Abstract

A laser satellite ranging system that is mounted upon and integrated with a microwave tracking radar is reported. The 1-pulse/sec ruby laser transmitter is attached directly to the radar’s elevation axis and radiates through a new opening in the radar’s parabolic dish. The laser photomultiplier tube receiver utilizes the radar’s existing 20-cm diam f/11 boresight telescope and observes through a similar symmetrically located opening in the dish. The laser system possesses separate ranging system electronics but shares the radar’s timing, computer, and data handling/recording systems. The basic concept of the laser/radar is outlined together with a listing of the numerous advantages over present singular laser rangefinding systems. The developmental laser hardware is described along with preliminary rangefinding results and expectations. The prototype system was assembled to investigate the feasibility of such systems and aid in the development of detailed specifications for an operational system. Both the feasibility and desirability of such systems integrations have been adequately demonstrated.

© 1974 Optical Society of America

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