Synthetic/Sparse Aperture Imaging Techniques
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AbstractAn ongoing need exists within the defense community to image resident space objects (RSO) in low earth orbit (LEO). Proposed herein is the Polarization based Imaging Correlography Sensor Array (PICS Array) for measurements of LEO objects. A laser source reflects off an RSO and the returning light is collected by an array of Stokes vector polarimeters. Through the use of an image correlography algorithm, a high fidelity image of the RSO can be reconstructed without atmospheric perturbation. The successful implementation of this sensor relies on a multi-disciplinary effort requiring expertise in optical engineering, electronics design, mechanical design and manufacturing processes. Radiometric calculations and electronics design performed on Phase I demonstrate the ability to construct a Stokes vector polarimeter with sufficient signal to noise ratio to resolve the energy returned. A novel division of amplitude polarimeter concept has been formulated that provides a simple, compact and efficient package to act as the unit cell sensor. Full scale array designs have been formulated that address cost effective, high volume production solutions to realize the programmatic goal at a reasonable cost.
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