Lidar to Weather Balloon Profile Comparison for Support of Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle Landings
Teets, Edward H.
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A comparison study by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, CA and the Naval Post Graduate School Center for Interdisciplinary Remotely-Piloted Aircraft Studies, Marina, CA was conducted to show the advantages of an airborne wind profiling lidar system in reducing drift uncertainty along a reentry vehicle descent trajectory. This effort was in support of the once planned Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle ground landing. A Twin Otter Doppler Wind Lidar was flown on multiple flights along the approximate ground track of an ascending weather balloons launched from the Marina Municipal Airport. The airborne lidar used was a 5-milli-Joules, 2-micron infrared laser with a 10- centimeter telescope and a two-axis scanner. Each lidar wind profile contains data for an altitude range between the surface and flight altitude of 2,700 meters, processed on board every 20 seconds.
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