22 July 2014 Space Object Tracking (SPOT) facility
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Abstract
Lockheed Martin has built a Space Object Tracking (SPOT) facility at our Santa Cruz test site in Northern California. SPOT consists of three 1 meter optical telescopes controlled by a common site management system to individually or cooperatively task each system to observe orbital debris and earth orbiting satellites. The telescopes are mounted in Az/El fork mounts capable of rapid repointing and arc-sec class open loop tracking. Each telescope is installed in a separate clam shell dome and has aft mounted benches to facilitate installing various instrument suites. The telescope domes are mounted on movable rail carts that can be positioned arbitrarily along tracks to provide variable baselines for sparse aperture imaging. The individual telescopes achieved first light in June 2012 and have been used since to observe satellites and orbital debris. Typical observations consist of direct photometric imaging at visible and near infrared wavelengths, and also include spectroscopic and hypertemporal measurements. Rayleigh beacon adaptive optical systems for atmospheric aberration correction and high rate J-Band trackers for each telescope will be added in 2015. Coherent combinations of the three telescopes as an interferometric imaging array using actively stabilized free space variable delay optical paths and fringe tracking sensors is also planned. The first narrow band (I band) interferometric fringes will be formed in the summer of 2014, with wide band (R, I, H) interferometric imaging occurring by early 2015.
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Robert Shivitz, Robert Shivitz, Richard Kendrick, Richard Kendrick, James Mason, James Mason, Matthew Bold, Matthew Bold, Tracy Kubo, Tracy Kubo, Kevin Bock, Kevin Bock, David Tyler, David Tyler, } "Space Object Tracking (SPOT) facility", Proc. SPIE 9145, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes V, 91450J (22 July 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2056749; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2056749
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