Restricted Satellite Tracking

There are some satellites in the list of missions supported by the ILRS that must (or can) only be tracked by laser ranging under certain restrictions or conditions:

  • The corner cubes may not be visible under certain geometric conditions. Tracking outside the effective pass interval does not harm the satellite but no returns are possible.
  • Some satellites are equipped with optical sensors that may be damaged by the SLR laser beam if the station is within the field of view of this optical sensor.
  • The level of power some satellites' detectors can handle is limited. The station must reduce the power delivered to the satellite detectors to a safe level or forgo ranging the satellite.

The ILRS has developed a restricted tracking policy and characterized how ILRS stations can handle these restrictions.