PITTSBURGH, June 24 -- Brashear LP announced it has completed a high-precision, fast-tracking 1-meter telescope for the US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) Naval Center for Space Technology. The telescope will be used for satellite laser ranging (SLR), which determines the geocentric position of satellites and contributes scientific studies of the earth, its atmosphere and ocean systems.
The telescope will be integrated with a laser timing system developed at NRL. The position of satellites -- each with special instrumentation, in orbits as high as 6000 km -- will be measured to accuracies smaller than a few millimeters.
"This telescope is so precise it can track from Pittsburgh a beach ball above Paris traveling over 12,000 miles per hour," said Jeff Maloney, Brashear LP program manager, Telescope Systems.
Testing is currently underway and is scheduled to be complete by early June. After the NRL telescope is shipped, two more 1-meter telescopes are scheduled to begin the testing phase at the Brashear integration facility. The first telescope system, purchased by a Japanese customer, will also be used for satellite laser ranging. The second, purchased by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, will be used for deep-space optical communications.