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Timing System for the Laser Altimeter for Planetary Exploration Technology Demonstrator

Jirousek, P. and Prchazka, I. and Hamal, K. and Fedyszynova, M. and Michaelis, H. and Fumin, Yang and Peicheng, Huang (2006) Timing System for the Laser Altimeter for Planetary Exploration Technology Demonstrator. In: 15th International Laser Ranging Workshop, p. 67. 15th International Laser Ranging Workshop, Canberra, Australia, 2006-10-15 - 2006-10-20, Canberra (Australia).

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Abstract

We are presenting the design, construction and tests of the timing system for the Laser Altimeter technology demonstrator. Altimeter Timing System (ATS) is a universal timing system for laser ranging in ground-ground, air-ground and ground-satellite experiments. It is dedicated to measure precise time interval with sub-nanosecond resolution. The device for advanced range gating is included. The unit is interfaced to a host personal computer via a serial data link for control, two-way data transfer and diagnostics. The entire ATS has been designed and constructed on the basis of the Portable Calibration Standard (PCS) for satellite laser ranging, which has been developed in our labs within the last ten years. To reduce the complexity, costs, weight and power, considering the modest timing resolution requirements, the sub-nanoseconds instead of picoseconds resolution of the time intervals, the timing part of the original device has been replaced by the Mini Counter. The overall design philosophy, the operational control software, the epoch timing, the range gate generation have been preserved along with the concept of the host computer software package for data acquisition, control and data analysis including the communication protocol, data and command formats etc. The use of well-tested concept of both the HW and SW enabled to shorten the design, construction and testing phase of the final device down to several weeks. The ATS consists of the Mini Counter module, the epoch timing and range gate generator module, the control processing unit, the input/output circuits and of the power supplies. The entire control logic hardware including the epoch timing and range gate generator and the input/output board logic is based on the FPGA (ispGAL) programmable logical arrays. There is a significant array capacity still available for future functional extensions and device upgrades, the arrays are field programmable. This fact ensures the maximum device flexibility and upgradability. The main parameters are: resolution 0.25 ns, linearity and stability better than 0.1 ns and 0.1 ns per K and per hour resp. The laser fire epoch resolution is 100 ns, the range gate is programmable in 40 ns steps. The device is small (2 kg), low power, it is capable to operate 3 hours on eight pieces of AA batteries.

Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Title:Timing System for the Laser Altimeter for Planetary Exploration Technology Demonstrator
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of Authors
Jirousek, P.Czech Technical University, Prag, Czech Republik
Prchazka, I.Czech Technical University, Prag, Czech Republik
Hamal, K.Czech Technical University, Prag, Czech Republik
Fedyszynova, M.Czech Technical University, Prag, Czech Republik
Michaelis, H.UNSPECIFIED
Fumin, YangShanghai Observatory, Shanghai, China
Peicheng, HuangShanghai Observatory, Shanghai, China
Date:20 August 2006
Journal or Publication Title:15th International Laser Ranging Workshop
Page Range:p. 67
Status:Published
Keywords:Laser Altimeter, Timing System, Planetary Exploration
Event Title:15th International Laser Ranging Workshop, Canberra, Australia
Event Location:Canberra (Australia)
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:2006-10-15 - 2006-10-20
Organizer:International Laser Ranging Service
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport (old)
HGF - Program:Space (old)
HGF - Program Themes:W EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research area:Space
DLR - Program:W EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research theme (Project):W -- no assignement (old)
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Planetary Sensor Systems
Deposited By: Dr. Harald Michaelis
Deposited On:17 Nov 2006
Last Modified:27 Apr 2009 13:12

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