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Applied Optics

Applied Optics

APPLICATIONS-CENTERED RESEARCH IN OPTICS

  • Editor: James C. Wyant
  • Vol. 47, Iss. 27 — Sep. 20, 2008
  • pp: 5007–5019

Intersatellite range monitoring using optical interferometry

R. Pierce, J. Leitch, M. Stephens, P. Bender, and R. Nerem  »View Author Affiliations


Applied Optics, Vol. 47, Issue 27, pp. 5007-5019 (2008)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/AO.47.005007


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Abstract

We report on an interferometer designed to provide 1 10 nm / Hz displacement measurement resolution, in the range 0.01 Hz to 1 Hz , while in low Earth orbit. The interferometer comprises two units, each with its own laser and in separate satellites, which would be in the same orbit separated by approximately 50 km . We discuss the requirements on the interferometer subsystem and describe the optical transponder distance measurement, including a phase locking method to generate a heterodyne beat signal between the two lasers. Design, fabrication, and testing of a “flightlike” engineering model interferometer is outlined, and results from environmental and performance tests are reported.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(120.3180) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Interferometry
(120.5050) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Phase measurement
(220.1000) Optical design and fabrication : Aberration compensation
(350.4600) Other areas of optics : Optical engineering

ToC Category:
Instrumentation, Measurement, and Metrology

History
Original Manuscript: June 9, 2008
Manuscript Accepted: August 8, 2008
Published: September 18, 2008

Citation
R. Pierce, J. Leitch, M. Stephens, P. Bender, and R. Nerem, "Intersatellite range monitoring using optical interferometry," Appl. Opt. 47, 5007-5019 (2008)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/ao/abstract.cfm?URI=ao-47-27-5007

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