25 October 2002 Optimization of space borne imaging ladar sensor for asteroid studies using parameter design
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Imaging LADAR is a hybrid technology that offers the ability to measure basic physical and morphological characteristics (topography, rotational state, and density) of a small body from a single fast flyby, without requiring months in orbit. In addition, the imaging LADAR provides key flight navigation information including range, altitude, hazard/target avoidance, and closed-loop landing/fly-by navigation information. The Near Laser Ranger demonstrated many of these capabilities as part of the NEAR mission. The imaging LADAR scales the concept of a laser ranger into a full 3D imager. Imaging LADAR systems combine laser illumination of the target (which means that imaging is independent of solar illumination and the image SNR is controlled by the observer), with laser ranging and imaging (producing high resolution 3D images in a fraction of the time necessary for a passive imager). The technical concept described below alters the traditional design space (dominated by pulsed LADAR systems) with the introduction of a pseudo-noise (PN) coded continuous wave (CW) laser system which allows for variable range resolution mapping and leverages enormous commercial investments in high power, long-life lasers for telecommunications.
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Peter J. Wheel, Michael E. Dobbs, William E. Sharp, "Optimization of space borne imaging ladar sensor for asteroid studies using parameter design", Proc. SPIE 4772, Electro-Optical System Design, Simulation, Testing, and Training, (25 October 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.451837; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.451837

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