Abstract

In order to investigate the feasibility regarding micro-satellite posture steering by laser micro-propulsion, a laser torsion pendulum has been set up so as to get first-hand basic physical and mechanical parameters on laser micro-propulsion. The instrumentation consists of the optical, mechanical, and electrical sub-systems. The optical system includes the main beam optics, the measuring optics, and the observation optics. The mechanical system includes the gyration apparatus, transverse translation stage, vertical translator, focal lenses translator, calibration pendulum translator, and vacuum chamber. For the electrical system a computer is used to control stepping motors to drive the above moving apparatuses. With this instrument the calibration experiment and laser ablation experiment have been carried out. The experimental results demonstrate that the instrument has the capacity to measure impulse down to 10^(-8) N.s with an error of about 10.4%, which can satisfy the requirement of micro-impulse measurement.

© 2005 Chinese Optics Letters

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