Science.gov

Sample records for laser altimeter system

  1. The Geoscience Laser Altimeter System Laser Transmitter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  2. Laser altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1972-01-01

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

  3. Geoscience laser altimeter system - stellar reference system

    SciTech Connect

    Millar, Pamela S.; Sirota, J. Marcos

    1998-01-15

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

  4. Bench checkout equipment for spaceborne laser altimeter systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, James C.; Elman, Gregory C.; Christian, Kent D.; Cavanaugh, John F.; Ramos-Izquierdo, Luis; Hopf, Dan E.

    1993-01-01

    This paper addresses the requirements for testing and characterizing spaceborne laser altimeter systems. The Bench Checkout Equipment (BCE) system, test requirements, and flow-down traceability from the instrument system's functional requirements will also be presented. Mars Observer Laser Altimeter (MOLA) and the MOLA BCE are presented as representative of a 'typical' laser altimeter and its corresponding test system. The testing requirements of other or future laser altimeter systems may vary slightly due to the specific spacecraft interface and project requirements. MOLA, the first solid-state interplanetary laser altimeter, was designed to be operational in Mars orbit for two Earth years. MOLA transmits a 7.5 ns pulse at a wavelength of 1.064 microns with a 0.25 mr beam divergence and a pulse repetition rate of 10 Hz. The output energy is specified at 45 mj at the beginning of mapping orbit and 30 mj at the end of one Martian year. MOLA will measure the laser pulse transit time from the spacecraft to the Mars surface and return to a resolution of 1.5 meters.

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-03-20

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  7. Shuttle Laser Altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1999-01-01

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

  8. Laser pointing determination for the geoscience laser altimeter system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, Pamela S.; Sirota, J. Marcos

    1998-01-01

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

  9. Lessons Learned from the Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  11. MESSENGER Laser Altimeter

    NASA Image and Video Library

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  13. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  16. Revised method for forest canopy height estimation from Geoscience Laser Altimeter System waveforms.

    Treesearch

    Michael A. Lefskya; Michael Keller; Yong Panga; Plinio B. de Camargod; Maria O. Hunter

    2007-01-01

    The vertical extent of waveforms collected by the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (onboard ICESat - the Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite) increases as a function of terrain slope and footprint size (the area on the ground that is illuminated by the laser). Over sloped terrain, returns from both canopy and ground surfaces can occur at the same elevation. As a...

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-20

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

  19. Regional applicability of forest height and aboveground biomass models for the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System

    Treesearch

    Dirk Pflugmacher; Warren B. Cohen; Robert E. Kennedy; Michael. Lefsky

    2008-01-01

    Accurate estimates of forest aboveground biomass are needed to reduce uncertainties in global and regional terrestrial carbon fluxes. In this study we investigated the utility of the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) onboard the Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite for large-scale biomass inventories. GLAS is the first spaceborne lidar sensor that will...

  20. 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).

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  2. Robust Control for the Mercury Laser Altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenberg, Jacob S.

    2006-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1999-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Grob, Eric; Baker, Charles; McCarthy, Tom

    2003-01-01

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

  5. Multi-beam laser altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1993-01-01

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

  6. The fiber optic system for the Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS) instrument

    PubMed Central

    Ott, Melanie N.; Thomes, Joe; Onuma, Eleanya; Switzer, Robert; Chuska, Richard; Blair, Diana; Frese, Erich; Matyseck, Marc

    2017-01-01

    The Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS) Instrument has been in integration and testing over the past 18 months in preparation for the Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite – 2 (ICESat-2) Mission, scheduled to launch in 2017. ICESat-2 is the follow on to ICESat which launched in 2003 and operated until 2009. ATLAS will measure the elevation of ice sheets, glaciers and sea ice or the “cryosphere” (as well as terrain) to provide data for assessing the earth’s global climate changes. Where ICESat’s instrument, the Geo-Science Laser Altimeter (GLAS) used a single beam measured with a 70 m spot on the ground and a distance between spots of 170 m, ATLAS will measure a spot size of 10 m with a spacing of 70 cm using six beams to measure terrain height changes as small as 4 mm.[1] The ATLAS pulsed transmission system consists of two lasers operating at 532 nm with transmitter optics for beam steering, a diffractive optical element that splits the signal into 6 separate beams, receivers for start pulse detection and a wavelength tracking system. The optical receiver telescope system consists of optics that focus all six beams into optical fibers that feed a filter system that transmits the signal via fiber assemblies to the detectors. Also included on the instrument is a system that calibrates the alignment of the transmitted pulses to the receiver optics for precise signal capture. The larger electro optical subsystems for transmission, calibration, and signal receive, stay aligned and transmitting sufficiently due to the optical fiber system that links them together. The robust design of the fiber optic system, consisting of a variety of multi fiber arrays and simplex assemblies with multiple fiber core sizes and types, will enable the system to maintain consistent critical alignments for the entire life of the mission. Some of the development approaches used to meet the challenging optical system requirements for ATLAS are discussed here. PMID

  7. The Fiber Optic System for the Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS) Instrument

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ott, Melanie N.; Thomes, Joe; Onuma, Eleanya; Switzer, Robert; Chuska, Richard; Blair, Diana; Frese, Erich; Matyseck, Marc

    2016-01-01

    The Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS) Instrument has been in integration and testing over the past 18 months in preparation for the Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite - 2 (ICESat-2) Mission, scheduled to launch in 2017. ICESat-2 is the follow on to ICESat which launched in 2003 and operated until 2009. ATLAS will measure the elevation of ice sheets, glaciers and sea ice or the "cryosphere" (as well as terrain) to provide data for assessing the earth's global climate changes. Where ICESat's instrument, the Geo-Science Laser Altimeter (GLAS) used a single beam measured with a 70 m spot on the ground and a distance between spots of 170 m, ATLAS will measure a spot size of 10 m with a spacing of 70 cm using six beams to measure terrain height changes as small as 4 mm. The ATLAS pulsed transmission system consists of two lasers operating at 532 nm with transmitter optics for beam steering, a diffractive optical element that splits the signal into 6 separate beams, receivers for start pulse detection and a wavelength tracking system. The optical receiver telescope system consists of optics that focus all six beams into optical fibers that feed a filter system that transmits the signal via fiber assemblies to the detectors. Also included on the instrument is a system that calibrates the alignment of the transmitted pulses to the receiver optics for precise signal capture. The larger electro optical subsystems for transmission, calibration, and signal receive, stay aligned and transmitting sufficiently due to the optical fiber system that links them together. The robust design of the fiber optic system, consisting of a variety of multi fiber arrays and simplex assemblies with multiple fiber core sizes and types, will enable the system to maintain consistent critical alignments for the entire life of the mission. Some of the development approaches used to meet the challenging optical system requirements for ATLAS are discussed here.

  8. The fiber optic system for the Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS) instrument.

    PubMed

    Ott, Melanie N; Thomes, Joe; Onuma, Eleanya; Switzer, Robert; Chuska, Richard; Blair, Diana; Frese, Erich; Matyseck, Marc

    2016-08-28

    The Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS) Instrument has been in integration and testing over the past 18 months in preparation for the Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite - 2 (ICESat-2) Mission, scheduled to launch in 2017. ICESat-2 is the follow on to ICESat which launched in 2003 and operated until 2009. ATLAS will measure the elevation of ice sheets, glaciers and sea ice or the "cryosphere" (as well as terrain) to provide data for assessing the earth's global climate changes. Where ICESat's instrument, the Geo-Science Laser Altimeter (GLAS) used a single beam measured with a 70 m spot on the ground and a distance between spots of 170 m, ATLAS will measure a spot size of 10 m with a spacing of 70 cm using six beams to measure terrain height changes as small as 4 mm.[1] The ATLAS pulsed transmission system consists of two lasers operating at 532 nm with transmitter optics for beam steering, a diffractive optical element that splits the signal into 6 separate beams, receivers for start pulse detection and a wavelength tracking system. The optical receiver telescope system consists of optics that focus all six beams into optical fibers that feed a filter system that transmits the signal via fiber assemblies to the detectors. Also included on the instrument is a system that calibrates the alignment of the transmitted pulses to the receiver optics for precise signal capture. The larger electro optical subsystems for transmission, calibration, and signal receive, stay aligned and transmitting sufficiently due to the optical fiber system that links them together. The robust design of the fiber optic system, consisting of a variety of multi fiber arrays and simplex assemblies with multiple fiber core sizes and types, will enable the system to maintain consistent critical alignments for the entire life of the mission. Some of the development approaches used to meet the challenging optical system requirements for ATLAS are discussed here.

  9. The fiber optic system for the advanced topographic laser altimeter system instrument (ATLAS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ott, Melanie N.; Thomes, W. Joe; Onuma, Eleanya; Switzer, Robert; Chuska, Richard; Blair, Diana; Frese, Erich; Matyseck, Marc

    2016-09-01

    The Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS) Instrument has been in integration and testing over the past 18 months in preparation for the Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite - 2 (ICESat-2) Mission, scheduled to launch in 2017. ICESat-2 is the follow on to ICESat which launched in 2003 and operated until 2009. ATLAS will measure the elevation of ice sheets, glaciers and sea ice or the "cryosphere" (as well as terrain) to provide data for assessing the earth's global climate changes. Where ICESat's instrument, the Geo-Science Laser Altimeter (GLAS) used a single beam measured with a 70 m spot on the ground and a distance between spots of 170 m, ATLAS will measure a spot size of 10 m with a spacing of 70 cm using six beams to measure terrain height changes as small as 4 mm.[1] The ATLAS pulsed transmission system consists of two lasers operating at 532 nm with transmitter optics for beam steering, a diffractive optical element that splits the signal into 6 separate beams, receivers for start pulse detection and a wavelength tracking system. The optical receiver telescope system consists of optics that focus all six beams into optical fibers that feed a filter system that transmits the signal via fiber assemblies to the detectors. Also included on the instrument is a system that calibrates the alignment of the transmitted pulses to the receiver optics for precise signal capture. The larger electro optical subsystems for transmission, calibration, and signal receive, stay aligned and transmitting sufficiently due to the optical fiber system that links them together. The robust design of the fiber optic system, consisting of a variety of multi fiber arrays and simplex assemblies with multiple fiber core sizes and types, will enable the system to maintain consistent critical alignments for the entire life of the mission. Some of the development approaches used to meet the challenging optical system requirements for ATLAS are discussed here.

  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.; 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  13. The Ganymede Laser Altimeter (GALA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hussmann, H.

    2015-12-01

    The Ganymede Laser Altimeter (GALA) is one of the instruments selected for ESA's Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE). A fundamental goal of any exploratory space mission is to characterize and measure the shape, topography, and rotation of the target bodies. A state of the art tool for this task is laser altimetry because it can provide absolute topographic height and position with respect to a body centered reference system. With respect to Ganymede, the GALA instrument aims at mapping of global, regional and local topography; confirming the global subsurface ocean and further characterization of the water-ice/liquid shell by monitoring the dynamic response of the ice shell to tidal forces; providing constraints on the forced physical librations and spin-axis obliquity; determining Ganymede's shape; obtaining detailed topographic profiles across the linear features of grooved terrain, impact structures, possible cryo-volcanic features and other different surface units; providing information about slope, roughness and albedo (at 1064nm) of Ganymede's surface. GALA uses the direct-detection (classical) approach of laser altimetry. Laser pulses are emitted at a wavelength of 1064 nm by using an actively Q-switched Nd:Yag laser. The pulse energy and pulse repetition frequency are 17 mJ at 30 Hz, respectively. The emission time of each pulse is measured by the detector. The beam is reflected from the surface and received at a 25 cm diameter F/1 telescope. The returning laser pulse is refocused onto a silicon avalanche photodiode (APD) through back-end optics including a narrow bandpass interference filter for isolating the 1064 nm wavelength. The APD-signal is then amplified, sampled and fed to a digital range finder. The minimum acceptable SNR is approx. 1.2. This system determines the time of flight, pulse intensity, width and full shape. The GALA instrument is developed in collaboration of institutes and industry from Germany, Japan, Switzerland and Spain.

  14. The Laser Altimeter for Planetary Exploration (LAPE)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rando, N.; Murphy, E.; Falkner, P.; Peacock, A.

    2003-04-01

    Laser based altimetry can be a very beneficial tool for remote planetary exploration. This technique can provide accurate information on the surface profile (topographic mapping) in a fast and cost effective manner, allowing, within the characteristics of the spacecraft orbit, repeated global coverage of the planet surface. A laser altimeter can further determine the shape of the planet and the amount of libration in the planets rotation. The key characteristics of laser altimetry are therefore: 1) good altitude resolution (of order 1 m) and range (of order 500-1000 km); 2) active measurements principle (i.e. not requiring direct sun illumination); 3) relatively simple detection chain (as compared to radar based systems); 4) low resources budget (e.g. mass, power, envelope, data rate); 5) relatively simple interface and integration with the spacecraft. Laser altimeters have already been flown onboard a number of space missions, including Earth Observation and Planetary Exploration missions. A laser altimeter forms a key component of the model payload for the ESA mission to Mercury, Bepi-Colombo (onboard the Planetary Orbiter, MPO). The European Space Agency is presently working on the definition of a generic laser altimeter for planetary exploration. The mission to Mercury is being used as a reference for the definition of the environmental and operational requirements. The paper presents the preliminary results obtained during the definition phase of the instrument design. It is envisaged that such instruments may in the future form part of a standard, yet flexible, package for future planetary remote sensing missions.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abshire, J. B.; Sun, X.; Riris, H.; Sirota, M.; McGarry, J.; Palm, S.

    2003-12-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    Treesearch

    Sean P. Healey; Paul L. Patterson; Sassan S. Saatchi; Michael A. Lefsky; Andrew J. Lister; Elizabeth A. Freeman

    2012-01-01

    Lidar height data collected by the Geosciences Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) from 2002 to 2008 has the potential to form the basis of a globally consistent sample-based inventory of forest biomass. GLAS lidar return data were collected globally in spatially discrete full waveform "shots," which have been shown to be strongly correlated with aboveground forest...

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  20. Multishot laser altimeter - Design and performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1993-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, X.; Abshire, J. B.; Riris, H.; McGarry, J.; Sirota, M.

    2004-12-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Douglas, Donya; Ku, Jentung; Kaya, Tarik

    1998-01-01

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

  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

    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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2001-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1994-01-01

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

  7. Advanced topographic laser altimeter system (ATLAS) receiver telescope assembly (RTA) and transmitter alignment and test

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hagopian, John; Bolcar, Matthew; Chambers, John; Crane, Allen; Eegholm, Bente; Evans, Tyler; Hetherington, Samuel; Mentzell, Eric; Thompson, Patrick L.; Ramos-Izquierdo, Luis; Vaughnn, David

    2016-09-01

    The sole instrument on NASA's ICESat-2 spacecraft shown in Figure 1 will be the Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS)1. The ATLAS is a Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) instrument; it measures the time of flight of the six transmitted laser beams to the Earth and back to determine altitude for geospatial mapping of global ice. The ATLAS laser beam is split into 6 main beams by a Diffractive Optical Element (DOE) that are reflected off of the earth and imaged by an 800 mm diameter Receiver Telescope Assembly (RTA). The RTA is composed of a 2-mirror telescope and Aft Optics Assembly (AOA) that collects and focuses the light from the 6 probe beams into 6 science fibers. Each fiber optic has a field of view on the earth that subtends 83 micro Radians. The light collected by each fiber is detected by a photomultiplier and timing related to a master clock to determine time of flight and therefore distance. The collection of the light from the 6 laser spots projected to the ground allows for dense cross track sampling to provide for slope measurements of ice fields. NASA LIDAR instruments typically utilize telescopes that are not diffraction limited since they function as a light collector rather than imaging function. The more challenging requirements of the ATLAS instrument require better performance of the telescope at the ¼ wave level to provide for improved sampling and signal to noise. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) contracted the build of the telescope to General Dynamics (GD). GD fabricated and tested the flight and flight spare telescope and then integrated the government supplied AOA for testing of the RTA before and after vibration qualification. The RTA was then delivered to GSFC for independent verification and testing over expected thermal vacuum conditions. The testing at GSFC included a measurement of the RTA wavefront error and encircled energy in several orientations to determine the expected zero gravity figure, encircled

  8. LAPE: Laser Altimeter for Planetary Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rando, N.; Murphy, E.; Falkner, P.; Peacock, A.

    2004-04-01

    Laser based altimetry can be very beneficial to planetary exploration, especially in the absence of any significant a t m o s p h e r e . This technique can provide accurate i n f o r m a t i o n on the surface profile (topographic mapping) in a fast and cost effective manner, allowing, w i t h i n the characteristics of the spacecraft orbit, r e p e a t e d global coverage of the planet surface. Additional important characteristics of planetary laser altimetry are also the active measurement principle not requiring direct sun illumination, a relatively simple detection chain (as compared to radar based systems), a low resource budget (e.g. mass, power, envelope, data rate) and a relatively simple interface and integration with the spacecraft. A laser altimeter forms a key component for the ESA mission to Mercury, BepiC o l o m b o , onboard the Mercury Planetary Orbiter, MPO. The European Space Agency (ESA) is promoting the study of a generic laser altimeter for planetary exploration. This definition study will use Mercury as a reference for the definition of the environmental and operational requirements.

  9. LAPE: laser altimeter for planetary exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murphy, Eamonn M.; Rando, Nicola; Falkner, Peter; Peacock, Anthony

    2004-01-01

    Laser based altimetry can be very beneficial for planetary exploration, especially in the absence of any significant atmosphere. This technique can provide accurate information on the surface profile (topographic mapping) in a fast and cost effective manner, allowing, within the characteristics of the spacecraft orbit, repeated global coverage of the planet surface. The key characteristics of planetary laser altimetry are therefore an adequate altitude resolution having a range appropriate for full coverage in a compact mission lifetime, an active measurement principle not requiring direct sun illumination, a relatively simple detection chain (as compared to radar based systems), a low resource budget (e.g. mass, power, envelope, data rate) and a relatively simple interface and integration with the spacecraft. A laser altimeter forms a key component for the ESA mission to Mercury, Bepi-Colombo, onboard the Mercury Planetary Orbiter, MPO. The European Space Agency (ESA) is promoting the study of a generic laser altimeter for planetary exploration. This definition study will use Mercury as a reference for the definition of the environmental and operational requirements.

  10. Multibeam Laser Altimeter for Planetary Topographic Mapping

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1993-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baker, Charles

    2000-01-01

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

  12. Laser Altimeter for Flight Simulator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Webster, L. D.

    1986-01-01

    Height of flight-simulator probe above model of terrain measured by automatic laser triangulation system. Airplane simulated by probe that moves over model of terrain. Altitude of airplane scaled from height of probe above model. Height measured by triangulation of laser beam aimed at intersection of model surface with plumb line of probe.

  13. Laser Altimeter for Flight Simulator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Webster, L. D.

    1986-01-01

    Height of flight-simulator probe above model of terrain measured by automatic laser triangulation system. Airplane simulated by probe that moves over model of terrain. Altitude of airplane scaled from height of probe above model. Height measured by triangulation of laser beam aimed at intersection of model surface with plumb line of probe.

  14. BepiColombo Laser Altimeter performance tests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gouman, J.; Thomas, N.; Marti, K. S.; Beck, T.; Péteut, A.; Pommerol, A.

    2014-04-01

    The first European laser altimeter designed for interplanetary flight, BELA (BepiColombo Laser Altimeter) is ready to be integrated on the BepiColombo spacecraft to be launched to Mercury in July 2016 [1]. The flight instrument is currently installed in its calibration laboratory at the University of Bern where it is being tested to assess its performance. This abstract describes the different tests, run using data from Mercury and the Moon. Results on these ongoing tests will be presented in detail at the conference.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Pointing Angle Calibration of ZY3-02 Satellite Laser Altimeter Using Terrain Matching

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, G.; Tang, X.; Gao, X.; Huang, J. P.; Chen, J.; Lu, J.

    2017-05-01

    After GLAS (Geo-science Laser Altimeter System) loaded on the ICESat (Ice Cloud and land Elevation Satellite), satellite laser altimeter attracts more and more attention. ZY3-02 equipped with the Chinese first satellite laser altimeter has been successfully launched on 30th May, 2016. The geometric calibration is an important step for the laser data processing and application. The method to calculate the laser pointing angle error based on existed reference terrain data is proposed in this paper. The public version terrain data, such as 90m-SRTM and 30m-AW3D30, can be used to estimate the pointing angle of laser altimeter. The GLAS data with simulated pointing error and actual ZY3-02 laser altimetry data is experimented to validate the algorithm. The conclusion will be useful for the future domestic satellite laser altimeter.

  18. Target signatures for laser altimeters: an analysis.

    PubMed

    Gardner, C S

    1982-02-01

    The statistical characteristics of the received signal for short pulse laser altimeters are investigated. Expressions are derived for the mean and temporal covariances of the received pulse for a direct detection receiver. The effects of laser speckle, shot noise, and surface profile of the ground target are considered. The results are used to compute the means and variances of the total received energy, propagation delay, and rms width of the received pulse. These parameters are shown to be directly related to the statistics of the surface profile.

  19. Diode-pumped laser altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Welford, D.; Isyanova, Y.

    1993-01-01

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

  20. Europa Jupiter System Mission and Marco Polo Mission: Italian partecipation in studies of laser altimeters for Jovian moons and asteroids exploration.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santovito, M. R.; Hussman, H.; Oberst, J.; Lingenauber, K.

    CO.RI.S.T.A. (Consortium for Research on Advanced Remote Sensing Systems) is member of international science teams devoted to the studies of laser altimeters to fly on Europa Jupiter System Mission (EJSM) and Marco Polo Mission, currently under study of ESA's Cosmic Vision program as L-class and M-class mission respectively. Both the studies will focus on the assessment of alternative technical approaches that would reduce the mass, size and power requirements. In particular a Single Photon Counting (SPC) device will be studied taking into account the robustness against false detections due to harsh radiation environment in the Jupiter system. Innovative technical aspects which will characterize the studies of laser altimeters in the scenarios of EJSM and MarcoPolo, which will permit us to make major contributions to the science goals of the two missions.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baker, Charles

    2000-01-01

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

  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. Simulation of Full-Waveform Laser Altimeter Echowaveform

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  5. The BepiColombo Laser Altimeter (BELA): Concept and baseline design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, N.; Spohn, T.; Barriot, J.-P.; Benz, W.; Beutler, G.; Christensen, U.; Dehant, V.; Fallnich, C.; Giardini, D.; Groussin, O.; Gunderson, K.; Hauber, E.; Hilchenbach, M.; Iess, L.; Lamy, P.; Lara, L.-M.; Lognonné, P.; Lopez-Moreno, J. J.; Michaelis, H.; Oberst, J.; Resendes, D.; Reynaud, J.-L.; Rodrigo, R.; Sasaki, S.; Seiferlin, K.; Wieczorek, M.; Whitby, J.

    2007-07-01

    The BepiColombo Laser Altimeter (BELA) has been selected for flight on board the European Space Agency's BepiColombo Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO). The experiment is intended to be Europe's first planetary laser altimeter system. Although the proposed system has similarities to the Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA) currently flying on board NASA's MESSENGER mission to Mercury, the specific orbit and construction of the MPO force the use of novel concepts for BELA. Furthermore, the base-lined range-finding approach is novel. In this paper, we describe the BELA system and show preliminary results from some prototype testing.

  6. Receiver characteristics of laser altimeters with avalanche photodiodes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1992-01-01

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

  7. Receiver characteristics of laser altimeters with avalanche photodiodes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1992-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1983-01-01

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

  9. Remote sensing of sea state by laser altimeters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tsai, B.; Gardner, C. S.

    1981-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kuebert, E. J.

    1977-01-01

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

  12. Gaussian Decomposition of Laser Altimeter Waveforms

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1999-01-01

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

  13. The Mars Observer laser altimeter investigation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1992-01-01

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

  14. Calibration/Validation of ICESat Laser Altimeter (GLAS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schutz, B. E.

    2002-05-01

    The Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) is scheduled for launch in 2002 on ICESat (Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite), which uses a 600 km altitude, 94o inclination. The science goals of GLAS include determination of temporal change in the volume of the polar ice sheets with an accuracy of 1.5 cm/yr over a 100 km x 100 km area. Extensive ground testing of the laser altimeter is underway in preparation for instrument mating to the spacecraft bus. Although similar in concept to a radar altimeter, the narrow laser beam divergence will produce a 60-70 meter footprint on the Earth's surface, which requires accurate determination of the beam direction. The beam directional information will be provided with an innovative system that uses CCD cameras to determine the laser direction with respect to a celestial reference frame. With this system, it is expected that the pointing direction will be determined in the Precision Attitude Determination (PAD) process to an accuracy of 1.5 arcsec, which corresponds to about 4.5 meters (horizontally) on the Earth's surface. Conceptually, the precision orbit determination (POD) provides the GLAS position vector in a celestial reference frame. When this vector is combined with the measured altitude vector, the illuminated terrestrial spot location can be determined from the vector sum. Verification of the prelaunch characterization of GLAS will take place in the 5 month post-launch period. Various experiments are being planned to verify the GLAS measurements and determine whether corrections to the prelaunch calibrations are necessary. These experiments will verify the scalar altitude measurement, the position of the laser spot, the spatial position of the GLAS instrument and other contributors to the GLAS determination of a surface profile. Various methodologies for instrument performance verification, calibration and product validation are planned. These calibration/validation (cal/val) methodologies include in situ laser

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. The Mercury Laser Altimeter Instrument for the MESSENGER Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  19. Participation in the Mars Orbiting Laser Altimeter Experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pettengill, Gordon H.

    2002-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-10

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

  4. 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

  5. Baseline Design and Performance Analysis of Laser Altimeter for Korean Lunar Orbiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lim, Hyung-Chul; Neumann, Gregory A.; Choi, Myeong-Hwan; Yu, Sung-Yeol; Bang, Seong-Cheol; Ka, Neung-Hyun; Park, Jong-Uk; Choi, Man-Soo; Park, Eunseo

    2016-09-01

    Korea’s lunar exploration project includes the launching of an orbiter, a lander (including a rover), and an experimental orbiter (referred to as a lunar pathfinder). Laser altimeters have played an important scientific role in lunar, planetary, and asteroid exploration missions since their first use in 1971 onboard the Apollo 15 mission to the Moon. In this study, a laser altimeter was proposed as a scientific instrument for the Korean lunar orbiter, which will be launched by 2020, to study the global topography of the surface of the Moon and its gravitational field and to support other payloads such as a terrain mapping camera or spectral imager. This study presents the baseline design and performance model for the proposed laser altimeter. Additionally, the study discusses the expected performance based on numerical simulation results. The simulation results indicate that the design of system parameters satisfies performance requirements with respect to detection probability and range error even under unfavorable conditions.

  6. One GHz digitizer for space based laser altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Staples, Edward J.

    1991-01-01

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

  7. Multi-Mission Laser Altimeter Data Processing and Storage at DLR/TUB

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matz, Klaus-Dieter; Roatsch, Thomas; Glaeser, Philipp; Waehlisch, Marita; Scholten, Frank; Oberst, Juergen; Araki, Hiroshi; Smith, David

    The Institute of Planetary Research (IPR) at DLR has a long tradition in the processing, analysis, and archiving of planetary mapping data. In the past years, we also have become interested in laser altimeter data sets from various planetary missions. Consequently, IPR has joined forces with Technical University of Berlin to develop a system for the processing and storage of laser altimeter datasets, which are typically very large. The system is based on a Linux server and uses PostgreSQL and PostGIS as database software. The system currently contains all data from the MOLA (Mars Global Surveyor) and LALT (Lunar Kaguya mission) experiments. Data from the LOLA (Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter) experiment will be included shortly. The main purpose of the system is a fast search for laser altimeter data points in a specified area on the surface of the planetary body. Additional functions for recovery of housekeeping data, as well as the calculation of physical parameters like slope and roughness are also implemented. It is planned to use this laser data processing system also for the coming data from the Mercury laser altimeter experiments MLA (MESSENGER) and BELA (BepiColombo).

  8. Geodetic constraints from multi-beam laser altimeter crossovers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mazarico, Erwan; Neumann, G. A.; Rowlands, D. D.; Smith, D. E.

    2010-06-01

    The round-trip travel time measurements made by spacecraft laser altimeters are primarily used to construct topographic maps of the target body. The accuracy of the calculated bounce point locations of the laser pulses depends on the quality of the spacecraft trajectory reconstruction. The trajectory constraints from Doppler and range radio tracking data can be supplemented by altimetric “crossovers”, to greatly improve the reconstruction of the spacecraft trajectory. Crossovers have been used successfully in the past (e.g., Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter on Mars Global Surveyor), but only with single-beam altimeters. The same algorithms can be used with a multi-beam laser altimeter, but we present a method using the unique cross-track topographic information present in the multi-beam data. Those crossovers are especially adapted to shallow (small angle) intersections, as the overlapping area is large, reducing the inherent ambiguities of single-beam data in that situation. We call those “swath crossovers”. They prove particularly useful in the case of polar-orbiting spacecraft over slowly rotating bodies, because all the non-polar crossovers have small intersection angles. To demonstrate this method, we perform a simplified simulation based on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and its five-beam Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter. We show that swath crossovers over one lunar month can independently, from geometry alone, recover the imposed orbital perturbations with great accuracy (5 m horizontal, < 1 m vertical, about one order of magnitude smaller than the imposed perturbations). We also present new types of constraints that can be derived from the swath crossovers, and designed to be used in a precision orbit determination setup. In future work, we will use such multi-beam altimetric constraints with data from LRO.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, Bertrand L., Jr.

    1993-06-01

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

  11. Initial Development of a Laser Altimeter.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1985-09-01

    and away from the i .nf,,d .1*. -" 4... . . , target . The effectiveness of a chaff cloud depends on its position relative to the ship and its altitude...altimeter T -- transmission factor from power source to target T - transmission factor from target to detector r r reflectance of sea water R :.reflection...eredl later. PulIse i1t!ngth shouldi be muc hh lo’ss than t ercund trip travel time to the target . At 150 meters, the round trip equates to 1 .0

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bryan, J.; Rabine, David L.

    1998-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bryan, J.; Rabine, David L.

    1998-01-01

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

  14. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gardner, C. S.

    1985-01-01

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

  16. A shuttle scanning laser altimeter for topographic mapping

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kobrick, M.; Elachi, C.

    1981-01-01

    The shuttle scanning laser altimeter is an instrument, currently under development at JPL, capable of producing a three-dimensional elevation map of the topography along a wide swath beneath a spaceborne platform. Operating on the same principle as radar (broadcast of a short pulse of radiation and timing the reception of an echo) the very narrow beamwidths and high pulse rates of modern lasers would allow a significant breakthrough in the areal resolution capability of altimeters. Specifically, the copper vapor laser currently available and planned for use would provide 50 meter horizontal and 3 meter vertical resolution over a 10 kilometer continuous swath or, in a snapshot mode, a 50 kilometer square area.

