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Imaging LIDAR
Del Palmer
post May 19 2008, 10:00 PM
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Under contract from NASA, Rochester Institute of Technology is developing an imaging LIDAR for planetary mapping. Swaths of entire scenes with an accuracy of 1 cm?! Sweet!




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nprev
post May 19 2008, 10:16 PM
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Nice, but it doesn't cite specific wavelengths of interest. Should work well for Mars or airless bodies regardless, but what about Venus or Titan? We need specific freqs to penetrate the clouds, and a 'one size fits all' instrument' does not seem feasible.


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monty python
post May 20 2008, 04:50 AM
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QUOTE (Del Palmer @ May 19 2008, 05:00 PM) *
Under contract from NASA, Rochester Institute of Technology is developing an imaging LIDAR for planetary mapping. Swaths of entire scenes with an accuracy of 1 cm?! Sweet!


To make this a practical tool, we need laser com. to earth. How close are we?

Brian
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djellison
post May 20 2008, 06:42 AM
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QUOTE (monty python @ May 20 2008, 05:50 AM) *
To make this a practical tool, we need laser com. to earth.


Not really - I did a blog entry from Valencia in 2006 about upgrades to RF comms that are coming online.

There is a 180w Ka band transmitter ready to fly at JPL. Combine that with a 3m dish on the spacecraft and a 70m DSN dish, you would get 8 to 20 Mbps (4x MRO's performance)

Upgrade the DSN to the proposed 400 x 12m dish arrays, and put a 6m dish on the spacecraft - then you can do 320 Mbps from Mars to Earth.


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edstrick
post May 20 2008, 07:51 AM
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The press release talks about "optical and ultraviolet".... not at all specific.
For Lidar, you don't need a narrow optical bandpass, except to exclude scattered daylight, which adds up as noise. Just center a "narrow enough" bandpass around the laser frequency.

What's important here is that apparently they are talking about a sensor where each pixel reads out a continuous string of "brightness vs time delay" measurements, not just a single "brightest return was at such-and-such a time delay" reading. That ability's needed to do aerosols, like the upward pointed lidar on Phoenix, or Mars Global Surveyor's lidar (to some extent).
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