4 August 2016 High fidelity imaging of geosynchronous satellites with the MROI
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Abstract
Interferometry currently provides the only practicable way to image satellites in Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) with sub-meter spatial resolution. The Magdalena Ridge Observatory Interferometer (MROI) is being funded by the US Air Force Research Laboratory to demonstrate the 9.5 magnitude sensitivity (at 2.2 μm wavelength) and baseline-bootstrapping capability that will be needed to realize a useful turn-key GEO imaging capability. This program will utilize the central three telescopes of the MROI and will aim to validate routine acquisition of fringe data on faint well-resolved targets. In parallel with this effort, the University of Cambridge are investigating the spatial resolution and imaging fidelity that can be achieved with different numbers of array elements. We present preliminary simulations of snapshot GEO satellite imaging with the MROI. Our results indicate that faithful imaging of the main satellite components can be obtained with as few as 7 unit telescopes, and that increasing the number of telescopes to 10 improves the effective spatial resolution from 0.75 meter to 0.5 meter and enables imaging of more complex targets.
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John Young, John Young, Christopher Haniff, Christopher Haniff, David Buscher, David Buscher, Michelle Creech-Eakman, Michelle Creech-Eakman, Ifan Payne, Ifan Payne, "High fidelity imaging of geosynchronous satellites with the MROI", Proc. SPIE 9907, Optical and Infrared Interferometry and Imaging V, 99073I (4 August 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2232473; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2232473
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