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Sample records for orbiter laser altimeter

  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. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  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. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. MESSENGER Laser Altimeter

    NASA Video Gallery

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, David E.; Zuber, Maria T.

    2001-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  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. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  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. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Martian Polar Impact Craters: A Preliminary Assessment Using Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1999-01-01

    Our knowledge of the age of the layered polar deposits and their activity in the volatile cycling and climate history of Mars is based to a large extent on their apparent ages as determined from crater counts. Interpretation of the polar stratigraphy (in terms of climate change) is complicated by reported differences in the ages of the northern and southern layered deposits. The north polar residual ice deposits are thought to be relatively young, based on the reported lack of any fresh impact craters in Viking Orbiter Images. Herkenhoff et al., report no craters at all on the North polar layered deposits or ice cap, and placed an upper bound on the surface age (or, alternatively, the vertical resurfacing rate) of 100 thousand years to 10 million years, suggesting that the north polar region is an active resurfacing site. In contrast, the southern polar region was found to have at least 15 impact craters in the layered deposits and cap. Plaut et al, concluded that the surface was less than or = 120 million years old. This reported age difference factor of 100 to 1000 increases complexity in climate and volatile modeling. Recent MOLA results for the topography of the northern polar cap document a handful or more of possible craters, which could result in revised age or resurfacing estimates for the northern cap. This study is a preliminary look at putative craters in both polar caps. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  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. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  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. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1993-01-01

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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. GPS-Based Precision Orbit Determination for a New Era of Altimeter Satellites: Jason-1 and ICESat

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Luthcke, Scott B.; Rowlands, David D.; Lemoine, Frank G.; Zelensky, Nikita P.; Williams, Teresa A.

    2003-01-01

    Accurate positioning of the satellite center of mass is necessary in meeting an altimeter mission's science goals. The fundamental science observation is an altimetric derived topographic height. Errors in positioning the satellite's center of mass directly impact this fundamental observation. Therefore, orbit error is a critical Component in the error budget of altimeter satellites. With the launch of the Jason-1 radar altimeter (Dec. 2001) and the ICESat laser altimeter (Jan. 2003) a new era of satellite altimetry has begun. Both missions pose several challenges for precision orbit determination (POD). The Jason-1 radial orbit accuracy goal is 1 cm, while ICESat (600 km) at a much lower altitude than Jason-1 (1300 km), has a radial orbit accuracy requirement of less than 5 cm. Fortunately, Jason-1 and ICESat POD can rely on near continuous tracking data from the dual frequency codeless BlackJack GPS receiver and Satellite Laser Ranging. Analysis of current GPS-based solution performance indicates the l-cm radial orbit accuracy goal is being met for Jason-1, while radial orbit accuracy for ICESat is well below the 54x1 mission requirement. A brief overview of the GPS precision orbit determination methodology and results for both Jason-1 and ICESat are presented.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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).

  12. 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).

  13. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gardner, C. S.

    1985-01-01

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

  15. Measurement and stability of the pointing of the BepiColombo Laser Altimeter under thermal load

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    The BepiColombo Laser Altimeter (BELA) has been selected to fly on ESA's BepiColombo mission to Mercury. The instrument will be the first European laser altimeter designed for interplanetary flight. This paper describes the setup used to characterize the angular movements of BELA under the simulated environmental conditions that the instrument will encounter when orbiting Mercury. The system comprises a laser transmitter and a receiving telescope, which can move with respect to each other under thermal load. Tests performed using the Engineering Qualification Model show that the setup is accurate enough to characterize angular movements of the instrument components to an accuracy of ≈10 μrad. The qualification instrument is thermally stable to operate during all mission phases around Mercury proving that the transmitter and receiver sections will remain within the alignment requirements during its mission.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Davidson, Frederic M.; 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.

  17. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. On-orbit measurement of TOPEX/Poseidon altimeter antenna pattern

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Callahan, Philip S.; Haub, David

    1995-01-01

    The NASA and CNES altimeters on the TOPEX/Poseidon satellite share a 1.5-m antenna. Early data from the NASA altimeter suggested that the beam was broader than measured preflight. An altimeter transponder was modified to output a relative measurement of received power. The instrument is briefly described. The instrument was deployed on the TOPEX ground track at the coast near Los Angeles, California. Measurements from three of these deployments are presented to show the on-orbit antenna pattern. The measured pattern is effectively broader than preflight in the central region, particularly the part of the pattern which corresponds to the tail of the altimeter waveform where the attitude is determined. This result is consistent with the general shape of both the TOPEX and Poseidon waveforms. As the TOPEX corrections which depend on values from the tail of the waveform have been compensated for deviations from the preflight measurements, no appreciable effect on the final data is expected.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1996-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Achieving and Validating the 1-centimeter Orbit: JASON-1 Precision Orbit Determination Using GPS, SLR, DORIS and Altimeter data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Luthcke, Scott B.; Zelensky, Nikita P.; Rowlands, David D.; Lemoine, Frank G.; Williams, Teresa A.

    2003-01-01

    Jason-1, launched on December 7, 2001, is continuing the time series of centimeter level ocean topography observations as the follow-on to the highly successful TOPEX/POSEIDON (T/P) radar altimeter satellite. The precision orbit determination (POD) is a critical component to meeting the ocean topography goals of the mission. Jason-1 is no exception and has set a 1 cm radial orbit accuracy goal, which represents a factor of two improvement over what is currently being achieved for T/P. The challenge to precision orbit determination (POD) is both achieving the 1 cm radial orbit accuracy and evaluating and validating the performance of the 1 cm orbit. Fortunately, Jason-1 POD can rely on four independent tracking data types including near continuous tracking data from the dual frequency codeless BlackJack GPS receiver. In addition, to the enhanced GPS receiver, Jason-1 carries significantly improved SLR and DORIS tracking systems along with the altimeter itself. We demonstrate the 1 cm radial orbit accuracy goal has been achieved using GPS data alone in a reduced dynamic solution. It is also shown that adding SLR data to the GPS-based solutions improves the orbits even further. In order to assess the performance of these orbits it is necessary to process all of the available tracking data (GPS, SLR, DORIS and altimeter crossover differences) as either dependent or independent of the orbit solutions. It was also necessary to compute orbit solutions using various combinations of the four available tracking data in order to independently assess the orbit performance. Towards this end, we have greatly improved orbits determined solely from SLR+DORIS data by applying the reduced dynamic solution strategy. In addition, we have computed reduced dynamic orbits based on SLR, DORIS and crossover data that are a significant improvement over the SLR and DORIS based dynamic solutions. These solutions provide the best performing orbits for independent validation of the GPS

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. The application of the ITRF2014 Product Center solutions with respect to Altimeter Satellite Precise Orbit Determination

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lemoine, Frank G.; Zelensky, Nikita P.; Couhert, Alexandre; Jalabert, Eva; Chinn, Douglas S.

    2016-04-01

    The IERS product centers, IGN, DGFI, and JPL, have prepared new solution realizations of the International Terrestrial Reference Frame (ITRF), based on the analysis and the combination SINEX solutions submitted by the individual geodetic techniques: Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR), Doppler Orbitography and Radiopositioning Integrated by Satellite (DORIS), Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI), and Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS). We evaluate these solutions with respect to their orbit determination performance, including RMS of fit, and other orbit metrics, including altimeter crossovers, focusing on the altimeter satellites, in particular TOPEX/Poseidon, Jason-1, and Jason-2, but also Cryosat-2 and Envisat. We also evaluate the POD performance using the Jason-2 JPL/reduced-dynamic orbits as a reference. We have conducted a preliminary evaluation of the new solutions so far released, ITRF2014P (IGN), and DTRF2014 (DGFI) with respect to the Jason-2 satellite, and find a significant improvement in the DORIS satellite RMS of fit for DORIS-only orbit computations. Over 260 orbit cycles (July 2008 to August 2015) the RMS of fit improves from 0.3667 mm/s for DPOD2008 to 0.3646 and 0.3645 mm/s for the two new ITRF2014 realizations. The following stations show improvements in RMS of fit of more than 0.02 mm/s, which is significant for DORIS data: KRUB/KRWB (Kourou), CIDB (Cibinong), JIUB (Jiufeng), YEMB (Yellowknife), MATB (Marion Island), FUTB (Futuna), and ARFB (Arequipa). In this paper we also focus on the SLR performance, and we evaluate how the new ITRF2014 reference frame realization can be integrated into the next generation of precision orbit improvements for the Jason series of satellites.

  17. Geosat Follow-On (GFO) Altimeter Document Series. Volume 2; GFO On-Orbit Altimeter Noise Assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Driscoll, Mavis L.; Sailor, Richard V.

    2001-01-01

    The purpose of this report is to present the results of an analysis of the white noise in Geosat Follow-On (GFO) altimeter data. The Repeat-Track Method was used to determine noise level. This approach was developed at TASC and has been used to quantify noise levels of all previous satellite altimeter missions. The GFO altimeter was designed to have an RMS white noise level of less than 3.5 centimeters for significant wave height less than 2 meters. The results of the analysis presented here show that the GFO altimeter meets this specification.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  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. A preliminary estimate of geoid-induced variations in repeat orbit satellite altimeter observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brenner, Anita C.; Beckley, B. D.; Koblinsky, C. J.

    1990-01-01

    Altimeter satellites are often maintained in a repeating orbit to facilitate the separation of sea-height variations from the geoid. However, atmospheric drag and solar radiation pressure cause a satellite orbit to drift. For Geosat this drift causes the ground track to vary by + or - 1 km about the nominal repeat path. This misalignment leads to an error in the estimates of sea surface height variations because of the local slope in the geoid. This error has been estimated globally for the Geosat Exact Repeat Mission using a mean sea surface constructed from Geos 3 and Seasat altimeter data. Over most of the ocean the geoid gradient is small, and the repeat-track misalignment leads to errors of only 1 to 2 cm. However, in the vicinity of trenches, continental shelves, islands, and seamounts, errors can exceed 20 cm. The estimated error is compared with direct estimates from Geosat altimetry, and a strong correlation is found in the vicinity of the Tonga and Aleutian trenches. This correlation increases as the orbit error is reduced because of the increased signal-to-noise ratio.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  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. Dynamic sea surface topography, gravity and improved orbit accuracies from the direct evaluation of SEASAT altimeter data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marsh, J. G.; Lerch, F.; Koblinsky, C. J.; Klosko, S. M.; Robbins, J. W.; Williamson, R. G.; Patel, G. B.

    1989-01-01

    A method for the simultaneous solution of dynamic ocean topography, gravity and orbits using satellite altimeter data is described. A GEM-T1 based gravitational model called PGS-3337 that incorporates Seasat altimetry, surface gravimetry and satellite tracking data has been determined complete to degree and order 50. The altimeter data is utilized as a dynamic observation of the satellite's height above the sea surface with a degree 10 model of dynamic topography being recovered simultaneously with the orbit parameters, gravity and tidal terms in this model. PGS-3337 has a geoid uncertainty of 60 cm root-mean-square (RMS) globally, with the uncertainty over the altimeter tracked ocean being in the 25 cm range. Doppler determined orbits for Seasat, show large improvements, with the sub-30 cm radial accuracies being achieved. When altimeter data is used in orbit determination, radial orbital accuracies of 20 cm are achieved. The RMS of fit to the altimeter data directly gives 30 cm fits for Seasat when using PGS-3337 and its geoid and dynamic topography model. This performance level is two to three times better than that achieved with earlier Goddard earth models (GEM) using the dynamic topography from long-term oceanographic averages. The recovered dynamic topography reveals the global long wavelength circulation of the oceans with a resolution of 1500 km. The power in the dynamic topography recovery is now found to be closer to that of oceanographic studies than for previous satellite solutions. This is attributed primarily to the improved modeling of the geoid which has occurred. Study of the altimeter residuals reveals regions where tidal models are poor and sea state effects are major limitations.

  14. 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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    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).

  16. 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.

  17. The Use of Laser Altimetry in the Orbit and Attitude Determination of Mars Global Surveyor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rowlands, D. D.; Pavlis, D. E.; Lemoine, F. G.; Neumann, G. A.; Luthcke, S. B.

    1999-01-01

    Altimetry from the Mars Observer Laser Altimeter (MOLA) which is carried on board Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) has been analyzed for the period of the MOS mission known as Science Phasing Orbit 1 (SPO-1). We have used these altimeter ranges to improve orbit and attitude knowledge for MGS. This has been accomplished by writing crossover constraint equations that have been derived from short passes of MOLA data. These constraint equations differ from traditional Crossover constraints and exploit the small foot print associated with laser altimetry.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  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

    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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Davidson, Frederic M.; 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. JASON-1 Precise Orbit Determination (POD) Through the Combination and Comparison of GPS, SLR, DORIS and Altimeter Crossover Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Luthcke, Scott B.; Zelensky, N. P.; Rowlands, D. D.; Lemoine, F. G.; Chinn, D. S.; Williams, T. A.

    2002-01-01

    Jason-1, launched on December 7,2001, is continuing the time series of centimeter level ocean topography observations as the follow-on to the highly successful TOPEX/POSEIDON (T/P) radar altimeter satellite. The precision orbit determination (POD) is a critical component to meeting the ocean topography goals of the mission. T P has demonstrated that the time variation of ocean topography can be determined with an accuracy of a few centimeters, thanks to the availability of highly accurate orbits based primarily on SLR+DORIS tracking. The Jason-1 mission is intended to continue measurement of the ocean surface with the same, if not better accuracy. Fortunately, Jason- 1 POD can rely on four independent tracking data types available including near continuous tracking data from the dual frequency codeless BlackJack GPS receiver. Orbit solutions computed using individual and various combinations of GPS, SLR, DORIS and altimeter crossover data types have been determined from over 100 days of Jason-1 tracking data, The performance of the orbit solutions and tracking data has been evaluated. Orbit solution evaluation and comparison has provided insight into possible areas of refinement. Several aspects of the POD process are examined to obtain orbit improvements including measurement modeling, force modeling and solution strategy. The results of these analyses will be presented.

  10. JASON-1 Precise Orbit Determination (POD) Through the Combination and Comparison of GPS, SLR, DORIS and Altimeter Crossover Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Luthcke, S. B.; Zelensky, N. P.; Lemoine, Frank G.; Chinn, D. S.; Williams, T. A.

    2002-01-01

    Jason-1, launched on December 7, 2001, is continuing the time series of centimeter level ocean topography observations as the follow-on to the highly successful TOPEX/POSEIDON (T/P) radar altimeter satellite. The precision orbit determination (POD) is a critical component to meeting the ocean topography goals of the mission. T/P has demonstrated that the time variation of ocean topography can be determined with an accuracy of a few centimeters, thanks to the availability of highly accurate orbits based primarily on SLR+DORIS tracking. The Jason-1 mission is intended to continue measurement of the ocean surface with the same, if not better accuracy. Fortunately, Jason-1 POD can rely on four independent tracking data types available including near continuous tracking data from the dual frequency codeless BlackJack GPS receiver. Orbit solutions computed using individual and various combinations of GPS, SLR, DORIS and altimeter crossover data types have been determined from over 100 days of Jason-1 tracking data. The performance of the orbit solutions and tracking data has been evaluated. Orbit solution evaluation and comparison has provided insight into possible areas of refinement. Several aspects of the POD process are examined to obtain orbit improvements including measurement modeling, force modeling and solution strategy. The results of these analyses will be presented.

  11. MGS Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter Topographic Profile of Impact Crater

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    Among the myriad of interesting landforms sampled by MOLA on its first traverse across the Red Planet on 15 September 1997 is this 13-mile (21-kilometer) diameter impact crater located at 48oN. The figure shows the topography, the computed position of the spacecraft groundtrack (solid line) and the track adjusted to correct for image location error (dashed line). The topographic profile provides some of the first indications of how landscape modification has operated in Martian geologic history. The relief of the crater rim, in combination with the steepness (over 20o) of the inner crater wall, are intriguing in that most craters of this size are much more subdued. The shape of the outer ejecta blanket of the crater likely indicates impact into an H2O rich crust. Issues concerning how craters such as this can be used to understand the properties of the uppermost crust of Mars in regions where the role of water and other volatiles may be important can be addressed with the high spatial and vertical resolution topographic profiles that will be acquired by MOLA once it starts its detailed mapping of the Red Planet in March of 1998.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. On the simultaneous improvement of a satellite orbit and determination of sea surface topography using altimeter data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Engelis, Theodossios

    1988-01-01

    A method is presented in satellite altimetry that attempts to simultaneously determine the geoid and sea surface toography with minimum wavelengths of about 500 km and to reduce the radial orbit errors caused by geopotential uncertainties. The modeling of these errors is made using the linearized Lagrangian perturbation theory. Observation equations are developed using sea surface heights and crossover discrepancies as observables. A minimum variance solution with prior information can then provide estimates of parametrs representing the sea surface topography and corrections to the orbit. The potential of the method is demonstrated in a solution where simulated geopotential errors and the Levitus sea surface topography are used to generate the observables for a Seasat 3 day arc. The simulation results suggest that the method can be used to efficiently process real altimeter data.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Observations of the Earth's topography from the Shuttle Laser Altimeter (SLA): Laser-pulse Echo-recovery measurements of terrestrial surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garvin, J.; Bufton, J.; Blair, J.; Harding, D.; Luthcke, S.; Frawley, J.; Rowlands, D.

    Meter-precision topographic measurements of a diverse suite of terrestrial surfaces have been accomplished from Earth orbit using the Shuttle Laser Altimeter (SLA) instrument flown aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour in January of 1996. Over three million laser pulses were directed at the Earth by the SLA system during its ∼ 80 hours of nadir-pointing operation at an orbital altitude of 305 km (+/- 10 km). Approximately 90% of these pulses resulted in valid range measurements to ocean, land, and cloud features. Of those which were fired at land targets, 57% resulted in valid surface ranges, the remainder being cloud tops, false alarms, or missed shots. The SLA incorporated an electronic echo-recovery system into a pulsed, time-of-flight laser altimeter instrument in order to capture and characterize the vertical structure within each 100 m diameter surface footprint. The echoes recorded by SLA demonstrate aspects of the vertical structure of the nearly ubiquitous vegetation cover on the planet, as well as sensitivity to local slopes, surface reflectivity, and vertical ruggedness. With a vertical resolution of 0.75 m and horizontal sampling at 0.7 km length scales, SLA provides a new form of high vertical accuracy topographic data for studying problems related to the dynamics of the Earth's surface. Assessment of the error budget associated with the SLA experiment suggests that ∼2.8 m (RMS) precision was achieved for ranging measurements to oceanic surfaces, for which there are over 700,000 examples. With the availability of a precision radial orbit and post-flight Shuttleattitude information, a mid-latitude (+ 28.5° to -28.5°), georeferenced database of topographic ground control point elevations has been achieved using SLA data, consisting of ∼ 344,000 land measurements. Each of these measurements is geolocated to within 1-2 SLA footprints (100-200 m) on the Earth's surface, with vertical errors that approach the limits of resolution (0.75 m) of the

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Improvement of the TOPEX and Jason Orbit Time Series: Precision Orbit Determination, Calibration, Validation and Improvement Through the Combined Reduction and Analysis of GPS, SLR, DORIS and Altimeter Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Luthcke, Scott B.; Rowlands, D. D.; Lemoine, F. G.; Zelensky, N. P.; Beckley, B. D.

    2004-01-01

    Orbit error is a major component in the overall error budget of all altimeter satellite missions. Jason-I is no exception and a 1 cm radial orbit accuracy goal has been set, which represents a factor of two improvement over what is currently being achieved for TOPEX/Poseidon (TP). Our current analysis suggests this goal has been met and even improved upon, but the challenge is to be able to continually achieve this high accuracy, verify the performance and characterize and quantify the remaining errors over the lifetime of the mission. The computation, verification and error characterization of such high accuracy orbits requires the reduction and analysis of all available tracking data (GPS, SLR, DORIS and altimeter). Current analysis also indicates the history of TP orbits can be further improved employing new solution strategies developed and tested on Jason-I. Our research focuses on the calibration, validation and improvement of orbit accuracies using all available tracking data including altimetry. We will compute and distribute well centered Jason orbits with an accuracy of better than 1-cm in the radial component. In addition to the orbits themselves, a characterization of the orbit error will be distributed and accumulated as a time series of orbit performance metrics to track anomalies and trends. The long time series of orbit error characterization will enable a better understanding of the remaining orbit errors and its impact on the altimeter data analysis. As part of this research effort we are also significantly improving the current level of TP orbit accuracy, re-computing new high-accuracy TP orbits from the beginning of the TP mission and continuing into the future (as long as TP is healthy). Our funded research effort will result in a complete and consistent time series of improved orbits for both TP and Jason, significantly benefiting the long time series of altimeter data analysis and the TP/Jason dual mission. The resultant high accuracy orbits

  6. 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.

  7. ALTIMETER ERRORS,

    DTIC Science & Technology

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

  8. 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).

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. The use of laser altimetry data in Chang'E-1 precision orbit determination

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang, Sheng-Qi; Huang, Yong; Li, Pei-Jia; Hu, Xiao-Gong; Fan, Min

    2016-09-01

    Accurate altimetric measurement not only can be applied to the calculation of a topography model but also can be used to improve the quality of the orbit reconstruction in the form of crossovers. Altimetry data from the Chang'E-1 (CE-1) laser altimeter are analyzed in this paper. The differences between the crossover constraint equation in the form of height discrepancies and in the form of minimum distances are mainly discussed. The results demonstrate that the crossover constraint equation in the form of minimum distances improves the CE-1 orbit precision. The overlap orbit performance has increased ˜ 30% compared to the orbit using only tracking data. External assessment using the topography model also shows orbit improvement. The results will be helpful for recomputing ephemeris and improving the CE-1 topography model.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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).

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Evaluation of GEOSAT Follow-On Precise Orbit Ephemeris

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lemoine, Frank G.

    2002-01-01

    The GEOSAT Follow-On spacecraft (GFO-l), launched in 1998, began continuous radar altimeter coverage of the oceans in 2000, and after an extensive series of calibration campaigns in 1999 and 2000 was finally accepted by the US Navy on November 29, 2000. By providing high quality altimeter data, GFO can supplement TOPEX/POSEIDON(T/P), ERS-1, and ERS-2 data, providing a different synoptic sampling of the oceans with its 17-day ground track repeat cycle. Altimeter analysis suggests GFO is capable of POSEIDON class altimetry, with orbit error the largest contributor to the GFO altimeter error budget. Satellite laser ranging (SLR), especially in combination with altimeter crossover data, offer the only means of determining high-quality precise orbits. SLR tracking is also augmented by Doppler (Tranet style) beacons. These data were used to tune the gravity field and macromodel (3D representation of the spacecraft geometry and surface properties). Beginning with January 2000 GSFC has produced a 2.5 year span of the Precision Orbit Ephemeris (POE) intended for use on the GFO GDR and for the Pathfinder Project. Using GFO GDR and IGDR altimeter data from NOAA, a two year span of POE orbits are evaluated with respect to the TOPEX orbits by adjusting the GFO data into the TOPEX frame with the help of TOPEX/GFO altimeter crossovers. A 2.5 year span of orbits are also evaluated using tracking data residual analysis, GFO altimeter crossover residual analysis, and direct orbit comparison. In an effort to improve the current POE orbit several ideas are considered, including using recent gravity models which include CHAMP data, the reduced-dynamic approach, and including TOPEX/GFO altimeter crossover data in the orbit solution.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Reflected Signal Analysis and Surface Albedo in the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) Investigation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ivanov, Anton B.; Muhleman, Duane O.

    2001-01-01

    This work presents results from the analysis of the reflectivity data from the MOLA investigation. We will discuss calculation of the surface albedo using the MGS TES 9 micron opacity. We will also overview reflectivity data collected to date. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  9. The GEOS-3 orbit determination investigation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pisacane, V. L.; Eisner, A.; Yionoulis, S. M.; Mcconahy, R. J.; Black, H. D.; Pryor, L. L.

    1978-01-01

    The nature and improvement in satellite orbit determination when precise altimetric height data are used in combination with conventional tracking data was determined. A digital orbit determination program was developed that could singly or jointly use laser ranging, C-band ranging, Doppler range difference, and altimetric height data. Two intervals were selected and used in a preliminary evaluation of the altimeter data. With the data available, it was possible to determine the semimajor axis and eccentricity to within several kilometers, in addition to determining an altimeter height bias. When used jointly with a limited amount of either C-band or laser range data, it was shown that altimeter data can improve the orbit solution.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-28

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Precise orbit computation and sea surface modeling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wakker, Karel F.; Ambrosius, B. A. C.; Rummel, R.; Vermaat, E.; Deruijter, W. P. M.; Vandermade, J. W.; Zimmerman, J. T. F.

    1991-01-01

    The research project described below is part of a long-term program at Delft University of Technology aiming at the application of European Remote Sensing satellite (ERS-1) and TOPEX/POSEIDON altimeter measurements for geophysical purposes. This program started in 1980 with the processing of Seasat laser range and altimeter height measurements and concentrates today on the analysis of Geosat altimeter data. The objectives of the TOPEX/POSEIDON research project are the tracking of the satellite by the Dutch mobile laser tracking system MTLRS-2, the computation of precise TOPEX/POSEIDON orbits, the analysis of the spatial and temporal distribution of the orbit errors, the improvement of ERS-1 orbits through the information obtained from the altimeter crossover difference residuals for crossing ERS-1 and TOPEX/POSEIDON tracks, the combination of ERS-1 and TOPEX/POSEIDON altimeter data into a single high-precision data set, and the application of this data set to model the sea surface. The latter application will focus on the determination of detailed regional mean sea surfaces, sea surface variability, ocean topography, and ocean currents in the North Atlantic, the North Sea, the seas around Indonesia, the West Pacific, and the oceans around South Africa.

  19. Using Lasers in Space: Laser Orbital Debris Removal and Asteroid Deflection

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2000-12-01

    Orbital debris in tow-Earth orbit ranging in size from 1 to 10 centimeters (cm) in diameter, poses a significant problem for space vehicles. While...ablate or vaporize the surface of orbital debris , thereby producing enough cumulative thrust to cause debris to reenter the atmosphere. One laser facility...favorable in comparison with the typical costs OR SPACECRAFT OPERATIONS. Orbital debris is not the only form of space junk that is deleterious to the Earth

  20. A Geos 3 Orbit determination experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pisacane, V. L.; Eisner, A.; Yionoulis, S. M.; Mcconahy, R. J.; Black, H. D.; Pryor, L. L.

    1979-01-01

    The purpose of this experiment was to investigate the value of altimetry data in high-precision satellite orbit determination. To accomplish this, software was developed to process laser, C-band, doppler and altimeter data singly or jointly. Initially, orbit determination studies were undertaken using synthetic data to validate the software. As data became available, preliminary experiments were carried out. When all the data became available, an intensive study was made covering a 4-day span in 1976. The results showed that even with sparse altimeter data it was possible to accurately determine the semimajor axis and eccentricity with altimeter data only. When altimeter data was supplemented with (as few as) two C-band passes, high-precision ephemerides were obtained. Using two laser passes to supplement the altimetry data did not achieve that same high precision. This is probably because the geographic location (mid-Atlantic) of the highly accurate laser data were such that they did not ideally complement the available (south Atlantic and Indian Ocean) altimeter data.

  1. Orbit Determination Analysis Utilizing Radiometric and Laser Ranging Measurements for GPS Orbit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Welch, Bryan W.

    2007-01-01

    While navigation systems for the determination of the orbit of the Global Position System (GPS) have proven to be very effective, the current issues involve lowering the error in the GPS satellite ephemerides below their current level. In this document, the results of an orbit determination covariance assessment are provided. The analysis is intended to be the baseline orbit determination study comparing the benefits of adding laser ranging measurements from various numbers of ground stations. Results are shown for two starting longitude assumptions of the satellite location and for nine initial covariance cases for the GPS satellite state vector.

  2. 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

  3. 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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Welch, Bryan W.

    2007-01-01

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

  5. Project LOCOST: Laser or Chemical Hybrid Orbital Space Transport

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dixon, Alan; Kost, Alicia; Lampshire, Gregory; Larsen, Rob; Monahan, Bob; Wright, Geoff

    1990-01-01

    A potential mission in the late 1990s is the servicing of spacecraft assets located in GEO. The Geosynchronous Operations Support Center (GeoShack) will be supported by a space transfer vehicle based at the Space Station (SS). The vehicle will transport cargo between the SS and the GeoShack. A proposed unmanned, laser or chemical hybrid orbital space transfer vehicle (LOCOST) can be used to efficiently transfer cargo between the two orbits. A preliminary design shows that an unmanned, laser/chemical hybrid vehicle results in the fuel savings needed while still providing fast trip times. The LOCOST vehicle receives a 12 MW laser beam from one Earth orbiting, solar pumped, iodide Laser Power Station (LPS). Two Energy Relay Units (ERU) provide laser beam support during periods of line-of-sight blockage by the Earth. The baseline mission specifies a 13 day round trip transfer time. The ship's configuration consist of an optical train, one hydrogen laser engine, two chemical engines, a 18 m by 29 m box truss, a mission-flexible payload module, and propellant tanks. Overall vehicle dry mass is 8,000 kg. Outbound cargo mass is 20,000 kg, and inbound cargo mass is 6,000 kg. The baseline mission needs 93,000 kg of propellants to complete the scenario. Fully fueled, outbound mission mass is 121,000 kg. A regeneratively cooled, single plasma, laser engine design producing a maximum of 768 N of thrust is utilized along with two traditional chemical engines. The payload module is designed to hold 40,000 kg of cargo, though the baseline mission specifies less. A proposed design of a laser/chemical hybrid vehicle provides a trip time and propellant efficient means to transport cargo from the SS to a GeoShack. Its unique, hybrid propulsion system provides safety through redundancy, allows baseline missions to be efficiently executed, while still allowing for the possibility of larger cargo transfers.

  6. A preliminary study of pulse-laser powered orbital launcher

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Katsurayama, Hiroshi; Komurasaki, Kimiya; Arakawa, Yoshihiro

    2009-10-01

    An air-breathing pulse-laser powered orbital launcher has been proposed as an alternative to conventional chemical launch systems. The aim of the present study is to assess its feasibility through the estimation of its achievable payload mass per unit beam power and launch cost. A transfer trajectory from the ground to a geosynchronous Earth orbit (GEO) is proposed, and the launch trajectory to its geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO) is computed using the realistic performance modeled in the pulsejet, ramjet, and rocket flight modes of the launcher. Results show that the launcher can transfer 0.084 kg of payload per 1 MW beam power to a geosynchronous earth orbit. The cost becomes a quarter of existing systems if one can divide a single launch into 24,000 multiple launches.

  7. Detection and laser ranging of orbital objects using optical methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wagner, P.; Hampf, D.; Sproll, F.; Hasenohr, T.; Humbert, L.; Rodmann, J.; Riede, W.

    2016-09-01

    Laser ranging to satellites (SLR) in earth orbit is an established technology used for geodesy, fundamental science and precise orbit determination. A combined active and passive optical measurement system using a single telescope mount is presented which performs precise ranging measurements of retro reflector equipped objects in low earth orbit (LEO). The German Aerospace Center (DLR) runs an observatory in Stuttgart where a system has been assembled completely from commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) components. The visible light directed to the tracking camera is used to perform angular measurements of objects under investigation. This is done astrometrically by comparing the apparent target position with cataloged star positions. First successful satellite laser ranging was demonstrated recently using an optical fiber directing laser pulses onto the astronomical mount. The transmitter operates at a wavelength of 1064 nm with a repetition rate of 3 kHz and pulse energy of 25 μJ. A motorized tip/tilt mount allows beam steering of the collimated beam with μrad accuracy. The returning photons reflected from the object in space are captured with the tracking telescope. A special low aberration beam splitter unit was designed to separate the infrared from visible light. This allows passive optical closed loop tracking and operation of a single photon detector for time of flight measurements at a single telescope simultaneously. The presented innovative design yields to a compact and cost effective but very precise ranging system which allows orbit determination.

  8. Laser propulsion to earth orbit. Has its time come?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kantrowitz, Arthur

    1989-01-01

    Recent developments in high energy lasers, adaptive optics, and atmospheric transmission bring laser propulsion much closer to realization. Proposed here is a reference vehicle for study which consists of payload and solid propellant (e.g. ice). A suitable laser pulse is proposed for using a Laser Supported Detonation wave to produce thrust efficiently. It seems likely that a minimum system (10 Mw CO2 laser and 10 m dia. mirror) could be constructed for about $150 M. This minimum system could launch payloads of about 13 kg to a 400 km orbit every 10 minutes. The annual launch capability would be about 683 tons times the duty factor. Laser propulsion would be an order of magnitude cheaper than chemical rockets if the duty factor was 20 percent (10,000 launches/yr). Launches beyond that would be even cheaper. The chief problem which needs to be addressed before these possibilities could be realized is the design of a propellant to turn laser energy into thrust efficiently and to withstand the launch environment.

  9. Ground-to-orbit laser propulsion: Advanced applications

    SciTech Connect

    Kare, J.T.

    1990-01-01

    Laser propulsion uses a large fixed laser to supply energy to heat an inert propellant in a rocket thruster. Such a system has two potential advantages: extreme simplicity of the thruster, and potentially high performance -- particularly high exhaust velocity. By taking advantage of the simplicity of the thruster, it should be possible to launch small (10--1000 kg) payloads to orbit using roughly 1 MW of average laser power per kg of payload. The incremental cost of such launches would be of order $200/kg for the smallest systems, decreasing to essentially the cost of electricity to run the laser (a few times $10/kg) for large systems. Although the individual payload size would be small, a laser launch system would be inherently high-volume, with the capacity to launch tens of thousands of payloads per year. Also, with high exhaust velocity, a laser launch system could launch payloads to high velocities -- geosynchronous transfer, Earth escape, or beyond -- at a relatively small premium over launches to LEO. In this paper, we briefly review the status of pulsed laser propulsion, including proposals for advanced vehicles. We then discuss qualitatively several unique applications appropriate to the early part of the next century, and perhaps valuable well into the next millenium: space habitat supply, deep space mission supply, nuclear waste disposal, and manned vehicle launching.

