12 January 2004 Satellite laser ranging precision ultimate limit
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Abstract
We have estimated the contribution of atmospheric turbulence effects to the satellite laser ranging precision. This work was motivated by the observed discrepancy between the precision of laser ranging to short baseline ground targets and space born targets. The contribution of the atmosphere is expected to be the limiting factor to the satellite laser ranging precision on millimeter level. Two different atmospheric optical models were investigated. The geometry approach showed that at some situations the turbulence-induced random ranging error could reach the millimeter level, as observed in laser ranging experiment. This effect significantly decreases with the station’s altitude above sea level and satellite altitude above horizon. The results depend on the value of the atmospheric outer scale parameter; its value is only approximate due to hardly predictable nature of the turbulence strength height profile. A novel experiment with high repetition rate satellite laser ranging is introduced, which should prove the turbulence contribution to the satellite laser ranging precision.
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Lukas Kral, Ivan Prochazka, Josef Blazej, Karel Hamal, "Satellite laser ranging precision ultimate limit", Proc. SPIE 5240, Laser Radar Technology for Remote Sensing, (12 January 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.511203; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.511203
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