Abstract

The optical characteristics of a single-element hollow cube-corner retroreflector for a geosynchronous satellite were numerically evaluated for laser ranging and laser long-path absorption measurements of atmospheric species. An optical design with spherical surfaces and tuned dihedral angles was considered to compensate for velocity aberrations. The parameters for the retroreflector were optimized with genetic algorithms for different retroreflector sizes and wavelengths (500 nm and 1, 3, and 10 µm). We found that 20-cm retroreflectors are sufficient for realistic measurements when the laser wavelength is 500 nm or 1 µm. However, a larger retroreflector is necessary to overcome the detector noise level at 3 and 10 µm.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

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