As space debris in lower Earth orbits are accumulating, techniques to lower the risk of space debris collisions must be developed. Within the context of the Space Environment Research Centre (SERC), the Australian National University (ANU) is developing an adaptive optics system for tracking and pushing space debris. The strategy is to pre-condition a laser launched from a 1.8 m telescope operated by Electro Optics Systems (EOS) on Mount Stromlo, Canberra and direct it at an object to perturb its orbit. Current progress towards implementing this experiment, which will ensure automated operation between the telescope and the adaptive optics system, will be presented.
The Australian National University and EOS Space Systems have teamed up to equip the EOS laser space debris tracking station on Mount Stromlo near Canberra, Australia, with sodium Laser Guide Star (LGS) Adaptive Optics (AO). The AO system is used to correct for laser beam degradation caused by the atmospheric turbulence on the upward infrared laser pulse used to illuminate space debris. As a result, the AO-equipped laser tracking station can track smaller and more distant debris. This paper presents the joint ANU/EOS AO Demonstrator LGS facility requirements, architecture, and performance at the time of the conference.
The SkyMapper wide field telescope is currently in production by EOS and is scheduled for first light in Q1 2007. This telescope will produce high quality images over a 3.4 degree diameter flat field for wavebands from 310 nm to 1000 nm. This paper discusses the optical and opto-mechanical design and tolerancing of the SkyMapper Telescope.