  10. Ground-to-orbit laser propulsion: Advanced applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kare, Jordin T.

    1990-01-01

    Laser propulsion uses a large fixed laser to supply energy to heat an inert propellant in a rocket thruster. Such a system has two potential advantages: extreme simplicity of the thruster, and potentially high performance, particularly high exhaust velocity. By taking advantage of the simplicity of the thruster, it should be possible to launch small (10 to 1000 kg) payloads to orbit using roughly 1 MW of average laser power per kg of payload. The incremental cost of such launches would be of an order of $200/kg for the smallest systems, decreasing to essentially the cost of electricity to run the laser (a few times $10/kg) for larger systems. Although the individual payload size would be smaller, a laser launch system would be inherently high-volume, with the capacity to launch tens of thousands of payloads per year. Also, with high exhaust velocity, a laser launch system could launch payloads to high velocities - geosynchronous transfer, Earth escape, or beyond - at a relatively small premium over launches to LEO. The status of pulsed laser propulsion is briefly reviewed including proposals for advanced vehicles. Several applications appropriate to the early part of the next century and perhaps valuable well into the next millennium are discussed qualitatively: space habitat supply, deep space mission supply, nuclear waste disposal, and manned vehicle launching.

  11. Laser beaming demonstrations to high-orbit satellites

    SciTech Connect

    Lipinski, R.J.; Meister, D.C.; Tucker, S.

    1994-12-31

    Laser power beaming to satellites and orbital transfer vehicles requires the accurate pointing of a low-divergence laser beam to its target, whether the target is in the sunlight or the earth`s shadow. The Air Force Phillips Laboratory (AFPL) has demonstrated reduction in the image size of stars by a factor of 10 or more by using laser beacons and adaptive optics for atmospheric compensation. This same technology is applicable to reducing the divergence of laser beams propagated from earth to space. A team of Phillips Laboratory, COMSAT Laboratories, and Sandia National Laboratories plans to demonstrate the state of the art in this area with laser-beaming demonstrations to high-orbit satellites. The demonstrations will utilize the 1.5-m diameter telescope with adaptive optics at the AFPL Starfire Optical Range (SOR) and a ruby laser provided by the Air Force and Sandia (1--50 kW and 6 ms at 694.3 nm). The first targets will be corner-cube retro-reflectors left on the moon by the Apollo 11, 14, and 15 landings. The authors will attempt to use adaptive optics for atmospheric compensation to demonstrate accurate and reliable beam projection with a series of shots over a span of time and shot angle. The authors will utilize the return signal from the retro-reflectors to help determine the beam diameter on the moon and the variations in pointing accuracy caused by atmospheric tilt. This will be especially challenging because the retro-reflectors will need to be in the lunar shadow to allow detection over background light. If the results from this experiment are encouraging, the authors will at a later date direct the beam at a COMSAT satellite in geosynchronous orbit as it goes into the shadow of the earth. The authors will utilize an onboard monitor to measure the current generated in the solar panels on the satellite while the beam is present. A threshold irradiance of about 4 W/m{sup 2} on orbit is needed for this demonstration.

  12. Laser beaming demonstrations to high-orbit satellites

    SciTech Connect

    Lipinski, R.J.; Meister, D.C.; Tucker, S.

    1993-12-31

    Laser power beaming to satellites and orbital transfer vehicles requires the accurate pointing of a low-divergence laser beam to its target, whether the target is in the sunlight or the earth`s shadow. The Air Force Phillips Laboratory (AFPL) has demonstrated reduction in the image size of stars by a factor of 10 or more by using laser beacons and adaptive optics for atmospheric compensation. This same technology is applicable to reducing the divergence of laser beams propagated from earth to space. A team of Phillips Laboratory, COMSAT Laboratories, and Sandia National Laboratories plans to demonstrate the state of the art in this area with laser-beaming demonstrations to high-orbit satellites. The demonstrations will utilize the 1.5-m diameter telescope with adaptive optics at the AFPL Starfire Optical Range (SOR) and a ruby laser provided by the Air Force and Sandia (1--50 kill and 6 ms at 694.3 nm). The first targets will be corner-cube retro-reflectors left on the moon by the Apollo 11, 14, and 15 landings. We will attempt to use adaptive optics for atmospheric compensation to demonstrate accurate and reliable beam projection with a series of shots over a span of time and shot angle. We will utilize the return signal from the retro-reflectors to help determine the beam diameter on the moon and the variations in pointing accuracy caused by atmospheric tilt. This will be especially challenging because the retro-reflectors will need to be in the lunar shadow to allow detection over background light. If the results from this experiment are encouraging, we will at a later date direct the beam at a COMSAT satellite in geosynchronous orbit as it goes into the shadow of the earth. We will utilize an onboard monitor to measure the current generated in the solar panels on the satellite while the beam is present. A threshold irradiance of about 4 W/m{sup 2} on orbit is needed for this demonstration.

  13. 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.

  14. Orbit Determination for Mars Global Surveyor During Mapping

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lemoine, F. G.; Rowlands, D. D.; Smith, D. E.; Pavlis, D. E.; Chinn, D. S.; Luthcke, S. B.; Neumann, G. A.

    1999-01-01

    The Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) spacecraft reached a low-altitude circular orbit on February 4, 1999, after the termination of the second phase of aerobraking. The MGS spacecraft carries the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) whose primary goal is to derive a global, geodetically referenced 0.2 deg x 0.2 deg topographic grid of Mars with a vertical accuracy of better than 30 meters. During the interim science orbits in the' Hiatus mission phase (October - November 1997), and the Science Phasing Orbits (March - April, 1998, and June - July 1998) 208 passes of altimeter data were collected by the MOLA instrument. On March 1, 1999 the first ten orbits of MOLA altimeter data from the near-circular orbit were successfully returned from MGS by the Deep Space Network (DSN). Data will be collected from MOLA throughout the Mapping phase of the MCS mission, or for at least one Mars year (687 days). Whereas the interim orbits of Hiatus and SPO were highly eccentric, and altimeter data were only collected near periapsis when the spacecraft was below 785 km, the Mapping orbit of MGS is near circular, and altimeter data will be collected continuously at a rate of 10 Hz. The proper analysis of the altimeter data requires that the orbit of the MGS spacecraft be known to an accuracy comparable to that of the quality of the altimeter data. The altimeter has an ultimate precision of 30 cm on mostly flat surfaces, so ideally the orbits of the MGS spacecraft should be known to this level. This is a stringent requirement, and more realistic goals of orbit error for MGS are ten to thirty meters. In this paper we will discuss the force and measurement modelling required to achieve this objective. Issues in force modelling include the proper modelling of the gravity field of Mars, and the modelling of non-conservatives forces, including the development of a 'macro-model', in a similar fashion to TOPEX/POSEIDON and TDRSS. During Cruise and Aerobraking, the high gain antenna (HGA) was stowed

  15. An Analysis of Debris Orbit Prediction Accuracy from Short-arc Orbit Determination Using Optical and Laser Tracking Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bennett, J.; Sang, J.; Smith, C.; Zhang, K.

    2014-09-01

    In this paper results are presented from a short-arc orbit determination study using optical and laser tracking data from the Space Debris Tracking System located at Mount Stromlo, Australia. Fifteen low-Earth orbit debris objects were considered in the study with perigee altitudes in the range 550850 km. In most cases, a 2-day orbit determination was considered using 2 passes of optical and 2 passes of laser tracking data. A total of 33 1-day and 26 2-day orbit prediction cases were compared with residuals obtained by comparing the orbit prediction with subsequent tracking data. A comparison was made between the orbit prediction accuracies for 2 orbit determination variants: (1) Entire passes are used during the orbit determination process; (2) Only 5 seconds is used from the beginning of each pass. Overall, the short-arc orbit determination results in (slightly) worse 1 and 2 day orbit prediction accuracies when compared to using the full observation arcs; however, the savings in tracking load outweighs the reduction in accuracy. If the optical or laser data is left out of the 5-second pass orbit determination process, most cases diverged which shows the importance of 3-dimenional positioning. Two-line element data was used to constrain the orbit determination process resulting in better convergence rates, but the resulting orbit prediction accuracy was much worse. The results have important implications for an optical and laser debris tracking network with potential savings in tracking load. An experimental study will be needed to verify this statement.

  16. Automated Maneuver Design and Checkout for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-12-01

    International Space Station LAMP Lyman alpha mapping project LEND lunar exploration neutron detector LOLA lunar orbiter laser altimeter LRO Lunar...Planetary Data System S/C spacecraft TRACE Transition Region And Coronal Explorer UV ultraviolet V&V validation and verification xiv THIS...cost metrics. This objective of this thesis is to explore the application of optimal control theory to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO

  17. Orbital debris removal using ground-based lasers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Taylor, Charles R.

    1996-01-01

    Orbiting the Earth are spent rocket stages, non-functioning satellites, hardware from satellite deployment and staging, fragments of exploded spacecraft, and other relics of decades of space exploration: orbital debris. The United States Space Command tracks and maintains a catalog of the largest objects. The catalog contains over 7000 objects. Recent studies have assessed the debris environment in an effort to estimate the number of smaller particles and the probability of a collision causing catastrophic damage to a functioning spacecraft. The results of the studies can be used to show, for example, that the likelihood of a collision of a particle larger than about one centimeter in diameter with the International Space Station during a 10-year period is a few percent, roughly in agreement with earlier estimates for Space Station Freedom. Particles greater than about one centimeter in diameter pose the greatest risk to shielded spacecraft. There are on the order of 105 such particles in low Earth orbit. The United States National Space Policy, begun in 1988, is to minimize debris consistent with mission requirements. Measures such as venting unused fuel to prevent explosions, retaining staging and deployment hardware, and shielding against smaller debris have been taken by the U.S. and other space faring nations. There is at present no program to remove debris from orbit. The natural tendency for upper atmospheric drag to remove objects from low Earth orbit is more than balanced by the increase in the number of debris objects from new launches and fragmentation of existing objects. In this paper I describe a concept under study by the Program Development Laboratory of Marshall Space Flight Center and others to remove debris with a ground-based laser. A longer version of this report, including figures, is available from the author.

  18. Global Geometric Properties of Martian Impact Craters: An Assessment from Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) Digital Elevation Models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2000-01-01

    Global geometric characteristics of topographically fresh impact craters have been assessed, for the first time, from gridded MOLA topography. Global trends of properties such as depth/diameter differ from previous estimates. Regional differences are observed.

  19. Precision Orbit Determination for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lemoine, Frank; Rowlands, David; McGarry, Jan; Neumann, Gregory; Chinn, Douglas; Mazarico, Erwan; Torrence, Mark

    The U.S. Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission will be launched in October 2008, and will carry out a detailed mapping of the Moon using a science payload of multiple instruments, including the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA), and the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) (Chin, 2007). One of the primary goals of the LRO mission is develop a geodetic grid for the planet. A subsidiary goal is the improvement of the lunar gravity field. The environment for POD on LRO is especially challenging. The spacecraft will orbit the Moon at a mean altitude of 50 km, and the expected error from the Lunar Prospector series of gravity models (to degree 100 or to degree 150) can be expected to be hundreds of meters. LRO will be tracked by S Band Doppler from White Sands, New Mexico, and Dongara, Australia, as well as by one-way laser ranging from Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) tracking stations on the Earth. However, unlike the Japanese lunar mission SELENE (Kaguya), no direct tracking will be available while the spacecraft is over the lunar farside. We review the status of orbit modelling for LRO, for both the geopotential modelling and the nonconservative force models, as well as anticipated improvements. We discuss the modelling for the one-way laser ranging observable, and how the data from the one-way laser ranging (LR) system will be acquired from selected stations of the global stations of the SLR network. We discuss the orbit determination strategies which we expect to implement on this mission, including the use of altimeter crossovers from the LOLA instrument to supplement the Earth-based tracking and we review the projected orbit determination accuracies that will be attainable.

  20. Radar sounding of Mars from the orbit of the Mars-Express automatic interplanetary station

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smirnov, V. M.; Chernaya, L. F.; Yushkova, O. V.; Rykov, K. N.

    2006-07-01

    On the base of the laser altimetry results obtained using the orbital altimeter MOLA (the MGS mission) and the data of radio occultation experiments of transionospheric sounding of the Mars ionosphere, a method for interpretation of the planet radar sounding data is developed. The proposed method includes a program package for numerical simulation of the process of radiowave propagation through the media under study.

  1. Global anomaly and undulation recovery using GEOS-3 altimeter data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rapp, R. H.

    1979-01-01

    The data were adjusted to remove orbit error and altimeter bias in a primary adjustment and four regional adjustments. The root mean square crossover discrepancy was about + or - 55 cm after the adjustment. The adjusted altimeter data, now considered to give geoid undulations, was used to predict values at 1 deg intersections from which an oceanic geoid map, with predicted accuracies, was prepared at a two meter contour interval. This geoid was compared to the Gemini 9 geoid over very long profiles to examine the long wavelength error in the altimeter geoid. At a wavelength of 13,010 km the root mean squares difference was 57 cm. The altimeter geoid was also compared to altimeter geoids fixed by precise orbits. A root mean square difference was found of about 1 m with a systematic difference that implied the equatorial radius of the earth was 6,378,137 meters. The adjusted altimeter data was also used to determine a total of 29,479 1 deg x 1 deg anomalies (and undulations).

  2. Status of Precise Orbit Determination for Jason-2 Using GPS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Melachroinos, S.; Lemoine, F. G.; Zelensky, N. P.; Rowlands, D. D.; Pavlis, D. E.

    2011-01-01

    The JASON-2 satellite, launched in June 2008, is the latest follow-on to the successful TOPEX/Poseidon (T/P) and JASON-I altimetry missions. JASON-2 is equipped with a TRSR Blackjack GPS dual-frequency receiver, a laser retroreflector array, and a DORIS receiver for precise orbit determination (POD). The most recent time series of orbits computed at NASA GSFC, based on SLR/DORIS data have been completed using both ITRF2005 and ITRF2008. These orbits have been shown to agree radially at 1 cm RMS for dynamic vs SLRlDORIS reduced-dynamic orbits and in comparison with orbits produced by other analysis centers (Lemoine et al., 2010; Zelensky et al., 2010; Cerri et al., 2010). We have recently upgraded the GEODYN software to implement model improvements for GPS processing. We describe the implementation of IGS standards to the Jason2 GEODYN GPS processing, and other dynamical and measurement model improvements. Our GPS-only JASON-2 orbit accuracy is assessed using a number of tests including analysis of independent SLR and altimeter crossover residuals, orbit overlap differences, and direct comparison to orbits generated at GSFC using SLR and DORIS tracking, and to orbits generated externally at other centers. Tests based on SLR and the altimeter crossover residuals provide the best performance indicator for independent validation of the NASAlGSFC GPS-only reduced dynamic orbits. For the ITRF2005 and ITRF2008 implementation of our GPS-only obits we are using the IGS05 and IGS08 standards. Reduced dynamic versus dynamic orbit differences are used to characterize the remaining force model error and TRF instability. We evaluate the GPS vs SLR & DORIS orbits produced using the GEODYN software and assess in particular their consistency radially and the stability of the altimeter satellite reference frame in the Z direction for both ITRF2005 and ITRF2008 as a proxy to assess the consistency of the reference frame for altimeter satellite POD.

  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. Space debris orbit prediction errors using bi-static laser observations. Case study: ENVISAT

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wirnsberger, Harald; Baur, Oliver; Kirchner, Georg

    2015-06-01

    Large and massive space debris objects - such as abandoned satellites and upper stages - in the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) segment pose an increasing threat to all space faring nations. For collision avoidance measures or the removal of these objects, the quality of orbit predictions is one of the most relevant issues. Laser ranging has the potential to significantly contribute to the reliability and accuracy of orbit predictions. The benefit of "conventional" two-way laser ranges for this purpose has recently been demonstrated. For the first time, in this contribution we focus on bi-static laser observations - a new observation type for orbit determination and prediction. Our investigations deal with orbit predictions of the defunct ENVISAT satellite. In order to compensate for the sparseness of "conventional" tracking data, we found that the concept of bi-static laser observations improves the prediction accuracy by one order of magnitude compared to the results based on two-way laser ranges only.

  5. Power Beaming, Orbital Debris Removal, and Other Space Applications of a Ground Based Free Electron Laser

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-03-01

    power beaming to satellites, the removal of orbital debris , laser illumination of objects within the solar system for scientific study, and...frequency of accesses between a satellite and one or more ground stations for multiple orbital profiles. FEL illumination of orbital debris is modeled to

  6. Effects of tropospheric and ionospheric refraction errors in the utilization of GEOS-C altimeter data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Goad, C. C.

    1977-01-01

    The effects of tropospheric and ionospheric refraction errors are analyzed for the GEOS-C altimeter project in terms of their resultant effects on C-band orbits and the altimeter measurement itself. Operational procedures using surface meteorological measurements at ground stations and monthly means for ocean surface conditions are assumed, with no corrections made for ionospheric effects. Effects on the orbit height due to tropospheric errors are approximately 15 cm for single pass short arcs (such as for calibration) and 10 cm for global orbits of one revolution. Orbit height errors due to neglect of the ionosphere have an amplitude of approximately 40 cm when the orbits are determined from C-band range data with predominantly daylight tracking. Altimeter measurement errors are approximately 10 cm due to residual tropospheric refraction correction errors. Ionospheric effects on the altimeter range measurement are also on the order of 10 cm during the GEOS-C launch and early operation period.

  7. Demonstration of Orbit Determination for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Using One-Way Laser Ranging Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2016-01-01

    We used one-way laser ranging data from International Laser Ranging Service (ILRS) ground stations to NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) for a demonstration of orbit determination. In the one-way setup, the state of LRO and the parameters of the spacecraft and all involved ground station clocks must be estimated simultaneously. This setup introduces many correlated parameters that are resolved by using a priori constraints. More over the observation data coverage and errors accumulating from the dynamical and the clock modeling limit the maximum arc length. The objective of this paper is to investigate the effect of the arc length, the dynamical and modeling accuracy and the observation data coverage on the accuracy of the results. We analyzed multiple arcs using lengths of 2 and 7 days during a one-week period in Science Mission phase 02 (SM02,November2010) and compared the trajectories, the post-fit measurement residuals and the estimated clock parameters. We further incorporated simultaneous passes from multiple stations within the observation data to investigate the expected improvement in positioning. The estimated trajectories were compared to the nominal LRO trajectory and the clock parameters (offset, rate and aging) to the results found in the literature. Arcs estimated with one-way ranging data had differences of 5-30 m compared to the nominal LRO trajectory. While the estimated LRO clock rates agreed closely with the a priori constraints, the aging parameters absorbed clock modeling errors with increasing clock arc length. Because of high correlations between the different ground station clocks and due to limited clock modeling accuracy, their differences only agreed at the order of magnitude with the literature. We found that the incorporation of simultaneous passes requires improved modeling in particular to enable the expected improvement in positioning. We found that gaps in the observation data coverage over 12h (approximately equals 6

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  9. Space Debris-de-Orbiting by Vaporization Impulse using Short Pulse Laser

    SciTech Connect

    Early, J; Bibeau, C; Claude, P

    2003-09-16

    Space debris constitutes a significant hazard to low earth orbit satellites and particularly to manned spacecraft. A quite small velocity decrease from vaporization impulses is enough to lower the perigee of the debris sufficiently for atmospheric drag to de-orbit the debris. A short pulse (picosecond) laser version of the Orion concept can accomplish this task in several years of operation. The ''Mercury'' short pulse Yb:S-FAP laser being developed at LLNL for laser fusion is appropriate for this task.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. A simulation study of multi-beam altimetry for lunar reconnaissance orbiter and other planetary missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rowlands, D. D.; Lemoine, F. G.; Chinn, D. S.; Luthcke, S. B.

    2009-08-01

    The combined use of altimetry, Earth-based Doppler and Earth-based range measurements in the lunar reconnaissance orbiter (LRO) mission (Chin et al. in Space Sci Rev 129:391-419, 2007) has been examined in a simulation study. It is found that in the initial phases of the mission orbit and altimeter geolocation accuracies should be better than 10 m in the radial component and 60 m overall. It is demonstrated that LRO’s precise 1-way laser range measurement from Earth-based stations (Smith et al. in Proceedings of the 15th International Laser Ranging Workshop, Canberra, Australia, October 15-20, 2006) will be useful for gravity recovery. The advantages of multiple laser beams are demonstrated for altimeter calibration, orbit determination and gravity recovery in general planetary settings as well as for LRO.

  12. Determination of the geoid from satellite altimeter data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brown, R. D.

    1972-01-01

    The characteristics of the geoid surface are quantitatively described. A procedure for calculating the satellite altitude is developed. Error sources are described quantitatively, mathematically modeled, and evaluated in computer simulation. Procedures for maximum likelihood processing of altimeter data for recovery of orbit and geopotential information are presented for several geopotential models.

  13. The satellite altimeter as a platform for observation of the oceanic mesoscale

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mitchell, J. L.

    1984-01-01

    The use of the satellite radar altimeter as a platform to provide synoptic monitoring of the oceanic mesoscale is faced with two critical issues: removal of geoid error or contamination and election of optimum space/time sampling strategies. Long wavelength orbit determination errors are not critical problems for altimeter measurements of the basin scale circulation. Both issues are addressed within the constraints provided by orbital mechanics which dictates the laydown pattern of the satellite's groundtracks in space/time. Other issues which must be assessed are: adequate mission duration scales and the problems of geophysical noise sources and instrumental noise which degrade the effective alongtrack spatial resolution of the altimeter.

  14. Higher order sliding mode control of laser pointing for orbital debris mitigation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Palosz, Arthur

    This thesis explores the use of a space-based laser to clean up small orbital debris from near Earth space. This system's challenge is to quickly and precisely aim the laser beam at very small (<1cm) and distant (<10km) moving orbital debris in the presence of parametric uncertainties and external disturbances. A mathematical model is derived for the debris position sensors, a Fast Steering Mirror (FSM), and a telescope which are used to track the orbital debris and then point and focus the laser beam onto the orbital debris. A Kalman Filter (KF) is designed to accurately track the orbital debris and generate a command signal for the controller. A second order Super Twisting Sliding Mode Controller (2-SMC) is designed to follow the command signal generated by the KF and to overcome the parametric uncertainties and external disturbances. The performance of the system is validated with a computer simulation created in MATLAB and Simulink.

  15. 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.

  16. In-orbit test, verification and surveillance of the laser communication system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Jianfeng; Wang, Biao; Fei, Ligang; Zhang, Changquan; Liu, Liren

    2015-10-01

    To perform the in-orbit test, verification and surveillance task, the laser simulation and test station must be constructed. Cooperated with the fixed laser communication ground station, we can not only test the main specifications of the laser communication terminals, but also test the performances of the laser backbone link. In this paper, we first give the basic theory of the in-orbit test. Then designed the laser simulation and test station, which consists of laser transmitter module, laser receiver module, and general test module. In the GEO-to-LEO laser communication terminal test progress, the laser simulation and test station responsible for the simulation of the LEO laser communication terminal. In the LEO-GEO-Ground laser link performance test progress, the laser simulation and test station simulate the LEO satellite, which transfer high date rate data flow to GEO satellite, then the GEO satellite route the data flow to the GEO-to-Ground laser communication terminal through optical router, finally GEO satellite transfer the LEO data down to fixed laser receiver on ground.

  17. New Radar Altimeter Missions are Providing a Dramatically Sharper Image of Global Marine Tectonics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sandwell, D. T.; Müller, D.; Garcia, E.; Matthews, K. J.; Smith, W. H. F.; Zaron, E.; Zhang, S.; Bassett, D.; Francis, R.

    2015-12-01

    Marine gravity, derived from satellite radar altimetry, is a powerful tool for mapping tectonic structures, especially in the deep ocean basins where the topography remains unmapped by ships or is buried by thick sediment. The ability to infer seafloor tectonics from space was first demonstrated in 1978 using Seasat altimeter data but the spatial coverage was incomplete because of the short three-month lifetime of the satellite. Most ocean altimeters have repeat ground tracks with spacings of hundreds of kilometers so they do not resolve tectonic structures. Adequate altimeter coverage became available in 1995 when the United States Navy declassified the Geosat radar altimeter data and the ERS-1 altimeter completed a 1-year mapping phase. These mid-1990's altimeter-derived images of the ocean basins remained static for 15 years because there were no new non-repeat altimeter missions. This situation changed dramatically in 2010 when CryoSat-2, with its advanced radar altimeter, was launched into a non-repeat orbit and continues to collect data until perhaps 2020. In addition the Jason-1 altimeter was placed into a 14-month geodetic phase at the end of its lifetime. More recently the 1.5 times higher precision measurements from the AltiKa altimeter aboard the SARAL spacecraft began to drift away from its 35-day repeat trackline. The Chinese HY-2 altimeter is scheduled to begin a dense mapping phase in early 2016. Moreover in 2020 we may enjoy significantly higher resolution maps of the ocean basins from the planned SWOT altimeter mission with its advanced swath mapping ability. All of this new data will provide a much sharper image of the tectonics of the deep ocean basins and continental margins. During this talk we will tour of the new tectonic structures revealed by CryoSat-2 and Jason-1 and speculate on the tectonic views of the ocean basins in 2020 and beyond.

  18. 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.

  19. Precision Orbit Determination for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter: orbit quality and gravity field estimation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mazarico, E.; Rowlands, D. D.; Neumann, G. A.; Lemoine, F. G.; Torrence, M. H.; Smith, D. E.; Zuber, M. T.; Mao, D.

    2010-12-01

    We present results of the Precision Orbit Determination work undertaken by the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) Science Team for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission, in order to meet the position knowledge accuracy requirements (50-m total position) and to precisely geolocate the LRO datasets. In addition to the radiometric tracking data, one-way laser ranges (LR) between Earth stations and the spacecraft are made possible by a small telescope mounted on the spacecraft high-gain antenna. The photons received from Earth are transmitted to one LOLA detector by a fiber optics bundle. The LOLA timing system enables 5-s LR normal points with precision better than 10cm. Other types of geodetic constraints are derived from the altimetric data itself. The orbit geometry can be constrained at the times of laser groundtrack intersections (crossovers). Due to the Moon's slow rotation, orbit solutions and normal equations including altimeter crossovers are processed and created in one month batches. Recent high-resolution topographic maps near the lunar poles are used to produce a new kind of geodetic constraints. Purely geometric, those do not necessitate actual groundtrack intersections. We assess the contributions of those data types, and the quality of our orbits. Solutions which use altimetric crossover meet the horizontal 50-m requirement, and perform usually better (10-20m). We also obtain gravity field solutions based on LRO and historical data. The various LRO data are accumulated into normal equations, separately for each one month batch and for each measurement type, which enables the final weights to be adjusted during the least-squares inversion step. Expansion coefficients to degree and order 150 are estimated, and a Kaula rule is still needed to stabilize the farside field. The gravity field solutions are compared to previous solutions (GLGM-3, LP150Q, SGM100h) and the geopotential predicted from the latest LOLA spherical harmonic expansion.

  20. High Resolution Surface Geometry and Albedo by Combining Laser Altimetry and Visible Images

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morris, Robin D.; vonToussaint, Udo; Cheeseman, Peter C.; Clancy, Daniel (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    The need for accurate geometric and radiometric information over large areas has become increasingly important. Laser altimetry is one of the key technologies for obtaining this geometric information. However, there are important application areas where the observing platform has its orbit constrained by the other instruments it is carrying, and so the spatial resolution that can be recorded by the laser altimeter is limited. In this paper we show how information recorded by one of the other instruments commonly carried, a high-resolution imaging camera, can be combined with the laser altimeter measurements to give a high resolution estimate both of the surface geometry and its reflectance properties. This estimate has an accuracy unavailable from other interpolation methods. We present the results from combining synthetic laser altimeter measurements on a coarse grid with images generated from a surface model to re-create the surface model.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Orbit Determination of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mazarico, Erwan; Rowlands, D. D.; Neumann, G. A.; Smith, D. E.; Torrence, M. H.; Lemoine, F. G.; Zuber, M. T.

    2011-01-01

    We present the results on precision orbit determination from the radio science investigation of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft. We describe the data, modeling and methods used to achieve position knowledge several times better than the required 50-100m (in total position), over the period from 13 July 2009 to 31 January 2011. In addition to the near-continuous radiometric tracking data, we include altimetric data from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) in the form of crossover measurements, and show that they strongly improve the accuracy of the orbit reconstruction (total position overlap differences decrease from approx.70m to approx.23 m). To refine the spacecraft trajectory further, we develop a lunar gravity field by combining the newly acquired LRO data with the historical data. The reprocessing of the spacecraft trajectory with that model shows significantly increased accuracy (approx.20m with only the radiometric data, and approx.14m with the addition of the altimetric crossovers). LOLA topographic maps and calibration data from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera were used to supplement the results of the overlap analysis and demonstrate the trajectory accuracy.

  4. 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.

  5. Laser ranging network performance and routine orbit determination at D-PAF

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Massmann, Franz-Heinrich; Reigber, C.; Li, H.; Koenig, Rolf; Raimondo, J. C.; Rajasenan, C.; Vei, M.

    1993-01-01

    ERS-1 is now about 8 months in orbit and has been tracked by the global laser network from the very beginning of the mission. The German processing and archiving facility for ERS-1 (D-PAF) is coordinating and supporting the network and performing the different routine orbit determination tasks. This paper presents details about the global network status, the communication to D-PAF and the tracking data and orbit processing system at D-PAF. The quality of the preliminary and precise orbits are shown and some problem areas are identified.

  6. Use of pulse-periodic CO2-lasers for orbit corrections of space stations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koterov, V. N.; Krasnovsky, A. G.; Sazhina, N. N.; Sakovets, S. V.; Cheburkin, N. V.

    About 20 years ago it was suggested to use the thrust, arising by evaporation of solid state target by means of directing laser radiation onto the target to accelerate real spacecraft (in particular, to launch them into the satellite orbit). At present, the works are carried out in the USA in the plane of LTD (Lightcraft Technology Demonstrator) conception, concerning detailed researches of all aspects of realization and effectiveness (cost) of launching small (approximately 100 kg) information satellites by means of ground-based laser systems with total average power up to 100 MW. This conception is considered from the point of view of its cost as a serious alternative to the large orbital platforms. The researches of expediency are conducting as well to use laser driven thrusters for far-distance flyings of a man in space (Moon, Mars). Demands for laser source are substantially lower if we consider the maneuvering problem of the spacecrafts in satellite orbit, for example, sustaining the given flying altitude of low orbital inhabitated stations. Experimental and theoretical works have shown that specific impulse of laser jet thruster (LJT) can consist from 500 to 2000 s (depending on the kind of working medium and the mode of irradiation), and at the same time the specific impulse of the common yet thruster does not exceed 250 - 500 s. Therefore the substantial economy of fuel carried from the Earth to sustain the station's working orbit is possible. From this point of view it seems especially promising to use as a working medium of laser jet thruster the debris saved at the station in the process of its manual flying. Evaluations made in USA and by use in the present work, show that we can speak seriously just now about creating experimental complex based on laser jet thruster with ground-based laser for sustaining the given parameters of satellite orbits.

  7. 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

  8. A geopotential model from satellite tracking, altimeter, and surface gravity data: GEM-T3

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lerch, F. J.; Nerem, R. S.; Putney, B. H.; Felsentreger, T. L.; Sanchez, B. V.; Marshall, J. A.; Klosko, S. M.; Patel, G. B.; Williamson, R. G.; Chinn, D. S.

    1994-01-01

    An improved model of Earth's gravitational field, Goddard Earth Model T-3 (GEM-T3), has been developed from a combination of satellite tracking, satellite altimeter, and surface gravimetric data. GEM-T3 provides a significant improvement in the modeling of the gravity field at half wavelengths of 400 km and longer. This model, complete to degree and order 50, yields more accurate satellite orbits and an improved geoid representation than previous Goddard Earth Models. GEM-T3 uses altimeter data from GEOS 3 (1975-1976), Seasat (1978) and Geosat (1986-1987). Tracking information used in the solution includes more than 1300 arcs of data encompassing 31 different satellites. The recovery of the long-wavelength components of the solution relies mostly on highly precise satellite laser ranging (SLR) data, but also includes Tracking Network (TRANET) Doppler, optical, and satellite-to-satellite tracking acquired between the ATS 6 and GEOS 3 satellites. The main advances over GEM-T2 (beyond the inclusion of altimeter and surface gravity information which is essential for the resolution of the shorter wavelength geoid) are some improved tracking data analysis approaches and additional SLR data. Although the use of altimeter data has greatly enhanced the modeling of the ocean geoid between 65 deg N and 60 deg S latitudes in GEM-T3, the lack of accurate detailed surface gravimetry leaves poor geoid resolution over many continental regions of great tectonic interest (e.g., Himalayas, Andes). Estimates of polar motion, tracking station coordinates, and long-wavelength ocean tidal terms were also made (accounting for 6330 parameters). GEM-T3 has undergone error calibration using a technique based on subset solutions to produce reliable error estimates. The calibration is based on the condition that the expected mean square deviation of a subset gravity solution from the full set values is predicted by the solutions' error covariances. Data weights are iteratively adjusted until

  9. Orbital Element Generation for an Optical and Laser Tracking Space Object Catalogue

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bennett, J.; Smith, C.; Greene, B.; Kucharski, D.; Sang, J.

    In this paper results are presented from an analysis assessing the data requirements for orbit element generation for a new high-accuracy catalogue for the Space Environment Research Centre, Australia. The analysis is dedicated to obtaining a robust set of rules for orbit element generation using orbital data from optical and laser tracking of debris and satellites. Optical and laser tracking data collected from several tracking campaigns carried out by EOS Space Systems, located on Mount Stromlo, Australia, is fitted to provide an updated orbital element. The element accuracy is determined for various data-availability scenarios, including: (1) fitting optical tracking data only; (2) fitting laser range data only; (3) fitting optical and laser tracking data. The orbit predictions from the new orbital element are compared with SGP4 propagation from two-line element data and accuracy is assessed by comparing with high accuracy ephemerides where available or subsequent accurate tracking data. The application of the catalogue to conjunction analyses is also discussed. This work forms part of the collaborative effort of the Space Environment Management Cooperative Research Centre which is developing new technologies and strategies to preserve the space environment (www.serc.org.au).

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-05-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Transient gain-versus-absorption laser probing of spin-orbit states, kinetics and dynamics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smedley, John E.; Hess, Wayne P.; Haugen, Harold K.; Leone, Stephen R.

