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Title: High Resolution Imaging of Satellites with Ground-Based 10-m Astronomical Telescopes

Abstract

High resolution imaging of artificial satellites can play an important role in current and future space endeavors. One such use is acquiring detailed images that can be used to identify or confirm damage and aid repair plans. It is shown that a 10-m astronomical telescope equipped with an adaptive optics system (AO) to correct for atmospheric turbulence using a natural guide star can acquire high resolution images of satellites in low-orbits using a fast shutter and a near-infrared camera even if the telescope is not capable of tracking satellites. With the telescope pointing towards the satellite projected orbit and less than 30 arcsec away from a guide star, multiple images of the satellite are acquired on the detector using the fast shutter. Images can then be shifted and coadded by post processing to increase the satellite signal to noise ratio. Using the Keck telescope typical Strehl ratio and anisoplanatism angle as well as a simple diffusion/reflection model for a satellite 400 km away observed near Zenith at sunset or sunrise, it is expected that such system will produced > 10{sigma} K-band images at a resolution of 10 cm inside a 60 arcsec diameter field of view. If implemented, such cameramore » could deliver the highest resolution satellite images ever acquired from the ground.« less

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1036840
Report Number(s):
UCRL-TR-227709
TRN: US201207%%21
DOE Contract Number:
W-7405-ENG-48
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; 79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; CAMERAS; OPTICS; PROCESSING; REPAIR; RESOLUTION; SATELLITES; SHUTTERS; SIGNAL-TO-NOISE RATIO; STARS; TELESCOPES; TURBULENCE

Citation Formats

Marois, C. High Resolution Imaging of Satellites with Ground-Based 10-m Astronomical Telescopes. United States: N. p., 2007. Web. doi:10.2172/1036840.
Marois, C. High Resolution Imaging of Satellites with Ground-Based 10-m Astronomical Telescopes. United States. doi:10.2172/1036840.
Marois, C. Thu . "High Resolution Imaging of Satellites with Ground-Based 10-m Astronomical Telescopes". United States. doi:10.2172/1036840. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1036840.
@article{osti_1036840,
title = {High Resolution Imaging of Satellites with Ground-Based 10-m Astronomical Telescopes},
author = {Marois, C},
abstractNote = {High resolution imaging of artificial satellites can play an important role in current and future space endeavors. One such use is acquiring detailed images that can be used to identify or confirm damage and aid repair plans. It is shown that a 10-m astronomical telescope equipped with an adaptive optics system (AO) to correct for atmospheric turbulence using a natural guide star can acquire high resolution images of satellites in low-orbits using a fast shutter and a near-infrared camera even if the telescope is not capable of tracking satellites. With the telescope pointing towards the satellite projected orbit and less than 30 arcsec away from a guide star, multiple images of the satellite are acquired on the detector using the fast shutter. Images can then be shifted and coadded by post processing to increase the satellite signal to noise ratio. Using the Keck telescope typical Strehl ratio and anisoplanatism angle as well as a simple diffusion/reflection model for a satellite 400 km away observed near Zenith at sunset or sunrise, it is expected that such system will produced > 10{sigma} K-band images at a resolution of 10 cm inside a 60 arcsec diameter field of view. If implemented, such camera could deliver the highest resolution satellite images ever acquired from the ground.},
doi = {10.2172/1036840},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Jan 04 00:00:00 EST 2007},
month = {Thu Jan 04 00:00:00 EST 2007}
}

Technical Report:

