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Optical Engineering

Photographic Techniques for Project Mercury Ground Range Evaluation
Author(s): Alan S. Markham
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Paper Abstract

The NASA Project Mercury spacecraft is tracked through its launch, orbit, and recovery phases by a world-wide network of tracking stations. The short duration of the manned flights and the paramount considerations of the astronaut's safety require a much more sophisticated ground range than is needed for unmanned flights of longer duration. Thorough testing of the ground acquisition and radar tracking equipment, prior to the spacecraft flights, was accomplished economically with boresight camera techniques, using DC-3 and C-54 aircraft specially equipped to simulate an orbiting spacecraft. Development of this test program is described, along with a discussion of the photographic equipment employed, the problems and limitations encountered and the aircraft equipment.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 January 1963
PDF: 4 pages
Opt. Eng. 1(2) 010250 doi: 10.1117/12.7971243
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 1, Issue 2
Show Author Affiliations
Alan S. Markham, The Bendix Corporation (United States)


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