Proceedings of the Advanced Maui Optical and Space Surveillance Technologies Conference, held in Wailea, Maui, Hawaii, September 1-4, 2009, Ed.: S. Ryan, The Maui Economic Development Board., id.E92.
We describe a non-imaging technique to identify or establish the orientation of an orbiting satellite. This technique involves measuring both the broadening and polarization of pulses reflected from the satellite. As with radar pulses, the laser returns in our scheme are broadened in a way characteristic of the object’s structure in the propagation, or range, direction. While the mapping between the return pulse shape and the object or its orientation is not unique, we also measure the polarization of the scattered pulse to reduce the degeneracy of the inverse problem and allow estimation of structural composition or material properties. In this paper, we describe both the concept and the numerical tools we are using to assess its utility.