFZ will launch the successor mission GRACE Follow-On in 2017. In addition to the microwave ranging system, GRACE Follow-On will be the first mission to use a Laser Ranging Interferometer as technology demonstrator to track intersatellite distance changes with unprecedented precision. This new ranging device inherits some of the technologies which have been developed for the future spaceborne gravitational wave detector LISA. I will present the architecture of the Laser Ranging Interferometer, point out similarities and differences to LISA, and conclude with the current status of the flight hardware production.

  7. Dynamic Range of Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers in Multimode Links

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, H.L.T.; Dalal, R.V.; Ram, R.J.; Choquette, K.D.

    1999-07-07

    The authors report spurious free dynamic range measurements of 850nm vertical cavity surface emitting lasers in short multimode links for radio frequency communication. For a 27m fiber link, the dynamic range at optimal bias was greater than 95dB-Hz{sup 2/3} for modulation frequencies between 1 and 5.5 GHz, which exceeds the requirements for antenna remoting in microcellular networks. In a free space link, they have measured the highest dynamic range in an 850nm vertical cavity surface emitting laser of 113dB-Hz{sup 2/3} at 900MHz. We have also investigated the effects of modal noise and differential mode delay on the dynamic range for longer lengths of fiber.

  8. The ISA accelerometer and Lunar science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iafolla, Valerio; Fiorenza, Emiliano; Lefevre, Carlo; Massimo Lucchesi, David; Lucente, Marco; Magnafico, Carmelo; Milyukov, Vadim; Nozzoli, Sergio; Peron, Roberto; Santoli, Francesco

    2014-05-01

    In recent years the Moon has become again a target for exploration activities, as shown by many missions, performed, ongoing or foreseen. The reasons for this new wave are manifold. The knowledge of formation and evolution of the Moon to its current state is important in order to trace the overall history of Solar System. An effective driving factor is the possibility of building a human settlement on its surface, with all the related issues of environment characterization, safety, resources, communication and navigation. Our natural satellite is also an important laboratory for fundamental physics: Lunar Laser Ranging is continuing to provide important data for testing gravitation theories. All these topics are providing stimulus and inspirations for new experiments: in fact a wide variety of them has been proposed to be conducted on the lunar surface. ISA (Italian Spring Accelerometer) can provide an important tool for lunar studies. Thanks to its structure (three one-dimensional sensors assembled in a composite structure) it works both in-orbit and on-ground, with the same configuration. It can therefore be used onboard a spacecraft, as a support to a radio science mission, and on the surface of the Moon, as a seismometer. This second option in particular has been the subject of preliminary studies and has been proposed as a candidate to be hosted on NASA ILN (International Lunar Network) and ESA First Lunar Lander. ISA-S (ISA-Seismometer) has a very high sensitivity, which has already been demonstrated with long time periods of usage on Earth. After a description of the instrument, its use in the context of landing missions will be described and discussed, giving emphasis on its integration with the other components of the systems.

  9. STS-56 MS1 Foale uses laser range finder on OV-103's aft flight deck

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1993-01-01

    STS-56 Mission Specialist 1 (MS1) Michael Foale, positioned at overhead window W8, uses a laser range finder on the aft flight deck of Discovery, Orbiter Vehicle (OV) 103, during Shuttle Pointed Autonomous Research Tool for Astronomy 201 (SPARTAN-201) rendezvous operations. Partially visible outside W8 is the deployed remote manipulator system (RMS) and its closed circuit television (CCTV) camera.

  10. Method of smoothing laser range observations by corrections of orbital parameters and station coordinates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lala, P.; Thao, Bui Van

    1986-11-01

    The first step in the treatment of satellite laser ranging data is its smoothing and rejection of incorrect points. The proposed method uses the comparison of observations with ephemerides and iterative matching of corresponding parameters. The method of solution and a program for a minicomputer are described. Examples of results for satellite Starlette are given.

  11. NASA ground-based and space-based laser ranging systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fitzmaurice, M. W.

    1978-01-01

    Laser ranging is expected to help unlock the mysteries of the earthquake phenomenon by producing unique results of crustal motions of the Earth. The current state of the art and future projections are presented, including principal applications and characteristics of typical systems.

  12. Development and Implementation of Joint Programs in Laser Ranging and Other Space Geodetic Techniques

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pearlman, Michael R.; Carter, David (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    On-going activities of the NASA special consultant to WEGENER (Working group of European Geoscientists for the Establishment of Networks for Earth-science Research) program are reported. Topics cover include: the WEGENER 2002 conference in Greece and the International Laser Ranging Service (ILRS).

  13. Atmospheric effect in day-time laser ranging of artificial Earth's satellites.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mironov, M. T.; Kablak, N. I.

    Radiosounding data were used to investigate the refraction effect on laser ranging of artificial satellites. The Marini-Murray formula used by IERS as a standard is shown to overestimate the correction for the atmospheric effect, The Marini-Murray model is refined with regional peculiarities taken into account.

  14. Investigation of a new method for determination of atmospheric refractivity corrections in satellite laser ranging.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mironov, N. T.; Prokopov, A. V.; Remaev, E. V.

    1997-08-01

    A new algorithm is investigated for calculating atmospheric refractivity corrections in satellite laser ranging in the Earth's spherically stratified atmosphere based on results of measuring meteorological parameters on the Earth's surface. A numerical experiment with 125 meteorological sounding profiles shows that the new method allows to determine atmospheric refractivity corrections with the accuracy better than the Marini-Murray method does.

  15. Wide field of view laser beacon system for three dimensional aircraft range measurements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wong, E. Y.

    1982-01-01

    A system that measures accurately the distance from an aircraft to a helicoper for rotor noise flight testing was developed. The system measures the range and angles between two aircraft using laser optics. This system can be applied in collision avoidance, robotics and other measurement critical tasks.

  16. Investigation of a new method for the determination of atmospheric correction in satellite laser ranging.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mironov, N. T.; Prokopov, A. V.; Remaev, E. V.

    The authors investigate a new algorithm for calculating atmospheric correction in satellite laser ranging in the spherically stratified terrestrial atmosphere. The algorithm is based on results of measuring meteorological parameters on the Earth's surface. A numerical experiment with 125 meteorological sounding profiles shows that the new method allows the atmospheric corrections to be determined in the range of zenith angles from 0° to 80° more accurately than with the Marini-Murray method.

