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Tether

Laser
A Contamination-Free Ultrahigh Precision
Formation Flight Method
Based on Intracavity Photon Thrusters and Tethers
2006 NIAC Fellow Meeting Presentation
Young K. Bae, Ph.D.
Bae Institute
Tustin, California, USA
www.baeinstitute.com
Collaborators:
C. W. Larson, Ph.D., AFRL
T. Presilla, Ph.D., Northrop Grumman
C. Phipps, Ph.D., Photonic Associates
J. Carroll, Tether Applications, Inc.
Tether
Laser
Precision Formation Flying
TPF
SI Mission
MAXIM
LISA
SPECS
Tether
Laser
Prior Propellant-Free Formation Flying Concepts
Tether Concepts
• Spin-Stabilization
• Propulsive Conducting Tether
Electrodynamics Concepts
• Microwave Scattering Concept -- M. R. LaPointe (NIAC)
• Coulomb Force Concept -- L. B. King et al. (NIAC)
• Magnetic Dipole Interaction Concept -- D. W. Miller (NIAC)
Present Concepts
Tether + Electrodynamics →Ultrahigh Precision (nano-m
accuracy) Baseline Distance Maintenance
Tether
Laser
Proposed Formation Flying (FF) Method
Force Structure: Counter Balance of Two Forces:
Contracting Force: Tether Tension
Extending Force: Photon Thrust
- Intracavity Arrangement
- Thrust Multiplied by Tens of Thousand Times by
Bouncing of Photons between Spacecraft
Geometrical Structure: Crystalline Structure
Interspacecraft Distance Accuracy: better than nm
Maximum Operation Range: Tens of km (Limited by Mirror Size)
Can be Used for both Static and Dynamic Applications
Tether
Laser
Advantages of the Proposed FF Method
Propellantless
-- System Mass Savings
-- Contamination Free
-- Long Operation Lifetime
Inherent Capability of Efficient Damping of Tether Vibration
by Modulating Laser Thrust
Dual Usage of Photon Thruster Laser for
Interferometric Ranging System
-- Simplified System Architecture and Control
-- Low System Weight
Readily Downscalable to Nano- and Pico- Satellites Usage
Tether
Laser
Tether
Laser
Satellite I
Satellite II
Precision Laser
Power Meter
HR Mirror
HR Mirror
Laser Gain Media
Ultrahigh Precision CW Photon Thrust
Tether
Tension
Piezo-Translator
Stepper Motor
Intracavity Laser Beam
Tether
Reel
Clamp
Lens
Diode
Pump
Laser
Pump
Laser
Beam
HR Mirror
HR Mirror
Part al Mirror i
Photodetector
Part al Mirror i
Part al Mirror i
Tether System
Photon Thruster
System
Interferometric
Ranging System
Nano-Precision Formation Flying System Architecture
Tether
Laser
Photon Thruster System: TRL 3
Satellite I
Satellite II
Precision Laser
Power Meter
HR Mirror
HR Mirror
Laser Gain Media
Ultrahigh Precision CW Photon Thrust
Intracavity Laser Beam
Lens
Diode
Pump
Laser
Pump
Laser
Beam
Laser System
-- Diode Pumped Intracavity Laser
-- Lifetime of Diodes
1 Year for Continuous Operation
Pump Diode Carousel Design – Tens of Years
Tether
Laser
10 100 1000 10000 100000
0.1
1
10
100
1000
10000
10 W System
Intracavity Photon Thrust as a Function of the Mirror Reflectance (R)
P
h
o
t
o
n

T
h
r
u
s
t

(
µ
N
)
1
1 - R
Off-the-Shelf
Super Mirror
Predicted Capability of the Proposed System
Tether
Laser
Specific thrusts as functions of I
sp
of various conventional and photon thrusters.
I
sp
(sec)
10
2
10
3
10
4
10
5
10
6
10
7
10
8
S
p
e
c
i
f
i
c

T
h
r
u
s
t

(
m
N
/
W
)
10
-7
10
-6
10
-5
10
-4
10
-3
10
-2
10
-1
10
0
X 1,000
X 10,000
X 100
X 20,000
Electric Thrusters
Photon Thrusters
Intracavity Multiplication Factors
Tether
Laser
Intersatellite Distance (km)
0.01 0.1 1 10 100
M
i
r
r
o
r

