A LASER FOR AN EARTH-BASED SATELLITE ILLUMINATOR.
AIR FORCE CAMBRIDGE RESEARCH LABS L G HANSCOM FIELD MASS
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A 250-joule, liquid-nitrogen cooled, ruby laser has been used to illuminate a specially equipped satellite, Explorer 22, with sufficient intensity to photograph the cube corner reflectors located on the satellite. The laser system including the photoreceiver is described. A simple method of aligning the optic axis with a known azimuth is presented. Some laser experiments designed to lengthen the lifetime of the laser and to optimize the output energy are also given. Author