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Sub-centimeter Precision Geostationary Satellite Laser Ranging

Oct 19, 2020

In response to the lack of observation stations in the western region of the China Laser Ranging Network, with the support of the Key Laboratory of Space Objects and Debris Observation of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Shanghai Astronomical Observatory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Purple Mountain Observatory jointly conducted a joint survey of the Delingha Qinghai Observatory at an altitude of 3200 meters. The 1.2-meter quantum communication optical telescope has been transformed to achieve high-precision laser ranging missions for satellites and space debris.


Through the development of laser receiving terminals, laser emission systems, measurement control units, and telescope optical mechanical interface transformations, the project team has overcome the impact of epidemics and plateaus. After several months of installation and commissioning, it successfully achieved low-level control for the first time on September 28, 2020. From orbit to synchronous orbit with cooperative target satellite laser observation, the farthest measurement distance is more than 40,000 kilometers, and the ranging accuracy is better than 1 cm. At present, the system has the ability to conduct routine observations of cooperation targets.

laser ranging

Due to the large diameter of the telescope, the good weather transparency of the station, and the very high echo rate of the laser signal, it is a very suitable station for satellite laser observation. According to subsequent development needs, the system will be added to the China Satellite Laser Ranging Network and applied as a joint observation station of the International Laser Ranging Network in due course. By then, the observation capability and target coverage of the China Laser Ranging Network will be significantly enhanced, and it is also expected to become an international One of the best satellite ranging stations in the world.


Based on the basis of cooperative target laser measurement, laser observation of space debris targets will be carried out in the future to fill the gaps in space debris laser detection technology and stations in western my country, provide an excellent observation platform for laboratory space target high-precision detection, and support laboratory high-precision measurement The development of key technologies to improve the accuracy of orbit determination and prediction of space targets, and to carry out research on the laws of rotation and change of space targets.


This work was strongly supported by the University of Science and Technology of China and the Institute of Optoelectronics, Chinese Academy of Sciences.