  17. Lunar System Constraints on the Modified Theories of Gravity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Exirifard, Qasem

    2013-07-01

    The Modified Newtonian Dynamics (MOND) paradigm to the missing mass problem requires introducing a functional that is to be identified through observations and experiments. We consider the aquadratic Lagrangian theory as a realization of the MOND. We show that the accurate value of the Earth GM measured by the lunar laser ranging measurements and that by various artificial Earth satellites, including the accurate tracking of the LAGEOS satellites, constrain this functional such that some of the chosen/proposed functional are refuted.

  18. Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO): Observations for Lunar Exploration and Science

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vondrak, Richard; Keller, John; Chin, Gordon; Garvin, James

    2010-01-01

    The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) was implemented to facilitate scientific and engineering-driven mapping of the lunar surface at new spatial scales and with new remote sensing methods, identify safe landing sites, search for in situ resources, and measure the space radiation environment. After its successful launch on June 18,2009, the LRO spacecraft and instruments were activated and calibrated in an eccentric polar lunar orbit until September 15, when LRO was moved to a circular polar orbit with a mean altitude of 50 km. LRO will operate for at least one year to support the goals of NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD), and for at least two years of extended operations for additional lunar science measurements supported by NASA's Science Mission Directorate (SMD). LRO carries six instruments with associated science and exploration investigations, and a telecommunications/radar technology demonstration. The LRO instruments are: Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER), Diviner Lunar Radiometer Experiment (DLRE), Lyman-Alpha Mapping Project (LAMP), Lunar Exploration Neutron Detector (LEND), Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA), and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC). The technology demonstration is a compact, dual-frequency, hybrid polarity synthetic aperture radar instrument (Mini-RF). LRO observations also support the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS), the lunar impact mission that was co-manifested with LRO on the Atlas V (401) launch vehicle. This paper describes the LRO objectives and measurements that support exploration of the Moon and that address the science objectives outlined by the National Academy of Science's report on the Scientific Context for Exploration of the Moon (SCEM). We also describe data accessibility by the science and exploration community.

  19. Lasers in space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michaelis, M. M.; Forbes, A.; Bingham, R.; Kellett, B. J.; Mathye, A.

    2008-05-01

    A variety of laser applications in space, past, present, future and far future are reviewed together with the contributions of some of the scientists and engineers involved, especially those that happen to have South African connections. Historically, two of the earliest laser applications in space, were atmospheric LIDAR and lunar ranging. These applications involved atmospheric physicists, several astronauts and many of the staff recruited into the Soviet and North American lunar exploration programmes. There is a strong interest in South Africa in both LIDAR and lunar ranging. Shortly after the birth of the laser (and even just prior) theoretical work on photonic propulsion and space propulsion by laser ablation was initiated by Georgii Marx, Arthur Kantrowitz and Eugen Saenger. Present or near future experimental programs are developing in the following fields: laser ablation propulsion, possibly coupled with rail gun or gas gun propulsion; interplanetary laser transmission; laser altimetry; gravity wave detection by space based Michelson interferometry; the de-orbiting of space debris by high power lasers; atom laser interferometry in space. Far future applications of laser-photonic space-propulsion were also pioneered by Carl Sagan and Robert Forward. They envisaged means of putting Saenger's ideas into practice. Forward also invented a laser based method for manufacturing solid antimatter or SANTIM, well before the ongoing experiments at CERN with anti-hydrogen production and laser-trapping. SANTIM would be an ideal propellant for interstellar missions if it could be manufactured in sufficient quantities. It would be equally useful as a power source for the transmission of information over light year distances. We briefly mention military lasers. Last but not least, we address naturally occurring lasers in space and pose the question: "did the Big Bang lase?"

  20. Planned LLR station in Russia and its impact on the lunar ephemeris accuracy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vasilyev, M.; Yagudina, E.; Torre, J.-M.; Feraudy, D.

    2015-08-01

    Precise modern Lunar Ephemerides (DE/LE, USA; INPOP series, France and EPM-ERA IAA, Russia) are based only on LLR (Lunar Laser Ranging) observations obtained at sixth LLR ground stations during 1969-2013 years. At present there are only four stations active: Grasse (Cerga), McDonald, Apache Point (Apollo) and Matera (Italy). To improve the accuracy of lunar ephemerides the new stations are necessary. Now exist two projects of new LLR stations: Altay (Russia) and Hartebeesthoek in South Africa (1m telescope). La Silla (Chilli) station is very promising but now only under theoretical consideration. In the paper, the impact of a installation of new LLR device on the 3.12 m telescope at Altay station Siberia, Russia is considered. To check the actuality of the project it should be shown, in particular, that the accuracy of the lunar ephemeris will visibly increase. The only way to prove that fact now is the numerical simulation.

  1. The research on measurement technology of high dynamic range laser focal spot

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Zhengzhou; Hu, Bingliang; Yin, Qinye; Cao, Shikang; Wang, Wei

    2015-10-01

    In order to obtain the far-field distribution of high dynamic range laser focal spot, the mathematical model of schlieren method to measure the far-field focal spot was proposed, and the traditional schlieren reconstructed algorithm was optimized in many aspects in this paper. First of all, the mathematical model which used to measure the far-field focal spot was created, the amplificatory coefficient K of the main lobe intensity and amplificatory coefficient b of the laser spot area were selected ; Secondly, the two important parameters were calibrated and the accurate main lobe spot and side lobe spot were captured by the integrated diagnostic beam fast automatic alignment system; Finally, the schlieren reconstructed algorithm was optimized by circle fitting method to calculate side lobe image center and weighted average method to fuse the joint image edge, and the error of traditional schlieren reconstruction method for side lobe center was reduced and the obvious joint mark of reconstructed image was eliminated completely. The method had been applied in a certain laser driver parameter measurement integrated diagnostic system to measure far-field laser focal spot. The experimental results show that the method can measure the far-field distribution of high dynamic range laser focal spot exactly on the condition that the parameter of mathematical model is calibrated accurately and the reconstructed algorithm of schlieren measure is optimized excellently.

