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Proceedings Paper

High Precision Lunar Tracking For Laser Ranging
Author(s): Randall L. Ricklefs; Jerry R. Wiant; Peter J. Shelus
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Paper Abstract

Laser ranging to lunar surface retro-reflectors has provided a valuable source of data for the investigation of the lunar orbit, the earth's orientation in space, general relativity, and many other aspects of solar system dynamics.1,2,3 Due to the moon's relatively large distance, and the requirement to keep the beam from the relatively low-power laser very narrow, acquiring this data type requires very accurate telescope pointing and tracking capabilities. The nominal requirement is to keep the telescope on target within approximately 1 arc-sec of its predicted location for at least several minutes. An expansion of this requirement and the methods we have used to accomplish this high precision pointing are presented. Difficulties encountered and a few future goals of automating the McDonald station are also discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 September 1989
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 1111, Acquisition, Tracking, and Pointing III, (26 September 1989); doi: 10.1117/12.977990
Show Author Affiliations
Randall L. Ricklefs, University of Texas at Austin (United States)
Jerry R. Wiant, University of Texas at Austin (United States)
Peter J. Shelus, University of Texas at Austin (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1111:
Acquisition, Tracking, and Pointing III
Sankaran Gowrinathan, Editor(s)

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