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4 August 2003 NIR daylight acquisition sensor improves mission capabilities
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The US Air Force Maui Space Surveillance System includes a 1.6 meter telescope located at the summit of Haleakala. This telescope has long played a key role in Space Object Identification (SOI) and other scientific research projects. The unique configuration of the 1.6m telescope and its suite of instruments make it ideally suited for high speed, extra-atmospheric Satellite and Missile tracking. However, because of the uniquely designed narrow field of the 1.6m telescope, acquisition of daytime objects presents a challenge. In the past, the 1.6 meter system relied primarily on offsite radar handoffs to provide FOV object placement. This reliance on radar based handoffs increased system operational complexity and decreased system reliability. Recognizing the value of improving mission operational availability and success the US Air Force Research Laboratory and contractor Boeing worked together to design a low cost system to improve the wide field acquisition of daylight objects. This instrument, known as the Daylight Acquisition Sensor (DAS), was developed using a COTS NIR Camera with custom NIR optics assemblies controlled with an integrated COTS embedded computer interface. The design that was implemented is a modification to the existing 0.56 meter nighttime only acquisition telescope, which now, because of the new NIR imaging sensor is capable of both daytime and nighttime acquisition. The system has been in operation for over 1 year and has significantly improved the acquisition capabilities of the 1.6m telescope while at the same time greatly reducing dependency on radar handoff. This paper discusses the design of the NIR Daylight Acquisition Sensor and some of the results from missions it has supported.
© (2003) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Douglas E. Chesser, Darius Vunck, Terry Born, Wayne Axelson, Karl Rehder, and Robert S. Medrano "NIR daylight acquisition sensor improves mission capabilities", Proc. SPIE 5082, Acquisition, Tracking, and Pointing XVII, (4 August 2003);


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