Centimeter Accuracy for the French Transportable Laser Ranging Station (FTLRS) through Sub-System Controls
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The French Transportable Laser Ranging Station (FTLRS)is a highly mobile satellite laserranging (SLR) system dedicated to the trackingof geodetic satellites equipped withretroreflectors. This station weighs only 300kg witha 13-cm diameter telescope and is housedin eight containers.
The reliability of such a station and its accuracy of 2 cmin real field experiment conditionswere demonstrated during a first field campaign carried outfrom October 1996 to February1997 near Ajaccio on Corsica Island, France. The results ofthis probatory experiment suggestedthat several technical improvements and some modificationswere necessary for JASON-1validation and calibration phase and for new applicationssuch as the Time Transfer by LaserLink (T2L2) experiment. A first change concerns theuse of a new laser wavelength (green instead ofinfrared) and of a new avalanche photodiode with atime walk compensation system. Anotherchange is the installation of a coaxial cabletransmitting directly the signal coming from thereturn detector. Finally, a new calibration systemwas developed with several other changes.A short description of the system is first given.Then, the major changes and the main resultsof ground accuracy tests are summarized and presented.
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