    1986-01-01

    The spin-orbit populations of excited (2P1/2) and ground (2P3/2) state Br atoms at 2714 nm and I atoms at 1315 nm are examined using a tunable F-center laser and a diode laser. The transient laser gain-versus-absorption measurements are utilized to estimate quantum yields of the spin-orbit states in the photodissociation of Br- and I-containing compounds; the continuum yields for Br2 are investigated in terms of temperature. The collisional release, Doppler velocity effects, and differing reactivity of the spin-orbit excited and ground state atoms are studied. It is noted that the transient gain versus absorption technique is applicable to the analysis of kinetic phenomena due to its high sensitivity and excellent time resolution.

  13. Measurement of ocean wave heights using the Geos 3 altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rufenach, C. L.; Alpers, W. R.

    1978-01-01

    Radar altimeter signals transmitted from the low-orbiting satellite Geos 3 were analyzed for two selected orbits over high seas associated with hurricane 'Caroline' in the Gulf of Mexico and a North Atlantic storm. The measured values of significant wave height are in reasonable agreement with surface measurements, provided that the altimeter data are properly edited. The internal consistency of estimated wave heights for the North Atlantic storm, a standard deviation of 0.6 m or less, and the good agreement with surface truth lend credence to the method. A statistical analysis of the pulse slope variation gives estimated values of significant wave height within + or - 1 m of the true values 75% of the time for spatial averaging over 70 km.

  14. Space-based laser-powered orbital transfer vehicle (Project SLICK)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1988-01-01

    A conceptual design study of a laser-powered orbital transfer vehicle (LOTV) is presented. The LOTV, nicknamed SLICK (Space Laser Interorbital Cargo Kite), will be utilized for the transfer of 16000 kg of cargo between Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and either Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) or Low Lunar Orbit (LLO). This design concentrates primarily on the LEO/GEO scenario, which will have typical LEO-to-GEO trip time of 6 days and two return versions. One version uses an all propulsive return while the other utilizes a ballute aerobrake for the return trip. Furthermore, three return cargo options of 16000 kg, 5000 kg (standard option), and 1600 kg are considered for this scenario. The LEO/LLO scenario uses only a standard, aerobraked version. The basic concept behind the LOTV is that the power for the propulsion system is supplied by a source separate from the LOTV itself. For the LEO/GEO scenario the LOTV utilizes a direct solar-pumped iodide laser and possibly two relay stations, all orbiting at an altitude of one Earth radius and zero inclination. An additional nuclear-powered laser is placed on the Moon for the LEO/LLO scenario. The propulsion system of the LOTV consists of a single engine fueled with liquid hydrogen. The laser beam is captured and directed by a four mirror optical system through a window in the thrust chamber of the engine. There, seven plasmas are created to convert the laser beam energy into thermal energy at an efficiency of at least 50 percent. For the LEO/LLO scenario the laser propulsion is supplemented by LH2/LOX chemical thrusters.

  15. Absolute calibration of the EnviSat-1 radar altimeter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roca, Monica; Francis, Richard

    1998-12-01

    The EnviSat-1 satellite will embark an innovative radar altimeter. The calibration of the measurements of range from this instrument will be performed using novel techniques. The range measurement will be calibrated absolutely by establishing the actual geocentric sea-level along the sub- satellite tracks. These tracks are located in a limited and well-controlled region in the western Mediterranean and will include a number of fully-equipped individual sites which will provide higher confidence in the overall analysis, combined with data from the whole area at lower weight. The determination of the geocentric sea-level is performed using tide gauges and geodetic means such as leveling and floating GPS receivers. The altimeter sea-level is derived from the altimeter range corrected for propagation effects and sea- state bias, and a precise restitution of the trajectory of the satellite. These measurements comprise three vectors: range, orbital height and sea-surface height. The difference between orbital-height minus range, and sea-surface height provides the bias. The backscatter coefficient measured by previous altimeters has not been absolutely calibrated. An emerging application of the RA-2 in investigation of surface properties has identified the need to perform this calibration. A number of techniques are under study to determine the feasibility of meeting this need, including the use of well-controlled natural targets, the use of the altimeter receiver as a passive radiometer in order to determine its gain and the use of a transponder to return a precisely known return echo power to the radar.

  16. 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.

  17. Orbit Determination of the SELENE Satellites Using Multi-Satellite Data Types and Evaluation of SELENE Gravity Field Models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Goossens, S.; Matsumoto, K.; Noda, H.; Araki, H.; Rowlands, D. D.; Lemoine, F. G.

    2011-01-01

    The SELENE mission, consisting of three separate satellites that use different terrestrial-based tracking systems, presents a unique opportunity to evaluate the contribution of these tracking systems to orbit determination precision. The tracking data consist of four-way Doppler between the main orbiter and one of the two sub-satellites while the former is over the far side, and of same-beam differential VLBI tracking between the two sub-satellites. Laser altimeter data are also used for orbit determination. The contribution to orbit precision of these different data types is investigated through orbit overlap analysis. It is shown that using four-way and VLBI data improves orbit consistency for all satellites involved by reducing peak values in orbit overlap differences that exist when only standard two-way Doppler and range data are used. Including laser altimeter data improves the orbit precision of the SELENE main satellite further, resulting in very smooth total orbit errors at an average level of 18m. The multi-satellite data have also resulted in improved lunar gravity field models, which are assessed through orbit overlap analysis using Lunar Prospector tracking data. Improvements over a pre-SELENE model are shown to be mostly in the along-track and cross-track directions. Orbit overlap differences are at a level between 13 and 21 m with the SELENE models, depending on whether l-day data overlaps or I-day predictions are used.

  18. Bell-like inequality for the spin-orbit separability of a laser beam

    SciTech Connect

    Borges, C. V. S.; Hor-Meyll, M.; Khoury, A. Z.; Huguenin, J. A. O.

    2010-09-15

    In analogy with Bell's inequality for two-qubit quantum states, we propose an inequality criterion for the nonseparability of the spin-orbit degrees of freedom of a laser beam. A definition of separable and nonseparable spin-orbit modes is used in consonance with the one presented in Phys. Rev. Lett. 99, 160401 (2007). As the usual Bell's inequality can be violated for entangled two-qubit quantum states, we show both theoretically and experimentally that the proposed spin-orbit inequality criterion can be violated for nonseparable modes. The inequality is discussed in both the classical and quantum domains.

  19. Precision orbit determination of altimetric satellites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shum, C. K.; Ries, John C.; Tapley, Byron D.

    1994-01-01

    The ability to determine accurate global sea level variations is important to both detection and understanding of changes in climate patterns. Sea level variability occurs over a wide spectrum of temporal and spatial scales, and precise global measurements are only recently possible with the advent of spaceborne satellite radar altimetry missions. One of the inherent requirements for accurate determination of absolute sea surface topography is that the altimetric satellite orbits be computed with sub-decimeter accuracy within a well defined terrestrial reference frame. SLR tracking in support of precision orbit determination of altimetric satellites is significant. Recent examples are the use of SLR as the primary tracking systems for TOPEX/Poseidon and for ERS-1 precision orbit determination. The current radial orbit accuracy for TOPEX/Poseidon is estimated to be around 3-4 cm, with geographically correlated orbit errors around 2 cm. The significance of the SLR tracking system is its ability to allow altimetric satellites to obtain absolute sea level measurements and thereby provide a link to other altimetry measurement systems for long-term sea level studies. SLR tracking allows the production of precise orbits which are well centered in an accurate terrestrial reference frame. With proper calibration of the radar altimeter, these precise orbits, along with the altimeter measurements, provide long term absolute sea level measurements. The U.S. Navy's Geosat mission is equipped with only Doppler beacons and lacks laser retroreflectors. However, its orbits, and even the Geosat orbits computed using the available full 40-station Tranet tracking network, yield orbits with significant north-south shifts with respect to the IERS terrestrial reference frame. The resulting Geosat sea surface topography will be tilted accordingly, making interpretation of long-term sea level variability studies difficult.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  1. The role of laser determined orbits in geodesy and geophysics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kolenkiewicz, R.; Smith, D. E.; Dunn, P. J.; Torrence, M. H.; Robbins, J. W.

    1991-01-01

    Some of the results of orbit analysis from the NASA SLR analysis group are presented. The earth's orientation was determined for 5-day intervals to 1.9 mas for the pole and 0.09 msec for length of day. The 3d center of mass station positions was determined to 33 mm over a period of 3 months, and geodesic rates of SLR tracking sites were determined to 5 mm/yr.

  2. Helium-neon laser therapy in the treatment of hydroxyapatite orbital implant exposure: A superior option.

    PubMed

    Xu, Qi-Hua; Zhao, Chen; Zhu, Jian-Gang; Chen, Mei-Juan; Liu, Qing-Huai

    2015-09-01

    The aim of the present study was to evaluate the efficacy of helium-neon laser therapy in the treatment of hydroxyapatite orbital implant exposure and compare the results with those of a combined drugs and surgery regimen. A total of 70 patients with hydroxyapatite orbital implant exposure in 70 eyes were randomly divided into two groups: Helium-neon laser therapy (group A) and drugs plus surgery (group B). Each group contained 35 patients. The healing rates and times of the conjunctival wound were recorded and compared following helium-neon laser treatment or the drugs plus surgery regimen. Changes in the hydroxyapatite orbital implant prior to and following helium-neon laser irradiation were analyzed. A similar animal study was conducted using 24 New Zealand white rabbits, which received orbital implants and were then received drug treatment or helium-neon therapy. In the human experiment, the rates for conjunctival wound healing were 97.14% in group A and 74.29% in group B, with a significant difference between the groups (χ(2)=5.71, P<0.05). Patients with mild exposure were healed after 7.22±2.11 days of helium-neon laser therapy and 14.33±3.20 days of drugs plus surgery. A statistically significant difference was found between the groups (t=8.97, P<0.05). Patients with moderate to severe exposure were healed after 18.19±2.12 days of helium-neon laser therapy and 31.25±4.21 days of drugs plus surgery. The difference between the groups was statistically significant (t=7.91, P<0.05). Enhanced magnetic resonance imaging showed that the helium-neon laser therapy significantly promoted vascularization of the hydroxyapatite orbital implant. These results, combined with pathological findings in animals, which showed that a helium-neon laser promoted vascularization and had anti-inflammatory effects, suggest that helium-neon laser irradiation is an effective method for treating hydroxyapatite orbital implant exposure, thereby avoiding secondary surgery.

  3. Homoclinic orbits and cycles in the instabilities of a laser with a saturable absorber

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hennequin, Daniel; de Tomasi, Ferdinando; Zambon, Bruno; Arimondo, Ennio

    1988-03-01

    The phase-space evolution for the instabilities in a CO2 laser with an intracavity saturable absorber is investigated experimentally. The different scenarios corresponding to limit cycles, homoclinic orbits and cycles involving two unstable points, and chaotic behavior are investigated. A theoretical analysis of the experimental results is sketched out.

  4. Space-based laser-powered orbital transfer vehicle (Project SLICK)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1988-01-01

    The project SLICK (Space Laser Interorbital Cargo Kite) involves conceptual designs of reusable space-based laser-powered orbital transfer vehicle (LOTV) for ferrying 16,000 kg cargo primarily between low Earth orbit (LEO) and geosynchronous earth orbit (GEO). The power of LOTV is beamed by a single 32-MW solar-pumped iodide laser orbiting the Earth at an altitude of one Earth radius. The laser engine selected for the LOTV is based on a continuous-wave, steady-state propulsion scheme and uses an array of seven discrete plasmas in a flow of hydrogen propellant. Both all-propulsive and aerobraked LOTV configurations were analyzed and developed. The all-propulsive vehicle uses a rigid 11.5-m aperture primary mirror and its engine produces a thrust of 2000 N at a specific impulse of 1500 sec. For the LEO-to-GEO trip, the payload ratio, m(sub payload/m(sub propellant)+m(sub dry vehicle) = 1.19 and the trip time is about 6 days. The aerobraked version uses a lightweight, retractable wrapped-rib primary mirror which is folded for aerobraking and a 20-m-diameter inflatable-ballute aeroshield which is jettisoned after aeromaneuver. Lifecycle cost analysis shows that the aerobraked configuration may have an economic advantage over the all-propulsive configuration as long as the cost of launching the propellant to LEO is higher than about $500/kg in current dollars.

  5. Earth-to-Orbit Laser Launch Simulation for a Lightcraft Technology Demonstrator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richard, J. C.; Morales, C.; Smith, W. L.; Myrabo, L. N.

    2006-05-01

    Optimized laser launch trajectories have been developed for a 1.4 m diameter, 120 kg (empty mass) Lightcraft Technology Demonstrator (LTD). The lightcraft's combined-cycle airbreathing/rocket engine is designed for single-stage-to-orbit flights with a mass ratio of 2 propelled by a 100 MW class ground-based laser built on a 3 km mountain peak. Once in orbit, the vehicle becomes an autonomous micro-satellite. Two types of trajectories were simulated with the SORT (Simulation and Optimization of Rocket Trajectories) software package: a) direct GBL boost to orbit, and b) GBL boost aided by laser relay satellite. Several new subroutines were constructed for SORT to input engine performance (as a function of Mach number and altitude), vehicle aerodynamics, guidance algorithms, and mass history. A new guidance/steering option required the lightcraft to always point at the GBL or laser relay satellite. SORT iterates on trajectory parameters to optimize vehicle performance, achieve a desired criteria, or constrain the solution to avoid some specific limit. The predicted laser-boost performance for the LTD is undoubtedly revolutionary, and SORT simulations have helped to define this new frontier.

  6. 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.

  7. Controlling light's helicity at the source: orbital angular momentum states from lasers.

    PubMed

    Forbes, Andrew

    2017-02-28

    Optical modes that carry orbital angular momentum (OAM) are routinely produced external to the laser cavity and have found a variety of applications, thus increasing the demand for integrated solutions for their production. Yet such modes are notoriously difficult to produce from lasers due to the strict symmetry requirements for their creation, together with the need to break the degeneracy in helicity. Here, we review the progress made since 1992 in producing such twisted light modes directly at the source, from gas to solid-state lasers, bulk to integrated on-chip solutions, through to generic devices for on-demand OAM in both scalar and vector forms.This article is part of the themed issue 'Optical orbital angular momentum'.

  8. Controlling light's helicity at the source: orbital angular momentum states from lasers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forbes, Andrew

    2017-02-01

    Optical modes that carry orbital angular momentum (OAM) are routinely produced external to the laser cavity and have found a variety of applications, thus increasing the demand for integrated solutions for their production. Yet such modes are notoriously difficult to produce from lasers due to the strict symmetry requirements for their creation, together with the need to break the degeneracy in helicity. Here, we review the progress made since 1992 in producing such twisted light modes directly at the source, from gas to solid-state lasers, bulk to integrated on-chip solutions, through to generic devices for on-demand OAM in both scalar and vector forms. This article is part of the themed issue 'Optical orbital angular momentum'.

  9. Dynamical study of low Earth orbit debris collision avoidance using ground based laser

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khalifa, N. S.

    2015-06-01

    The objective of this paper was to investigate the orbital velocity changes due to the effect of ground based laser force. The resulting perturbations of semi-major axis, miss distance and collision probability of two approaching objects are studied. The analytical model is applied for low Earth orbit debris of different eccentricities and area to mass ratio and the numerical test shows that laser of medium power ∼5 kW can perform a small change Δ V ‾ of an average magnitude of 0.2 cm/s which can be accumulated over time to be about 3 cm/day. Moreover, it is confirmed that applying laser Δ V ‾ results in decreasing collision probability and increasing miss distance in order to avoid collision.

  10. Towards the GEOSAT Follow-On Precise Orbit Determination Goals of High Accuracy and Near-Real-Time Processing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lemoine, Frank G.; Zelensky, Nikita P.; Chinn, Douglas S.; Beckley, Brian D.; Lillibridge, John L.

    2006-01-01

    The US Navy's GEOSAT Follow-On spacecraft (GFO) primary mission objective is to map the oceans using a radar altimeter. Satellite laser ranging data, especially in combination with altimeter crossover data, offer the only means of determining high-quality precise orbits. Two tuned gravity models, PGS7727 and PGS7777b, were created at NASA GSFC for GFO that reduce the predicted radial orbit through degree 70 to 13.7 and 10.0 mm. A macromodel was developed to model the nonconservative forces and the SLR spacecraft measurement offset was adjusted to remove a mean bias. Using these improved models, satellite-ranging data, altimeter crossover data, and Doppler data are used to compute both daily medium precision orbits with a latency of less than 24 hours. Final precise orbits are also computed using these tracking data and exported with a latency of three to four weeks to NOAA for use on the GFO Geophysical Data Records (GDR s). The estimated orbit precision of the daily orbits is between 10 and 20 cm, whereas the precise orbits have a precision of 5 cm.

  11. The Laser Ranging Experiment of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter: Five Years of Operations and Data Analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mao, Dandan; McGarry, Jan F.; Mazarico, Erwan; Neumann, Gregory A.; Sun, Xiaoli; Torrence, Mark H.; Zagwodzki, Thomas W.; Rowlands, David D.; Hoffman, Evan D.; Horvath, Julie E.; Golder, James E.; Barker, Michael K.; Smith, David E.; Zuber, Maria T.

    2016-01-01

    We describe the results of the Laser Ranging (LR) experiment carried out from June 2009 to September 2014 in order to make one-way time-of-flight measurements of laser pulses between Earth-based laser ranging stations and the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) orbiting the Moon. Over 4,000 hours of successful LR data are obtained from 10 international ground stations. The 20-30 centimeter precision of the full-rate LR data is further improved to 5-10 centimeter after conversion into normal points. The main purpose of LR is to utilize the high accuracy normal point data to improve the quality of the LRO orbits, which are nomi- nally determined by the radiometric S-band tracking data. When independently used in the LRO precision orbit determination process with the high-resolution GRAIL (Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory) gravity model, LR data provide good orbit solutions, with an average difference of approximately 50 meters in total position, and approximately 20 centimeters in radial direction, compared to the definitive LRO trajectory. When used in combination with the S-band tracking data, LR data help to improve the orbit accuracy in the radial direction to approximately 15 centimeters. In order to obtain highly accurate LR range measurements for precise orbit determination results, it is critical to closely model the behavior of the clocks both at the ground stations and on the spacecraft. LR provides a unique data set to calibrate the spacecraft clock. The LRO spacecraft clock is characterized by the LR data to a timing knowledge of 0.015 milliseconds over the entire 5 years of LR operation. We here present both the engineering setup of the LR experiments and the detailed analysis results of the LR data.

  12. The laser ranging experiment of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter: Five years of operations and data analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mao, Dandan; McGarry, Jan F.; Mazarico, Erwan; Neumann, Gregory A.; Sun, Xiaoli; Torrence, Mark H.; Zagwodzki, Thomas W.; Rowlands, David D.; Hoffman, Evan D.; Horvath, Julie E.; Golder, James E.; Barker, Michael K.; Smith, David E.; Zuber, Maria T.

    2017-02-01

    We describe the results of the Laser Ranging (LR) experiment carried out from June 2009 to September 2014 in order to make one-way time-of-flight measurements of laser pulses between Earth-based laser ranging stations and the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) orbiting the Moon. Over 4,000 h of successful LR data are obtained from 10 international ground stations. The 20-30 cm precision of the full-rate LR data is further improved to 5-10 cm after conversion into normal points. The main purpose of LR is to utilize the high accuracy normal point data to improve the quality of the LRO orbits, which are nominally determined by the radiometric S-band tracking data. When independently used in the LRO precision orbit determination process with the high-resolution GRAIL gravity model, LR data provide good orbit solutions, with an average difference of ∼50 m in total position, and ∼20 cm in radial direction, compared to the definitive LRO trajectory. When used in combination with the S-band tracking data, LR data help to improve the orbit accuracy in the radial direction to ∼15 cm. In order to obtain highly accurate LR range measurements for precise orbit determination results, it is critical to closely model the behavior of the clocks both at the ground stations and on the spacecraft. LR provides a unique data set to calibrate the spacecraft clock. The LRO spacecraft clock is characterized by the LR data to a timing knowledge of 0.015 ms over the entire 5 years of LR operation. We here present both the engineering setup of the LR experiments and the detailed analysis results of the LR data.

  13. Tectonic Motion Monitoring at the Altimeter Calibration Facility on Gavdos, Crete, Greece.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernandez-Ibanez, F.; Soto, J. I.; Morales, J.; Comas, C.; Evans, K.; Pavlis, E. C.; Cadeddu, M. P.; Mertikas, S. P.

    2004-12-01

    The intense tectonic activity of Eastern Mediterranean is of great interest for many decades. Recently, sea-level monitoring and climate change studies generated great interest as well as for its regional oceanography. A plethora of observations has convincingly demonstrated the importance of the area for regional meteorological and climatologic changes affecting Eurasia and North Africa. GPS monitors tectonics, while tide gauges record the variations in Mean Sea Level (MSL). Continuous monitoring of tide gauge locations with GPS removes the uncertainties introduced by local tectonics, that contaminate the observed sea level variations. Such a global tide gauge network with long historical records is already used to calibrate satellite altimeters (e.g. on TOPEX/POSEIDON, GFO, JASON-1, ENVISAT, etc.), at present, a common IOC-GLOSS-IGS effort --TIGA. Crete hosts two of the oldest tide gauges in the regional network, at Souda Bay and Heraklion. A third site, state-of-the-art MSL monitoring facility in southwestern Crete was established, on the isle of Gavdos, the southernmost European parcel of land, under a joint effort of the European Union, NASA, and the Swiss Federal Government. The site at Souda Bay is only 5 km away from the continuously operating GPS site at TUC, Chania, with a nearly seven year record of operation. The Gavdos facility is an ideal altimeter calibration site if the tectonic motions are monitored precisely and continuously. This presentation focuses on this aspect of the project, the local and regional tectonic motions relative to the "stable" part of the Eurasian plate. The facility hosts in addition to two tide gauges, multiple GPS receivers, a DORIS beacon for positioning and orbit control, and a transponder for direct calibration. During 2003, the French Transportable Laser Ranging System (FTLRS) completed a co-location campaign at Chania, Crete, for improved orbit control over the site, and to ensure the best possible and most reliable

  14. Preliminary Optimal Orbit Design for the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hughes, Steven P.; Bauer, Frank H. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    In this paper we present a preliminary optimal orbit analysis for the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA). LISA is a NASA/ESA mission to study gravitational waves and test predictions of general relativity. The nominal formation consists of three spacecraft in heliocentric orbits at 1 AU and trailing the Earth by twenty degrees. This configuration was chosen as a trade off to reduce the noise sources that will affect the instrument and to reduce the fuel to achieve the final orbit. We present equations for the nominal orbit design and discuss several different measures of performance for the LISA formation. All of the measures directly relate the formation dynamics to science performance. Also, constraints on the formation dynamics due to spacecraft and instrument limitations are discussed. Using the nominal solution as an initial guess, the formation is optimized using Sequential Quadratic Programming to maximize the performance while satisfying a set of nonlinear constraints. Results are presented for each of the performance measures.

  15. An atlas of 1976 GEOS-3 radar altimeter data for tropical cyclone studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stanley, H. R.; Chan, B.; Givens, C.; Taylor, R.

    1979-01-01

    The means for locating and extracting GEOS-3 altimeter data acquired for the analysis of specific hurricanes, typhoons, and other tropical cyclones are presented. These data are also expected to be extremely useful in the analysis of the behavior of the altimeter instrument in the presence of severe meteorological disturbances as well as provide a data base which can be useful in the resolution of apparently anomalous geoid or sea surface characteristics. Geographic locations of 1976 tropical cyclones were correlated with the closest approaching orbits of the GEOS-3 satellite and its radar altimeter. The cyclone locations and altimeter data were correlated for the 1976 season. The area of coverage includes the northern hemisphere. This document is a sequel to NASA TM-X-69364 which covered the majority of the 1975 season.

  16. 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.

  17. A spaceborne, pulsed UV laser system for re-entering or nudging LEO debris, and re-orbiting GEO debris

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phipps, Claude R.; Bonnal, Christophe

    2016-01-01

    Among the problems raised by the presence of debris in Earth Orbit, the question of large derelict satellites in Geostationary Orbit (GEO) is of major importance. More than 1000 defunct GEO satellites cruise in the vicinity of this unique orbit and pose the question of orbital slot availability. It is proposed to use lasers in GEO to reorbit the large debris in the graveyard zone, some 300 km above GEO. The principle of orbital transfer by laser ablation is recalled, and two different methods are described. These lasers can also serve for small debris deorbiting and large debris nudging in Low Earth Orbit (LEO). Technical details are provided, as well as a preliminary mass budget.

  18. 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.

  19. Global digital topography mapping with a synthetic aperture scanning radar altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Elachi, C.; Im, K. E.; Rodriguez, E.

    1990-01-01

    Global digital topography data of the land surface is of importance in a variety of geoscientific and application disciplines. Such a database, with a spatial resolution of 150 to 500 m and height accuracy of 5 m or better can be acquired from an orbiting platform using a synthetic aperture scanning radar altimeter. Near-global coverage can be achieved within 14 days from an orbiting platform in a polar or near-polar orbit.

  20. 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.

  1. Random wandering of laser beams with orbital angular momentum during propagation through atmospheric turbulence.

    PubMed

    Aksenov, Valerii P; Kolosov, Valeriy V; Pogutsa, Cheslav E

    2014-06-10

    The propagation of laser beams having orbital angular momenta (OAM) in the turbulent atmosphere is studied numerically. The variance of random wandering of these beams is investigated with the use of the Monte Carlo technique. It is found that, among various types of vortex laser beams, such as the Laguerre-Gaussian (LG) beam, modified Bessel-Gaussian beam, and hypergeometric Gaussian beam, having identical initial effective radii and OAM, the LG beam occupying the largest effective volume in space is the most stable one.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-08-01

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

  3. Ion yields of laser aligned CH3I and CH3Br from multiple orbitals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, Lanhai; Pan, Yun; Yang, Yujun; Luo, Sizuo; Lu, Chunjing; Zhao, Huifang; Li, Dongxu; Song, Lele; Stolte, Steven; Ding, Dajun; Roeterdink, Wim G.

    2016-11-01

    We have measured the alignment influence on ion yields of CH3I and CH3Br molecules in the laser intensity regime from 1013 W/cm2 to 1015 W/cm2. The hexapole state-selection technique combined with laser induced alignment has been employed to obtain aligned ( = 0.7) and anti-aligned ( = - 0.1) CH3I and CH3Br molecules. The ratio of saturation intensities observed for the CH3I and CH3Br molecules with different alignments are simulated using a modified PPT model for molecules considering different orbitals and a good agreement has been achieved, indicating the contribution from multiple orbitals in the ionization.

  4. Orbital

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hanson, Robert M.

    2003-06-01

    ORBITAL requires the following software, which is available for free download from the Internet: Netscape Navigator, version 4.75 or higher, or Microsoft Internet Explorer, version 5.0 or higher; Chime Plug-in, version compatible with your OS and browser (available from MDL).

  5. Thermo-optical vacuum testing of Galileo In-Orbit Validation laser retroreflectors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dell'Agnello, S.; Boni, A.; Cantone, C.; Ciocci, E.; Contessa, S.; Delle Monache, G.; Lops, C.; Martini, M.; Patrizi, G.; Porcelli, L.; Salvatori, L.; Tibuzzi, M.; Intaglietta, N.; Tuscano, P.; Mondaini, C.; Maiello, M.; Doyle, D.; García-Prieto, R.; Navarro-Reyes, D.

    2016-06-01

    The Galileo constellation is a space research and development program of the European Union to help navigate users all over the world. The Galileo IOV (In-Orbit Validation) are the first test satellites of the Galileo constellation and carry satellite laser retroreflectors as part of their payload systems for precision orbit determination and performance assessment. INFN-LNF SCF_Lab (Satellite/lunar/GNSS laser ranging/altimetry and Cube/microsat Characterization Facilities Laboratory) has been performing tests on a sample of the laser array segment under the Thermo-optical vacuum testing of Galileo IOV laser retro-reflectors of Galileo IOV LRA project, as defined in ESA-INFN Contract No. 4000108617/13/NL/PA. We will present the results of FFDP (Far Field Diffraction Pattern) and thermal relaxation times measurements in relevant space conditions of Galileo IOV CCRs (Cube Corner Retroreflectors) provided by ESA-ESTEC. A reference for the performance of laser ranging on Galileo satellites is the FFDP of a retroreflector in its design specifications and a Galileo retroreflector, in air and isothermal conditions, should have a minimum return intensity within the range [ 0.55 ×106m2- 2.14 ×106m2 ] (ESA-INFN, 2013). Measurements, performed in SCF_Lab facility, demonstrated that the 7 Galileo IOV laser retroreflectors under test were compliant with design performance expectations (Porcelli et al., 2015). The kind of tests carried out for this activity are the first performed on spare Galileo IOV hardware, made available after the launch of the four Galileo IOV satellites (2011 and 2012), which were the operational core of the constellation. The characterisation of the retroreflectors against their design requirements is important because LRAs (Laser Retroreflector Arrays) will be flown on all Galileo satellites.

  6. A laser-optical system to re-enter or lower low Earth orbit space debris

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phipps, Claude R.

    2014-01-01

    Collisions among existing Low Earth Orbit (LEO) debris are now a main source of new debris, threatening future use of LEO space. Due to their greater number, small (1-10 cm) debris are the main threat, while large (>10 cm) objects are the main source of new debris. Flying up and interacting with each large object is inefficient due to the energy cost of orbit plane changes, and quite expensive per object removed. Strategically, it is imperative to remove both small and large debris. Laser-Orbital-Debris-Removal (LODR), is the only solution that can address both large and small debris. In this paper, we briefly review ground-based LODR, and discuss how a polar location can dramatically increase its effectiveness for the important class of sun-synchronous orbit (SSO) objects. With 20% clear weather, a laser-optical system at either pole could lower the 8-ton ENVISAT by 40 km in about 8 weeks, reducing the hazard it represents by a factor of four. We also discuss the advantages and disadvantages of a space-based LODR system. We estimate cost per object removed for these systems. International cooperation is essential for designing, building and operating any such system.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Tracking system options for future altimeter satellite missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1994-01-01

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

  10. Project ORION: Orbital Debris Removal Using Ground-Based Sensors and Lasers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Campbell, J. W.

    1996-01-01

    About 100,000 pieces of 1 to 10-cm debris in low-Earth orbit are too small to track reliably but large enough to cripple or destroy spacecraft. The ORION team studied the feasibility of removing the debris with ground-based laser impulses. Photoablation experiments were surveyed and applied to likely debris materials. Laser intensities needed for debris orbit modification call for pulses on the order of lOkJ or continuous wave lasers on the order of 1 MW. Adaptive optics are necessary to correct for atmospheric turbulence. Wavelength and pulse duration windows were found that limit beam degradation due to nonlinear atmospheric processes. Debris can be detected and located to within about 10 microrads with existing radar and passive optical technology. Fine targeting would be accomplished with laser illumination, which might also be used for detection. Bistatic detection with communications satellites may also be possible. We recommend that existing technology be used to demonstrate the concept at a loss of about $20 million. We calculate that an installation to clear altitudes up to 800 km of 1 to 10-cm debris over 2 years of operation would cost about $80 million. Clearing altitudes up to 1,500 km would take about 3 years and cost about $160 million.

  11. High harmonic generation in underdense plasmas by intense laser pulses with orbital angular momentum

    SciTech Connect

    Mendonça, J. T.; Vieira, J.

    2015-12-15

    We study high harmonic generation produced by twisted laser pulses, with orbital angular momentum in the relativistic regime, for pulse propagation in underdense plasma. We consider fast time scale processes associated with an ultra-short pulse, where the ion motion can be neglected. We use both analytical models and numerical simulations using a relativistic particle-in-cell code. The present description is valid for relativistic laser intensities, when the normalized field amplitude is much larger than one, a ≫ 1. We also discuss two distinct processes associated with linear and circular polarization. Using both analytical solutions and particle-in-cell simulations, we are able to show that, for laser pulses in a well defined Laguerre-Gauss mode, angular momentum conservation is observed during the process of harmonic generation. Intensity modulation of the harmonic spectrum is also verified, as imposed by the nonlinear time-scale for energy transfer between different harmonics.

  12. Precision orbit determination for the Geosat Exact Repeat Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shum, C. K.; Yuan, D. N.; Ries, J. C.; Smith, J. C.; Schutz, B. E.

    1990-01-01

    Precise ephemerides have been determined for the U.S. Navy Geosat Exact Repeat Mission (ERM) using an improved gravity-field model, PTGF-4A (Shum et al. 1989). The Geosat orbits were computed in a terrestrial reference system which is tied to the reference system defined by satellite laser ranging (SLR) to Lageos through a survey between the Tranet Doppler receiver and the SLR system located at Wettzell, FRG. The remaining Doppler tracking station coordinates were estimated simultaneously with the geopotential in the PTGF-4A solution. In this analysis, three continuous 17-day Geosat orbits, which were computed using the 46-station Tranet data and global altimeter crossover data, have a crossover residual rms of 20 cm, indicating that the Geosat radial orbit error is of the order of 20 cm. The orbits computed based on data collected by a 7-station OPNET tracking network and crossover data have the same level of accuracy.

  13. Precision orbit determination for the Geosat Exact Repeat Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shum, C. K.; Yuan, D. N.; Ries, J. C.; Smith, J. C.; Schutz, B. E.

    1990-03-01

    Precise ephemerides have been determined for the U.S. Navy Geosat Exact Repeat Mission (ERM) using an improved gravity-field model, PTGF-4A (Shum et al. 1989). The Geosat orbits were computed in a terrestrial reference system which is tied to the reference system defined by satellite laser ranging (SLR) to Lageos through a survey between the Tranet Doppler receiver and the SLR system located at Wettzell, FRG. The remaining Doppler tracking station coordinates were estimated simultaneously with the geopotential in the PTGF-4A solution. In this analysis, three continuous 17-day Geosat orbits, which were computed using the 46-station Tranet data and global altimeter crossover data, have a crossover residual rms of 20 cm, indicating that the Geosat radial orbit error is of the order of 20 cm. The orbits computed based on data collected by a 7-station OPNET tracking network and crossover data have the same level of accuracy.