  2. Design and implementation of control system for range-gated underwater laser imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ge, Wei-long; Zhang, Xiao-hui; Han, Hong-wei; Hua, Liang-hong

    2012-01-01

    There is currently considerable in developing underwater target detection, the underwater imaging system can be divided into active imaging system and passive system. The main feature of the active imaging system is that they use light sources to illuminate the targets and collect the reflection from targets. The advantages of active imaging system over passive imaging systems are high contrast and without the affection of environment sources. In this article, a range-gated underwater laser imaging system is built, which consists of laser illumination system, photoelectric imaging system and control system. The laser illumination system includes a light-pumped solid state doubled ND-YAG laser(532nm) which laser power and frequency can be adjusted and an optics expanding system of variable ratio. The photoelectric imaging system includes a gated Intensified CCD(ICCD) cameras which ICCD scheduling, gate width, delay time and gain can be adjusted and a optics received system of variable ratio. In order to acquire effectual target image using range-gated underwater laser imaging system, appropriate control parameters that include laser power and frequency, ICCD scheduling, gate width, delay time and gain, optics expanding system ratio and optics received system ratio must be given accurately. A control system which used C8051F320 and C8051F040 (MCU) as the core is designed, the control system can effectively control seven parameters that given above. The construction of software and hardware of the control system is introduced. And target image of underwater distance 25 m and 40m is given, Experimental results showed that the control system has high control precision, safe and stable operation and good speed adjusting performance can be achieved. It can be satisfied to apply to underwater target detection.

  3. Design and implementation of control system for range-gated underwater laser imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ge, Wei-Long; Zhang, Xiao-Hui; Han, Hong-Wei; Hua, Liang-Hong

    2011-11-01

    There is currently considerable in developing underwater target detection, the underwater imaging system can be divided into active imaging system and passive system. The main feature of the active imaging system is that they use light sources to illuminate the targets and collect the reflection from targets. The advantages of active imaging system over passive imaging systems are high contrast and without the affection of environment sources. In this article, a range-gated underwater laser imaging system is built, which consists of laser illumination system, photoelectric imaging system and control system. The laser illumination system includes a light-pumped solid state doubled ND-YAG laser(532nm) which laser power and frequency can be adjusted and an optics expanding system of variable ratio. The photoelectric imaging system includes a gated Intensified CCD(ICCD) cameras which ICCD scheduling, gate width, delay time and gain can be adjusted and a optics received system of variable ratio. In order to acquire effectual target image using range-gated underwater laser imaging system, appropriate control parameters that include laser power and frequency, ICCD scheduling, gate width, delay time and gain, optics expanding system ratio and optics received system ratio must be given accurately. A control system which used C8051F320 and C8051F040 (MCU) as the core is designed, the control system can effectively control seven parameters that given above. The construction of software and hardware of the control system is introduced. And target image of underwater distance 25 m and 40m is given, Experimental results showed that the control system has high control precision, safe and stable operation and good speed adjusting performance can be achieved. It can be satisfied to apply to underwater target detection.

  4. A high resolution laser ranging system based on time-correlated single-photon counting technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Yixin; Wang, Huanqin; Huang, Zhe; Cao, Yangyang; Gui, Huaqiao

    2014-12-01

    Laser ranging has become an important method for both distance measurements and acquisition of threedimensional (3D) images. In this paper, a laser ranging system based on Time-Correlated Single-Photon Counting technology (TCSPC) is developed. A Geiger-mode avalanche photodiode (G-APD), which has the ability of detecting single-photon events, is used to capture the weak light scattered from the long-range target. In order to improve the ranging resolution of TCSPC based measurement system, a high repetition frequency of subnanosecond narrow pulse generator circuit based on the avalanche effect of RF-BJT is designed and applied as the light source. Moreover, some optimized optical light designs have been done to improve the system signal to noise rate (SNR), including using a special aspherical lens as projecting lens, adopting a telephoto camera lens with small view angle and short depth of field before detector. Experimental tests for evaluation of the laser raging system performance are described. As a means of echo signal analysis, three different algorithms have been introduced, in which the cross-correlation algorithm was demonstrated to be the most effective algorithm to determining the round trip time to a target, even based on histograms with a significant amount of background noise photons. It was found that centimeter ranging resolution can be achieved thanks to the use of Time-to-Digital Converter (TDC) with picosecond resolution and the Cross-Correlation algorithm. The proposed laser ranging system has advantages of high range resolution, short response time and simple structure, which was potential applications for 3D object recognition, computer vision, reverse engineering and virtual reality.

  5. A compact, short-pulse laser for near-field, range-gated imaging

    SciTech Connect

    Zutavern, F.J.; Helgeson, W.D.; Loubriel, G.M.; Yates, G.J.; Gallegos, R.A.; McDonald, T.E.

    1996-12-31

    This paper describes a compact laser, which produces high power, wide-angle emission for a near-field, range-gated, imaging system. The optical pulses are produced by a 100 element laser diode array (LDA) which is pulsed with a GaAs, photoconductive semiconductor switch (PCSS). The LDA generates 100 ps long, gain-switched, optical pulses at 904 nm when it is driven with 3 ns, 400 A, electrical pulses from a high gain PCSS. Gain switching is facilitated with this many lasers by using a low impedance circuit to drive an array of lasers, which are connected electrically in series. The total optical energy produced per pulse is 10 microjoules corresponding to a total peak power of 100 kW. The entire laser system, including prime power (a nine volt battery), pulse charging, PCSS, and LDA, is the size of a small, hand-held flashlight. System lifetime, which is presently limited by the high gain PCSS, is an active area of research and development. Present limitations and potential improvements will be discussed. The complete range-gated imaging system is based on complementary technologies: high speed optical gating with intensified charge coupled devices (ICCD) developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and high gain, PCSS-driven LDAs developed at Sandia National Laboratories (SNL). The system is designed for use in highly scattering media such as turbid water or extremely dense fog or smoke. The short optical pulses from the laser and high speed gating of the ICCD are synchronized to eliminate the back-scattered light from outside the depth of the field of view (FOV) which may be as short as a few centimeters. A high speed photodiode can be used to trigger the intensifier gate and set the range-gated FOV precisely on the target. The ICCD and other aspects of the imaging system are discussed in a separate paper.