  17. Quantifying Seasonal Skill In Coupled Sea Ice Models Using Freeboard Measurements From Spaceborne Laser Altimeters

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2016-06-01

    satellite. Along the path, the LASER path is affected by clouds , aerosols and differing surface types...Altimeter System GSFC Goddard Space Flight Center ICESat Ice, Cloud , and land Elevation Satellite ICESat-2 Ice, Cloud , and land Elevation...Sea ice thickness trends are indicative of climatic changes within the Arctic Circle in response to global climate warming and its linkage to mid

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1995-01-01

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

  19. A Laser Altimeter for a Planetary Flyby Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  20. Return Echoes from Medium-Large Footprint Laser Altimeters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1999-01-01

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

  1. A Boresight Adjustment Mechanism for use on Laser Altimeters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  2. Potential Elevation Biases for Laser Altimeters from Subsurface Scattered Photons: Laboratory and Model Exploration of Green Light Scattering in Snow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

    Existing visible light laser altimeters such as MABEL (Multiple Altimeter Beam Experimental Lidar) - a single photon counting simulator for ATLAS (Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System) on NASA's upcoming ICESat-2 mission - and ATM (Airborne Topographic Mapper) on NASA's Operation IceBridge mission provide scientists a view of Earth's ice sheets, glaciers, and sea ice with unprecedented detail. Precise calibration of these instruments is needed to understand rapidly changing parameters like sea ice freeboard and to measure optical properties of surfaces like snow covered ice sheets using subsurface scattered photons. Photons travelling into snow, ice, or water before scattering back to the altimeter receiving system (subsurface photons) travel farther and longer than photons scattering off the surface only, causing a bias in the measured elevation. We seek to identify subsurface photons in a laboratory setting using a flight-tested laser altimeter (MABEL) and to quantify their effect on surface elevation estimates for laser altimeter systems. We also compare these estimates with previous laboratory measurements of green laser light transmission through snow, as well as Monte Carlo simulations of backscattered photons from snow.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

    Abstract

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

    Abstract

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

  6. 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.

  7. 20,000 Photons Under the Snow: Subsurface Scattering of Visible Laser Light and the Implications for Laser Altimeters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  8. The BepiColombo Laser Altimeter BELA: Instrument Description

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seiferlin, K.; Thomas, N.; Spohn, T.; Oberst, J.; Michaelis, H.; Gunderson, K.; Whitby, J. A.

    2005-12-01

    The BepiColombo Laser Altimeter (BELA) is among the instruments that have been selected for flight aboard the MPO of ESA's BepiColombo mission to Mercury. A consortium led by Physikalisches Institut Universitaet Bern, Switzerland) and Institut für Planetenforschung (DLR, Berlin, Germany) will develop the first European laser altimeter for planetary exploration. The instrument follows the classical principle of direct detection of the returned laser light using a 200 mm telescope. The receiver telescope is made of electroformed nickel in order to save mass. The transmitter is based on a longitudinally pumped ND:YAG laser with 50 mJ pulses and about 5 ns pulse duration, operating at 10 Hz. The range finding and pulse detection uses digital filtering of return pulse shapes. Operation is possible on the dayside as well as on the night side of Mercury, but limited to about 1200 km altitude. We will present the instrument concept as well as the set-up of new test, verification and calibration facilities that are required for this type of instrument.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1983-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-07-04

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

  11. Analysis of laser altimeter waveforms for forested ecosystems of Central Florida

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weishampel, John F.; Harding, David J.; Boutet, Jeffry C., Jr.; Drake, Jason B.

    1997-07-01

    An experimental profiling airborne laser altimeter system developed at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center was used to acquire vertical canopy data from several ecosystem types from The Nature Conservancy's Disney Wilderness Preserve, near Kissimmee, Florida. This laser altimeter, besides providing submeter accuracy of tree height, captures a profile of data which relates to the magnitude of reflectivity of the laser pulse as it penetrates different elevations of the forest canopy. This complete time varying amplitude of the return signal of the laser pulse, between the first (i.e., the canopy top) and last (i.e., the ground) returns, yields a waveform which is related to canopy architecture, specifically the nadir-projected vertical distribution of the surface of canopy components (i.e., foliage, twigs, and branches). Selected profile returns from representative covertypes (e.g., pine flatwoods, bayhead, and cypress wetland) were compared with ground truthed forest composition (i.e., species and size class distribution) and structural (i.e., canopy height, canopy closure, crown depth) measures to help understand how these properties contribute to variation in the altimeter waveform.

  12. The OSIRIS-REx Laser Altimeter (OLA) Investigation and Instrument

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daly, M. G.; Barnouin, O. S.; Dickinson, C.; Seabrook, J.; Johnson, C. L.; Cunningham, G.; Haltigin, T.; Gaudreau, D.; Brunet, C.; Aslam, I.; Taylor, A.; Bierhaus, E. B.; Boynton, W.; Nolan, M.; Lauretta, D. S.

    2017-08-01

    The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) has contributed to the Origins Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft the OSIRIS-REx Laser Altimeter (OLA). The OSIRIS-REx mission will sample asteroid 101955 Bennu, the first B-type asteroid to be visited by a spacecraft. Bennu is thought to be primitive, carbonaceous, and spectrally most closely related to CI and/or CM meteorites. As a scanning laser altimeter, the OLA instrument will measure the range between the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft and the surface of Bennu to produce digital terrain maps of unprecedented spatial scales for a planetary mission. The digital terrain maps produced will measure ˜7 cm per pixel globally, and ˜3 cm per pixel at specific sample sites. In addition, OLA data will be used to constrain and refine the spacecraft trajectories. Global maps and highly accurate spacecraft trajectory estimates are critical to infer the internal structure of the asteroid. The global and regional maps also are key to gain new insights into the surface processes acting across Bennu, which inform the selection of the OSIRIS-REx sample site. These, in turn, are essential for understanding the provenance of the regolith sample collected by the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. The OLA data also are important for quantifying any hazards near the selected OSIRIS-REx sample site and for evaluating the range of tilts at the sampling site for comparison against the capabilities of the sample acquisition device.

  13. The Ganymede Laser Altimeter - Instrument Design Overview with Radiation hard Transmitter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Althaus, C.; Hussmann, H.; Lingenauber, K.; Michaelis, H.; Kallenbach, R.; Oberst, J.

    2016-10-01

    The Ganymede Laser Altimeter (GALA) onboard of JUICE mission shall investigate Ganymede. A laser provides the measuring signal and has therefore to be robust and reliable in the environment of Jupiter, in particular with regard to radiation.

  14. Assessing the use of Geoscience Laser Altimeter System data to quantify forest structure change resultant from large-scale forest disturbance events- Case Study Hurricane Katrina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dolan, K. A.; Hurtt, G. C.; Chambers, J. Q.; Dubayah, R.; Frolking, S. E.; Masek, J.

    2009-12-01

    The biodiversity, structure, and functioning of forest systems in most areas are strongly influenced by disturbances. Forest structure can both influence and help indicate forest functions such as the storage and transfer of carbon between the land surface and the atmosphere. A 2007 report published by the National Research Council states that ‘Quantifying changes in the size of the [vegetation biomass] pool, its horizontal distribution, and its vertical structure resulting from natural and human-induced perturbations, such as deforestation and fire, and the recovery processes is critical for measuring ecosystem change.’ This study assessed the use of the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) to detect and quantify changes in forest structure caused by Hurricane Katrina. Data from GLAS campaigns for the year proceeding and following Katrina were compared to wind speed, forest cover, and damage maps to analyze sensor sampling, and forest structure change over a range of spatial scales. Results showed a significant decrease in mean canopy height of 4.0 m in forested areas experiencing category two winds, a 2.2 meter decrease in forests experiencing category one winds, and a 0.6 meter change in forests hit by tropical storm winds. Changes in structure were converted into carbon estimates using the Ecosystem Demography (ED) model to yield above ground carbon storage losses of ~30Tg over the domain. Although the greatest height loss was observed in areas hit by category two winds, these areas only contributed to a fraction (~3Tg) of the estimated above ground carbon storage losses resultant from Katrina, highlighting that small disturbance spread over a large area can account for as much as or more damage than intense disturbance over smaller areas. This finding stresses the importance of detecting and measuring the full extent of storm damage. While results highlighted the potential use of space-born Lidar in damage detection and quantification, they also

  15. Participation in the Mars Orbiting Laser Altimeter Experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pettengil, Gordon H.; Ford, Peter

    2004-01-01

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

  16. Straylight analysis of the BepiColombo Laser Altimeter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-09-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1983-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-07-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blair, J. Bryan; Hofton, Michelle A.

    1999-01-01

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

  3. 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; hide

    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.

  4. Research Participation in the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter Experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pettengill, Gordon H.

    2003-01-01

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

  5. ICESat laser altimeter surface return geolocation parameter calibration and validation from integrated residual analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-04-01

    On January 12, 2003 the Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) was successfully placed into orbit. The ICESat mission carries the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS), which consists of three two-channel lasers to be operated sequentially over 3-5 years. The near-infrared channel will make precise elevation measurements of the ice sheets, sea ice roughness and thickness, ocean and land surface elevations and surface reflectivity. The surface spot size is 70 m in diameter spaced at 175 m along-track. These measurements will enable determination of present-day mass balance of the ice sheets, the study of associations between observed ice changes and polar climate, and the estimation of the present and future contributions of the ice sheets to global sea level rise. 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. Our "integrated residual analysis" (IRA) approach allows for the simultaneous estimation of orbit and geolocation parameters from a combined reduction of laser range and spacecraft tracking data. The integrated residual analysis methodology and implementation will be summarized. ICESat pre-launch simulations and error analyses will be discussed. Additionally, ICESat IRA calibration and validation activities will be presented focusing on ocean sweeps, dynamic crossovers and land direct altimetry using detailed digital elevation models. A global solution combining the data from these various techniques will also be discussed.

  6. Estimating Surface Slope and Roughness over the Greenland Ice Sheet Through Deconvolution of Laser Altimeter Waveforms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bassis, J. N.; Borsa, A.; Minster, J.

    2001-12-01

    The Airborne Topography Laser Altimetry System (ATLAS) was flown at high altitude over the Greenland Ice Sheet in June 1993 in order to simulate the large footprint (65 m) of the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS), providing the first laser altimeter waveforms ever collected over ice. Waveforms are of critical importance in laser altimetry since they contain information about surface roughness, surface slope (or equivalently instrument pointing direction) and atmospheric effects. These effects all act to broaden the laser return pulse, making it difficult to separate them. In principle, knowledge of two of the three effects permits determination of the last one. Previous studies to separate roughness and slope have been limited by the assumption of Gaussian return pulses and inaccurate knowledge of the outgoing pulse. We present a more general method which neither places restrictions on the temporal shape of the return pulse, nor requires knowledge of the outgoing pulse. We use the waveforms themselves to determine the impulse waveform of the instrument (which includes atmospheric broadening and instrument response), using simultaneous time domain deconvolution. For this purpose, we use several flight sections where the aircraft banked steeply over relatively smooth terrain, so that the contribution to broadening due to apparent slope dominates that due to surface roughness. With knowledge of the roll and pitch angles, we are able to extract the impulse function from the return waveforms. If the impulse function is accurately known when slope is known, roughness can be extracted by deconvolution, and we test this over parts of the ice sheet. In addition, this opens the possibility of extracting the waveform disto rtions due to forward scattering along the atmospheric path. This has important applications for processing GLAS waveforms whose output pulses will be recorded.

  7. Laser link experiment with the Hayabusa2 laser altimeter for in-flight alignment measurement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noda, Hirotomo; Kunimori, Hiroo; Mizuno, Takahide; Senshu, Hiroki; Ogawa, Naoko; Takeuchi, Hiroshi; Moore, Chris; Pollard, Alex; Yamaguchi, Tomohiro; Namiki, Noriyuki; Kase, Teiji; Saiki, Takanao; Tsuda, Yuichi

    2017-01-01

    We report results of a laser link experiment between a laser altimeter called light detection and ranging (LIDAR) aboard Hayabusa2 and ground-based satellite laser ranging stations conducted when the spacecraft was near the Earth before and after the gravity assist operation. Uplink laser pulses from a ground station were successfully detected at a distance of 6.6 million km, and the field of view direction of the receiving telescope of the LIDAR was determined in the spacecraft frame. The intensities of the received signals were measured, and the link budget from the ground to the LIDAR was confirmed. By detecting two successive pulses, the pulse intervals from the ground-based station were transferred to the LIDAR, and the clock frequency offset was thus successfully calibrated based on the pulse intervals. The laser link experiment, which includes alignment measurement of the telescopes, has proven to be an excellent method to confirm the performance of laser altimeters before they arrive at their target bodies, especially for deep space missions.[Figure not available: see fulltext.

  8. On retrieving sea ice freeboard from ICESat laser altimeter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khvorostovsky, Kirill; Rampal, Pierre

    2016-10-01

    Sea ice freeboard derived from satellite altimetry is the basis for the estimation of sea ice thickness using the assumption of hydrostatic equilibrium. High accuracy of altimeter measurements and freeboard retrieval procedure are, therefore, required. As of today, two approaches for estimating the freeboard using laser altimeter measurements from Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat), referred to as tie points (TP) and lowest-level elevation (LLE) methods, have been developed and applied in different studies. We reproduced these methods for the ICESat observation periods (2003-2008) in order to assess and analyse the sources of differences found in the retrieved freeboard and corresponding thickness estimates of the Arctic sea ice as produced by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). Three main factors are found to affect the freeboard differences when applying these methods: (a) the approach used for calculation of the local sea surface references in leads (TP or LLE methods), (b) the along-track averaging scales used for this calculation, and (c) the corrections for lead width relative to the ICESat footprint and for snow depth accumulated in refrozen leads. The LLE method with 100 km averaging scale, as used to produce the GSFC data set, and the LLE method with a shorter averaging scale of 25 km both give larger freeboard estimates comparing to those derived by applying the TP method with 25 km averaging scale as used for the JPL product. Two factors, (a) and (b), contribute to the freeboard differences in approximately equal proportions, and their combined effect is, on average, about 6-7 cm. The effect of using different methods varies spatially: the LLE method tends to give lower freeboards (by up to 15 cm) over the thick multiyear ice and higher freeboards (by up to 10 cm) over first-year ice and the thin part of multiyear ice; the higher freeboards dominate. We show that the

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ferraro, Ellen J.; Swift, Calvin T.

    1995-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1999-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1999-01-01

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

  13. Two Mars years of clouds detected by the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neumann, Gregory A.; Smith, David E.; Zuber, Maria T.

    2003-04-01

    The Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) instrument operated as an atmospheric lidar system as well as an altimeter, detecting absorptive clouds in northern latitudes shortly after orbit insertion in October 1997 and reflective clouds over the north polar cap at the start of the Science Phasing Orbits in March 1998. Global cloud measurements commenced with the primary mapping mission in March 1999, with nearly continuous coverage for 1.25 Mars years. MOLA tracked several dust storms, culminating with a major dust storm in June 2001. Reflective clouds, exhibiting distinctive patterns governed by insolation and the dynamics of the atmosphere, were detected at elevations up to 20 km above the surface, chiefly in the polar winter night. MOLA distinguishes cloud returns by pulse width and energy measurements. Unusually strong and brief reflections with minimal extinction suggest precipitation of CO2 snow under supercooled conditions. Weaker cloud reflections occurred at all latitudes. Some reflective daylight clouds at low latitudes suggested convective vortices or ``dust devils.'' Ground fogs composed of dust and H2O ice formed at night along the seasonal frost line. Absorptive clouds, while not resolved altimetrically, tracked the advancing and receding edges of the seasonal polar caps. The absorptive and reflective clouds provide a seasonal profile of atmospheric activity spanning two Martian years. Winter reflective cloud activity declined to background levels earlier in the second year at both poles, suggesting interannual warming.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  15. Thermal Testing and Model Correlation for Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter Instrument (ATLAS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Patel, Deepak

    2016-01-01

    The Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS) part of the Ice Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite 2 (ICESat-2) is an upcoming Earth Science mission focusing on the effects of climate change. The flight instrument passed all environmental testing at GSFC (Goddard Space Flight Center) and is now ready to be shipped to the spacecraft vendor for integration and testing. This topic covers the analysis leading up to the test setup for ATLAS thermal testing as well as model correlation to flight predictions. Test setup analysis section will include areas where ATLAS could not meet flight like conditions and what were the limitations. Model correlation section will walk through changes that had to be made to the thermal model in order to match test results. The correlated model will then be integrated with spacecraft model for on-orbit predictions.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ivanov, Anton B.; Muhleman, Duane O.

    2000-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  18. The Topography of Mars: Understanding the Surface of Mars Through the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Derby, C. A.; Neumann, G. A.; Sakimoto, S. E.

    2001-12-01

    The Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter has been orbiting Mars since 1997 and has measured the topography of Mars with a meter of vertical accuracy. This new information has improved our understanding of both the surface and the interior of Mars. The topographic globe and the labeled topographic map of Mars illustrate these new data in a format that can be used in a classroom setting. The map is color shaded to show differences in elevation on Mars, presenting Mars with a different perspective than traditional geological and geographic maps. Through the differences in color, students can see Mars as a three-dimensional surface and will be able to recognize features that are invisible in imagery. The accompanying lesson plans are designed for middle school science students and can be used both to teach information about Mars as a planet and Mars in comparison to Earth, fitting both the solar system unit and the Earth science unit in a middle school curriculum. The lessons are referenced to the National Benchmark standards for students in grades 6-8 and cover topics such as Mars exploration, the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter, resolution and powers of 10, gravity, craters, seismic waves and the interior structure of a planet, isostasy, and volcanoes. Each lesson is written in the 5 E format and includes a student content activity and an extension showing current applications of Mars and MOLA data. These activities can be found at http://ltpwww.gsfc.nasa.gov/education/resources.html. Funding for this project was provided by the Maryland Space Grant Consortium and the MOLA Science Team, Goddard Space Flight Center.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1987-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1997-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1984-01-01

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

  4. Vertical Accuracy Assessment of ZY-3 Digital Surface Model Using Icesat/glas Laser Altimeter Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, G.; Tang, X.; Yuan, X.; Zhou, P.; Hu, F.

    2017-05-01

    The Ziyuan-3 (ZY-3) satellite, as the first civilian high resolution surveying and mapping satellite in China, has a very important role in national 1 : 50,000 stereo mapping project. High accuracy digital surface Model (DSMs) can be generated from the three line-array images of ZY-3, and ZY-3 DSMs of China can be produced without using any ground control points (GCPs) by selecting SRTM (Shuttle Radar Topography Mission) and ICESat/GLAS (Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite, Geo-science Laser Altimeter System) as the datum reference in the Satellite Surveying and Mapping Application Center, which is the key institute that manages and distributes ZY-3 products. To conduct the vertical accuracy evaluation of ZY-3 DSMs of China, three representative regions were chosen and the results were compared to ICESat/GLAS data. The experimental results demonstrated that the root mean square error (RMSE) elevation accuracy of the ZY-3 DSMs was better than 5.0 m, and it even reached to less than 2.5 m in the second region of eastern China. While this work presents preliminary results, it is an important reference for expanding the application of ZY-3 satellite imagery to widespread regions. And the satellite laser altimetry data can be used as referenced data for wide-area DSM evaluation.

  5. 14 CFR 29.1325 - Static pressure and pressure altimeter systems.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

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

  6. 14 CFR 29.1325 - Static pressure and pressure altimeter systems.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

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

  7. 14 CFR 29.1325 - Static pressure and pressure altimeter systems.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  9. Status of the Ganymede Laser Altimeter (GALA) for ESA's Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hussmann, Hauke; Luedicke, Fabian

    2017-04-01

    The Ganymede Laser Altimeter (GALA) is one of the instruments selected for ESA's Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE). A fundamental goal of any exploratory space mission is to characterize and measure the shape, topography, and rotation of the target bodies. A state of the art tool for this task is laser altimetry because it can provide absolute topographic height and position with respect to a body centered reference system. With respect to Ganymede, the GALA instrument aims at mapping of global, regional and local topography; confirming the global subsurface ocean and further characterization of the water-ice/liquid shell by monitoring the dynamic response of the ice shell to tidal forces; providing constraints on the forced physical librations and spin-axis obliquity; determining Ganymede's shape; obtaining detailed topographic profiles across the linear features of grooved terrain, impact structures, possible cryo-volcanic features and other different surface units; providing information about slope, roughness and albedo (at 1064nm) of Ganymede's surface. After several flyby's (Ganymede, Europa, Callisto) it is scheduled that the JUICE orbiter will enter first into an elliptical orbit (200 km x 10.000 km) for around 150 days and then into a circular orbit (500 km) around Ganymede for 130 days. Accordingly to the different orbits and trajectories, distances to the moons respectively, the spot size of the GALA laser varies between 21 m and 140 m. GALA uses the direct-detection (classical) approach of laser altimetry. Laser pulses are emitted at a wavelength of 1064 nm by using an actively Q-switched Nd:Yag laser. The pulse energy and pulse repetition frequency are 17 mJ at 30 Hz (nominal), respectively. For targeted observations and flybys the frequency can be switched to 50 Hz. The emission time of each pulse is measured by the detector. The beam is reflected from the surface and received at a 25 cm diameter telescope. The returning laser pulse is refocused onto

  10. A long-distance laser altimeter for terrain relative navigation and spacecraft landing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-06-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Static pressure and pressure altimeter...: Installation § 29.1325 Static pressure and pressure altimeter systems. (a) Each instrument with static air case.... (c) Each static pressure port must be designed and located in such manner that the...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  14. Electromagnetic Compatibility of Transmitter, Receiver, and Communication Port of a Space-Qualified Laser Altimeter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kallenbach, R.; Behnke, T.; Perplies, H.; Henkelmann, R.; Rech, M.; Geissbuhler, U.; Peteut, A.; Lichopoj, A.; Schroedter, R.; Michaelis, H.; Seiferlin, K.; Thomas, N.; Castro, J. M.; Herranz, M.; Lara, L.

    2016-05-01

    This paper reports on EMC issues of the laser transmitter, the photodiode receiver, and the communication port of the BepiColombo Laser Altimeter BELA during integration on ESA's Mercury Planetary Orbiter MPO. Parasitic currents originating in the active Q-switch electronics of BELA's diode-laser pumped Nd:YAG laser and from the high-power laser diode driver electronics interfered with the sensitive Si avalanche photodiode sensor operating at a noise floor of about 0.3 pA/√Hz in a bandwidth of 20 MHz, and with BELA's Spacewire port, corrupting about 3% of telemetry data to the MPO memory. The problems had been eliminated by implementing multi-point grounding.

  15. Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) From Space - Laser Altimeters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sun, Xiaoli

    2016-01-01

    Light detection and ranging, or lidar, is like radar but atoptical wavelengths. The principle of operation and theirapplications in remote sensing are similar. Lidars havemany advantages over radars in instrument designs andapplications because of the much shorter laser wavelengthsand narrower beams. The lidar transmitters and receiveroptics are much smaller than radar antenna dishes. Thespatial resolution of lidar measurement is much finer thanthat of radar because of the much smaller footprint size onground. Lidar measurements usually give a better temporalresolution because the laser pulses can be much narrowerthan radio frequency (RF) signals. The major limitation oflidar is the ability to penetrate clouds and ground surfaces.

  16. Prospects for the future investigations of Mercury by the BepiColombo Laser Altimeter (BELA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steinbrügge, Gregor; Stark, Alexander; Hussmann, Hauke; Wickhusen, Kai; Oberst, Jürgen

    2017-04-01

    The flight model of the BepiColombo Laser Altimeter (BELA) has recently been delivered for integration on the Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO). We performed numerical simulations of the instrument performance expected in flight based on the measured BELA flight model (FM) parameters. In particular, we study measurement performance of topography, slopes, albedo, and roughness. Further, we analyzed the orbit evolution of the MPO based on most recent Mercury gravity data from MESSENGER. This allows us to estimate local and global topographic coverage, as well as the potential for estimates of the tidal Love number h2. Also possible implications of BELA science data on Mercury's interior structure, especially on the core radius and the mantle rheology, will be assessed. BELA is built by the Institute of Physics of the University of Bern and the DLR Institute of Planetary Research in cooperation with the Instituto de Astrofisica de Andalucia of the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC) and the Max-Planck-Institute for Solar System Research (MPS).

  17. The Infrared Spectral Imaging Radiometer and Laser Altimeter on STS-85 (an Aircraft Style Experiment Flown in Space)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spinhirne, James D.

    1999-01-01

    Improvements in the remote sensing of clouds from space in the future will come from instruments with higher spatial and spectral resolution on more platforms and supported by active sounding. The space shuttle hitchhiker system allows new measurements to be prototyped in space with costs, operating flexibility and data volumes similar to aircraft experiments. The Infrared Spectral Imaging Radiometer and Shuttle Laser Altimeter hitchhiker experiment was flown in 1997. The experiment tested the use of uncooled thermal infrared imaging, laser cloud altitude measurements and high spatial resolution, tri-spectral sensing of cloud particle size and phase. A 1/4 km resolution, fifty orbit data set was obtained from STS-85. The presentation will focus on the use of the shuttle as an experiment platform and cover possible transition to the space station in the future.

  18. The Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter Investigation on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, David E.; Zuber, Maria T.; Jackson, Glenn B.; Cavanaugh, John F.; Neumann, Gregory A.; Riris, Haris; Sun, Xiaoli; Zellar, Ronald S.; Coltharp, Craig; Connelly, Joseph; Katz, Richard B.; Kleyner, Igor; Liiva, Peter; Matuszeski, Adam; Mazarico, Erwan M.; McGarry, Jan F.; Novo-Gradac, Anne-Marie; Ott, Melanie N.; Peters, Carlton; Ramos-Izquierdo, Luis A.; Ramsey, Lawrence; Rowlands, David D.; Schmidt, Stephen; Scott, V. Stanley; Shaw, George B.; Smith, James C.; Swinski, Joseph-Paul; Torrence, Mark H.; Unger, Glenn; Yu, Anthony W.; Zagwodzki, Thomas W.

    2010-01-01

    The Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) is an instrument on the payload of NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft (LRO) (Chin et al., in Space Sci. Rev. 129:391-419, 2007). The instrument is designed to measure the shape of the Moon by measuring precisely the range from the spacecraft to the lunar surface, and incorporating precision orbit determination of LRO, referencing surface ranges to the Moon’s center of mass. LOLA has 5 beams and operates at 28 Hz, with a nominal accuracy of 10 cm. Its primary objective is to produce a global geodetic grid for the Moon to which all other observations can be precisely referenced.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morris, Charles S.; Gill, Stephen K.

    1994-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morris, Charles S.; Gill, Stephen K.

    1994-01-01

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

  2. NOSS altimeter algorithm specifications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1982-01-01

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

  3. 14 CFR 91.411 - Altimeter system and altitude reporting equipment tests and inspections.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... RULES Maintenance, Preventive Maintenance, and Alterations § 91.411 Altimeter system and altitude...), appendix E, of part 43 of this chapter; and (3) Following installation or maintenance on the...

  4. The BepiColombo Laser Altimeter (BeLA) power converter module (PCM): Concept and characterisation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodrigo, J.; Gasquet, E.; Castro, J.-M.; Herranz, M.; Lara, L.-M.; Muñoz, M.; Simon, A.; Behnke, T.; Thomas, N.

    2017-03-01

    This paper presents the principal considerations when designing DC-DC converters for space instruments, in particular for the power converter module as part of the first European space laser altimeter: "BepiColombo Laser Altimeter" on board the European Space Agency-Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) mission BepiColombo. The main factors which determine the design of the DC-DC modules in space applications are printed circuit board occupation, mass, DC-DC converter efficiency, and environmental-survivability constraints. Topics included in the appropriated DC-DC converter design flow are hereby described. The topology and technology for the primary and secondary stages, input filters, transformer design, and peripheral components are discussed. Component selection and design trade-offs are described. Grounding, load and line regulation, and secondary protection circuitry (under-voltage, over-voltage, and over-current) are then introduced. Lastly, test results and characterization of the final flight design are also presented. Testing of the inrush current, the regulated output start-up, and the switching function of the power supply indicate that these performances are fully compliant with the requirements.

  5. The BepiColombo Laser Altimeter (BeLA) power converter module (PCM): Concept and characterisation.

    PubMed

    Rodrigo, J; Gasquet, E; Castro, J-M; Herranz, M; Lara, L-M; Muñoz, M; Simon, A; Behnke, T; Thomas, N

    2017-03-01

    This paper presents the principal considerations when designing DC-DC converters for space instruments, in particular for the power converter module as part of the first European space laser altimeter: "BepiColombo Laser Altimeter" on board the European Space Agency-Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) mission BepiColombo. The main factors which determine the design of the DC-DC modules in space applications are printed circuit board occupation, mass, DC-DC converter efficiency, and environmental-survivability constraints. Topics included in the appropriated DC-DC converter design flow are hereby described. The topology and technology for the primary and secondary stages, input filters, transformer design, and peripheral components are discussed. Component selection and design trade-offs are described. Grounding, load and line regulation, and secondary protection circuitry (under-voltage, over-voltage, and over-current) are then introduced. Lastly, test results and characterization of the final flight design are also presented. Testing of the inrush current, the regulated output start-up, and the switching function of the power supply indicate that these performances are fully compliant with the requirements.

  6. Photon-Counting Laser Altimeters: Aircraft Demonstration and Future Application to Globally Contiguous Spaceborne Topographic Mapping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Degnan, J. J.

    2002-05-01

    We have recently demonstrated a scanning, photon-counting, laser altimeter, which is capable of daylight operations from aircraft cruise altitudes. The instrument measures the times-of-flight of individual photons to deduce the distances between the instrument reference and points on the underlying terrain from which the arriving photons were reflected. By imaging the terrain onto a highly pixellated detector followed by a multi-channel timing receiver, one can make multiple spatially-resolved measurements to the surface within a single laser pulse. The horizontal spatial resolution is limited by the optical projection of a single pixel onto the surface. In short, a 3D image of the terrain within the laser ground spot is obtained on each laser fire, assuming at least one signal photon is recorded by each pixel.. In test flights, a prototype airborne system has successfully recorded few kHz rate, single photon returns from clouds, soils, man-made objects, vegetation, and water surfaces at mid-day under conditions of maximum solar illumination. The system has also demonstrated a capability to resolve volumetrically distributed targets, such as tree canopies, and has performed wave height measurements and shallow water bathymetry over the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean. The signal photons were reliably extracted from the solar noise background using an optimized Post-Detection Poisson Filter. The passively Q-switched microchip Nd:YAG laser transmitter measures only 2.25 mm in length and is pumped by a single 1.2 Watt laser diode. The output is frequency-doubled to take advantage of higher detector counting efficiencies and narrower spectral filters available at 532 nm. The transmitter produces a few microjoules of green energy in a subnanosecond pulse at several kilohertz rates. The illuminated ground area is imaged by a 14 cm diameter, diffraction-limited, off-axis telescope onto a segmented anode photomultiplier with up to 16 pixels (4 x4). Each anode segment is

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-16

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Studinger, M.

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Herring, Thomas A.; Quinn, Katherine J.

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, David E.; Zuber, Maria T.

    2001-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1998-03-13

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. The Global Surface Roughness of 433 Eros from the NEAR-Shoemaker Laser Altimeter (NLR)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meyer Susorney, Hannah Celine; Barnouin, Olivier S.

    2016-10-01

    Surface roughness is the quantitative measure of the change in topography at a given scale. Previous studies have used surface roughness to map geologic units, choose landing sites, and understand the relative contribution of different geologic processes to topography. In this study we focus on understanding how surface roughness is linked to the geologic processes acting on asteroids, with a case study of 433 Eros through the generation of global surface roughness maps. The scale that surface roughness is measured at will dictate the geologic processes studied; the majority of studies of the surface roughness of asteroids have focused on centimeter scale roughness (derived from radar measurements). Spacecraft that rendezvous with asteroids and carry laser altimeters on board provide topographic data that allows surface roughness to be measured at the scale of meters to hundreds of meters.To calculate surface roughness on 433 Eros from 1 m to 300 m, we use the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR)-Shoemaker's laser altimeter (NLR). We measure surface roughness as Root-Mean Square (RMS) deviation, which is simply the RMS difference in height over a given scale. RMS deviation is then used to calculate the Hurst exponent, which quantifies the fractal behavior of the surface and is indicative of the type of geologic processes controlling topography at that scale. The surface roughness on 433 Eros varies regionally, with smaller roughness values where regolith has accumulated, and more elevated roughness values along the walls of large craters or near linear grooves. The roughness seen in crater walls may be evidence for subsurface structures (visible as aligned blocks protruding from the crater walls). The surface roughness of 433 Eros is also remarkably fractal relative to other asteroids and planets. To understand in greater detail the geological origin of the surface roughness and fractal nature of Eros, this study presents the first global maps of surface roughness

  16. The Global Surface Roughness of 433 Eros from the NEAR-Shoemaker Laser Altimeter (NLR)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barnouin, O. S.; Susorney, H. C. M.