  14. Global Characteristics of Porosity and Density Stratification Within the Lunar Crust from GRAIL Gravity and Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter Topography Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Han, Shin-Chan; Schmerr, Nicholas; Neumann, Gregory; Holmes, Simon

    2014-01-01

    The Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission is providing unprecedentedly high-resolution gravity data. The gravity signal in relation to topography decreases from 100 km to 30 km wavelength, equivalent to a uniform crustal density of 2450 kg/cu m that is 100 kg/cu m smaller than the density required at 100 km. To explain such frequency-dependent behavior, we introduce rock compaction models under lithostatic pressure that yield radially stratified porosity (and thus density) and examine the depth extent of porosity. Our modeling and analysis support the assertion that the crustal density must vary from surface to deep crust by up to 500 kg/cu m. We found that the surface density of mega regolith is around 2400 kg/cu m with an initial porosity of 10-20%, and this porosity is eliminated at 10-20 km depth due to lithostatic overburden pressure. Our stratified density models provide improved fits to both GRAIL primary and extended mission data.

  15. 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)...

  16. 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)...

  17. 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)...

  18. 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)...

  19. 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)...

  20. Southern hemisphere western boundary current variability revealed by GEOS 3 altimeter

    SciTech Connect

    Gordon, A.L.; Horai, K.; Donn, M.

    1983-01-20

    GEOS 3 altimeter data are adjusted to minimize differences at the intersections or crossovers between ascending and descending orbits. This procedure removes noise created by orbital uncertainty and permits study of sea level variations, without knowledge of the geoid. The root mean squares (rms) of the adjusted differences, grouped within 2/sup 0/ latitude by 2/sup 0/ longitude boxes, are mapped for the western boundary current regime and adjacent Antarctic Circumpolar Current segment for each southern hemisphere ocean, as well as for the eastern Indian Ocean, where sufficient crossover data are available. The rms crossover values are compared to surface-based hydrographic data studies of ocean transients for verification of the altimeter results. The altimeter data clearly reveal reasonable patterns of sea level transients associated with the western boundary currents and Antarctic Circumpolar Current. In addition, the rms values reveal regions of locally amplified tidal features adjacent to the Patagonian coast of Argentina and in the region west of New Zealand. The altimeter data verify and expand on the results of limited surface-based data sets, particularly in the case of the circulation transients south of Madagascar, and southwest of New Caledonia. In the eastern Indian Ocean the altimeter data suggest variable sea level conditions near 10/sup 0/-20/sup 0/S, near 20/sup 0/-30/sup 0/S, and near 50/sup 0/S. The last is associated with the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, but the source of the northern variable regions is not clear.

  1. Compact, Passively Q-Switched Nd:YAG Laser for the MESSENGER Mission to the Planet Mercury

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krebs, Danny J.; Novo-Gradac, Anne-Marie; Li, Steven X.; Lindauer, Steven J.; Afzal, Robert S.; Yu, Antony

    2004-01-01

    A compact, passively Q-switched Nd:YAG laser has been developed for the Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA) instrument which is an instrument on the MESSENGER mission to the planet Mercury. The laser achieves 5.4 percent efficiency with a near diffraction limited beam. It has passed all space flight environmental tests at system, instrument, and satellite integration. The laser design draws on a heritage of previous laser altimetry missions, specifically ISESAT and Mars Global Surveyor; but incorporates thermal management features unique to the requirements of an orbit of the planet Mercury.

  2. GEOSAT Follow-On Radar Altimeter Satellite Performance Studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Finkelstein, J. L.; Rau, M.; McMillan, J. D.

    2002-12-01

    Under a Navy Contract with Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corporation, the first GFO satellite was completed in 1997 and launched on 10 February 1998 on an Orbital Taurus launch vehicle. The satellite was operationally accepted on 29 November 2000. With an anticipated 8-year or more life, GFO (http://gfo.bmpcoe.org/Gfo) is a DoD satellite mission managed by the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command's (SPAWAR's) Meteorological and Oceanographic (METOC) Systems Program Office (PMW 155) located in San Diego, California. The satellite is in the same Exact Repeat Orbit (ERO) as the original GEOSAT (800 km by 108 degrees inclination). All GFO's data products are available to the scientific community and are distributed by NOAA's Laboratory for Satellite Altimetry. The primary program objective was to develop an operational series of radar altimeter satellites to maintain continuous ocean observation for accurate global measurements of both mesoscale and basin-scale oceanography. Since its acceptance, Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), under contract with the Navy, has provided a team known as the GFO Cal/Val and assisted by NASA and NOAA personnel has undertaken extensive and continuing calibration and validation activities on an exact repeat cycle basis. This paper will discuss the results of those Cal/Val efforts and present charts showing the performance history of the satellite, its sensors (both the Radar Altimeter and the Water Vapor Radiometer), and other relevant performance measures such as orbit accuracy.

  3. Global digital topography mapping using a scanning radar altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Elachi, C.; Im, K. E.; Li, F.; Rodriguez, E.

    1987-01-01

    The conceptual design of a Scanning Radar Altimeter system capable of collecting less than 300-m spatial and less than 3-m height resolution digital topography data for the entire globe, from an orbital platform, is presented. A 37-GHz frequency SRA system is used to achieve the requisite resolution while reducing antenna length in the along-track dimension. Near-global coverage in a short time period is obtained by scanning the antenna beam cross-track, in a swath of about 100 km. Attention is given to the algorithm that will be used to retrieve pixel height from the return waveform.

  4. 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.

  5. Geopotential models of the Earth from satellite tracking, altimeter and surface gravity observations: GEM-T3 and GEM-T3S

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lerch, F. J.; Nerem, R. S.; Putney, B. H.; Felsentreger, T. L.; Sanchez, B. V.; Klosko, S. M.; Patel, G. B.; Williamson, R. G.; Chinn, D. S.; Chan, J. C.

    1992-01-01

    Improved models of the Earth's gravitational field have been developed from conventional tracking data and from a combination of satellite tracking, satellite altimeter and surface gravimetric data. This combination model represents a significant improvement in the modeling of the gravity field at half-wavelengths of 300 km and longer. Both models are complete to degree and order 50. The Goddard Earth Model-T3 (GEM-T3) provides more accurate computation of satellite orbital effects as well as giving superior geoidal representation from that achieved in any previous GEM. A description of the models, their development and an assessment of their accuracy is presented. The GEM-T3 model used altimeter data from previous satellite missions in estimating the orbits, geoid, and dynamic height fields. Other satellite tracking data are largely the same as was used to develop GEM-T2, but contain certain important improvements in data treatment and expanded laser tracking coverage. Over 1300 arcs of tracking data from 31 different satellites have been used in the solution. Reliable estimates of the model uncertainties via error calibration and optimal data weighting techniques are discussed.

  6. The significance of orbital anatomy and periocular wrinkling when performing laser skin resurfacing.

    PubMed

    Trelles, M A; Pardo, L; Benedetto, A V; García-Solana, L; Torrens, J

    2000-03-01

    Knowledge of orbital anatomy and the interaction of muscle contractions, gravitational forces and photoagingis fundamental in understanding the limitations of carbon dioxide (CO2) laser skin resurfacing when rejuvenating the skin of the periocular area. Laser resurfacing does not change the mimetic behavior of the facial muscles nor does it influence gravitational forces. When resurfacing periocular tissue, the creation of scleral show and ectropion are a potential consequence when there is an over zealous attempt at improving the sagging malar fat pad and eyelid laxity by performing an excess amount of laser passes at the lateral portion of the lower eyelid. This results in an inadvertent widening of the palpebral fissure due to the lateral pull of the Orbicularis oculi. Retrospectively, 85 patients were studied, who had undergone periorbital resurfacing with a CO2 laser using anew treatment approach. The Sharplan 40C CO2 Feather Touchlaser was programmed with a circular scanning pattern and used just for the shoulders of the wrinkles. A final laser pass was performed with the same program over the entire lower eyelid skin surface, excluding the outer lateral portion (e.g. a truncated triangle-like area),corresponding to the lateral canthus. Only a single laser pass was delivered to the lateral canthal triangle to avoid widening the lateral opening of the eyelid, which might lead to the potential complications of scleral show and ectropion. When the area of the crows' feet is to be treated, three passes on the skin of this entire lateral orbital surface are completed by moving laterally and upward toward the hairline. Patients examined on days 1, 7, 15, 30, 60, and one year after laser resurfacing showed good results. At two months after treatment, the clinical improvement was rated by the patient and physician as being "very good" in 81 of the 85 patients reviewed. These patients underwent laser resurfacing without complications. The proposed technique of

  7. Planning constraints of low grazing altitude GEO-LEO laser links based on in-orbit data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sterr, Uwe; Dallmann, Daniel; Heine, Frank; Tröndle, Daniel; Meyer, Rolf; Lutzer, Michael; Benzi, Edoardo

    2016-11-01

    Part of the operational concept for laser communication networks such as the European data relay system is planning constraints. In addition to hard constraints such as angular range of the actuators, there is also the atmosphere, which has a gradual increasing impact as the distance between laser beam path and earth decreases. The shortest distance between the laser beam path and the surface of the earth is called "grazing altitude." The atmosphere impacts spatial acquisition as well as communication performance. In-orbit measurement data of geostationary orbit-low-Earth orbit (GEO-LEO) links between two laser communication terminals (LCT) developed by TESAT-Spacecom, Germany, in the frame of Alphasat TDP1 optical GEO-relay demonstration program are presented. Planning constraint guidelines are formulated based on the observed influence. TESAT-Spacecom's LCTs use a highly sensitive and high-performance coherent transmission technology and a beaconless spatial acquisition system.

  8. Development of State of the Art Solid State Lasers for Altimetry and other LIDAR Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kay, Richard B.

    1997-01-01

    This report describes work performed and research accomplished through the end of 1997. During this time period, we have designed and fabricated two lasers for flight LIDAR applications to medium altitudes (Laser Vegetation Imaging System designs LVIS 1 and LVIS 2), designed one earth orbiting LIDAR transmitter (VCL-Alt), and continued work on a high rep-rate LIDAR laser (Raster Scanned Altimeter, RASCAL). Additionally, a 'White Paper' was prepared which evaluates the current state of the art of Nd:YAG lasers and projects efficiencies to the year 2004. This report is attached as Appendix 1 of this report.

  9. Mapping the Topography of Mercury with MESSENGER Laser Altimetry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2012-01-01

    The Mercury Laser Altimeter onboard MESSENGER involves unique design elements that deal with the challenges of being in orbit around Mercury. The Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA) is one of seven instruments on NASA's MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft. MESSENGER was launched on 3 August 2004, and entered into orbit about Mercury on 18 March 2011 after a journey through the inner solar system. This involved six planetary flybys, including three of Mercury. MLA is designed to map the topography and landforms of Mercury's surface. It also measures the planet's forced libration (motion about the spin axis), which helps constrain the state of the core. The first science measurements from orbit taken with MLA were made on 29 March 2011 and continue to date. MLA had accumulated about 8.3 million laser ranging measurements to Mercury's surface, as of 31 July 2012, i.e., over six Mercury years (528 Earth days). Although MLA is the third planetary lidar built at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), MLA must endure a much harsher thermal environment near Mercury than the previous instruments on Mars and Earth satellites. The design of MLA was derived in part from that of the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter on Mars Global Surveyor. However, MLA must range over greater distances and often in off-nadir directions from a highly eccentric orbit. In MLA we use a single-mode diode-pumped Nd:YAG (neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet) laser that is highly collimated to maintain a small footprint on the planet. The receiver has both a narrow field of view and a narrow spectral bandwidth to minimize the amount of background light detected from the sunlit hemisphere of Mercury. We achieve the highest possible receiver sensitivity by employing the minimum receiver detection threshold.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Periodic orbits and synchronous chaos in lasers unidirectionally coupled via saturable absorbers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doedel, Eusebius J.; Pando, L. Carlos L.

    2017-02-01

    We study a model for two unidirectionally coupled molecular lasers with a saturable absorber. Our numerical bifurcation study shows the existence of isolas of in-phase periodic solutions as physical parameters change. There are also other non-isola in-phase and intermediate-phase families of periodic oscillations. The coupling parameter strongly affects the stability of these periodic solutions. In this model the unstable periodic orbits belonging to the in-phase isolas constitute a skeleton of the attractor, when chaotic synchronization sets in for a set of physically relevant control parameters.

  13. Modeling channel interference in an orbital angular momentum-multiplexed laser link

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anguita, Jaime A.; Neifeld, Mark A.; Vasic, Bane V.

    2009-08-01

    We study the effects of optical turbulence on the energy crosstalk among constituent orbital angular momentum (OAM) states in a vortex-based multi-channel laser communication link and determine channel interference in terms of turbulence strength and OAM state separation. We characterize the channel interference as a function of C2n and transmit OAM state, and propose probability models to predict the random fluctuations in the received signals for such architecture. Simulations indicate that turbulence-induced channel interference is mutually correlated across receive channels.

  14. Initial Development of a Laser Altimeter.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1985-09-01

    improvements incorporated, is predicted to yield a SNR of over 20 for an altitude of 150 meters. (T-r S N 0 102- LF- 014- 6601 2 UNCLASSIFIED SECURITY...validated the trade-off equation used in the study. A second Lest model, with design improvements incorporated, is predicted to yield a SNR of over 20...Fig.rf L7 Ofshose dednem 10 angle of incidence !nor ler.Tep inln inh o t, artsit the, nue ar m ch Lower;iif andt -agifcltl for t ienareaidg andoely

  15. Simple Laser Communications Terminal for Downlink from Earth Orbit at Rates Exceeding 10 Gb/s

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kovalik, Joseph M.; Hemmati, Hamid; Biswas, Abhijit; Roberts, William T.

    2013-01-01

    A compact, low-cost laser communications transceiver was prototyped for downlinking data at 10 Gb/s from Earth-orbiting spacecraft. The design can be implemented using flight-grade parts. With emphasis on simplicity, compactness, and light weight of the flight transceiver, the reduced-complexity design and development approach involves: 1. A high-bandwidth coarse wavelength division multiplexed (CWDM) (4 2.5 or 10-Gb/s data-rate) downlink transmitter. To simplify the system, emphasis is on the downlink. Optical uplink data rate is modest (due to existing and adequate RF uplink capability). 2. Highly simplified and compact 5-cm diameter clear aperture optics assembly is configured to single transmit and receive aperture laser signals. About 2 W of 4-channel multiplexed (1,540 to 1,555 nm) optically amplified laser power is coupled to the optical assembly through a fiber optic cable. It contains a highly compact, precision-pointing capability two-axis gimbal assembly to coarse point the optics assembly. A fast steering mirror, built into the optical path of the optical assembly, is used to remove residual pointing disturbances from the gimbal. Acquisition, pointing, and tracking are assisted by a beacon laser transmitted from the ground and received by the optical assembly, which will allow transmission of a laser beam. 3. Shifting the link burden to the ground by relying on direct detection optical receivers retrofitted to 1-m-diameter ground telescopes. 4. Favored mass and volume reduction over power-consumption reduction. The two major variables that are available include laser transmit power at either end of the link, and telescope aperture diameter at each end of the link. Increased laser power is traded for smaller-aperture diameters. 5. Use of commercially available spacequalified or qualifiable components with traceability to flight qualification (i.e., a flight-qualified version is commercially available). An example is use of Telecordia-qualified fiber

  16. Towards the 1-cm SARAL orbit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zelensky, Nikita P.; Lemoine, Frank G.; Chinn, Douglas S.; Beckley, Brian D.; Bordyugov, Oleg; Yang, Xu; Wimert, Jesse; Pavlis, Despina

    2016-12-01

    We have investigated the quality of precise orbits for the SARAL altimeter satellite using Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) and Doppler Orbitography and Radiopositioning Integrated by Satellite (DORIS) data from March 14, 2013 to August 10, 2014. We have identified a 4.31 ± 0.14 cm error in the Z (cross-track) direction that defines the center-of-mass of the SARAL satellite in the spacecraft coordinate system, and we have tuned the SLR and DORIS tracking point offsets. After these changes, we reduce the average RMS of the SLR residuals for seven-day arcs from 1.85 to 1.38 cm. We tuned the non-conservative force model for SARAL, reducing the amplitude of the daily adjusted empirical accelerations by eight percent. We find that the best dynamic orbits show altimeter crossover residuals of 5.524 cm over cycles 7-15. Our analysis offers a unique illustration that high-elevation SLR residuals will not necessarily provide an accurate estimate of radial error at the 1-cm level, and that other supporting orbit tests are necessary for a better estimate. Through the application of improved models for handling time-variable gravity, the use of reduced-dynamic orbits, and through an arc-by-arc estimation of the C22 and S22 coefficients, we find from analysis of independent SLR residuals and other tests that we achieve 1.1-1.2 cm radial orbit accuracies for SARAL. The limiting errors stem from the inadequacy of the DPOD2008 and SLRF2008 station complements, and inadequacies in radiation force modeling, especially with respect to spacecraft self-shadowing and modeling of thermal variations due to eclipses.

  17. Doublet Pulse Coherent Laser Radar for Orbital Debris Tracking of Resident Space Objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prasad, N.; Rudd, V.,; DiMarcantonio, A.; Sandford, S.

    2014-09-01

    In this paper, the development of a long range ladar system known as ExoSPEAR at NASA Langley Research Center for tracking rapidly moving resident space objects is discussed. Based on 100 W, nanosecond class, near-IR laser, this ladar system with coherent detection technique is currently being investigated for short dwell time measurements of resident space objects (RSOs) in LEO and beyond for space surveillance applications. This unique ladar architecture is configured using a continuously agile doublet-pulse waveform scheme coupled to a closed-loop tracking and control loop approach to simultaneously achieve mm class range precision and mm/s velocity precision and hence obtain unprecedented track accuracies. Salient features of the design architecture followed by performance simulations illustrating the dependence of range and velocity precision in LEO orbits on ladar power aperture product will be presented. Estimated limits on detectable optical cross sections of RSOs in LEO orbits will be analyzed. The suitability of this ladar for precision orbit determination will be discussed.

  18. 13 Years of TOPEX/POSEIDON Precision Orbit Determination and the 10-fold Improvement in Expected Orbit Accuracy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lemoine, F. G.; Zelensky, N. P.; Luthcke, S. B.; Rowlands, D. D.; Beckley, B. D.; Klosko, S. M.

    2006-01-01

    Launched in the summer of 1992, TOPEX/POSEIDON (T/P) was a joint mission between NASA and the Centre National d Etudes Spatiales (CNES), the French Space Agency, to make precise radar altimeter measurements of the ocean surface. After the remarkably successful 13-years of mapping the ocean surface T/P lost its ability to maneuver and was de-commissioned January 2006. T/P revolutionized the study of the Earth s oceans by vastly exceeding pre-launch estimates of surface height accuracy recoverable from radar altimeter measurements. The precision orbit lies at the heart of the altimeter measurement providing the reference frame from which the radar altimeter measurements are made. The expected quality of orbit knowledge had limited the measurement accuracy expectations of past altimeter missions, and still remains a major component in the error budget of all altimeter missions. This paper describes critical improvements made to the T/P orbit time series over the 13-years of precise orbit determination (POD) provided by the GSFC Space Geodesy Laboratory. The POD improvements from the pre-launch T/P expectation of radial orbit accuracy and Mission requirement of 13-cm to an expected accuracy of about 1.5-cm with today s latest orbits will be discussed. The latest orbits with 1.5 cm RMS radial accuracy represent a significant improvement to the 2.0-cm accuracy orbits currently available on the T/P Geophysical Data Record (GDR) altimeter product.

  19. A Real-Time Orbit Determination Method for Smooth Transition from Optical Tracking to Laser Ranging of Debris

    PubMed Central

    Li, Bin; Sang, Jizhang; Zhang, Zhongping

    2016-01-01

    A critical requirement to achieve high efficiency of debris laser tracking is to have sufficiently accurate orbit predictions (OP) in both the pointing direction (better than 20 arc seconds) and distance from the tracking station to the debris objects, with the former more important than the latter because of the narrow laser beam. When the two line element (TLE) is used to provide the orbit predictions, the resultant pointing errors are usually on the order of tens to hundreds of arc seconds. In practice, therefore, angular observations of debris objects are first collected using an optical tracking sensor, and then used to guide the laser beam pointing to the objects. The manual guidance may cause interrupts to the laser tracking, and consequently loss of valuable laser tracking data. This paper presents a real-time orbit determination (OD) and prediction method to realize smooth and efficient debris laser tracking. The method uses TLE-computed positions and angles over a short-arc of less than 2 min as observations in an OD process where simplified force models are considered. After the OD convergence, the OP is performed from the last observation epoch to the end of the tracking pass. Simulation and real tracking data processing results show that the pointing prediction errors are usually less than 10″, and the distance errors less than 100 m, therefore, the prediction accuracy is sufficient for the blind laser tracking. PMID:27347958

  20. Variable fidelity robust optimization of pulsed laser orbital debris removal under epistemic uncertainty

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hou, Liqiang; Cai, Yuanli; Liu, Jin; Hou, Chongyuan

    2016-04-01

    A variable fidelity robust optimization method for pulsed laser orbital debris removal (LODR) under uncertainty is proposed. Dempster-shafer theory of evidence (DST), which merges interval-based and probabilistic uncertainty modeling, is used in the robust optimization. The robust optimization method optimizes the performance while at the same time maximizing its belief value. A population based multi-objective optimization (MOO) algorithm based on a steepest descent like strategy with proper orthogonal decomposition (POD) is used to search robust Pareto solutions. Analytical and numerical lifetime predictors are used to evaluate the debris lifetime after the laser pulses. Trust region based fidelity management is designed to reduce the computational cost caused by the expensive model. When the solutions fall into the trust region, the analytical model is used to reduce the computational cost. The proposed robust optimization method is first tested on a set of standard problems and then applied to the removal of Iridium 33 with pulsed lasers. It will be shown that the proposed approach can identify the most robust solutions with minimum lifetime under uncertainty.

  1. Impact of high-frequency waves on the ocean altimeter range bias

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vandemark, D.; Chapron, B.; Elfouhaily, T.; Campbell, J. W.

    2005-11-01

    New aircraft observations are presented on the range determination error in satellite altimetry associated with ocean waves. Laser-based measurements of the cross correlation between the gravity wave slope and elevation are reported for the first time. These observations provide direct access to a long, O(10 m), gravity wave statistic central to nonlinear wave theory prediction of the altimeter sea state bias. Coincident Ka-band radar scattering data are used to estimate an electromagnetic (EM) range bias analogous to that in satellite altimetry. These data, along with ancillary wind and wave slope variance estimates, are used alongside existing theory to evaluate the extent of long- versus short-wave, O(cm), control of the bias. The longer wave bias contribution to the total EM bias is shown to range from 25 to as much as 100%. Moreover, on average the term is linearly related to wind speed and to the gravity wave slope variance, consistent with WNL theory. The EM bias associated with interactions between long and short waves is obtained assuming the effect is additive to the independently observed long-wave factor. This second component is also a substantial contributor, is observed to be quadratic in wind speed or wave slope, and dominates at moderate wind speeds. The behavior is shown to be consistent with EM bias prediction based in hydrodynamic modulation theory. Study implications for improved correction of the on-orbit satellite sea state bias are discussed.

  2. Proton radiation testing of laser optical components for NASA Jupiter Europa Orbiter Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomes, W. Joe, Jr.; Cavanaugh, John F.; Ott, Melanie N.

    2011-09-01

    The Jupiter Europa Orbiter (JEO) is NASA's element of the joint Europa Jupiter System Mission (EJSM). Based on current trajectories, the spacecraft will spend a significant amount of time in the Jovian radiation belts. Therefore, research endeavors are underway to study the radiation effects on the various parts and components needed to implement the instruments. Data from these studies will be used for component selection and system design to ensure reliable operation throughout the mission duration. The radiation environment en route to Jupiter is nothing new for NASA designed systems, however, the long durations orbiting Jupiter and Europa present new challenges for radiation exposure. High-energy trapped electrons and protons at Jupiter dominate the expected radiation environment. Therefore, most of the initial component level radiation testing is being conducted with proton exposure. In this paper we will present in-situ monitoring of the optical transmission of various laser optical components during proton irradiation. Radiation induced optical attenuation of some components is less than would be expected, based on the authors experiences, and is attributed to the interaction of the protons with the materials. The results are an encouraging first step in screening these optical materials for spaceflight in a high radiation environment.

  3. The Development of a Sea Surface Height Climate Data Record from Multi-mission Altimeter Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beckley, B. D.; Ray, R. D.; Lemoine, F. G.; Zelensky, N. P.; Desai, S. D.; Brown, S.; Mitchum, G. T.; Nerem, R.; Yang, X.; Holmes, S. A.

    2011-12-01

    The determination of the rate of change of mean sea level (MSL) has undeniable societal significance. The science value of satellite altimeter observations has grown dramatically over time as improved models and technologies have increased the value of data acquired on both past and present missions enabling credible MSL estimates. With the prospect of an observational time series extending into several decades from TOPEX/Poseidon through Jason-1 and the Ocean Surface Topography Mission (OSTM), and further in time with a future set of operational altimeters, researchers are pushing the bounds of current technology and modeling capability in order to monitor global and regional sea level rates at an accuracy of a few tenths of a mm/yr. GRACE data analysis suggests that the ice melt from Alaska alone contributes 0.3 mm/y to global sea level rise. The measurement of MSL change from satellite altimetry requires an extreme stability of the altimeter measurement system since the signal being measured is at the level of a few mm/yr. This means that the orbit and reference frame within which the altimeter measurements are situated, and the associated altimeter corrections, must be stable and accurate enough to permit a robust MSL estimate. Foremost, orbit quality and consistency are critical not only to satellite altimeter measurement accuracy across one mission, but also for the seamless transition between missions (Beckley, et. al, 2005). The analysis of altimeter data for TOPEX/Poseidon, Jason-1, and OSTM requires that the orbits for all three missions be in a consistent reference frame, and calculated with the best possible standards to minimize error and maximize the data return from the time series, particularly with respect to the demanding application of measuring sea level trends. In this presentation we describe the development and utility of the MEaSURE's TPJAOS V1.0 sea surface height Climate Data Record (http://podaac.jpl.nasa.gov/dataset/MERGED_TP_J1_OSTM

  4. 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).

  5. Simulation and assimilation of satellite altimeter data at the oceanic mesoscale

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Demay, P.; Robinson, A. R.

    1984-01-01

    An improved "objective analysis' technique is used along with an altimeter signal statistical model, an altimeter noise statistical model, an orbital model, and synoptic surface current maps in the POLYMODE-SDE area, to evaluate the performance of various observational strategies in catching the mesoscale variability at mid-latitudes. In particular, simulated repetitive nominal orbits of ERS-1, TOPEX, and SPOT/POSEIDON are examined. Results show the critical importance of existence of a subcycle, scanning in either direction. Moreover, long repeat cycles ( 20 days) and short cross-track distances ( 300 km) seem preferable, since they match mesoscale statistics. Another goal of the study is to prepare and discuss sea-surface height (SSH) assimilation in quasigeostrophic models. Restored SSH maps are shown to meet that purpose, if an efficient extrapolation method or deep in-situ data (floats) are used on the vertical to start and update the model.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Verification and Improvement of ERS-1/2 Altimeter Geophysical Data Records for Global Change Studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shum, C. K.

    2000-01-01

    This Final Technical Report summarizes the research work conducted under NASA's Physical Oceanography Program entitled, Verification And Improvement Of ERS-112 Altimeter Geophysical Data Recorders For Global Change Studies, for the time period from January 1, 2000 through June 30, 2000. This report also provides a summary of the investigation from July 1, 1997 - June 30, 2000. The primary objectives of this investigation include verification and improvement of the ERS-1 and ERS-2 radar altimeter geophysical data records for distribution of the data to the ESA-approved U.S. ERS-1/-2 investigators for global climate change studies. Specifically, the investigation is to verify and improve the ERS geophysical data record products by calibrating the instrument and assessing accuracy for the ERS-1/-2 orbital, geophysical, media, and instrument corrections. The purpose is to ensure that the consistency of constants, standards and algorithms with TOPEX/POSEIDON radar altimeter for global climate change studies such as the monitoring and interpretation of long-term sea level change. This investigation has provided the current best precise orbits, with the radial orbit accuracy for ERS-1 (Phases C-G) and ERS-2 estimated at the 3-5 cm rms level, an 30-fold improvement compared to the 1993 accuracy. We have finalized the production and verification of the value-added ERS-1 mission (Phases A, B, C, D, E, F, and G), in collaboration with JPL PODAAC and the University of Texas. Orbit and data verification and improvement of algorithms led to the best data product available to-date. ERS-2 altimeter data have been improved and we have been active on Envisat (2001 launch) GDR algorithm review and improvement. The data improvement of ERS-1 and ERS-2 led to improvement in the global mean sea surface, marine gravity anomaly and bathymetry models, and a study of Antarctica mass balance, which was published in Science in 1998.

  9. Remote sensing of Gulf Stream using GEOS-3 radar altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leitao, C. D.; Huang, N. E.; Parra, C. G.

    1978-01-01

    Radar altimeter measurements from the GEOS-3 satellite to the ocean surface indicated the presence of expected geostrophic height differences across the the Gulf Stream. Dynamic sea surface heights were found by both editing and filtering the raw sea surface heights and then referencing these processed data to a 5 minute x 5 minute geoid. Any trend between the processed data and the geoid was removed by subtracting out a linear fit to the residuals in the open ocean. The mean current velocity of 107 + or - 29 cm/sec calculated from the dynamic heights for all orbits corresponded with velocities obtained from hydrographic methods. Also, dynamic topographic maps were produced for August, September, and October 1975. Results pointed out limitations in the accuracy of the geoid, height anomaly deteriorations due to filtering, and lack of dense time and space distribution of measurements.

  10. Nonadiabatic tunnel ionization of current-carrying orbitals of prealigned linear molecules in strong circularly polarized laser fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Kunlong; Barth, Ingo

    2016-10-01

    We derive the analytical formula of the ratio of the ionization rates of degenerate valence π± orbitals of prealigned linear molecules in strong circularly polarized (CP) laser fields. Interestingly, our theory shows that the ionization ratio for molecular orbitals with opposite azimuthal quantum numbers ±|m | (e.g., π±) is identical to that for atomic orbitals with the same ±|m | (e.g., p±). In general, the electron counter-rotating to the CP laser field tunnels more easily, not only for atoms but also for linear molecules. Our theoretical predictions are then verified by numerically solving the three-dimensional time-dependent Schrödinger equation for the ionization of the prealigned nitric oxide (NO) molecule in strong CP laser fields. Due to the spin-orbital coupling in the electronic ground state of NO and the sensitivity of ionization to the sense of electron rotation, the ionization of NO in CP fields can produce spin-polarized photoelectrons with high controllability of spin polarization up to 100 % .

  11. Electromagnetic launch, then lessening chemical thrust over time as laser beam powered ion thrust grows—to any orbit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morse, Thomas M.

    1996-03-01

    The ElectroMagnetic (EM) Launch Tube (LT), using High-Temp SuperConduction (HTSC) EM launch coils if developed, will be built in a tall building, or, if not, at a steep angle up the west slope of an extinct volcano. The Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) exits the LT at such high velocity that the otherwise violent entry into the atmosphere is made possible by Special-Laser-Launch-Assist (SLLA), which ionizes and expands the atmosphere immediately ahead of the RLV. At first a brief period of chemical thrust is followed by a long period of ion thrust during ascent to orbit. As decades pass and greater ion thrust is developed, the period of chemical thrust shortens until it is no longer needed. The RLV's ion thrusters are powered by laser/maser, beamed first from the launch site, then from two large Solar-Power-Satellites (SPS) 180° apart in Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) orbit. In orbit, the RLV is limited in where it can go only by the amount of propellant it carries or is stored in various orbits. The RLV can land at a launch site on Earth by using both chemical and ion thrust at first, and later by ion thrust alone as developments cause a far lighter RLV to carry no chemical engines/fuel/tanks.

  12. Novel use of an aerospace selective laser sintering machine for rapid prototyping of an orbital blowout fracture.

    PubMed

    Williams, J V; Revington, P J

    2010-02-01

    The authors describe the novel use of a selective laser sintering (SLS) machine, commonly used in the aerospace industry, to produce an accurate model of an orbital blowout fracture. Standard stereolithographic apparatus (SLA) technology failed to reproduce either orbital floor of a patient with a blowout fracture. The use of SLS technology using the same CT dataset to produce a superior model, highlights potential limitations of routine SLA technology and the high accuracy of SLS models. A custom-made titanium implant was constructed by hand using the SLS model as a template, it was positioned surgically and the patient's symptoms resolved uneventfully.

  13. Dynamics of quantized vortices in Bose-Einstein condensates with laser-induced spin-orbit coupling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kasamatsu, Kenichi

    2015-12-01

    We study vortex dynamics in trapped two-component Bose-Einstein condensates with a laser-induced spin-orbit coupling using the numerical analysis of the Gross-Pitaevskii equation. The spin-orbit coupling leads to three distinct ground-state phases, which depend on some experimentally controllable parameters. When a vortex is put in one or both of the two-component condensates, the vortex dynamics exhibits very different behaviors in each phase, which can be observed in experiments. These dynamical behaviors can be understood by clarifying the stable vortex structure realized in each phase.

  14. An atlas of 1975 GEOS-3 radar altimeter data for hurricane/tropical disturbance studies, volume 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stanley, H. R.; Chan, B.; Munson, J. R.

    1977-01-01

    Geographic locations of 1975 hurricanes and other tropical disturbances were correlated with the closest approaching orbits of the GEOS-3 satellite and its radar altimeter. The disturbance locations and altimeter data were gathered for a seven-month period beginning with GEOS-3 launch in mid-April 1975. Areas of coverage were the Atlantic Ocean, the Carribean, the Gulf of Mexico, the west coast of the continental United States, and the central and western Pacific Ocean. Volume 1 contains disturbance coverage data for the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and Eastern Pacific Ocean. Central and Western Pacific coverage is documented in Volume II.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ramos-Izquierdo, Luis A.

    2011-01-01

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

  16. Laser Technology in Interplanetary Exploration: The Past and the Future

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, David E.