  6. Interspacecraft link simulator for the laser ranging interferometer onboard GRACE Follow-On.

    PubMed

    Sanjuan, Josep; Gohlke, Martin; Rasch, Stefan; Abich, Klaus; Görth, Alexander; Heinzel, Gerhard; Braxmaier, Claus

    2015-08-01

    Link acquisition strategies are key aspects for interspacecraft laser interferometers. We present an optical fiber-based setup able to simulate the interspacecraft link for the laser ranging interferometer (LRI) on gravity recovery and climate experiment Follow-On. It allows one to accurately recreate the far-field intensity profile depending on the mispointing between the spacecraft, Doppler shifts, and spacecraft attitude jitter. Furthermore, it can be used in late integration stages of the mission, since no physical contact with the spacecraft is required. The setup can also be easily adapted to other similar missions and different acquisition algorithms. PMID:26368080

  7. Isentropic expansion of copper plasma in Mbar pressure range at “Luch” laser facility

    SciTech Connect

    Bel'kov, S. A.; Derkach, V. N.; Garanin, S. G.; Mitrofanov, E. I.; Voronich, I. N.; Fortov, V. E.; Levashov, P. R.; Minakov, D. V.

    2014-01-21

    We present experimental results on thermodynamic properties of dense copper plasma in Mbar pressure range. The laser facility “Luch” with laser intensity 10{sup 14} W/cm{sup 2} is used to compress copper up to ∼8 Mbar by a strong shock wave; subsequent expansion of copper plasma into Al, Ti, Sn allows us to obtain release isentropes of copper by the impedance–matching method. A theoretical analysis and quantum simulations show that in our experiments strongly coupled quantum plasma is generated.

  8. Some remarks on accuracy of atmospheric model used in laser ranging observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kurzynska, K.; Janicki, R.

    2006-10-01

    The presently used Marini-Murry model of atmospheric corrections in laser ranging observations takes into account an influence of atmosphere only up to 25 km. Our studies indicate that atmosphere is dense enough up to 100 km to slow down significantly electromagnetic waves. Systematic differences between delay values in the zenith direction calculated according to the Marini-Murry formula and those of our model equal even 10 cm. It is striking that various parameters determined from laser observations do not show such errors. Some suggestions of elucidation of this fact are proposed.

  9. Laser ranging application to time transfer using geodetic satellite and to other Japanese space programs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kunimori, Hiroo; Takahashi, Fujinobu; Itabe, Toshikazu; Yamamoto, Atsushi

    1993-01-01

    Communications Research Laboratory (CRL) has been developing a laser time transfer system using a satellite laser ranging (SLR) system. We propose Japanese geodetic satellite 'AJISAI', launched in 1986 as a target satellite. The surface is covered not only with corner cube reflectors but also with mirrors. The mirrors are originally designed for observation of flushing solar light reflected by the separate mirrors while the satellite is spinning. In the experiment, synchronized laser pulses are transferred via specified mirror from one station to another while the satellite is up on the horizon to both stations. The system is based on the epoch timing ranging system with 40 ps ranging precision, connected together with UTC(CRL). Simulation study indicates that two stations at thousands of km distance from each other can be linked with signal strength of more than 10 photons and the distributed images of laser beam from AJISAI mirrors give many chances for two stations to link each other during a single AJISAI pass. Retro-reflector In Space for Advanced Earth Observation Satellite (ADEOS) and RendDezVous docking mission of Experimental Technology Satellite-7 (ETS-7) are briefly presented.

  10. Relative lateration across the Los Angeles basin using a satellite laser ranging system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Silverberg, E. C.; Cahill, T.; Dorman, J.

    1982-01-01

    In January of 1981 the Transportable Laser Ranging System (TLRS) developed for NASA by the University of Texas was used to conduct a four-day test of the relative lateration technique. The test evolved making repeated measurements of six lines over the Los Angeles basin varying in distance from 26 to 84 kilometers. Although the raw times-of-flight to the various targets changed typically by 5 parts in 10 to the 6th, their line ratios varied nearly an order of magnitude less. The test suggests that the TLRS or other pulsed laser ranging systems might be able to economically combine Lageos ranging and long baseline horizontal work to survey large areas for accumulating crustal strain.

  11. Satellite Laser Ranging in the 1990s: Report of the 1994 Belmont Workshop

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Degnan, John J. (Editor)

    1994-01-01

    An international network of 43 stations in 30 countries routinely collects satellite ranging data which is used to study the solid Earth and its interactions with the oceans, atmosphere, and Moon. Data products include centimeter accuracy site positions on a global scale, tectonic plate motions, regional crustal deformation, long wavelength gravity field and geoid, polar motion, and variations in the Earth's spin rate. By calibrating and providing precise orbits for spaceborne microwave altimeters, satellite laser ranging also enables global measurement of sea and ice surface topography, mean sea level, global ocean circulation, and short wavelength gravity fields and marine geoids. It provides tests of general relativity and a means or subnanosecond time transfer. This workshop was convened to define future roles and directions in satellite laser ranging.

  12. Using mid-range laser scanners to digitize cultural-heritage sites.

    PubMed

    Spring, Adam P; Peters, Caradoc; Minns, Tom

    2010-01-01

    Here, we explore new, more accessible ways of modeling 3D data sets that both professionals and amateurs can employ in areas such as architecture, forensics, geotechnics, cultural heritage, and even hobbyist modeling. To support our arguments, we present images from a recent case study in digital preservation of cultural heritage using a mid-range laser scanner. Our appreciation of the increasing variety of methods for capturing 3D spatial data inspired our research. Available methods include photogrammetry, airborne lidar, sonar, total stations (a combined electronic and optical survey instrument), and midand close-range scanning.1 They all can produce point clouds of varying density. In our case study, the point cloud produced by a mid-range scanner demonstrates how open source software can make modeling and disseminating data easier. Normally, researchers would model this data using expensive specialized software, and the data wouldn't extend beyond the laser-scanning community. PMID:20650714

  13. Three radar imaging methods based on the one-dimensional laser range profile

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mou, Yuan; Wu, Zhen-sen; Qu, Tan; Liao, Run-gui

    2013-09-01

    One-dimensional range profile is known as a simple radar imaging technology. Based on the imaging mechanism, the laser range profiles (LRPS) of the convex rotators in three different methods, which named as the Beam Scattering Method (BS method), Radar Cross Section Method (RCS method) and Surface Elements Method (SE method),were studied. In detail, BS method, which combined the laser beam pulse scattering theory and radar equation, is the very model that can be applied to the convex quadric rotary bodies, however, it may produce singular solutions in certain incident directions. The RCS method is just an extension of the theory of radar cross section theory and radar equation. According to the definition, the simplest forms of RCS which were then substituted into the radar equation were obtained, finally the one-dimensional range profiles were analytically resolved. The SE Method is a much more comprehensive theory to get the laser range profiles of arbitrary objects. The object should be first divided into numerous small triangle facets, and sum the backscattering power of these facets in the same distance, and in this way the final LRPS were deduced. In the meanwhile, the SE method is the most convenient way to evolve into the three-dimensional range profile. In the paper, the LRPS of a cone based on the three models above were simulated, it was found that the features and shape of each profiles were similar basically, but theoretical correction to SE method was still needed.

