NASA has successfully demonstrated coherent uplink arraying with real time compensation for atmospheric phase fluctuations at 7.145-7.190 GHz (X-band) and is pursuing a similar demonstration 30-31 GHz (Ka-band) using three 12m diameter COTS antennas separated by 60m at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. In addition, we have done the same demonstration with up to three 34m antennas separated by 250m at the Goldstone Deep Space Communication Complex in California at X-band 7.1 GHz. We have begun to infuse the capability at Goldstone into the Deep Space Network to provide a quasi-operational system. Such a demonstration can enable NASA to design and establish a high power (10 PW) high resolution (<10 cm), 24/7 availability radar system for (a) tracking and characterizing observations of Near Earth Objects (NEOs), (b) tracking, characterizing and determining the statistics of small-scale (≤10cm) orbital debris, (c) incorporating the capability into its space communication and navigation tracking stations for emergency spacecraft commanding in the Ka band era which NASA is entering, and (d) fielding capabilities of interest to other US government agencies. We present herein the results of our phased array uplink combining at near 7.17 and 8.3 GHz using widely separated antennas demonstrations, our moderately successful attempts to rescue the STEREO-B spacecraft (distance 2 astronomical units (185,000,000 miles), the first two attempts at imaging and ranging of near Earth asteroids, and progress in developing telescopes that are fully capable at radio and optical frequencies. And progress toward the implementation of our vision for going forward in implementing a high performance, low lifecycle cost multi-element radar array.
Advanced Maui Optical and Space Surveillance (AMOS) Technologies Conference
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- Ka band radar;
- digital manufacturing