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Proceedings Paper

Lidar for expendable launch vehicles
Author(s): Michael S. Lee
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Paper Abstract

The measurement of launch day winds for expendable launch vehicle (ELV) missions is performed to reduce the aerodynamic loads on the vehicle during the atmospheric ascent phase. To accomplish this, wind measurements are performed prior to launch to determine a steering profile that minimizes vehicle loading while still assuring mission success and range safety. However, the current methods of Jimspheres and Rawinsondes to measure launch day winds are time consuming and prone to inaccuracies. The common problem is the time required for the balloons to rise. Typically, Jimsphere data requires sixty minutes to provide a profile to 20 km (approx. 60,000 ft) and Rawinsondes slightly longer to reach 24 km (approx. 80,000 ft). Consequently, the collected wind profile may not be an accurate representation of the real-time wind profile. This uncertainty degrades the estimation of wind persistency and identification of wind gusts. Moreover, the balloons are subject to wind field drift and may not measure the actual winds the vehicle will fly through. As a result, a lidar wind profiler is being examined as an alternate method. In order to assess the utility of a lidar wind profiling system to support day of launch ELV activity, studies have been performed to identify the operational requirements a lidar system must satisfy. Studies were directed towards determining the lidar range, resolution, and accuracy requirements. Operational requirements with respect to weather conditions and launch availability are also considered. Simulation studies have also been performed to assess the effects of having more current wind data.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 July 1991
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 1480, Sensors and Sensor Integration, (1 July 1991); doi: 10.1117/12.46490
Show Author Affiliations
Michael S. Lee, General Dynamics Space Systems Div. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1480:
Sensors and Sensor Integration
Peter D. Dean, Editor(s)

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