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Feasibility of utilizing the 200-inch Hale telescope as a deep-space optical receiver

Roberts, W. T. and Petrie, H. L. and Pickles, A. J. and Thicksten, R. P. and Echols, C. (2004) Feasibility of utilizing the 200-inch Hale telescope as a deep-space optical receiver. In: Free-Space Laser Communications IV. Proceedings of SPIE. No.5550. Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) , Bellingham, WA, pp. 326-335. ISBN 9780819407818.

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Capturing the very faint optical communications signals expected from the Mars Laser Communication Demonstration (MLCD) experiment to fly aboard the Mars Telecommunications Orbiter (MTO) in 2009 requires a sensitive receiver placed at the focus of a large collecting aperture. For the purpose of demonstrating the potential of deep-space optical communication, it makes sense to employ a large astronomical telescope as a temporary receiver. Because of its large collecting aperture, its reputation as a well-run instrument, and its relative convenience, the 200-inch Hale Telescope on Palomar Mountain is being considered as a demonstration optical 'antenna' for the experiment. However, use of the telescope in this manner presents unique challenges to be overcome, the greatest of which is pointing the telescope and maintaining the communication link to within a few degrees of the Sun. This paper presents our candidate approaches for adapting the Hale telescope to meet the demonstration requirements, modifications to the facilities and infrastructure, the derivation of requirements for baffles and filters to meet the near-Sun pointing objectives, and initial data on the potential of candidate modifications to meet the requirements.

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Additional Information:© 2004 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). The authors would like to thank Dr. Gary Peterson of Breault Research Organization for calculations indicating relative amounts of power into dome slit. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory and California Institute of Technology carried out the research described in this paper under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
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Series Name:Proceedings of SPIE
Issue or Number:5550
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190221-110527326
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Official Citation:W. Tom Roberts, Hal L. Petrie, Andrew J. Pickles, Robert P. Thicksten, and Chris Echols "Feasibility of utilizing the 200-inch Hale telescope as a deep-space optical receiver", Proc. SPIE 5550, Free-Space Laser Communications IV, (20 October 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.563324;
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:93141
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:22 Feb 2019 16:50
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 16:55

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