Browse Prior Art Database

Surface Measurement for Space Vehicles

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000092253D
Original Publication Date: 1968-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-05
Document File: 2 page(s) / 27K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Muehldorf, EI: AUTHOR

Abstract

The method is for the precision measurement of distances of space vehicle structures in the space environment. The measurement is made with respect to a point on the spacecraft. The method employs a deflected, modulated electron beam to sample small areas of the surface of the reflector and thus measures the distance from the beam source to the reflector. Electron source 2 consists of a gun, deflection apparatus, and a modulating electrode. Source 2 is rigidly mounted on the antenna feed or subreflector structure 1. Modulated electron beam 3 traverses the vacuum of space and strikes antenna surface 4 which serves as collector for the electrons. The circuits for the electron current are completed via resistor 5, placed between the collector and electrode 7 representing the ground potential.

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Surface Measurement for Space Vehicles

The method is for the precision measurement of distances of space vehicle structures in the space environment. The measurement is made with respect to a point on the spacecraft. The method employs a deflected, modulated electron beam to sample small areas of the surface of the reflector and thus measures the distance from the beam source to the reflector. Electron source 2 consists of a gun, deflection apparatus, and a modulating electrode. Source 2 is rigidly mounted on the antenna feed or subreflector structure 1. Modulated electron beam 3 traverses the vacuum of space and strikes antenna surface 4 which serves as collector for the electrons. The circuits for the electron current are completed via resistor 5, placed between the collector and electrode 7 representing the ground potential. Along resistor 5 appears a voltage in phase with the collected electron current. The phase of this voltage is compared with the phase of the voltage modulating the beam in modulation and comparison logic 6. The phase difference is a function of the distance from electron source 2 to antenna surface 4.

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