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29 January 2002 Analysis of satellite laser optical cross sections from the active imaging testbed
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In a previous paper the first two authors described two techniques for estimating the optical cross section (OCS) of remotely illuminated objects. This report uses OCS estimates from the Active Imaging Testbed, fielded in 1999 by the Air Force Research Laboratory's Directed Energy Directorate's Surveillance Technologies Branch to analyze the frequency and magnitude of glints. Glints are the transient, non- Lambertian returns from such features as a flat, specular surface or a natural corner cube. The OCS of a satellite is the least well understood element of the range equation used to estimate system performance. Glints caused by natural corner cubes often exceed the radiometric estimate by orders of magnitudes. However, glints also occur that are on the order of five to ten times the expected returns, due perhaps to the transient alignment of a flat surface. These phenomena can provide increased signal for tracking or imaging applications, but can also act as a noise source. Glints may be identified and their statistics analyzed using the OCS estimation technique.
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Gordon W. Lukesh, Susan M. Chandler, and David G. Voelz "Analysis of satellite laser optical cross sections from the active imaging testbed", Proc. SPIE 4538, Optics in Atmospheric Propagation and Adaptive Systems IV, (29 January 2002);

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