    2000-01-01

    Laser technology has been used in planetary exploration for many years but it has only been in the last decade that laser altimeters and ranging systems have been selected as flight instruments alongside cameras, spectrometers, magnetometers, etc. Today we have an active laser system operating at Mars and another destined for the asteroid Eros. A few years ago a laser ranging system on the Clementine mission changed much of our thinking about the moon and in a few years laser altimeters will be on their way to Mercury, and also to Europa. Along with the increased capabilities and reliability of laser systems has came the realization that precision ranging to the surface of planetary bodies from orbiting spacecraft enables more scientific problems to be addressed, including many associated with planetary rotation, librations, and tides. In addition, new Earth-based laser ranging systems working with similar systems on other planetary bodies in an asynchronous transponder mode will be able to make interplanetary ranging measurements at the few cm level and will advance our understanding of solar system dynamics and relativistic physics.

  17. 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.

  18. In-orbit verification of small optical transponder (SOTA): evaluation of satellite-to-ground laser communication links

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takenaka, Hideki; Koyama, Yoshisada; Akioka, Maki; Kolev, Dimitar; Iwakiri, Naohiko; Kunimori, Hiroo; Carrasco-Casado, Alberto; Munemasa, Yasushi; Okamoto, Eiji; Toyoshima, Morio

    2016-03-01

    Research and development of space optical communications is conducted in the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT). The NICT developed the Small Optical TrAnsponder (SOTA), which was embarked on a 50kg-class satellite and launched into a low earth orbit (LEO). The space-to-ground laser communication experiments have been conducted with the SOTA. Atmospheric turbulence causes signal fadings and becomes an issue to be solved in satellite-to-ground laser communication links. Therefore, as error-correcting functions, a Reed-Solomon (RS) code and a Low-Density Generator Matrix (LDGM) code are implemented in the communication system onboard the SOTA. In this paper, we present the in-orbit verification results of SOTA including the characteristic of the functions, the communication performance with the LDGM code via satellite-to-ground atmospheric paths, and the link budget analysis and the comparison between theoretical and experimental results.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Suppression of chaotic oscillations in a microchip laser by injection of a new orbit into the chaotic attractor.

    PubMed

    Uchida, A; Sato, T; Kannari, F

    1998-03-15

    Suppression of chaotic instability arising in a Nd:YVO(4) microchip laser subject to frequency-shifted optical feedback is accomplished by injection of one of the periodic orbits into the bifurcation region of another chaotic system driven by pump modulation. Various periodic patterns, which do not exist in the original chaotic attractor, can be extracted from the chaotic oscillation by use of this nonfeedback chaos-control technique.

  2. Effects of electromagnetic wiggler and ion channel guiding on equilibrium orbits and waves propagation in a free electron laser

    SciTech Connect

    Amri, Hassan Ehsani; Mohsenpour, Taghi

    2016-02-15

    In this paper, an analysis of equilibrium orbits for electrons by a simultaneous solution of the equation of motion and the dispersion relation for electromagnetic wave wiggler in a free-electron laser (FEL) with ion-channel guiding has been presented. A fluid model has been used to investigate interactions among all possible waves. The dispersion relation has been derived for electrostatic and electromagnetic waves with all relativistic effects included. This dispersion relation has been solved numerically. For group I and II orbits, when the transverse velocity is small, only the FEL instability is found. In group I and II orbits with relatively large transverse velocity, new couplings between other modes are found.

  3. Microwave Propagation through Rain: Effects on Space based Radar Altimeter Measurements over Oceans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhandari, Satyendra

    2007-07-01

    Radar Altimetry from space, primarily developed for making precise cm level measurements of ocean surface height, has proved to be a highly versatile technique in providing valuable information about other enclosed water bodies like lakes, oceanic and polar ice surfaces as well as the Earth's ionosphere and the atmosphere. Sophisticated radar altimeters orbiting in space since 1992, make measurements of the pulse travel time, profile and energy backscattered from the ocean surface, simultaneously at two microwave frequencies. These pulse parameters are significantly affected by the presence of various ionospheric and atmospheric constituents, including the presence of rain in the propagation path. In this paper, we discuss the rain related effects on the radar altimeter measurements from space. Simultaneous availability of backscatter echo measurements at two widely separated frequencies in the C and Ku bands permit the estimation of rain induced attenuation of the microwave signal in its two-way journey through the raining column in the atmosphere. The application of differential C-Ku band attenuation in the development of algorithms for estimation over rainfall rate over the global oceans, pioneered by Bhandari and Varma (1995), is described and discussed. Over the last decade, the differential attenuation technique has been exploited extensively to map and study global oceanic rainfall in a comprehensive manner, based on dual frequency radar altimetric measurements from TOPEX/Poseidon, Jason and Envisat satellite missions. The paper would attempt to review the progress and accomplishments to date. Complementary and supplementary aspects of rainfall estimation from radar altimeters, in comparison to other space based methods, would also be highlighted. Attention would be focused on future radar altimeter missions addressing, in particular, the narrow-swath limitation of the present day radar altimeters.

  4. Correlated Observations of Epithermal Neutrons and Polar Illumination for Orbital Neutron Detectors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McClanahan, T. P.; Mitrofanov, I. G.; Boynton, W. V.; Chin, G.; Droege, G.; Evans, L. G.; Garvin, J.; Harshman, K.; Malakhov, A.; Livengood, T.; Milikh, G. M.; Namkung, M.; Nandikotkur, G.; Neumann, G.; Smith, D.; Sagdeev, R.; Sanin, A. G.; Starr, R. D.; Trombka, J. I.

    2012-01-01

    We correlate Lunar Reconnaisance Orbiter's (LRO) Lunar Exploration Neutron Detector (LEND) and the Lunar Prospector Neutron Spectrometer's (LPNS) orbital epithermal neutron maps of the Lunar high-latitudes with co-registered illumination maps derived from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) topography. Epithermal neutron count rate maps were derived from the LEND: 1) Collimated Sensor for Epithermal Neutrons, CSETNI-4 2) Uncollimated Sensor for Epithermal Neutrons, SETN and the Uncollimated Lunar Prospector: 3) Low-altitude and 4) High-altitude mapping phases. In this abstract we illustrate 1) and 3) and include 2) and 4) in our presentation. The correlative study provides unique perspectives on the regional epithermal neutron fluences from the Lunar polar regions under different detector and altitude configurations.

  5. An atlas of 1977 and 1978 GEOS-3 radar altimeter data for tropical cyclone studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stanley, H. R.; Taylor, R. L.

    1980-01-01

    All of the GEOS 3 satellite altimeter schedule information were collected with all of the available 1977 and 1978 tropical cyclone positional information. The time period covers from March 23, 1977 through Nov. 23, 1978. The geographical region includes all ocean area north of the equator divided into the following operational areas: the Atlantic area (which includes the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico); the eastern Pacific area; the central and western Pacific area; and the Indian Ocean area. All available source material concerning tropical cyclones was collected. The date/time/location information was extracted for each disturbance. This information was compared with the GEOS 3 altimeter ON/OFF history information to determine the existence of any altimeter data close enough in both time and location to make the data potentially useful for further study (the very liberal criteria used was time less than 24 hours and location within 25 degrees). Geographic plots (cyclone versus GEOS 3 orbit track) were produced for all of the events found showing the approximate location of the cyclone and the GEOS 3 orbit traces for the full day.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Improved strong-field approximation and quantum-orbit theory: Application to ionization by a bicircular laser field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Milošević, D. B.; Becker, W.

    2016-06-01

    A theory of above-threshold ionization of atoms by a strong laser field is formulated. Two versions of the strong-field approximation (SFA) are considered, the direct SFA and the improved SFA, which do not and do, respectively, take into account rescattering of the freed electron off the parent ion. The atomic bound state is included in two different ways: as an expansion in terms of Slater-type orbitals or as an asymptotic wave function. Even though we are using the single-active-electron approximation, multielectron effects are taken into account in two ways: by a proper choice of the ground state and by an adequate definition of the ionization rate. For the case of the asymptotic bound-state wave functions, using the saddle-point method, a simple expression for the T -matrix element is derived for both the direct and the improved SFA. The theory is applied to ionization by a bicircular field, which consists of two coplanar counterrotating circularly polarized components with frequencies that are integer multiples of a fundamental frequency ω . Special emphasis is on the ω -2 ω case. In this case, the threefold rotational symmetry of the field carries over to the velocity map of the liberated electrons, for both the direct and the improved SFA. The results obtained are analyzed in detail using the quantum-orbit formalism, which gives good physical insight into the above-threshold ionization process. For this purpose, a specific classification of the saddle-point solutions is introduced for both the backward-scattered and the forward-scattered electrons. The high-energy backward-scattering quantum orbits are similar to those discovered for high-order harmonic generation. The short forward-scattering quantum orbits for a bicircular field are similar to those of a linearly polarized field. The conclusion is that these orbits are universal, i.e., they do not depend much on the shape of the laser field.

  9. Feasibility Study for a Near Term Demonstration of Laser-Sail Propulsion from the Ground to Low Earth Orbit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montgomery, E.; Johnson, L.; Thomas, H.

    2016-09-01

    This paper adds to the body of research related to the concept of propellant-less in-space propulsion utilizing an external high energy laser (HEL) to provide momentum to an ultra-lightweight (gossamer) spacecraft. It has been suggested that the capabilities of Space Situational Awareness assets and the advanced analytical tools available for fine resolution orbit determination make it possible to investigate the practicalities of a ground to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) demonstration at delivered power levels that only illuminate a spacecraft without causing damage to it. The degree to which this can be expected to produce a measurable change in the orbit of a low ballistic coefficient spacecraft is investigated. Key system characteristics and estimated performance are derived for a near term mission opportunity involving the LightSail 2 spacecraft and laser power levels modest in comparison to those proposed previously by Forward, Landis, or Marx. [1,2,3] A more detailed investigation of accessing LightSail 2 from Santa Rosa Island on Eglin Air Force Base on the United States coast of the Gulf of Mexico is provided to show expected results in a specific case.

  10. The importance of Rydberg orbitals in dissociative ionization of small hydrocarbon molecules in intense few-cycle laser pulses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wells, E.; Voznyuk, A.; Mahowald, J. B.; Schmitz, D. G.; Burwitz, T. G.; Jochim, B.; Zohrabi, M.; Betsch, K. J.; Severt, T.; Berry, B.; Kling, N. G.; Ablikim, U.; Carnes, K. D.; Ben-Itzhak, I.; Siemering, R.; Kling, M. F.; de Vivie-Riedle, R.

    2015-05-01

    Much of our intuition about strong-field processes is built upon studies of diatomic molecules, which have relatively well separated electronic states. In polyatomic molecules, however, the electronic states are closer together, leading to more complex interactions. A combined experimental and theoretical investigation of strong-field ionization followed by hydrogen elimination in the hydrocarbon series C2D2, C2D4, and C2D6 reveals that the photofragment angular distributions can only be understood when ionization from Rydberg orbitals is considered. These commonly neglected Rydberg orbitals are readily populated for some orientations of the molecule relative to the laser polarization, leading to dissociation patterns and an intensity dependence consistent with significant Rydberg orbital influence. Our results suggest that Rydberg states should be routinely considered when studying polyatomic molecules in intense laser fields. Funding provided by National Science Foundation grant 1404185, the Chemical Sciences, Geosciences and Biosciences Division, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Office of Science, U.S. Department of Energy, and the DFG.

  11. Feasibility Study for a Near Term Demonstration of Laser-Sail Propulsion from the Ground to Low Earth Orbit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Montgomery, Edward E., IV; Johnson, Les; Thomas, Herbert D.

    2016-01-01

    This paper adds to the body of research related to the concept of propellant-less in-space propulsion utilizing an external high energy laser (HEL) to provide momentum to an ultra-lightweight (gossamer) spacecraft. It has been suggested that the capabilities of Space Situational Awareness assets and the advanced analytical tools available for fine resolution orbit determination make it possible to investigate the practicalities of a ground to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) demonstration at delivered power levels that only illuminate a spacecraft without causing damage to it. The degree to which this can be expected to produce a measurable change in the orbit of a low ballistic coefficient spacecraft is investigated. Key system characteristics and estimated performance are derived for a near term mission opportunity involving the LightSail 2 spacecraft and laser power levels modest in comparison to those proposed previously by Forward, Landis, or Marx. [1,2,3] A more detailed investigation of accessing LightSail 2 from Santa Rosa Island on Eglin Air Force Base on the United States coast of the Gulf of Mexico is provided to show expected results in a specific case.

  12. Interplanetary space weather effects on Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter avalanche photodiode performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clements, E. B.; Carlton, A. K.; Joyce, C. J.; Schwadron, N. A.; Spence, H. E.; Sun, X.; Cahoy, K.

    2016-05-01

    Space weather is a major concern for radiation-sensitive space systems, particularly for interplanetary missions, which operate outside of the protection of Earth's magnetic field. We examine and quantify the effects of space weather on silicon avalanche photodiodes (SiAPDs), which are used for interplanetary laser altimeters and communications systems and can be sensitive to even low levels of radiation (less than 50 cGy). While ground-based radiation testing has been performed on avalanche photodiode (APDs) for space missions, in-space measurements of SiAPD response to interplanetary space weather have not been previously reported. We compare noise data from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) SiAPDs with radiation measurements from the onboard Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER) instrument. We did not find any evidence to support radiation as the cause of changes in detector threshold voltage during radiation storms, both for transient detector noise and long-term average detector noise, suggesting that the approximately 1.3 cm thick shielding (a combination of titanium and beryllium) of the LOLA detectors is sufficient for SiAPDs on interplanetary missions with radiation environments similar to what the LRO experienced (559 cGy of radiation over 4 years).

  13. Interplanetary Space Weather Effects on Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Avalanche Photodiode Performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clements, E. B.; Carlton, A. K.; Joyce, C. J.; Schwadron, N. A.; Spence, H. E.; Sun, X.; Cahoy, K.

    2016-01-01

    Space weather is a major concern for radiation-sensitive space systems, particularly for interplanetary missions, which operate outside of the protection of Earth's magnetic field. We examine and quantify the effects of space weather on silicon avalanche photodiodes (SiAPDs), which are used for interplanetary laser altimeters and communications systems and can be sensitive to even low levels of radiation (less than 50 cGy). While ground-based radiation testing has been performed on avalanche photodiode (APDs) for space missions, in-space measurements of SiAPD response to interplanetary space weather have not been previously reported. We compare noise data from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) SiAPDs with radiation measurements from the onboard Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER) instrument. We did not find any evidence to support radiation as the cause of changes in detector threshold voltage during radiation storms, both for transient detector noise and long-term average detector noise, suggesting that the approximately 1.3 cm thick shielding (a combination of titanium and beryllium) of the LOLA detectors is sufficient for SiAPDs on interplanetary missions with radiation environments similar to what the LRO experienced (559 cGy of radiation over 4 years).

  14. 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.

  15. TOPEX orbit determination using GPS signals plus a sidetone ranging system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bender, P. L.; Larden, D. R.

    1982-01-01

    The GPS orbit determination was studied to see how well the radial coordinate for altimeter satellites such as TOPEX could be found by on board measurements of GPS signals, including the reconstructed carrier phase. The inclusion on altimeter satellites of an additional high accuracy tracking system is recommended. It is suggested that a sidetone ranging system is used in conjunction with TRANET 2 beacons.

  16. The analysis of single-electron orbits in a free electron laser based upon a rectangular hybrid wiggler

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kordbacheh, A.; Ghahremaninezhad, Roghayeh; Maraghechi, B.

    2012-09-01

    A three-dimensional analysis of a novel free-electron laser (FEL) based upon a rectangular hybrid wiggler (RHW) is presented. This RHW is designed in a configuration composed of rectangular rings with alternating ferrite and dielectric spacers immersed in a solenoidal magnetic field. An analytic model of RHW is introduced by solution of Laplace's equation for the magnetostatic fields under the appropriate boundary conditions. The single-electron orbits in combined RHW and axial guide magnetic fields are studied when only the first and the third spatial harmonic components of the RHW field are taken into account and the higher order terms are ignored. The results indicate that the third spatial harmonic leads to group III orbits with a strong negative mass regime particularly in large solenoidal magnetic fields. RHW is found to be a promising candidate with favorable characteristics to be used in microwave FEL.

  17. The analysis of single-electron orbits in a free electron laser based upon a rectangular hybrid wiggler

    SciTech Connect

    Kordbacheh, A.; Ghahremaninezhad, Roghayeh; Maraghechi, B.

    2012-09-15

    A three-dimensional analysis of a novel free-electron laser (FEL) based upon a rectangular hybrid wiggler (RHW) is presented. This RHW is designed in a configuration composed of rectangular rings with alternating ferrite and dielectric spacers immersed in a solenoidal magnetic field. An analytic model of RHW is introduced by solution of Laplace's equation for the magnetostatic fields under the appropriate boundary conditions. The single-electron orbits in combined RHW and axial guide magnetic fields are studied when only the first and the third spatial harmonic components of the RHW field are taken into account and the higher order terms are ignored. The results indicate that the third spatial harmonic leads to group III orbits with a strong negative mass regime particularly in large solenoidal magnetic fields. RHW is found to be a promising candidate with favorable characteristics to be used in microwave FEL.

  18. Spaceborne Laser Altimetry On Icesat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schutz, B.

    The Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) is planned for launch on ICESat in 2002, into a 600 km altitude, near polar orbit from Vandenberg, California. The sys- tem is designed to operate up to five years in orbit. GLAS is under development by NASA Goddard and it will be delivered to the spacecraft contractor, Ball Aerospace, for mating and testing with the spacecraft bus. The GLAS instrument will transmit both near infrared (1064 nm) and green (532 nm) pulses using a diode-pumped, Q- switched Nd:YAG laser. The 1064 wavelength will be used for surface altimetry, in- cluding dense clouds, and the 532 wavelength will be used for atmospheric backscat- ter measurements. The altitude measurement will produce elevation time series of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, which will enable determination of present-day elevation change and mass balance. Other applications of the altimetry channel in- clude precise measurements of land topography and vegetation canopy heights, sea ice roughness and thickness, and ocean surface elevations. The atmospheric channel will provide information on the vertical distribution of clouds and aerosols. The laser pulse energy at 1064 nm is about 75 mJ with a width of about 5 ns and the pulse has a divergence of about 0.11 mrad, which illuminates a spot on the surface with a 66 m diameter. Three lasers are available (two are required for lifetime requirements and the third provides redundancy). The pulse echo is captured with a 1 m telescope mounted on the rigid GLAS optical bench. A Si analog detector receives the return pulse and an A/D converter digitizes the pulse with a 1 GHz sampling rate. Two detectors and two digitizers are available for redundancy. Unlike wide pulse radar altimeters, accurate knowledge of the laser beam direction is required for the laser altimeter. The pointing will be determined with the assistance of an innovative system of CCD cameras that will measure the direction of each laser pulse with respect to

  19. Orbit determination using dual crossing arc altimetry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Born, G. H.; Tapley, B. D.; Santee, M. L.

    1986-01-01

    Accurate knowledge of the position of an altimetric satellite is required for the altimeter range data to be effective in measuring ocean topography. This study addresses the use of high-precision altimeter data from NASA's TOPEX Mission in reducing the radial component of the orbit of the U.S. Navy's N-ROSS satellite. Simulated altimeter crossing arc residuals between the TOPEX and N-ROSS orbits are minimized using both geometric and dynamic techniques in an effort to reduce the N-ROSS radial error to a level comparable to that of TOPEX. Tracking of N-ROSS by the Navy's NAVSPASUR system is simulated, and crossover residuals are created from the TOPEX and N-ROSS orbits. A simple geometric fit is shown to reduce the radial component of the NAVSPASUR N-ROSS orbit error from 350 m RMS to below 10 m RMS. In comparison, the dynamic approach of estimating the initial conditions of the N-ROSS orbit using a twentieth degree and order gravity field and a combined data set of tracking and altimeter crossover data yields a 6 m RMS residual error. Sub-meter accuracy can be attained by geometrically fitting these residuals to remove long wavelength orbit error.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. A new approach to lightweight radar altimeters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Levanon, N.; Stremler, F. G.; Suomi, V. E.

    1974-01-01

    Test results and key principles are given for a radar altimeter designed for meteorological balloons. The instrument, which weighs 160 g and consumes 0.7 W, will fill a gap in meteorological sensing using balloons - an area where pressure altitude was formerly the prevailing reference. The instrument is basically a delay-lock radar utilizing a superregenerative RF stage. Long-term absolute accuracy of plus or minus 10 m and short-term stability of better than 2 m rms were measured at altitudes of 20 km.

  3. Ionospheric propagation correction modeling for satellite altimeters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nesterczuk, G.

    1981-01-01

    The theoretical basis and avaliable accuracy verifications were reviewed and compared for ionospheric correction procedures based on a global ionsopheric model driven by solar flux, and a technique in which measured electron content (using Faraday rotation measurements) for one path is mapped into corrections for a hemisphere. For these two techniques, RMS errors for correcting satellite altimeters data (at 14 GHz) are estimated to be 12 cm and 3 cm, respectively. On the basis of global accuracy and reliability after implementation, the solar flux model is recommended.

  4. An initial assessment of the performance achieved by the Seasat-1 radar altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Townsend, W. F.

    1980-01-01

    The results of an initial on-orbit engineering assessment of the performance achieved by the radar altimeter system flown on SEASAT-1 are presented. Additionally, the general design characteristics of this system are discussed and illustrations of altimeter data product are provided. The instrument consists of a 13.5 GHz monostatic radar system that tracks in range only using a one meter parabolic antenna pointed at the satellite nadir. Two of its unique features are a linear FM transmitter with 320 MHz bandwidth which yields a 3.125 nanosecond time delay resolution, and microprocessor implemented closed loop range tracking, automatic gain control (AGC), and real time estimation of significant wave height (SWH). Results presented show that the altimeter generally performed in accordance with its orginal performance requirments of measuring altitude to a precision of less the 10 cm RMS, significant wave height to an accuracy of + or - 0.5 m or 10%, whichever is greater, and ocean backscatter coefficient to an accuracy of + or - 1 db, all over an SWH range of 1 to 20 meters.

  5. Strategies for estimating the marine geoid from altimeter data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Argentiero, P.; Kahn, W. D.; Garza-Robles, R.

    1976-01-01

    Altimeter data from a spacecraft borne altimeter was processed to estimate the fine structure of the marine geoid. Simulation studies show that, among several competing parameterizations, the mean free air gravity anomaly model exhibited promising geoid recovery characteristics. Using covariance analysis techniques, quantitative measures of the orthogonality properties are investigated.

  6. Compact, passively Q-switched Nd:YAG laser for the MESSENGER mission to Mercury.

    PubMed

    Krebs, Danny J; Novo-Gradac, Anne-Marie; Li, Steven X; Lindauer, Steven J; Afzal, Robert S; Yu, Anthony W

    2005-03-20

    A compact, passively Q-switched Nd:YAG laser has been developed for the Mercury Laser Altimeter, an instrument on the Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry, and Ranging mission to the planet Mercury. The laser achieves 5.4% efficiency with a near-diffraction-limited beam. It passed all space-flight environmental tests at subsystem, instrument, and satellite integration testing and successfully completes a postlaunch aliveness check en route to Mercury. The laser design draws on a heritage of previous laser altimetry missions, specifically the Ice Cloud and Elevation Satellite and the Mars Global Surveyor, but incorporates thermal management features unique to the requirements of an orbit of the planet Mercury.

  7. Regional CalVal of Altimeter Range at Non-Dedicated Sites in Preparation f Sentinel-3

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cancet, M.; Watson, C.; Haines, B.; Bonnefond, P.; Lyard, F.; Femenias, P.; Guinle, T.

    2015-12-01

    In situ calibration ensures regular and long-term control of the altimeter sea surface height (SSH) time series through comparisons with independent records. Usually, in situ calibration and validation of altimeter SSH is undertaken at specific CALVAL sites through the direct comparison of the altimeter data with in situ data [1]. However, NOVELTIS has developed a regional CALVAL technique, which aims at increasing the number and the repeatability of the altimeter bias assessments by determining the altimeter bias both on overflying passes and on satellite passes located far away from the calibration site. In principle this extends the single site approach to a wider regional scale, thus reinforcing the link between the local and the global CALVAL analyses. It also provides a means to maintain a calibration time series through periods of data-outage at a specific dedicated calibration site. The regional method was initially developed at the Corsican calibration sites of Senetosa and Ajaccio. The method was used to compute the biases of Jason-1, Jason-2 and Envisat (before and after the orbit change in 2010) at both sites, and proved its stability and generality through this cross-calibration exercise [2]. These last years, the regional method was successfully implemented at the Californian site of Harvest and at the Australian site of Bass Strait, in close collaboration with JPL and the University of Tasmania, respectively. These recent studies gave the first Envisat absolute bias estimates at non-dedicated sites using the same method, and showed high consistency with the analyses of the global CALVAL teams and the work of the in situ CALVAL teams. These results highlight the numerous advantages of this technique for monitoring missions on any orbits such as the future Sentinel-3 and Jason-CS/Sentinel-6 missions.

  8. Assessment of the TOPEX altimeter performance using waveform retracking

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rodriguez, Ernesto; Martin, Jan M.

    1994-01-01

    To assess the accuracy of the TOPEX altimeter data, we have reprocessed the raw altimeter waveform data using more sophisticated algorithms than those implemented in the altimeter hardware. We discuss systematic contamination of the waveform which we have observed and its effect on very long wavelength errors. We conclude that these systematic errors are responsible for a very long wavelength error whose peak-to-peak magnitude for the Ku band altimeter is of the order of 1 cm. We also examine the ability of retracked data to reduce the repeat pass variance and correct for significant wave height (SWH) and acceleration dependent errors. We find that the ground postprocessing contains SWH dependent biases which depend on the altimeter fine height correction.

  9. Optically coupled digital altitude encoder for general aviation altimeters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bryant, F. R.

    1975-01-01

    An optically coupled pressure altitude encoder which can be incorporated into commercially available inexpensive general aviation altimeters was successfully developed. The encoding of pressure altitude is accomplished in 100-ft (30.48-m) increments from -1000 to 20,000ft (-304.8 to 6096 m). The prototype encoders were retrofitted into two different internal altimeter configurations. A prototype encoder was checked for accuracy of transition points and environmental effects. Each altimeter configuration, with the encoder incorporated, was laboratory tested for performance and was subsequently flight-tested over the specified altitude range. With few exceptions, the assembled altimeter-encoder met aeronautical standards for altimeters and encoders. Design changes are suggested to improve performance to meet required standards consistently.

  10. Altimetry, Orbits and Tides

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Colombo, O. L.

    1984-01-01

    The nature of the orbit error and its effect on the sea surface heights calculated with satellite altimetry are explained. The elementary concepts of celestial mechanics required to follow a general discussion of the problem are included. Consideration of errors in the orbits of satellites with precisely repeating ground tracks (SEASAT, TOPEX, ERS-1, POSEIDON, amongst past and future altimeter satellites) are detailed. The theoretical conclusions are illustrated with the numerical results of computer simulations. The nature of the errors in this type of orbits is such that this error can be filtered out by using height differences along repeating (overlapping) passes. This makes them particularly valuable for the study and monitoring of changes in the sea surface, such as tides. Elements of tidal theory, showing how these principles can be combined with those pertinent to the orbit error to make direct maps of the tides using altimetry are presented.

  11. The resolution capability of an irregularly sampled dataset: With application to Geosat altimeter data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chelton, Dudley B.; Schlax, Michael G.

    1994-01-01

    A formalism is presented for determining the wavenumber-frequency transfer function associated with an irregularly sampled multidimensional dataset. This transfer function reveals the filtering characteristics and aliasing patterns inherent in the sample design. In combination with information about the spectral characteristics of the signal, the transfer function can be used to quantify the spatial and temporal resolution capability of the dataset. Application of the method to idealized Geosat altimeter data (i.e., neglecting measurement errors and data dropouts) concludes that the Geosat orbit configuration is capable of resolving scales of about 3 deg in latitude and longitude by about 30 days.

  12. Ocean topography mapping, improvement of the marine geoid, and global permanent ocean circulation studies from TOPEX/Poseidon altimeter data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marsh, James G.; Lerch, F. J.; Koblinsky, C. J.; Nerem, R. S.; Klosko, S. M.; Williamson, R. G.

    1991-01-01

    The TOPEX/POSEIDON altimeter measurements will be the first global observations of the sea surface with accuracy sufficient to make quantitative determinations of the ocean's general circulation and its variations. These measurements are an important step to understanding global change in the ocean and its impact on the climate. Our investigation will focus on the examination of features in the sea surface elevation at the largest spatial and temporal scales. TOPEX/POSEIDON altimeter measurements will be used in conjunction with observations from past satellite-altimeter missions, such as NASA's GEOS-3 and Seasat, the U.S. Navy's Geosat and SALT, and the European Remote Sensing satellite in order to address the following issues: (1) Improve models of the marine geoid, especially at wavelengths needed to understand the basin-scale ocean dynamic topograpy. (2) Measure directly from the altimeter data the expression of the mean global ocean circulation in the sea surface at the largest scales through a simultaneous solution for gravity, orbital, and oceanographic parameters. (3) Examine the sea surface measurements for changes in global ocean mass or volume, interannual variations in the basin-scale ocean circulation, and annual changes in the heating and cooling of the upper ocean.

  13. Determination of mean surface position and sea state from the radar return of a short-pulse satellite altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barrick, D. E.

    1972-01-01

    Using the specular point theory of scatter from a very rough surface, the average backscatter cross section per unit area per radar cell width is derived for a cell located at a given height above the mean sea surface. This result is then applied to predict the average radar cross section observed by a short-pulse altimeter as a function of time for two modes of operation: pulse-limited and beam-limited configurations. For a pulse-limited satellite altimeter, a family of curves is calculated showing the distortion of the leading edge of the receiver output signal as a function of sea state (i.e., wind speed). A signal processing scheme is discussed that permits an accurate determination of the mean surface position--even in high seas--and, as a by-product, the estimation of the significant seawave height (or wind speed above the surface). Comparison of these analytical results with experimental data for both pulse-limited and beam-limited operation lends credence to the model. Such a model should aid in the design of short-pulse altimeters for accurate determination of the geoid over the oceans, as well as for the use of such altimeters for orbital sea-state monitoring.

  14. Creating intense polarized electron beam via laser stripping and spin-orbit interaction

    SciTech Connect

    Danilov, V.; Ptitsyn, V.; Gorlov, T.

    2010-12-01

    The recent advance in laser field make it possible to excite and strip electrons with definite spin from hydrogen atoms. The sources of hydrogen atoms with orders of magnitude higher currents (than that of the conventional polarized electron cathods) can be obtained from H{sup -} sources with good monochromatization. With one electron of H{sup -} stripped by a laser, the remained electron is excited to upper state (2P{sup 3/2} and 2P{sup 1/2}) by a circular polarization laser light from FEL. Then, it is excited to a high quantum number (n=7) with mostly one spin direction due to energy level split of the states with a definite direction of spin and angular momentum in an applied magnetic field and then it is stripped by a strong electric field of an RF cavity. This paper presents combination of lasers and fields to get high polarization and high current electron source.

  15. Space-based application of the CAN laser to LIDAR and orbital debris remediation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quinn, M. N.; Jukna, V.; Ebisuzaki, T.; Dicaire, I.; Soulard, R.; Summerer, L.; Couairon, A.; Mourou, G.

    2015-10-01

    Development of pulsed lasers for space-based science missions entail many additional challenges compared to terrestrial experiments. For systems requiring short pulses ≪1 ns with energies >100 mJ and fast repetition rates >10 kHz there are currently few if no laser architectures capable of operating with high electrical efficiency >20% and have good system stability. The emergence of a mulit-channel fiber-based Coherent-Amplifying-Network or CAN laser potentially enables such capability for space based missions. Here in this article we present an analysis of two such missions scaling up in pulse energy from ≈100 mJ for a supercontinuum LIDAR application utilising atmospheric filamentation to the higher energy demands needed for space debris remediation requiring ≈10 J pulses. This scalability of the CAN laser provides pathways for development of the core science and technology where many new novel space applications can be made possible.

  16. Orbit Modification of Earth-Crossing Asteroids/Comets Using Rendezvous Spacecraft and Laser Ablation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Park, Sang-Young; Mazanek, Daniel D.

    2005-01-01

    This report describes the approach and results of an end-to-end simulation to deflect a long-period comet (LPC) by using a rapid rendezvous spacecraft and laser ablation system. The laser energy required for providing sufficient deflection DELTA V and an analysis of possible intercept/rendezvous spacecraft trajectories are studied in this analysis. These problems minimize a weighted sum of the flight time and required propellant by using an advanced propulsion system. The optimal thrust-vector history and propellant mass to use are found in order to transfer a spacecraft from the Earth to a targeted celestial object. One goal of this analysis is to formulate an optimization problem for intercept/rendezvous spacecraft trajectories. One approach to alter the trajectory of the object in a highly controlled manner is to use pulsed laser ablative propulsion. A sufficiently intense laser pulse ablates the surface of a near-Earth object (NEO) by causing plasma blowoff. The momentum change from a single laser pulse is very small. However, the cumulative effect is very effective because the laser can interact with the object over long periods of time. The laser ablation technique can overcome the mass penalties associated with other nondisruptive approaches because no propellant is required to generate the DELTA V (the material of the celestial object is the propellant source). Additionally, laser ablation is effective against a wide range of surface materials and does not require any landing or physical attachment to the object. For diverting distant asteroids and comets, the power and optical requirements of a laser ablation system on or near the Earth may be too extreme to contemplate in the next few decades. A hybrid solution would be for a spacecraft to carry a laser as a payload to a particular celestial body. The spacecraft would require an advanced propulsion system capable of rapid rendezvous with the object and an extremely powerful electrical generator, which is

  17. 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.

  18. Elevation Change of the Southern Greenland Ice Sheet from Satellite Radar Altimeter Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Haines, Bruce J.