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  • Telescopes that are designed for the unconventional imaging of near-Earth satellites must follow unique design rules. The costs must be reduced substantially over those of the conventional telescope designs, and the design must accommodate a technique to circumvent atmospheric distortion of the image. Apertures of 12 m and more along with altitude--altitude mounts that provide high tracking rates are required. A novel design for such a telescope, optimized for speckle imaging, has been generated. Its mount closely resembles a radar mount, and it does not use the conventional dome. Costs for this design are projected to be considerably lower thanmore » those for the conventional designs. Results of a design study are presented with details of the electro-optical and optical designs.« less
  • Telescopes designed for non-conventional imaging of near-earth satellites must follow a unique set of design rules. Cost must be reduced substantially and the design must accommodate a technique to circumvent the atmospheric distortions of the image. Apertures to 12 meters and beyond are required along with alt-alt mounts providing high tracking rates. A novel design for such a telescope has been generated which is optimized for speckle imaging. Its mount closely resembles a radar mount and it does not employ the conventional dome. Costs for this design are projected to be considerably reduced compared to conventional designs. Results of amore » detailed design study will be presented. Applications to astronomy will be discussed.« less
  • We study the residual jitter present in astronomical images after the effect of the earth's atmosphere has been compensated using a fast steering mirror. This residual jitter places a limit on the resolution that can be achieved for long exposure images even when more elaborate adaptive optics systems are used to correct the image. We assume that the fast guiding system uses a star as it reference source. Then, from the observed characteristics of Galactic stellar populations, we are able to predict the optimal performance of the fast guiding system as a function of the sky covering factor, that ismore » the fraction of the sky for which the given level of performance can be achieved. The performance for a particular sky covering factor is optimized by choosing the appropriate closed-loop bandwidth and guide star magnitude. The performance also depends on a number of atmospheric and system parameters; however, we find that the optimal performance is relatively insensitive to all but two of these parameters, the telescope aperture size and the strength of the atmospheric turbulence. Therefore, we consider two specific examples: first, a ten meter telescope imaging an atmosphere with relatively weak turbulence (3/4 arcsecond seeing in V), and second, a one meter telescope imaging through an atmosphere with relatively strong turbulence (2 arcsecond seeing in V). For these cases we find, for example, that a residual jitter of less than 0.03 and 0.3 arcseconds respectively can be obtained over about half the sky for nominal choices of the other parameters. The required closed-loop bandwidths in these cases are about 5 and 20 Hz while the appropriate guide stars are approximately 18th and 14th magnitude in V. 6 refs.« less
  • We study the residual jitter present in astronomical images after the effect of the earth`s atmosphere has been compensated using a fast steering mirror. This residual jitter places a limit on the resolution that can be achieved for long exposure images even when more elaborate adaptive optics systems are used to correct the image. We assume that the fast guiding system uses a star as it reference source. Then, from the observed characteristics of Galactic stellar populations, we are able to predict the optimal performance of the fast guiding system as a function of the sky covering factor, that ismore » the fraction of the sky for which the given level of performance can be achieved. The performance for a particular sky covering factor is optimized by choosing the appropriate closed-loop bandwidth and guide star magnitude. The performance also depends on a number of atmospheric and system parameters; however, we find that the optimal performance is relatively insensitive to all but two of these parameters, the telescope aperture size and the strength of the atmospheric turbulence. Therefore, we consider two specific examples: first, a ten meter telescope imaging an atmosphere with relatively weak turbulence (3/4 arcsecond seeing in V), and second, a one meter telescope imaging through an atmosphere with relatively strong turbulence (2 arcsecond seeing in V). For these cases we find, for example, that a residual jitter of less than 0.03 and 0.3 arcseconds respectively can be obtained over about half the sky for nominal choices of the other parameters. The required closed-loop bandwidths in these cases are about 5 and 20 Hz while the appropriate guide stars are approximately 18th and 14th magnitude in V. 6 refs.« less
  • This study compares data from Cone Penetrometer Tests (CPT), high resolution surface reflection seismic (HRS) data and ground penetrating radar (GPR) data in the upper 120 feet (40 meters) of the A/M Area, Upper Three Runs Watershed at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina. The CPT, GPR, and HRS data were obtained along the Silverton Road in the western sector of the A/M Area groundwater plume, and adjacent to Geophysical Correlation Boring {number_sign}1 (GCB-1). This location allows for multiple correlations to be made between the various data sources, and supports shallow investigations for near surface affects of the Crackerneckmore » Fault, a major structural feature in the area. Borehole geophysical data from GCB-1 were used to provide subsurface constraints on the CPT, GPR, and HRS data. core data, natural gamma ray, spectral gamma data, multi-level induction resistivity, density and sonic data were utilized to distinguish clays, sands and silts. The CPT data provided tip bearing and sleeve stress, as an indicator of stratigraphy. Reflection seismic data provided continuous subsurface profiles of key marker horizons. Ground Penetrating Radar provided information on shallow subsurface geological features. Conclusions from this study suggest that there is a high degree of correlation between the CPT and borehole geophysical data, specifically, the Friction Ratio and gamma/spectral gamma curves. The Upland/Tobacco Road, Tobacco Road/Dry Branch, Dry Branch/Santee, Santee/Warley Hill and the Warley Hill/Congaree contacts are discernible. From these contacts it is possible to map structural relationships in the shallow subsurface that are tied to regional data. Because formation contacts are discernible, CPT, HRS, GPR, and geophysical log intra-formational anomalies are mappable. These features allow for stratigraphic and facies mapping using the GPR and HRS data for continuity and the CPT and geophysical data for lithofacies analysis. It is possible to use the combination of these tools to map shallow, stratigraphy and structure across the A/M Area.« less