    2016-12-01

    Surface roughness is the quantitative measure of the change in topography at a given horizontal scale. Previous studies have used surface roughness to map geologic units, choose landing sites, and understand the relative contribution of different geologic processes to topography. The scale that surface roughness is measured at will dictate the geologic processes studied; the majority of studies of the surface roughness of asteroids have focused on centimeter scale roughness (derived from radar measurements). Spacecraft that rendezvous with asteroids and carry laser altimeters such as the Hayabusa 2 and the OSIRIS-REx mission provide topographic data that allows surface roughness to be measured at the scale of meters to hundreds of meters. In this study we focus on understanding how surface roughness is linked to the geologic processes acting on asteroids, with a case study of 433 Eros. To calculate globals maps of the surface roughness on 433 Eros using 3 to 300 m horizontal baselines, we use the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR)-Shoemaker's laser altimeter (NLR). We measure surface roughness as the Root-Mean Square (RMS) deviation, which is simply the RMS difference in height over a given scale. Because asteroids are typically not spherical, we define surface height to be relative to the asteroid's geoid, similar to how topography is defined on planets. RMS deviation is then used to calculate the Hurst exponent, which quantifies the fractal behavior of the surface and is indicative of the type of geologic processes controlling topography at that scale. The surface roughness on 433 Eros varies regionally, with smaller roughness values where regolith has accumulated, and more elevated roughness values along the walls of large craters or near linear grooves. The roughness seen in crater walls may be evidence for subsurface structures (visible as aligned blocks protruding from the crater walls). The surface roughness of 433 Eros is also remarkably fractal relative

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1999-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1999-01-01

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

  19. 14 CFR 91.411 - Altimeter system and altitude reporting equipment tests and inspections.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... system, each altimeter instrument, and each automatic pressure altitude reporting system has been tested... the use of system drain and alternate static pressure valves, following any opening and closing of the static pressure system, that system has been tested and inspected and found to comply with paragraph (a...

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2001-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harding, D. J.

    2007-12-01

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

  3. 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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2001-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Parsons, C. L. (Editor)

    1989-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parsons, C. L.

    1989-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  9. 14 CFR 29.1325 - Static pressure and pressure altimeter systems.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... connections must be vented to the outside atmosphere through an appropriate piping system. (b) Each vent must.... (d) Except for the vent into the atmosphere, each system must be airtight. (e) Each pressure altimeter must be approved and calibrated to indicate pressure altitude in a standard atmosphere with a...

  10. Crater Morphometry and Crater Degradation on Mercury: Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA) Measurements and Comparison to Stereo-DTM Derived Results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leight, C.; Fassett, C. I.; Crowley, M. C.; Dyar, M. D.

    2017-01-01

    Two types of measurements of Mercury's surface topography were obtained by the MESSENGER (MErcury Surface Space ENvironment, GEochemisty and Ranging) spacecraft: laser ranging data from Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA) [1], and stereo imagery from the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS) camera [e.g., 2, 3]. MLA data provide precise and accurate elevation meaurements, but with sparse spatial sampling except at the highest northern latitudes. Digital terrain models (DTMs) from MDIS have superior resolution but with less vertical accuracy, limited approximately to the pixel resolution of the original images (in the case of [3], 15-75 m). Last year [4], we reported topographic measurements of craters in the D=2.5 to 5 km diameter range from stereo images and suggested that craters on Mercury degrade more quickly than on the Moon (by a factor of up to approximately 10×). However, we listed several alternative explanations for this finding, including the hypothesis that the lower depth/diameter ratios we observe might be a result of the resolution and accuracy of the stereo DTMs. Thus, additional measurements were undertaken using MLA data to examine the morphometry of craters in this diameter range and assess whether the faster crater degradation rates proposed to occur on Mercury is robust.

  11. Mapping new and old worlds with laser altimetry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garvin, James B.

    1993-01-01

    Spaceborne laser altimeter systems intended to operate at lunar and Martian orbits are reviewed. Laser altimeter systems capable of long lifetimes with centimeter precision ranging electronics are considered to be essential components of NASA's EOS.

  12. ALTIMETER ERRORS,

    DTIC Science & Technology

    CIVIL AVIATION, *ALTIMETERS, FLIGHT INSTRUMENTS, RELIABILITY, ERRORS , PERFORMANCE(ENGINEERING), BAROMETERS, BAROMETRIC PRESSURE, ATMOSPHERIC TEMPERATURE, ALTITUDE, CORRECTIONS, AVIATION SAFETY, USSR.

  13. 14 CFR Appendix E to Part 43 - Altimeter System Test and Inspection

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Altimeter System Test and Inspection E Appendix E to Part 43 Aeronautics and Space FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE, PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE, REBUILDING, AND ALTERATION Pt. 43, App. E Appendix E to...

  14. Summary of the results from the lunar orbiter laser altimeter after seven years in lunar orbit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, David E.; Zuber, Maria T.; Neumann, Gregory A.; Mazarico, Erwan; Lemoine, Frank G.; Head, James W., III; Lucey, Paul G.; Aharonson, Oded; Robinson, Mark S.; Sun, Xiaoli; Torrence, Mark H.; Barker, Michael K.; Oberst, Juergen; Duxbury, Thomas C.; Mao, Dandan; Barnouin, Olivier S.; Jha, Kopal; Rowlands, David D.; Goossens, Sander; Baker, David; Bauer, Sven; Gläser, Philipp; Lemelin, Myriam; Rosenburg, Margaret; Sori, Michael M.; Whitten, Jennifer; Mcclanahan, Timothy

    2017-02-01

    In June 2009 the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft was launched to the Moon. The payload consists of 7 science instruments selected to characterize sites for future robotic and human missions. Among them, the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) was designed to obtain altimetry, surface roughness, and reflectance measurements. The primary phase of lunar exploration lasted one year, following a 3-month commissioning phase. On completion of its exploration objectives, the LRO mission transitioned to a science mission. After 7 years in lunar orbit, the LOLA instrument continues to map the lunar surface. The LOLA dataset is one of the foundational datasets acquired by the various LRO instruments. LOLA provided a high-accuracy global geodetic reference frame to which past, present and future lunar observations can be referenced. It also obtained high-resolution and accurate global topography that were used to determine regions in permanent shadow at the lunar poles. LOLA further contributed to the study of polar volatiles through its unique measurement of surface brightness at zero phase, which revealed anomalies in several polar craters that may indicate the presence of water ice. In this paper, we describe the many LOLA accomplishments to date and its contribution to lunar and planetary science.

  15. 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.

  16. A New Lunar Digital Elevation Model from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter and SELENE Terrain Camera

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2015-01-01

    We present an improved lunar digital elevation model (DEM) covering latitudes within +/-60 deg, at a horizontal resolution of 512 pixels per degree ( approx.60 m at the equator) and a typical vertical accuracy approx.3 to 4 m. This DEM is constructed from approx.4.5 ×10(exp 9) 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 deg×1 deg) from the SELENE Terrain Camera (TC) ( approx.10(exp 10) 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 approx.50% prior to co-registration. We use the co-registered TC data to estimate and correct orbital and pointing geolocation errors from the LOLA altimetric profiles (typically amounting to < 10 m horizontally and < 1 m vertically). By combining both co-registered datasets, we obtain a near-global DEM with high geodetic accuracy, and without the need for surface interpolation. We evaluate the resulting LOLA + TC merged DEM (designated as "SLDEM2015") with particular attention to quantifying seams and crossover errors.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1998-01-01

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

  18. Summary of the Results from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter after Seven Years in Lunar Orbit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, David E.; Zuber, Maria T.; Neumann, Gregory A.; Mazarico, Erwan; Lemoine, Frank G.; Head, James W., III; Lucey, Paul G.; Aharonson, Oded; Robinson, Mark S.; Sun, Xiaoli; hide

    2016-01-01

    In June 2009 the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft was launched to the Moon. The payload consists of 7 science instruments selected to characterize sites for future robotic and human missions. Among them, the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) was designed to obtain altimetry, surface roughness, and reflectance measurements. The primary phase of lunar exploration lasted one year, following a 3-month commissioning phase. On completion of its exploration objectives, the LRO mission transitioned to a science mission. After 7 years in lunar orbit, the LOLA instrument continues to map the lunar surface. The LOLA dataset is one of the foundational datasets acquired by the various LRO instruments. LOLA provided a high-accuracy global geodetic reference frame to which past, present and future lunar observations can be referenced. It also obtained high-resolution and accurate global topography that were used to determine regions in permanent shadow at the lunar poles. LOLA further contributed to the study of polar volatiles through its unique measurement of surface brightness at zero phase, which revealed anomalies in several polar craters that may indicate the presence of water ice. In this paper, we describe the many LOLA accomplishments to date and its contribution to lunar and planetary science.

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

    PubMed

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

    1998-12-11

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1998-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1998-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2001-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  4. A New Lunar Digital Elevation Model from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter and SELENE Terrain Camera

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2015-01-01

    We present an improved lunar digital elevation model (DEM) covering latitudes within +/-60 deg, at a horizontal resolution of 512 pixels per degree ( approx.60 m at the equator) and a typical vertical accuracy approx.3 to 4 m. This DEM is constructed from approx.4.5 ×10(exp 9) 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 deg×1 deg) from the SELENE Terrain Camera (TC) ( approx.10(exp 10) 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 approx.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.

  5. Tracking system options for future altimeter satellite missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1994-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1999-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1999-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Neumann, Gregory A.

    2003-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Neumann, Gregory A.

    2003-01-01

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

  11. Self-affine behavior of Martian topography at kilometer scale from Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orosei, R.; Bianchi, R.; Coradini, A.; Espinasse, S.; Federico, C.; Ferriccioni, A.; Gavrishin, A. I.

    2003-02-01

    We used Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) data from the current Mars Global Surveyor mission to characterize the topographic roughness of the Martian surface and to provide a mean to evaluate clutter at long (10-300 m) wavelengths. Such wavelengths are relevant for the MARSIS and SHARAD subsurface radars, which will be flown in future missions to Mars. The method of analysis is based on the assumption that topography can be described as a self-affine fractal: 30-km-long segments of MOLA altimetry profiles have thus been reduced to the topographic parameters RMS height, RMS slope, and Hurst exponent, this last related to the fractal dimension, which can be used as inputs to a near-nadir radar scattering model. The values of the Hurst exponent are greater than 0.5 for most of the surface, meaning a scaling behavior which is almost self-similar. Maps of RMS height and Hurst exponent show that these two parameters have very different spatial distributions: whereas the RMS height is patterned after the north-south dichotomy, the Hurst exponent follows a latitudinal trend. We make use of a multivariate method called G-mode to classify profiles in the three-dimensional parameter space: we find several roughness units, some of which have a strong correlation with certain geologic units, while others are bound by latitude. However, at scales between 300 m and 3 km, large stretches of the surface of Mars share common statistical properties of topography, independent from the north-south dichotomy.

  12. Comparing the roughness of the Moon from Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) to asteroids and planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barnouin-Jha, O. S.; Zuber, M. T.; Smith, D. E.; Neumann, G. A.; Mazarico, E.; Torrence, M. H.; Oberst, J.; Head, J. W.; Lucey, P. G.; Robinson, M. S.; Duxbury, T. C.

    2009-12-01

    The Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) is a unique instrument that measures the topography of Moon at vertical resolutions of 10 cm and horizontal resolutions of 25 m over 1000s of km. These data are used to compute the fractal roughness of the surface of the Moon at horizontal scales that overlap similar altimetry collected at the asteroids 25143 Itokawa and 433 Eros, and the planets Mercury and Mars. This comparative analysis provides new insights on the processes that create fractal versus non-fractal topography on the Moon. 2>0.5 where e is the elevation, and s is the distance between altimetric points. For fractal structures, σ obeys σ= Ch(B/Bo)H where Bo = 1 m, and Ch is a normalizing constant. The quantity H is called the Hurst exponent. 50 m, the Moon is significantly rougher than the rubble pile asteroid Itokawa. However, extrapolating the fractal distributions observed on the Moon to B~1m, the value of σ approximates those computed for the very smooth Muses-C regio on Itokawa, where on average <1m changes in elevation are seen over 5 m of lateral displacements. This is equivalent to slopes<12°. 10km). One possible explanation for this loss may be due to gravitational forces that limit the formation of topography in excess of 3-5 km. Gravity slows the construction of large topography by volcanism and enhances any fluvial erosional processes on Mars for example. Furthermore, the formation of broad (>15km) but shallow complex craters relative to small but simple bowl shaped ones occurs because the topography of large transient craters (>10 km on the Moon) cannot be maintained by the strength of the crustal rocks and collapse due to gravity.

  13. Design considerations for a space-borne ocean surface laser altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Plotkin, H. H.

    1972-01-01

    Design procedures for using laser ranging systems in spacecraft to reflect ocean surface pulses vertically and measure spacecraft altitude with high precision are examined. Operating principles and performance experience of a prototype system are given.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2001-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  16. Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) Data: Lunar Topography and Surface Properties After 7 Years

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neumann, G. A.; Mazarico, E.; Lemoine, F. G.; Sun, X.; Head, J. W., III; Barker, M. K.; Jha, K.; Mao, D.; Torrence, M. H.; Smith, D. E.; Zuber, M. T.

    2016-12-01

    The LOLA altimeter on LRO has collected data on 31,500 orbits of the Moon since June 2009, firing 4.1 billion laser pulses split into 5 beams. Nearly 7 billion lunar altimetric bounce points have been geolocated with 0.5-m radial accuracy and 10 m total position errors using high-resolution gravity fields from GRAIL combined with radiometric tracking and one-way laser ranging, followed by crossover analysis. The altimetric data are resampled onto uniformly-spaced grids at resolutions down to the 5-m-diameter footprint scale of the LOLA beams where coverage permits. Originally flown to ensure safe landing and to provide a precise global geodetic grid on the Moon, ongoing analysis of LOLA data has enabled the measurement of the centimeter-level lunar tides, the survey of regions in permanent shadow and near-total solar illumination, and addressed problems of volcanology, tectonism, impact cratering, lunar chronology, mineralogy, crustal and interior structure, regolith evolution, nature and evolution of volatiles, surface roughness and slope interactions with particles. Active measurement of the surface reflectance at zero phase has suggested the presence of lunar frost in the coldest regions poleward of 80° N/S while passive measurements of the lunar phase function at 1064 nm wavelength have extended knowledge of lunar photometry in the near-infrared. Imperfections in topographic knowledge at the meter level arise from the need for interpolation within gaps, from misclassification of noise returns, and from residual orbital and attitude errors. Continued observations in the Extended Mission phases address these issues, while classification of ground returns is assisted by increasingly precise digital elevation models produced by stereographic analysis of data from the LRO cameras and the Kaguya Terrain Camera (e.g., imbrium.mit.edu/EXTRAS/SLDEM2015). The lower periapse altitude during the most recent mission year, together with changes in orbital inclination

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  1. 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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1998-01-01

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

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

    NASA 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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  5. Detecting volcanic resurfacing of heavily cratered terrain: Flooding simulations on the Moon using Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whitten, Jennifer L.; Head, James W.

    2013-09-01

    Early extrusive volcanism from mantle melting marks the transition from primary to secondary crust formation. Detection of secondary crust is often obscured by the high impact flux early in solar system history. To recognize the relationship between heavily cratered terrain and volcanic resurfacing, this study documents how volcanic resurfacing alters the impact cratering record and models the thickness, area, and volume of volcanic flood deposits. Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) data are used to analyze three different regions of the lunar highlands: the Hertzsprung basin; a farside heavily cratered region; and the central highlands. Lunar mare emplacement style is assumed to be similar to that of terrestrial flood basalts, involving large volumes of material extruded from dike-fed fissures over relatively short periods of time. Thus, each region was flooded at 0.5 km elevation intervals to simulate such volcanic flooding and to assess areal patterns, thickness, volumes, and emplacement history. These simulations show three primary stages of volcanic flooding: (1) Initial flooding is largely confined to individual craters and deposits are thick and localized; (2) basalt flows breach crater rim crests and are emplaced laterally between larger craters as thin widespread deposits; and (3) lateral spreading decreases in response to regional topographic variations and the deposits thicken and bury intermediate-sized and larger craters. Application of these techniques to the South Pole-Aitken basin shows that emplacement of ∼1-2 km of cryptomaria can potentially explain the paucity of craters 20-64 km in diameter on the floor of the basin relative to the distribution in the surrounding highlands.

  6. Lunar impact basins: Stratigraphy, sequence and ages from superposed impact crater populations measured from Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-02-01

    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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1998-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2001-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2001-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-12-01

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

  13. Low-amplitude topographic features and textures on the Moon: Initial results from detrended Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) topography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kreslavsky, Mikhail A.; Head, James W.; Neumann, Gregory A.; Zuber, Maria T.; Smith, David E.

    2017-02-01

    Global lunar topographic data derived from ranging measurements by the Lunar Oribter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) onboard LRO mission to the Moon have extremely high vertical precision. We use detrended topography as a means for utilization of this precision in geomorphological analysis. The detrended topography was calculated as a difference between actual topography and a trend surface defined as a median topography in a circular sliding window. We found that despite complicated distortions caused by the non-linear nature of the detrending procedure, visual inspection of these data facilitates identification of low-amplitude gently-sloping geomorphic features. We present specific examples of patterns of lava flows forming the lunar maria and revealing compound flow fields, a new class of lava flow complex on the Moon. We also highlight the identification of linear tectonic features that otherwise are obscured in the images and topographic data processed in a more traditional manner.

  14. Low-Amplitude Topographic Features and Textures on the Moon: Initial Results from Detrended Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) Topography

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kreslavsky, Mikhail A.; Head, James W.; Neumann, Gregory A.; Zuber, Maria T.; Smith, David E.

    2016-01-01

    Global lunar topographic data derived from ranging measurements by the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) onboard LRO mission to the Moon have extremely high vertical precision. We use detrended topography as a means for utilization of this precision in geomorphological analysis. The detrended topography was calculated as a difference between actual topography and a trend surface defined as a median topography in a circular sliding window. We found that despite complicated distortions caused by the non-linear nature of the detrending procedure, visual inspection of these data facilitates identification of low-amplitude gently-sloping geomorphic features. We present specific examples of patterns of lava flows forming the lunar maria and revealing compound flow fields, a new class of lava flow complex on the Moon. We also highlight the identification of linear tectonic features that otherwise are obscured in the images and topographic data processed in a more traditional manner.

  15. Low-Amplitude Topographic Features and Textures on the Moon: Initial Results from Detrended Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) Topography

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kreslavsky, Mikhail A.; Head, James W.; Neumann, Gregory A.; Zuber, Maria T.; Smith, David E.

    2016-01-01

    Global lunar topographic data derived from ranging measurements by the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) onboard LRO mission to the Moon have extremely high vertical precision. We use detrended topography as a means for utilization of this precision in geomorphological analysis. The detrended topography was calculated as a difference between actual topography and a trend surface defined as a median topography in a circular sliding window. We found that despite complicated distortions caused by the non-linear nature of the detrending procedure, visual inspection of these data facilitates identification of low-amplitude gently-sloping geomorphic features. We present specific examples of patterns of lava flows forming the lunar maria and revealing compound flow fields, a new class of lava flow complex on the Moon. We also highlight the identification of linear tectonic features that otherwise are obscured in the images and topographic data processed in a more traditional manner.

  16. Improved Calibration of Reflectance Data from the LRO Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) and Implications for Space Weathering

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2016-01-01

    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 mod- els 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

  17. 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

  18. Laser Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1985-01-01

    Tunable diode lasers are employed as radiation sources in high resolution infrared spectroscopy to determine spectral characteristics of gaseous compounds. With other laser systems, they are produced by Spectra-Physics, and used to monitor chemical processes, monitor production of quantity halogen lamps, etc. The Laser Analytics Division of Spectra-Physics credits the system's reliability to a program funded by Langley in the 1970s. Company no longer U.S.-owned. 5/22/97

  19. Evidence for Surface Ice at the Lunar South Pole from LRO's Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter and Diviner Lunar Radiometer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fisher, E. A.; Lucey, P. G.; Lemelin, M.; Greenhagen, B. T.; Siegler, M. A.; Mazarico, E.; Neumann, G. A.; Smith, D. E.; Zuber, M. T.

    2016-12-01

    Water ice was identified on Mercury's surface by correlating high reflectance surface material, detected with the Mercury Laser Altimeter, with model biannual maximum temperatures that allow surface ice to be stable for billions of years (<100K) [Neumann et al., 2013; Paige et al., 2013]. Thermally driven sublimation constrains where a volatile may plausibly survive on a planet's surface for extended time periods because of its exponential relationship with temperature; e.g. water ice cannot be preserved on surfaces that experience temperatures above 100K due to rapid sublimation loss [Schorghofer & Taylor, 2007; Zhang & Paige, 2009, 2010; Siegler et al., 2011; Paige et al., 2013]. The Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) also measures 1064 nm surface reflectance in the lunar polar regions [Smith et al., 2010; Lemelin et al., 2016], while the Diviner Lunar Radiometer Experiment measures surface temperature [Paige et al., 2010]. We assess the behavior of LOLA reflectance as a function of Diviner derived maximum temperature, with the goal of determining if the lunar poles exhibit reflectance increases associated with maximum temperature thresholds consistent with the presence of surface volatiles. We find that average LOLA reflectance near the lunar South pole abruptly increases at Diviner maximum surface temperatures below 110K, behavior consistent with persistent surface water ice heterogeneously distributed within lunar permanently shadowed regions (PSRs). Furthermore, South polar PSRs capable of sustaining surface water ice (Tmax<110K), have a higher reflectance mean/median than South polar PSRs incapable of sustaining surface water ice (Tmax>125K). We cannot attribute the increased reflectance of South polar PSRs to mass wasting or geological variation, supporting the assertion that it is primarily a function of temperature [Lucey et al., 2014]. Our findings are consistent with those of Hayne et al., 2015, which show that surface water ice detected by LAMP in

  20. Dynamic test of radio altimeter based on IQ modulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pan, Hongfei; Tian, Yu; Li, Miao

    2010-08-01

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

  1. The reflectivity of Mars at 1064 nm: Derivation from Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter data and application to climatology and meteorology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heavens, N. G.

    2017-06-01

    The Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) on board Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) made > 108 measurements of the reflectivity of Mars at 1064 nm (R1064) by both active sounding and passive radiometry. Past studies of R1064 neglected the effects of atmospheric opacity and viewing geometry on both active and passive measurements and also identified a potential calibration issue with passive radiometry. Therefore, as yet, there exists no acceptable reference R1064 to derive a column opacity product for atmospheric studies and planning future orbital lidar observations. Here, such a reference R1064 is derived by seeking R1064M,N : a Minnaert-corrected normal albedo under clear conditions and assuming minimal phase angle dependence. Over darker surfaces, R1064M,N and the absolute level of atmospheric opacity were estimated from active sounding. Over all surfaces, the opacity derived from active sounding was used to exclude passive radiometry measurements made under opaque conditions and estimate R1064M,N. These latter estimates then were re-calibrated by comparison with RM, N derived from Hubble Space Telescope (HST) observations over areas of approximately uniform reflectivity. Estimates of R1064M,N from re-calibrated passive radiometry typically agree with HST observations within 10%. The resulting R1064M,N is then used to derive and quantify the uncertainties of a column opacity product, which can be applied to meteorological and climatological studies of Mars, particularly to detect and measure mesoscale cloud/aerosol structures.

  2. 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.

  3. High Resolution Airborne InSAR DEM of Bagley Ice Valley, South-central Alaska: Geodetic Validation with Airborne Laser Altimeter Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muskett, R. R.; Lingle, C. S.; Echelmeyer, K. A.; Valentine, V. B.; Elsberg, D.

    2001-12-01

    Bagley Ice Valley, in the St. Elias and Chugach Mountains of south-central Alaska, is an integral part of the largest connected glacierized terrain on the North American continent. From the flow divide between Mt. Logan and Mt. St. Elias, Bagley Ice Valley flows west-northwest for some 90 km down a slope of less than 1o, at widths up to 15 km, to a saddle-gap where it turns south-west to become Bering Glacier. During 4-13 September 2000, an airborne survey of Bagley Ice Valley was performed by Intermap Technologies, Inc., using their Star-3i X-band SAR interferometer. The resulting digital elevation model (DEM) covers an area of 3243 km2. The DEM elevations are orthometric heights, in meters above the EGM96 geoid. The horizontal locations of the 10-m postings are with respect to the WGS84 ellipsoid. On 26 August 2000, 9 to 18 days prior to the Intermap Star-3i survey, a small-aircraft laser altimeter profile was acquired along the central flow line for validation. The laser altimeter data consists of elevations above the WGS84 ellipsoid and orthometric heights above GEOID99-Alaska. Assessment of the accuracy of the Intermap Star-3i DEM was made by comparison of both the DEM orthometric heights and elevations above the WGS84 ellipsoid with the laser altimeter data. Comparison of the orthometric heights showed an average difference of 5.4 +/- 1.0 m (DEM surface higher). Comparison of elevations above the WGS84 ellipsoid showed an average difference of -0.77 +/- 0.93 m (DEM surface lower). This indicates that the X-band Star-3i interferometer was penetrating the glacier surface by an expected small amount. The WGS84 comparison is well within the 3 m RMS accuracy quoted for GT-3 DEM products. Snow accumulation may have occurred, however, on Bagley Ice Valley between 26 August and 4-13 September 2000. This will be estimated using a mass balance model and used to correct the altimeter-derived surface heights. The new DEM of Bagley Ice Valley will provide a reference

  4. Development and validation of a microchip pulsed laser for ESA space altimeters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Couto, Bruno; Abreu, Hernâni; Gordo, Paulo; Amorim, António

    2016-10-01

    The development and validation of small size laser sources for space based range finding is of crucial importance to the development of miniature LIDAR devices for European space missions, particularly for planet lander probes. In this context, CENTRA-SIM is developing a passively q-switched microchip laser in the 1.5μm wavelength range. Pulses in the order of 2 ns and 100μJ were found to be suitable for range finding for small landing platforms. Both glass and crystalline Yb-Er doped active media are commonly available. Crystalline media present higher thermal conductivity and hardness, which allows for higher pumping intensities. However, glass laser media present longer laser upper-state lifetime and 99% Yb-Er transfer efficiency make phosphate glasses the typically preferred host for this type of application. In addition to this, passively q-switched microchip lasers with Yb-Er doped phosphate glass have been reported to output >100μJ pulses while their crystalline host counterparts achieve a few tens of μJ at best. Two different types of rate equation models have been found: microscopic quantities based models and macroscopic quantities based models. Based on the works of Zolotovskaya et al. and Spühler et al, we have developed a computer model that further exploits the equivalence between the two types of approaches. The simulation studies, using commercial available components allowed us to design a compact laser emitting 80μJ pulses with up to 30kW peak power and 1 to 2 ns pulse width. We considered EAT14 Yb-Er doped glass as active medium and Co2+:MgAl2O4 as saturable absorber. The active medium is pumped by a 975nm semiconductor laser focused into a 200μm spot. Measurements on an experimental test bench to validate the numerical model were carried out. Several different combinations of, saturable absorber length and output coupling were experimented.

  5. Measurement, stability and prediction of the pointing of the BepiColombo Laser Altimeter during the simulation of the environmental conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gouman, Julien; Thomas, Nicolas; Beck, Thomas; Affolter, Michael; Geissbühler, Urs; Péteut, Alain; Bandy, Timothy; Servonet, Anthony; Piazza, Daniele; Seiferlin, Karsten; Ghose, Kaustav

    2015-04-01

    The first European laser altimeter, designed for interplanetary flight, BELA (BepiColombo Laser Altimeter on BepiColombo mission to Mercury), will be launched in July 2016. It is one of the eleven instruments onboard the MPO (Mercury Planetary Orbiter, one of the two spacecrafts of the BepiColombo mission) and will be nominally in a 400 km x 1508 km around Mercury with an orbital period of 2.3 h. BELA consists of two subsystems, the transmitter and the receiver, and these two subsystems have to remain aligned during the orbital mission under varying thermal load. A setup to characterize the angular movements of BELA during the simulation of the environment that the instrument will encounter when orbiting Mercury has been designed at the University of Bern. Translational movements between the two subsystems have no effect on the misalignment between the pointing directions of the Rx and Tx but small rotations can have major consequences. Tests of the Engineering Qualification Model on this setup have shown that the instrument was stable enough to work properly during its mission at Mercury. This is the first laser altimeter which is required to cover a 91°C temperature range and to have been subjected to this kind of test. Further analysis during tests on the Flight Model of BELA confirmed that the instrument design was good and that the instrument was stable enough. The higher quality of the FM measurements has allowed a better understanding of the behavior of the misalignment between the transmitter and the receiver. It is possible to predict with an accuracy of ≈ 10 μrad the misalignment at a given temperature and the position of the BELA laser spot inside the field of view of the BELA receiver on the surface.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-12-01

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

  7. Performance of the GLAS Laser Transmitter in Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-12-01

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

  9. Heterodyne laser spectroscopy system

    DOEpatents

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

    1989-01-01

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

  10. Heterodyne laser spectroscopy system

    DOEpatents

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

    1990-01-01

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

  11. 14 CFR Appendix E to Part 43 - Altimeter System Test and Inspection

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

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

  12. 14 CFR Appendix E to Part 43 - Altimeter System Test and Inspection

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

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

  13. 14 CFR Appendix E to Part 43 - Altimeter System Test and Inspection

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

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

  15. 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 Al- timeter 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 approximately 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 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

  16. Multibeam Altimeter Navigation Update Using Faceted Shape Model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bayard, David S.; Brugarolas, Paul; Broschart, Steve

    2008-01-01

    A method of incorporating information, acquired by a multibeam laser or radar altimeter system, pertaining to the distance and direction between the system and a nearby target body, into an estimate of the state of a vehicle upon which the system is mounted, involves the use of a faceted model to represent the shape of the target body. Fundamentally, what one seeks to measure is the distance from the vehicle to the target body.

  17. Mineralogy and Iron Content of the Lunar Polar Regions Using the Kaguya Spectral Profiler and the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lemelin, M.; Lucey, P. G.; Trang, D.; Jha, K.

    2016-12-01

    The lunar polar regions are of high scientific interest, but the extreme lighting conditions have made quantitative analyses using reflectance spectra difficult; some regions are in permanent shadow, and flat surfaces are difficult to correct photometrically due to the extreme grazing incidence and low signal available. Thus, most mineral maps derived from visible and near infrared reflectance spectra have been constrained to within 50° in latitude. The mineralogy of the polar regions, or 44% of the lunar surface, is almost entirely unknown. A few studies have provided compositional analysis based on the spectral shape (where strong absorption bands were present) of lithologies dominated by one or two minerals. In this study, we take a novel approach and use strong signal and well-calibrated reflectance acquired by two different instruments, the Kaguya Spectra Profiler (SP) and the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA), in order to derive the first FeO and mineral maps of the polar regions at a spatial resolution of 1 km per pixel. We use reflectance ratios from SP and calibrated reflectance data from LOLA to derive the first polar maps of FeO, which are within 2 wt.% of the FeO measured by the Lunar Prospector Gamma-Ray spectrometer up to 85° in latitude. We then use the reflectance data from SP and Hapke radiative transfer model to compute the abundance of olivine, low-calcium pyroxene, high-calcium pyroxene and plagioclase, using FeO as a constraint. The radiative transfer model yields an error in mineral abundances of 9 wt.%. We use the mineral maps to study the composition of 27 central peaks and 5 basin rings in the polar regions, and relate their composition to their depth of origin in the lunar crust. We find that the central peaks and basin rings in Feldspathic Highlands Terrane are mostly anorthositic in composition, with modal plagioclase content ranging between 66 and 92 wt.%. The central peaks and basin rings in the South Pole-Aitken basin are noritic

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1993-01-01

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

  19. Laser beam monitoring system

    DOEpatents

    Weil, Bradley S.; Wetherington, Jr., Grady R.

