Hot answers tagged

30

The paper "Laser Technology in Photonic Applications for Space" by Denis Guilhot and Pol Ribes-Pleguezuelo highlights some of the problems of lasers in space: In the specific case of laser diodes, the indium used to package the laser chip could represent a risk in case of extreme temperatures ranges due to the indium creep behaviour that can lead ...


5

It would have more TWR, the same efficiency, but the matter is almost irrelevant anyway. (If you're trying to build a weapon, not a thruster, the laser is better because it is collimated in a narrow beam and the lamp isn't.) Lasers are inefficient... and their inefficiency means they output heat. Which can only be disposed of in space by radiation. So if ...


4

Thanks to @astrosnapper's comment I've looked at section 3.2.1. of Murphy et al. 2007 APOLLO: the Apache Point Observatory Lunar Laser-ranging Operation: Instrument Description and First Detections. APOLLO uses the Apache Point 3.5 meter telescope for both transmit and receive, a rotating transparent disk with a mirrored spot on it rotates 20 times per ...


3

It uses GPS and, as backup, an intertial navigation system. The two have always provided virtually identical navigation data. A SpaceX employee said that in an interview.


2

Even though the question has already been mostly answered, here is more information about current Lunar Ranging activities. The EUROLAS Data Center (EDC) of the Deutsches Geodätisches Forschungsinstitut at Technische Universität München has a nice website with an API to find laser ranging data. The data are the same than on the CDDIS website as the data ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible