Accession Number : ADA187906

Title :   Project SKYLITE: A Design Exploration.

Descriptive Note : Master's thesis,

Corporate Author : NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA

Personal Author(s) : Welch, William J ; Landers, Mark F

PDF Url : ADA187906

Report Date : Sep 1987

Pagination or Media Count : 144

Abstract : Project SKYLITE is an experiment which will assess compensating techniques designed to reduce laser wave front distortion caused by the atmosphere. The satellite will measure and downlink the propagated beam irradiance of the Mid-IR Advance Chemical Laser (MIRACL), based at the White Sands Missile Range, N.M. The spacecraft will be designed to measure laser beam quality and power of both high and low power laser experiments. The irradiance and power values will vary as different compensating methods are employed. The spacecraft, which is gravity gradient stabilized, provides an array of infrared sensors in the 3.6 to 4.2 micron window to measure laser irradiance. Use of several retroreflectors appended to the satellite will provide for precision pointing and turbulence correction measurements using a ground based alexandrite laser. Due to the high energy involved during the lasing experiment, highly reflective radiation shielding of both sensitive equipment and the solar array will be required to allow for survivability throughout its 3-year life without thermal or structural degradation. To minimize cost, Project SKYLITE will use the space shuttle standard canister for small self-contained payloads known as the Extended Get Away Special (GAS) can. The satellite has been designed to use the Orion bus currently being designed by NPS. Use of off-the-shelf technology for both economy and rapid procurement processes has been a prime consideration throughout the design to meet the initial operational capability deadline of first quarter FY-89. The satellite expense is approximately 3.9 M$ for recurring costs and 14.8 M$ for nonrecurring costs.

Descriptors :   *ATMOSPHERIC MOTION, *DISTORTION, *LASER BEAMS, *WAVEFRONTS, AIMING, ARRAYS, ARTIFICIAL SATELLITES, SOLID STATE LASERS, BERYL, CHEMICAL LASERS, COMPENSATION, CORRECTIONS, COSTS, DOWNLINKS, GRADIENTS, GRAVITY, HIGH ENERGY, HIGH POWER, INFRARED DETECTORS, LOW POWER, MEASUREMENT, OFF THE SHELF EQUIPMENT, PAYLOAD, POWER, PRECISION, PROCUREMENT, RADIANCE, RADIATION SHIELDING, REFLECTION, RETROREFLECTORS, SELF CONTAINED, SENSITIVITY, SOLAR PANELS, SPACECRAFT, STABILIZATION, STRUCTURAL PROPERTIES, SURVIVABILITY, THERMAL DEGRADATION, THESES, TURBULENCE

Subject Categories : Atmospheric Physics
      Lasers and Masers

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE