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astronautix.com RME


Other Designations: Relay Mirror Experiment. Class: Military. Type: SDI. Nation: United States. Agency: SDIO. Manufacturer: Ball Space Systems.

The Relay Mirror Experiment (RME) was launched as a dual payload with LACE. Both satellites carried defence experiments intended to aid in design of space-based anti-missile lasers. RME validated stabilisation, tracking, and pointing technologies at performance levels required for Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) missions through a credible demonstration of a space-based relay mirror system. RME's 24-inch mirror was used to test laser pointing technology by deflecting ground-based beams back to earth. RME's attitude control system malfunctioned immediately after launch, shutting off a reaction wheel. The Maui Optical Observatory atop Mount Haleakala established the first relay on June 26, 1990, with Kihei, Hawaii. The payload also included the Wideband Angular Vibration Experiment (WAVE) measured low-level angular vibrations affecting performance of acquisition, tracking, and pointing (ATP) systems. Payload: The precision relay mirror was 24 in. (61 cm) and had a pointing accuracy of 0.2 arcsec.


Specification

Design Life: 6 months. Total Mass: 1,040 kg.


RME Chronology


01 January 1990 Relay Mirror Experiment first successful laser relay

The Maui Optical Observatory atop Mount Haleakala established the first relay with Kihei, Hawaii.


14 February 1990 RME (USA 52) Launch Site: Cape Canaveral . Launch Vehicle: Delta 6925. Mass: 1,040 kg. Perigee: 261 km. Apogee: 281 km. Inclination: 43.1 deg.

Relay Mirror Experiment; also known as Losat-R. RME validated stabilization, tracking, and pointing technologies for Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) missions through a credible demonstration of a space-based relay mirror system. The Wideband Angular Vibration Experiment (WAVE) measured low-level angular vibrations affecting performance of acquisition, tracking, and pointing systems. The experiment demonstrated that a laser beam can be accurately relayed from the earth to an orbiting satellite 450 kilometers away and then back to a 3-meter target on the ground. It achieved relay beam pointing accuracy which was 16 times better than the technical requirement. WAVE demonstrated the capability to discern platform disturbance amplitudes of a few nanoradians at discrete frequencies and is therefore a candidate to fulfill similar requirements for future ATP experiments.



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Last update 12 March 2001.
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