    1999-01-01

    Long-term changes in the thickness of the polar ice sheets are important indicators of climate change. Understanding the contributions to the global water mass balance from the accumulation or ablation of grounded ice in Greenland and Antarctica is considered crucial for determining the source of the about 2 mm/yr sea-level rise in the last century. Though the Antarctic ice sheet is much larger than its northern counterpart, the Greenland ice sheet is more likely to undergo dramatic changes in response to a warming trend. This can be attributed to the warmer Greenland climate, as well as a potential for amplification of a global warming trend in the polar regions of the Northern Hemisphere. In collaboration with Drs. Curt Davis and Craig Kluever of the University of Missouri, we are using data from satellite radar altimeters to measure changes in the elevation of the Southern Greenland ice sheet from 1978 to the present. Difficulties with systematic altimeter measurement errors, particularly in intersatellite comparisons, beset earlier studies of the Greenland ice sheet thickness. We use altimeter data collected contemporaneously over the global ocean to establish a reference for correcting ice-sheet data. In addition, the waveform data from the ice-sheet radar returns are reprocessed to better determine the range from the satellite to the ice surface. At JPL, we are focusing our efforts principally on the reduction of orbit errors and range biases in the measurement systems on the various altimeter missions. Our approach emphasizes global characterization and reduction of the long-period orbit errors and range biases using altimeter data from NASA's Ocean Pathfinder program. Along-track sea-height residuals are sequentially filtered and backwards smoothed, and the radial orbit errors are modeled as sinusoids with a wavelength equal to one revolution of the satellite. The amplitudes of the sinusoids are treated as exponentially-correlated noise processes with a

  19. 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

  20. South African TOPEX/Poseidon altimeter experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gruendlingh, Marten L.; Shannon, L. V.; Lutjeharms, J. R.

    1991-01-01

    The area surrounding the southern tip of Africa contains a juxtaposition of a variety of interesting and climatically relevant features. On the Indian Ocean side, the Agulhas Current with its tributaries form a conduit through which much of the southern Indian Ocean surface flow is focused. South of the continent, this flow is fragmented and partially injected into the Atlantic Ocean and across the Subtropical Convergence into the Southern Ocean. To the west of the subcontinent, the circulation of the South Atlantic subtropical gyre in the Cape Basin interacts with the vigorous Benguela upwelling regime. The creation, transformation, and transport of water masses and the intra-annual and climatic importance of all these processes have been specifically recognized by the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE). The South African TOPEX/POSEIDON Altimeter Experiment addresses many of these issues through four mutually complementary and interrelated subprojects.

  1. Assimilation of altimeter topography into oceanic models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Demey, Pierre; Menard, Yves; Pinardi, Nadia; Schroeter, J.; Verron, J.

    1991-01-01

    The primary goals of the authors are to build an intuition for assimilation techniques and to investigate the impact of variable altimeter topography on simple or complex oceanic models. In particular, applying various techniques and sensitivity studies to model and data constraints plays a key role. We are starting to use quasi-geostrophic, semigeostrophic, and primitive-equation (PE) models and to test the schemes in regions of interest to the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE), as well as in the northeast Atlantic and the Mediterranean. The impact of scatterometer wind forcing on the results is also investigated. The use of Geosat, European Remote Sensing satellite (ERS-1), and TOPEX/POSEIDON altimetry data is crucial in fine tuning the models and schemes to the selected areas of interest.

  2. 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.

  3. Test of an orbiting hydrogen maser clock system using laser time transfer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vessot, Robert F. C.; Mattison, Edward M.; Nystrom, G. U.; Decher, Rudolph

    1992-01-01

    We describe a joint Smithsonian Astrophysical Laboratory/National Aeronautics and Space Administration (SAO/NASA) program for flight testing a atomic hydrogen maser clock system designed for long-term operation in space. The clock system will be carried by a shuttle-launched EURECA spacecraft. Comparisons with earth clocks to measure the clock's long-term frequency stability (tau = 10(exp 4) seconds) will be made using laser time transfer from existing NASA laser tracking stations. We describe the design of the maser clock and its control systems, and the laser timing technique. We describe the precision of station time synchronization and the limitations in the comparison between the earth and space time scales owing to gravitational and relativistic effects. We will explore the implications of determining the spacecraft's location by an on-board Global Position System (GPS) receiver, and of using microwave techniques for time and frequency transfer.

  4. Pulsed laser propulsion for low cost, high volume launch to orbit

    SciTech Connect

    Kare, J.

    1989-06-02

    Pulsed laser propulsion offers the prospect of delivering high thrust at high specific impulse (500-1000 seconds) from a very simple thruster, using the energy of a remote ground-based laser to heat an inert propellant. Current analyses indicate that payloads of approximately 1 kg per megawatt of average laser power can be launched at a rate of one payload every 15 minutes and a marginal cost of $20 to $200 per kg. A 20 MW entry-level launch system could be built using current technology at a cost of $500 million or less; it would be capable of placing 600 tons per year into LEO. The SDIO Laser Propulsion Program has been developing the technology for such a launch system since 1987. The program has conducted theoretical and experimental research on a particular class of laser-driven thruster, the planar double-pulse LSD-wave thruster, which could be used for a near-term launcher. The double-pulse thruster offers several advantages, including extreme simplicity, design flexibility, and the ability to guide a vehicle remotely by precise control of the laser beam. Small-scale experiments have demonstrated the operation of this thruster at a specific impulse of 600 seconds and 10% efficiency; larger experiments now under way are expected to increase this to at least 20% efficiency. Systems-level issues, from guidance and tracking to possible unique applications, have also been considered and will be briefly discussed. There appear to be no fundamental obstacles to creating, in the next five to ten years, a new low-cost ''pipe-line to space.'' 7 refs., 2 figs., 1 tab.

  5. Topography of the Lunar Poles and Application to Geodesy with the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2012-01-01

    The Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) [1] onboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) [2] has been operating continuously since July 2009 [3], accumulating approx.5.4 billion measurements from 2 billion on-orbit laser shots. LRO s near-polar orbit results in very high data density in the immediate vicinity of the lunar poles, which are each sampled every 2h. With more than 10,000 orbits, high-resolution maps can be constructed [4] and studied [5]. However, this requires careful processing of the raw data, as subtle errors in the spacecraft position and pointing can lead to visible artifacts in the final map. In other locations on the Moon, ground tracks are subparallel and longitudinal separations are typically a few hundred meters. Near the poles, the track intersection angles can be large and the inter-track spacing is small (above 80 latitude, the effective resolution is better than 50m). Precision Orbit Determination (POD) of the LRO spacecraft [6] was performed to satisfy the LOLA and LRO mission requirements, which lead to a significant improvement in the orbit position knowledge over the short-release navigation products. However, with pixel resolutions of 10 to 25 meters, artifacts due to orbit reconstruction still exist. Here, we show how the complete LOLA dataset at both poles can be adjusted geometrically to produce a high-accuracy, high-resolution maps with minimal track artifacts. We also describe how those maps can then feedback to the POD work, by providing topographic base maps with which individual LOLA altimetric measurements can be contributing to orbit changes. These direct altimetry constraints improve accuracy and can be used more simply than the altimetric crossovers [6].

  6. Generation and Amplification of Coherent Radiation with Optical Orbital Angular Momentum in a Free-Electron Laser

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hemsing, Erik Willard

    The object of this work is to examine how coherent light that carries orbital angular momentum (OAM) can be generated and amplified in a single pass, high-gain free-electron laser (FEL) at the fundamental operating frequency. This concept unites two rapidly expanding, but at present largely non-overlapping fields of study: high-order OAM light modes, which interact in new ways with matter, and FELs, in which a relativistically energetic electron beam emits coherent, ultra high-brightness, highly frequency-tunable light. The ability to generate OAM light in an FEL enables new regimes of laser interaction physics to be explored at wavelengths down to hard x-rays. The theoretical portion of this dissertation attempts to provide a new predictive mathematical framework. It builds on existing work, and describes the three-dimensional electromagnetic field of the high-gain FEL as a sum of OAM modes such that the amplification properties of individual modes can be characterized. The effects of uncorrelated energy spread, longitudinal space charge, energy detuning, and transverse emittance in the electron beam are included, as is the diffraction of the laser light. Theoretical predictions are corroborated by detailed numerical Genesis 1.3 simulations. When the theory is extended to frequency harmonics, a novel interaction is uncovered that generates a helical electron beam density distribution. These predictions are also supported by numerical Tredi simulations. This type of highly correlated structure is shown to naturally emit OAM light, and forms the basis of a new high-gain, high-mode generation (HGHMG) scheme proposed in its entirety here. The experimental section examines the helical microbunching concept in a proof-of-principle experiment dubbed HELIX, performed at the UCLA Neptune laboratory. We present detailed measurement of the coherent transition radiation emitted by the 12.5 MeV electron beam that is microbunched in a second harmonic interaction with an input

  7. Quantum-orbit analysis for yield and ellipticity of high order harmonic generation with elliptically polarized laser field.

    PubMed

    Li, Yang; Zhu, Xiaosong; Zhang, Qingbin; Qin, Meiyan; Lu, Peixiang

    2013-02-25

    We perform a quantum-orbit analysis for the dependence of high-order-harmonic yield on the driving field ellipticity and the polarization properties of the generated high harmonics. The electron trajectories responsible for the emission of particular harmonics are identified. It is found that, in elliptically polarized driving field, the electrons have ellipticity-dependent initial velocities, which lead to the decrease of the ionization rate. Thus the harmonic yield steeply decreases with laser ellipticity. Besides, we show that the polarization properties of the harmonics are related to the complex momenta of the electron. The physical origin of the harmonic ellipticity is interpreted as the consequence of quantum-mechanical uncertainty of the electron momentum. Our results are verified with the experimental results as well as the numerical solutions of the time dependent Schrödinger equation from the literature.

  8. Advanced Laser Architecture for Two-Step Laser Tandem Mass Spectrometer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fahey, Molly E.; Li, Steven X.; Yu, Anthony W.; Getty, Stephanie A.

    2016-01-01

    Future astrobiology missions will focus on planets with significant astrochemical or potential astrobiological features, such as small, primitive bodies and the icy moons of the outer planets that may host diverse organic compounds. These missions require advanced instrument techniques to fully and unambiguously characterize the composition of surface and dust materials. Laser desorptionionization mass spectrometry (LDMS) is an emerging instrument technology for in situ mass analysis of non-volatile sample composition. A recent Goddard LDMS advancement is the two-step laser tandem mass spectrometer (L2MS) instrument to address the need for future flight instrumentation to deconvolve complex organic signatures. The L2MS prototype uses a resonance enhanced multi-photon laser ionization mechanism to selectively detect aromatic species from a more complex sample. By neglecting the aliphatic and inorganic mineral signatures in the two-step mass spectrum, the L2MS approach can provide both mass assignments and clues to structural information for an in situ investigation of non-volatile sample composition. In this paper we will describe our development effort on a new laser architecture that is based on the previously flown Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) laser transmitter for the L2MS instrument. The laser provides two discrete midinfrared wavelengths (2.8 m and 3.4 m) using monolithic optical parametric oscillators and ultraviolet (UV) wavelength (266 nm) on a single laser bench with a straightforward development path toward flight readiness.

  9. Probing Orbital Symmetry of Molecules Via Alignment-Dependent Ionization Probability and High-Order Harmonic Generation by Intense Lasers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Song-Feng; Zhou, Xiao-Xin; Lin, C. D.

    It is shown that measurement of alignment-dependent ionization probability and high-order harmonic generation (HHG) of molecules in an intense laser field can be used to probe the orbital symmetry of molecules. In this review, recent progress of molecular tunneling ionization (MO-ADK) model of Tong et al. [Phys. Rev. A 66, 033402 (2002)] is first reviewed. In particular, an efficient method to obtain wavefunctions of linear molecules in the asymptotic region was developed by solving the time-independent Schrödinger equation with B-spline functions, and molecular potential energy surfaces were constructed based on the density functional theory. The accurate wavefunctions are used to extract improved structure parameters in the MO-ADK model. The loss of accuracy of the MO-ADK model in the low intensity multiphoton ionization regime is also addressed by comparing with the molecular Perelomov-Popov-Terent'ev (MO-PPT) model, the single-active-electron time-dependent Schrödinger equation (SAE-TDSE) method, and the experimental data. Finally, how the orbital symmetry affects the HHG of molecules within the strong-field approximation (SFA) was reviewed.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  11. Laser altimetry simulator. Version 3.0: User's guide

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abshire, James B.; Mcgarry, Jan F.; Pacini, Linda K.; Blair, J. Bryan; Elman, Gregory C.

    1994-01-01

    A numerical simulator of a pulsed, direct detection laser altimeter has been developed to investigate the performance of space-based laser altimeters operating over surfaces with various height profiles. The simulator calculates the laser's optical intensity waveform as it propagates to and is reflected from the terrain surface and is collected by the receiver telescope. It also calculates the signal and noise waveforms output from the receiver's optical detector and waveform digitizer. Both avalanche photodiode and photomultiplier detectors may be selected. Parameters of the detected signal, including energy, the 50 percent rise-time point, the mean timing point, and the centroid, can be collected into histograms and statistics calculated after a number of laser firings. The laser altimeter can be selected to be fixed over the terrain at any altitude. Alternatively, it can move between laser shots to simulate the terrain profile measured with the laser altimeter.

  12. Effects of sea maturity on satellite altimeter measurements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Glazman, Roman E.; Pilorz, Stuart H.

    1990-01-01

    For equilibrium and near-equilibrium sea states, the wave slope variance is a function of wind speed U and of the sea maturity. The influence of both factors on the altimeter measurements of wind speed, wave height, and radar cross section is studied experimentally on the basis of 1 year's worth of Geosat altimeter observations colocated with in situ wind and wave measurements by 20 NOAA buoys. Errors and biases in altimeter wind speed and wave height measurements are investigted. A geophysically significant error trend correlated with the sea maturity is found in wind-speed measurements. This trend is explained by examining the effect of the generalized wind fetch on the curves of the observed dependence. It is concluded that unambiguous measurements of wind speed by altimeter, in a wide range of sea states, are impossible without accounting for the actual degree of wave development.

  13. Fluid flow vorticity measurement using laser beams with orbital angular momentum.

    PubMed

    Ryabtsev, A; Pouya, S; Safaripour, A; Koochesfahani, M; Dantus, M

    2016-05-30

    Vorticity is one of the most important dynamic flow variables and is fundamental to the basic flow physics of many areas of fluid dynamics, including aerodynamics, turbulent flows and chaotic motion. We report on the direct measurements of fluid flow vorticity using a beam with orbital angular momentum that takes advantage of the rotational Doppler shift from microparticles intersecting the beam focus. Experiments are carried out on fluid flows with well-characterized vorticity and the experimental results are found to be in excellent agreement with the expected values. This method allows for localized real-time determination of vorticity in a fluid flow with three-dimensional resolution.

  14. SELENE: The Moon-Orbiting Observatory Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mizutani, H.; Kato, M.; Sasaki, S.; Iijima, Y.; Tanaka, K.; Takizawa, Y.

    The Moon-orbiting SELENE (Selenological and Engineering Explorer) mission is prepared in Japan for lunar science and technology development. The launch target has been changed from 2005 to 2006 because of the launch failure of H2A rocket in 2003. The spacecraft consists of a main orbiting satellite at about 100 km altitude in the polar orbit and two sub-satellites in the elliptical orbits. The scientific objectives of the mission are; 1) study of the origin and evolution of the Moon, 2) in-situ measurement of the lunar environment, and 3) observation of the solar-terrestrial plasma environment. SELENE carries the instruments for scientific investigation, including mapping of lunar topography and surface composition, measurement of the gravity and magnetic fields, and observation of lunar and solar-terrestrial plasma environment. The total mass of scientific payload is about 300 kg. The mission period will be 1 year. If extra fuel is available, the mission will be extended in a lower orbit around 50 km. The elemental abundances are measured by x-ray and gamma-ray spectrometers. Alpha particles from the radon gas and polonium are detected by an alpha particle spectrometer. The mineralogical abundance is characterized by a multi-band imager. The mineralogical composition is identified by a spectral profiler which is a continuous spectral analyzer. The surface topographic data are obtained by a high resolution terrain camera and a laser altimeter. The inside structure up to 5 km below the lunar surface is observed by the radar sounder experiment using a 5 MHz radio wave. A magnetometer and an electron reflectometer provides data on the lunar surface magnetic field. Doppler tracking of the orbiter via the sub-satellite when the orbiter is in the far side is used to determine the gravity field of the far side. Radio sources on the two sub-satellites are used to conduct differential VLBI observation from the ground stations. The lunar environment of high energy particles

  15. State-of-the-art satellite laser range modeling for geodetic and oceanographic applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Klosko, Steve M.; Smith, David E.

    1993-01-01

    Significant improvements have been made in the modeling and accuracy of Satellite Laser Range (SLR) data since the launch of LAGEOS in 1976. Some of these include: improved models of the static geopotential, solid-Earth and ocean tides, more advanced atmospheric drag models, and the adoption of the J2000 reference system with improved nutation and precession. Site positioning using SLR systems currently yield approximately 2 cm static and 5 mm/y kinematic descriptions of the geocentric location of these sites. Incorporation of a large set of observations from advanced Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) tracking systems have directly made major contributions to the gravitational fields and in advancing the state-of-the-art in precision orbit determination. SLR is the baseline tracking system for the altimeter bearing TOPEX/Poseidon and ERS-1 satellites and thus, will play an important role in providing the Conventional Terrestrial Reference Frame for instantaneously locating the geocentric position of the ocean surface over time, in providing an unchanging range standard for altimeter range calibration, and for improving the geoid models to separate gravitational from ocean circulation signals seen in the sea surface. Nevertheless, despite the unprecedented improvements in the accuracy of the models used to support orbit reduction of laser observations, there still remain systematic unmodeled effects which limit the full exploitation of modern SLR data.

  16. Analysis and retracking of continental ice sheet radar altimeter waveforms

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martin, T. V.; Brenner, A. C.; Zwally, H. J.; Bindschadler, R. A.

    1983-01-01

    The Seasat-1 radar altimeter data set acquired over both the Antarctic and Greenland continental ice sheets is analyzed to obtain corrected ranges to the ice surface. The radar altimeter functional response over the continental ice sheets is considerably more complex than over the oceans. Causal factors identified in this complicated response include sloping surfaces, undulating ice surfaces with characteristic wavelengths on the same spatial scale as the altimeter beam-limited footprint, off-track reflections, and dynamic lag of the altimeter tracking circuit. Retracking methods using the altimeter return pulse waveforms give range corrections that are typically several meters. The entire set of Seasat-1 altimetry over the continental ice sheets is being retracked by fitting a multi-parameter function to each waveform. Many waveforms have double ramps indicating near-normal reflections from two distinct portions of the ice surface within the altimeter beam. Two independent range measurements differing by less than 25 m are obtained from retracking the double-ramp waveforms.

  17. Laser altimetry of Mercury, Moon, and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neumann, G. A.; Mazarico, E.; Smith, D. E.; Zuber, M. T.; Torrence, M. H.; Barnouin, O. S.; Solomon, S. C.

    2011-12-01

    Since March 29 of this year, the Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA) on the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft has been ranging twice daily to the surface of Mercury from orbit, collecting more than 1 million ranges each month. Mercury joins Earth, Moon, and Mars as a planetary body mapped precisely by laser altimetry from orbit. Ranging covers nearly all of the northern hemisphere. The southern hemisphere largely lies beyond the 1800-km range of MLA from MESSENGER's eccentric orbit, but the 10-cm-precision MLA data will eventually be complemented by less precise radio occultation and limb profiling measurements by the MESSENGER spacecraft, as well as by digital topographic models produced by stereo photogrammetry. Mercury topography is distinguished from its larger and smaller counterparts by a relatively low (<10 km) dynamic range, less than half that of Earth, Moon, and Mars, and two-thirds that of its nearest neighbor, Venus. There are ample indications from the topography of Mercury impact structures as well as from its low-degree shape that Mercury's thermal evolution was complex and differed from those of other terrestrial planets. Central to the thermal history are the extensive contractional tectonic features for which altimetry quantifies accommodated strain. As well, MLA profiles of extensional graben within more than two dozen impact craters and basins, together with topographic and gravity field observations, will constrain the evolution of Mercury's upper crust and lithosphere. Lidar topographic data provide a wealth of geological contextual information regarding impact crater formation and modification, tectonics, volcanism, lithospheric strength, thermal evolution, and internal structure. Topography is essential for orthorectification of images and calibration of reflectance data. Geodetic topography, referenced to the center of mass, in conjunction with gravity, allows an assessment of the distribution of

  18. 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.

  19. On the Feasibility of Satellite Altimeter Tomography

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Glazman, R.

    1995-01-01

    The time-varying field of sea surface height (SSH) reflects a large number of dynamical processes including a broad range of baroclinic waves. Inertia-gravity (IG) and Rossby waves (RW) are readily detected in power spectra F(k) of SSH spatial variations, as well as in wavenumber-frequency spectral, ,k), and autocorrelation functions W(). these statistical characteristics contain information on dynamical processes in the upper thermocline. We show that the well-known 3-segment shape of 1-d spectra (based on SSH variations along satellite tracks) is determined by the Internal Rossby radius of deformation and by the degree of nonlinearity of baroclinic IG waves. Analyzing altimeter-based spectra of SSH variations in the light of a recently proposed theory for IG wave turbulence, we demonstrate that baroclinic IG waves are typically highly nonlinear. For a number of mid- and high-latitude regions, the internal Rossby radius and the wave nonlinearity are estimated from T/P data and shown to agree with expected values. The degree of the wave nonlinearity is of great practical interest. In particular, it tells us about the intensity of internal wave breaking. Furthermore, estimating the velocity of baroclinic RW we derive additional information on the upper layer stratification. These experiments point to the feasibility of using observed SSH field statistics (such F(k) and W()) to monitor properties of and dynamical processes in the upper mixed layer of the ocean.

  20. Bathymetric prediction from Seasat altimeter data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dixon, T. H.; Naraghi, M.; Mcnutt, M. K.; Smith, S. M.

    1983-01-01

    The linear response function technique is used to analyze two 1300 km tracks of Seasat altimeter data and corresponding bathymetry in the Musician Seamounts region north of Hawaii. A predictive filter is developed which can operate on Seasat altimetry in poorly surveyed oceanic regions to indicate the presence of major bathymetric anomalies. Modelling of the bathymetry-geoid correlation in the Musician region is attempted using the elastic plate model. The flexural rigidity of the plate is not well constrained by the data but appears to be in the range 5 x 10 to the 21st N m up to 5 x 10 to the 22nd N m at the time of loading. Since the Musician Seamounts and the crust on which they lie are both Late Cretaceous in age, this value represents the effective flexural rigidity of very young lithosphere that was 'frozen in' at the time of volcanism. The modelling indicates that the general form of a predictive filter will strongly depend on various geologic parameters, especially the effective flexural rigidity.

  1. Vortex Laser based on III-V semiconductor metasurface: direct generation of coherent Laguerre-Gauss modes carrying controlled orbital angular momentum

    PubMed Central

    Seghilani, Mohamed S.; Myara, Mikhael; Sellahi, Mohamed; Legratiet, Luc; Sagnes, Isabelle; Beaudoin, Grégoire; Lalanne, Philippe; Garnache, Arnaud

    2016-01-01

    The generation of a coherent state, supporting a large photon number, with controlled orbital-angular-momentum L = ħl (of charge l per photon) presents both fundamental and technological challenges: we demonstrate a surface-emitting laser, based on III-V semiconductor technology with an integrated metasurface, generating vortex-like coherent state in the Laguerre-Gauss basis. We use a first order phase perturbation to lift orbital degeneracy of wavefunctions, by introducing a weak anisotropy called here “orbital birefringence”, based on a dielectric metasurface. The azimuthal symmetry breakdown and non-linear laser dynamics create “orbital gain dichroism” allowing selecting vortex handedness. This coherent photonic device was characterized and studied, experimentally and theoretically. It exhibits a low divergence (<1°) diffraction limited beam, emitting 49 mW output power in the near-IR at λ ≃ 1 μm, a charge l = ±1, … ±4 (>50 dB vortex purity), and single frequency operation in a stable low noise regime (0.1% rms). Such high performance laser opens the path to widespread new photonic applications. PMID:27917885

  2. Vortex Laser based on III-V semiconductor metasurface: direct generation of coherent Laguerre-Gauss modes carrying controlled orbital angular momentum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seghilani, Mohamed S.; Myara, Mikhael; Sellahi, Mohamed; Legratiet, Luc; Sagnes, Isabelle; Beaudoin, Grégoire; Lalanne, Philippe; Garnache, Arnaud

    2016-12-01

    The generation of a coherent state, supporting a large photon number, with controlled orbital-angular-momentum L = ħl (of charge l per photon) presents both fundamental and technological challenges: we demonstrate a surface-emitting laser, based on III-V semiconductor technology with an integrated metasurface, generating vortex-like coherent state in the Laguerre-Gauss basis. We use a first order phase perturbation to lift orbital degeneracy of wavefunctions, by introducing a weak anisotropy called here “orbital birefringence”, based on a dielectric metasurface. The azimuthal symmetry breakdown and non-linear laser dynamics create “orbital gain dichroism” allowing selecting vortex handedness. This coherent photonic device was characterized and studied, experimentally and theoretically. It exhibits a low divergence (<1°) diffraction limited beam, emitting 49 mW output power in the near-IR at λ ≃ 1 μm, a charge l = ±1, … ±4 (>50 dB vortex purity), and single frequency operation in a stable low noise regime (0.1% rms). Such high performance laser opens the path to widespread new photonic applications.

  3. Vortex Laser based on III-V semiconductor metasurface: direct generation of coherent Laguerre-Gauss modes carrying controlled orbital angular momentum.

    PubMed

    Seghilani, Mohamed S; Myara, Mikhael; Sellahi, Mohamed; Legratiet, Luc; Sagnes, Isabelle; Beaudoin, Grégoire; Lalanne, Philippe; Garnache, Arnaud

    2016-12-05

    The generation of a coherent state, supporting a large photon number, with controlled orbital-angular-momentum L = ħl (of charge l per photon) presents both fundamental and technological challenges: we demonstrate a surface-emitting laser, based on III-V semiconductor technology with an integrated metasurface, generating vortex-like coherent state in the Laguerre-Gauss basis. We use a first order phase perturbation to lift orbital degeneracy of wavefunctions, by introducing a weak anisotropy called here "orbital birefringence", based on a dielectric metasurface. The azimuthal symmetry breakdown and non-linear laser dynamics create "orbital gain dichroism" allowing selecting vortex handedness. This coherent photonic device was characterized and studied, experimentally and theoretically. It exhibits a low divergence (<1°) diffraction limited beam, emitting 49 mW output power in the near-IR at λ ≃ 1 μm, a charge l = ±1, … ±4 (>50 dB vortex purity), and single frequency operation in a stable low noise regime (0.1% rms). Such high performance laser opens the path to widespread new photonic applications.

  4. A comprehensive study of Mercury and MESSENGER orbit determination

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Genova, Antonio; Mazarico, Erwan; Goossens, Sander; Lemoine, Frank G.; Neumann, Gregory A.; Nicholas, Joseph B.; Rowlands, David D.; Smith, David E.; Zuber, Maria; Solomon, Sean C.

    2016-10-01

    The MErcury, Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft orbited the planet Mercury for more than 4 years. The probe started its science mission in orbit around Mercury on 18 March 2011. The Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA) and radio science system were the instruments dedicated to geodetic observations of the topography, gravity field, orientation, and tides of Mercury. X-band radio-tracking range-rate data collected by the NASA Deep Space Network (DSN) allowed the determination of Mercury's gravity field to spherical harmonic degree and order 100, the planet's obliquity, and the Love number k2.The extensive range data acquired in orbit around Mercury during the science mission (from April 2011 to April 2015), and during the three flybys of the planet in 2008 and 2009, provide a powerful dataset for the investigation of Mercury's ephemeris. The proximity of Mercury's orbit to the Sun leads to a significant perihelion precession attributable to the gravitational flattening of the Sun (J2) and the Parameterized Post-Newtonian (PPN) coefficients γ and β, which describe the space curvature produced by a unit rest mass and the nonlinearity in superposition of gravity, respectively. Therefore, the estimation of Mercury's ephemeris can provide crucial information on the interior structure of the Sun and Einstein's general theory of relativity. However, the high correlation among J2, γ, and β complicates the combined recovery of these parameters, so additional assumptions are required, such as the Nordtvedt relationship η = 4β - γ - 3.We have modified our orbit determination software, GEODYN II, to enable the simultaneous integration of the spacecraft and central body trajectories. The combined estimation of the MESSENGER and Mercury orbits allowed us to determine a more accurate gravity field, orientation, and tides of Mercury, and the values of GM and J2 for the Sun, where G is the gravitational constant and M is the solar mass

  5. The Optical Fiber Array Bundle Assemblies for the NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ott, Melanie N.; Switzer, Rob; Thomes, William Joe; Chuska, Richard; LaRocca, Frank; MacMurphy, Shawn

    2008-01-01

    The United States, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), Fiber Optics Team in the Electrical Engineering Division of the Applied Engineering and Technology Directorate, designed, developed and integrated the space flight optical fiber array hardware assemblies for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). The two new assemblies that were designed and manufactured at NASA GSFC for the LRO exist in configurations that are unique in the world for the application of ranging and lidar. These assemblies were developed in coordination with Diamond Switzerland, and the NASA GSFC Mechanical Systems Division. The assemblies represent a strategic enhancement for NASA's Laser Ranging and Laser Radar (LIDAR) instrument hardware by allowing light to be moved to alternative locations that were not feasible in past space flight implementations. An account will be described of the journey and the lessons learned from design to integration for the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter and the Laser Ranging Application on the LRO. The LRO is scheduled to launch end of 2008.

  6. Development of Software for a Lidar-Altimeter Processor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenberg, Jacob S.; Trujillo, Carlos

    2005-01-01

    A report describes the development of software for a digital processor that operates in conjunction with a finite-impulse-response (FIR) chip in a spaceborne lidar altimeter. Processing is started by a laser-fire interrupt signal that is repeated at intervals of 25 ms. For the purpose of discriminating between returns from the ground and returns from such things as trees, buildings, and clouds, the software is required to scan digitized lidar-return data in reverse of the acquisition sequence in order to distinguish the last return pulse from within a commanded ground-return range window. The digitized waveform information within this range window is filtered through 6 matched filters, in the hardware electronics, in order to maximize the probability of finding echoes from sloped or rough terrain and minimize the probability of selecting cloud returns. From the data falling past the end of the range window, there is obtained a noise baseline that is used to calculate a threshold value for each filter. The data from each filter is analyzed by a complex weighting scheme and the filter with the greatest weight is selected. A region around the peak of the ground return pulse associated with the selected filter is placed in telemetry, as well as information on its location, height, and other characteristics. The software requires many uplinked parameters as input. Included in the report is a discussion of major software-development problems posed by the design of the FIR chip and the need for the software to complete its process within 20 ms to fit within the overall 25-ms cycle.

  7. Impact of Altimeter Data Processing on Sea Level Studies

    PubMed Central

    Fernandes, M. Joana; Barbosa, Susana; Lázaro, Clara

    2006-01-01

    This study addresses the impact of satellite altimetry data processing on sea level studies at regional scale, with emphasis on the influence of various geophysical corrections and satellite orbit on the structure of the derived interannual signal and sea level trend. The work focuses on the analysis of TOPEX data for a period of over twelve years, for three regions in the North Atlantic: Tropical (0°≤φ≤25°), Sub-Tropical (25°≤φ≤50°) and Sub-Arctic (50°≤φ≤65°). For this analysis corrected sea level anomalies with respect to a mean sea surface model have been derived from the GDR-Ms provided by AVISO by applying various state-of-the-art models for the geophysical corrections. Results show that sea level trend determined from TOPEX altimetry is dependent on the adopted models for the major geophysical corrections. The main effects come from the sea state bias (SSB), and from the application or not of the inverse barometer (IB) correction. After an appropriate modelling of the TOPEX A/B bias, the two analysed SSB models induce small variations in sea level trend, from 0.0 to 0.2 mm/yr, with a small latitude dependence. The difference in sea level trend determined by a non IB-corrected series and an IB-corrected one has a strong regional dependence with large differences in the shape of the interannual signals and in the derived linear trends. The use of two different drift models for the TOPEX Microwave Radiometer (TMR) has a small but non negligible effect on the North Atlantic sea level trend of about 0.1 mm/yr. The interannual signals of sea level time series derived with the NASA and the CNES orbits respectively, show a small departure in the middle of the series, which has no impact on the derived sea level trend. These results strike the need for a continuous improvement in the modelling of the various effects that influence the altimeter measurement.

  8. Performances Study of Interferometric Radar Altimeters: from the Instrument to the Global Mission Definition

    PubMed Central

    Enjolras, Vivien; Vincent, Patrick; Souyris, Jean-Claude; Rodriguez, Ernesto; Phalippou, Laurent; Cazenave, Anny

    2006-01-01

    The main limitations of standard nadir-looking radar altimeters have been known for long. They include the lack of coverage (intertrack distance of typically 150 km for the T/P / Jason tandem), and the spatial resolution (typically 2 km for T/P and Jason), expected to be a limiting factor for the determination of mesoscale phenomena in deep ocean. In this context, various solutions using off-nadir radar interferometry have been proposed by Rodriguez and al to give an answer to oceanographic mission objectives. This paper addresses the performances study of this new generation of instruments, and dedicated mission. A first approach is based on the Wide-Swath Ocean Altimeter (WSOA) intended to be implemented onboard Jason-2 in 2004 but now abandoned. Every error domain has been checked: the physics of the measurement, its geometry, the impact of the platform and external errors like the tropospheric and ionospheric delays. We have especially shown the strong need to move to a sun-synchronous orbit and the non-negligible impact of propagation media errors in the swath, reaching a few centimetres in the worst case. Some changes in the parameters of the instrument have also been discussed to improve the overall error budget. The outcomes have led to the definition and the optimization of such an instrument and its dedicated mission.

