Special Issue "Space LiDAR Technologies and Applications"

A special issue of Remote Sensing (ISSN 2072-4292). This special issue belongs to the section "Remote Sensing Image Processing".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 September 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Hyung-Chul (Harris) Lim
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute, 776 Daedeok-daero, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 34055, Korea
Interests: satellite laser ranging; space debris laser tracking; laser time transfer; laser altimeter and flash LiDAR for space exploration; space optical communication

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

LiDAR, light detection and ranging using lasers is an active remote sensing technique that continues to experience significant advances and progress for space applications. Laser ranging technology was firstly applied in 1964 to determine the orbit of the Beacon Explorer-B satellite equipped with a laser retro-reflector array and provided the precision level of several meters at that time. However, Space LiDAR has been considered a promising sensor for the many space missions because the round-trip flight time of laser pulses provides meter or even centimeter range resolution by employing ultra-short pulse lasers, particularly sub-centimeter for geodetic satellites equipped with a laser retro-reflector array. In addition, precise laser ranging is also required to improve the orbital prediction accuracy of space debris for mitigation or elimination of a significant threat to human space activities as well as operational satellites, which enables precision ground-to-space clock synchronization via a pulsed laser link, required for navigation systems, communications, remote sensing using distributed spacecraft, and fundamental physical experiments. Currently, space LiDAR have reached a high degree of maturity and sophistication thanks to the innovative development of optical and electronic technologies which allow for successful implementation in space missions.

Space LiDAR has been one of the major research themes in space technologies and applications, including space laser ranging, time transfer by laser link, and space exploration. Thus, this Special Issue calls for not only innovative and challenging technologies but also applications related to Space LiDAR.

Dr. Hyung-Chul (Harris) Lim
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Remote Sensing is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Satellite laser ranging
  • Space debris laser tracking
  • Laser time transfer
  • Interplanetary laser ranging
  • Laser transponder
  • Orbit determination
  • Orientation determination
  • Autonomous docking and landing

Published Papers (3 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Communication
Link Budget Analysis with Laser Energy for Time Transfer Using the Ajisai Satellite
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(18), 3739; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs13183739 - 18 Sep 2021
Viewed by 326
Abstract
Two-way Laser Time Transfer (TLTT) using the Ajisai satellite has been considered as a more accurate and stable time transfer technique than existing methods; TLTT requires the kHz laser pulses to decrease the systematic restrictions for TLTT realization. However, because of the low [...] Read more.
Two-way Laser Time Transfer (TLTT) using the Ajisai satellite has been considered as a more accurate and stable time transfer technique than existing methods; TLTT requires the kHz laser pulses to decrease the systematic restrictions for TLTT realization. However, because of the low energy of the kHz laser pulses as well as the low cross section due to the small size of the Ajisai reflecting mirror, the link budget is an important issue to establish the TLTT link between two ground stations. In this study, the TLTT link budget is investigated to find the optimal laser pulse energy via analysis of geometric effects using 30 days of orbital data of the Ajisai satellite from 29 March 2021 within a ground network consisting of four stations located in three countries. The geometric configuration reduces the TLTT link budget by three orders of magnitude due to free space loss, atmospheric transmission, and effective cross section; then, the pulse energy is required to be much higher than laser ranging to the Ajisai satellite. It is shown from the simulation that a few tens of mJ level of pulse energy at the transmitting station is quite enough for TLTT realization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Space LiDAR Technologies and Applications)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Small PN-Code Lidar for Asteroid and Comet Missions—Receiver Processing and Performance Simulations
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(12), 2282; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs13122282 - 10 Jun 2021
Viewed by 892
Abstract
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Space LiDAR Technologies and Applications)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Communication
Centroid Error Analysis of Beacon Tracking under Atmospheric Turbulence for Optical Communication Links
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(10), 1931; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs13101931 - 15 May 2021
Viewed by 428
Abstract
Optical satellite communication has received considerable attention as a promising alternative to radio frequency communication because of its potential advantages including higher data rates and license free spectrum. Many studies have conducted performance analyses of optical communication channels, but few have investigated beacon [...] Read more.
Optical satellite communication has received considerable attention as a promising alternative to radio frequency communication because of its potential advantages including higher data rates and license free spectrum. Many studies have conducted performance analyses of optical communication channels, but few have investigated beacon tracking channels under atmospheric turbulence. The centroid accuracy of beacon tracking channels is limited by not only noise sources, but also a finite delay time, which also fluctuates due to atmospheric turbulence. Consequently, the centroid error is an important figure of merit when evaluating the performance of a beacon tracking system. In this study, the closed-form expressions were derived for average centroid error and fade probability, based on received photoelectron counts depending on exposure time, taking into account the log-normal tracking channels. We analyzed the angular positioning performance of beacon tracking detectors onboard small satellites in the presence of atmospheric turbulence, in terms of centroid error and fade probability. We found that an optimal exposure time exists, which minimizes the centroid error, and that fade probability is inversely proportional to the exposure time. These are significant properties to consider in the design of beacon tracking systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Space LiDAR Technologies and Applications)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Back to TopTop