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Proceedings Paper

Photon counting Lidar for deep space applications: concept and simulator
Author(s): Michael Vacek; Vojtech Michalek; Marek Peca; Ivan Prochazka; Josef Blazej
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Paper Abstract

The paper presents the concept and preliminary design of a single photon counting laser altimeter (lidar) dedicated for deep space rendezvous missions towards an asteroid. Overall estimated device weight and volume should not exceed 2 kg and 2 dm2 with the power consumption below 20 W. The altimeter range evaluation precision should be on the order of 5 cm. A complex software simulator of the entire laser ranging and photon counting link has been developed and verified. The simulator framework incorporates both the three-dimensional space-craft flight mechanics and topographical maps of the surface. Altimeter performance metrics are proposed and evaluated considering the topographical surface slope, environmental conditions, footprint coverage, gate range settings, and spacecraft-to-asteroid range and velocity. The asteroid topographical mapping and landing scenarios are discussed; specific spacecraft-to-asteroid approach phases are simulated and range reading maximum repetition rate is determined for each operation phase. Photon counting approach enables additional functions to laser altimetry, namely the one way laser ranging and laser time transfers over interplanetary distances and absolute radiometry at the laser wavelength.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 May 2013
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 8773, Photon Counting Applications IV; and Quantum Optics and Quantum Information Transfer and Processing, 877309 (6 May 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2017398
Show Author Affiliations
Michael Vacek, Czech Technical Univ. in Prague (Czech Republic)
Vojtech Michalek, Czech Technical Univ. in Prague (Czech Republic)
Marek Peca, Czech Technical Univ. in Prague (Czech Republic)
Ivan Prochazka, Czech Technical Univ. in Prague (Czech Republic)
Josef Blazej, Czech Technical Univ. in Prague (Czech Republic)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8773:
Photon Counting Applications IV; and Quantum Optics and Quantum Information Transfer and Processing
Jaromír Fiurásek; Ivan Prochazka; Roman Sobolewski, Editor(s)

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