OSA's Digital Library

Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 44, Iss. 9 — Mar. 21, 2005
  • pp: 1748–1760

Optical system design and integration of the Mercury Laser Altimeter

Luis Ramos-Izquierdo, V. Stanley Scott, III, Stephen Schmidt, Jamie Britt, William Mamakos, Raymond Trunzo, John Cavanaugh, and Roger Miller  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 44, Issue 9, pp. 1748-1760 (2005)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (2953 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



The Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA), developed for the 2004 MESSENGER mission to Mercury, is designed to measure the planet’s topography by laser ranging. A description of the MLA optical system and its measured optical performance during instrument-level and spacecraft-level integration and testing are presented.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

Original Manuscript: June 25, 2004
Revised Manuscript: November 9, 2004
Manuscript Accepted: November 12, 2004
Published: March 20, 2005

Luis Ramos-Izquierdo, V. Stanley Scott, Stephen Schmidt, Jamie Britt, William Mamakos, Raymond Trunzo, John Cavanaugh, and Roger Miller, "Optical system design and integration of the Mercury Laser Altimeter," Appl. Opt. 44, 1748-1760 (2005)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. S. C. Solomon, R. L. McNutt, R. E. Gold, M. H. Acuña, D. N. Baker, W. V. Boynton, C. R. Chapman, A. F. Cheng, G. Gloeckler, J. W. Head, S. M. Krimigis, W. E. McClintock, S. L. Murchie, S. J. Peale, R. J. Phillips, M. S. Robinson, J. A. Slavin, D. E. Smith, R. G. Strom, J. I. Trombka, M. T. Zuber, “The MESSENGER mission to Mercury: scientific objectives and implementation,” Planet. Space Sci. 49, 1445–1465 (2001). [CrossRef]
  2. R. E. Gold, S. C. Solomon, R. L. McNutt, A. G. Santo, J. B. Abshire, M. H. Acuña, R. S. Afzal, B. J. Anderson, G. B. Andrews, P. D. Bedini, J. Cain, A. F. Cheng, L. G. Evans, W. C. Feldman, R. B. Follas, G. Gloeckler, J. O. Goldsten, S. E. Hawkins, N. R. Izenberg, S. E. Jaskulek, E. A. Ketchum, M. R. Lankton, D. A. Lohr, B. H. Mauk, W. E. McClintock, S. L. Murchie, C. E. Schlemm, D. E. Smith, R. D. Starr, T. H. Zurbuchen, “The MESSENGER mission to Mercury: scientific payload,” Planet. Space Sci. 49, 1467–1479 (2001). [CrossRef]
  3. A. G. Santo, R. E. Gold, R. L. McNutt, S. C. Solomon, C. J. Ercol, R. W. Farquhar, T. J. Hartka, J. E. Jenkins, J. V. McAdams, L. E. Mosher, D. F. Persons, D. A. Artis, R. S. Bokulic, R. F. Conde, G. Dakermanji, M. E. Goss, D. R. Haley, K. J. Heeres, R. H. Maurer, R. C. Moore, E. H. Rodberg, T. G. Stern, S. R. Wiley, B. G. Williams, C. L. Yen, M. R. Peterson, “The MESSENGER mission to Mercury: spacecraft and mission design,” Planet. Space Sci. 49, 1481–1500 (2001). [CrossRef]
  4. X. Sun, J. F. Cavanaugh, J. C. Smith, A. E. Bartels, “Design and performance measurement of the Mercury Laser Altimeter,” in Technical Digest, 2004 Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics on CDE-ROM (Optical Society of America, Washington, D.C., 2004), presentation CThN3.
  5. D. J. Krebs, A. M. Novo-Gradac, S. X. Li, “Compact, passively Q-switched Nd:YAG laser for the MESSENGER mission to the planet Mercury,” Appl. Opt. 44, 1715–1718 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  6. C. J. Ercol, A. G. Santo, “Determination of optimum phase angles at Mercury perihelion for an orbiting spacecraft,” at Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) International Conference on Environmental Systems, Denver, Colo., Session: Thermal and Environmental Control Simulation Software II—Applications Journal, 1999-01-2123, July 1999.
  7. J. F. Clawson, “Thermal environments,” (Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, January1991).
  8. P. Generie, W. Hayden, “Estimation of the on-orbit distortion of the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA II) primary mirror,” in Advanced Materials for Optical and Precision Structures, M. A. Ealey, ed., Proc. SPIE2857, 45–56 (1996). [CrossRef]
  9. F. Schmid, C. P. Khattak, D. M. Felt, “Sapphire sparkles in many optical elements,” Laser Focus World (June1996).
  10. M. N. Ott, M. Proctor, M. Dodson, S. Macmurphy, P. Friedberg, “Optical fiber cable assembly characterization for the Mercury Laser Altimeter,” in Enabling Photonic Technologies for Aerospace Applications V, A. R. Pirich, E. W. Taylor, M. J. Hayduk, eds., Proc. SPIE5104,April2003. [CrossRef]
  11. J. R. Potter, J. C. Simons, “Stability of IAD refractory oxide narrowband interference filter,” in Surveillance Technologies and Imaging Components, S. Gowrinathan, C. B. Johnson, J. F. Stanley, eds., Proc. SPIE1952, 186–191 (1993). [CrossRef]
  12. L. Ramos-Izquierdo, J. L. Bufton, P. Hayes, “Optical system design and integration of the Mars Observer Laser Altimeter,” Appl. Opt. 33, 307–322 (1994). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited