FEASIBILITY OF TECHNIQUES FOR A DOPPLER OPTICAL NAVIGATOR.
Final rept. for Jun 63-Jun 64,
RADIO CORP OF AMERICA CAMDEN N J
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The objective of this program was to determine the feasibility of novel laser techniques for Doppler optical navigation. The ultimate performance goal is the measurement of ground speed of a satellite, traveling at a velocity of 10,000 meters per second at an altitude of 300 miles, with an accuracy of 5 meters per second. Either of two approaches can be used to instrument a Doppler optical navigator--the continuous-wave approach or the subcarrier approach. The results of the investigation of the subcarrier reveal that it offers a potential advantage over a microwave system for high-altitude applications, but at the present state of the art the laser transmitter power required at these altitudes cannot be realized. For low-altitude applications the subcarrier approach offers no great advantage over conventional microwave systems. However, for applications such as orbital rendezvous, where the range is relatively short and the radial rather than the tangential velocity is to be measured, the advantages of the subcarrier approach can be realized. For satellite velocities the extremely high Doppler frequencies which would be generated in the cw mode are prohibitively high for handling by state-of-the-art techniques, while for the low-altitude aircraft environment the cw approach is potentially capable of better performance than microwave systems. Author