Doublet Pulse Coherent Laser Radar for Tracking of Resident Space Objects
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION HAMPTON VA LANGLEY RESEARCH CENTER
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In this paper, the development of a long range ladar system known as ExoSPEAR at NASA Langley Research Center for tracking rapidly moving resident space objects is discussed. Based on 100 W, nanosecond class, near-IR laser, this ladar system with coherent detection technique is currently being investigated for short dwell time measurements of resident space objects RSOs in LEO and beyond for space surveillance applications. This unique ladar architecture is configured using a continuously agile doublet-pulse waveform scheme coupled to a closed-loop tracking and control loop approach to simultaneously achieve mm class range precision and mms velocity precision and hence obtain unprecedented track accuracies. Salient features of the design architecture followed by performance modeling and engagement simulations illustrating the dependence of range and velocity precision in LEO orbits on ladar parameters are presented. Estimated limits on detectable optical cross sections of RSOs in LEO orbits are discussed.
- Optical Detection and Detectors