12 October 1996 Two-laser heterodyne metrology for a separated spacecraft interferometer
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Abstract
The proposed New Millennium Interferometer consists of three spacecraft separated by up to several kilometers. A heterodyne laser metrology system is proposed to measure the relative distances between the spacecraft. Because diffraction losses for a round-trip measurement are prohibitively large, a two-laser metrology system has been suggested in which each spacecraft has both a laser and a receiver. The system has been successfully demonstrated with a one meter baseline and verified by a conventional single- laser system in a laboratory experiment. The precision was limited by thermal effects in the room environment for time scales greater than one minute. The single-laser system obtained a precision of 3 nm for integration times up to 0.5 seconds. The two-laser system obtained a precision of 20 and was limited by self-interference and electronics noise. The resolution of the two-laser metrology system was (lambda) 30.
© (1996) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Rhonda M. Morgan, Rhonda M. Morgan, Stuart B. Shaklan, Stuart B. Shaklan, Jeffrey W. Yu, Jeffrey W. Yu, } "Two-laser heterodyne metrology for a separated spacecraft interferometer", Proc. SPIE 2807, Space Telescopes and Instruments IV, (12 October 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.255097; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.255097
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