A Method for the Direct Measurement of the Force on a Satellite Due to Electromagnetic Radiation.
NAVAL RESEARCH LAB WASHINGTON D C
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A technique was devised to measure the force on a satellite due to solar electromagnetic radiation pressure. The method consists of hanging the satellite as a pendulum and driving it on resonance with the light from a chopped solar simulator. From the measured amplitude of oscillation for a given number of cycles of driven motion, the driving force amplitude may be computed. The success of the method depends on the use of an optomechanical system which is insensitive to noise vibrations introduced at the pendulum pivot. The system consists of the satellite pendulum plus another pendulum of equal period and mass suspected from an upper hanging platform. The relative coordinate of the satellite and its twin, which can be measured optically, is independent of the motion of the ceiling. Engineering tolerances for the optical and mechanical components of the device are treated in detail. Author
- Unmanned Spacecraft