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Proceedings Paper

Orbital debris removal analysis using the airborne laser chemical oxgyen iodine laser located at the AMOS site on Maui
Author(s): Jonathan W. Campbell; William V. Dent Jr.
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Paper Abstract

In 1995, the NASA Project ORION investigated the feasibility of orbital debris removal using ground-based sensors and lasers (Ref. 1). This study focused on high peak-power pulsed lasers capable of initiating plasma blow-off impulse. The conclusions drawn by this study indicated that a neodymium glass laser might represent the most cost effective and technologically viable solution. Large, repetitively pulsed neodymium glass lasers have been developed by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for inertial confinement fusion (ICF). However, the goal of ICF is to focus the high power laser beams on a small, stationary target at very close range. The orbital debris removal problem requires the mating of a high power laser to large diameter optics equipped with laser guide star adaptive optics. The target is a rapidly moving object located many hundreds of kilometers in distance. Since the conclusion of that study, the Air Force Airborne Laser (ABL) program, utilizing a continuous wave Chemical Oxygen- Iodine Laser (COIL), has progressed dramatically. This program integrates a high average power COIL with large diameter optics, which are adaptively controlled to correct for atmospheric turbulence. The target of the Airborne Laser is a rapidly ascending ballistic missile located hundreds of kilometers in range. The similarities between the Airborne Laser and the orbital debris removal mission motivate the examination of ABL COIL technology and its associated optical hardware for the orbital debris removal mission.

Paper Details

Date Published: 31 October 2000
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 4091, Imaging Technology and Telescopes, (31 October 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.405783
Show Author Affiliations
Jonathan W. Campbell, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
William V. Dent Jr., Science Applications International Corp. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4091:
Imaging Technology and Telescopes
James W. Bilbro; James B. Breckinridge; Mark J. Eckart; James B. Breckinridge; Richard A. Carreras; Richard A. Carreras; James W. Bilbro; Stanley R. Czyzak; Robert D. Fiete; Mark J. Eckart; Robert D. Fiete; Paul S. Idell, Editor(s)

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