NASA Office of Logic Design
A scientific study of the problems of digital engineering for space flight systems,
with a view to their practical solution.
Apollo 16 Laser AltimeterNSSDC ID: 1972-031A-05
Mission Name: Apollo 16 Command and Service Module (CSM)
Principal Investigator: Dr. William M. Kaula
Mass: 22.5 kg
The laser altimeter was used to obtain data on the altitudes of the CSM above the lunar surface. The altimeter resolution was 1-m. The altimeter data was used to support the mapping and panoramic camera photography, to provide altitude data for other orbital experiments, and to relate lunar topographical features for a better definition of lunar shape. The altimeter was hard-mounted and aligned with the metric camera in the scientific instrument module bay of the CSM and operated automatically. Used with the mapping camera, its emitted pulse corresponded to a midframe ranging for each film frame exposed. The altimeter also operated in a decoupled mode from the metric camera in independent ranging measurements. The laser altimeter functioned nominally. A total of 2395 measurements were made with and overall reliability of 63.5%. The percentage of valid measurements gradually deteriorated down to 50% by rev 60, decreased abruptly to 5% on rev 63 which was the last photographic pass. The measurements were sufficient to provide the necessary cartographic control. CONTROL.
Name Role Original Affiliation Dr. William M. Kaula Principal Investigator University of California, Los Angeles
- Planetary Science: Geology and Geophysics
Apollo Laser Altimeters
Final Report: Apollo Laser Altimeter Analysis, S-216: William L. Sjogren, Principal Investigator, JPL. January, 1975
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