28 February 2014 In-flight performance of the Mercury Laser Altimeter laser transmitter
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Abstract
The Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA) is one of the payload instruments on the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft, which was launched on August 3, 2004. MLA maps Mercury’s shape and topographic landforms and other surface characteristics using a diode-pumped solid-state laser transmitter and a silicon avalanche photodiode receiver that measures the round-trip time of individual laser pulses. The laser transmitter has been operating nominally during planetary flyby measurements and in orbit about Mercury since March 2011. In this paper, we review the MLA laser transmitter telemetry data and evaluate the performance of solid-state lasers under extended operation in a space environment.
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Anthony W. Yu, Anthony W. Yu, Xiaoli Sun, Xiaoli Sun, Steven X. Li, Steven X. Li, John F. Cavanaugh, John F. Cavanaugh, Gregory A. Neumann, Gregory A. Neumann, } "In-flight performance of the Mercury Laser Altimeter laser transmitter", Proc. SPIE 8959, Solid State Lasers XXIII: Technology and Devices, 89590H (28 February 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2041452; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2041452
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