  9. Realizing the Harper Hamiltonian and Spin-Orbit Coupling with Laser-Assisted Tunneling in an Optical Lattice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kennedy, Colin; Miyake, Hiro; Burton, Cody; Chung, Woo Chang; Siviloglou, Georgios; Ketterle, Wolfgang

    2014-05-01

    The study of charged particles in a magnetic field has led to paradigm shifts in condensed matter physics including the discovery of topologically ordered states like the quantum Hall and fractional quantum Hall states. Quantum simulation of such systems using neutral atoms has drawn much interest recently in the atomic physics community due to the versatility and defect-free nature of such systems. We discuss our recent experimental realization of the Harper Hamiltonian and strong, uniform effective magnetic fields for neutral particles in an optical lattice. Additionally, our scheme represents a promising system to realize spin-orbit coupling and the quantum spin Hall states without flipping atomic spin states and thus without the intrinsic heating that comes with near-resonant Raman lasers. We point out that our scheme can be implemented all optically through the use of a period-tripling superlattice, offering faster switching times and more precise control than with magnetic field gradients. Finally, we show that this method is very general for engineering novel single particle spectra in an optical lattice and can be used to map out Hofstadter's butterfly.

  10. Lasers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schewe, Phillip F.

    1981-01-01

    Examines the nature of laser light. Topics include: (1) production and characteristics of laser light; (2) nine types of lasers; (3) five laser techniques including holography; (4) laser spectroscopy; and (5) laser fusion and other applications. (SK)

  11. Further development of an improved altimeter wind speed algorithm

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chelton, Dudley B.; Wentz, Frank J.

    1986-01-01

    A previous altimeter wind speed retrieval algorithm was developed on the basis of wind speeds in the limited range from about 4 to 14 m/s. In this paper, a new approach which gives a wind speed model function applicable over the range 0 to 21 m/s is used. The method is based on comparing 50 km along-track averages of the altimeter normalized radar cross section measurements with neighboring off-nadir scatterometer wind speed measurements. The scatterometer winds are constructed from 100 km binned measurements of radar cross section and are located approximately 200 km from the satellite subtrack. The new model function agrees very well with earlier versions up to wind speeds of 14 m/s, but differs significantly at higher wind speeds. The relevance of these results to the Geosat altimeter launched in March 1985 is discussed.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. TOPEX Project Radar Altimeter Development Requirements and Specifications, Version 6.0

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rossi, Laurence C.

    2003-01-01

    This document provides the guidelines by which the TOPEX Radar Altimeter hardware development effort for the TOPEX flight project shall be implemented and conducted. The conduct of this activity shall take maximum advantage of the efforts expended during the TOPEX Radar Altimeter Advanced Technology Model development program and other related Radar Altimeter development efforts. This document complies with the TOPEX Project Office document 633-420 (D-2218), entitled, "TOPEX Project Requirements and Constraints for the NASA Radar Altimeter" dated December 1987.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vondrak, Richard; Keller, John; Chin, Gordon; Garvin, James

    2010-01-01

    The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) was implemented to facilitate scientific and engineering-driven mapping of the lunar surface at new spatial scales and with new remote sensing methods, identify safe landing sites, search for in situ resources, and measure the space radiation environment. After its successful launch on June 18,2009, the LRO spacecraft and instruments were activated and calibrated in an eccentric polar lunar orbit until September 15, when LRO was moved to a circular polar orbit with a mean altitude of 50 km. LRO will operate for at least one year to support the goals of NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD), and for at least two years of extended operations for additional lunar science measurements supported by NASA's Science Mission Directorate (SMD). LRO carries six instruments with associated science and exploration investigations, and a telecommunications/radar technology demonstration. The LRO instruments are: Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER), Diviner Lunar Radiometer Experiment (DLRE), Lyman-Alpha Mapping Project (LAMP), Lunar Exploration Neutron Detector (LEND), Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA), and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC). The technology demonstration is a compact, dual-frequency, hybrid polarity synthetic aperture radar instrument (Mini-RF). LRO observations also support the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS), the lunar impact mission that was co-manifested with LRO on the Atlas V (401) launch vehicle. This paper describes the LRO objectives and measurements that support exploration of the Moon and that address the science objectives outlined by the National Academy of Science's report on the Scientific Context for Exploration of the Moon (SCEM). We also describe data accessibility by the science and exploration community.

  16. Lunar Lava Tubes - The Promise of New Orbital Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Allen, Carlton C.

    2009-01-01

    The basaltic plains of the Moon contain lava channels on scales of tens of meters to hundreds of kilometers. Many of these channels are segmented, strongly suggesting that some portions include covered lava tubes. Lunar lava tubes are expected to provide unique environments below the harsh lunar surface, maintaining near-isothermal conditions and substantial shielding from solar and galactic radiation. A lava tube has often been suggested as natural shelter for a future human outpost. Previous searches for lunar lava tubes have been limited by a combination of image resolution and completeness of coverage. The five robotic Lunar Orbiter spacecraft combined to photograph essentially the entire lunar surface with a resolution of 60 m, and covered selected sites with resolutions as high as 2 m. The highest-resolution Apollo images, from the mapping and panoramic cameras, covered swaths totaling 16% of the lunar surface, at resolutions of approximately 5 m. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter -- launched in June 2009 to a polar orbit -- carries a suite of instruments that will revolutionize lunar remote sensing, including the identification and characterization of lava tubes. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) system includes a multi-spectral wide-angle camera with a resolution of 70 m, allowing a comprehensive survey of the entire lunar surface. The LROC narrow-angle camera is providing targeted images at resolutions of 0.5 - 2 m, including stereo coverage, which should allow detection of tube entrances and breakdown structures. The Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter is producing a global topographic map with a vertical resolution of 1 m and a horizontal resolution of 50 m. These data will be critical to understanding lava dynamics and tube emplacement.

  17. 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.

  18. The GLAS Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document for Precision Orbit Determination (POD)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rim, Hyung Jin; Yoon, S. P.; Schultz, Bob E.

    2013-01-01

    The Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) was the sole instrument for NASA's Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) laser altimetry mission. The primary purpose of the ICESat mission was to make ice sheet elevation measurements of the polar regions. Additional goals were to measure the global distribution of clouds and aerosols and to map sea ice, land topography and vegetation. ICESat was the benchmark Earth Observing System (EOS) mission to be used to determine the mass balance of the ice sheets, as well as for providing cloud property information, especially for stratospheric clouds common over polar areas. The GLAS instrument operated from 2003 to 2009 and provided multi-year elevation data needed to determine changes in sea ice freeboard, land topography and vegetation around the globe, in addition to elevation changes of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. This document describes the Precision Orbit Determination (POD) algorithm for the ICESat mission. The problem of determining an accurate ephemeris for an orbiting satellite involves estimating the position and velocity of the satellite from a sequence of observations. The ICESatGLAS elevation measurements must be very accurately geolocated, combining precise orbit information with precision pointing information. The ICESat mission POD requirement states that the position of the instrument should be determined with an accuracy of 5 and 20 cm (1-s) in radial and horizontal components, respectively, to meet the science requirements for determining elevation change.

  19. The Multiple Altimeter Beam Experimental Lidar (MABEL), an Airborne Simulator for the ICESat-2 Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McGill, Matthew; Markus, Thorsten; Scott, V. Stanley; Neumann, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    The Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) mission is currently under development by NASA. The primary mission of ICESat-2 will be to measure elevation changes of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, document changes in sea ice thickness distribution, and derive important information about the current state of the global ice coverage. To make this important measurement, NASA is implementing a new type of satellite-based surface altimetry based on sensing of laser pulses transmitted to, and reflected from, the surface. Because the ICESat-2 measurement approach is different from that used for previous altimeter missions, a high-fidelity aircraft instrument, the Multiple Altimeter Beam Experimental Lidar (MABEL), was developed to demonstrate the measurement concept and provide verification of the ICESat-2 methodology. The MABEL instrument will serve as a prototype for the ICESat-2 mission and also provides a science tool for studies of land surface topography. This paper outlines the science objectives for the ICESat-2 mission, the current measurement concept for ICESat-2, and the instrument concept and preliminary data from MABEL.

  20. Ionospheric calibration for single frequency altimeter measurements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schreiner, William S.; Born, George H.

    1993-01-01

    This report investigates the potential of using Global Positioning System (GPS) data and a model of the ionosphere to supply a measure of the sub-satellite Total Electron Current (TEC) of the required accuracy (10 TECU rms) for the purpose of calibrating single frequency radar altimeter measurements. Since climatological (monthly mean) models are known to be in error by as much as 50 percent, this work focused on the Parameterized Real-Time Ionospheric Specification Model (PRISM) which has the capability to improve model accuracy by ingesting (adjusting to) in situ ionospheric measurements. A set of globally distributed TEC measurements were generated using GPS data and were used as input to improve the accuracy of the PRISM model. The adjusted PRISM TEC values were compared to TOPEX dual frequency TEC measurements (which are considered truth) for a number of TOPEX sub-satellite tracks. The adjusted PRISM values generally compared to the TOPEX measurements within the 10 TECU accuracy requirements when the sub-satellite track passed within 300 to 400 km of the GPS TEC data or when the track passed through a night time ionosphere. However, when the sub-satellite points were greater than 300 to 400 km away from the GPS TEC data or when a local noon ionosphere was sampled, the adjusted PRISM values generally differed by greater than 10 TECU rms with data excursions from the TOPEX TEC measurements of as much as 40 TECU (an 8 cm path delay error at K band). Therefore, it can be concluded from this analysis that an unrealistically large number of GPS stations would be needed to predict sub-satellite TEC at the 10 TECU level in the day time ionosphere using a model such as PRISM. However, a technique currently being studied at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) may provide a means of supplying adequate TEC data to meet the 10 TECU ionospheric correction accuracy when using a realistic number of ionospheric stations. This method involves using global GPS TEC data to

  1. 77 FR 21834 - Airborne Radar Altimeter Equipment (For Air Carrier Aircraft)

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-04-11

    ... Federal Aviation Administration Airborne Radar Altimeter Equipment (For Air Carrier Aircraft) AGENCY..., Airborne Radar Altimeter Equipment (For Air Carrier Aircraft). SUMMARY: This is a confirmation notice of the cancellation of TSO-C67, Airborne Radar Altimeter Equipment (For Air Carrier Aircraft). The...

  2. Lidar Altimeter Measurements of Canopy Structure: Methods and Validation for Closed Canopy, Broadleaf Forests

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harding, D. J.; Lefsky, M. A.; Parker, G. G.; Blair, J. B.

    1999-01-01

    Lidar altimeter observations of vegetated landscapes provide a time-resolved measure of laser pulse backscatter energy from canopy surfaces and the underlying ground. Airborne lidar altimeter data was acquired using the Scanning Lidar Imager of Canopies by Echo Recovery (SLICER) for a successional sequence of four, closed-canopy, deciduous forest stands in eastern Maryland. The four stands were selected so as to include a range of canopy structures of importance to forest ecosystem function, including variation in the height and roughness of the outer-most canopy surface and the vertical organization of canopy stories and gaps. The character of the SLICER backscatter signal is described and a method is developed that accounts for occlusion of the laser energy by canopy surfaces, transforming the backscatter signal to a canopy height profile (CHP) that quantitatively represents the relative vertical distribution of canopy surface area. The transformation applies an increased weighting to the backscatter amplitude as a function of closure through the canopy and assumes a horizontally random distribution of the canopy components. SLICER CHPs, averaged over areas of overlap where lidar ground tracks intersect, are shown to be highly reproducible. CHP transects across the four stands reveal spatial variations in vegetation, at the scale of the individual 10 m diameter laser footprints, within and between stands. Averaged SLICER CHPs are compared to analogous height profile results derived from ground-based sightings to plant intercepts measured on plots within the four stands. Tbe plots were located on the segments of the lidar ground tracks from which averaged SLICER CHPs were derived, and the ground observations were acquired within two weeks of the SLICER data acquisition to minimize temporal change. The differences in canopy structure between the four stands is similarly described by the SLICER and ground-based CHP results, however a Chi-square test of similarity

  3. 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.

  4. A next generation altimeter for mapping the sea surface height variability: opportunities and challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fu, Lee-Lueng; Morrow, Rosemary

    2016-07-01

    The global observations of the sea surface height (SSH) have revolutionized oceanography since the beginning of precision radar altimetry in the early 1990s. For the first time we have continuous records of SSH with spatial and temporal sampling for detecting the global mean sea level rise, the waxing and waning of El Niño, and the ocean circulation from gyres to ocean eddies. The limit of spatial resolution of the present constellation of radar altimeters in mapping SSH variability is approaching 100 km (in wavelength) with 3 or more simultaneous altimetric satellites in orbit. At scales shorter than 100 km, the circulation contains substantial amount of kinetic energy in currents, eddies and fronts that are responsible for the stirring and mixing of the ocean, especially from the vertical exchange of the upper ocean with the deep. A mission currently in development will use the technique of radar interferometry for making high-resolution measurement of the height of water over the ocean as well as on land. It is called Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT), which is a joint mission of US NASA and French CNES, with contributions from Canada and UK. SWOT promises the detection of SSH at scales approaching 15 km, depending on the sea state. SWOT will make SSH measurement over a swath of 120 km with a nadir gap of 20 km in a 21-day repeat orbit. A conventional radar altimeter will provide measurement along the nadir. This is an exploratory mission with applications in oceanography and hydrology. The increased spatial resolution offers an opportunity to study ocean surface processes to address important questions about the ocean circulation. However, the limited temporal sampling poses challenges to map the evolution of the ocean variability that changes rapidly at the small scales. The measurement technique and the development of the mission will be presented with emphasis on its science program with outlook on the opportunities and challenges.

  5. A FDTD solution of scattering of laser beam with orbital angular momentum by dielectric particles: Far-field characteristics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Wenbo; Hu, Yongxiang; Weimer, Carl; Ayers, Kirk; Baize, Rosemary R.; Lee, Tsengdar

    2017-02-01

    Electromagnetic (EM) beams with orbital angular momentum (OAM) may have great potential applications in communication technology and in remote sensing of the Earth-atmosphere system and outer planets. Study of their interaction with optical lenses and dielectric or metallic objects, or scattering of them by particles in the Earth-atmosphere system, is a necessary step to explore the advantage of the OAM EM beams. In this study, the 3-dimensional (3D) scattered-field (SF) finite-difference time domain (FDTD) technique with the convolutional perfectly matched layer (CPML) absorbing boundary conditions (ABC) is applied to calculate the scattering of the purely azimuthal (the radial mode number is assumed to be zero) Laguerre-Gaussian (LG) beams with the OAM by dielectric particles. We found that for OAM beam's interaction with dielectric particles, the forward-scattering peak in the conventional phase function (P11) disappears, and light scattering peak occurs at a scattering angle of 15° to 45°. The disappearance of forward-scattering peak means that, in laser communications most of the particle-scattered noise cannot enter the receiver, thus the received light is optimally the original OAM-encoded signal. This feature of the OAM beam also implies that in lidar remote sensing of the atmospheric particulates, most of the multiple-scattering energy will be off lidar sensors, and this may result in an accurate profiling of particle layers in the atmosphere or in the oceans by lidar, or even in the ground when a ground penetration radar (GPR) with the OAM is applied. This far-field characteristics of the scattered OAM light also imply that the optical theorem, which is derived from plane-parallel wave scattering case and relates the forward scattering amplitude to the total cross section of the scatterer, is invalid for the scattering of OAM beams by dielectric particles.

  6. Validating NASA's Airborne Multikilohertz Microlaser Altimeter (Microaltimeter) by Direct Comparison of Data Taken Over Ocean City, Maryland Against an Existing Digital Elevation Model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abel, Peter

    2003-01-01

    NASA's Airborne Multikilohertz Microlaser Altimeter (Microaltimeter) is a scanning, photon-counting laser altimeter, which uses a low energy (less than 10 microJuoles), high repetition rate (approximately 10 kHz) laser, transmitting at 532 nm. A 14 cm diameter telescope images the ground return onto a segmented anode photomultiplier, which provides up to 16 range returns for each fire. Multiple engineering flights were made during 2001 and 2002 over the Maryland and Virginia coastal area, all during daylight hours. Post-processing of the data to geolocate the laser footprint and determine the terrain height requires post- detection Poisson filtering techniques to extract the actual ground returns from the noise. Validation of the instrument's ability to produce accurate terrain heights will be accomplished by direct comparison of data taken over Ocean City, Maryland with a Digital Elevation Model (DEM) of the region produced at Ohio State University (OSU) from other laser altimeter and photographic sources. The techniques employed to produce terrain heights from the Microaltimeter ranges will be shown, along with some preliminary comparisons with the OSU DEM.

  7. Application of the GEM-T2 gravity field to altimetric satellite orbit computation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Haines, Bruce J.; Born, George H.; Williamson, Ronald G.; Koblinsky, Chester I.

    1994-01-01

    As part of a continuing effort to provide improved orbits for use with existing altimeter data, we have recomputed ephemerides for both the Seasat and Geosat Exact Repeat altimeter missions. The orbits were computed in a consistent fashion, using the Goddard Earth Model T2 (GEM-T2) gravity field along with available ground-based tracking data. Such an approach allows direct comparisons of sea level between the two altimeter systems. Evaluation of the resulting ephemerides indicates that root-mean-square accuracies of 30-50 cm have been achieved for the radial component of the orbits for both satellites. An exception occurs for the last year of the Geosat Exact Repeat Mission, when the rms radial orbit accuracy degrades to the 1-m level at times owing to the inability to adequately model the drag force arising from the increased solar activity.

  8. GEOS-3 radar altimeter study for the South Atlantic Bight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leitao, C. D.; Huang, N.; Parsons, C. L.; Parra, C. G.; Mcmill, J. D.; Hayes, G. S.

    1980-01-01

    Three years of radar altimeter data from GEOS-3 for the South Atlantic Bight were processed. Mean monthly topographic maps were produced which estimate geostrophic flow in the region. Statistical distribution of the surface wind speed and significant wave height as a function of both space and time are presented.

  9. 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.

  10. The importance of altimeter and scatterometer data for ocean prediction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hurlburt, H. E.

    1984-01-01

    The prediction of ocean circulation using satellite altimeter data is discussed. Three classes of oceanic response to atmospheric forcing are outlined and examined. Storms, surface waves, eddies, and ocean currents were evaluated in terms of forecasting time requirements. Scatterometer and radiometer applications to ocean prediction are briefly reviewed.

  11. The Importance of Altimeter and Scatterometer Data for Ocean Prediction,

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1984-01-01

    of water vapour , wind speed and wave height. Nature, 294, 529-532. Cheney, R. E. and J. G. Marsh, 1981: SEASAT altimeter observations of dynamic...E. and J. D. Thompson, 1980: A numerical study of Loop Current intrusions and eddy shedding. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 10, 1611-1651. ’Hurlburt, H. E. and J

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muller, Jan-Peter; Poole, William

    2013-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1973-10-19

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

  14. Satellite Laser Ranging in the 1990s: Report of the 1994 Belmont Workshop

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Degnan, John J. (Editor)

    1994-01-01

    An international network of 43 stations in 30 countries routinely collects satellite ranging data which is used to study the solid Earth and its interactions with the oceans, atmosphere, and Moon. Data products include centimeter accuracy site positions on a global scale, tectonic plate motions, regional crustal deformation, long wavelength gravity field and geoid, polar motion, and variations in the Earth's spin rate. By calibrating and providing precise orbits for spaceborne microwave altimeters, satellite laser ranging also enables global measurement of sea and ice surface topography, mean sea level, global ocean circulation, and short wavelength gravity fields and marine geoids. It provides tests of general relativity and a means or subnanosecond time transfer. This workshop was convened to define future roles and directions in satellite laser ranging.

  15. Strategies for estimating the marine geoid from altimeter data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Argentiero, P.; Kahn, W. D.; Garza-Robles, R.

    1974-01-01

    In processing altimeter data from a spacecraft borne altimeter to estimate the fine structure of the marine geoid, a problem is encountered. In order to describe the geoid fine structure, a large number of parameters must be employed and it is not possible to simultaneously estimate all of them. Unless the parameterization exhibits good orthogonality in the data, serious aliasing results. From simulation studies it has been found that amongst several competing parameterizations, the mean free air gravity anomaly model (i.e., Stokes' formula) exhibited promising geoid recovery characteristics. Using covariance analysis techniques, this report provides quantitative measures of the orthogonality properties associated with the above mentioned parameterization. It has been determined that a 5 deg x 5 deg area mean free air gravity anomaly can be estimated with an uncertainty of 1 mgal (40 cm undulation) provided that all free air gravity anomalies within a spherical radius of 10 arc degrees are simultaneously estimated.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Satellite Altimeter Observations of Black Sea Level Variations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Korotaev, G. K.; Saenko, O. A.; Koblinsky, C. J.

    1998-01-01

    Satellite altimeter data from TOPEX/POSEIDON and ERS-1 are used to examine seasonal and mesoscale variability of the Black Sea level. Consistent processing procedures of the altimeter measurements make it possible to determine the dynamical Black Sea level with an rms accuracy about 3 cm. It is shown that the Black Sea circulation intensifies in the winter-spring seasons and attenuates in summer-autumn. The seasonal variability of sea level is accompanied by a radiation of Rossby waves from the eastern coast of the basin. Mesoscale oscillations of the dynamical sea level are found to vary spatially and temporarily. Usually, strong eddy intensity is associated with instabilities of the Rim Current. Away from this circulation feature, in the deep basin, mesoscale variability is much smaller. Mesoscale variability has a strong seasonal signal, which is out of phase with the strength of the Rim Current.

  19. Can We Infer Ocean Dynamics from Altimeter Wavenumber Spectra?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Richman, James; Shriver, Jay; Arbic, Brian

    2012-01-01

    The wavenumber spectra of sea surface height (SSH) and kinetic energy (KE) have been used to infer the dynamics of the ocean. When quasi-geostrophic dynamics (QG) or surface quasi-geostrophic (SQG) turbulence dominate and an inertial subrange exists, a steep SSH wavenumber spectrum is expected with k-5 for QG turbulence and a flatter k-11/3 for SQG turbulence. However, inspection of the spectral slopes in the mesoscale band of 70 to 250 km shows that the altimeter wavenumber slopes typically are much flatter than the QG or SQG predictions over most of the ocean. Comparison of the altimeter wavenumber spectra with the spectra estimated from the output of an eddy resolving global ocean circulation model (the Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model, HYCOM, at 1/25 resolution), which is forced by high frequency winds and includes the astronomical forcing of the sun and the moon, suggests that the flatter slopes of the altimeter may arise from three possible sources, the presence of internal waves, the lack of an inertial subrange in the 70 to 250 km band and noise or submesoscales at small scales. When the wavenumber spectra of SSH and KE are estimated near the internal tide generating regions, the resulting spectra are much flatter than the expectations of QG or SQG theory. If the height and velocity variability are separated into low frequency (periods greater than 2 days) and high frequency (periods less than a day), then a different pattern emerges with a relatively flat wavenumber spectrum at high frequency and a steeper wavenumber spectrum at low frequency. The stationary internal tides can be removed from the altimeter spectrum, which steepens the spectral slopes in the energetic internal wave regions. Away from generating regions where the internal waves

  20. Assimilation of Altimeter Wave Measurements into Wavewatch III

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-08-02

    wave heights in numerical wave choice of the spatial autocorrelation functions models were made by Esteva (1998) and used in the 01 method ( Greenslade ...model. J. Geophys. Res. wind waves on slowly varying, unsteady and 93, 14099-14106. inhomogeneous depths and currents. Journal of Greenslade D.J.M (2001... Greenslade D.J.M and I.R. Young (2004). The Impact Conference and Exposition. Nov 5-8, 2001 Honolulu, of Altimeter Sampling Patterns on Estimates of

  1. Tides on the Patagonian shelf from the Seasat radar altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Parke, M. E.

    1981-01-01

    The purpose of the study described here is to show comparisons between measurements of the sea surface height by the Seasat radar altimeter and tidal elevations based on gauge data along the coast for two passes by the satellite along the shelf. The results provide initial confirmation that tides can be detected in this region by way of satellite altimetry. The study extends a similar presentation by Parke (1980).

  2. Altimeter error sources at the 10-cm performance level

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martin, C. F.

    1977-01-01

    Error sources affecting the calibration and operational use of a 10 cm altimeter are examined to determine the magnitudes of current errors and the investigations necessary to reduce them to acceptable bounds. Errors considered include those affecting operational data pre-processing, and those affecting altitude bias determination, with error budgets developed for both. The most significant error sources affecting pre-processing are bias calibration, propagation corrections for the ionosphere, and measurement noise. No ionospheric models are currently validated at the required 10-25% accuracy level. The optimum smoothing to reduce the effects of measurement noise is investigated and found to be on the order of one second, based on the TASC model of geoid undulations. The 10 cm calibrations are found to be feasible only through the use of altimeter passes that are very high elevation for a tracking station which tracks very close to the time of altimeter track, such as a high elevation pass across the island of Bermuda. By far the largest error source, based on the current state-of-the-art, is the location of the island tracking station relative to mean sea level in the surrounding ocean areas.

  3. Space rocket engine on the base of the reactor-pumped laser for the interplanetary flights and earth orbital applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gulevich, Andrey V.; Dyachenko, Peter P.; Kukharchuk, Oleg F.; Zrodnikov, Anatoly V.

    2000-01-01

    In this report the concept of vehicle-based reactor-laser engine for long time interplanetary and interorbital (LEO to GEO) flights is proposed. Reactor-pumped lasers offer the perspective way to create on the base of modern nuclear and lasers technologies the low mass and high energy density, repetitively pulsed vehicle-based laser of average power 100 kW. Nowadays the efficiency of nuclear-to-optical energy conversion reached the value of 2-3%. The demo model of reactor-pumped laser facility is under construction in Institute for Physics and Power Engineering (Obninsk, Russia). It enable us to hope that using high power laser on board of the vehicle could make the effective space laser engine possible. Such engine may provide the high specific impulse ~1000-2000 s with the thrust up to 10-100 n. Some calculation results of the characteristics of vehicle-based reactor-laser thermal engine concept are also presented. .

  4. 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

  5. GEOSAT Follow-on (GFO) Altimeter Document Series. Volume 3; GFO Altimeter Engineering Assessment Report, Version 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    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.

  6. Interpreting Radar View near Mars' North Pole, Orbit 1512

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2006-01-01

    A radargram from the Shallow Subsurface Radar instrument (SHARAD) on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is shown in the upper-right panel and reveals detailed structure in the polar layered deposits of the north pole of Mars (with blowups shown in the upper-left panels). The sounding radar collected the data presented here during orbit 1512 of the mission, on Nov. 22, 2006.

    The horizontal scale in the radargram is distance along the ground track. It can be referenced to the ground track map shown in the lower right. The radar traversed from about 83.5 degrees to 80.5 degrees north latitude, or about 180 kilometers (110 miles). The ground track map shows elevation measured by the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter on NASA's Mars Global Surveyor orbiter. Green indicates low elevation; reddish-white indicates higher elevation. The traverse is from the high elevation of the plateau formed by the layers to the lowlands below.

    The vertical scale on the radargram is time delay of the radar signals reflected back to Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter from the surface and subsurface. For reference, using an assumed velocity of the radar waves in the subsurface, time is converted to depth below the surface in two places: about 600 meters (2,000 feet) to the lowest of an upper series of bright reflectors and about 2,000 meters (6,500 feet) to the base of the polar layered deposits. The color scale of the radargram varies from black for weak reflections to bright yellow for strong reflections.

    The lower-left panel is a image from the Mars Orbiter Camera on Mars Global Surveyor showing exposed polar layering in the walls of a canyon near the north pole. The layering is divided into a finely structured upper unit (labeled 'Upper PLD') and less-well-defined stratigraphy in the lower unit (labeled 'Lower PLD'). The radargram clearly reveals the complexity of the layering in the upper unit, additional reflections from the lower unit, and the base of the entire stack of

  7. A note on radar altimeter signatures of internal solitary waves in the ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    da Silva, J. C. B.; Cerqueira, A. L. F.

    2016-10-01

    It is well known that Internal Waves of tidal frequency (i.e. Internal Tides) are successfully detected in seasurface height (SSH) by satellite altimetry [1]. Shorter period Internal Solitary Waves (ISWs), whose periods are an order of magnitude smaller than tidal internal waves, are however generally assumed too small to be detected with standard altimeters (at low sampling rates, i.e. 1 Hz). This is because the Radar Altimeter (RA) footprint is somewhat larger, or of similar size at best, than the ISWs typical wavelengths. Here it will be demonstrated that new generation high sampling rate satellite altimetry data (i.e. 20 Hz) hold a variety of short-period signatures that are consistent with surface manifestations of ISWs in the ocean. Our observational method is based on satellite synergy with imaging sensors such as Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and other high-resolution optical sensors (e.g. 250m resolution MODIS images) with which ISWs are unambiguously recognized. A first order commonly accepted ISW radar imaging mechanism is based on hydrodynamic modulation models [2] [3] in which the straining of surface waves due to ISW orbital currents is known to cause modulation of decimeter-scale surface waves, which have group velocities close to the IW phase velocity. This effect can be readily demonstrated by measurements of wind wave slope variances associated with short-period ISWs, as accomplished in the pioneer work of Hughes and Grant [4]. Mean square slope can be estimated from nadir looking RAs using a geometric optics (specular) scattering model [5][6][7], and directly obtained from normalized backscatter (sigma0) along-track records. We use differential scattering from the dual-band (Ku- and C-bands) microwave pulses of the Jason- 2 high-rate RA to isolate the contribution of small-scale surface waves to mean square slope. The differenced altimeter mean square slope estimate, derived for the nominal wave number range 40-100 rad/m, is then used to detect

  8. Current Trends in Satellite Laser Ranging

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2010-01-01

    Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) techniques are used to accurately measure the distance from ground stations to retroreflectors on satellites and the moon. SLR is one of the fundamental techniques that define the international Terrestrial Reference Frame (iTRF), which is the basis upon which we measure many aspects of global change over space, time, and evolving technology. It is one of the fundamental techniques that define at a level of precision of a few mm the origin and scale of the ITRF. Laser Ranging provides precision orbit determination and instrument calibration/validation for satellite-borne altimeters for the better understanding of sea level change, ocean dynamics, ice budget, and terrestrial topography. Laser ranging is also a tool to study the dynamics of the Moon and fundamental constants. Many of the GNSS satellites now carry retro-reflectors for improved orbit determination, harmonization of reference frames, and in-orbit co-location and system performance validation. The GNSS Constellations will be the means of making the reference frame available to worldwide users. Data and products from these measurements support key aspects of the GEOSS 10-Year implementation Plan adopted on February 16, 2005, The ITRF has been identified as a key contribution of the JAG to GEOSS and the ILRS makes a major contribution for its development since its foundation. The ILRS delivers weekly additional realizations that are accumulated sequentially to extend the ITRF and the Earth Orientation Parameter (EOP) series with a daily resolution. Additional products are currently under development such as precise orbits of satellites, EOP with daily availability, low-degree gravitational harmonics for studies of Earth dynamics and kinematics, etc. SLR technology continues to evolve toward the next generation laser ranging systems as programmatic requirements become more stringent. Ranging accuracy is improving as higher repetition rate, narrower pulse lasers and faster

  9. Air-sea interaction with SSM/I and altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1985-01-01

    A number of important developments in satellite remote sensing techniques have occurred recently which offer the possibility of studying over vast areas of the ocean the temporally evolving energy exchange between the ocean and the atmosphere. Commencing in spring of 1985, passive and active microwave sensors that can provide valuable data for scientific utilization will start to become operational on Department of Defense (DOD) missions. The passive microwave radiometer can be used to estimate surface wind speed, total air column humidity, and rain rate. The active radar, or altimeter, senses surface gravity wave height and surface wind speed.

  10. Interpreting Radar View near Mars' South Pole, Orbit 1334

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2006-01-01

    A radargram from the Shallow Subsurface Radar instrument (SHARAD) on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is shown in the upper-right panel and reveals detailed structure in the polar layered deposits of the south pole of Mars.

    The sounding radar collected the data presented here during orbit 1334 of the mission, on Nov. 8, 2006.

    The horizontal scale in the radargram is distance along the ground track. It can be referenced to the ground track map shown in the lower right. The radar traversed from about 75 to 85 degrees south latitude, or about 590 kilometers (370 miles). The ground track map shows elevation measured by the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter on NASA's Mars Global Surveyor orbiter. Green indicates low elevation; reddish-white indicates higher elevation. The traverse proceeds up onto a plateau formed by the layers.

    The vertical scale on the radargram is time delay of the radar signals reflected back to Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter from the surface and subsurface. For reference, using an assumed velocity of the radar waves in the subsurface, time is converted to depth below the surface at one place: about 1,500 meters (5,000 feet) to one of the deeper subsurface reflectors. The color scale varies from black for weak reflections to white for strong reflections.

    The middle panel shows mapping of the major subsurface reflectors, some of which can be traced for a distance of 100 kilometers (60 miles) or more. The layers are not all horizontal and the reflectors are not always parallel to one another. Some of this is due to variations in surface elevation, which produce differing velocity path lengths for different reflector depths. However, some of this behavior is due to spatial variations in the deposition and removal of material in the layered deposits, a result of the recent climate history of Mars.

    The Shallow Subsurface Radar was provided by the Italian Space Agency (ASI). Its operations are led by the University of Rome and its

  11. Interpreting Radar View near Mars' South Pole, Orbit 1360

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2006-01-01

    A radargram from the Shallow Subsurface Radar instrument (SHARAD) on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is shown in the upper-right panel and reveals detailed structure in the polar layered deposits of the south pole of Mars.

    The sounding radar collected the data presented here during orbit 1360 of the mission, on Nov. 10, 2006.

    The horizontal scale in the radargram is distance along the ground track. It can be referenced to the ground track map shown in the lower right. The radar traversed from about 74 degrees to 85 degrees south latitude, or about 650 kilometers (400 miles). The ground track map shows elevation measured by the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter on NASA's Mars Global Surveyor orbiter. Green indicates low elevation; reddish-white indicates higher elevation. The traverse proceeds up onto a plateau formed by the layers.

    The vertical scale on the radargram is time delay of the radar signals reflected back to Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter from the surface and subsurface. For reference, using an assumed velocity of the radar waves in the subsurface, time is converted to depth below the surface at one place: about 800 meters (2,600 feet) to one of the strongest subsurface reflectors. This reflector marks the base of the polar layered deposits. The color scale varies from black for weak reflections to white for strong reflections.

    The middle panel shows mapping of the major subsurface reflectors, some of which can be traced for a distance of 100 kilometers (60 miles) or more. The layering manifests the recent climate history of Mars, recorded by the deposition and removal of ice and dust.

