NEW YORK, 14 April 2006. L-3 Communications announced hat a laser rangefinder designed and developed by its Advanced Laser Systems Technology (ALST) subsidiary has come a step closer to being integrated into the Orbital Express Satellite System's rangefinder. The company's laser rangefinder passed a series of required tests.
The Orbital Express Satellite System, conceived by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), consists of two satellites: an Autonomous Space Transport Robotic Operations (ASTRO) servicing spacecraft and NextSat, a modular serviceable "client" satellite.
The ALST laser rangefinder will be used on the ASTRO servicing spacecraft to determine the range between it and the NextSat.
The Orbital Express Demonstration System is scheduled to be launched in October 2006.
The Orbital Express Satellite System will provide "roadside assistance" for other satellites in orbit.
An operational version of Orbital Express could be deployed as early as 2009.