The Space Shuttle Endeavour launched on February 11, 2000, on the STS-99 Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM). This radar instrument, built and managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, together with the shuttle crew, successfully acquired a high-resolution topographic map of the Earth's land mass (between 60°N and 56°S) and tested new technologies for deployment of large rigid structures and measurement of their distortions to extremely high precision.
n support of the 5. 3 GHz calibration loop of the SRTM instrument, RIFOCS Corporation supplied fiber optic assemblies terminated with the aerospace-qualified AVIM connector. The fiber optic system contained a fiber optic transmitter, a fiber optic circulator, a single-mode fiber optic cable assembly, a Faraday rotating half mirror, two fiber optic receivers, and a custom designed temperature controlled phase shifter consisting of a spool of single-mode optical fiber. Most of these components were carefully selected, slightly modified, commercial-off-the-shelf devices, modified to meet requirements. Most of them had never been used in a space application.
George Lutes of Jet Propulsion Labs/NASA said, "The success of SRTM is a tribute to the dedication, skill, and hard work that you (RIFOCS Corporation) and your team put into doing your part. I t is particularly significant because it is new technology to the spacecraft community and we hope it will serve as a foot in the door for future applications of photonic systems in space."
For more information contact RIFOCS Corporation, 1340 Flynn Road, Camarillo, CA 93012 USA, call 805.389.9800, fax 805.389.9808, email sales@rifocs. com or visit www. rifocs.com.