Satellite laser ranging
- joint project Czech-China

K.Hamal, I. Prochazka, J.Blazej, Czech Technical University in Prague
Yang Fu Min, Shanghai Observatory, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

To improve the global coverage of the satellite tracking stations the Western Pacific Satellite Laser Ranging SLR Network was founded in 1994. The main chain includes SLR stations Komsomolsk on Amur, Russia, Chang Chun and Shanghai in China, Tokyo area in Japan and Mount Stromlo (previously Orroral) in Australia. The requirements on the SLR systems are tough: the range to the satellites in the orbit up to 20000 km high must be determined with the millimetre precision, the high system stability and productivity is obligatory. To meet these requirements the measurement techniques and devices have to be developed at CTU and implemented to most of these SLR stations. The Single Photon Avalanche Diode detector package permitted to register individual photons reflected from satellites with picosecond resolution. The Portable Calibration Standard device installed at the SLR station in ChangChun, China, enabled to improve the system calibration to the desired millimetre level. The new satellite laser ranging data processing algorithms being developed will guarantee the high data quality.

Under the roof of a joint Czech Chinese project the Portable Calibration Standard technique will be implemented in SLR station in Shanghai together with the development of new system calibration and data processing schemes.

The unique low dispersion Westpack satellite was developed in Australia and launched from Russia in 1998. The overall single photon ranging precision of 3 millimetres has been reached routinely.

Related publications:

  1. B.Greene, H.Kunimori, K.Hamal, I.Prochazka, Atmospheric dispersion monitoring using 0.53 um and 1.54 um satellite laser ranging, Technical Digest Cleo/Europe '96, Optical Soc.of America, IEEE Catalog Number 96TH8161, page 221
  2. Zhao You, H.Kunimori, I.Prochazka, K.Hamal, The Portable Calibration Standard in ChangCun, Proceedings of the 11th International Workshop on Laser Ranging, Deggendorf, Germany, Sept. 20-24,1998
  3. I.Prochazka, J.Blazej, K.Hamal, Millimeter precision satellite laser ranging using the SPAD detector, CTU Workshop '99, Prague, February 2-3, 1999, CTU Reports, Vol.3, April 1999, pp 191
  4. H.Kunimori, B. Greene, K.Hamal, I.Prochazka, Centimetere precision eye-safe satellite laser ranging using a Raman shifted Nd:YAG laser and a germanium photon counter, Journal of Optics, Pure and Applied Optics, IOP Publishing, No.2 (2000), p1-4, 2000
  5. I.Prochazka, SPAD based SLR systems calibratin scheme recommandation, EurOpto, Conference on Remote Sensing, Laser Radar Techniques, Florence, September 1999
  6. I.Prochazka, A.Novotny, Ground target calibration scheme, SLR station Helwan, Conference on Remote Sensing, Laser Radar Techniques, Florence, September 1999
Josef Blažej - contact - blazej - phone: +420 224 358 659
Czech Technical University in Prague - Faculty of Nuclear Sciences and Physical Engineering
Brehova 7, 115 19 Prague 1, Czech Republic