LARES flight unit is under construction and will be launched with the VEGA maiden flight foreseen in 2011. The satellite belongs to the category of laser ranged satellites and as such it is passive. It is covered by Cube Corner Reflectors and will be primarily used to verify the General Relativity effect called Lense-Thirring. Objective of the mission is to measure the effect with a low error that can be reduced with this mission at a level of 1%. Due to the different materials used for the main body of the satellite and consequently predicted higher temperature of LARES satellite with respect to the other laser ranged satellites, it has been considered important to verify experimentally the behaviour of the Cube Corner Reflectors in simulated space environment. Specifically the goal of this experimental test is to check if the Cube Corner Reflectors will be subjected to temperature gradients that could induce deformations affecting the Far Field Diffraction Pattern and consequently could cause degradation of the laser reflected signal from the satellite Cube Corner Reflectors. Copyright ©2010 by the International Astronautical Federation. All rights reserved.
Tests of lares cube corner reflectors in simulated space environment (preliminary results) / PAOLOZZI, Antonio; I., Ciufolini; SCHIRONE, Luigi; I., Peroni; PARIS, Claudio; D., Spano; SINDONI, GIAMPIERO; VENDITTOZZI, CRISTIAN; G., Battaglia; M., Ramiconi. - STAMPA. - 9:(2010), pp. 7390-7396. ((Intervento presentato al convegno 61st International Astronautical Congress 2010, IAC 2010 tenutosi a Prague; Czech Republic nel 27 September 2010 through 1 October 2010.