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Article

Small PN-Code Lidar for Asteroid and Comet Missions—Receiver Processing and Performance Simulations

1
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
2
Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20740, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Hyung-Chul (Harris) Lim
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(12), 2282; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs13122282
Received: 27 April 2021 / Revised: 3 June 2021 / Accepted: 7 June 2021 / Published: 10 June 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Space LiDAR Technologies and Applications)
Space missions to study small solar system bodies, such as asteroids and comet cores, are enhanced by lidar that can provide global mapping and serve as navigation sensors for landing and surface sampling. A small swath-mapping lidar using a fiber laser modulated by pseudo-noise (PN) codes is well-suited to small space missions and can provide contiguous measurements of surface topography with <10 cm precision. Here, we report the design and simulation of receiver signal processing of such a lidar using the small all-range lidar (SALi) as a design example. We simulated its performance in measuring the lidar range and surface reflectance by using instrument and target parameters, noise sources, and the receiver correlation processing method under various conditions. In single-beam Reconnaissance mode, the simulation predicted a maximum range of 440 km under sunlit conditions with a range precision as small as 8 cm. In its multi-pixel Mapping mode, the lidar can provide measurements out to 110 km with range precision of 5 cm. The effects of Doppler shift were quantified. From these results, we discuss the need for Doppler compensation via the receiver clock rate. We also describe a novel reflectance measurement method using active laser control, which allows the receiver to use simple comparators for analog-to-digital conversion. This method was simulated with surface reflectance values from 4% to 36% resulting in an RMS precision of 3% and a bias of 1% of the surface reflectance. We also performed an orbital ranging simulation using a shape model of 101955 Bennu for target surface elevation. The range residuals showed a sub-mm bias with a standard deviation of 5 cm. We implemented the receiver processor design on a Xilinx Ultrascale field-programmable gate array (FPGA). It was able to process received signals and retrieve accurate ranges at a single-channel measurement rate of 3050 Hz with a latency of 1.07 ms. View Full-Text
Keywords: lidar; PN code; FPGA; altimetry; sample; landing; asteroid; comet; Doppler lidar; PN code; FPGA; altimetry; sample; landing; asteroid; comet; Doppler
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MDPI and ACS Style

Cremons, D.R.; Sun, X.; Abshire, J.B.; Mazarico, E. Small PN-Code Lidar for Asteroid and Comet Missions—Receiver Processing and Performance Simulations. Remote Sens. 2021, 13, 2282. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs13122282

AMA Style

Cremons DR, Sun X, Abshire JB, Mazarico E. Small PN-Code Lidar for Asteroid and Comet Missions—Receiver Processing and Performance Simulations. Remote Sensing. 2021; 13(12):2282. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs13122282

Chicago/Turabian Style

Cremons, Daniel R., Xiaoli Sun, James B. Abshire, and Erwan Mazarico. 2021. "Small PN-Code Lidar for Asteroid and Comet Missions—Receiver Processing and Performance Simulations" Remote Sensing 13, no. 12: 2282. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs13122282

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