  14. The GRACE Follow-On Laser Ranging Interferometer; A inter-spacecraft laser interferometry technology demonstrator with similarities to LISA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klipstein, William; McKenzie, Kirk; Grace Follow-On LASER Ranging Interferometer Team

    2016-03-01

    GRACE Follow-On will replace the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) mission, which has been measuring Earth's gravity field since 2002. Like GRACE, GRACE Follow-On will use a microwave link as its primary instrument to measure micron-level changes in the 200km separation of a pair of satellites in a following polar orbit. GRACE Follow-On will also include a 2-way laser-link, the Laser Ranging Interferometer (LRI), as a technology demonstrator package. The LRI is an NASA/German partnership and will demonstrate inter-spacecraft laser interferometry with a goal of 10 times better precision than the microwave instrument, or about 90 nm/ √(Hz) between 10 and 100 mHz. The similarities between the LRI and a single arm of Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) mean many of the required technologies will be the same. This talk will give an overview of the LRI and the status of the LRI instruments, and implications for LISA.

  15. Lunar magnetism

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hood, L. L.; Sonett, C. P.; Srnka, L. J.

    1984-01-01

    Aspects of lunar paleomagnetic and electromagnetic sounding results which appear inconsistent with the hypothesis that an ancient core dynamo was the dominant source of the observed crustal magnetism are discussed. Evidence is summarized involving a correlation between observed magnetic anomalies and ejecta blankets from impact events which indicates the possible importance of local mechanisms involving meteoroid impact processes in generating strong magnetic fields at the lunar surface. A reply is given to the latter argument which also presents recent evidence of a lunar iron core.

  16. 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.

  17. Laser range measurement for a satellite navigation scheme and mid-range path selection and obstacle avoidance. M.S. Thesis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zuraski, G. D.

    1972-01-01

    The functions of a laser rangefinder on board an autonomous Martian roving vehicle are discussed. The functions are: (1) navigation by means of a passive satellite and (2) mid-range path selection and obstacle avoidance. The feasibility of using a laser to make the necessary range measurements is explored and a preliminary design is presented. The two uses of the rangefinder dictate widely different operating parameters making it impossible to use the same system for both functions.

  18. Plume Mitigation: Soil Erosion and Lunar Prospecting Sensor Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Metzger, Philip T.

    2014-01-01

    Demonstrate feasibility of the simplest, lowest-mass method of measuring density of a cloud of lunar soil ejected by rocket exhaust, using new math techniques with a small baseline laser/camera system. Focus is on exploring the erosion process that occurs when the exhaust plume of a lunar rocket impacts the regolith. Also, predicting the behavior of the lunar soil that would be blasted from a lunar landing/launch site shall assist in better design and protection of any future lunar settlement from scouring of structures and equipment. NASA is gathering experimental data to improve soil erosion models and understand how lunar particles enter the plume flow.

  19. Dielectric comparison of lunar and terrestrial fines at lunar conditions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Alvarez, R.

    1974-01-01

    The dielectric properties of lunar fines 74241,2 in the audio-frequency range under lunarlike conditions are presented. Results suggest that volatiles are released during storage and transport of the lunar sample. Apparently, subsequent adsorption of volatiles on the sample surface alters its dielectric response. The assumed volatile influence disappears after evacuation. A comparison of the dielectric properties of lunar and terrestrial materials as a function of density, temperature, and frequency indicates that if the terrestrial sample analyzed were completely devoid of atmospheric moisture, it would present dielectric losses smaller than those of the lunar sample. It is concluded that density prevails over temperature as the controlling factor of dielectric permittivity in the lunar regolith and that dielectric losses vary slowly with depth.

  20. Ar-40/Ar-39 age spectra of Apollo 15 impact melt rocks by laser step-heating and their bearing on the history of lunar basin formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dalrymple, G. B.; Ryder, G.

    1993-07-01

    Results are reported on 26 high-resolution (16-51 steps) Ar-40/Ar-39 age spectra obtained on 12 Apollo-15 melt rocks of different composition using a continuous laser system on submg fragments of recrystallized melt and single-crystal plagioclase clasts from impact melt rocks collected at the Apennine Front where the Imbrium and Serenitatis basins intersect. A table is presented with the summary of the Ar-40/Ar-39 spectrum data, which represent 891 individual temperature step analyses. Also presented are 20 of the 26 age spectra along with their respective K/Ca plots. Melt rock fragments and plagioclase clasts from seven of the 12 samples analyzed yielded reproducible, intermediate-T Ar-40/Ar-39 age spectrum plateaus, which were interpreted as crystallization ages that represent the times of impact of bolides onto the lunar surface.

  1. Arm locking with the GRACE follow-on laser ranging interferometer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thorpe, James Ira; McKenzie, Kirk

    2016-02-01

    Arm locking is a technique for stabilizing the frequency of a laser in an interspacecraft interferometer by using the spacecraft separation as the frequency reference. A candidate technique for future space-based gravitational wave detectors such as the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna, arm locking has been extensive studied in this context through analytic models, time-domain simulations, and hardware-in-the-loop laboratory demonstrations. In this paper we show the laser ranging interferometer instrument flying aboard the upcoming Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment follow-on (GRACE-FO) mission provides an appropriate platform for an on-orbit demonstration of the arm-locking technique. We describe an arm-locking controller design for the GRACE-FO system and a series of time-domain simulations that demonstrate its feasibility. We conclude that it is possible to achieve laser frequency noise suppression of roughly 2 orders of magnitude around a Fourier frequency of 1 Hz with conservative margins on the system's stability. We further demonstrate that "pulling" of the master laser frequency due to fluctuating Doppler shifts and lock acquisition transients is less than 100 MHz over several GRACE-FO orbits. These findings motivate further study of the implementation of such a demonstration.

  2. Laser-Ablation ICP-MS Analyses of Meteoritic Metal Grains in Lunar Impact-Melt Breccias

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Korotev, R. L.; Jolliff, B. L.; Campbell, A. J.; Humayun, M.