    1985-01-01

    Laser beam monitoring systems include laser-transparent plates set at an angle to the laser beam passing therethrough and light sensor for detecting light reflected from an object on which the laser beam impinges.

  20. 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

  1. Photon-counting spaceborne altimeter simulator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blazej, Josef

    2004-11-01

    We are presenting of a photon counting laser altimeter simulator. The simulator is designed to be a theoretical and numerical complement for a Technology Demonstrator of the space born laser altimeter for planetary studies built on our university. The European Space Agency has nominated the photon counting altimeter as one of the attractive devices for planetary research. The device should provide altimetry in the range 400 to 1400 km with one meter range resolution under rough conditions - Sun illumination, radiation, etc. The general altimeter concept expects the photon counting principle laser radar. According to this concept, the simulator is based on photon counting radar simulation, which has been enhanced to handle planetary surface roughness, vertical terrain profile and its reflectivity. The simulator is useful complement for any photon counting altimeter both for altimeter design and for measured data analysis. Our simulator enables to model the orbital motion, range, terrain profile, reflectivity, and their influence on the over all energy budget and the ultimate signal to noise ratio acceptable for the altimetry. The simulator can be adopted for various air or space born application.

  2. 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.

  3. Altimeter waveform software design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1977-01-01

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

  4. Relative performance of future altimeter systems and tide gauges in constraining a model of North Sea high-frequency barotropic dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mourre, Baptiste; de Mey, Pierre; Ménard, Yves; Lyard, Florent; Le Provost, Christian

    2006-12-01

    We evaluate in this paper the ability of several altimeter systems, considered separately as well as together with tide gauges, to control the time evolution of a barotropic model of the North Sea shelf. This evaluation is performed in the framework of the particular model errors due to uncertainties in bathymetry. An Ensemble Kalman Filter (EnKF) data assimilation approach is adopted, and observing-systems simulation experiments (OSSEs) are carried out using ensemble spread statistics. The skill criterion for the comparison of observing networks is, therefore, not based on the misfit between two simulations, as done in classic twin experiments, but on the reduction of ensemble variance occurring as a consequence of the assimilation. Future altimeter systems, such as the Wide Swath Ocean Altimeter (WSOA) and satellite constellations, are considered in this work. A single WSOA exhibits, for instance, similar performance as two-nadir satellites in terms of sea-level correction, and is better than three satellites in terms of model velocity control. Generally speaking, the temporal resolution of observations is shown to be of major importance for controlling the model error in these experiments. This result is clearly related to the focus adopted in this study on the specific high-frequency response of the ocean to meteorological forcing. Altimeter systems lack adequate temporal sampling for properly correcting the major part of model error in this context, whereas tide gauges, which provide a much finer time resolution, lead to better global statistical performance. When looking into further detail, tide gauges and altimetry are demonstrated to exhibit an interesting complementary character over the whole shelf, as tide gauge networks make it possible to properly control model error in a ˜100-km coastal band, while high-resolution altimeter systems are more efficient farther from the coast.

  5. Hypersonic gasdynamic laser system

    SciTech Connect

    Foreman, K.M.; Maciulaitis, A.

    1990-05-22

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

  6. Laser satellite power systems

    SciTech Connect

    Walbridge, E.W.

    1980-01-01

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

  7. Skylab altimeter observations over terrain

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shapiro, A.; Thormodsgard, J. M.; Okada, J. M. (Principal Investigator)

    1975-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. Data obtained by Skylab radar altimeter (S193) over the continental U.S.A. for pass 1 of SL-3 were analyzed to relate radar return signal parameters such as range, power, and waveform to ground track terrain features. The altimeter, which was originally designed for ocean observations, performed predictably well over terrain with moderate to low relief. The maximum return from more complex areas corresponded usually to the lower flatter regions within the seven kilometer diameter footprint. Altimeter measured heights correlated with map topography with an rms deviation of + or - 30 m for terrain topography with large height dispersion (passes 1 and 28) and + or - 5 m for slowly varying terrain (passes 16, 17, and 18). Analysis of the waveform and statistical characteristics of the individual signals indicated that larger signal power was usually related to dominantly specular reflections from patches 100 m or larger. Results established the capability of a spacecraft altimeter system to observe characteristic radar signatures for different types of terrain within the bandwidth restrictions of the AGC and range tracker loops.

  8. Examining the role of land motion in estimating altimeter system drifts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leuliette, E. W.; Plagge, A. M.

    2016-12-01

    With the operational onset of Jason-3 and Sentinel-3 missions, the determination of mission-specific altimeter bias drift via the global tide gauge network is more crucial than ever. Here we extend previously presented work comparing the effect of vertical land motion (VLM) at tide gauges on derived drift for the combined TOPEX/Jason-1/Jason-2 dataset with the addition of Jason-3, and the combined Envisat/AltiKa record, as well as Sentinel-3 as data become available. Estimated drifts for each mission are considered using seven VLM estimations: (1) GPS-based methodology by King et al., 2012 [updated] at University of Tasmania; (2) GPS time series produced by JPL (http://sideshow.jpl.nasa.gov/post/series.html); the Université de La Rochelle's (3) ULR5 (Santamaria-Gomez 2012) and (4) ULR6; (5) GPS time series produced at the Nevada Geodetic Laboratory, and two versions using glacial isostatic adjustment: (6) those by Peltier et al. (2015) and (7) those by A, Wahr, and Zhong (2013). The drift estimates from the combined TOPEX/Jason dataset vary by 0.7 mm/year depending on the VLM estimate. The combined Envisat/AltiKa estimated drifts vary slightly less, more on the order of 0.5 mm/yr. In addition, we demonstrate the sensitivity of the drift estimates to tide gauge selection.

  9. Laser Systems For Use With Airborne Platforms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jepsky, Joseph

    1984-10-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Two aerodynamic roughness maps derived from Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) data and their effects on boundary layer properties in a Mars general circulation model (GCM)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heavens, N. G.; Richardson, M. I.; Toigo, A. D.

    2008-02-01

    Mechanical (forced convective) and free convective turbulent heat and momentum transfer in the lower atmosphere of a terrestrial planet has some dependence on the roughness characteristics of the surface, often quantified in terms of a single roughness parameter which is then used to calculate the coefficients that govern heat and momentum transport between the surface and the boundary layer. We take two different approaches for deriving this aerodynamic roughness parameter for Martian surfaces using data from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter. We then use these two different roughness maps to force the boundary layer in a Mars general circulation model, primarily investigating differences in temperatures and the pressure cycle between the two simulations. While the pressure cycle does not vary significantly, spring and summer high-latitude temperatures are somewhat sensitive to the input roughness conditions. Daytime temperatures may vary up to 10 K seasonally, though zonally and annually averaged daytime temperatures vary only by ~1 K. Our results can be explained by the dominance of mechanical over convective turbulent heat transfer processes on Mars. These simulations, however, use a prescribed atmospheric dust distribution and thus only provide a minimum estimate of the uncertainty in boundary layer temperatures because of this plausible range of aerodynamic roughness parameters. Since surface roughness determines the threshold wind velocity for dust lifting we anticipate a much larger effect of the aerodynamic roughness parameter on temperatures when the dust distribution is allowed to vary according to predicted lifting and transport.

  13. Laser material processing system

    DOEpatents

    Dantus, Marcos

    2015-04-28

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

  14. Laser cutting system

    SciTech Connect

    Dougherty, Thomas J

    2015-03-03

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1977-01-01

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

  16. Laser communication system

    SciTech Connect

    Fredriksen, H.A.; Walter, R.K.; Mentzer, R.B.

    1987-04-28

    A laser communication system is described for transmission across an atmospheric link between a radio frequency source and a load comprising: a primary transmitter including a primary laser, a primary laser modulator connected to the primary laser and to a signal source, and a laser intensity control means connected to the laser for varying the primary laser intensity; a primary receiver located in the path of a beam from the primary laser; a haze comparator circuit connected to a primary photodetector means and comparing the electrical signal from the primary photodetector means to a standard signal to produce an output signal which indicates the sense and degree of difference between the two; a secondary laser located at the primary receiver location; secondary laser modulator circuit; a secondary laser control circuit; a secondary photodetector; a first control means connected to the secondary photodetector and the primary laser intensity control means; and an interconnection between the output of the haze comparator circuit and the secondary laser intensity control circuit so that the intensity of the output of the secondary laser is varied by the haze comparator in the same manner as is the intensity of the output of the primary laser.

  17. Analysis of experimental NRL radar altimeter data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Walsh, E. J.

    1974-01-01

    An X-band radar capable of continuously variable transmitted pulse durations down to 1 nsec is being flown to investigate the interaction of radar altimeter signals with the sea surface. There is good agreement between the observed radar altimeter leading edge rise time for a 1-nsec transmitted pulse and the rise time predicted from the radar parameters and the sea state determined by a laser profilometer. Using a threshold tracker on 29-pulse averages for a transmitted pulse of 24 nsec, it was found that the range noise varied linearly with the power level of the threshold over a considerable range. The altimeter range quantization was 9.35 cm, and a minimum range noise of 3.9 cm was obtained. A comparison of pulse-to-pulse correlation observed in the radar data with that predicted by a Monte Carlo simulation is used to obtain a measure of sea surface scatterer motion.

  18. Infrared laser system

    DOEpatents

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

    1982-01-01

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

  19. Infrared laser system

    DOEpatents

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

    1977-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Muhleman, Duane O.

    2004-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Muhleman, Duane O.

    2004-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1998-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  4. Laser rocket system analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1979-01-01

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

  5. 14 CFR 91.411 - Altimeter system and altitude reporting equipment tests and inspections.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... controlled airspace under IFR unless— (1) Within the preceding 24 calendar months, each static pressure... the use of system drain and alternate static pressure valves, following any opening and closing of the static pressure system, that system has been tested and inspected and found to comply with paragraph...

  6. 14 CFR 91.411 - Altimeter system and altitude reporting equipment tests and inspections.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... controlled airspace under IFR unless— (1) Within the preceding 24 calendar months, each static pressure... the use of system drain and alternate static pressure valves, following any opening and closing of the static pressure system, that system has been tested and inspected and found to comply with paragraph...

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

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... controlled airspace under IFR unless— (1) Within the preceding 24 calendar months, each static pressure... the use of system drain and alternate static pressure valves, following any opening and closing of the static pressure system, that system has been tested and inspected and found to comply with paragraph...

  8. Broadband laser protection system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rajic, Slobodan; Chen, C. H. W.

    1994-07-01

    Recent developments in military systems aimed at protecting sensors and human eyes from battlefield laser threats can be applied to more traditional ultraviolet laser hazards. The technique involves utilizing a reflective optical system containing a sacrificial component that can act quickly enough to defeat ultra-short pulse length lasers. However, below a certain damage threshold the system level transmission can be as high as 90%. Laboratory safety equipment can be one of the beneficiaries of this technology since traditional filter based equipment can significantly reduce the visible spectrum. In addition, since this technology relies on energy rather than wavelength for attenuation, a single piece of safety equipment can be used with either frequency agile lasers or entirely different laser systems. The factor that makes this approach financially and technically feasible is the self-aligning reflective optical system technology employing single point diamond turning fabrication methods.

  9. 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

  10. Precision laser aiming system

    DOEpatents

    Ahrens, Brandon R.; Todd, Steven N.

    2009-04-28

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

  11. Lidar Altimeter Mapping of a Supraglacial Lake Region via an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Near Ilulissat, Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adler, J.; Maslanik, J.; Crocker, R. I.; Angier, M.; Weatherhead, E.

    2008-12-01

    The Lidar Altimeter elevation profiles from the Arctic MUSCOX (MUltiSensor Cryospheric Observation eXperiment) project are presented and compared against other techniques for digital elevation mapping of the supraglacial melt lake region in the vicinity of the Jacobshavn Glacier. The hypsography of the sampled region will be discussed, and an estimated volume of a recently drained supraglacial lake will be made. Additionally, a first look at some of the hyperspectral imagery collected over a supraglacial lake will be shown.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kholopov, I. S.

    2015-10-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  14. Chryse Planitia, Mars: Topographic configuration, outflow channel continuity and sequence, and tests for hypothesized ancient bodies of water using Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2001-02-01

    Many of the largest and most prominent outflow channels on Mars debouch into Chryse Planitia. Pre-Mars Global Surveyor topographic data show Chryse to be a closed depression almost 2000 km in diameter. New Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) data reveal the following: (1) Chryse is not a locally closed basin but instead opens into the North Polar basin. (2) The highly distinctive morphology of the six largest predominantly Hesperian-aged channels (Kasei, Maja, Simud, Tiu, Ares, and Mawrth) disappears into the northern lowlands at average elevations that all occur within less than ~170 m of a mean elevation of -3742(SD=153m), over a lateral distance in excess of 2500 km. (3) The elevations where the distinctive morphology of each channel disappears all fall within ~190 m of Contact 2, a boundary mapped by Parker et al. [1993] and interpreted to represent an ancient shoreline, and the mean elevation values of Contact 2 and circum-Chryse channel termini fall within 18 m of each other. In contrast, the termini of seven later Amazonian-aged channels emerging from Elysium into Utopia Planitia are spread over a vertical range of >1500 m. (4) Topographic evidence of the continuation of some of the outflow channels can be observed for distances of 250-450 km into the North Polar basin, but the morphology is subdued and distinctly different. (5) The nature of this less distinctive topography and its crosscutting relationships show that Simud and Tiu are likely to represent the youngest activity (specifically crosscutting Ares Valles). (6) The distinctive change in channel morphology is consistent with rapid loss of energy encountered at base level (subaerial/submarine boundary) and emplacement into a shallow submarine environment. Channel characteristics, lack of distinctive deltas or lobes, and continuation of subdued channel morphology suggest hyperpychnal flow and the possibility of density/turbidity currents. Estimates of the volumes of individual channel events are wide

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Lasers in aviation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  18. Robot-laser system

    SciTech Connect

    Akeel, H.A.

    1987-03-17

    A robot-laser system is described for providing a laser beam at a desired location, the system comprising: a laser beam source for generating a laser beam; a robot having at least three degrees of freedom and including a base and a robot arm supported on the base, the robot arm having first and second elongated arm parts, the second arm part projecting from the first arm part. The robot arm has a wrist mechanism located at the distal end of the second arm part, the arm parts and the wrist mechanism being hollow and fluidly interconnected to define a laser beam path therewithin extending through the first arm part, along the entire projecting length of the second arm part and through the wrist mechanism. The arm parts and wrist mechanism are adapted to direct the laser beam therewithin; and at least one mirror for reflecting the laser beam, a single mirror being mounted to and supported by the arm therewithin at a position of fluid interconnection between the arm parts to move therewith and reflect the laser beam. A first one of the degrees of freedom comprises a linear movement of the first arm part along an axis coincident with the laser beam path. A second one of the degrees of freedom comprises a linear movement of the second arm part along a second axis coincident with the laser beam path through the second arm part and a third one of the degrees of freedom comprises a rotary movement of one of the arm parts about the laser beam path.

  19. 3D Laser System

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2015-09-16

    NASA Glenn's Icing Research Tunnel 3D Laser System used for digitizing ice shapes created in the wind tunnel. The ice shapes are later utilized for characterization, analysis, and software development.

  20. Photodynamic therapy laser system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shu, Xiaoqin; Lin, Qing; Wang, Feng; Shu, Chao; Wang, Jianhua

    2009-08-01

    Photodynamic therapy (PDT) treatment is a new treatment for tumour and Dermatology. With the successful development of the second-generation photosensitizer and the significant manifestations in clinics, PDT has shown a more extensive application potentials. To activate the photosensitizer, in this paper, we present a GaAs-based diode laser system with a wavelength of 635 nm. In this system, to prolong the working life-time of the diode lasers, we use specific feedback algorithm to control the current and the temperature of the diode laser with high precision. The clinic results show an excellent effect in the treatment of Condyloma combined with 5-ALA.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1993-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1993-01-01

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

  3. Altimeter Sea Ice Workshop

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1990-09-01

    Science Fax- 164513 Chalmers University of TechnologyI S-41296 Goteborg, Sweden 5 Altimeter Sea Ice Workshop Presentation Summary Hawkins: Present U.S...into the ground. A large tent slides over the top of the pond for solar shading and inclement weather protection. A mobile gantry, which spans the width...tracks can covering the pond to protect the growing ice from weather when necessary. A walkway mounted on the tracks serves as a mobile base on which the

  4. Towards a Global Operational Altimeter Service: RADS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naeije, M.; Schrama, E.; Mathers, L.; Scharroo, R.

    2001-12-01

    DEOS' anticipation of the need for global altimeter services started the Radar Altimeter Database System (RADS) project. Embedded in the Netherlands Earth Observation NETwork (NEONET), this project is supported by the Dutch government. After defining the database content, collecting altimeter and ancillary data from all available altimeter missions and combining them with the latest (correction) models, we have arrived at an (inter)nationally appreciated validated, calibrated and consistent altimeter data set, comprising over 15 years of valuable sea level, wave height and wind data. Whenever new data or knowledge arrives the database is updated. Major assets of RADS are the upgraded ERS orbits and the flexible data organization. This paper presents an overview of the work involved in establishing RADS: the I/O, enhancements, screening, formatting, harmonization, and CAL/VAL. The aim is to improve the algorithms for converting satellite data to the final geophysical products. Global altimeter data from various satellites are inter-compared or compared to external data, like tide gauges, wind speed measurements, etc. This has been used to establish the data's quality and to enhance algorithms for deriving the geophysical parameters. Also: ironing out inconsistencies in significant wave height, sea state, inverse barometer, wet troposphere corrections, orbits, biases, drifts, and time tagging. Access to the database at level~1 level is provided for by a web portal (\\tt http://www.deos.tudelft.nl/altim/rads). Here also status, higher level products, software, and literature can be obtained. Finally, examples are given of putting in RADS in research and education. We fully automated the Gulf Stream and El Niño web pages: Hovmuller diagrams and eddy kinetic energy plots are refreshed regularly. Furthermore, RADS has been successfully used at Delft Hydraulics in a data assimilation scheme for improving tides and storm surge predictions, showing the importance of near

  5. The development of a deep-towed gravity meter, and its use in marine geophysical surveys of offshore southern California and an airborne laser altimeter survey of Long Valley, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ridgway, Jeffrey R.

    Marine Gravity is presently measured on the sea surface and on the sea floor. Surface measurements suffer from a loss of resolution, and seafloor measurements are slow to perform. The TOWDOG was created to operate near the seafloor but have a faster data recovery rate than seafloor measurements. It is a Lacoste and Romberg gravity meter, mounted inside a pressure case, and placed upon a platform which is stable while being towed. The instrument's depth is determined by pressure measurements. Its horizontal position is calculated using a dynamic model of the towing cable. The first deployment of the instrument was in the San Diego Trough, a sedimentary basin offshore San Diego. Multiple gravity tracks were obtained at a depth of 935 meters. The rms repeatability between coincident tracks is 0.4 mGal. The inter-track gravity signal is coherent for wavelengths greater than 640 meters. A 1-km-wide seafloor depression in the Trough generates a 0.7 mGal gravity anomaly, which is seen in the data when 3 tracks are stacked. The goal of the San Diego Trough survey was to determine if a significant density contrast exists across the basin's central axial fault. The survey reveals that no discernible contrast exists across the near-surface part of the fault. Two-dimensional gravity modeling constrained by seismic reflection profiles yields a depth to basement of 3.8 to 4.8 km below sea-level. A 3-component model (younger sediment, older, sedimentary rocks, and acoustic basement), best fits the seismic and gravity data. The laser altimeter survey of Long Valley, California tests the capabilities of an aircraft-mounted laser in monitoring time-varying uplift of a resurgent volcanic dome. The system can profile a lake surface with an r.m.s. repeatability of 3-5 cm, and can detect time-varying height changes of the lake level of 5 cm per day. This should be sufficiently accurate to detect yearly uplift of 4 cm per year, as is occurring at Long Valley. The detection of such

  6. Underwater laser detection system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-02-01

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

  7. Characteristics and origin of polygonal terrain in southern Utopia Planitia, Mars: Results from Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter and Mars Orbiter Camera data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hiesinger, Harald; Head, James W.

    2000-05-01

    Giant polygons on Mars with several kilometers in diameter were first observed in Mariner 9 and Viking Orbiter images, and their origin, formation, and evolution have remained enigmatic since that time. New data obtained by the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) and the Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) on board the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft now permit analysis of topography and morphology of the polygonal terrain in unprecedented detail. MOLA data show that (1) giant polygonal terrain in Utopia is located at the lower slopes of a basin structure, that is the Utopia basin; (2) the onset of polygonal terrain in Utopia is close to the same elevation in several profiles and lies at about the same elevation as a terrace which was interpreted as a shore-line of an ancient body of standing water within the Utopia basin proper; (3) polygonal terrain occurs over a wide range of elevations on regional slopes of ~0.1° (4) the depths of the troughs range from <5 m to 115 m, averaging about 30 m, and tend to be greater toward the center of the Utopia basin; (5) the mean width of polygonal troughs is of the order of 2 km, ranging from <0.5 to 7.5 km. Data from the Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) indicate that (1) the troughs are generally broad graben-like features with varying morphologies (i.e., terraces and lobateness) and dimensions (widths and depths); (2) trough morphology has been modified by aeolian processes; (3) polygonal troughs are weakly interconnected at MOC resolutions and there are no smaller polygons observed within the giant polygons; (4) circular depressions which are probably related to subsurface collapse sometimes occur at the bottoms of polygonal troughs; (5) small-scale polygonal terrain on the ejecta blankets of young craters with fluidized ejecta in the investigated area exhibits different characteristics (i.e., smaller size, presence of rims, greater degree of interconnections) than giant polygons. In the Viking images we see that (1) old impact craters are

  8. 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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1975-01-01

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

  10. Ultra-fast laser system

    DOEpatents

    Dantus, Marcos; Lozovoy, Vadim V

    2014-01-21

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

  11. Laser angle measurement system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1980-01-01

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

  12. Coherent laser vision system

    SciTech Connect

    Sebastion, R.L.

    1995-10-01

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

  13. Laser interferometer micrometer system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Logue, S. H.

    1969-01-01

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

  14. Laser autostereoscopic projection system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Yuchang; Huang, Junejei

    2013-09-01

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

  15. Design and preliminary experiment of China imaging altimeter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Yunhua; Jiang, Jingshan; Zhang, Xiangkun; Xu, Ke; Yan, Jingye; Jiang, Changhong; Lei, Liqing

    2003-04-01

    The design of the China Imaging ALTimeter (CIALT) and the flight experiment of its airborne model are presented in this paper. The system is aimed for providing observation measure for both oceanic applications and continental topographic mapping in the future. The motivation of this project is to develop a three dimensional imager fitted for small satellites with small volume, mass and power consumption. An experimental airborne model of the CIALT has been developed for verifying the design concept. The CIALT integrates three techniques together, i.e. the height measurement and tracking technique of traditional radar altimeter used for ocean applications, the synthetic aperture technique and the interferometric technique. A robust height tracker has been designed for meeting the requirements of both oceanic surfaces and continental surfaces (including surfaces of ice continent). The synthetic aperture technique is used for achieving a higher azimuthal resolution along the cross range direction compared with that of a traditional altimeter. The interferometric technique is used for retrieving the height information corresponding to each image pixel and for boresight angle correction of the antennas, which is crucial for accurate height measurement. The CIALT is different from other proposed imaging altimeters, such as SAR altimeter and scanning altimeter, in which no height tracker is involved. Some key technologies regarding the development of imaging altimeter are addressed, such as the antenna design, the transmitter, the receiver and the robust tracking algorithm.

  16. ESA's New Range of Radar Altimeters for the Extraction of Geophysical Parameters from Land, Sea Ice and Ocean Surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cullen, R.; Davidson, M. W. J.; Drinkwater, M. R.; Francis, C. R.; Haas, C.; Hawley, R. L.; Mavrocordatos, C. M.; Morris, E. M.; Rack, W.; Ratier, G.; V iau, P.; Wing ham, D. J.

    2006-07-01

    Despite the loss of CryoSat, ESA's f irst Earth opportunity mission, during its launch sequen ce in Oct 2005 ESA have been fortun ate enough to have acquir ed, processed to Lev el 1b and analysed a signif icant amount of campaign data from ESA's demonstration Airborne SAR/Interf erometric Radar Altimeter System (ASI RAS) designed to h ave similar functionality to CryoSat's Synthetic Interferometric Radar Altimeter (SIRA L). This data acqu isition took place for th e origin al purpose of validating CryoSat retr ievals. Our initial analyses of the level 1b data h ave rev ealed some very in ter esting resu lts both over land and sea ice test sites from respectiv e campaigns conducted in the Arctic during the land-ice spring/autumn campaigns of 2004 and for sea-ice in th e Bay of Bothnia during March 2005. Since a further ASI RAS campaign in the Arctic is guaran teed for April/May 2006 we look at how this data can be explo ited in view of future ESA Earth observation radar altimeter missions. Ver ification of the ASIRAS data w ith co incident laser altimeter and in-situ data co llected at test sites is also presen ted . The paper also provides a r eview of key space and air borne radar altimeters dating from 1957 including those using the syn thetic aper ture rad ar (SA R) technique as applied to radar altimeters leading to the developmen t of CryoSat.

  17. Laser security systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kolev, Ivan S.; Stoeva, Ivelina S.

    2004-06-01

    This report presents the development of single-beam barrier laser security system. The system utilizes the near infrared (IR) range λ=(850-900)nm. The security system consists of several blocks: Transmitter; Receiver; Logical Unit; Indication; Power Supply. There are four individually software programmable security zones Z1 - Z4. The control logic is implemented on a PIC16F84 MCU. The infrared beam is a pulse pack, coded and modulated in the transmitter with frequency of 36 kHz. The receiver demodulates and decodes the beam. The software for the MCU is developed along with the electrical circuits of the security system.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kolenkiewicz, R.; Martin, C. F.

    1981-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  20. NOSS Altimeter Detailed Algorithm specifications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1982-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1988-01-01

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

  2. Laser system preset unit

    DOEpatents

    Goodwin, William L.

    1977-01-01

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

  3. Laser Ranging System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Russell, J. K.

    1986-01-01

    Laser system points and focuses TV camera. Ranger is modified stock distance-measuring unit mounted on and electrically connected to television camera. Effective over target range of 3 to 500 ft. (approximately 1 to 150m). Developed for television monitoring of nearby objects from Space Shuttle. Super-imposes range and range-rate (speed of approach or recession) data on television image of target. Principle adaptable to applications such as proximity warning and robot control.

  4. Underwater laser scanning system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Austin, Roswell W.; Duntley, Seibert Q.; Ensminger, Richard L.; Petzold, Theodore J.; Smith, Raymond C.

    1991-12-01

    A system is described that produces high quality images through turbid waters by means of time encoded reflected light transmitted by scattering. The system consists of a compact battery operated laser scanning unit that scans the underwater scene with the laser beam in a manner similar to a television raster. Light reflected from any object in the scene varies in accordance with the reflectance of the minute spot being illuminated. This time varying intensity (TVI) signal is transmitted through the water to a remote receiver by both scattered and unscattered light where the received signal may be stored and/or displayed. The underwater laser scanning unit can be moved freely about the field of interest by scuba diver or ROV, unencumbered by entangling umbilicals, and can send real-time images over distances of 15 to 20 attenuation lengths to observers in a shirt-sleeve environment for critical viewing on an image display monitor. This previously undescribed system was developed in the early 1970s for proof of concept tests and used technology that is now 18 or more years old. The physical principles and the experimental hardware are described and examples are given of images providing exquisite detail that were made in an experimental tank together with some images obtained in ocean trials.

  5. Comment on satellite altimeter data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bowin, C.

    1974-01-01

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

  6. Estimation of effective aerodynamic roughness with altimeter measurements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Menenti, M.; Ritchie, J. C.

    1992-01-01

    A new method is presented for estimating the aerodynamic roughness length of heterogeneous land surfaces and complex landscapes using elevation measurements performed with an airborne laser altimeter and the Seasat radar altimeter. Land surface structure is characterized at increasing length scales by considering three basic landscape elements: (1) partial to complete canopies of herbaceous vegetation; (2) sparse obstacles (e.g., shrubs and trees); and (3) local relief. Measured parameters of land surface geometry are combined to obtain an effective aerodynamic roughness length which parameterizes the total atmosphere-land surface stress.

  7. Laser multiplexing system

    DOEpatents

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

    2001-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1995-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1995-01-01

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

  10. The Sonic Altimeter for Aircraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Draper, C S

    1937-01-01

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

  11. Laser system using ultra-short laser pulses

    DOEpatents

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

    2009-10-27

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

  12. Lunar Laser Communication System

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-10-01

    an uplink rate to the moon 5000 times that of radio tech- nology. The LLCS, flown aboard NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer...NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Envi- ronment Explorer spacecraft. Above, the LLCS’s ground terminal was deployed at White Sands, N.M., for the...OCT 2014 2. REPORT TYPE 3. DATES COVERED 00-00-2014 to 00-00-2014 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Lunar Laser Communication System 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b

  13. Compact laser amplifier system

    DOEpatents

    Carr, R.B.

    1974-02-26

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

  14. SERI laser scanner system

    SciTech Connect

    Matson, R.J.; Cannon, T.W.

    1980-10-01

    A Laser Scanner System (LSS) produces a photoresponse map and can be used for the nondestructive detection of nonuniformities in the photoresponse of a semiconductor device. At SERI the photoresponse maps are used to identify solar cell faults including microcracks, metallization breaks, regions of poor contact between metallization and the underlying emitter surface, and variations in emitter sheet resistance. The SERI LSS is patterned after the LSS unit documented in the NBS Special Publication 400-24 A Laser Scanner for Semiconductor Devices by D.E. Sawyer and D.W. Berning. Assuming reader familiarity with the above publication, the modifications introduced by SERI are specified with the intention that the two reports can be used to reproduce the SERI LSS. The optical and electronic systems are reviewed, briefly discussing the significant items of each. The most notable difference between the two systems is the SERI substitution of commercially available state-of-the-art modular electronics for the discreet component circuitry used in the NBS LSS.

  15. Laser system for isotope separation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1990-06-01

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

  16. Laser interlock system

    SciTech Connect

    Woodruff, Steven D; Mcintyre, Dustin L

    2015-01-13

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

  17. Accuracy Assessment of Altimeter Derived Geostrophic Velocities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2002-12-01

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

  18. Large icebergs characteristics from altimeter waveforms analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  19. SEASAT altimeter timing bias estimation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marsh, J. G.; Williamson, R. G.

