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13th International Laser Ranging Workshop
"Toward Millimeter Accuracy"

Automation and Control Systems (J. McGarry and F. Koidl)
Session Summary

Title Primary Author
Berne/Herstmonceux Timebias Service Roger Wood
Intelligent Scheduler, Prioritize in the Fly Christopher Clarke
Improvements in the Automation of the Zimmerwald SLR Station Werner Gurtner
Automated operational software at Shanghai SLR station Zhongping Zhang
Sun Avoidance Software Zhongping Zhang
Infrared Sky Camera -- The Production Model Anthony Mallama
Mini-ASTROD: Mission Concept Wie-Tou Ni
SLR2000 Closed Loop Tracking with a Photon-Counting Quadrant Detector Jan McGarry

The session highlighted the automation advances that have been made in the Laser Ranging community in existing systems and showed what would be happening in upcoming systems. As budgets shrink and manpower decreases, the future of SLR lies in more automation and remote control of existing stations, and in the development of completely automated new stations. The talks showed how far we have come, and hinted at where we are going.

Roger Wood presented the existing "Herstmonceaux/Berne Timebias Service" that automatically produces timebiases for all satellites and prediction centers, and makes this information available to the community. This data is recomputed every 15 minutes, and all stations are urged to use this service. Roger also suggested that the near realtime status exchange, that is currently in use throughout the European SLR community, could benefit the rest of the laser community as well.

Bart Clarke presented his "Intelligent Scheduler, Prioritize on the Fly" that showed how his automated dynamic scheduling could provide optimum tracking for laser ranging stations. As stations become more automated, and as the number of satellites increase, this ability could prove invaluable to the community. This scheduler is currently in use at Matera.

Werner Gurtner showed the "Improvements in the Automation of the Zimmerwald Station" which demonstrated that Zimmerwald has reached the goal of being able to be operated remotely or to run fully automated to extend the operating time.

Tony Mallama gave an update on his "Infrared Sky Camera - The Production Model." He presented the latest details on this instrument which gives both day and night cloud coverage. The sky camera has been tested successfully for over a year, and is an invaluable tool for completely automated SLR stations.

Jan McGarry presented the "SLR2000 Closed Loop Tracking with a Photon-Counting Quadrant Detector" and showed the problems and current solutions for both the transmit and receive sides of the SLR2000 automated closed loop tracking.

The session chairmen would like to express our sincere regrets that our colleague Zhonping Zhang was unable to be present to give his automation talks at this Workshop.


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Last Updated: June 17, 2014



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