    2003-01-01

    Lunar impact-melt breccias contain metal grains from the meteorites that formed the breccias. Because the breccias contain clastic material that may derive from older breccias, metal grains from earlier impacts may be present, too. The large subset of moderately mafic (8 - 12% FeO), KREEP-rich ("LKFM") melt breccias is particularly important because: (1) these are the melt breccias most likely to have been produced in basin-forming impacts, (2) it is from these breccias that many of the approx. 3.9 Gyr ages that are so common in lunar samples derive, (3) the breccias contain large proportions of FeNi metal, more than 1% in some types of Apollo 16 breccias, and (4) the metal potentially provides information about the impactors causing the apparent cataclysm at 3.9 Gyr.

  3. State-of-the-art satellite laser range modeling for geodetic and oceanographic applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Klosko, Steve M.; Smith, David E.

    1993-01-01

    Significant improvements have been made in the modeling and accuracy of Satellite Laser Range (SLR) data since the launch of LAGEOS in 1976. Some of these include: improved models of the static geopotential, solid-Earth and ocean tides, more advanced atmospheric drag models, and the adoption of the J2000 reference system with improved nutation and precession. Site positioning using SLR systems currently yield approximately 2 cm static and 5 mm/y kinematic descriptions of the geocentric location of these sites. Incorporation of a large set of observations from advanced Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) tracking systems have directly made major contributions to the gravitational fields and in advancing the state-of-the-art in precision orbit determination. SLR is the baseline tracking system for the altimeter bearing TOPEX/Poseidon and ERS-1 satellites and thus, will play an important role in providing the Conventional Terrestrial Reference Frame for instantaneously locating the geocentric position of the ocean surface over time, in providing an unchanging range standard for altimeter range calibration, and for improving the geoid models to separate gravitational from ocean circulation signals seen in the sea surface. Nevertheless, despite the unprecedented improvements in the accuracy of the models used to support orbit reduction of laser observations, there still remain systematic unmodeled effects which limit the full exploitation of modern SLR data.

  4. SIRE (sight-integrated ranging equipment): an eyesafe laser rangefinder for armored vehicle fire control systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keeter, Howard S.; Gudmundson, Glen A.; Woodall, Milton A., II

    1991-04-01

    The Sight Integrated Ranging Equipment (SIRE) incorporates an eyesafe laser rangefinder into the M-36 periscope used in tactical armored vehicles, such as the Commando Stingray light tank. The SIRE unit provides crucial range data simultaneously to the gunner and fire control computer. This capability greatly reduces 'time-to-fire', improves first-round hit probability, and increases the overall effectiveness of the vehicle under actual and simulated battlefield conditions. The SIRE can provide target range up to 10-km, with an accuracy of 10-meters. The key advantage of the SIRE over similar laser rangefinder systems is that it uses erbium:glass as the active lasing medium. With a nominal output wavelength of 1.54-microns, the SIRE can produce sufficient peak power to penetrate long atmospheric paths (even in the presence of obscurants), while remaining completely eyesafe under all operating conditions. The SIRE is the first eyesafe vehicle-based system to combine this level of accuracy, maximum range capability, and fire control interface. It simultaneously improves the accuracy and confidence of the operator, and eliminates the ocular hazard issues typically encountered with laser rangefinder devices.

  5. Lunar Dust Mitigation Technology Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hyatt, Mark J.; Deluane, Paul B.

    2008-01-01

    NASA s plans for implementing the Vision for Space Exploration include returning to the moon as a stepping stone for further exploration of Mars, and beyond. Dust on the lunar surface has a ubiquitous presence which must be explicitly addressed during upcoming human lunar exploration missions. While the operational challenges attributable to dust during the Apollo missions did not prove critical, the comparatively long duration of impending missions presents a different challenge. Near term plans to revisit the moon places a primary emphasis on characterization and mitigation of lunar dust. Comprised of regolith particles ranging in size from tens of nanometers to microns, lunar dust is a manifestation of the complex interaction of the lunar soil with multiple mechanical, electrical, and gravitational effects. The environmental and anthropogenic factors effecting the perturbation, transport, and deposition of lunar dust must be studied in order to mitigate it s potentially harmful effects on exploration systems. This paper presents the current perspective and implementation of dust knowledge management and integration, and mitigation technology development activities within NASA s Exploration Technology Development Program. This work is presented within the context of the Constellation Program s Integrated Lunar Dust Management Strategy. The Lunar Dust Mitigation Technology Development project has been implemented within the ETDP. Project scope and plans will be presented, along with a a perspective on lessons learned from Apollo and forensics engineering studies of Apollo hardware. This paper further outlines the scientific basis for lunar dust behavior, it s characteristics and potential effects, and surveys several potential strategies for its control and mitigation both for lunar surface operations and within the working volumes of a lunar outpost.

  6. Ytterbium-doped fibre laser tunable in the range 1017 - 1040 nm with second-harmonic generation

    SciTech Connect

    Dontsova, E I; Kablukov, S I; Babin, Sergei A

    2013-05-31

    A cladding-pumped ytterbium-doped fibre laser has been tuned to shorter emission wavelengths (from 1040 to 1017 nm). The laser output power obtained has been compared to calculation results. We have studied frequency doubling of the laser in a KTiOPO{sub 4} (KTP) crystal with type II phase matching in the XY plane and demonstrated wavelength tuning in the range 510 - 520 nm. (lasers)

  7. High-power pulsed laser diodes emitting in the range 1.5 – 1.6 μm

    SciTech Connect

    Gorlachuk, P V; Ryaboshtan, Yu L; Ladugin, M A; Padalitsa, A A; Marmalyuk, A A; Kurnosov, V D; Kurnosov, K V; Zhuravleva, O V; Romantsevich, V I; Chernov, R V; Ivanov, A V; Simakov, V A

    2013-09-30

    This paper examines approaches for increasing the output pulse power of laser diodes based on MOVPE InGaAs/AlGaInAs/InP heterostructures and emitting in the range 1.5 – 1.6 μm. We demonstrate that optimising waveguide layer parameters may ensure an increase in the quantum efficiency of the laser diodes and a reduction in their internal optical loss. Characterisation results are presented for laser diodes based on the proposed heterostructures. (lasers)

