Saturday, September 02, 2006

Space the Final Frontier, Satellite Laser Ranging

Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) system operating in Greenbelt, Maryland. Photo: Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) system operating in Greenbelt, Maryland. SLR systems are equpped with short-pulse laser transmitters that can range to orbiting satellites. Lunar Laser Ranging (LLR) systems can range to retroreflectors located on the moon.
The International Laser Ranging Service (ILRS) was formed to provide a service to support, through Satellite and Lunar Laser Ranging data and related products, geodetic and geophysical research activities as well as IERS products important to the maintenance of an accurate International Terrestrial Reference Frame (ITRF).

The service also develops the necessary standards/specifications and encourages international adherence to its conventions. The ILRS collects, merges, archives and distributes Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) and Lunar Laser Ranging (LLR) observation datasets of sufficient accuracy to satisfy the objectives of a wide range of scientific, engineering, and operational applications and experimentation. FULL TEXT

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