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Proceedings Paper

Laser Tracker III: Sandia National Laboratories' third generation laser tracking system
Author(s): Duane L. Patrick
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Paper Abstract

At Sandia Labs' Coyote Canyon Test Complex, it became necessary to develop a precision single station solution to provide time space position information (tspi) when tracking airborne test vehicles. Sandia's first laser tracker came on line in 1968, replacing the fixed camera technique for producing trajectory data. This system shortened data reduction time from weeks to minutes. Laser Tracker II began operations in 1982, replacing the original tracker. It incorporated improved optics and electronics, with the addition of a microprocessor- based real-time control (rtc) system within the main servo loop. The rtc added trajectory prediction with the loss of adequate tracking signal and automatic control of laser beam divergence according to target range. Laser Tracker III, an even more advanced version of the systems, came on line in 1990. Unlike LTII, which is mounted in a trailer and must be moved by a tractor, LTIII is mounted on its own four-wheel drive carrier. This allows the system to be used at even the most remote locations. It also incorporated improved optics and electronics with the addition of absolute ranging, acquisition on the fly, and automatic transition from manual joystick tracking to laser tracking for aircraft tests.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 May 1995
PDF: 5 pages
Proc. SPIE 2468, Acquisition, Tracking, and Pointing IX, (26 May 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.210442
Show Author Affiliations
Duane L. Patrick, Sandia National Labs. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2468:
Acquisition, Tracking, and Pointing IX
Michael K. Masten; Larry A. Stockum, Editor(s)

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