Command & control system for laser stations

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It is essential that every part of a Satellite Laser Ranging system (SLR) operates precisely as well as the overall coordination of subsystem interaction is running optimally to achieve very high measurement accuracies. Our sophisticated command & control system „SCOPE“ makes sure that the SLR operation works like a charm and is easy to use by the observers!

Real Time


SCOPE comprises a modern user interface and central daemon software running the the background to command and control all hardware and security components in real-time. It allows to perform all SLR operations, observations and monitoring remotely, too. We also offer our complete SLR system simulator for verification, troubleshooting, training and demonstration.


Tracking Screen

SCOPE Features
Well-tested system

Benefit from a mature core system comprising astro-physical algorithms, precise timing, workflows and monitoring

Intuitive user interface

Easy to use GUI for the common observers plus detailed system interaction, monitoring & configuration for SLR experts.

Support for all operation aspects

SLR system initialization, calibration, satellite & space debris tracking, star observation, planning, different operation modes, semi-automatic operation, etc.

Full SLR system simulator

Available for verification, algorithm & timing tests, replay of passes, internal trainings and demonstration to visitors.

Sophisticated system design

Ready to integrate new hardware components, interfaces, software modules, operation modes, algorithms and other extensions.

Flexible custom configurations

Unlimited number of targets, day/night profiles, go/no-go flags, optical devices setup, different hardware profiles for multiple lasers, detectors and measurement systems switchable during run-time.

FOGS / Laser Comms mode

SCOPE now features a laser communications module, allowing an entirely new mode of operation. SCOPE’s stability and control feature set makes it the perfect choice for system control over modern laser communication systems.

Assistance Systems
Towards Automation. SCOPE’s advanced operator assistance features take the pain out of tracking operations. Sophisticated searching patterns, time bias integration, return rate management and more are all simplified with SCOPE’s assistance systems. SCOPE is ready to go for remote site operation, and automated operation is coming very soon.

SCOPE covers all features that are expected from modern SLR software for kHz systems and can be easily extended to support new user requirements and new applications. We provide SCOPE as a fully integrated package for specific SLR systems as well as tailored solutions to meet special customer requirements.

A new planning component allows the SLR system operator to comfortably create & schedule observation plans some days or weeks in advance!

System Environment & Architecture

Implemented with C/C++ and Python, documented with Doxygen

SLR system simulator for verification, demonstration, training or gradual system extension by easy integration of e.g. new hardware components

Building system includes testing environment

Separated presentation layer, application logic and hardware access


Hardware Environment

Operates on modern „Commercial-Off-The-Shelf“ workstation(s)

Linux platform ensures long-term maintainability and allows easy hardware upgrades in the future

Versatile support for hardware interfaces and extensions

Technical Background
Graphical user interface may be run remotely
Real-time component for hardware command & control

SCOPE is designed to operate on a single workstation or can be separated on two workstations for remote operation.
The software package is written in C, C++ and Python. All timing critical parts can run on a Real-Time Linux to support very high command and control accuracies with jitters of +/-5µs despite e.g. high I/O load or cache pollution.

Multi Static Debris Tracking

SCOPE & RGG measured photons reflected from debris targets like SeaSat and two rocket bodies
Successful tracking campaign together with SLR system at IWF Graz
New „multi-static operation mode“ is now available for all SCOPE deployments

SCOPE supports multi-static space debris tracking
DiGOS demonstrated for DLR the multi-static space debris tracking capabilities of the SLR system in Potsdam. In a dedicated campaign the colleagues from the IWF Graz SLR system illuminated different space debris targets with a powerful laser and single, reflected photons were measured in Potsdam.


image by AIUB