    The Shallow Subsurface Radar was provided by the Italian Space Agency (ASI). Its operations are led by the University of Rome and its data are analyzed by a joint U.S.-Italian science team. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for the NASA Science

  12. Orbital stability in combined uniform axial and three-dimensional wiggler magnetic fields for free-electron lasers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnston, S.

    1984-01-01

    Zachary Phys. Rev. A 29 (6), 3224 (1984) recently analyzed the instability of relativistic-electron helical trajectories in combined uniform axial and helical wiggler magnetic fields when the radial variation of the wiggler field is taken into account. It is shown here that the type 2 instability comprised of secular terms growing linearly in time, identified by Zachary and earlier by Diament Phys. Rev. A 23 (5), 2537 (1981), is an artifact of simple perturbation theory. A multiple-time-scale perturbation analysis reveals a nonsecular evolution on a slower time scale which accommodates an arbitrary initial perturbation. It is shown that, in the absence of exponential instability, the electron seeks a modified helical orbit more appropriate to its perturbed state and oscillates stably about it. Thus, the perturbed motion is oscillatory but nonsecular, and hence the helical orbits are stable.

  13. Precision orbit determination for TOPEX/Poseidon using TDRSS Doppler tracking data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lerch, F. J.; Doll, C. E.; Marshall, J. A.; Luthcke, S. B.; Williamson, R. G.; Klosko, S. M.; McCarthy, J. J.; Eddy, W. F.

    1995-08-01

    Precision orbit determination on the TOPEX/Poseidon (T/P) altimeter satellite is now being routinely achieved with sub-5cm radial and sub-15 cm total positioning accuracy using state-of-the-art modeling with precision tracking provided by a combination of: (a) global Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) and Doppler Orbitography and Radiopositioning Integrated by Satellite (DORIS), or (b) the Global Positioning System (GPS) Constellation which provides pseudo-range and carrier phase observations. The geostationary Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS) satellites are providing the operational tracking and communication support for this mission. The TDRSS Doppler data are of high precision (0.3 mm/s nominal noise levels). Unlike other satellite missions supported operationally by TDRSS, T/P has high quality independent tracking which enables absolute orbit accuracy assessments. In addition, the T/P satellite provides extensive geometry for positioning a satellite at geostationary altitude, and thus the TDRSS-T/P data provides an excellent means for determining the TDRS orbits. Arc lengths of 7 and 10 days with varying degrees of T/P spacecraft attitude complexity are studied. Sub-meter T/P total positioning error is achieved when using the TDRSS range-rate data, with radial orbit errors of 10.6 cm and 15.5 cm RMS for the two arcs studied. Current limitations in the TDRSS precision orbit determination capability include mismodeling of numerous TDRSS satellite-specific dynamic and electronic effects, and in the inadequate treatment of the propagation delay and bending arising from the wet troposphere and ionosphere.

  14. 77 FR 3323 - Airborne Radar Altimeter Equipment (For Air Carrier Aircraft)

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-01-23

    ... Doc No: 2012-1243] DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration Airborne Radar...: Notice of intent to cancel Technical Standard Order (TSO)-C67, Airborne Radar Altimeter Equipment (For... Radar Altimeter Equipment (For Air Carrier Aircraft). The effect of the cancelled TSO will result in...

  15. 14 CFR 29.1325 - Static pressure and pressure altimeter systems.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Static pressure and pressure altimeter...: Installation § 29.1325 Static pressure and pressure altimeter systems. (a) Each instrument with static air case.... (c) Each static pressure port must be designed and located in such manner that the...

  16. 14 CFR 29.1325 - Static pressure and pressure altimeter systems.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Static pressure and pressure altimeter...: Installation § 29.1325 Static pressure and pressure altimeter systems. (a) Each instrument with static air case.... (c) Each static pressure port must be designed and located in such manner that the...

  17. 14 CFR 29.1325 - Static pressure and pressure altimeter systems.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Static pressure and pressure altimeter...: Installation § 29.1325 Static pressure and pressure altimeter systems. (a) Each instrument with static air case.... (c) Each static pressure port must be designed and located in such manner that the...

  18. 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...

  19. 14 CFR 29.1325 - Static pressure and pressure altimeter systems.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Static pressure and pressure altimeter...: Installation § 29.1325 Static pressure and pressure altimeter systems. (a) Each instrument with static air case.... (c) Each static pressure port must be designed and located in such manner that the...

  20. 14 CFR 91.411 - Altimeter system and altitude reporting equipment tests and inspections.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... introduced, the integrated system has been tested, inspected, and found to comply with paragraph (c... 14 Aeronautics and Space 2 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Altimeter system and altitude reporting... RULES Maintenance, Preventive Maintenance, and Alterations § 91.411 Altimeter system and...

  1. End-to-end design consideration of a radar altimeter for terrain-aided navigation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chun, Joohwan; Choi, Sanghyouk; Paek, Inchan; Park, Dongmin; Yoo, Kyungju

    2013-10-01

    We present a preliminary simulation study of an interferometric SAR altimeter for the terrain-aided navigation application. Our simulation includes raw SAR data generation, azimuth compression, leading edge detection of the echo signal, maximum likelihood angle estimation and the Bayesian state estimation. Sour results show that radar altimeter performance can be improved with the feedback loop from the rear-end navigation part.

  2. GEOS-C altimeter attitude bias error correction. [gate-tracking radar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marini, J. W.

    1974-01-01

    A pulse-limited split-gate-tracking radar altimeter was flown on Skylab and will be used aboard GEOS-C. If such an altimeter were to employ a hypothetical isotropic antenna, the altimeter output would be independent of spacecraft orientation. To reduce power requirements the gain of the altimeter antenna proposed is increased to the point where its beamwidth is only a few degrees. The gain of the antenna consequently varies somewhat over the pulse-limited illuminated region of the ocean below the altimeter, and the altimeter output varies with antenna orientation. The error introduced into the altimeter data is modeled empirically, but close agreements with the expected errors was not realized. The attitude error effects expected with the GEOS-C altimeter are modelled using a form suggested by an analytical derivation. The treatment is restricted to the case of a relatively smooth sea, where the height of the ocean waves are small relative to the spatial length (pulse duration times speed of light) of the transmitted pulse.

  3. SEAHT: A computer program for the use of intersecting arcs of altimeter data for sea surface height refinement

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Allen, C. P.; Martin, C. F.

    1977-01-01

    The SEAHT program is designed to process multiple passes of altimeter data with intersecting ground tracks, with the estimation of corrections for orbital errors to each pass such that the data has the best overall agreement at the crossover points. Orbit error for each pass is modeled as a polynomial in time, with optional orders of 0, 1, or 2. One or more passes may be constrained in the adjustment process, thus allowing passes with the best orbits to provide the overall level and orientation of the estimated sea surface heights. Intersections which disagree by more than an input edit level are not used in the error parameter estimation. In the program implementation, passes are grouped into South-North passes and North-South passes, with the North-South passes partitioned out for the estimation of orbit error parameters. Computer core utilization is thus dependent on the number of parameters estimated for the set of South-North arcs, but is independent on the number of North-South passes. Estimated corrections for each pass are applied to the data at its input data rate and an output tape is written which contains the corrected data.

  4. 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.

  5. Improved resolution rain measurements from spaceborne radar altimeters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Goldhirsh, J.; Monaldo, F. M.

    1984-01-01

    Rain measurement of the type described here are considered vital from the standpoint of representing a flag for altimeter data that may be corrupted by rain. It also provides sorely needed rain data over the oceans where little or no such data is available. It is demonstrated that improved resolution measurements of precipitation may be obtained from satellite borne radars with antenna beams having relatively large surface footprints. The method employs deconvolution and Fourier transform procedures, and assumes a knowledge of the antenna beam pattern. As an example, the technique is specifically directed towards the application of future spaceborne radar altimeters which may contain additional range gates to enable the measurement of rain at altitude. It is demonstrated that because of the natural variability of rain in the lateral extent, the standard beam averaging over the footprint could easily produce erroneous interpretations of the intensity of rain and its extent. On the other hand, many of these ambiguities may be removed employing the deconvolution techniques described.

  6. User's guide: Programs for processing altimeter data over inland seas

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Au, A. Y.; Brown, R. D.; Welker, J. E.

    1989-01-01

    The programs described were developed to process GEODYN-formatted satellite altimeter data, and to apply the processed results to predict geoid undulations and gravity anomalies of inland sea areas. These programs are written in standard FORTRAN 77 and are designed to run on the NSESCC IBM 3081(MVS) computer. Because of the experimental nature of these programs they are tailored to the geographical area analyzed. The attached program listings are customized for processing the altimeter data over the Black Sea. Users interested in the Caspian Sea data are expected to modify each program, although the required modifications are generally minor. Program control parameters are defined in the programs via PARAMETER statements and/or DATA statements. Other auxiliary parameters, such as labels, are hard-wired into the programs. Large data files are read in or written out through different input or output units. The program listings of these programs are accompanied by sample IBM job control language (JCL) images. Familiarity with IBM JCL and the TEMPLATE graphic package is assumed.

  7. NASA Ocean Altimeter Pathfinder Project. Report 2; Data Set Validation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Koblinsky, C. J.; Ray, Richard D.; Beckley, Brian D.; Bremmer, Anita; Tsaoussi, Lucia S.; Wang, Yan-Ming

    1999-01-01

    The NOAA/NASA Pathfinder program was created by the Earth Observing System (EOS) Program Office to determine how existing satellite-based data sets can be processed and used to study global change. The data sets are designed to be long time-series data processed with stable calibration and community consensus algorithms to better assist the research community. The Ocean Altimeter Pathfinder Project involves the reprocessing of all altimeter observations with a consistent set of improved algorithms, based on the results from TOPEX/POSEIDON (T/P), into easy-to-use data sets for the oceanographic community for climate research. Details are currently presented in two technical reports: Report# 1: Data Processing Handbook Report #2: Data Set Validation This report describes the validation of the data sets against a global network of high quality tide gauge measurements and provides an estimate of the error budget. The first report describes the processing schemes used to produce the geodetic consistent data set comprised of SEASAT, GEOSAT, ERS-1, TOPEX/ POSEIDON, and ERS-2 satellite observations.

  8. Geodetic Mobil Solar Spectrometer for JASON Altimeter Satellite Calibration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Somieski, A.; Buerki, B.; Geiger, A.; Kahle, H.-G.; Becker-Ross, H.; Florek, S.; Okruss, M.

    Atmospheric water vapor is a crucial factor in achieving highest accuracies for space geodetic measurements. Water vapor causes a delay of the propagation time of the altimeter satellite signal, which propagates into errors for the determination of surface heights. Knowledge of the precipitable water vapor (PW) enables a tropospheric correction of the satellite signal. Therefore, different remote sensing techniques have been pursued to measure the PW continuously. The prototype Geodetic Mobil Solar Spectrometer (GEMOSS) was developed at the Geodesy and Geodynamics Laboratory (GGL, ETH Zurich) in cooperation with the Institute of Spectrochemistry and Applied Spectroscopy (ISAS) (Berlin, Germany). A new optical approach allows the simultaneous measurement of numerous single absorption lines of water vapor in the wide range between 728 nm and 915 nm. The large number of available absorption lines increases the accuracy of the absolute PW retrievals considerably. GEMOSS has been deployed during two campaigns in Greece in the framework of the EU-project GAVDOS, which deals with the calibration of the altimeter satellite JASON. During the overfly of JASON, the ground-based determination of PW enables the correction of the satellite measurements due to tropospheric water vapor. Comparisons with radiometer and radiosondes data allow to assess the accuracy and reliability of GEMOSS. The instrumental advancement of GEMOSS is presented together with the results of the campaigns carried out.

  9. Correction of single frequency altimeter measurements for ionosphere delay

    SciTech Connect

    Schreiner, W.S.; Markin, R.E.; Born, G.H.

    1997-03-01

    Satellite altimetry has become a very powerful tool for the study of ocean circulation and variability and provides data for understanding important issues related to climate and global change. This study is a preliminary analysis of the accuracy of various ionosphere models to correct single frequency altimeter height measurements for ionospheric path delay. In particular, research focused on adjusting empirical and parameterized ionosphere models in the parameterized real-time ionospheric specification model (PRISM) 1.2 using total electron content (TEC) data from the global positioning system (GPS). The types of GPS data used to adjust PRISM included GPS line-of-sight (LOS) TEC data mapped to the vertical, and a grid of GPS derived TEC data in a sun-fixed longitude frame. The adjusted PRISM TEC values, as well as predictions by IRI-90, a climatological model, were compared to TOPEX/Poseidon (T/P) TEC measurements form the dual-frequency altimeter for a number of T/P tracks. When adjusted with GPS LOS data, the PRISM empirical model predicted TEC over 24 1 h data sets for a given local time to within a global error of 8.60 TECU rms during a midnight centered ionosphere and 9.74 TECU rms during a noon centered ionosphere. Using GPS derived sun-fixed TEC data, the PRISM parameterized model predicted TEC within an error of 8.47 TECU rms centered at midnight and 12.83 TECU rms centered at noon.

  10. GFO-1 Geophysical Data Record and Orbit Verifications for Global Change Studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shum, C. K.

    2000-01-01

    This final report summarizes the research work conducted under NASA's Physical Oceanography Program, entitled, GFO-1 Geophysical Data Record And Orbit Verifications For Global Change Studies, for the investigation time period from December 1, 1997 through November 30, 2000. The primary objectives of the investigation include providing verification and improvement for the precise orbit, media, geophysical, and instrument corrections to accurately reduce U.S. Navy's Geosat-Followon-1 (GFO-1) mission radar altimeter data to sea level measurements. The status of the GFO satellite (instrument and spacecraft operations, orbital tracking and altimeter) is summarized. GFO spacecraft has been accepted by the Navy from Ball Aerospace and has been declared operational since November, 2000. We have participated in four official GFO calibration/validation periods (Cal/Val I-IV), spanning from June 1999 through October 2000. Results of verification of the GFO orbit and geophysical data record measurements both from NOAA (IGDR) and from the Navy (NGDR) are reported. Our preliminary results indicate that: (1) the precise orbit (GSFC and OSU) can be determined to approx. 5 - 6 cm rms radially using SLR and altimeter crossovers; (2) estimated GFO MOE (GSFC or NRL) radial orbit accuracy is approx. 7 - 30 cm and Operational Doppler orbit accuracy is approx. 60 - 350 cm. After bias and tilt adjustment (1000 km arc), estimated Doppler orbit accuracy is approx. 1.2 - 6.5 cm rms and the MOE accuracy is approx. 1.0 - 2.3 cm; (3) the geophysical and media corrections have been validated versus in situ measurements and measurements from other operating altimeters (T/P and ERS-2). Altimeter time bias is insignificant with 0-2 ms. Sea state bias is about approx. 3 - 4.5% of SWH. Wet troposphere correction has approx. 1 cm bias and approx. 3 cm rms when compared with ERS-2 data. Use of GIM and IRI95 provide ionosphere correction accurate to 2-3 cm rms during medium to high solar activities; (4

  11. The 1997 Spring Regression of the Martian South Polar Cap: Mars Orbiter Camera Observations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    James, P.B.; Cantor, B.A.; Malin, M.C.; Edgett, K.; Carr, M.H.; Danielson, G.E.; Ingersoll, A.P.; Davies, M.E.; Hartmann, W.K.; McEwen, A.S.; Soderblom, L.A.; Thomas, P.C.; Veverka, J.

    2000-01-01

    The Mars Orbiter cameras (MOC) on Mars Global Surveyor observed the south polar cap of Mars during its spring recession in 1997. The images acquired by the wide angle cameras reveal a pattern of recession that is qualitatively similar to that observed by Viking in 1977 but that does differ in at least two respects. The 1977 recession in the 0o to 120o longitude sector was accelerated relative to the 1997 observations after LS = 240o; the Mountains of Mitchel also detached from the main cap earlier in 1997. Comparison of the MOC images with Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter data shows that the Mountains of Mitchel feature is controlled by local topography. Relatively dark, low albedo regions well within the boundaries of the seasonal cap were observed to have red-to-violet ratios that characterize them as frost units rather than unfrosted or partially frosted ground; this suggests the possibility of regions covered by CO2 frost having different grain sizes.

  12. Orbital cellulitis

    MedlinePlus

    ... hemolytic streptococci may also cause orbital cellulitis. Orbital cellulitis infections in children may get worse very quickly and ... in the space around the eye. An orbital cellulitis infection can get worse very quickly. A person with ...

  13. Jupiter Magnetospheric Orbiter and Trojan Asteroid Explorer in EJSM

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sasaki, Sho; Fujimoto, Masaki; Yano, Hajime; Takashima, Takeshi; Kasaba, Yasumasa; Funase, Ryu; Tsuda, Yuichi; Kawaguchi, Junichiro; Kawakatsu, Yasuhiro; Mori, Osamu; Morimoto, Mutsuko; Yoshida, Fumi; Takato, Naruhisa

    The international mission to explore the Jovian system is planned as Europa Jupiter System Mission (EJSM) aiming at the launch in 2020. EJSM consists of (1) the Jupiter Europa Orbiter (JEO) by NASA, (2) the Jupiter Ganymede Orbiter (JGO) by ESA, and (3) the Jupiter Magnetospheric Orbiter (JMO) studied by JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency). In February 2009, NASA and ESA decided to continue the study of EJSM as a candidate of the outer solar system mission. In JAXA, a mission plan combining Trojan asteroid explorer with JMO started. According to the mission plan, as the main spacecraft flies by Jupiter, it will deploy the JMO satellite around Jupiter. Then the main will target one (or two) Trojan asteroids. JMO is a spin-stabilized satellite which will have magnetometers, low-energy plasma spectrome-ters, medium energy particle detectors, energetic particle detectors, electric field / plasma wave instruments, an ENA imager, an EUV spectrometer, and a dust detector. Collaborating with plasma instruments on board JEO and JGO, JMO will investigate the fast-rotating huge mag-netosphere to clarify the energy procurement from the rotation of Jupiter to the magnetosphere and to clarify the interaction between the solar wind and the magnetosphere. JAXA started the study of a solar power sail for deep space explorations. In addition to the function of a solar sail (photon propulsion), the solar power sail system has very efficient ion engines where electric power is produced solar panels within the sail. Currently we are studying a mission to Jupiter and Trojan asteroids using a large (100m-scale) solar power sail that can transfer large payload as far as Jupiter. Trojan asteroids, which orbit around Jupiter's Lagrangian points, are primitive bodies with information of the early solar system as well as raw solid materials of Jovian system. Proposed instruments for the Trojan spacecraft are cameras, IR spectrometers, XRS, a laser altimeter, and a small surface rover

  14. MESSENGER at Mercury: Early orbital operations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McNutt, Ralph L.; Solomon, Sean C.; Bedini, Peter D.; Anderson, Brian J.; Blewett, David T.; Evans, Larry G.; Gold, Robert E.; Krimigis, Stamatios M.; Murchie, Scott L.; Nittler, Larry R.; Phillips, Roger J.; Prockter, Louise M.; Slavin, James A.; Zuber, Maria T.; Finnegan, Eric J.; Grant, David G.; MESSENGER Team

    2014-01-01

    angles. Targeted areas have been selected for spectral coverage into the ultraviolet with the Ultraviolet and Visible Spectrometer (UVVS). MESSENGER's Mercury Laser Altimeter is acquiring topographic profiles when the slant range to Mercury's surface is less than 1800 km, encompassing latitudes from 20°S to the north pole. Topography over the remainder of the southern hemisphere will be derived from stereo imaging, radio occultations, and limb profiles. MESSENGER's radio science experiment is determining Mercury's gravity field from Doppler signals acquired during frequent downlinks. MESSENGER's Magnetometer is measuring the vector magnetic field both within Mercury's magnetosphere and in Mercury's solar wind environment at an instrument sampling rate of up to 20 samples/s. The UVVS is determining the three-dimensional, time-dependent distribution of Mercury's exospheric neutral and ionic species via their emission lines. During each spacecraft orbit, the Energetic Particle Spectrometer measures energetic electrons and ions, and the Fast Imaging Plasma Spectrometer measures the energies and mass per charge of thermal plasma components, both within Mercury's magnetosphere and in Mercury's solar-wind environment. The primary mission observation sequence will continue for one Earth year, until March 2012. An extended mission, currently under discussion with NASA, would add a second year of orbital observations targeting a set of focused follow-on questions that build on observations to date and take advantage of the more active Sun expected during 2012-2013. MESSENGER's total primary mission cost, projected at $446 M in real-year dollars, is comparable to that of Mariner 10 after adjustment for inflation.

  15. MESSENGER at Mercury: Early Orbital Operations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McNutt, Ralph L., Jr.; Solomon, Sean C.; Bedini, Peter D.; Anderson, Brian J.; Blewett, David T.; Evans, Larry G.; Gold, Robert E.; Krimigis, Stamatios M.; Murchie, Scott L.; Nittler, Larry R.; Slavin, James A.

    2012-01-01

    . Targeted areas have been selected for spectral coverage into the ultraviolet with the Ultraviolet and Visible Spectrometer (UVVS). MESSENGER's Mercury Laser Altimeter is acquiring topographic profiles when the slant range to Mercury's surface is less than 1800 km, encompassing latitudes from 201S to the north pole. Topography over the remainder of the southern hemisphere will be derived from stereo imaging, radio occultations, and limb profiles. MESSENGER's radio science experiment is determining Mercury's gravity field from Doppler signals acquired during frequent downlinks. MESSENGER's Magnetometer is measuring the vector magnetic field both within Mercury's magnetosphere and in Mercury's solar wind environment at an instrument sampling rate of up to 20 samples/s. The UVVS is determining the three-dimensional, time-dependent distribution of Mercury's exospheric neutral and ionic species via their emission lines. During each spacecraft orbit, the Energetic Particle Spectrometer measures energetic electrons and ions, and the Fast Imaging Plasma Spectrometer measures the energies and mass per charge of thermal plasma components, both within Mercury's magnetosphere and in Mercury's solar-wind environment. The primary mission observation sequence will continue for one Earth year, until March 2012. An extended mission, currently under discussion with NASA, would add a second year of orbital observations targeting a set of focused follow-on questions that build on observations to date and take advantage of the more active Sun expected during 2012-2013. MESSENGER's total primary mission cost, projected at $446 M in real-year dollars, is comparable to that of Mariner 10 after adjustment for inflation.

  16. MESSENGER at Mercury: Early Orbital Operations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McNutt, Ralph L., Jr; Solomon, Sean C.; Bedini, Peter D.; Anderson, Brian J.; Blewett, David T.; Evans, Larry G.; Gold, Robert E.; Krimigis, Stamatios M.; Murchie, Scott L.; Nittler, Larry R.; Philips, Roger J.; Prockter, Louise M.; Slavin, James A.; Zuber, M. T.; Finnegan, Eric J.; Grant, David G.

    2013-01-01

    angles. Targeted areas have been selected for spectral coverage into the ultraviolet with the Ultraviolet and Visible Spectrometer (UVVS). MESSENGER's Mercury Laser Altimeter is acquiring topographic profiles when the slant range to Mercury's surface is less than 1800 km, encompassing latitudes from 20 deg. S to the north pole. Topography over the remainder of the southern hemisphere will be derived from stereo imaging, radio occultations, and limb profiles. MESSENGER's radio science experiment is determining Mercury's gravity field from Doppler signals acquired during frequent downlinks. MESSENGER's Magnetometer is measuring the vector magnetic field both within Mercury's magnetosphere and in Mercury's solar wind environment at an instrument sampling rate of up to 20 samples/s. The UVVS is determining the three-dimensional, time-dependent distribution of Mercury's exospheric neutral and ionic species via their emission lines. During each spacecraft orbit, the Energetic Particle Spectrometer measures energetic electrons and ions, and the Fast Imaging Plasma Spectrometer measures the energies and mass per charge of thermal plasma components, both within Mercury's magnetosphere and in Mercury's solar-wind environment. The primary mission observation sequence will continue for one Earth year, until March 2012. An extended mission, currently under discussion with NASA, would add a second year of orbital observations targeting a set of focused follow-on questions that build on observations to date and take advantage of the more active Sun expected during 2012-2013. MESSENGER's total primary mission cost, projected at $446 M in real-year dollars, is comparable to that of Mariner 10 after adjustment for inflation.

  17. Analysis and interpretation of Cassini Titan radar altimeter echoes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zebker, Howard A.; Gim, Yonggyu; Callahan, Philip; Hensley, Scott; Lorenz, Ralph; Cassini Radar Team

    2009-03-01

    The Cassini spacecraft has acquired 25 radar altimeter elevation profiles along Titan's surface as of April 2008, and we have analyzed 18 of these for which there are currently reconstructed ephemeris data. Altimeter measurements were collected at spatial footprint sizes from 6-60 km along ground tracks of length 400-3600 km. The elevation profiles yield topographic information at this resolution with a statistical height accuracy of 35-50 m and kilometer-scale errors several times greater. The data exhibit significant variations in terrain, from flat regions with little topographic expression to very rugged Titanscapes. The bandwidth of the transmitted waveform admits vertical resolution of the terrain height to 35 m at each observed location on the surface. Variations in antenna pointing and changes in surface statistics cause the range-compressed radar echoes to exhibit strong systematic and time-variable biases of hundreds of meters in delay. It is necessary to correct the received echoes for these changes, and we have derived correction algorithms such that the derived echo profiles are accurate at the 100 m level for off-nadir pointing errors of 0.3° and 0.6°, for leading edge and echo centroid estimators, respectively. The leading edge of the echo yields the elevation of the highest points on the surface, which we take to be the peaks of any terrain variation. The mean value of the echo delay is more representative of the mean elevation, so that the difference of these values gives an estimate of any local mountain heights. Finding locations where these values diverge indicates higher-relief terrain. Elevation features are readily seen in the height profiles. Several of the passes show mountains of several hundred m altitude, spread over 10's or even 100's of km in spatial extent, so that slopes are very small. Large expanses of sub-100 m topography are commonplace on Titan, so it is rather smooth in many locations. Other areas exhibit more relief

  18. Development and Fabrication of a Space Hardened Nd(3+) YAG Laser Transmitter System for Orbital Range and Altitude Control

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1975-05-06

    Report: May 6, 1975- Contract MoniL ’r: Dr. Steven Melman Prepared for: N..ýval Research Laboratory .L 4553- Overlook Avenue S. W. Washington, D. C...time the crystalI. growing technology does not produce reliable crystals and the ever- present twining tendency of the VALO host increases the risk...therefore the penalty , especially in "Q" switched operation is a lower output limit. -19- From the state of the art of the laser technology e know that a

  19. Precision orbit determination for the GEOSAT exact repeat mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, J. C.; Ries, J. C.; Shum, C. K.; Schutz, B. E.; Tapley, B. D.

    The Navy's Geodetic Satellite (GEOSAT) was launched on March 12, 1985, carrying a single-frequency microwave altimeter which measures the height of the satellite above the ocean surface to a precision of a few centimeters. The GEOSAT Exact Repeat Mission (ERM), which was initiated in November of 1986, placed the spacecraft in an exact 17 day repeat orbit. The Geophysical Data Records (GDR) for the ERM are available to the scientific community. GEOSAT is tracked by the Navy's OPNET and the Defense Mapping Agency's TRANET doppler tracking systems. The GDR orbits are computed using the OPNET tracking data and have an rms radial accuracy of one to two meters. The initial eighty days of the TRANET data during the ERM were made available for the assessment of the TRANET tracking system to perform precision orbit determination for the Topex/Poseidon Mission. This data was used to compute GEOSAT orbits using an improved gravity model which has been developed as part of the Topex gravity model improvement effort. Accuracy of the orbit was evaluated using altimeter crossover data. For a continuous 17 day GEOSAT orbit, the global crossover rms is at the 35 cm level, which suggests a radial orbit accuracy also on the order of 35 cm.

  20. Global mean sea surface computation based upon a combination of SEASAT and GEOS-3 satellite altimeter data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marsh, J. G.; Koblinsky, C. J.; Brenner, A.; Beckley, B.; Martin, T.

    1985-01-01

    A mean sea surface map was computed for the global ocean areas between 70 deg N latitude and 62 deg S latitude based upon the 70 day SEASAT and 3.5 year GEOS-3 altimeter data sets. The mean sea surface is presented in the form of a global contour map and a 0.25 deg x 0.25 deg grid. A combination of regional adjustments based upon crossover techniques and the subsequent adjustment of the regional solutions into a global reference system was employed in order to minimize the effects of radial orbit error. A global map of the crossover residuals after the crossover adjustments are made is in good agreement with earlier mesoscale variability contour maps based upon the last month of SEASAT collinear data. This high level of agreement provides good evidence that relative orbit error was removed to the decimeter level on a regional basis. This represents a significant improvement over our previous maps which contained patterns, particularly in the central Pacific, which were due to radial orbit error. Long wavelength, basin scale errors are still present with a submeter amplitude due to errors in the PGS-S4 gravity model. Such errors can only be removed through the improvement of the Earth's gravity model and associated geodetic parameters.

  1. Reconfigurable Computing As an Enabling Technology for Single-Photon-Counting Laser Altimetry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Powell, Wesley; Hicks, Edward; Pinchinat, Maxime; Dabney, Philip; McGarry, Jan; Murray, Paul

    2003-01-01

    Single-photon-counting laser altimetry is a new measurement technique offering significant advantages in vertical resolution, reducing instrument size, mass, and power, and reducing laser complexity as compared to analog or threshold detection laser altimetry techniques. However, these improvements come at the cost of a dramatically increased requirement for onboard real-time data processing. Reconfigurable computing has been shown to offer considerable performance advantages in performing this processing. These advantages have been demonstrated on the Multi-KiloHertz Micro-Laser Altimeter (MMLA), an aircraft based single-photon-counting laser altimeter developed by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center with several potential spaceflight applications. This paper describes how reconfigurable computing technology was employed to perform MMLA data processing in real-time under realistic operating constraints, along with the results observed. This paper also expands on these prior results to identify concepts for using reconfigurable computing to enable spaceflight single-photon-counting laser altimeter instruments.

  2. Advanced application flight experiment breadboard pulse compression radar altimeter program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1976-01-01

    Design, development and performance of the pulse compression radar altimeter is described. The high resolution breadboard system is designed to operate from an aircraft at 10 Kft above the ocean and to accurately measure altitude, sea wave height and sea reflectivity. The minicomputer controlled Ku band system provides six basic variables and an extensive digital recording capability for experimentation purposes. Signal bandwidths of 360 MHz are obtained using a reflective array compression line. Stretch processing is used to achieve 1000:1 pulse compression. The system range command LSB is 0.62 ns or 9.25 cm. A second order altitude tracker, aided by accelerometer inputs is implemented in the system software. During flight tests the system demonstrated an altitude resolution capability of 2.1 cm and sea wave height estimation accuracy of 10%. The altitude measurement performance exceeds that of the Skylab and GEOS-C predecessors by approximately an order of magnitude.

  3. Biharmonic spline interpolation of GEOS-3 and Seasat altimeter data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sandwell, David T.

    1987-01-01

    An algorithm is presented for determining the minimum curvature surface passing through a set of nonuniformly spaced data points. The curve is generated as a linear combination of Green functions for the biharmonic operator at each data point, with the amplitudes of the functions adjusted so that the interpolating surfaces passes through each point. The function passing through the points can be regarded as a spline to which point forces are applied, defining the minimum curvature between the points. The technique was used to combine the along track slopes of the GEOS-3 and Seasat altimeter data into a consistent geoid height map of the Caribbean area, covering 0.5 million data points in the process. Sample images are provided and new topographic features that are revealed are discussed.

  4. The spectrum of the geoid from altimeter data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wagner, C. A.

    1977-01-01

    A variety of sources of detailed information has been analyzed to arrive at a geoid power spectrum from global altimeter data. Using the equivalent of only two revolutions of data (mostly from GEOS-3) from all the major oceans, the high frequency geoid power (rms) is estimated (most simply) to be 80.7 n to the minus 1.47th power meters, where n is in cycles/global revolutions. This law is valid for all frequencies above 19 cycles but includes sea state. The (simple) law has more power than predicted by Kaula's rule for the geopotential. However, the data shows significantly less power for frequencies below 100 cycles. A closer approximation to the altimetry accumulates 2.18m (rss) for all frequencies higher than 19 cycles/rev. (including sea state), somewhat less power than predicted by the rule. The data permits up to 1.25 (rms) non-gravitational departures from the high frequency marine geoid.

  5. DTED Integrity Monitoring Using Differential GPS and Radar Altimeter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Young, Steve; deHaag, Maarten Uijt; Gray, Robert

    2007-01-01

    This paper discusses a real-time digital terrain elevation data (DTED) integrity monitor for Civil Aviation applications. Providing pilots with Synthetic Vision (SV) displays containing terrain information has the potential to improve flight safety by improving situational awareness and thereby reducing the likelihood of Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT). Utilization of the DTED for flight-critical terrain-displays, however, requires a DTED integrity check and timely integrity alerts to the pilots in those cases where DTED may provide hazardous misleading information. The discussed integrity monitor checks the consistency between the sensed terrain profile as computed from DGPS and radar altimeter data and the terrain profile as given by the DTED. Probability of agreement between these two profiles is used to monitor the DTED integrity. A case study to verify the integrity monitor#s performance is presented based on data collected during flight testing performed by NASA at Asheville, NC.

  6. Observation of mesoscale ocean currents from GEOSAT altimeter data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naeije, M. C.; Wakker, K. F.; Scharroo, R.; Ambrosius, B. A. C.

    This paper discusses an altimeter data processing technique designed to compute time series of the mesoscale dynamic sea surface and to produce mean sea surfaces and surface variability. The technique has been applied to GEOSAT data collected over the North and South Atlantic and the South Indian Ocean. The computed mean sea surfaces show a high correlation with ocean bottom topography, whereas the variability is found to be associated with mesoscale ocean currents. High variability levels are spotted near the Gulfstream Extension and the Agulhas Return Current. Detailed examination of the sea surface and related flow field time series made it possible to identify a large number of eddies and to keep track of them in both the nort-west and south-east Atlantic. Additionally, some of the eddy characteristics have been resolved such as translation and swirl velocity. It is found that the eddy motion is affected by ocean bottom slopes.

  7. 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 Rada