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Proceedings Paper

Optical pathlength stabilization between formation-flying air-bearing robots
Author(s): Edward A. LeMaster
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Paper Abstract

The Precision Formation Control project seeks to demonstrate experimentally the capability to perform optical pathlength stabilization of a visible-laser interferometer beam operating between two formation-flying robotic airbearing space-vehicle emulators in a terrestrial laboratory environment, as a precursor to future separated-spacecraft interferometer missions. The multi-tiered architecture utilizes laser sensors for inter-vehicle sensing, proportional pneumatic thrusters for vehicular control, and a piezo-actuated delay line for optical pathlength control. In the lab environment, relative stationkeeping between vehicles has been demonstrated to better than 9 μm in position and 11 μrad in rotation (1-σ). Simultaneously, the inter-vehicle optical pathlength has been stabilized to less than 190 nm, 1-σ.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 August 2009
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 7436, UV/Optical/IR Space Telescopes: Innovative Technologies and Concepts IV, 74360G (26 August 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.826269
Show Author Affiliations
Edward A. LeMaster, Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Ctr. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7436:
UV/Optical/IR Space Telescopes: Innovative Technologies and Concepts IV
Howard A. MacEwen; James B. Breckinridge, Editor(s)

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