Center-of-mass corrections for sub-cm-precision laser-ranging targets: Starlette, Stella and LARES

Abstract

To realize the full potential of satellite laser ranging for accurate geodesy, it is crucial that all systematic effects in the measurements are taken into account. This paper derives new values for the so-called center-of-mass corrections for three geodetic satellites that are regularly tracked and used in geodetic studies. Optical responses of the twin satellites, Starlette and Stella, and the LARES satellite are retrieved from kHz single-photon laser-ranging data observed at Herstmonceux and Potsdam. The detection timing inside single-photon systems, C-SPAD-based systems and photomultiplier-based systems is numerically simulated, and the center-of-mass corrections are derived to be in the range of 74 to 82 mm for Starlette and Stella, and 127–135 mm for LARES. The system dependence is below 1 cm, but should not be ignored for millimeter accuracy. The longtime standard center-of-mass correction 75 mm of Starlette and Stella is revealed to be too small for the current laser-ranging stations on average, which is considered to have resulted in a non-negligible systematic error in geodetic products.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6

References

  1. Appleby GM (1992) Satellite signatures in SLR observations. In: Proceedings of 8th international workshop on laser ranging instrumentation, pp 2.1–2.14

  2. Appleby GM (1996) Satellite laser ranging and the Etalon geodetic satellite. Ph.D. Thesis, The University of Aston in Birmingham, UK

  3. Arnold DA (1975) Optical transfer function of Starlette retroreflector array. Technical Report RTOP 161–06-02, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory

  4. Arnold DA (2013) Preliminary transfer function of the LARES satellite. In: Proceedings of 18th international workshop on laser ranging, 13-0408

  5. Chen JL, Wilson CR (2008) Low degree gravity changes from GRACE, Earth rotation, geophysical models, and satellite laser ranging. J Geophys Res 113:B06402

  6. Ciufolini I, Paolozzi A, Koenig R, Pavlis EC, Ries J, Matzner R, Gurzadyan V, Penrose R, Sindoni G, Paris C (2013) Fundamental physics and general relativity with the LARES and LAGEOS satellites. Nucl Phys B 243–244:180–193

  7. Degnan JJ (1985) Satellite laser ranging: current status and future prospects. IEEE Trans Geosci Remote Sens GE-23(4):398–413

  8. Gibbs P, Potter C, Sherwood RA, Wilkinson M, Benham D, Smith V, Appleby GM (2006) Some early results of kilohertz laser ranging at Herstmonceux. In: Proceedings of 15th international workshop on laser ranging, pp 250–258

  9. Grunwaldt L, Weisheit S, Steinborn J (2013) Upgrade of SLR Station 7841 Potsdam. In: Proceedings of 18th international workshop on laser ranging, 13-Po56

  10. ILRS (2012) Mission LARES. http://ilrs.gsfc.nasa.gov/missions/satellite_missions/current_missions/lars_general.html

  11. Kirchner G, Koidl F (2004) Graz KHz SLR system: design, experiences and results. In: Proceedings of 14th international workshop on laser ranging, pp 501–506

  12. Kirchner G, Koidl F, Prochazka I, Hamal K (1998) SPAD time walk compensation and return energy dependent ranging. In: Proceedings of the 11th international workshop on laser ranging instrumentation, pp 245–249

  13. Kral L, Prochazka I, Hamal K (2005) Optical signal path delay fluctuations caused by atmospheric turbulence. Opt Lett 30(14):1767–1769

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Kucharski D, Otsubo T, Kirchner G, Koidl F (2010) Spin axis orientation of AJISAI determined from Graz 2 kHz SLR data. Adv Space Res 46(3):251–256

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Kucharski D, Lim H-C, Kirchner G, Koidl F (2014a) Spin parameters of low Earth orbiting satellites Larets and Stella determined from satellite laser ranging data. Adv Space Res 53(1):90–96

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Kucharski D, Lim H-C, Kirchner G, Otsubo T, Bianco G, Hwang J-Y (2014b) Spin axis precession of LARES measured by satellite laser ranging. IEEE Geosci Remote Sens Lett 11(3):646–650

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Matsuo K, Chao BF, Otsubo T, Heki K (2013) Accelerated ice mass depletion revealed by low-degree gravity field from satellite laser ranging: Greenland, 1991–2011. Geophys Res Lett 40(17):4662–4667

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Neubert R (1994) An analytical model of satellite signature effects. In: Proceedings of 9th international workshop on laser ranging instrumentation, pp 82–91

  19. Otsubo T, Amagai J, Kunimori H (1999) The center-of-mass correction of the geodetic satellite AJISAI for single-photon laser ranging. IEEE Trans Geosci Remote Sens 37(4):2011–2018

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Otsubo T, Amagai J, Kunimori H, Elphick M (2000) Spin motion of the AJISAI satellite derived from spectral analysis of laser ranging data. IEEE Trans Geosci Remote Sens 38(3):1417–1424

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Otsubo T, Appleby GM (2003) System-dependent center-of-mass correction for spherical geodetic satellites. J Geophys Res 109(B4):9.1–9.10

  22. Paolozzi A, Ciufolini I, Vendittozzi C (2011) Engineering and scientific aspects of LARES satellite. Acta Astronaut 69(3):127–134

  23. Parkhomenko N, Shargorodsky VD, Vasiliev VP, Yurasov V (2013) Accident in orbit. In: Proceedings of 18th international workshop on laser ranging, 13-Po03

  24. Ries J (2008) SLR bias/CoM offset issues, impact on the TRF scale. GGOS Ground Networks and Communications Working Group Meeting, Vienna. ftp://cddis.gsfc.nasa.gov/misc/ggos/0804/GNCWG_Ries_slrbias_080416

  25. Schwartz JA (1990) Laser ranging error budget for the TOPEX/POSEIDON satellite. Appl Opt 29(25):3590–3596

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Sosnica K, Jaeggi A, Thaller D, Beutler G, Dach R (2014) Contribution of Starlette, Stella, and AJISAI to the SLR-derived global reference frame. J Geod 88:789–804

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Vasiliev VP, Shargorodsky VD, Novikov SB, Chubykin AA, Parkhomenko NN, Sadovnikov MA (2007) Progress in laser systems for precision ranging, angle measurements, photometry, and data transfer. ILRS Fall 2007 workshop

Download references

Acknowledgments

This work was supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number 26400449.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Toshimichi Otsubo.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Otsubo, T., Sherwood, R.A., Appleby, G.M. et al. Center-of-mass corrections for sub-cm-precision laser-ranging targets: Starlette, Stella and LARES. J Geod 89, 303–312 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00190-014-0776-y

Download citation

Keywords

  • Satellite laser ranging
  • Optical response
  • Starlette
  • Stella
  • LARES