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Spie Press Book

LADAR Applications for Orbital Debris Removal
Author(s): Xiang Zhu
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Book Description

This Spotlight describes the operational principle of an instrument based on the LADAR equation and summarizes the requirements for debris removal. It discusses key LADAR components, such as lasers, detectors, and scanning optics, in terms of their performance in a space environment. The different types of LADAR are compared under different mission scenarios.

A compact space rangefinder is used to explain basic design considerations. An unobstructed 360-deg scanning LADAR illustrates the benefits of a novel design for a mission that requires a wide FOV. Finally, some hybrid concepts that use scanning optics on the launching side and camera optics on the return side are discussed; they utilize the fact that there are no other objects around space debris that contribute solar background signal to gain performance while minimizing the MVP requirements.


Book Details

Date Published: 9 December 2015
Pages: 32
ISBN: 9781510600300
Volume: SL08

Table of Contents
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1 Introduction

2 LADAR Requirement of Orbital Debris Removal

3 LADAR Principle and Configuration
3.1 Laser source
3.2 LADAR optics
3.3 LADAR detector

4 Laser Beam Property and Link Budget of LADAR
4.1 Gaussian beam
4.2 LADAR signal level and solar background
     4.2.1 Return signal from a target smaller than beam size
     4.2.2 Return signal from a small retroreflector
     4.2.3 Solar background

5 Special Considerations for Space Debris Removal LADAR
5.1 Mass, volume, power consumption, and reliability
5.2 Large temperature swing
5.3 Vacuum and outgassing
5.4 Shock and vibration
5.5 Radiation

6 LADARs Designed for Space Applications
6.1 Range finder for space application
6.2 Flash LADAR
6.3 Scanning LADAR with a 360-deg FOV

7 Trade-Offs in LADAR Design and Configuration for Debris Removal
7.1 Trade-off analysis of major LADAR design factors
7.2 Choice of LADAR configurations
7.3 Hybrid LADAR configurations

8 Acknowledgments

References

Preface

LADAR is a key sensing technology for the relative navigation between a debris-removing satellite and a debris. Compared to cameras and radar, LADAR provides better information about a target�s range, speed, and 3D position. Although LADAR does not need sunlight to operate, it does require more resources on mass, volume, and power (MVP) than a passive sensor. The design of a space LADAR should achieve the required performance with minimum MVP.

This Spotlight describes the operational principle of an instrument based on the LADAR equation and summaries the requirements for debris removal. It discusses key LADAR components, such as lasers, detectors, and scanning optics, in terms of their performance in a space environment. The different types of LADAR are compared under different mission scenarios. A design of a compact space rangefinder is given as an example to explain basic design considerations. A design of an unobstructed 360-deg scanning LADAR is described to illustrate the benefits of a novel design for a mission that requires a wide FOV. Finally, some hybrid concepts that use scanning optics on the launching side and camera optics on the return side are discussed; they utilize the fact that there are no other objects around space debris that contribute solar background signal to gain performance while minimizing the MVP requirements.

Xiang Zhu
December 2015


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