    1982-04-01

    The calibration of the altimeter observation time tags to the millisecond level of accuracy is fundamental to the processing of the data. Initial analyses of the SEASAT altimeter data indicated the presence of a time calibration bias which produced altimeter measurement errors in excess of a meter. A technique has been developed for the solution of the time tag bias based upon the analysis of sea surface height discrepancies at ground track intersections. This technique has permitted very good separation of the dominant once per revolution ephemeris error, which amounts to about 1.5 m rms, from the timing error signature. Furthermore, the technique does not depend upon the availability of precise geoid data. The application of this technique to a global set of SEASAT altimeter data covering the time period of July 28-August 9, 1978, has resulted in a value of -81.0±2 ms for the time tag bias. This value agrees to within 2.9 ms of the value derived at the University of Texas from a similar analysis of the altimeter data. Furthermore, these values corroborate the revised value of -79.4 ms derived at NASA/Wallops Flight Center and the Johns Hopkins University/Applied Physics Lab from a reexamination of the internal instrument time delays. The modeling of oceanic tides and the orbit computations are the major error sources in these analyses.

  20. Program Analyzes Radar Altimeter Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vandemark, Doug; Hancock, David; Tran, Ngan

    2004-01-01

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

  1. 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

  2. Laser system using regenerative amplifier

    DOEpatents

    Emmett, John L. [Pleasanton, CA

    1980-03-04

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

  3. Laser system using regenerative amplifier

    DOEpatents

    Emmett, J.L.

    1980-03-04

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

  4. The evolutionary trend in airborne and satellite radar altimeters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1984-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Degnan, John J.

    2002-11-01

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

  6. Development of laser transmission system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1998-08-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  8. Variable emissivity laser thermal control system

    DOEpatents

    Milner, Joseph R.

    1994-01-01

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

  9. Fiber laser based hydrophone systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Azmi, Asrul Izam; Leung, Ian; Chen, Xiaobao; Zhou, Shaoling; Zhu, Qing; Gao, Kan; Childs, Paul; Peng, Gangding

    2011-09-01

    We report our recent work on distributed feedback fiber laser based hydrophones. Some issues related to sensitivity, such as fiber laser phase condition, demodulation, and packaging, are also discussed. With the development of appropriate digital signal processing (DSP) techniques and packaging designs, an interferometric-type distributed feedback (DFB) fiber laser hydrophone system with acoustic sensitivity of 58.0 dB·re·μPa·Hz-0.5 at 1 kHz or a minimum detectable acoustic pressure below 800 μPa during field test is attained. We have also investigated an intensity-type DFB fiber laser hydrophone system and its performance.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1979-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Davidson, Frederic M.; Sun, Xiaoli

    1993-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Reflex ring laser amplifier system

    DOEpatents

    Summers, Mark A.

    1985-01-01

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

  15. Stability of laser oscillator systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hafele, Joseph C.

    1989-01-01

    One of the goals of the Stanford University-NASA Laser-In-space Technology Experiment (SUNLITE) program is to develop ultrastable optical frequency oscillators that can lead to high resolution time standards and ultimately standard clocks. During the past year or two there was remarkable progress towards achieving in the laboratory the fundamental quantum limits for the frequency stability of nonplanar ring oscillator (NPRO) lasers. The quantum theoretical limits for laser oscillator stability are reviewed, measured stability levels compared, and some applications of such ultrastable laser oscillator systems suggested.

  16. Multiple pass laser amplifier system

    DOEpatents

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

    1977-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Laser optical displacement system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Starritt, Larry W.; Matthews, Larryl K.

    1995-04-01

    The current quality of our nations bridges is on a decline. There are roughly half a million highway bridges in the United States and out of the half a million more than 200,000 are deficient. With catastrophic failure of bridges causing the loss of life and property, the need for bridge inspection and maintenance is evident. When the Silver Bridge that crossed the Ohio River collapsed in December 1967, 46 people were killed. The failure to prevent the disaster was attributed to the poor inspection techniques used by the bridge inspectors. Current inspection techniques depend on humans being able to recognize structural imperfections without the aid of instrumentation. The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1968 mandated both national bridge inspection standards and training for bridge inspectors. This act has encouraged the development of instruments that would allow inspectors to perform more complete inspections of bridges. To improve the quality of inspection and data, there is a great need for proven methods and instruments used to acquire data. The Laser Optical Displacement System (L.O.D.S.) developed at New Mexico State University by the Optical and Materials Science Lab is such a device. The L.O.D.S. has been tested and proven in both laboratory situations and in the field. This paper describes some of the methods that are now being used to measure deflections in bridges. Then, a description of the development and application of the L.O.D.S. unit is given.

  19. Application of asynchronous laser transponders to solar system and planetary science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Degnan, John J.

    2007-08-01

    Since 1964, short pulse lasers have been used to range to artificial satellites equipped with passive retroreflectors. Today, a global network of 40 satellite laser ranging (SLR) stations, under the auspices of the International Laser Ranging Service (ILRS), routinely track two dozen international space missions with few millimeter precision using picosecond pulse lasers in support of Earth Science. Lunar Laser Ranging (LLR) began in 1969, shortly after NASA's Apollo 11 mission placed the first of five retroreflector packages on the Moon. For the past decade, work has been underway to extend these precise ranging capabilities beyond the Moon to interplanetary distances via the use of two-way asynchronous laser transponders. In May 2005, the first two-way asynchronous laser transponder link was established between NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and a laser altimeter instrument onboard the Messenger spacecraft enroute to Mercury. The Earth to spacecraft distance of 24.3 million km was measured with an unprecedented precision of 20 cm and was limited by the roughly 10 nanosecond pulsewidth and resolution of the onboard laser and timing receiver. The Messenger experiment was carried out in full daylight with very modest onboard laser energies (<20 mJ) and receive apertures (25 cm) and a relatively high threshold detector (300 pe). In September 2005, approximately 500 laser pulses from the same GSFC station were observed by the Mars Observer Laser Altimeter (MOLA) receiver in Mars orbit at an even greater distance of 80 million km. A second Messenger experiment is planned for mid-June 2007 while the spacecraft is in the vicinity of Venus. Compact transponder packages using readily space-qualifiable ultrashort pulse lasers, detectors, and time-of-flight receivers should permit centimeter range accuracies over interplanetary distances in the near future. In preparing for these missions, many of the passive satellite assets already in Earth orbit can be used today to

  20. Swept Frequency Laser Metrology System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zhao, Feng (Inventor)

    2010-01-01

    A swept frequency laser ranging system having sub-micron accuracy that employs multiple common-path heterodyne interferometers, one coupled to a calibrated delay-line for use as an absolute reference for the ranging system. An exemplary embodiment uses two laser heterodyne interferometers to create two laser beams at two different frequencies to measure distance and motions of target(s). Heterodyne fringes generated from reflections off a reference fiducial X(sub R) and measurement (or target) fiducial X(sub M) are reflected back and are then detected by photodiodes. The measured phase changes Delta phi(sub R) and Delta phi (sub m) resulting from the laser frequency swept gives target position. The reference delay-line is the only absolute reference needed in the metrology system and this provides an ultra-stable reference and simple/economical system.

  1. Radar altimeter waveform modeled parameter recovery. [SEASAT-1 data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1981-01-01

    Satellite-borne radar altimeters include waveform sampling gates providing point samples of the transmitted radar pulse after its scattering from the ocean's surface. Averages of the waveform sampler data can be fitted by varying parameters in a model mean return waveform. The theoretical waveform model used is described as well as a general iterative nonlinear least squares procedures used to obtain estimates of parameters characterizing the modeled waveform for SEASAT-1 data. The six waveform parameters recovered by the fitting procedure are: (1) amplitude; (2) time origin, or track point; (3) ocean surface rms roughness; (4) noise baseline; (5) ocean surface skewness; and (6) altitude or off-nadir angle. Additional practical processing considerations are addressed and FORTRAN source listing for subroutines used in the waveform fitting are included. While the description is for the Seasat-1 altimeter waveform data analysis, the work can easily be generalized and extended to other radar altimeter systems.

  2. Assessment of atmospheric height uncertainties for high precision satellite altimeter missions to monitor ocean currents

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Goldhirsh, J.; Rowland, J. R.

    1980-01-01

    The influence of the atmosphere on nadir directed signal associated with satellite altimeters are examined. Frequencies at 6, 13.5, and 35 GHz are selected so as to provide a parameter study. Uncertainties are summarized in both existing and proposed techniques which establish ionospheric and tropospheric height corrections. The error summary thus gives values describing the best you can do in height resolution (as dictated by atmospheric parameters) for a satellite borne altimeter system. The results presented reflect data gleaned from the literature, at large, as well as from the existing body of published literature associated with the Seasat A Altimeter Experiment. Specifically considered are: (1) the effects of precipitation on altimeter signals, (2) range errors due to refractive index variations in both the clear atmosphere (convective and nonconvective) and clouds, and (3) range errors introduced by the ionosphere. A preliminary analysis is pursued establishing the feasibility of incorporating rain rate range gates in a future satellite-borne altimeter system.

  3. SLICER Airborne Laser Altimeter Characterization of Canopy Structure and Sub-canopy Topography for the BOREAS Northern and Southern Study Regions: Instrument and Data Product Description

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hall, Forrest G. (Editor); Nickeson, Jaime (Editor); Harding, D. J.; Blair, J. B.; Rabine, D. L.; Still, K. L.

    2000-01-01

    SLICER data were acquired in support of BOREAS at all of the TF sites in the SSA and NSA, and along transects between the study areas. Data were acquired on 5 days between 18-Jul and 30-Jul-1996. Each coverage of a tower site is typically 40 km in length, with a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 10 lines across each tower oriented in a variety of azimuths. The SLICER data were acquired simultaneously with ASAS hyperspectral, multiview angle images. The SLICER Level 3 products consist of binary files for each flight line with a data record for each laser shot composed of 13 parameters and a 600-byte waveform that is the raw record of the backscatter laser energy reflected from Earth's surface. The SLICER data are stored in a combination of ASCII and binary data files.

  4. MABEL Photon-Counting Laser Altimetry Data in Alaska for ICESat-2 Simulations and Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brunt, Kelly; Neumann, T. A.; Amundson, M.; Kavanaugh, J. L.; Moussavi, M. S.; Walsh, K. M.; Cook, W. B.; Markus, T.

    2016-01-01

    Multiple Altimeter Beam Experimental Lidar (MABEL) maps Alaskan crevasses in detail, using 50 of the expected along-track Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS) signal-photon densities over summer ice sheets. Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite 2 (ICESat-2) along-track data density, and spatial data density due to the multiple-beam strategy, will provide a new dataset to mid-latitude alpine glacier researchers.

  5. System integration for laser restructuring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moreno, Wilfrido A.; Saini, Nitin; Acon, Otto

    1995-09-01

    The Center for Microelectronics Research (CMR) at the University of South Florida has pursued the development of new technologies in the area of high density interconnects. The laser restructuring of electronic circuits, fabricated using standard Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) process techniques, is an excellent alternative for custom programming of electronic circuits that allows for low cost and quick turn around of the restructured parts. A Laser System for restructuring Electronic Systems has been integrated using state of the art hardware components. This Laser System is fully computer controlled using a newly developed Microsoft Windows based software application running on a 486-66 MHz IBM compatible computer. The laser system consists of a high energy 5 watt Argon CW laser, a 2 watt double frequency pulsed Nd:YAG laser, a blocking shutter, electro-optic shutter (EOS), optic delivery system, a high precision x-y translation stage, and a video camera system used to observe the surface under laser processing. All the system components are mounted on granite table installed on four self leveling pneumatic legs for a vibration free process environment. The z-axis mechanisms consists of a stepper motor based translation stage for automatic focus controls. All control software was written using C++ programming language utilizing the power of readily available plug in boards which provide resources such as: counters, timers, image processing and IEEE-488 interfacing for remote laser control. The control environment exhibits a high degree of consistency with widely accepted visually programmed graphical 'point- and-click' interfaces.

  6. Operation of a Radar Altimeter over the Greenland Ice Sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Grund, Matthew D.

    1996-01-01

    This thesis presents documentation for the Advanced Application Flight Experiment (AAFE) pulse compression radar altimeter and its role in the NASA Multisensor Airborne Altimetry Experiment over Greenland in 1993. The AAFE Altimeter is a Ku-band microwave radar which has demonstrated 14 centimeter range precision in operation over arctic ice. Recent repairs and improvements were required to make the Greenland missions possible. Transmitter, receiver and software modifications, as well as the integration of a GPS receiver are thoroughly documented. Procedures for installation, and operation of the radar are described. Finally, suggestions are made for further system improvements.

  7. Nova laser alignment control system

    SciTech Connect

    Van Arsdall, P.J.; Holloway, F.W.; McGuigan, D.L.; Shelton, R.T.

    1984-03-29

    Alignment of the Nova laser requires control of hundreds of optical components in the ten beam paths. Extensive application of computer technology makes daily alignment practical. The control system is designed in a manner which provides both centralized and local manual operator controls integrated with automatic closed loop alignment. Menudriven operator consoles using high resolution color graphics displays overlaid with transport touch panels allow laser personnel to interact efficiently with the computer system. Automatic alignment is accomplished by using image analysis techniques to determine beam references points from video images acquired along the laser chain. A major goal of the design is to contribute substantially to rapid experimental turnaround and consistent alignment results. This paper describes the computer-based control structure and the software methods developed for aligning this large laser system.

  8. Laser beam alignment system

    DOEpatents

    Kasner, William H.; Racki, Daniel J.; Swenson, Clark E.

    1984-01-01

    A plurality of pivotal reflectors direct a high-power laser beam onto a workpiece, and a rotatable reflector is movable to a position wherein it intercepts the beam and deflects a major portion thereof away from its normal path, the remainder of the beam passing to the pivotal reflectors through an aperture in the rotating reflector. A plurality of targets are movable to positions intercepting the path of light traveling to the pivotal reflectors, and a preliminary adjustment of the latter is made by use of a low-power laser beam reflected from the rotating reflector, after which the same targets are used to make a final adjustment of the pivotal reflectors with the portion of the high-power laser beam passed through the rotating reflector.

  9. Automated system for near-real time modelling and prediction of altimeter-derived sea level anomalies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niedzielski, Tomasz; Miziński, Bartłomiej

    2013-08-01

    This paper serves as a presentation of a novel geoinformation system and a dedicated service, jointly named as Prognocean and based at the University of Wrocław (Poland), that aim to predict Sea Level Anomaly (SLA) maps and publish them online. The system works in near-real time and is updated daily. The data are provided by the Archiving, Validation and Interpretation of Satellite Oceanographic data (AVISO), and the time series processed by Prognocean is delivered by various altimetric satellites. The emphasis is put on gridded SLA maps, also known as MSLA, which are provided as Delayed Time (DT) and Near-Real Time (NRT) daily products. The daily sampling interval, however, does not coincide with typical repeat cycles of altimetric satellites and is obtained through reprocessing produced by AVISO. The two-module infrastructure forms the system. The first module is responsible for the near-real time communication with AVISO to download the most recent MSLA data and acquire the corrected data when the geophysical corrections have been available. The second module forms the main engine which does data processing, modelling, forecasting, statistical quality control and finally generates products as maps. The online service, however, publishes the products online every day. The above-mentioned components and infrastructure are described in detail. The performance of the system was evaluated using at least 150 predicted MSLA maps, available after half year of computations carried out in near-real time. We identified a few regions of imperfect performance of our prognoses and found that they spatially correspond to the mouth of the Amazon River and locations of key mesoscale eddies, the vast majority of which being nonlinear and hence unmodelled in our experiment.

  10. The Use of Groundspeed. in a Wind Shear and the Flight Evaluation of a Radar-Altimeter-Based System for the Measurement of Groundspeed.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1981-07-01

    of such aircraft Ito sudden changes in headwind is quite sluggish, requiring more than 100 seconds for equilibrium conditions to be regained in the...radar through the affected airmass is sub - altimeter ground return signals. it jected to rapid and potentially danger- requires no ground-based equipment...latter stages of a thunderstorm, aircraft A wind shear of 10 knots in 100 feet performance may be taxed to the limit vertically is severe, but can occur

  11. GFO Altimeter Engineering Assessment Report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lockwood, Dennis W.; Hancock, David W., III; Hayne, George S.; Brooks, Ronald L.

    2002-01-01

    The U.S. Navy's Geosat Follow-On (GFO) Mission, launched on February 20, 1998, is one of a series of altimetric satellites which include Seasat, Geosat, ERS-1, and TOPEX/POSEIDON (T/P). The purpose of this report is to document the GFO altimeter performance determined from the analyses and results performed by NASA's GSFC and Wallops altimeter, calibration team. It is the second of an anticipated series of NASA's GSFC and Wallops GFO performance documents, each of which will update assessment results. This report covers the performance from instrument acceptance by the Navy on November 29, 2000, to the end of Cycle 20 on November 21, 2001. Data derived from GFO will lead to improvements in the knowledge of ocean circulation, ice sheet topography, and climate change. In order to capture the maximum amount of information from the GFO data, accurate altimeter calibrations are required for the civilian data set which NOAA will produce. Wallops Flight Facility has provided similar products for the Geosat and T/P missions and is doing the same for GFO.

  12. GFO Altimeter Engineering Assessment Report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lockwood, Dennis W.; Hancock, David W., III; Hayne, George S.; Brooks, Ronald L.

    2002-01-01

    The U.S. Navy's Geosat Follow-On (GFO) Mission, launched on February 20, 1998, is one of a series of altimetric satellites which include Seasat, Geosat, ERS-1, and TOPEX/POSEIDON (T/P). The purpose of this report is to document the GFO altimeter performance determined from the analyses and results performed by NASA's GSFC and Wallops altimeter, calibration team. It is the second of an anticipated series of NASA's GSFC and Wallops GFO performance documents, each of which will update assessment results. This report covers the performance from instrument acceptance by the Navy on November 29, 2000, to the end of Cycle 20 on November 21, 2001. Data derived from GFO will lead to improvements in the knowledge of ocean circulation, ice sheet topography, and climate change. In order to capture the maximum amount of information from the GFO data, accurate altimeter calibrations are required for the civilian data set which NOAA will produce. Wallops Flight Facility has provided similar products for the Geosat and T/P missions and is doing the same for GFO.

  13. Guidance system for laser targets

    DOEpatents

    Porter, Gary D.; Bogdanoff, Anatoly

    1978-01-01

    A system for guiding charged laser targets to a predetermined focal spot of a laser along generally arbitrary, and especially horizontal, directions which comprises a series of electrostatic sensors which provide inputs to a computer for real time calculation of position, velocity, and direction of the target along an initial injection trajectory, and a set of electrostatic deflection means, energized according to a calculated output of said computer, to change the target trajectory to intercept the focal spot of the laser which is triggered so as to illuminate the target of the focal spot.

  14. NASA Ocean Altimeter Pathfinder Project. Report 1; Data Processing Handbook

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Koblinsky, C. J.; Beckley, Brian D.; Ray, Richard D.; Wang, Yan-Ming; Tsaoussi, Lucia; Brenner, Anita; Williamson, Ron

    1998-01-01

    The NOAA/NASA Pathfinder program was created by the Earth Observing System (EOS) Program Office to determine how satellite-based data sets can be processed and used to study global change. The data sets are designed to be long time-sedes data processed with stable calibration and community consensus algorithms to better assist the research community. The Ocean Altimeter Pathfinder Project involves the reprocessing of all altimeter observations with a consistent set of improved algorithms, based on the results from TOPEX/POSEIDON (T/P), into easy-to-use data sets for the oceanographic community for climate research. This report describes the processing schemes used to produce a consistent data set and two of the products derived f rom these data. Other reports have been produced that: a) describe the validation of these data sets against tide gauge measurements and b) evaluate the statistical properties of the data that are relevant to climate change. The use of satellite altimetry for earth observations was proposed in the early 1960s. The first successful space based radar altimeter experiment was flown on SkyLab in 1974. The first successful satellite radar altimeter was flown aboard the Geos-3 spacecraft between 1975 and 1978. While a useful data set was collected from this mission for geophysical studies, the noise in the radar measured and incomplete global coverage precluded ft from inclusion in the Ocean Altimeter Pathfinder program. This program initiated its analysis with the Seasat mission, which was the first satellite radar altimeter flown for oceanography.

  15. 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.

  16. The Electra KRF Laser System

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-06-01

    Petzoldt, E. Stephens, F. Najmabadi, M. Tillack, R. Raffray, Z. Dragojlovic, D. Haynes, R. Peterson, G . Kulcinski , J. Hoffer, D. Geller, D...Schroen, J. Streit, C. Olson, T. Tanaka, T. Renk, G . Rochau, L . Snead, N. Ghoneim, and G . Lucas, "Fusion energy with lasers, direct drive targets, and...THE ELECTRA KRF LASER SYSTEM ∗ F. Hegeler+ξ, M. C. Myers, M. F. Wolford, J. D. Sethian, R. Jaynes++, P. Burns+++, M. Friedman+, J. L . Giuliani, T

  17. Laser Pyro System Standardization and Man Rating

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brown, Christopher W.

    2004-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation reviews an X-38 laser pyro system standardization system designed for a new manned rated program. The plans to approve this laser initiation system and preliminary ideas for this system are also provided.

  18. Photon counting altimeter and lidar for air and spaceborne applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vacek, Michael; Michalek, Vojtech; Peca, Marek; Prochazka, Ivan; Blazej, Josef; Kodet, Jan

    2011-06-01

    We are presenting the concept and preliminary design of modular multipurpose device for space segment: single photon counting laser altimeter, atmospheric lidar, laser transponder and one way laser ranging receiver. For all the mentioned purposes, the same compact configuration of the device is appropriate. Overall estimated device weight should not exceed 5 kg with the power consumption below 10 W. The device will consists of three main parts, namely, receiver, transmitter and control and processing unit. As a transmitter a commercial solid state laser at 532 nm wavelength with 10 mW power will be used. The transmitter optics will have a diameter at most of 50 mm. The laser pulse width will be of hundreds of picoseconds order. For the laser altimeter and atmospheric lidar application, the repetition rate of 10 kHz is planned in order to obtain sufficient number of data for a distance value computing. The receiver device will be composed of active quenched Single Photon Avalanche Diode module, tiny optics, and narrow-band optical filter. The core part of the control and processing unit including high precision timing unit is implemented using single FPGA chip. The preliminary device concept includes considerations on energy balance, and statistical algorithms to meet all the mentioned purposes. Recently, the bread board version of the device is under construction in our labs. The concept, construction, and timing results will be presented.

  19. Underwater laser imaging system (UWLIS)

    SciTech Connect

    DeLong, M.

    1994-11-15

    Practical limitations with underwater imaging systems area reached when the noise in the back scattered radiation generated in the water between the imaging system and the target obscures the spatial contrast and resolution necessary for target discovery and identification. The advent of high power lasers operating in the blue-green portion of the visible spectrum (oceanic transmission window) has led to improved experimental illumination systems for underwater imaging. Range-gated and synchronously scanned devices take advantage of the unique temporal and spatial coherence properties of laser radiation, respectively, to overcome the deleterious effects of common volume back scatter.

  20. High brightness laser systems incorporating advanced laser bars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strohmaier, Stephan; Vethake, Thilo; Gottdiener, Mark; Wunderlin, Jens; Negoita, Viorel; Li, Yufeng; Barnowski, Tobias; Gong, Tim; An, Haiyan; Treusch, Georg

    2013-02-01

    The performance of high power and high brightness systems has been developing and is developing fast. In the multi kW regime both very high spatial and spectral brightness systems are emerging. Also diode laser pumped and direct diode lasers are becoming the standard laser sources for many applications. The pump sources for thin Disk Laser systems at TRUMPF Photonics enabled by high power and efficiency laser bars are becoming a well established standard in the industry with over two thousand 8 kW Disk Laser pumps installed in TruDisk systems at the customer site. These systems have proven to be a robust and reliable industrial tool. A further increase in power and efficiency of the bar can be easily used to scale the TruDisk output power without major changes in the pump source design. This publication will highlight advanced laser systems in the multi kW range for both direct application and solid state laser pumping using specifically tailored diode laser bars for high spatial and/or high spectral brightness. Results using wavelength stabilization techniques suitable for high power CW laser system applications will be presented. These high power and high brightness diode laser systems, fiber coupled or in free space configuration, depending on application or customer need, typically operate in the range of 900 to 1070 nm wavelength.

  1. XI UV Laser Trigger System

    SciTech Connect

    Brickeen, B.K.; Morelli, G.L.; Paiva, R.A.; Powell, C.A.; Sundvold, P.D.

    1999-01-26

    The X1 accelerator project at Sandia National Laboratory/New Mexico utilizes SF6 insulated, multi-stage, UV laser triggered gas switches. A 265 nm UV laser system was designed and built to generate eight simultaneous output pulses of 10 mJ each with a 13 nsec pulse width. A 1061 nm solid-state Nd:Cr:GSGG laser was frequency quadrupled using a two-stage doubling process. The 1061 nm fundamental laser energy was frequency doubled with a KTP crystal to 530 nm, achieving 65% conversion efficiency. The 530 nm output was frequency doubled with KD*P crystal to 265 nm, achieving conversion efficiency of 31%. The 265 nm beam pulse was split into eight parallel channels with a system of partially reflecting mirrors. Low timing jitter and stable energy output were achieved. The entire optical system was packaged into a rugged, o-ring sealed, aluminum structure 10''x19''x2.75''. The size of the electronics was 12''x8''x8''. Subsequent accelerator system requirements dictated a redesign of the triggering system for an output beam with less angular divergence. An unstable, crossed porro prism resonator was designed and incorporated into the system. The beam divergence of the redesigned system was successfully decreased to 0.97 mrad in the UV. The resulting frequency doubling efficiencies were 55% to 530 nm and 25% to 265 nm. The optical output remained at 10 mJ in each channel with an 11 nsec pulse width.

  2. Heterodyne laser instantaneous frequency measurement system

    DOEpatents

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

    1990-01-01

    A heterodyne laser instantaneous frequency measurement system is disclosed. The system utilizes heterodyning of a pulsed laser beam with a continuous wave laser beam to form a beat signal. The beat signal is processed by a controller or computer which determines both the average frequency of the laser pulse and any changes or chirp of the frequency during the pulse.

  3. Heterodyne laser instantaneous frequency measurement system

    DOEpatents

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

    1989-01-01

    A heterodyne laser instantaneous frequency measurement system is disclosed. The system utilizes heterodyning of a pulsed laser beam with a continuous wave laser beam to form a beat signal. The beat signal is processed by a controller or computer which determines both the average frequency of the laser pulse and any changes or chirp of th frequency during the pulse.

  4. ARGOS laser system mechanical design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deysenroth, M.; Honsberg, M.; Gemperlein, H.; Ziegleder, J.; Raab, W.; Rabien, S.; Barl, L.; Gässler, W.; Borelli, J. L.

    2014-07-01

    ARGOS, a multi-star adaptive optics system is designed for the wide-field imager and multi-object spectrograph LUCI on the LBT (Large Binocular Telescope). Based on Rayleigh scattering the laser constellation images 3 artificial stars (at 532 nm) per each of the 2 eyes of the LBT, focused at a height of 12 km (Ground Layer Adaptive Optics). The stars are nominally positioned on a circle 2' in radius, but each star can be moved by up to 0.5' in any direction. For all of these needs are following main subsystems necessary: 1. A laser system with its 3 Lasers (Nd:YAG ~18W each) for delivering strong collimated light as for LGS indispensable. 2. The Launch system to project 3 beams per main mirror as a 40 cm telescope to the sky. 3. The Wave Front Sensor with a dichroic mirror. 4. The dichroic mirror unit to grab and interpret the data. 5. A Calibration Unit to adjust the system independently also during day time. 6. Racks + platforms for the WFS units. 7. Platforms and ladders for a secure access. This paper should mainly demonstrate how the ARGOS Laser System is configured and designed to support all other systems.

  5. Integration of radar altimeter, precision navigation, and digital terrain data for low-altitude flight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zelenka, Richard E.

    1992-01-01

    A Kalman filter for the integration of a radar altimeter into a terrain database-dependent guidance system was developed. Results obtained from a low-altitude helicopter flight test data acquired over moderately rugged terrain showed that the proposed Kalman filter removes large disparities in predicted above-ground-level (AGL) altitude in the presence of measurement anomalies and dropouts. Integration of a radar altimeter makes it possible to operate a near-terrain guidance system at or below 50 ft (subject to obstacle-avoidance limitations), whereas without radar altimeter integration, a minimum clearance altitude of 220 AGL is needed, as is suggested by previous work.

  6. Altimeter Data for Operational Use in the Marine Environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Digby, Susan; Antczak, Thomas; Leben, Robert; Born, George; Barth, Suzanne; Cheney, Robert; Foley, David; Goni, Gustavo Jorge; Jacobs, Gregg; Shay, Nick

    1999-01-01

    TOPEX/Poseidon has been collecting altimeter data continuously since October 1992. Altimeter data have been used to produce maps of sea surface height, geostrophic velocity, significant wave height, and wind speed. This information is of proven use to mariners as well as to the scientific community. Uses of the data include commercial and recreational vessel routing, ocean acoustics, input to geographic information systems developed for the fishing industry, identification of marine mammal habitats, fisheries management, and monitoring ocean debris. As with sea surface temperature data from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) in the late 1980s and early 1990s, altimeter data from TOPEX/Poseidon and ERS-1 and -2 are in the process of being introduced to the marine world for operational maritime use. It is anticipated that over the next few years companies that specialize in producing custom products for shipping agencies, fisheries and yacht race competitors will be incorporating altimeter data into their products. The data are also being incorporated into weather and climate forecasts by operational agencies both in the US and Europe. This paper will discuss these products, their uses, operational demonstrations and means of accessing the data.

  7. 14 CFR 91.121 - Altimeter settings.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 2 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Altimeter settings. 91.121 Section 91.121... settings. (a) Each person operating an aircraft shall maintain the cruising altitude or flight level of that aircraft, as the case may be, by reference to an altimeter that is set, when operating— (1)...

  8. 14 CFR 91.121 - Altimeter settings.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 2 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Altimeter settings. 91.121 Section 91.121... settings. (a) Each person operating an aircraft shall maintain the cruising altitude or flight level of that aircraft, as the case may be, by reference to an altimeter that is set, when operating— (1)...

  9. 14 CFR 91.121 - Altimeter settings.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 2 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Altimeter settings. 91.121 Section 91.121... settings. (a) Each person operating an aircraft shall maintain the cruising altitude or flight level of that aircraft, as the case may be, by reference to an altimeter that is set, when operating— (1)...

  10. 14 CFR 91.121 - Altimeter settings.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 2 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Altimeter settings. 91.121 Section 91.121... settings. (a) Each person operating an aircraft shall maintain the cruising altitude or flight level of that aircraft, as the case may be, by reference to an altimeter that is set, when operating— (1)...

  11. 14 CFR 91.121 - Altimeter settings.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 2 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Altimeter settings. 91.121 Section 91.121... settings. (a) Each person operating an aircraft shall maintain the cruising altitude or flight level of that aircraft, as the case may be, by reference to an altimeter that is set, when operating— (1)...

  12. Laser addressed holographic memory system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gange, R. A.; Wagle, E. M.; Steinmetz, C. C.

    1973-01-01

    Holographic recall and storage system uses red-lipid microcrystalline wax as storage medium. When laser beam strikes wax, its energy heats point of incidence enough to pass wax through transition temperature. Holograph image can then be written or erased in softened wax.

  13. Compact diode array laser systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holtz, James Z.; Grove, Robert E.

    1995-04-01

    High pulse energy diode array laser systems have been constructed for therapeutic and diagnostic medical applications. Two systems are described. One system, constructed for therapeutic application in dermatology, uses 45 bars to generate > 10 joules of energy at approximately 800 nm in a 5-millisecond pulse. This system uses simple microlenses and non- imaging condensers to uniformly illuminate areas of 0.1 to 0.4 cm2 at fluences up to 40 joules per cm2. Cooling, power, and control electronics are housed within the control console, and the laser and condensing optics are housed in the handpiece connected to the control console by means of a two-meter umbilical. The complete system, including closed- cycle cooling, weighs under 14 kg and uses < 2 amps at 110 V. A second system, which is being developed as a burn diagnostic, utilizes a 15-bar diode laser array. The array generates over 3 joules of optical energy. The output light is homogenized and projected using microlenses, a non-imaging condenser, and projection optics. With this system an area of approximately 1000 cm2 can be uniformly illuminated at an intensity of one millijoule per square centimeter. The system, including receiving optics, can be battery-powered and packaged into a hand-held unit.

