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NGSLR Safety HandbookNASA's Next Generation Satellite Laser Ranging (NGSLR) station is the prototype for NASA's Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) systems which will be deployed around the world in the coming decade. The NGSLR system will be an autonomous, photon-counting SLR station with an expected absolute range accuracy of better than one centimeter and a normal point (time-averaged) range precision better than one millimeter. The system provides continuous (weather permitting), 24 hour tracking coverage to an existing constellation of approximately two dozen artificial satellites equipped with passive retroreflector arrays, using pulsed, 532 nm, class IV laser systems. Current details on the approved laser systems can be found in the Appendix 1 of this document. This safety plan addresses the potential hazards to emitted laser radiation, which can occur both inside and outside the shelter. Hazards within the shelter are mitigated through posted warning signs, activated warning lights, procedural controls, personal protective equipment (PPE), laser curtains, beam blocking systems, interlock controls, pre-configured laser control settings, and other controls discussed in this document. Since the NGSLR is a satellite tracking system, laser hazards exist outside the shelter to personnel on the shelter roof and to passing aircraft. Potential exposure to personnel outside the system is mitigated through the use of posted warning signs, access control, procedural controls, a stairwell interlock, beam attenuation/blocking devices, and a radar based aircraft detection system.
Document ID
Document Type
McGarry, Jan (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Date Acquired
October 4, 2016
Publication Date
February 1, 2015
Subject Category
Engineering (General)
Report/Patent Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
satellite laser ranging
operational ranging systems
SGP Network

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