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Proceedings Paper

Inadvertent lasing hazards to space systems: methodology and analysis
Author(s): Larry A. Ridolfi
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Paper Abstract

With the proliferation of lasers for ranging and atmospheric studies, satellite system operators have become concerned about the possibility of laser illumination on their vehicles. This paper contains the results of a risk analysis involving the inadvertent laser illumination of satellites from ground-based lasers. The methodology used for the probability analysis is discussed and specific examples are provided. The methodology begins with a discussion of the assumptions used; the principles involved; and then details four specific cases using the methodology. The final case is for a notional low-earth orbiting, earth resource satellite with a steering optical sensor against a diverse, globally dispersed laser network. The author proposes this methodology be used for the systematic analysis of the probability of inadvertent laser illuminations against specific scenarios for satellite operations. For the notional cases examined in the paper, the probability of an inadvertent laser strike ranges from 10-4 to 10-6 for a single satellite lifetime of a decade. These extremely low probabilities imply an accidental illumination of a satellite is very unlikely. If a satellite is suspected of having been illuminated, the satellite operator may want to examine the problem further for causes other than an accidental lasing.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 October 2006
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 6397, Technologies for Optical Countermeasures III, 63970C (5 October 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.683799
Show Author Affiliations
Larry A. Ridolfi, L-3 Communications (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6397:
Technologies for Optical Countermeasures III
David H. Titterton, Editor(s)

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