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  History behind Neodymium S1 Laser Transmitter?

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Author Topic:   History behind Neodymium S1 Laser Transmitter?
Ship104
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posted 10-30-2012 12:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ship104   Click Here to Email Ship104     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Can anyone shed any info on this item please? It is a Neodymium S1 Laser Transmitter. It is made by International Laser Systems. Appears to be from the shuttle era? On its metal ID stamp, it says:
Model: SI 1
Contract: NAS 5-22916
Serial Number: 001
Can you please let me know any info you have on this piece? What it is? What it was part of? What it was used on? Did it fly to space? Did it remain on the Earth?

It has a very interesting appearance and its serial number makes it all the more interesting.

David Carey
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posted 10-30-2012 12:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for David Carey   Click Here to Email David Carey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This should provide some useful background.

Ship104
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posted 10-30-2012 01:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ship104   Click Here to Email Ship104     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you David, that is a lot of background! So much of that is technical data and analysis that is over my head.

It says "Spaceborne Laser Ranging System" but those final report dates of January 1976 to February 1979 are before the shuttle program was in the air. Do you think this remained on the ground? They sure made it to look right at home up in space. It's heavy though, if it were to go up it would have cost a few bucks in gas to lift!

Jim Behling
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posted 10-30-2012 11:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I would say that it did not fly.
  1. Don't know of any Spacelab mission for such a laser.
  2. From the report, it was just a testbed.

Ship104
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posted 10-30-2012 12:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ship104   Click Here to Email Ship104     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks, it's not a deal breaker to me if it flew or not.

Do you know what the laser ranging system was for? I have looked through the report document but do not see what the spaceborne laser ranging system was for.

It is a great looking piece that will be a great display for my admiration of space exploration to company who comes over to the house. Hopefully it might spark a little interest in the space programs in them as well.

bwhite1976
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posted 10-30-2012 12:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bwhite1976   Click Here to Email bwhite1976     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What is the price range for an item such as this? Very interesting piece of history. Thanks for posting.

Jim Behling
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posted 10-30-2012 04:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ship104:
Do you know what the laser ranging system was for?
"One such application centers upon the use of a spaceborne laser terminal which can range to 2-cm accuracy against ground based retroreflectors."

David Carey
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posted 10-30-2012 10:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for David Carey   Click Here to Email David Carey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree with Jim; it likely didn't fly (the contract seemed to be for ground prototype/proof-of-concept only) but the general technology was being developed to measure distances (spacecraft altitude/range-finding/etc.) by pulsed laser versus the more common radar of the time.

It's worth noting that laser altimeters were being tested experimentally in Apollo 15-17.

At the end of the day, it isn't all that removed from the laser measuring technologies currently used by the military, surveyors, and even golfing enthusiasts.

A cool instrument in any case - enjoy!

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