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Re: Laser Satellite Comms

For those who wait, fear not.  STARSHINE Principal Investigator, 
Gil Moore N7YTX, told me that the *next* STARSHINE satellite after 
this one coming in May will carry a number of small *corner cubes* 
among it's many flat mirrors as an encore.  

FYI, he also mentioned that someone in the Minneapolis area 
plans to perform some laser experiments on STARSHINE this 
summer.  Can't remember the gentleman's name or his 
affiliation right now.  

As of this afternoon, STARSHINE is fully integrated in its 
canister with the Hitchhiker Ejection System (HES), and is 
awaiting Thursday's shipment from GSFC to KSC along with the 
SVF-2 experiment.  Orbiter installation is set for next week 

See more STARSHINE info at <http://www.azinet.com/starshine>. 


STS-96 HH I&T Mgr

At 06:31 PM 3/1/99 -0500, Dr Thomas A Clark (W3IWI) wrote:
>Bob Bruninga, WB4APR wrote:
>> The Navy Research Satellite STARSHINE will fly on STS-96 and might have
>> some potential as a laser reflector for optical comms.  It is a 19 inch
>> diameter sphere covered with 800 1" flat mirrors.  It will be in a 51
>> degree orbit so most everyone will see it.  Rotating at about 1 RPM it
>> will flash sunlight at about a 1 second rate.  Visible at twilight.   At
>> only 205 miles high, it will only last a few months.
>>     Although the ability to actually detect a laser at amateur power
>> levels and optics is miniscule, I just thought someone might want
>> to calculate the possibiilty.  Because of the flat mirrors and dynamics of
>> movement, the point-to-point comm possibilities can only exist for
>> milliseconds each second.  Thus a high data rate burst is needed.
>Actually, it's more like microseconds! 
>Nope -- using your numbers -- 30 bytes = 240 bits during the ~230 usec
>"glint" calculated above translates into a megabit/sec minimum -- Sorry.
>73, Tom

Patrick L. Kilroy                                                  
SSPP Hitchhiker I&T Engineer      Phone:  301-286-1984
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center  Fax:    301-286-1673
Building 5, Mail Code 568         E-mail: pat.kilroy@gsfc.nasa.gov
Greenbelt, Maryland  20771        Web:    http://sspp.gsfc.nasa.gov

  Visit SimSat at http://garc.gsfc.nasa.gov/~simsat/index.html

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