Computing for Aiming a Spaceborne Bistatic-Radar Transmitter

BISTAT is a computer program for use in aiming a spaceborne bistatic-radar transmitting antenna at a remote planet that has an atmosphere, such that after refraction by the atmosphere and reflection from the surface of the planet, the radar signal travels toward a receiver on Earth.  BISTAT includes an algorithm that neglects atmospheric refraction and calculates a specular reflection point for a spacecraft at a given location. The specular-reflection point is then used as an initial guess for a modified limb-track algorithm that takes atmospheric refraction into account. The output of BISTAT for all spacecraft positions of interest constitutes a pointing profile; the output data are in the form of an inertial-vector file and a Doppler-residual file. The inertial-vector file is used to command the attitude of the spacecraft; the Doppler residual file is used to determine a downlink frequency file for the receiver.

This program was written by Nicole Rappaport of Caltech for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. For further information, access the Technical Support Package (TSP) free on-line at www.techbriefs.com/tsp under the Software category. This software is available for commercial licensing. Please contact Karina Edmonds of the California Institute of Technology at (626) 395-2322. Refer to NPO-41518.

This Brief includes a Technical Support Package (TSP).

Computing for Aiming a Spaceborne Bistatic-Radar Transmitter (reference NPO-41518) is currently available for download from the TSP library.

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