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The optics could be of small size which is easier to manufacture with a high quality. The telescope optics do not have to be extremely accurate and we maybe able to not even use a reflector.
Originally posted by PhloydPhan
One problem I forsee with making a smaller spy satellite is that a smaller vehicle would almost necessarily be less capable. The size of a telescope's mirror - and, let's face it, spy satellites are just another sort of space telescope, albeit one designed to look down at Earth rather than out at space - is directly related to the effective resolution of that telescope, paticularly for the visible part of the spectum.
[edit on 2-11-2006 by PhloydPhan]
Originally posted by angryScientist
Here is the idea.
You have all seen a barcode scanner. A little dot of light sweeps over the barcode label. A small electronic eye is all that's needed to pick the variations in light intensity. Laser scanners are used for high end digital image capture.
I would have thought that this technology would have been exploited to the max, but it hasn't and I can't figure out why.
You could also use the beam as a projector if you modulate the intensity.
[edit on 6-11-2006 by angryScientist]
"laser linescan system"
From Department of Defense
Definition: (DOD, NATO) An active airborne imagery recording system which uses a laser as the primary source of illumination to scan the ground beneath the flight path, adding successive across-track lines to the record as the vehicle advances.
See also infrared linescan system.
A laser line scan image of the Phantom II ROV. The laser line scan captures so much detail, that the printed words on the ROV (on the right hand edge, underneath the tube) can almost be read.