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13th International Laser Ranging Workshop
"Toward Millimeter Accuracy"

Advanced Systems and Techniques (B. Greene and T. Murphy)
Session Summary

Title Primary Author
Millimeter Ranging Accuracy -- The Bottleneck Ivan Prochazka
SLR2000: Progress and Future Applications John Degnan
Optimization of the Correlation Range Receiver Parameters in SLR2000 John Degnan
Overview of Data for the SLR2000 Tracking Mount Performance Testing Donald Patterson
Laser Tracking of Space Debris Ben Greene
Installing TIGO in Concepcion Stefan Riepl
The MLRO Project: a Status Report Giuseppe Bianco
Photon-Counting Airborne Microlaser Altimeter John Degnan
Time Transfer by Laser Link Etienne Samain
A satellite laser ranging system based on a micro-chip laser Jun Amagai

This session gave us a glimpse at some of the laser ranging systems and issues of the future. The presentations are summarized as follows:

  • Ivan Prochazka presented ideas relating to the bottleneck in achieving millimeter random error. The current state of the art appears to be 2-3 millimeters, though the obvious sources account for only about 1 millimeter. Possible contributors were outlined, including near vs. far-field calibration differences, asymmetric up-link/down-link paths, etc.
  • John Degnan gave an overview of the SLR2000 system, which we visited on Wednesday night, and found to be almost operational. Unique features include a 2 kHz microchip eye-safe laser, interplanetary range capability, and fully automated operation complete with "smart" weather monitoring.
  • John Degnan went on to describe a sophisticated, optimized search algorithm for locating the return range signal in the low signal-to-noise regime, largely based on optimized, iterative binning techniques. A poster by Degnan demonstrated this technique in action as applied to an airborne ranging instrument looking at the ground in daylight.
  • Don Patterson presented the performance of the SLR2000 mount, showing that the system meets its system specification of 1 arcsecond pointing error at slew rates of 5 degrees per second.
  • Ben Greene presented a laser ranging system capable of acquiring very small non-cooperative targets, and operating in very hostile environments. Initial tracking is underway, with future expansion supporting a large cataloging effort expected in 2003.
  • Stefan Riepl documented the testing, disassembly, and shipment of the TIGO system to Chile. Here, the laser ranging capability joins a wide variety of other geodetic instruments. The South American location is very important to the global distribution of SLR stations.
  • Giuseppe Bianco showed numerous results from the MLRO station, which was undergoing final acceptance as he spoke. The system met all benchmark goals, with outstanding SLR performance, in addition to lunar acquisition.
  • Etienne Samain displayed a poster on the time transfer by laser link (T2L2), citing an ultimate ability to stabilize ground clock performance to 3 parts in 10^17 over ten days. This technique also has important implications for interplanetary laser ranging.
  • Hiroo Kunimari presented a poster on a microchip laser for SLR use.


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Last Updated: February 23, 2024



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