Seasat seen superbly

From: Allen Thomson (thomsona@flash.net)
Date: Fri May 05 2000 - 10:20:22 PDT

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    FWIW, there's an article on adaptive optics in the 21 April 2000 
    Science.  One of the figures (on p. 455) is a set of pictures of Seasat 
    taken by the 3.5-meter telescope at the Starfire Optical Range in New 
    Mexico at a range of about 1000 km.  Without adaptive compensation, the
    image is  blur; with the AO system turned on, the image is a
    recognizable picture of Seasat showing all the major structures,
    including the scatterometer booms; and with unspecified postprocessing
    the resolution improves to some 25 cm.  The wavelength used was 800 nm,
    so it wasn't quite a visual observation, but it was pretty close.
    
    While the US has been doing satellite imaging with adaptive optics for
    almost two decades, satellite images are almost never released.  In
    fact, I can only think of one, of the Shuttle, that appeared in Aviation
    Week years ago.  I'll fire up my scanner and, if the results are
    acceptable, forward the Seasat images to Bart as candidates for
    inclusion in http://www2.satellite.eu.org/telescope.html .
    
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