Locate and Identify Satellites with Laser Reflectors

The innovative laser reflectors for satellites have additional optics to polarize laser beams. (Credit: DLR/Eppler)
  • The DLR Institute of Technical Physics has developed a new generation of laser reflectors for satellites.
  • Satellites equipped with the reflectors should be able to be located with centimeter precision using lasers and at the same time be clearly identified.
  • The reflectors have additional optics for polarizing the laser light for the satellite laser ranging process.
  • Focus: space travel, security

COLOGNE, Germany (DLR PR) — The German Aerospace Center (DLR) is testing a new generation of laser reflectors for satellites. Satellites equipped with it should be able to be located from Earth with lasers and identified at the same time. The special thing about the new reflectors is the adjustable polarization optics for each satellite. These individually change the properties of a reflected laser beam, which allows the satellites to be distinguished.