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17 February 2010 Spaceborne laser instruments for high-resolution mapping
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We discuss past, present and future spaceborne laser instruments for high-resolution mapping of Earth and planetary surfaces. Previous spaceborne-laser-altimeters projected and imaged a single laser spot for surface-height measurements. In contrast, the recent Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) instrument on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) uses a non-scanning multi-beam system for surface topography mapping. The multi-beam instrument facilitates surface slope measurement and reduces the time-to-completion for global high-resolution topographic mapping. We discuss our first-year progress on a three-year swath-mapping laser-altimetry Instrument Incubator Program (IIP) funded by the NASA Earth Science Technology Office (ESTO). Our IIP is a technology development program supporting the LIdar Surface Topography (LIST) space-flight mission that is a third-tier mission as recommended by the National Research Council (NRC) for NASA's Earth Science programs.
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Anthony W. Yu, Michael A. Krainak, David J. Harding, James B. Abshire, Xiaoli Sun, Susan Valett, John Cavanaugh, and Luis Ramos-Izquierdo "Spaceborne laser instruments for high-resolution mapping", Proc. SPIE 7578, Solid State Lasers XIX: Technology and Devices, 757802 (17 February 2010);


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