D
i
a
m
t
e
r

(
c
m
)
1
10
Photon Thruster System: Mirror Diameter vs. Operation Distance
Tether
Laser
Interferometric Ranging System: TRL 5
Satellite I
Satellite II
Precision Laser
Power Meter
HR Mirror
HR Mirror
Laser Gain Media
Ultrahigh Precision CW Photon Thrust
Intracavity Laser Beam
Lens
Diode
Pump
Laser
Pump
Laser
Beam
HR Mirror
HR Mirror
Part al Mirror i
Photodetector
Part al Mirror i
Part al Mirror i
Dual Usage of Photon Thruster Laser for Interferometric
Ranging System Source Laser
-- System Architecture Simplification
-- System Mass Reduction
Tether
Laser
Heterodyne Interferometric Ranging System Integrated with Photon Thruster System
Satellite I
Satellite II
Precision Laser
Power Meter
HR Mirror
HR Mirror
Laser Gain Media
Ultrahigh Precision CW Photon Thrust
Intracavity Laser Beam
Lens
Diode
Pump
Laser
Pump
Laser
Beam
Part al Mirror i
Beam Splitter
Measurement
Detector Reference
Detector
AOM
AOM
Retroreflector
Mirror
ODL
Tether
Laser
Tether System: TRL 5
Satellite I
Satellite II
Tether
Clamp
Tether
Reel
Inchworm
Piezo-Translator
Electromechnical Damper
Coarse Control: Reel System-- mm Accuracy
Fine Control: Inchworm or Stepper Motor-- µm Accuracy
Ultrafine Control: Piezo-Translator (off-the-shelf) -- 0.1 nm
Accuracy
Tether
Laser
Method of Tether Vibration Suppression
• Longitudinal Tether Wave Damping
• Tether Material Friction
• Modulation of Photon Thruster Power
• Major Tether Vibrations will Result from Reorientation of the
Whole Formation Structure, and other Sudden Environmental
Perturbations, such as Meteoroid Impacts.
• Transverse Tether Wave Damping
• Electromechanical Damper with Impedance Matching
Damping Applied
Electromechanical Damping
Simulation by Lorenzini et al.
For 1 km Baseline System
Tether
Laser
Example of Formation Flying at L2
Tether
Laser
1 km
Altitude: 1.5 x 10
6
km
Satellite Mass: 100 kg
Cross-sectional Area per
Spacecraft: 1m
2
Base Line Distance: 1 km
Tether Material: Kevlar
Tether Diameter: 4 mm
(99.9 % survival at L2
for 5 years)
Not to Scale
Tether
Laser
Exemplary System Design
Major Perturbation Forces
Solar Pressure Force Per Pair: < 20 µN
Other Perturbations Including Gravitational Perturbations Per Pair: < 30 µN
Total Differential Force Per Pair : < 50 µN
The Tethers are extended with ~ 100 µN with Photon Thrust Per Pair
-- 0.16 µm Extension
The Change in Tether Length due to the Perturbation:
Countered with Length Adjustment with Piezo-Translator (sub nm Accuracy)
Laser Requirements with Off-the-Shelf Components:
Power Requirement ~ 1 W with 0.99995 Mirrors
With 20 % Wall-Plug Efficiency: The Total Laser System Power ~ 5 W
Stability Requirement: ~10
-3
(Lab Laser Stability ~ 10
-5
)
Mirror Diameter: > 7 cm
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Laser
Application Example
Requirements for New World Imager Freeway Mission
By Prof. W. Cash – 2005 NIAC Fellow Meeting
-- Searching for Advanced Civilization in Exo-Planets
• 300 m resolution at 10 parsecs = 0.02 nano-arcseconds
• 500,000 km based line distance between Collectors
• Huge collecting area – one square kilometer
“ Right now this is impossibly expensive,
but not necessarily tomorrow,” by Prof. Cash 2005
Tether
Laser
One-Year Later …“Km-Diameter Membrane Space Telescope
Based on Photon Thrusters and Tethers”
James Webb
Space Telescope
Membrane Mirror (NIAC) Image Processing
With Real-Time
Holographic
Aberration
Correction (NIAC)
Tether
Laser
Roadmap
Optimized Photon Thruster Design and Development
Overall System Integration including the Interferometric Ranging
System and Tether System
Overall System Stability and Control including Tether
Vibration Related Issues
Development of Methods for Reorientation and Alignment of the
Whole Formation Structure
Mission Specific Studies
Tether
Laser
Technology Readiness Assessment Summary
Photon Thrusters: TRL 3
Interferometric Ranging System: TRL 5
Tether System: TRL 5
System Integration and Control: TRL 2
R&D
3
: II - III (moderate -high) (Degree of Difficulty)
Requires to optimize photon thrust design based on the current laboratory
system and system integration, and to develop control system.
Tether
Laser
Phase I Study Accomplishment Summary
Theoretically proved that the proposed FF method is capable of
maintaining the interspacecraft distance with accuracy of nm at the
maximum baseline distance of tens of kms.
Successfully developed the engineering architecture of unification of
photon thruster system with interferometric ranging system for simplified
architecture control and system weight reduction.
Developed the method of controlling tether vibrations using
electromechanical dampers and photon thruster power modulation.
Orbit specific mission applications have been identified and
investigated.
Identified Phase II program topics and designed the Phase II
experimental system.
Tether
Laser
Phase II Proposed Work
Proof-of-Concept Demonstration of Photon Thruster
Construction of a Thrust Stand with nN Accuracy
Overall System Stability and Control
Tether Vibration Dynamics
Environment Perturbation
3-D Simulation
Design of Prototype Interferometric Ranging System
Design of Prototype Tether System
Detailed Study of Specific Applications
In-Depth Revisits of Existing Concepts -- SPECS and MAXIM
Ultralarge Membrane Space Telescopes
Ultralarge Sparse Aperture Space Telescopes
Others
Tether
Laser
Phase II Proposed Work
Photon Thruster Development with Nano-Newton Accuracy Test Stand
Laser Power Meter
Concave HR Mirror
HR Mirror
Laser Media
Intracavity Laser Beam
Torsion
Fiber
Counter
Weight
Vacuum Chamber
Interference Pattern
Low Power Laser
Corner Cube
Windows
Optical Fiber
Photo Detector
for Fringe Counting
Pump Laser Diode
Tether
Laser
Conclusions
The proposed system needs thorough study.
If successful, the proposed system will open new
innovative (revolutionary) ways to implementing new and
existing mission concepts.
Mission Specific Applications
Simplifies the Architecture and Reduces the Weight in
Distributed Interferometery Missions -- TPF, DARWIN, MAXIM,
SPECS etc.
Ultralarge Membrane Space Telescopes -- For New World Imager
(300 m Resolution – Freeway Mission with km Mirror) and Earth
Imaging/Monitoring/Surveillance (10 cm Resolution Monitoring at GEO
with 200 m Mirror)
Ultralarge Sparse Aperture Space Telescopes
Tether
Laser
“I believe in intuitions and inspirations.
I sometimes feel that I am right.
I do not know that I am.”
by Albert Einstein
The Support by NIAC and NASA for this project is greatly appreciated.