  14. Variable emissivity laser thermal control system

    DOEpatents

    Milner, J.R.

    1994-10-25

    A laser thermal control system for a metal vapor laser maintains the wall temperature of the laser at a desired level by changing the effective emissivity of the water cooling jacket. This capability increases the overall efficiency of the laser. 8 figs.

  15. Reflex ring laser amplifier system

    DOEpatents

    Summers, M.A.

    1983-08-31

    The invention is a method and apparatus for providing a reflex ring laser system for amplifying an input laser pulse. The invention is particularly useful in laser fusion experiments where efficient production of high-energy and high power laser pulses is required. The invention comprises a large aperture laser amplifier in an unstable ring resonator which includes a combination spatial filter and beam expander having a magnification greater than unity. An input pulse is injected into the resonator, e.g., through an aperture in an input mirror. The injected pulse passes through the amplifier and spatial filter/expander components on each pass around the ring. The unstable resonator is designed to permit only a predetermined number of passes before the amplified pulse exits the resonator. On the first pass through the amplifier, the beam fills only a small central region of the gain medium. On each successive pass, the beam has been expanded to fill the next concentric non-overlapping region of the gain medium.

  16. Parametric infrared tunable laser system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garbuny, M.; Henningsen, T.; Sutter, J. R.

    1980-01-01

    A parametric tunable infrared laser system was built to serve as transmitter for the remote detection and density measurement of pollutant, poisonous, or trace gases in the atmosphere. The system operates with a YAG:Nd laser oscillator amplifier chain which pumps a parametric tunable frequency converter. The completed system produced pulse energies of up to 30 mJ. The output is tunable from 1.5 to 3.6 micrometers at linewidths of 0.2-0.5 /cm (FWHM), although the limits of the tuning range and the narrower line crystals presently in the parametric converter by samples of the higher quality already demonstrated is expected to improve the system performance further.

  17. 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.

  18. Underwater laser imaging system (UWLIS)

    SciTech Connect

    DeLong, M.L.; Kulp, T.J.

    1995-03-10

    Practical limitations of underwater imaging systems are reached when the noise in the back scattered radiation generated in the water between the imaging system and the target obscures the spatial contrast and the resolution necessary for target discovery and identification. The advent of high power lasers operating in the oceanic transmission window of the visible spectrum (blue-green portion) has led to improved experimental illumination systems for underwater imaging The properties of laser bearm in range-gated and synchronously scanned devices take advantage of the unique temporal and spatial coherence effect of common volume back scatter to reduce or eliminate noise, increase signal to noise levels. Synchronously scanned systems rely on the highly collimated nature of the laser beam for spatial rejection of common volume back scatter. A synchronous, raster-scanning underwater laser imaging system (UWLIS) has been developed at Lawrence liver-more National Laboratory. The present UWLIS system differs from earlier synchronous scanners in its ability to scan in two dimensions at conventional video frame rate (30 Hz). The imaging performance of the present UWLIS was measured at distances of up to 6.3 AL (at a physical distance of 15.2 meters) during an in-water tank test and 4.5 to 5.0 AL (at a physical distance of 30 meters) during open water oceanic testing. The test results indicate that the UWLIS system is already capable of extending the underwater imaging range beyond that of conventional floodlight illuminated SIT cameras. The real or near real time frame rates of the UWLIS make possible operations in a mode in which the platform speed is randomly varied. This is typical of the operational environment in which the platform is often maneuvered above and around rugged seafloor terrain`s and obstacles.

  19. Noise in laser oscillator systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hafele, Joseph C.

    1990-01-01

    The aim of the SUNLITE program is to demonstrate the performance of ultra-stable laser systems in the environment of space. The program uses Non-Planar Ring Oscillators (NPRO) which have shown great promise for time and frequency standards with unprecedented resolution and stability. An immediate goal is to test NPRO oscillators in orbital free fall by 1994. During the past year there was remarkable progress in the design and pre-flight testing of the SUNLITE test package. Current theoretical studies are investigating the possible effects of various noise sources on the linewidth and linecenter frequency stability of servocontrolled NPRO lasers. The frequency control system is reviewed and the potential impact on frequency stability of noise sources in the control system and in the environment is considered.

  20. Lasers in Earth and Planetary Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, David E.

    1998-01-01

    For over 3 decades, lasers have been a tool of the space programs of the world for accomplishing a variety of engineering and scientific objectives. The majority of these uses have, however, been largely Earth-based and only a few lasers have actually been flown and operated in Earth orbit and even fewer on missions to the planets. However, in the last few years laser altimeters, lidars, and ranging systems have been part of space missions to the moon, an asteroid, and Mars; and more are planned and contemplated in the future exploration of the Earth and solar system. Early in 1994, the Clementine mission was launched to the moon and carried a laser altimeter that made the first systematic topographic survey of the moon during its 2-month observation period. This mission significantly improved our understanding of the shape and topography of the moon and along with gravity information obtained from the tracking data modified some of our thinking about the moon, the thickness of ice crust and the isostatic state of the highlands and basins. On September 11, 1997, the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) entered into orbit around Mars and the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) started to map the topography of the planet to unprecedented accuracy. On its first pass across the planet, MOLA showed large areas of the northern hemisphere to be flatter than any other known surface on Earth or any other body explored to date. In January 1999, the NEAR spacecraft which carries a laser ranger (NLR), will arrive at the S-type asteroid, Eros, and during the following year the NLR will help determine the shape and rotational dynamics of this asteroid. In the Spring of 2000, the Vegetation Canopy Lidar (VCL) mission will be launched and employing a multi-beam laser altimeter (MBLA) will measure the Earth's tree canopy shapes and heights and begin to globally monitor the biomass. The following year, in 2001, the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System, which carries a 2 wavelength laser

  1. Lasers in Earth and Planetary Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, David E.

    1998-01-01

    For over 3 decades, lasers have been a tool of the space programs of the world for accomplishing a variety of engineering and scientific objectives. The majority of these uses have, however, been largely Earth-based and only a few lasers have actually been flown and operated in Earth orbit and even fewer on missions to the planets. However, in the last few years laser altimeters, lidars, and ranging systems have been part of space missions to the moon, an asteroid, and Mars; and more are planned and contemplated in the future exploration of the Earth and solar system. Early in 1994, the Clementine mission was launched to the moon and carried a laser altimeter that made the first systematic topographic survey of the moon during its 2-month observation period. This mission significantly improved our understanding of the shape and topography of the moon and along with gravity information obtained from the tracking data modified some of our thinking about the moon, the thickness of ice crust and the isostatic state of the highlands and basins. On September 11, 1997, the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) entered into orbit around Mars and the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) started to map the topography of the planet to unprecedented accuracy. On its first pass across the planet, MOLA showed large areas of the northern hemisphere to be flatter than any other known surface on Earth or any other body explored to date. In January 1999, the NEAR spacecraft which carries a laser ranger (NLR), will arrive at the S-type asteroid, Eros, and during the following year the NLR will help determine the shape and rotational dynamics of this asteroid. In the Spring of 2000, the Vegetation Canopy Lidar (VCL) mission will be launched and employing a multi-beam laser altimeter (MBLA) will measure the Earth's tree canopy shapes and heights and begin to globally monitor the biomass. The following year, in 2001, the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System, which carries a 2 wavelength laser

  2. Task five report: Laser communications for data acquisition networks. [characteristics of lasers and laser systems for optical communication applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1973-01-01

    Laser communication technology and laser communication performance are reviewed. The subjects discussed are: (1) characteristics of laser communication systems, (2) laser technology problems, (3) means of overcoming laser technology problems, and (4) potential schedule for including laser communications into data acquisition networks. Various types of laser communication systems are described and their capabilities are defined.

  3. Laser power conversion system analysis, volume 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1979-01-01

    The orbit-to-ground laser power conversion system analysis investigated the feasibility and cost effectiveness of converting solar energy into laser energy in space, and transmitting the laser energy to earth for conversion to electrical energy. The analysis included space laser systems with electrical outputs on the ground ranging from 100 to 10,000 MW. The space laser power system was shown to be feasible and a viable alternate to the microwave solar power satellite. The narrow laser beam provides many options and alternatives not attainable with a microwave beam.

  4. Issues related to waveform computations for radar altimeter applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Newkirk, Michael H.; Brown, Gary S.

    1992-12-01

    An algorithm has been developed to model the average return power waveforms available from general radar altimeter systems, such as the Multimode Airborne Radar Altimeter (MARA) system operated at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center - Wallops Flight Facility. The algorithm is based on a convolutional model comprised of three functions: the average flat surface impulse response (FSIR), the radar system point target response (PTR), and the height pdf of the specular points on the sea surface. The FSIR is modified to account for the asymmetric antenna beam used by the MARA system, and then certain properties of this modified SIR are exploited to obtain closed-form expressions that can be rapidly evaluated. An FFT convolution routine is used to further speed up the computations. The result is an algorithm that can be used to study the effects of pointing errors in surface measurements.

  5. Issues related to waveform computations for radar altimeter applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Newkirk, Michael H.; Brown, Gary S.

    1992-01-01

    An algorithm has been developed to model the average return power waveforms available from general radar altimeter systems, such as the Multimode Airborne Radar Altimeter (MARA) system operated at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center - Wallops Flight Facility. The algorithm is based on a convolutional model comprised of three functions: the average flat surface impulse response (FSIR), the radar system point target response (PTR), and the height pdf of the specular points on the sea surface. The FSIR is modified to account for the asymmetric antenna beam used by the MARA system, and then certain properties of this modified SIR are exploited to obtain closed-form expressions that can be rapidly evaluated. An FFT convolution routine is used to further speed up the computations. The result is an algorithm that can be used to study the effects of pointing errors in surface measurements.

  6. Fiber laser coupled optical spark delivery system

    DOEpatents

    Yalin, Azer; Willson, Bryan; Defoort, Morgan; Joshi, Sachin; Reynolds, Adam

    2008-03-04

    A spark delivery system for generating a spark using a laser beam is provided, and includes a laser light source and a laser delivery assembly. The laser delivery assembly includes a hollow fiber and a launch assembly comprising launch focusing optics to input the laser beam in the hollow fiber. The laser delivery assembly further includes exit focusing optics that demagnify an exit beam of laser light from the hollow fiber, thereby increasing the intensity of the laser beam and creating a spark. Other embodiments use a fiber laser to generate a spark. Embodiments of the present invention may be used to create a spark in an engine. Yet other embodiments include collecting light from the spark or a flame resulting from the spark and conveying the light for diagnostics. Methods of using the spark delivery systems and diagnostic systems are provided.

  7. NASA Wallops Flight Center GEOS-3 altimeter data processing report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stanley, H. R.; Dwyer, R. E.

    1980-01-01

    The procedures used to process the GEOS-3 radar altimeter data from raw telemetry data to a final user data product are described. In addition, the radar altimeter hardware design and operating parameters are presented to aid the altimeter user in understanding the altimeter data.

  8. Laser System Reliability

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1977-03-01

    NEALE CAPT. RANDALL D. GODFREY CAPT. JOHN E. ACTON HR. DAVE B. LEMMING (ASD) :,^ 19 . ••^w**** SECTION III RELIABILITY PREDICTION...Dete Exchange Program) failure rate date bank. In addition, some data have been obtained from Hughes. Rocketdyne , Garrett, and the AFWL’s APT Failure...Central Ave, Suite 306, Albuq, NM 87108 R/M Systems, Inc (Dr. K. Blemel), 10801 Lomas 81vd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87112 Rocketdyne 01 v, Rockwell

  9. Ionospheric calibration for single frequency altimeter measurements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schreiner, William S.; Born, George H.; Markin, Robert E.

    1994-01-01

    This study is a preliminary analysis of the effectiveness (in terms of altimeter calibration accuracy) of various ionosphere models and the Global Positioning System (GPS) to calibrate single frequency altimeter height measurements for ionospheric path delay. In particular, the research focused on ingesting GPS Total Electron Content (TEC) data into the physical Parameterized Real-Time Ionospheric Specification Model (PRISM), which estimates the composition of the ionosphere using independent empirical and physical models and has the capability of adjusting to additional ionospheric measurements. Two types of GPS data were used to adjust the PRISM model: GPS receiver station data mapped from line-of-sight observations to the vertical at the point of interest and a grid map (generated at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory) of GPS derived TEC in a sun-fixed longitude frame. The adjusted PRISM TEC values, as well as predictions by the International Reference Ionosphere (IRI-90), a climatological (monthly mean) model of the ionosphere, were compared to TOPEX dual-frequency TEC measurements (considered as truth) for a number of TOPEX sub-satellite tracks. For a 13.6 GHz altimeter, a Total Electron Content (TEC) of 1 TECU 10(exp 16) electrons/sq m corresponds to approximately 0.218 centimeters of range delay. A maximum expected TEC (at solar maximum or during solar storms) of 10(exp 18) electrons/sq m will create 22 centimeters of range delay. Compared with the TOPEX data, the PRISM predictions were generally accurate within the TECU when the sub-satellite track of interest passed within 300 to 400 km of the GPS TEC data or when the track passed through a night-time ionosphere. If neither was the case, in particular if the track passed through a local noon ionosphere, the PRISM values differed by more than 10 TECU and by as much as 40 TECU. The IRI-90 model, with no current ability to unseat GPS data, predicted TEC to a slightly higher error of 12 TECU. The performance of

  10. High power laser perforating tools and systems

    SciTech Connect

    Zediker, Mark S; Rinzler, Charles C; Faircloth, Brian O; Koblick, Yeshaya; Moxley, Joel F

    2014-04-22

    ystems devices and methods for the transmission of 1 kW or more of laser energy deep into the earth and for the suppression of associated nonlinear phenomena. Systems, devices and methods for the laser perforation of a borehole in the earth. These systems can deliver high power laser energy down a deep borehole, while maintaining the high power to perforate such boreholes.

  11. Navigated Pattern Laser System versus Single-Spot Laser System for Postoperative 360-Degree Laser Retinopexy

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Purpose. To compare three 360°-laser retinopexy (LRP) approaches (using navigated pattern laser system, single-spot slit-lamp (SL) laser delivery, and single-spot indirect ophthalmoscope (IO) laser delivery) in regard to procedure duration, procedural pain score, technical difficulties, and the ability to achieve surgical goals. Material and Methods. Eighty-six rhegmatogenous retinal detachment patients (86 eyes) were included in this prospective randomized study. The mean procedural time, procedural pain score (using 4-point Verbal Rating Scale), number of laser burns, and achievement of the surgical goals were compared between three groups (pattern LRP (Navilas® laser system), 36 patients; SL-LRP, 28 patients; and IO-LRP, 22 patients). Results. In the pattern LRP group, the amount of time needed for LRP and pain level were statistically significantly lower, whereas the number of applied laser burns was higher compared to those in the SL-LRP group and in the IO-LRP group. In the pattern LRP, SL-LRP, and IO-LRP groups, surgical goals were fully achieved in 28 (77.8%), 17 (60.7%), and 13 patients (59.1%), respectively (p > 0.05). Conclusion. The navigated pattern approach allows improving the treatment time and pain in postoperative 360° LRP. Moreover, 360° pattern LRP is at least as effective in achieving the surgical goal as the conventional (slit-lamp or indirect ophthalmoscope) approaches with a single-spot laser. PMID:28070417

  12. Airborne laser sensors and integrated systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sabatini, Roberto; Richardson, Mark A.; Gardi, Alessandro; Ramasamy, Subramanian

    2015-11-01

    The underlying principles and technologies enabling the design and operation of airborne laser sensors are introduced and a detailed review of state-of-the-art avionic systems for civil and military applications is presented. Airborne lasers including Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR), Laser Range Finders (LRF), and Laser Weapon Systems (LWS) are extensively used today and new promising technologies are being explored. Most laser systems are active devices that operate in a manner very similar to microwave radars but at much higher frequencies (e.g., LIDAR and LRF). Other devices (e.g., laser target designators and beam-riders) are used to precisely direct Laser Guided Weapons (LGW) against ground targets. The integration of both functions is often encountered in modern military avionics navigation-attack systems. The beneficial effects of airborne lasers including the use of smaller components and remarkable angular resolution have resulted in a host of manned and unmanned aircraft applications. On the other hand, laser sensors performance are much more sensitive to the vagaries of the atmosphere and are thus generally restricted to shorter ranges than microwave systems. Hence it is of paramount importance to analyse the performance of laser sensors and systems in various weather and environmental conditions. Additionally, it is important to define airborne laser safety criteria, since several systems currently in service operate in the near infrared with considerable risk for the naked human eye. Therefore, appropriate methods for predicting and evaluating the performance of infrared laser sensors/systems are presented, taking into account laser safety issues. For aircraft experimental activities with laser systems, it is essential to define test requirements taking into account the specific conditions for operational employment of the systems in the intended scenarios and to verify the performance in realistic environments at the test ranges. To support the

  13. Influence of satellite geometry, range, clock, and altimeter errors on two-satellite GPS navigation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bridges, Philip D.

    Flight tests were conducted at Yuma Proving Grounds, Yuma, AZ, to determine the performance of a navigation system capable of using only two GPS satellites. The effect of satellite geometry, range error, and altimeter error on the horizontal position solution were analyzed for time and altitude aided GPS navigation (two satellites + altimeter + clock). The east and north position errors were expressed as a function of satellite range error, altimeter error, and east and north Dilution of Precision. The equations for the Dilution of Precision were derived as a function of satellite azimuth and elevation angles for the two satellite case. The expressions for the position error were then used to analyze the flight test data. The results showed the correlation between satellite geometry and position error, the increase in range error due to clock drift, and the impact of range and altimeter error on the east and north position error.

  14. Laser docking system flight experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Erwin, Harry O.

    1986-01-01

    Experiments necessary in the development of the Laser Docking System (LDS) are described. The LDS would be mounted in the Orbiter payload bay, along with a grid connected by fiber optic link to a computer in the cabin. The tests would be performed to aid in the design of an operational sensor which could track a passive target accurately enough to permit soft docking. Additional data would be gained regarding the LDS performance in space, the effects of Orbiter RCS plume impingement on the target, and refinements needed for the flight hardware. A working model which includes an IR laser steered by galvanometer-driven motors for bouncing beams off retroreflectors mounted on targets is described, together with a 300 ft long indoor test facility. Tests on Orbiter flights would first be in a wholly automatic mode and then in a man-in-the-loop mode.

  15. Research on highly uniform laser illumination system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Huifu

    2016-10-01

    A new laser illumination system was designed based on the analysis of regular homogenization technology. It was widely used in the field of security without sunlight and other lighting. The new laser illumination system used eccentric motor to drive a light shaping scatterer to vibrate at a frequency that faster than the electronic shutter of cameras, making multiple light superimposed in integration time to form a uniform illumination effect. The laser illumination system can eliminate interference fringes and laser speckles, and realize the purpose of homogenization illumination. Experimental results show that the new laser illumination system makes the energy efficiency reach up to 90% and the illumination uniformity reach up to 94% in the effective area. The new laser illumination system improves the uniformity of illumination and utilization rate of laser energy, thus improves the image quality of the illuminated target.

  16. Forest Canopy Heights in Amazon River Basin Forests as Estimated with the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS)

    Treesearch

    E. H. Helmer; M. A. Lefsky

    2006-01-01

    Land-use change, mainly forest burning, harvest, or clearing for agriculture, may compose 15 to 40 percent of annual human-caused emissions of carbon (C) to the atmosphere. Spatially extensive data on forest C pools can validate and parameterize atmospheric and ecosystem models of those fluxes and quantify fluxes from forest change. Excellent evidence exists that light...

  17. Prelaunch performance of the NASA altimeter for the TOPEX/POSEIDON project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marth, Paul C.; Jensen, J. R.; Kilgus, Charles C.; Perschy, James A.; Macarthur, John L.; Hancock, David W.; Hayne, George S.; Purdy, Craig L.; Rossi, Laurence C.; Koblinsky, Chester J.

    1993-01-01

    Validation of in-orbit performance has demonstrated the ability of satellite radar altimetry to measure mesoscale absolute dynamic sea surface topography and to measure the variation in the general circulation on the largest spatial scales. Measurements of basin scale mean circulation, however, have been corrupted by system inaccuracies. The TOPEX/POSEIDON radar altimeter satellite applies recent advances in remote sensing instrumentation to reduce long wavelength measurement errors to dramatically lower levels. The TOPEX altimeter measures the range to the ocean surface with 2-cm precision and accuracy through the use of both Ku- and C-band radars, a high pulse repetition frequency, an agile tracker, and absolute internal height calibration. Dual pulse bandwidths for both frequencies make it possible to quickly acquire the surface and begin tracking after crossing the land/ocean boundary. This paper presents the altimeter requirements and the elements of the altimeter design that have resulted in meeting these requirements. Prelaunch test data, based on the use of a Radar Altimeter System Evaluator to simulate the backscatter from the ocean surface, are presented to demonstrate that the TOPEX altimeter will meet these requirements and provide the data necessary to the understanding of basin scale mean circulation.

  18. Prelaunch performance of the NASA altimeter for the TOPEX/POSEIDON project

    SciTech Connect

    Marth, P.C.; Jensen, J.R.; Kilgus, C.C.; Perschy, J.A.; MacArthur, J.L. ); Hancock, D.W.; Hayne, G.S.; Purdy, C.L.; Rossi, L.C. ); Koblinsky, C.J. )

    1993-03-01

    Validation of in-orbit performance has demonstrated the ability of satellite radar altimetry to measure mesoscale absolute dynamic sea surface topography and to measure the variation in the general circulation on the largest spatial scales. Measurements of basin scale mean circulation, however, have been corrupted by system inaccuracies. The TOPEX/POSEIDON radar altimeter satellite applies recent advances in remote sensing instrumentation to reduce long wavelength measurement errors to dramatically lower levels. The TOPEX altimeter measures the range to the ocean surface with 2-cm precision and accuracy through the use of both Ku- and C-band radars, a high pulse repetition frequency, an agile tracker, and absolute internal height calibration. Dual pulse bandwidths for both frequencies make it possible to quickly acquire the surface and begin tracking after crossing the land/ocean boundary. This paper presents the altimeter requirements and the elements of the altimeter design that have resulted in meeting these requirements. Prelaunch test data, based on the use of a Radar Altimeter System Evaluator to simulate the backscatter from the ocean surface, are presented to demonstrate that the TOPEX altimeter will meet these requirements and provide the data necessary to the understanding of basin scale mean circulation.

  19. Numerical simulation of imaging laser radar system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, Shaokun; Lu, Bo; Jiang, Ming; Liu, Xunliang

    2008-03-01

    Rational and effective design of imaging laser radar systems is the key of imaging laser radar system research. Design must fully consider the interrelationship between various parameters. According to the parameters, choose suitable laser, detector and other components. To use of mathematical modeling and computer simulation is an effective imaging laser radar system design methods. This paper based on the distance equation, using the detection statistical methods, from the laser radar range coverage, detection probability, false-alarm rate, SNR to build the laser radar system mathematical models. In the process of setting up the mathematical models to fully consider the laser, atmosphere, detector and other factors on the performance that is to make the models be able to respond accurately the real situation. Based on this using C# and Matlab designed a simulation software.

  20. Precision laser automatic tracking system.

    PubMed

    Lucy, R F; Peters, C J; McGann, E J; Lang, K T

    1966-04-01

    A precision laser tracker has been constructed and tested that is capable of tracking a low-acceleration target to an accuracy of about 25 microrad root mean square. In tracking high-acceleration targets, the error is directly proportional to the angular acceleration. For an angular acceleration of 0.6 rad/sec(2), the measured tracking error was about 0.1 mrad. The basic components in this tracker, similar in configuration to a heliostat, are a laser and an image dissector, which are mounted on a stationary frame, and a servocontrolled tracking mirror. The daytime sensitivity of this system is approximately 3 x 10(-10) W/m(2); the ultimate nighttime sensitivity is approximately 3 x 10(-14) W/m(2). Experimental tests were performed to evaluate both dynamic characteristics of this system and the system sensitivity. Dynamic performance of the system was obtained, using a small rocket covered with retroreflective material launched at an acceleration of about 13 g at a point 204 m from the tracker. The daytime sensitivity of the system was checked, using an efficient retroreflector mounted on a light aircraft. This aircraft was tracked out to a maximum range of 15 km, which checked the daytime sensitivity of the system measured by other means. The system also has been used to track passively stars and the Echo I satellite. Also, the system tracked passively a +7.5 magnitude star, and the signal-to-noise ratio in this experiment indicates that it should be possible to track a + 12.5 magnitude star.

  1. High power laser apparatus and system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Evans, J. C., Jr.; Brandhorst, H. W., Jr. (Inventor)

    1975-01-01

    A high-power, continuous-wave laser was designed for use in power transmission and energy-collecting systems, and for producing incoherent light for pumping a laser material. The laser has a high repetitive pulsing rate per unit time, resulting in a high-power density beam. The laser is composed of xenon flash tubes powered by fast-charging capacitors flashed in succession by a high-speed motor connected to an automobile-type distributor.

  2. Fission fragment excited laser system

    DOEpatents

    McArthur, David A.; Tollefsrud, Philip B.

    1976-01-01

    A laser system and method for exciting lasing action in a molecular gas lasing medium which includes cooling the lasing medium to a temperature below about 150 K and injecting fission fragments through the lasing medium so as to preferentially excite low lying vibrational levels of the medium and to cause population inversions therein. The cooled gas lasing medium should have a mass areal density of about 5 .times. 10.sup.-.sup.3 grams/square centimeter, relaxation times of greater than 50 microseconds, and a broad range of excitable vibrational levels which are excitable by molecular collisions.

  3. 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.

  4. Development of a New Flight Vent for the LOLA Laser Cavity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ramsey, W. Lawrence; Rosecrans, Glenn

    2007-01-01

    The Lunar Orbiting Laser Altimeter (LOLA) will fly on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). The laser is based upon the one in the Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA). LOLA will fly two lasers instead of one in the laser cavity. The MLA laser has a six year flight to station.

  5. Laser spark distribution and ignition system

    DOEpatents

    Woodruff, Steven; McIntyre, Dustin L.

    2008-09-02

    A laser spark distribution and ignition system that reduces the high power optical requirements for use in a laser ignition and distribution system allowing for the use of optical fibers for delivering the low peak energy pumping pulses to a laser amplifier or laser oscillator. An optical distributor distributes and delivers optical pumping energy from an optical pumping source to multiple combustion chambers incorporating laser oscillators or laser amplifiers for inducing a laser spark within a combustion chamber. The optical distributor preferably includes a single rotating mirror or lens which deflects the optical pumping energy from the axis of rotation and into a plurality of distinct optical fibers each connected to a respective laser media or amplifier coupled to an associated combustion chamber. The laser spark generators preferably produce a high peak power laser spark, from a single low power pulse. The laser spark distribution and ignition system has application in natural gas fueled reciprocating engines, turbine combustors, explosives and laser induced breakdown spectroscopy diagnostic sensors.

  6. Laser fiber optics ordnance initiation system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yang, L. C.

    1976-01-01

    Recent progress on system development in the laser initiation of explosive devices is summarized. The topics included are: development of compact free-running mode and Q-switched lasers, development of low-loss fiber optic bundles and connectors, study of nuclear radiation effects on the system, characterization of laser initiation sensitivities of insensitive high explosives, and the design methods used to achieve attractive system weight and cost savings. Direction for future work is discussed.

  7. Laser fiber optics ordnance initiation system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yang, L. C.

    1976-01-01

    Recent progress on system development in the laser initiation of explosive devices is summarized. The topics included are: development of compact free-running mode and Q-switched lasers, development of low-loss fiber optic bundles and connectors, study of nuclear radiation effects on the system, characterization of laser initiation sensitivities of insensitive high explosives, and the design methods used to achieve attractive system weight and cost savings. Direction for future work is discussed.

  8. GOPEX laser transmission and monitoring systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Okamoto, G.; Masters, K.

    1993-01-01

    The laser transmission and monitoring system for the Galileo Optical Experiment (GOPEX) at the Table Mountain Facility (TMF) in Wrightwood, California is described. The transmission system configuration and the data measurement techniques are described. The calibration procedure and the data analysis algorithm are also discussed. The mean and standard deviation of the laser energy transmitted each day of GOPEX show that the laser transmission system performed well and within the limit established in conjunction with the Galileo Project for experiment concurrence.

  9. Multiplex electric discharge gas laser system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Laudenslager, James B. (Inventor); Pacala, Thomas J. (Inventor)

    1987-01-01

    A multiple pulse electric discharge gas laser system is described in which a plurality of pulsed electric discharge gas lasers are supported in a common housing. Each laser is supplied with excitation pulses from a separate power supply. A controller, which may be a microprocessor, is connected to each power supply for controlling the application of excitation pulses to each laser so that the lasers can be fired simultaneously or in any desired sequence. The output light beams from the individual lasers may be combined or utilized independently, depending on the desired application. The individual lasers may include multiple pairs of discharge electrodes with a separate power supply connected across each electrode pair so that multiple light output beams can be generated from a single laser tube and combined or utilized separately.

  10. Dynamically variable spot size laser system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gradl, Paul R. (Inventor); Hurst, John F. (Inventor); Middleton, James R. (Inventor)

    2012-01-01

    A Dynamically Variable Spot Size (DVSS) laser system for bonding metal components includes an elongated housing containing a light entry aperture coupled to a laser beam transmission cable and a light exit aperture. A plurality of lenses contained within the housing focus a laser beam from the light entry aperture through the light exit aperture. The lenses may be dynamically adjusted to vary the spot size of the laser. A plurality of interoperable safety devices, including a manually depressible interlock switch, an internal proximity sensor, a remotely operated potentiometer, a remotely activated toggle and a power supply interlock, prevent activation of the laser and DVSS laser system if each safety device does not provide a closed circuit. The remotely operated potentiometer also provides continuous variability in laser energy output.

  11. Eye safety for scanning laser projection systems.

    PubMed

    Frederiksen, Annette; Fiess, Reinhold; Stork, Wilhelm; Bogatscher, Siegwart; Heussner, Nico

    2012-05-31

    In the growing field of pico-projectors, laser-based scanning systems may be advantageous over DLP- or LCoS-based imagers due to their potential for miniaturization, enhanced optical efficiency and cost reduction. The high energy density of a combined laser beam can, however, be hazardous to the human eye. Laser projection systems must therefore be identified with the laser class, depending on their maximum optical output power. This power limits the brightness of the displayed image, which is of particular interest for mobile applications. Various approaches to classifying laser devices by their wavelength and output power are described within the standards for laser safety. It is found that actual safety regulations cannot be directly applied to scanning systems. A detailed analysis of the optical conditions in terms of a two-dimensional extended light source is appropriate for the consideration of laser scanner devices. In this article, alternative ways of applying laser standards for scanning systems are discussed. The dependencies of maximum luminous flux from scanning system parameters are reviewed. It is shown that the evaluation of retinal light exposure in terms of existing laser regulations leads to an overestimation of the hazardous potential. Advanced investigations are proposed to support the definition of suitable criteria for the classification of laser scanning projectors.

