Laser beaming demonstrations at the Starfire Optical Range

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The ability to acquire, track, and accurately direct a laser beam to a satellite is crucial for power-beaming and laser-communications. To assess the state of the art in this area, a team consisting of Air Force Phillips Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, and COMSAT Corporation personnel performed some laser beaming demonstrations to various satellites. A ruby laser and a frequency-doubled YAG laser were used with the Phillips Lab Starfire Optical Range (SOR) beam director for this activity. The ruby laser projected 20 J in 6 ms out the telescope with a beam divergence that increased from 1.4 to 4 times the ... continued below

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12 p.

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Lipinski, R.J.; Meister, D.C.; Tucker, S.; Leatherman, P.; Fugate, R.Q.; Maes, C. et al. March 1, 1995.

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This article is part of the collection entitled: Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports and was provided by UNT Libraries Government Documents Department to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 18 times , with 5 in the last month . More information about this article can be viewed below.

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  • Sandia National Laboratories
    Publisher Info: Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States)
    Place of Publication: Albuquerque, New Mexico

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Description

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

Physical Description

12 p.

Notes

OSTI as DE95007747

Source

  • SPIE `95: SPIE conference on optics, electro-optics, and laser application in science, engineering and medicine, San Jose, CA (United States), 5-14 Feb 1995

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  • Other: DE95007747
  • Report No.: SAND--94-2002C
  • Report No.: CONF-950226--43
  • Grant Number: AC04-94AL85000
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 69315
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc704414

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  • March 1, 1995

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  • Sept. 12, 2015, 6:31 a.m.

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  • April 14, 2016, 8:36 p.m.

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Lipinski, R.J.; Meister, D.C.; Tucker, S.; Leatherman, P.; Fugate, R.Q.; Maes, C. et al. Laser beaming demonstrations at the Starfire Optical Range, article, March 1, 1995; Albuquerque, New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc704414/: accessed August 16, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.