  8. The science of the lunar poles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lucey, P. G.

    2011-12-01

    It was the great geochemist Harold Urey who first called attention to peculiar conditions at the poles of the Moon where the very small inclination of the lunar spin axis with respect to the sun causes craters and other depressions to be permanently shaded from sunlight allowing very low temperatures. Urey suggested that the expected low temperature surfaces could cold trap and collect any vapors that might transiently pass through the lunar environment. Urey's notion has led to studies of the poles as a new research area in lunar science. The conditions and science of the poles are utterly unlike those of the familiar Moon of Neil Armstrong, and the study of the poles is similar to our understanding of the Moon itself at the dawn of the space age, with possibilities outweighing current understanding. Broadly, we can treat the poles as a dynamic system of input, transport, trapping, and loss. Volatile sources range from continuous, including solar wind, the Earth's polar fountain and micrometeorites, to episodic, including comets and wet asteroids, to nearly unique events including late lunar outgassing and passage through giant molecular clouds. The lunar exosphere transports volatiles to the poles, complicated by major perturbances to the atmosphere by volatile-rich sources. Trapping includes cold trapping, but also in situ creation of more refractory species such as organics, clathrates and water-bearing minerals, as well as sequester by regolith overturn or burial by larger impacts. Finally, volatiles are lost to space by ionization and sweeping. Spacecraft results have greatly added to the understanding of the polar system. Temperatures have been precisely measured by LRO, and thermal models now allow determination of temperature over the long evolution of the lunar orbit, and show very significant changes in temperature and temperature distribution with time and depth. Polar topography is revealed in detail by Selene and LRO laser altimeters while direct

  9. Determining the 3-D structure and motion of objects using a scanning laser range sensor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nandhakumar, N.; Smith, Philip W.

    1993-01-01

    In order for the EVAHR robot to autonomously track and grasp objects, its vision system must be able to determine the 3-D structure and motion of an object from a sequence of sensory images. This task is accomplished by the use of a laser radar range sensor which provides dense range maps of the scene. Unfortunately, the currently available laser radar range cameras use a sequential scanning approach which complicates image analysis. Although many algorithms have been developed for recognizing objects from range images, none are suited for use with single beam, scanning, time-of-flight sensors because all previous algorithms assume instantaneous acquisition of the entire image. This assumption is invalid since the EVAHR robot is equipped with a sequential scanning laser range sensor. If an object is moving while being imaged by the device, the apparent structure of the object can be significantly distorted due to the significant non-zero delay time between sampling each image pixel. If an estimate of the motion of the object can be determined, this distortion can be eliminated; but, this leads to the motion-structure paradox - most existing algorithms for 3-D motion estimation use the structure of objects to parameterize their motions. The goal of this research is to design a rigid-body motion recovery technique which overcomes this limitation. The method being developed is an iterative, linear, feature-based approach which uses the non-zero image acquisition time constraint to accurately recover the motion parameters from the distorted structure of the 3-D range maps. Once the motion parameters are determined, the structural distortion in the range images is corrected.

  10. Laser-ranging long-baseline differential atom interferometers for space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chiow, Sheng-wey; Williams, Jason; Yu, Nan

    2015-12-01

    High-sensitivity differential atom interferometers (AIs) are promising for precision measurements in science frontiers in space, including gravity-field mapping for Earth science studies and gravitational wave detection. Difficulties associated with implementing long-baseline differential AIs have previously included the need for a high optical power, large differential Doppler shifts, and narrow dynamic range. We propose a configuration of twin AIs connected by a laser-ranging interferometer (LRI-AI) to provide precise information of the displacements between the two AI reference mirrors and also to phase-lock the two independent interferometer lasers over long distances, thereby drastically improving the practical feasibility of long-baseline differential AI measurements. We show that a properly implemented LRI-AI can achieve equivalent functionality to the conventional differential AI measurement configuration.

  11. Dichroic atomic vapor laser lock with multi-gigahertz stabilization range.

    PubMed

    Pustelny, S; Schultze, V; Scholtes, T; Budker, D

    2016-06-01

    A dichroic atomic vapor laser lock (DAVLL) system exploiting buffer-gas-filled millimeter-scale vapor cells is presented. This system offers similar stability as achievable with conventional DAVLL system using bulk vapor cells, but has several important advantages. In addition to its compactness, it may provide continuous stabilization in a multi-gigahertz range around the optical transition. This range may be controlled either by changing the temperature of the vapor or by application of a buffer gas under an appropriate pressure. In particular, we experimentally demonstrate the ability of the system to lock the laser frequency between two hyperfine components of the (85)Rb ground state or as far as 16 GHz away from the closest optical transition. PMID:27370426

  12. Modulated pulse laser with pseudorandom coding capabilities for underwater ranging, detection, and imaging.

    PubMed

    Cochenour, Brandon; Mullen, Linda; Muth, John

    2011-11-20

    Optical detection, ranging, and imaging of targets in turbid water is complicated by absorption and scattering. It has been shown that using a pulsed laser source with a range-gated receiver or an intensity modulated source with a coherent RF receiver can improve target contrast in turbid water. A blended approach using a modulated-pulse waveform has been previously suggested as a way to further improve target contrast. However only recently has a rugged and reliable laser source been developed that is capable of synthesizing such a waveform so that the effect of the underwater environment on the propagation of a modulated pulse can be studied. In this paper, we outline the motivation for the modulated-pulse (MP) concept, and experimentally evaluate different MP waveforms: single-tone MP and pseudorandom coded MP sequences. PMID:22108874

  13. Dichroic atomic vapor laser lock with multi-gigahertz stabilization range

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pustelny, S.; Schultze, V.; Scholtes, T.; Budker, D.

    2016-06-01

    A dichroic atomic vapor laser lock (DAVLL) system exploiting buffer-gas-filled millimeter-scale vapor cells is presented. This system offers similar stability as achievable with conventional DAVLL system using bulk vapor cells, but has several important advantages. In addition to its compactness, it may provide continuous stabilization in a multi-gigahertz range around the optical transition. This range may be controlled either by changing the temperature of the vapor or by application of a buffer gas under an appropriate pressure. In particular, we experimentally demonstrate the ability of the system to lock the laser frequency between two hyperfine components of the 85Rb ground state or as far as 16 GHz away from the closest optical transition.

  14. Approach range and velocity determination using laser sensors and retroreflector targets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Donovan, William J.