  12. Thermal Performance of ATLAS Laser Thermal Control System Demonstration Unit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ku, Jentung; Robinson, Franklin; Patel, Deepak; Ottenstein, Laura

    2013-01-01

    The second Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite mission currently planned by National Aeronautics and Space Administration will measure global ice topography and canopy height using the Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System {ATLAS). The ATLAS comprises two lasers; but only one will be used at a time. Each laser will generate between 125 watts and 250 watts of heat, and each laser has its own optimal operating temperature that must be maintained within plus or minus 1 degree Centigrade accuracy by the Laser Thermal Control System (LTCS) consisting of a constant conductance heat pipe (CCHP), a loop heat pipe (LHP) and a radiator. The heat generated by the laser is acquired by the CCHP and transferred to the LHP, which delivers the heat to the radiator for ultimate rejection. The radiator can be exposed to temperatures between minus 71 degrees Centigrade and minus 93 degrees Centigrade. The two lasers can have different operating temperatures varying between plus 15 degrees Centigrade and plus 30 degrees Centigrade, and their operating temperatures are not known while the LTCS is being designed and built. Major challenges of the LTCS include: 1) A single thermal control system must maintain the ATLAS at 15 degrees Centigrade with 250 watts heat load and minus 71 degrees Centigrade radiator sink temperature, and maintain the ATLAS at plus 30 degrees Centigrade with 125 watts heat load and minus 93 degrees Centigrade radiator sink temperature. Furthermore, the LTCS must be qualification tested to maintain the ATLAS between plus 10 degrees Centigrade and plus 35 degrees Centigrade. 2) The LTCS must be shut down to ensure that the ATLAS can be maintained above its lowest desirable temperature of minus 2 degrees Centigrade during the survival mode. No software control algorithm for LTCS can be activated during survival and only thermostats can be used. 3) The radiator must be kept above minus 65 degrees Centigrade to prevent ammonia from freezing using no more

  13. Copper vapor laser acoustic thermometry system

    DOEpatents

    Galkowski, Joseph J.

    1987-01-01

    A copper vapor laser (CVL) acoustic thermometry system is disclosed. The invention couples an acoustic pulse a predetermined distance into a laser tube by means of a transducer and an alumina rod such that an echo pulse is returned along the alumina rod to the point of entry. The time differential between the point of entry of the acoustic pulse into the laser tube and the exit of the echo pulse is related to the temperature at the predetermined distance within the laser tube. This information is processed and can provide an accurate indication of the average temperature within the laser tube.

  14. Master-Oscillator/Power-Amplifier Laser System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yu, Anthony W.; Krainak, Michael A.; Unger, Glenn L.

    1994-01-01

    Master-oscillator/power-amplifier (MOPA) laser system operates in continuous-wave mode or in amplitude-modulation (e.g., pulse) mode by modulation of oscillator current. Power amplifier is laser-diode-pumped neodymium:yttrium lithium fluoride (Nd:YLF) laser; oscillator is laser diode. Offers relatively high efficiency and power. Because drive current to oscillator modulated, external electro-optical modulator not needed. Potential uses include free-space optical communications, coded laser ranging, and generation of high-power, mode-locked pulses.

  15. Master-Oscillator/Power-Amplifier Laser System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yu, Anthony W.; Krainak, Michael A.; Unger, Glenn L.

    1994-01-01

    Master-oscillator/power-amplifier (MOPA) laser system operates in continuous-wave mode or in amplitude-modulation (e.g., pulse) mode by modulation of oscillator current. Power amplifier is laser-diode-pumped neodymium:yttrium lithium fluoride (Nd:YLF) laser; oscillator is laser diode. Offers relatively high efficiency and power. Because drive current to oscillator modulated, external electro-optical modulator not needed. Potential uses include free-space optical communications, coded laser ranging, and generation of high-power, mode-locked pulses.

  16. A laser-powered flight transportation system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hertzberg, A.; Sun, K. C.; Jones, W. S.

    1978-01-01

    Laser energy transmitted from a solar-power satellite via a set of relay satellites is used to power a cruising air transport; i.e., a laser-powered airplane. The result is a nearly fuelless pollution-free flight transportation system which is cost competitive with the fuel-conservative airplane of the future. The major components of this flight system include a laser-power satellite, relay satellites, laser-powered turbofans, and a conventional airframe. The relay satellites are orbiting optical systems which intercept the beam from a power satellite and refocus and redirect the beam to its next target.

  17. A prospectus on airborne laser mapping systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Link, L. E.; Krabill, W. B.; Swift, R. N.

    1983-01-01

    Airborne laser systems have demonstrated enormous potential for topographic and bathymetric mapping. Both profiling and scanning systems have been evaluated for terrain elevation mapping, stream valley cross-section determination, and nearshore bottom profiling. Performance of the laser systems has been impressive and for some applications matches current operational accuracy requirements. Determining the position of individual laser measurements remains a constraint for most applications. Laser technology constrains some terrain and bathymetric applications, particularly for water penetration and frequency of measurements for high-spatial resolution over large areas.

  18. A laser-powered flight transportation system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hertzberg, A.; Sun, K. C.; Jones, W. S.

    1978-01-01

    Laser energy transmitted from a solar-power satellite via a set of relay satellites is used to power a cruising air transport; i.e., a laser-powered airplane. The result is a nearly fuelless pollution-free flight transportation system which is cost competitive with the fuel-conservative airplane of the future. The major components of this flight system include a laser-power satellite, relay satellites, laser-powered turbofans, and a conventional airframe. The relay satellites are orbiting optical systems which intercept the beam from a power satellite and refocus and redirect the beam to its next target.

  19. Applications of spaceborne laser ranger on EOS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Degnan, John J.; Cohen, Steven C.

    1988-01-01

    An account is given of the design concept and potential applications in science and engineering of the spaceborne laser ranging and altimeter apparatus employed by the Geodynamics Laser Ranging System; this is scheduled for 1997 launch as part of the multiple-satellite Earth Observing System. In the retrograding mode for geodynamics, the system will use a Nd:YAG laser's green and UV output for distance determination to ground retroreflectors. Engineering applications encompass land management and long-term ground stability studies relevant to nuclear power plant, pipeline, and aqueduct locations.

  20. Applications of spaceborne laser ranger on EOS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Degnan, John J.; Cohen, Steven C.

    1988-01-01

    An account is given of the design concept and potential applications in science and engineering of the spaceborne laser ranging and altimeter apparatus employed by the Geodynamics Laser Ranging System; this is scheduled for 1997 launch as part of the multiple-satellite Earth Observing System. In the retrograding mode for geodynamics, the system will use a Nd:YAG laser's green and UV output for distance determination to ground retroreflectors. Engineering applications encompass land management and long-term ground stability studies relevant to nuclear power plant, pipeline, and aqueduct locations.

  1. Wind waves in tropical cyclones: satellite altimeter observations and modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Golubkin, Pavel; Kudryavtsev, Vladimir; Chapron, Bertrand

    2016-04-01

    Results of investigation of wind-wave generation by tropical cyclones using satellite altimeter data are presented. Tropical cyclones are generally relatively small rapidly moving low pressure systems that are capable of generating severe wave conditions. Translation of a tropical cyclone leads to a prolonged period of time surface waves in the right sector remain under high wind forcing conditions. This effect has been termed extended fetch, trapped fetch or group velocity quasi-resonance. A tropical cyclone wave field is thus likely more asymmetrical than the corresponding wind field: wind waves in the tropical cyclone right sector are more developed with larger heights than waves in the left one. A dataset of satellite altimeter intersections of the Western Pacific tropical cyclones was created for 2010-2013. Data from four missions were considered, i.e., Jason-1, Jason-2, CryoSat-2, SARAL/AltiKa. Measurements in the rear-left and front-right sectors of tropical cyclones were examined for the presence of significant wave asymmetry. An analytical model is then derived to efficiently describe the wave energy distribution in a moving tropical cyclone. The model essentially builds on a generalization of the self-similar wave growth model and the assumption of a strongly dominant single spectral mode in a given quadrant of the storm. The model provides a criterion to anticipate wave enhancement with the generation of trapped abnormal waves. If forced during a sufficient timescale interval, also defined from this generalized self-similar wave growth model, waves can be trapped and large amplification of the wave energy will occur in the front-right storm quadrant. Remarkably, the group velocity and corresponding wavelength of outrunning wave systems will become wind speed independent and solely relate to the translating velocity. The resulting significant wave height also only weakly depends on wind speed, and more strongly on the translation velocity. Satellite

  2. FPGA Sequencer for Radar Altimeter Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Berkun, Andrew C.; Pollard, Brian D.; Chen, Curtis W.

    2011-01-01

    A sequencer for a radar altimeter provides accurate attitude information for a reliable soft landing of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL). This is a field-programmable- gate-array (FPGA)-only implementation. A table loaded externally into the FPGA controls timing, processing, and decision structures. Radar is memory-less and does not use previous acquisitions to assist in the current acquisition. All cycles complete in exactly 50 milliseconds, regardless of range or whether a target was found. A RAM (random access memory) within the FPGA holds instructions for up to 15 sets. For each set, timing is run, echoes are processed, and a comparison is made. If a target is seen, more detailed processing is run on that set. If no target is seen, the next set is tried. When all sets have been run, the FPGA terminates and waits for the next 50-millisecond event. This setup simplifies testing and improves reliability. A single vertex chip does the work of an entire assembly. Output products require minor processing to become range and velocity. This technology is the heart of the Terminal Descent Sensor, which is an integral part of the Entry Decent and Landing system for MSL. In addition, it is a strong candidate for manned landings on Mars or the Moon.

  3. ALT space shuttle barometric altimeter altitude analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Killen, R.

    1978-01-01

    The accuracy was analyzed of the barometric altimeters onboard the space shuttle orbiter. Altitude estimates from the air data systems including the operational instrumentation and the developmental flight instrumentation were obtained for each of the approach and landing test flights. By comparing the barometric altitude estimates to altitudes derived from radar tracking data filtered through a Kalman filter and fully corrected for atmospheric refraction, the errors in the barometric altitudes were shown to be 4 to 5 percent of the Kalman altitudes. By comparing the altitude determined from the true atmosphere derived from weather balloon data to the altitude determined from the U.S. Standard Atmosphere of 1962, it was determined that the assumption of the Standard Atmosphere equations contributes roughly 75 percent of the total error in the baro estimates. After correcting the barometric altitude estimates using an average summer model atmosphere computed for the average latitude of the space shuttle landing sites, the residual error in the altitude estimates was reduced to less than 373 feet. This corresponds to an error of less than 1.5 percent for altitudes above 4000 feet for all flights.

  4. Laser Systems for Orbital Debris Removal

    SciTech Connect

    Rubenchik, A. M.; Barty, C. P. J.; Beach, R. J.; Erlandson, A. C.; Caird, J. A.

    2010-10-08

    The use of a ground based laser for space debris cleaning was investigated by the ORION project in 1996. Since that study the greatest technological advance in the development of high energy pulsed laser systems has taken place within the NIF project at LLNL. The proposed next laser system to follow the NIF at LLNL will be a high rep rate version of the NIF based on diode-pumping rather than flashlamp excitation; the so called 'LIFE' laser system. Because a single 'LIFE' beamline could be built up in a few year time frame, and has performance characteristics relevant to the space debris clearing problem, such a beamline could enable a near term demonstration of space debris cleaning. Moreover, the specifics of debris cleaning make it possible to simplify the LIFE laser beyond what is required for a fusion drive laser, and so substantially reduce its cost. Starting with the requirements for laser intensity on the target, and then considering beam delivery, we will flow back the laser requirements needed for space debris cleaning. Using these derived requirements we will then optimize the pulse duration, the operational regime, and the output pulse energy of the laser with a focus of simplifying its overall design. Anticipated simplifications include operation in the heat capacity regime, eliminating cooling requirements on the laser gain slabs, and relaxing B-integral and birefrigence requirements.

  5. Laser Systems for Orbital Debris Removal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rubenchik, A. M.; Barty, C. P. J.; Beach, R. J.; Erlandson, A. C.; Caird, J. A.

    2010-10-01

    The use of a ground based laser for space debris cleaning was investigated by the ORION project in 1996. Since that study the greatest technological advance in the development of high energy pulsed laser systems has taken place within the NIF project at LLNL. The proposed next laser system to follow the NIF at LLNL will be a high rep rate version of the NIF based on diode-pumping rather than flashlamp excitation; the so called "LIFE" laser system. Because a single "LIFE" beamline could be built up in a few year time frame, and has performance characteristics relevant to the space debris clearing problem, such a beamline could enable a near term demonstration of space debris cleaning. Moreover, the specifics of debris cleaning make it possible to simplify the LIFE laser beyond what is required for a fusion drive laser, and so substantially reduce its cost. Starting with the requirements for laser intensity on the target, and then considering beam delivery, we will flow back the laser requirements needed for space debris cleaning. Using these derived requirements we will then optimize the pulse duration, the operational regime, and the output pulse energy of the laser with a focus of simplifying its overall design. Anticipated simplifications include operation in the heat capacity regime, eliminating cooling requirements on the laser gain slabs, and relaxing B-integral and birefrigence requirements.

  6. Laser Systems for Orbital Debris Removal

    SciTech Connect

    Rubenchik, A M; Barty, C P; Beach, R J; Erlandson, A C; Caird, J A

    2010-02-05

    The use of a ground based laser for space debris cleaning was investigated by the ORION project in 1996. Since that study the greatest technological advance in the development of high energy pulsed laser systems has taken place within the NIF project at LLNL. The proposed next laser system to follow the NIF at LLNL will be a high rep rate version of the NIF based on diode-pumping rather than flashlamp excitation; the so called 'LIFE' laser system. Because a single 'LIFE' beamline could be built up in a few year time frame, and has performance characteristics relevant to the space debris clearing problem, such a beamline could enable a near term demonstration of space debris cleaning. Moreover, the specifics of debris cleaning make it possible to simplify the LIFE laser beyond what is required for a fusion drive laser, and so substantially reduce its cost. Starting with the requirements for laser intensity on the target, and then considering beam delivery, we will flow back the laser requirements needed for space debris cleaning. Using these derived requirements we will then optimize the pulse duration, the operational regime, and the output pulse energy of the laser with a focus of simplifying its overall design. Anticipated simplifications include operation in the heat capacity regime, eliminating cooling requirements on the laser gain slabs, and relaxing B-integral and birefrigence requirements.

  7. Microprocessor-Controlled Laser Balancing System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Demuth, R. S.

    1985-01-01

    Material removed by laser action as part tested for balance. Directed by microprocessor, laser fires appropriate amount of pulses in correct locations to remove necessary amount of material. Operator and microprocessor software interact through video screen and keypad; no programing skills or unprompted system-control decisions required. System provides complete and accurate balancing in single load-and-spinup cycle.

  8. Microprocessor-Controlled Laser Balancing System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Demuth, R. S.

    1985-01-01

    Material removed by laser action as part tested for balance. Directed by microprocessor, laser fires appropriate amount of pulses in correct locations to remove necessary amount of material. Operator and microprocessor software interact through video screen and keypad; no programing skills or unprompted system-control decisions required. System provides complete and accurate balancing in single load-and-spinup cycle.

  9. Personal medical information system using laser card

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cho, Seong H.; Kim, Keun Ho; Choi, Hyung-Sik; Park, Hyun Wook

    1996-04-01

    The well-known hospital information system (HIS) and the picture archiving and communication system (PACS) are typical applications of multimedia to medical area. This paper proposes a personal medical information save-and-carry system using a laser card. This laser card is very useful, especially in emergency situations, because the medical information in the laser card can be read at anytime and anywhere if there exists a laser card reader/writer. The contents of the laser card include the clinical histories of a patient such as clinical chart, exam result, diagnostic reports, images, and so on. The purpose of this system is not a primary diagnosis, but emergency reference of clinical history of the patient. This personal medical information system consists of a personal computer integrated with laser card reader/writer, color frame grabber, color CCD camera and a high resolution image scanner optionally. Window-based graphical user interface was designed for easy use. The laser card has relatively sufficient capacity to store the personal medical information, and has fast access speed to restore and load the data with a portable size as compact as a credit card. Database items of laser card provide the doctors with medical data such as laser card information, patient information, clinical information, and diagnostic result information.

  10. Calibration results for the GEOS-3 altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martin, C. F.; Butler, M. L.

    1977-01-01

    Data from the GEOS-3 altimeter were analyzed, for both the intensive and global modes, to determine the altitude bias levels for each mode and to verify the accuracy of the time tags which have been applied to the data. The best estimates of the biases are -5.30 + or - .2 m (intensive mode) and -3.55 m + or - .4 m (global mode). These values include the approximately 1.6 m offset of the altimeter antenna focal point from the GEOS-3 spacecraft center-of-mass. The negative signs indicate that the measured altitudes are too short. The data is corrected by subtracting the above bias numbers for the respective modes. Timing corrections which should be applied to the altimeter data were calculated theoretically, and subsequently confirmed through crossover analysis for passes 6-8 revolutions apart. The time tag correction that should be applied consists of -20.8 msec + 1 interpulse period (10.240512 msec).

  11. Noise sources in laser radar systems.

    PubMed

    Letalick, D; Renhorn, I; Steinvall, O; Shapiro, J H

    1989-07-01

    To understand the fundamental limit of performance with a given laser radar system, the phase noise of a testbed laser radar has been investigated. Apart from the phase noise in the transmitter laser and the local oscillator laser, additional phase noise was introduced by vibrations caused by fans in power supplies and cooling systems. The stability of the mechanical structure of the platform was also found to be of great importance. Furthermore, a model for the signal variations from diffuse targets has been developed. This model takes into account the stray light, the speckle decorrelation, and Doppler shift due to moving targets.

  12. Laser Surveillance System for Spent Fuel

    SciTech Connect

    Fiarman, S.; Zucker, M. S.; Bieber, Jr., A. M.

    1980-01-01

    A laser surveillance system installed at spent fuel storage pools (SFSP's) will provide the safeguard inspector with specific knowledge of spent fuel movement that cannot be obtained with current surveillance systems. The laser system will allow for the division of the pool's spent fuel inventory into two populations - those assemblies which have been moved and those which haven't - which is essential for maximizing the efficiency and effectiveness of the inspection effort. We have designed, constructed, and tested a full size laser system operating in air and have used an array of 6 zircaloy BWR tubes to simulate an assembly. The reflective signal from the zircaloy rods is a strong function of position of the assembly, but in all cases is easily discernable from the reference scan of the background with no assembly. A design for a SFSP laser surveillance system incorporating laser ranging is discussed. 10 figures.

  13. The Theory of Random Laser Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Jiang, Xunya

    2001-01-01

    Studies of random laser systems are a new direction with promising potential applications and theoretical interest. The research is based on the theories of localization and laser physics. So far, the research shows that there are random lasing modes inside the systems which is quite different from the common laser systems. From the properties of the random lasing modes, they can understand the phenomena observed in the experiments, such as multi-peak and anisotropic spectrum, lasing mode number saturation, mode competition and dynamic processes, etc. To summarize, this dissertation has contributed the following in the study of random laser systems: (1) by comparing the Lamb theory with the Letokhov theory, the general formulas of the threshold length or gain of random laser systems were obtained; (2) they pointed out the vital weakness of previous time-independent methods in random laser research; (3) a new model which includes the FDTD method and the semi-classical laser theory. The solutions of this model provided an explanation of the experimental results of multi-peak and anisotropic emission spectra, predicted the saturation of lasing modes number and the length of localized lasing modes; (4) theoretical (Lamb theory) and numerical (FDTD and transfer-matrix calculation) studies of the origin of localized lasing modes in the random laser systems; and (5) proposal of using random lasing modes as a new path to study wave localization in random systems and prediction of the lasing threshold discontinuity at mobility edge.

  14. Seasat altimeter determination of ocean current variability

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bernstein, R. L.; Whritner, R. H.; Born, G. H.

    1982-01-01

    An experiment conducted in the Kuroshio Current, east of Japan, has confirmed the ability of radar altimeters of precision on the order of 10 cm, such as that of the Seasat satellite, to measure the small oceanic height variations associated with geostrophic ocean currents. Changes in surface dynamic height were inferred from data gathered by air-expendable barithermographs, which had been dropped to coincide with the Seasat subtrack, for the periods between the flights of September 25 and October 5 and 13, 1978. The changes registered generally agreed to within + or - 10 cm of the height changes observed in the altimeter data.

  15. Boundary detection criteria for satellite altimeters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martin, C. F.; Taylor, R. L.

    1981-01-01

    A procedure for using satellite altimeter data to determine the time of crossing of a surface boundary, such as ocean land or ocean ice, with the primary objective to flag altimeter data that do not properly represent oceanographic measurements were studied. Water to land crossing and water to sea ice crossing were investigated. For ocean ice crossings, a large increase in AGC occurred. Waveform tests for increasing the probability of detecting an ocean land crossing were investigated. It is recommended that the boundary test be based on a fit of the full waveform to a limited parameter set at a rate of 5 to 10 second.

  16. Wide-aperture excimer laser system

    SciTech Connect

    Losev, V F; Koval'chuk, B M; Tarasenko, Viktor F; Panchenko, Yu N; Ivanov, N G; Konovalov, I N; Abdullin, E N; Panchenko, Aleksei N; Zorin, V B; Skakun, V S; Gubanov, V P; Stepchenko, A S; Tolkachev, Valerii S; Liu, J

    2006-01-31

    An excimer laser system having an output aperture diameter of 40 cm and consisting of five lasers, three of which are excited by an electric discharge and the remaining two by an electron beam, is built. The first laser produces a 308-nm radiation with a duration of 200-250 ns, a spectral linewidth of 0.9 cm{sup -1} and the beam divergence close to the diffraction limit. This pulse is amplified in the active media of the other lasers. As a result, radiation with an energy of 5 J, spectral linewidth 0.9 cm{sup -1} and beam divergence 37 {mu}rad is produced at the output of the third laser. The output energy of the entire system amounts to 330 J and the pulse duration is 200-250 ns. (lasers)

  17. Reduced Power Laser Designation Systems

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-01-10

    circuit of choice; and comparing the performance of this circuit against that of a basic transconductance amplifier . 15. SUBJECT TERMS Laser...Guided Weapons; Laser designation; laser rangefinders; infrared photodiodes; transconductance amplifiers . 16. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF: a. REPORT U...current-to-voltage amplifier ( transconductance amplifier ), the basic form of which is illustrated in Figure 2. ^>J 1—*£o p- Figure 2. Basic photodiode

  18. Altimeter measurements for the determination of the Earth's gravity field

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1986-01-01

    Progress in the following areas is described: refining altimeter and altimeter crossover measurement models for precise orbit determination and for the solution of the earth's gravity field; performing experiments using altimeter data for the improvement of precise satellite ephemerides; and analyzing an optimal relative data weighting algorithm to combine various data types in the solution of the gravity field.

  19. Application of laser Doppler velocimeter to chemical vapor laser system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gartrell, Luther R.; Hunter, William W., Jr.; Lee, Ja H.; Fletcher, Mark T.; Tabibi, Bagher M.

    1993-01-01

    A laser Doppler velocimeter (LDV) system was used to measure iodide vapor flow fields inside two different-sized tubes. Typical velocity profiles across the laser tubes were obtained with an estimated +/-1 percent bias and +/-0.3 to 0.5 percent random uncertainty in the mean values and +/-2.5 percent random uncertainty in the turbulence-intensity values. Centerline velocities and turbulence intensities for various longitudinal locations ranged from 13 to 17.5 m/sec and 6 to 20 percent, respectively. In view of these findings, the effects of turbulence should be considered for flow field modeling. The LDV system provided calibration data for pressure and mass flow systems used routinely to monitor the research laser gas flow velocity.

  20. Laser system to detonate explosive devices

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Menichelli, V. J.; Yang, L. C.

    1974-01-01

    Detonating system is not affected by electromagnetic interference. System includes laser source, Q-switch, and optical fiber connected to explosive device. Fiber can be branched out and connected to several devices for simultaneous detonation.

  1. Tectonic Motion Monitoring at the Altimeter Calibration Facility on Gavdos, Crete, Greece.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernandez-Ibanez, F.; Soto, J. I.; Morales, J.; Comas, C.; Evans, K.; Pavlis, E. C.; Cadeddu, M. P.; Mertikas, S. P.

    2004-12-01

    The intense tectonic activity of Eastern Mediterranean is of great interest for many decades. Recently, sea-level monitoring and climate change studies generated great interest as well as for its regional oceanography. A plethora of observations has convincingly demonstrated the importance of the area for regional meteorological and climatologic changes affecting Eurasia and North Africa. GPS monitors tectonics, while tide gauges record the variations in Mean Sea Level (MSL). Continuous monitoring of tide gauge locations with GPS removes the uncertainties introduced by local tectonics, that contaminate the observed sea level variations. Such a global tide gauge network with long historical records is already used to calibrate satellite altimeters (e.g. on TOPEX/POSEIDON, GFO, JASON-1, ENVISAT, etc.), at present, a common IOC-GLOSS-IGS effort --TIGA. Crete hosts two of the oldest tide gauges in the regional network, at Souda Bay and Heraklion. A third site, state-of-the-art MSL monitoring facility in southwestern Crete was established, on the isle of Gavdos, the southernmost European parcel of land, under a joint effort of the European Union, NASA, and the Swiss Federal Government. The site at Souda Bay is only 5 km away from the continuously operating GPS site at TUC, Chania, with a nearly seven year record of operation. The Gavdos facility is an ideal altimeter calibration site if the tectonic motions are monitored precisely and continuously. This presentation focuses on this aspect of the project, the local and regional tectonic motions relative to the "stable" part of the Eurasian plate. The facility hosts in addition to two tide gauges, multiple GPS receivers, a DORIS beacon for positioning and orbit control, and a transponder for direct calibration. During 2003, the French Transportable Laser Ranging System (FTLRS) completed a co-location campaign at Chania, Crete, for improved orbit control over the site, and to ensure the best possible and most reliable

  2. Analysis of short pulse laser altimetry data obtained over horizontal path

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1983-01-01

    Recent pulsed measurements of atmospheric delay obtained by ranging to the more realistic targets including a simulated ocean target and an extended plate target are discussed. These measurements are used to estimate the expected timing accuracy of a correlation receiver system. The experimental work was conducted using a pulsed two color laser altimeter.

  3. Improved laser ultrasonic systems for industry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yawn, Kenneth R.; Osterkamp, Mark A.; Kaiser, David; Barina, Chase

    2014-02-01

    LaserUT®, the Lockheed Martin developed implementation of Laser Ultrasound for composite structures, has been used to perform non-destructive inspections of over 40,000 production parts from a wide variety of aircraft programs. Inspection of complex-shaped composite aircraft parts can be very difficult and time consuming with conventional Ultrasonic NDI systems. For the most complex of these structures, Laser Ultrasound can be up to 10 times faster than state-of-the-art conventional UT systems and at times allows the inspection of parts previously thought uninspectable by automated systems. The designs and material systems for some applications can present severe NDI challenges. Large assemblies, complex shapes, and unusual or attenuative materials can make implementation of Laser Ultrasound difficult. Some recent programs at PaR Systems have highlighted the need for improved techniques and equipment. Several topics will be touched on: recent CO2 generation laser improvements, work in mid-IR laser development for improved generation of ultrasound in composites, as well as several detection system enhancements. This paper will give a brief overview of LaserUT for composites, applications, and results from several types of material systems, and highlight some of the recent system improvements.

  4. Laser Image Contrast Enhancement System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kurtz, Robert L. (Inventor); Holmes, Richard R. (Inventor); Witherow, William K. (Inventor)

    2002-01-01

    An optical image enhancement system provides improved image contrast in imaging of a target in high temperature surroundings such as a furnace. The optical system includes a source of vertically polarized light such as laser and a beam splitter for receiving the light and directing the light toward the target. A retardation plate is affixed to a target-facing surface of the beam splitter and a vertical polarizer is disposed along a common optical path with the beam splitter between the retardation plate and the target. A horizontal polarizer disposed in the common optical path, receives light passing through a surface of the beam splitter opposed to the target-facing surface. An image detector is disposed at one end of the optical path. A band pass filter having a band pass filter characteristic matching the frequency of the vertically polarized light source is disposed in the path between the horizontal polarizer and the image detector. The use of circular polarization, together with cross polarizers, enables the reflected light to be passed to the detector while blocking thermal radiation.

  5. Laser Image Contrast Enhancement System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kurtz, Robert L. (Inventor); Holmes, Richard R. (Inventor); Witherow, William K. (Inventor)

    2002-01-01

    An optical image enhancement system provides improved image contrast in imaging of a target in high temperature surroundings such as a furnace. The optical system includes a source of vertically polarized light such as laser and a beam splitter for receiving the light and directing the light toward the target. A retardation plate is affixed to a target-facing surface of the beam splitter and a vertical polarizer is disposed along a common optical path with the beam splitter between the retardation plate and the target. A horizontal polarizer disposed in the common optical path, receives light passing through a surface of the beam splitter opposed to the target-facing surface. An image detector is disposed at one end of the optical path. A band pass filter having a band pass filter characteristic matching the frequency of the vertically polarized light source is disposed in the path between the horizontal polarizer and the image detector. The use of circular polarization, together with cross polarizers, enables the reflected light to be passed to the detector while blocking thermal radiation.

  6. Improving the Altimeter Derived Geostrophic Currents Using High Resolution Sea Surface Temperature Images: A Feasibility Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rio, M.-H.; Santoleri, R.; Giffa, A.; Piterbarg, L.

    2015-12-01

    Accurate knowledge of spatial and temporal ocean surface currents at high resolution is essential for a variety of applications. The altimeter observing system, by providing global and repetitive measurements of the Sea Surface Height, has been by far the most exploited system to estimate ocean surface currents in the past 20 years. However it does not allow observing currents departing from the geostrophic equilibrium, nor is capable to resolve the shortest spatial scales of the currents. In order to go beyond these limits, we investigate how the high spatial and temporal resolution information from Sea Surface Temperature (SST) images can improve the altimeter currents by adapting a method first proposed by [1]. It consists in inverting the SST evolution equation for the velocity by prescribing the source and sink terms and by using the altimeter currents as background. The method feasibility is tested using simulated data based on the Mercator-Ocean system.

  7. Laser measuring system for large machine tools

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wessel, L. E.; Brazys, D.

    1982-08-01

    With development of the Laser Interferometer, it was envisioned that older existing machine tools could be up-graded by retrofitting them with laser Interferometer Measuring Systems. The Laser Interferometer provides the machine tool industry with a high accuracy length standard. The accuracy of the Interferometer is determined by the laser wave length which is known within 0.5 parts per million. This degree of accuracy is more than adequate for most machine tool measuring, calibration and inspection requirements. In conclusion, the Laser Measuring System presently available is not recommended for general implementation at this time. Results of this work indicate that the equipment and installation cost are very high and pay back would be very slow. Also, the reliability of the electronic components is in need of improvement. The system requires frequent realignment and maintenance due to it's lack of toleration to "Shop Floor' conditions.

  8. Active polarimeter optical system laser hazard analysis.

    SciTech Connect

    Augustoni, Arnold L.

    2005-07-01

    A laser hazard analysis was performed for the SNL Active Polarimeter Optical System based on the ANSI Standard Z136.1-2000, American National Standard for Safe Use of Lasers and the ANSI Standard Z136.6-2000, American National Standard for Safe Use of Lasers Outdoors. The Active Polarimeter Optical System (APOS) uses a pulsed, near-infrared, chromium doped lithium strontium aluminum fluoride (Cr:LiSAF) crystal laser in conjunction with a holographic diffuser and lens to illuminate a scene of interest. The APOS is intended for outdoor operations. The system is mounted on a height adjustable platform (6 feet to 40 feet) and sits atop a tripod that points the beam downward. The beam can be pointed from nadir to as much as 60 degrees off of nadir producing an illuminating spot geometry that can vary from circular (at nadir) to elliptical in shape (off of nadir). The JP Innovations crystal Cr:LiSAF laser parameters are presented in section II. The illuminating laser spot size is variable and can be adjusted by adjusting the separation distance between the lens and the holographic diffuser. The system is adjusted while platform is at the lowest level. The laser spot is adjusted for a particular spot size at a particular distance (elevation) from the laser by adjusting the separation distance (d{sub diffuser}) to predetermined values. The downward pointing angle is also adjusted before the platform is raised to the selected operation elevation.

