Share Email Print

Proceedings Paper

ODERACS preflight optical calibration
Author(s): Ronald A. Madler; Robert D. Culp; Timothy D. Maclay
Format Member Price Non-Member Price
PDF $17.00 $21.00

Paper Abstract

Detection and measurement of small space debris objects are vital to verify the validity of debris models for the low Earth orbit (LEO) environment. Calibration of optical instruments is necessary so that reliable estimates of the size and albedo of man-made orbiting objects can be found. The Orbital Debris Radar Calibration Spheres (ODERACS) project is being conducted by NASA and the DoD to calibrate both radar and optical tracking facilities for small objects. This paper discusses the pre-flight optical calibration of the spheres. The purpose of this study is to determine the spectral reflectivity, scattering characteristics and albedo for the visible wavelength region. The measurements are performed by illuminating the flight spheres with a collimated beam of light, and measuring the reflected visible light over possible phase angles. This allows one to estimate the specular and scattering characteristics as well as the albedo. Tests were conducted on several flight and test metal spheres with varying diameters and surface characteristics. The polished metal spheres are shown to be very good specular reflectors, while the diffuse surfaces exhibit both specular and scattering reflection characteristics.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 September 1993
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 1951, Space Debris Detection and Mitigation, (15 September 1993); doi: 10.1117/12.156559
Show Author Affiliations
Ronald A. Madler, Univ. of Colorado (United States)
Robert D. Culp, Univ. of Colorado (United States)
Timothy D. Maclay, Univ. of Colorado (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1951:
Space Debris Detection and Mitigation
Firooz A. Allahdadi, Editor(s)

© SPIE. Terms of Use
Back to Top