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Laser radar for Carnarvon

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(Statement by the Minister for Supply, Senator Ken Anderson)

A mobile laser* radar system will be set up for three months at the Carnarvon tracking station (WA) this month, the Minister for Supply (Senator Ken Anderson) said in Sydney today (January 2nd) .

The laser will be operated, on behalf of the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), by a four-man team from the Goddard Space Flight Centre in the U.S.

Its purpose is to work with NASA's GEOS II geodetic satellite, in conjunction with other optical and electronic tracking and range-finding equipment used at the station, so that the latter's location may be determined to a high degree of accuracy.

The experiments are part of a NASA program designed to further improve the accuracy of data on spacecraft orbits, using the laser as a reference standard for comparison of other tracking systems.

As part of this program, experiments will be con-ducted simultaneously with tracking systems at other NASA tracking tations, including those at Woomera (SA) and Orroral al Vley (A.C.T.).


The Minister said this would be the first U.S. laser system to be used in Australia.

SYDNEY, January 2nd.,. 1969.

* The term "LASER"' is an acronym derived from the process it describes - Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.

The term is applied to materials which exploit the fact that an atom or molecule which has been excited by a source of energy can be stimulated to emit some or all of its extra energy in the form of a unit of light.

The characteristics of this emitted light are such that lasers have many applications which include transmitting a beam of light over long distances.