  9. A Comparison of Snow Depth on Sea Ice Retrievals Using Airborne Altimeters and an AMSR-E Simulator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cavalieri, D. J.; Marksu, T.; Ivanoff, A.; Miller, J. A.; Brucker, L.; Sturm, M.; Maslanik, J. A.; Heinrichs, J. F.; Gasiewski, A.; Leuschen, C.; hide

    2011-01-01

    A comparison of snow depths on sea ice was made using airborne altimeters and an Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for the Earth Observing System (AMSR-E) simulator. The data were collected during the March 2006 National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Arctic field campaign utilizing the NASA P-3B aircraft. The campaign consisted of an initial series of coordinated surface and aircraft measurements over Elson Lagoon, Alaska and adjacent seas followed by a series of large-scale (100 km ? 50 km) coordinated aircraft and AMSR-E snow depth measurements over portions of the Chukchi and Beaufort seas. This paper focuses on the latter part of the campaign. The P-3B aircraft carried the University of Colorado Polarimetric Scanning Radiometer (PSR-A), the NASA Wallops Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) lidar altimeter, and the University of Kansas Delay-Doppler (D2P) radar altimeter. The PSR-A was used as an AMSR-E simulator, whereas the ATM and D2P altimeters were used in combination to provide an independent estimate of snow depth. Results of a comparison between the altimeter-derived snow depths and the equivalent AMSR-E snow depths using PSR-A brightness temperatures calibrated relative to AMSR-E are presented. Data collected over a frozen coastal polynya were used to intercalibrate the ATM and D2P altimeters before estimating an altimeter snow depth. Results show that the mean difference between the PSR and altimeter snow depths is -2.4 cm (PSR minus altimeter) with a standard deviation of 7.7 cm. The RMS difference is 8.0 cm. The overall correlation between the two snow depth data sets is 0.59.

  10. Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory laser tracking systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pearlman, M. R.; Lanham, N. W.; Lehr, C. G.; Wohn, J.

    1977-01-01

    The four SAO laser satellite-ranging systems, located in Brazil, Peru, Australia, and Arizona, have been in operation for more than five years and have provided ranging data at accuracy levels of a meter or better. The paper examines system hardware (laser transmitter, the electronics, mount, photoreceiver, minicomputer, and station timing) and software (prediction program, calibration programs, and data handling and quick-look programs) and also considers calibration, station operation, and system performance.

  11. High energy chemical laser system

    DOEpatents

    Gregg, D.W.; Pearson, R.K.

    1975-12-23

    A high energy chemical laser system is described wherein explosive gaseous mixtures of a reducing agent providing hydrogen isotopes and interhalogen compounds are uniformly ignited by means of an electrical discharge, flash- photolysis or an electron beam. The resulting chemical explosion pumps a lasing chemical species, hydrogen fluoride or deuterium fluoride which is formed in the chemical reaction. The generated lasing pulse has light frequencies in the 3- micron range. Suitable interhalogen compounds include bromine trifluoride (BrF$sub 3$), bromine pentafluoride (BrF$sub 5$), chlorine monofluoride (ClF), chlorine trifluoride (ClF$sub 3$), chlorine pentafluoride (ClF$sub 5$), iodine pentafluoride (IF$sub 5$), and iodine heptafluoride (IF$sub 7$); and suitable reducing agents include hydrogen (H$sub 2$), hydrocarbons such as methane (CH$sub 4$), deuterium (D$sub 2$), and diborane (B$sub 2$H$sub 6$), as well as combinations of the gaseous compound and/or molecular mixtures of the reducing agent.

  12. Space Applications Industrial Laser System (SAILS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCay, T. D.; Bible, J. B.; Mueller, R. E.

    1993-10-01

    A program is underway to develop a YAG laser based materials processing workstation to fly in the cargo bay of the Space Shuttle. This workstation, called Space Applications Industrial Laser System (SAILS), will be capable of cutting and welding steel, aluminum, and Inconel alloys of the type planned for use in constructing the Space Station Freedom. As well as demonstrating the ability of a YAG laser to perform remote (fiber-optic delivered) repair and fabrication operations in space, fundamental data will be collected on these interactions for comparison with terrestrial data and models. The flight system, scheduled to fly in 1996, will be constructed as three modules using standard Get-Away-Special (GAS) canisters. The first module holds the laser head and cooling system, while the second contains a high peak power electrical supply. The third module houses the materials processing workstation and the command and data acquisition subsystems. The laser head and workstation cansisters are linked by a fiber-optic cable to transmit the laser light. The team assembled to carry out this project includes Lumonics Industrial Products (laser), Tennessee Technological University (structural analysis and fabrication), Auburn University Center for Space Power (electrical engineering), University of Waterloo (low-g laser process consulting), and CSTAR/UTSI (data acquisition, control, software, integration, experiment design). This report describes the SAILS program and highlights recent activities undertaken at CSTAR.

  13. Space Applications Industrial Laser System (SAILS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mccay, T. D.; Bible, J. B.; Mueller, R. E.

    1993-01-01

    A program is underway to develop a YAG laser based materials processing workstation to fly in the cargo bay of the Space Shuttle. This workstation, called Space Applications Industrial Laser System (SAILS), will be capable of cutting and welding steel, aluminum, and Inconel alloys of the type planned for use in constructing the Space Station Freedom. As well as demonstrating the ability of a YAG laser to perform remote (fiber-optic delivered) repair and fabrication operations in space, fundamental data will be collected on these interactions for comparison with terrestrial data and models. The flight system, scheduled to fly in 1996, will be constructed as three modules using standard Get-Away-Special (GAS) canisters. The first module holds the laser head and cooling system, while the second contains a high peak power electrical supply. The third module houses the materials processing workstation and the command and data acquisition subsystems. The laser head and workstation cansisters are linked by a fiber-optic cable to transmit the laser light. The team assembled to carry out this project includes Lumonics Industrial Products (laser), Tennessee Technological University (structural analysis and fabrication), Auburn University Center for Space Power (electrical engineering), University of Waterloo (low-g laser process consulting), and CSTAR/UTSI (data acquisition, control, software, integration, experiment design). This report describes the SAILS program and highlights recent activities undertaken at CSTAR.

  14. Satellite radar altimeters - Present and future oceanographic capabilities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Townsend, W. F.; Mcgoogan, J. T.; Walsh, E. J.

    1981-01-01

    Satellite radar altimeters have the ability to provide information related to ocean wave heights, wind speed, and currents. The present investigation has the objective to demonstrate the current capabilities and to indicate ways to increase the information content of the altimeter return through the use of wider bandwidth, higher pulse repetition frequencies (PRF), and multibeam. Altimeters aboard Skylab, Geos-3, and Seasat-1 have provided investigators with valuable experience in translating the radar observables into oceanic parameters. Basically, an altimeter transmits a narrow pulse and measures the time interval until the return energy from the ocean surface is received. That direct measure of the satellite altitude can be interpreted in terms of surface topography. Attention is given to altimeter oceanographic measurements, altimeter return pulse characteristics, satellite pointing and surface slopes, the adaptive tracker for terrain mapping, and a multibeam altimeter.

  15. SEASAT radar altimeter measurements over the Florida Everglades

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brooks, R. L.; Norcross, G. A.

    1983-01-01

    The SEASAT satellite radar altimeter traversed the Florida Everglades on August 14, 1978. Analysis of the measurements disclosed that the altimeter pulses from 800 km above the Earth's surface penetrated the vegetation canopies to provide land and water surface elevations with accuracies better than + or - 50 cm. The altimeter waveforms required retracking over the specular Everglades surface. The altimeter-derived land elevations were correlated with large-scale topographic maps while the altimeter-derived water elevations were correlated with water gauge records of the U.S. Geological Survey. Examination of the altimeter waveforms also revealed reflections from the Everglades' surface occurring earlier than the surface reflections. These earlier surface reflections are interpreted to be from vegetation canopies, and may provide a measure of vegetation canopy heights. Future satellite radar altimeters could provide supplemental vertical control in relatively inaccessible swamp areas, could monitor water levels, and perhaps could monitor vegetation growth.

  16. Determination of Barometric Altimeter Errors for the Orion Exploration Flight Test-1 Entry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brown, Denise L.; Bunoz, Jean-Philippe; Gay, Robert

    2012-01-01

    The Exploration Flight Test 1 (EFT-1) mission is the unmanned flight test for the upcoming Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV). During entry, the EFT-1 vehicle will trigger several Landing and Recovery System (LRS) events, such as parachute deployment, based on on-board altitude information. The primary altitude source is the filtered navigation solution updated with GPS measurement data. The vehicle also has three barometric altimeters that will be used to measure atmospheric pressure during entry. In the event that GPS data is not available during entry, the altitude derived from the barometric altimeter pressure will be used to trigger chute deployment for the drogues and main parachutes. Therefore it is important to understand the impact of error sources on the pressure measured by the barometric altimeters and on the altitude derived from that pressure. The error sources for the barometric altimeters are not independent, and many error sources result in bias in a specific direction. Therefore conventional error budget methods could not be applied. Instead, high fidelity Monte-Carlo simulation was performed and error bounds were determined based on the results of this analysis. Aerodynamic errors were the largest single contributor to the error budget for the barometric altimeters. The large errors drove a change to the altitude trigger setpoint for FBC jettison deploy.

  17. Laser Threat Analysis System (LTAS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pfaltz, John M.; Richardson, Christina E.; Ruiz, Abel; Barsalou, Norman; Thomas, Robert J.

    2002-11-01

    LTAS is a totally integrated modeling and simulation environment designed for the purpose of ascertaining the susceptibility of Air Force pilots and air crews to optical radiation threats. Using LTAS, mission planners can assess the operational impact of optically directed energy weapons and countermeasures. Through various scenarios, threat analysts are able to determine the capability of laser threats and their impact on operational missions including the air crew's ability to complete their mission effectively. Additionally, LTAS allows the risk of laser use on training ranges and the requirement for laser protection to be evaluated. LTAS gives mission planners and threat analysts complete control of the threat environment including threat parameter control and placement, terrain mapping (line-of-site), atmospheric conditions, and laser eye protection (LEP) selection. This report summarizes the design of the final version of LTAS, and the modeling methodologies implemented to accomplish analysis.

  18. Microoptoelectromechanical system (MOEMS) based laser

    DOEpatents

    Hutchinson, Donald P.

    2003-11-04

    A method for forming a folded laser and associated laser device includes providing a waveguide substrate, micromachining the waveguide substrate to form a folded waveguide structure including a plurality of intersecting folded waveguide paths, forming a single fold mirror having a plurality of facets which bound all ends of said waveguide paths except those reserved for resonator mirrors, and disposing a pair of resonator mirrors on opposite sides of the waveguide to form a lasing cavity. A lasing material is provided in the lasing cavity. The laser can be sealed by disposing a top on the waveguide substrate. The laser can include a re-entrant cavity, where the waveguide substrate is disposed therein, the re-entrant cavity including the single fold mirror.

  19. Magnetically switched power supply system for lasers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pacala, Thomas J. (Inventor)

    1987-01-01

    A laser power supply system is described in which separate pulses are utilized to avalanche ionize the gas within the laser and then produce a sustained discharge to cause the gas to emit light energy. A pulsed voltage source is used to charge a storage device such as a distributed capacitance. A transmission line or other suitable electrical conductor connects the storage device to the laser. A saturable inductor switch is coupled in the transmission line for containing the energy within the storage device until the voltage level across the storage device reaches a predetermined level, which level is less than that required to avalanche ionize the gas. An avalanche ionization pulse generating circuit is coupled to the laser for generating a high voltage pulse of sufficient amplitude to avalanche ionize the laser gas. Once the laser gas is avalanche ionized, the energy within the storage device is discharged through the saturable inductor switch into the laser to provide the sustained discharge. The avalanche ionization generating circuit may include a separate voltage source which is connected across the laser or may be in the form of a voltage multiplier circuit connected between the storage device and the laser.

  20. Target isolation system, high power laser and laser peening method and system using same

    DOEpatents

    Dane, C. Brent; Hackel, Lloyd A.; Harris, Fritz

    2007-11-06

    A system for applying a laser beam to work pieces, includes a laser system producing a high power output beam. Target delivery optics are arranged to deliver the output beam to a target work piece. A relay telescope having a telescope focal point is placed in the beam path between the laser system and the target delivery optics. The relay telescope relays an image between an image location near the output of the laser system and an image location near the target delivery optics. A baffle is placed at the telescope focal point between the target delivery optics and the laser system to block reflections from the target in the target delivery optics from returning to the laser system and causing damage.

  1. Antarctic elevation changes and variability from Envisat and ICESat altimeters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flament, T.; Berthier, E.; Rémy, F.

    2012-04-01

    From 2002 to 2010, Envisat provided continuous radar altimetry measurements every 35 days. ICESat provided laser altimetry measurement from 2003 to 2009 with a lower temporal sampling but a smaller footprint (~70 m), better suited for ice surfaces. We developed an along-track processing to extract elevation time series every kilometre along track for both altimeters. The processing is a classical least square fit, compensating for the local slope and computing an average height trend over the period (dh/dt). Concerning Envisat, we implement some supplementary corrections to take into account changes in snow-pack characteristics that affect the radar echo. Even if small biases can cause large errors for the continental mass balance (1 cm of ice over 12.106 km2 correspond to 110 Gt), significant elevation changes of ±15 cm/yr can still be observed. Comparison with previous results from ERS-2 reveals large scale variations due to the variability in meteorological forcing, especially in East Antarctica. Some coastal areas are experiencing rapid changes with thinning rates reaching several meters per year. Comparison between ICESat and Envisat over the common 2003-2009 period reveals that ICESat is likely overestimating dh/dt in the inner continent while Envisat encounters problems that become apparent north from 70°S and where surface slope exceeds 1°. Both radar and laser altimeter technologies have advantages and drawbacks and combining both allows to go further in the study of many different phenomena from overall continental mass balance to small scale and rapid events such as subglacial lakes drainage. We will focus on the Pine Island Glacier for mass balance as this basin alone lost about 30km3/yr in the last decade, where both sensors agree. A smaller scale analysis is conducted on the Cook ice shelf (East Antarctica) for a singular lake drainage event.

  2. Review Of Laser Lightcraft Propulsion System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davis, Eric W.; Mead, Franklin B.

    2008-04-01

    Laser-powered "Lightcraft" systems that deliver nano-satellites to LEO have been studied for the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). The study was built on the extensive Lightcraft laser propulsion technology already developed by theoretical and experimental work by the AFRL's Propulsion Directorate at Edwards AFB, CA. Here we review the history and engineering-physics of the laser Lightcraft system and its propulsive performance. We will also review the effectiveness and cost of a Lightcraft vehicle powered by a high-energy laser beam. One result of this study is the significant influence of laser wavelength on the power lost during laser beam propagation through Earth's atmosphere and in space. It was discovered that energy and power losses in the laser beam are extremely sensitive to wavelength for Earth-To-Orbit missions, and this significantly affects the amount of mass that can be placed into orbit for a given maximum amount of radiated power from a ground-based laser.

  3. Review Of Laser Lightcraft Propulsion System

    SciTech Connect

    Davis, Eric W.; Mead, Franklin B. Jr

    2008-04-28

    Laser-powered 'Lightcraft' systems that deliver nano-satellites to LEO have been studied for the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). The study was built on the extensive Lightcraft laser propulsion technology already developed by theoretical and experimental work by the AFRL's Propulsion Directorate at Edwards AFB, CA. Here we review the history and engineering-physics of the laser Lightcraft system and its propulsive performance. We will also review the effectiveness and cost of a Lightcraft vehicle powered by a high-energy laser beam. One result of this study is the significant influence of laser wavelength on the power lost during laser beam propagation through Earth's atmosphere and in space. It was discovered that energy and power losses in the laser beam are extremely sensitive to wavelength for Earth-To-Orbit missions, and this significantly affects the amount of mass that can be placed into orbit for a given maximum amount of radiated power from a ground-based laser.

  4. Pulse shaping on the Nova laser system

    SciTech Connect

    Lawson, J.K.; Speck, D.R.; Bibeau, C.; Weiland, T.L.

    1989-02-06

    Inertial confinement fusion requires temporally shaped pulses to achieve high gain efficiency. Recently, we demonstrated the ability to produce complex temporal pulse shapes at high power at 0.35 microns on the Nova laser system. 2 refs., 2 figs.

  5. Atmospheric propagation properties of various laser systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pitz, Greg A.; Glass, Sara; Kamer, Brian; Klennert, Wade L.; Hostutler, David A.

    2012-06-01

    Atmospheric propagation properties of various laser systems, including diode pumped alkali lasers (DPALs) and the Chemical Oxygen Iodine Laser (COIL), are of importance. However, there appears to be a lack of highly accurate transmission characteristics of these systems associated with their operating conditions. In this study laser propagation of the rubidium-based DPAL and the COIL has been simulated utilizing integrated cavity output spectroscopy. This technique allowed for the simulation of laser propagation approaching distances of 3 kilometers on a test stand only 35 cm long. The spectral output from these simulations was compared to the HITRAN database with excellent agreement. The spectral prole and proximity of the laser line to the atmospheric absorbers is shown. These low pressure spectral proles were then extrapolated to higher pressures using an in-house hyperne model. These models allowed for the comparison of proposed systems and their output spectral prole. The diode pumped rubidium laser at pressures under an atmosphere has been shown to interact with only one water absorption feature, but at pressures approaching 7 atmospheres the D1 transition may interact with more than 6 water lines depending on resonator considerations. Additionally, a low pressure system may have some slight control of the overlap of the output prole with the water line by changing the buer gases.

  6. Eastern Mediterranean sea level, tectonics, environmental monitoring and altimeter calibration from the GAVDOS EU/NASA project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pavlis, E.; Evans, K.; Beckley, B.; Mertikas, S.

    Eastern Mediterranean is an area of great interest for its intense tectonic activity as well as for its regional oceanography. Recent observations convincingly demonstrated the importance of the area for regional climate changes. Space systems can be complemented by ground-based systems providing valuable observations: GPS monitoring tectonics, tide gauges recording the variations in Mean Sea Level (MSL). Monitoring tide gauge locations with continuous GPS removes the uncertainties introduced by local tectonics that contaminate the observed sea level variations. Such a global tide gauge network with long historical records is already used to calibrate satellite altimeters (e.g. on TOPEX/POSEIDON, GFO, JASON-1, ENVISAT, etc.). Crete hosts two of the oldest tide gauges in the regional network, at Souda Bay and Heraklion. We have now completed the instrumentation of a third, state-of-the-art MSL monitoring facility in southwestern Crete, on the isle of Gavdos, the southernmost European parcel of land. Our project -GAVDOS, further expands the regional tide gauge network to the south, and contributes to TIGA and MedGLOSS. This presentation focuses on the altimeter calibration aspect of the facility for the JASON-1 mission. The Gavdos facility is situated under a ground-track crossing point of JASON-1, allowing two calibration observations per 10-day cycle. It is an ideal site if the tectonic motions are monitored precisely and continuously. The facility hosts in addition to two tide gauges, multiple GPS receivers, a DORIS beacon for positioning and orbit control, a transponder for direct calibration and it is visited periodically by Water Vapor Radiometers and solar spectrometers. At frequent intervals we also deploy GPS-laden buoys and conduct airborne surveys with gravimeters and laser profiling lidars for a high resolution and increased accuracy geoid and an independent observation of the local Sea Surface Topography (SST). In 2003, the French Transportable Laser

  7. The TileCal Laser Calibration System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giangiobbe, Vincent; ATLAS Tile Calorimeter Group

    TileCal is the central hadronic calorimeter of the ATLAS detector operating at LHC. It is a sampling calorimeter whose active material is made of scintillating plastic tiles. Scintillation light is read by photomultipliers. A Laser system is used to monitor their gain stability. During dedicated calibration runs the Laser system sends via long optical fibers, a monitored amount of light simultaneously to all the ≈10000 photomultipliers of TileCal. This note describes two complementary methods to measure the stability of the photomultipliers gain using the Laser calibration runs. The results of validation tests are presented for both methods and theirrespective performances and limitations are discussed.

  8. Laser power conversion system analysis, volume 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1979-01-01

    The orbit-to-orbit laser energy conversion system analysis established a mission model of satellites with various orbital parameters and average electrical power requirements ranging from 1 to 300 kW. The system analysis evaluated various conversion techniques, power system deployment parameters, power system electrical supplies and other critical supplies and other critical subsystems relative to various combinations of the mission model. The analysis show that the laser power system would not be competitive with current satellite power systems from weight, cost and development risk standpoints.

  9. Laser Based 3D Volumetric Display System

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1993-03-01

    Literature, Costa Mesa, CA July 1983. 3. "A Real Time Autostereoscopic Multiplanar 3D Display System", Rodney Don Williams, Felix Garcia, Jr., Texas...8217 .- NUMBERS LASER BASED 3D VOLUMETRIC DISPLAY SYSTEM PR: CD13 0. AUTHOR(S) PE: N/AWIU: DN303151 P. Soltan, J. Trias, W. Robinson, W. Dahlke 7...laser generated 3D volumetric images on a rotating double helix, (where the 3D displays are computer controlled for group viewing with the naked eye

  10. RADS Version 4: An Efficient Way to Analyse the Multi-Mission Altimeter Database

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scharroo, Remko; Leuliette, Eric; Naeije, Marc; Martin-Puig, Cristina; Pires, Nelson

    2016-08-01

    The Radar Altimeter Database System (RADS) has grown to become a mature altimeter database. Over the last 18 years it is continuously being developed, first at Delft University of Technology, now also at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT).RADS now serves as a fundamental Climate Data Record for sea level. Because of the multiple users involved in vetting the data and the regular updates to the database, RADS is one of the most accurate and complete databases of satellite altimeter data around.RADS version 4 is a major change from the previous version. While the database is compatible with both software versions, the new software provides new tools, allows easier expansion, and has a better and more standardised interface.

  11. Mean Sea Surface (mss) Model Determination for Malaysian Seas Using Multi-Mission Satellite Altimeter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yahaya, N. A. Z.; Musa, T. A.; Omar, K. M.; Din, A. H. M.; Omar, A. H.; Tugi, A.; Yazid, N. M.; Abdullah, N. M.; Wahab, M. I. A.

    2016-09-01

    The advancement of satellite altimeter technology has generated many evolutions to oceanographic and geophysical studies. A multi-mission satellite altimeter consists with TOPEX, Jason-1 and Jason-2, ERS-2, Envisat-1, CryoSat-2 and Saral are extracted in this study and has been processed using Radar Altimeter Database System (RADS) for the period of January 2005 to December 2015 to produce the sea surface height (hereinafter referred to SSH). The monthly climatology data from SSH is generated and averaged to understand the variation of SSH during monsoon season. Then, SSH data are required to determine the localised and new mean sea surface (MSS). The differences between Localised MSS and DTU13 MSS Global Model is plotted with root mean square error value is 2.217 metres. The localised MSS is important towards several applications for instance, as a reference for sea level variation, bathymetry prediction and derivation of mean dynamic topography.

  12. Power spectra of geoid undulations. [definition of altimeter design requirements for geoid recovery

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brown, R. D.

    1975-01-01

    Data from spacecraft altimeters are expected to contribute to an improved determination of the marine geoid. To better define altimeter system design requirements for geoid recovery, amplitudes of geoid undulations at short wavelengths were examined. Models of detailed geoids in selected areas around the earth, developed from a combination of satellite derived spherical harmonics and 1 deg-by-1 deg area mean free-air gravity anomalies, were subjected to a spectral analysis. The resulting undulation power spectra were compared to existing estimates for the magnitude of geoid undulations at short wavelengths. The undulation spectra were found to be consistent with Kaula's rule of thumb, following an inverse third power relationship with spatial frequency for wavelengths at least as small as 300 km. The requirements imposed by this relationship on altimeter accuracy, data rate, and horizontal resolution to meet the goal of a detailed geoid description are discussed.

  13. Solid state laser systems for space application

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kay, Richard B.

    1994-01-01

    Since the last report several things have happened to effect the research effort. In laser metrology, measurements using Michelson type interferometers with an FM modulated diode laser source have been performed. The discrete Fourier transform technique has been implemented. Problems associated with this technique as well as the overall FM scheme were identified. The accuracy of the technique is not at the level we would expect at this point. We are now investigating the effect of various types of noise on the accuracy as well as making changes to the system. One problem can be addressed by modifying the original optical layout. Our research effort was also expanded to include the assembly and testing of a diode pumped\\Nd:YAG laser pumped\\Ti sapphire laser for possible use in sounding rocket applications. At this stage, the diode pumped Nd:YAG laser has been assembled and made operational.

  14. Laser traffic control system upgrades for Maunakea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stomski, Paul J.; Campbell, Randy; Cumming, Tom; Kackley, Russell; Kwok, Shui; Thomas, Jim

    2016-07-01

    The Maunakea Laser Traffic Control System (LTCS) has been in use since 2002 providing a mechanism to prevent the laser guide star or Rayleigh scatter from a laser propagated from one telescope from interfering with science observations at any of the other telescopes that share the mountain. LTCS has also been adopted at several other astronomical sites around the world to address that same need. In 2014 the stakeholders on Maunakea began the process of improving LTCS capability to support common observing techniques with enhanced First On Target (FoT) equity. The planned improvements include support for non-sidereal observing, laser checkout at zenith, dynamic field of view size, dithering, collision calculations even when a facility is not laser impacted, multiple alert severity levels, and software refactoring. The design of these improvements was completed in early 2015, and implementation is expected to be completed in 2016. This paper describes the Maunakea LTCS collaboration and the design of these planned improvements.

  15. Laser and solar-photovoltaic space power systems comparison. II.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    De Young, R. J.; Stripling, J.; Enderson, T. M.; Humes, D. H.; Davis, W. T.

    1984-01-01

    A comparison of total system cost is made between solar photovoltaic and laser/receiver systems. The laser systems assume either a solar-pumped CO2 blackbody transfer laser with MHD receiver or a solar pumped liquid neodymium laser with a photovoltaic receiver. Total system costs are less for the laser systems below 300 km where drag is significant. System costs are highly dependent on altitude.

  16. Long range laser traversing system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Caudill, L. O. (Inventor)

    1974-01-01

    The relative azimuth bearing between first and second spaced terrestrial points which may be obscured from each other by intervening terrain is measured by placing at one of the points a laser source for projecting a collimated beam upwardly in the vertical plane. The collimated laser beam is detected at the second point by positioning the optical axis of a receiving instrument for the laser beam in such a manner that the beam intercepts the optical axis. In response to the optical axis intercepting the beam, the beam is deflected into two different ray paths by a beam splitter having an apex located on the optical axis. The energy in the ray paths is detected by separate photoresponsive elements that drive logic networks for proving indications of: (1) the optical axis intercepting the beam; (2) the beam being on the left of the optical axis and (3) the beam being on the right side of the optical axis.

  17. Estimates of forest height in the Amazon basin using radar altimeter data of SARIN mode onboard Cryosat-2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, L.; Sun, G.; Liu, Q.

    2013-12-01

    Forest height is an important parameter for global carbon cycle studies. New technologies are required since the end of the operation ofGeoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) onboard The Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite (IceSat) in 2009. CryoSat-2 is a European Space Agencyenvironmental research satellite which was launched in April 2010.The SIRAL (SAR Interferometer Radar Altimeter) on board CryoSat-2 provides three operational modes for different observational requirements. Before the launch of Icesat2 around July 2016, CryoSat data represents a unique source of information on regional-to-global scale forest canopy height.We propose to use radar altimetry waveforms from the synthetic aperture/interferometric (SARin) mode to estimate canopy height in the Amazon basin. To understand the relation between canopy structure and the SIRAL waveform in Ku band, a 3D model was developed and implemented based on a Lidar model by introducingthe scattering items from crown, trunk and ground surface at Ku band. The vertical distribution of tree crown volume within a SIRAL footprint was calculated from its 3-D stand model by summing the volumes of all tree crown cells at the same height from the ground. The preliminary comparisons between simulated and measured SIRAL waveforms show that the model captures the major characteristics of the SIRAL signature. Cryosat waveform data of SARin mode and from June, 2011 to June, 2012 (cycle 04) is used to retrieve canopy height at Amazon basin under Cryosat groundtrack. The canopy height is derived by extracting the key points of vegetation and ground returns after noise estimation. Because of lack of field tree height measurement in 2012 at Amazon, we validated the results using the field measurements at four areas (the km 67 camp, the km 77 camp, Ruropolis, the Taoajos river) of Tapajos National Forest, Brazil in November 1999, and compared the results with the canopy height estimation from previous studies using Laser

  18. Repetitive output laser system and method using target reflectivity

    DOEpatents

    Johnson, Roy R.

    1978-01-01

    An improved laser system and method for implosion of a thermonuclear fuel pellet in which that portion of a laser pulse reflected by the target pellet is utilized in the laser system to initiate a succeeding target implosion, and in which the energy stored in the laser system to amplify the initial laser pulse, but not completely absorbed thereby, is used to amplify succeeding laser pulses initiated by target reflection.

  19. Automated retinal robotic laser system instrumentation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barrett, Steven F.; Wright, Cameron H. G.; Jerath, Maya R.; Lewis, R. Stephen, II; Dillard, Bryan C.; Rylander, Henry G., III; Welch, Ashley J.

    1995-05-01

    Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin's Biomedical Engineering Laser Laboratory investigating the medical applications of lasers have worked toward the development of a retinal robotic laser system. The ultimate goal of this ongoing project is to precisely place and control the depth of laser lesions for the treatment of various retinal diseases such as diabetic retinopathy and retinal tears. Researchers at the USAF Academy's Department of Electrical Engineering have also become involved with this research due to similar interests. Separate low speed prototype subsystems have been developed to control lesion depth using lesion reflectance feedback parameters and lesion placement using retinal vessels as tracking landmarks. Both subsystems have been successfully demonstrated in vivo on pigmented rabbits using an argon continuous wave laser. Work is ongoing to build a prototype system to simultaneously control lesion depth and placement. The instrumentation aspects of the prototype subsystems were presented at SPIE Conference 1877 in January 1993. Since then our efforts have concentrated on combining the lesion depth control subsystem and the lesion placement subsystem into a single prototype capable of simultaneously controlling both parameters. We have designed this combined system CALOSOS for Computer Aided Laser Optics System for Ophthalmic Surgery. An initial CALOSOS prototype design is provided. We have also investigated methods to improve system response time. The use of high speed non-standard frame rate CCD cameras and high speed local bus frame grabbers hosted on personal computers are being investigated. A review of system testing in vivo to date is provided in SPIE Conference proceedings 2374-49 (Novel Applications of Lasers and Pulsed Power, Dual-Use Applications of Lasers: Medical session).

  20. Laser beam control and diagnostic systems for the copper-pumped dye laser system at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

    SciTech Connect

    Bliss, E.S.; Peterson, R.L.; Salmon, J.T.; Thomas, R.A.

    1992-11-01

    The laser system described in the previous paper is used for experiments in which success requires tight tolerances on beam position, direction, and wavefront. Indeed, the optimum performance of the laser itself depends on careful delivery of copper laser light to the dye amplifiers, precise propagation of dye laser beams through restricted amplifier apertures, and accurate monitoring of laser power at key locations. This paper describes the alignment systems, wavefront correction systems, and laser diagnostics systems which ensure that the control requirements of both the laser and associated experiments are met. Because laser isotope separation processes utilize more than one wavelength, these systems monitor and control multiple wavelengths simultaneously.