THE DUAL CALSPHERE EXPERIMENT
NAVAL RESEARCH LAB WASHINGTON DC
Pagination or Media Count:
Two smooth polished 14-in.-diameter aluminum spheres weighing 2.2 lb and 22 lb have been simultaneously injected into nearly identical 600-naut-mi circular polar orbits. These spheres will provide a standard radar targets and b observations of the relative change in the orbital parameters with time. Since the scattering cross section of these spheres is less than 0.1 sq ft at 108 Mc, they are not adequate for Space Surveillance System calibration at the present time, although they will be seen more often when system frequency is increased to 216 Mc and transmitter power is increased. They are seen often enough at present, however, so that good orbital elements are obtained from the U.S. Navy Space Surveillance System observations, and it has been possible to identify the light satellite and the heavy one from the relative change in semimajor axis caused by residual atmospheric drag. A density measurement has been obtained from the decrement of the semimajor axis of the light sphere that agrees to within ten percent with the accepted value for the quiet-sun period.
- Active and Passive Radar Detection and Equipment