The new challenges related to the monitoring of Earth’s shape and motion have led the global geodetic observing system to set more stringent requirements on the precision and stability of the terrestrial reference frame (TRF). The achievement of this ambitious goal depends on the improvement of space geodesy techniques, satellite laser ranging (SLR) in particular, being the main instrument for TRF realization. In this work, we study the potential of very high repetition rate SLR by performing a data acquisition campaign with an Ekspla “Atlantic 60” 100 kHz repetition rate laser at the Matera Laser Ranging Observatory (MLRO). This system constitutes an increase of two orders of magnitude in repetition rate with respect to the current SLR stations, while maintaining a good single-shot timing performance. The system has been active for 4 consecutive nights, consistently tracking several low Earth orbit satellites as well as LAGEOS 1 and 2. The results have shown a single-shot time jitter close to other stations, but with unprecedented statistics for ≈ 10 ps single-shot precision. The analysis of the residuals of LAGEOS satellites allowed us to identify multiple peaks, due to the retroflection from different corner cubes. This opens up the possibility of attitude determination of retroreflector arrays, as well as a new method for spin rate measurement.

100 kHz satellite laser ranging demonstration at Matera Laser Ranging Observatory

Agnesi C.;Calderaro L.;Vallone G.;Villoresi P.;
2021

Abstract

The new challenges related to the monitoring of Earth’s shape and motion have led the global geodetic observing system to set more stringent requirements on the precision and stability of the terrestrial reference frame (TRF). The achievement of this ambitious goal depends on the improvement of space geodesy techniques, satellite laser ranging (SLR) in particular, being the main instrument for TRF realization. In this work, we study the potential of very high repetition rate SLR by performing a data acquisition campaign with an Ekspla “Atlantic 60” 100 kHz repetition rate laser at the Matera Laser Ranging Observatory (MLRO). This system constitutes an increase of two orders of magnitude in repetition rate with respect to the current SLR stations, while maintaining a good single-shot timing performance. The system has been active for 4 consecutive nights, consistently tracking several low Earth orbit satellites as well as LAGEOS 1 and 2. The results have shown a single-shot time jitter close to other stations, but with unprecedented statistics for ≈ 10 ps single-shot precision. The analysis of the residuals of LAGEOS satellites allowed us to identify multiple peaks, due to the retroflection from different corner cubes. This opens up the possibility of attitude determination of retroreflector arrays, as well as a new method for spin rate measurement.
2021
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3391754
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