    1991-01-01

    A laser docking sensor study is currently in the third year of development. The design concept is considered to be validated. The concept is based on using standard radar techniques to provide range, velocity, and bearing information. Multiple targets are utilized to provide relative attitude data. The design requirements were to utilize existing space-qualifiable technology and require low system power, weight, and size yet, operate from 0.3 to 150 meters with a range accuracy greater than 3 millimeters and a range rate accuracy greater than 3 mm per second. The field of regard for the system is +/- 20 deg. The transmitter and receiver design features a diode laser, microlens beam steering, and power control as a function of range. The target design consists of five target sets, each having seven 3-inch retroreflectors, arranged around the docking port. The target map is stored in the sensor memory. Phase detection is used for ranging, with the frequency range-optimized. Coarse bearing measurement is provided by the scanning system (one set of binary optics) angle. Fine bearing measurement is provided by a quad detector. A MIL-STD-1750 A/B computer is used for processing. Initial test results indicate a probability of detection greater than 99 percent and a probability of false alarm less than 0.0001. The functional system is currently at the MIT/Lincoln Lab for demonstration.

  15. Apollo 15-Lunar Module Falcon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1971-01-01

    This is a photo of the Apollo 15 Lunar Module, Falcon, on the lunar surface. Apollo 15 launched from Kennedy Space Center (KSC) on July 26, 1971 via a Saturn V launch vehicle. Aboard was a crew of three astronauts including David R. Scott, Mission Commander; James B. Irwin, Lunar Module Pilot; and Alfred M. Worden, Command Module Pilot. The first mission designed to explore the Moon over longer periods, greater ranges and with more instruments for the collection of scientific data than on previous missions, the mission included the introduction of a $40,000,000 lunar roving vehicle (LRV) that reached a top speed of 16 kph (10 mph) across the Moon's surface. The successful Apollo 15 lunar landing mission was the first in a series of three advanced missions planned for the Apollo program. The primary scientific objectives were to observe the lunar surface, survey and sample material and surface features in a preselected area of the Hadley-Apennine region, setup and activation of surface experiments and conduct in-flight experiments and photographic tasks from lunar orbit. Apollo 15 televised the first lunar liftoff and recorded a walk in deep space by Alfred Worden. Both the Saturn V rocket and the LRV were developed at the Marshall Space Flight Center.

  16. Prototype Test Results for the Single Photon Detection SLR2000 Satellite Laser Ranging System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zagwodzki, Thomas W.; McGarry, Jan F.; Degnan, John J.; Cheek, Jack W.; Dunn, Peter J.; Patterson, Don; Donovan, Howard

    2004-01-01

    NASA's aging Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) network is scheduled to be replaced over the next few years with a fully automated single photon detection system. A prototype of this new system, called SLR2000, is currently undergoing field trials at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland to evaluate photon counting techniques and determine system hardware, software, and control algorithm performance levels and limitations. Newly developed diode pumped microchip lasers and quadrant microchannel plate-based photomultiplier tubes have enabled the development of this high repetition rate single photon detection SLR system. The SLR2000 receiver threshold is set at the single photoelectron (pe) level but tracks satellites with an average signal level typically much less than 1 pe. The 2 kHz laser fire rate aids in satellite acquisition and tracking and will enable closed loop tracking by accumulating single photon count statistics in a quadrant detector and using this information to correct for pointing errors. Laser transmitter beamwidths of 10 arcseconds (FWHM) or less are currently being used to maintain an adequate signal level for tracking while the receiver field of view (FOV) has been opened to 40 arcseconds to accommodate point ahead/look behind angular offsets. In the near future, the laser transmitter point ahead will be controlled by a pair of Risley prisms. This will allow the telescope to point behind and enable closure of the receiver FOV to roughly match the transmitter beam divergence. Bandpass filters (BPF) are removed for night tracking operations while 0.2 nm or 1 nm filters are used during daylight operation. Both day and night laser tracking of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites has been achieved with a laser transmitter energy of only 65 microjoules per pulse. Satellite tracking is presently limited to LEO satellites until the brassboard laser transmitter can be upgraded or replaced. Simultaneous tracks have also been observed with NASA s

  17. Proposed satellite laser ranging and very long baseline interferometry sites for crustal dynamics investigations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lowman, P. D.; Allenby, R. J.; Frey, H. V.

    1979-01-01

    Recommendations are presented for a global network of 125 sites for geodetic measurements by satellite laser ranging and very long baseline interferometry. The sites were proposed on the basis of existing facilities and scientific value for investigation of crustal dynamics as related to earthquake hazards. Tectonic problems are discussed for North America peripheral regions and for the world. The sites are presented in tables and maps, with bibliographic references.

  18. Scintillation statistics caused by atmospheric turbulence and speckle in satellite laser ranging

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bufton, J. L.; Iyer, R. S.; Taylor, L. S.

    1977-01-01

    We study the statistics of scintillation at the ground-based receiver for the earth-space-earth retroreflector configuration of satellite laser ranging. These statistics are governed by the joint effects of atmospheric turbulence and speckle produced by the retroreflector array. An expression for the probability density function of scintillation is obtained and evaluated numerically. Comparison of the normalized variance of scintillation calculated by using this function shows good agreement with results obtained by other methods.

  19. Artist's rendering of Lunar Surface Activities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1969-01-01

    Lunar Surface Activities: Instruments erected on the surface are a seismometer to record any subsurface activity of the Moon, a laser reflector, a solar wind collector, and possibly an antenna for improving communications and television picture transmission.

  20. Curvature-Based Environment Description for Robot Navigation Using Laser Range Sensors

    PubMed Central

    Vázquez-Martín, Ricardo; Núñez, Pedro; Bandera, Antonio; Sandoval, Francisco

    2009-01-01

    This work proposes a new feature detection and description approach for mobile robot navigation using 2D laser range sensors. The whole process consists of two main modules: a sensor data segmentation module and a feature detection and characterization module. The segmentation module is divided in two consecutive stages: First, the segmentation stage divides the laser scan into clusters of consecutive range readings using a distance-based criterion. Then, the second stage estimates the curvature function associated to each cluster and uses it to split it into a set of straight-line and curve segments. The curvature is calculated using a triangle-area representation where, contrary to previous approaches, the triangle side lengths at each range reading are adapted to the local variations of the laser scan, removing noise without missing relevant points. This representation remains unchanged in translation or rotation, and it is also robust against noise. Thus, it is able to provide the same segmentation results although the scene will be perceived from different viewpoints. Therefore, segmentation results are used to characterize the environment using line and curve segments, real and virtual corners and edges. Real scan data collected from different environments by using different platforms are used in the experiments in order to evaluate the proposed environment description algorithm. PMID:22461732