Interferometric Imaging of Geostationary Satellites: Signal-to-Noise Considerations
NAVAL RESEARCH LAB WASHINGTON DC
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Geostationary satellites are generally too small to image at high resolution with conventional single-dish tele- scopes. Obtaining many resolution elements across a typical geostationary satellite body requires a single-dish telescope with a diameter of 10s of m or more, with a good adaptive optics system. An alternative is to use an opticalinfrared interferometer consisting of multiple smaller telescopes in an array configuration. In this paper and companion papers1, 2 we discuss the performance of a common-mount 30-element interferometer. The instrument design is presented by Mozurkewich et al.,1 and imaging performance is presented by Schmitt et al.2 In this paper we discuss signal-to-noise ratio for both fringe-tracking and imaging. We conclude that the common-mount interferometer is sufficiently sensitive to track fringes on the majority of geostationary satellites. We also find that high-fidelity images can be obtained after a short integration time of a few minutes to a few tens of minutes.
- Unmanned Spacecraft