Laser-Guide-Star Satellite for Ground-Based Adaptive Optics Imaging of Geosynchronous Satellites

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In this study, the feasibility and utility of using a maneuverable nanosatellite laser guide star from a geostationary equatorial orbit have been assessed to enable ground-based, adaptive optics imaging of geosynchronous satellites with next-generation extremely large telescopes. The concept for a satellite guide star was first discussed in the literature by Greenaway and Clark in the early 1990s (PHAROS: An Agile Satellite-Borne Laser Guidestar, Proceedings of SPIE, Vol. 2120, 1994, pp.206-210), and expanded upon by Albert in 2012 (Satellite-Mounted Light Sources as Photometric Calibration Standards for Ground-Based Telescopes, Astronomical Journal, Vol. 143, No. 1, 2012, p. 8). With a satellite-based laser as an adaptive optics guide star, the source laser does not need to scatter, and is well above atmospheric turbulence. When viewed from the ground through a turbulent atmosphere, the angular size of the satellite guide star is much smaller than a backscattered source. Advances in small-satellite technology and capability allowed the revisiting of the concept on a 6U CubeSat, measuring 10 x 20 x 30 cm. It is shown that a system that uses a satellite-based laser transmitter can be relatively low power (similar to 1 W transmit power) and operated intermittently. Although the preliminary analysis indicates that a single satellite guide star cannot be used for observing multiple astronomical targets, it will only require a little propellant to relocate within the geosynchronous belt. Results of a design study on the feasibility of a small-satellite guide star have been presented, and the potential benefits to astronomical imaging and to the larger space situational awareness community have been highlighted.
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JOURNAL OF SPACECRAFT AND ROCKETS, v.54, no.3, pp.621 - 639

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AE-Journal Papers(저널논문)
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