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LAGEOS Collection

Identifier: MC-13
Articles, photographs, documents, and artifacts pertaining to LAGEOS.


  • 1971 - 2003


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research in the Archives & Special Collections reading room. Handling guidelines and use restrictions will be communicated and enforced by archives staff members.

Conditions Governing Use

This material may be protected under U. S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S. Code) which governs the making of photocopies or reproductions of copyrighted materials. You may use the digitized material for private study, scholarship, or research. Though the University of Alabama in Huntsville Archives and Special Collections has physical ownership of the material in its collections, in some cases we may not own the copyright to the material. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in our collections.


2 Linear Feet (4 boxes.)

Biographical / Historical

LAGEOS stands for LAser GEOdynamic Satellite.

There are two LAGEOS satellites at the time of this writing. The first, simply called LAGEOS, was designed by NASA and launched in 1976. The second, LAGEOS-2, was created by the Italian Space Agency and launched in 1992; its design was based on its American predecessor.

The two satellites are aluminum spheres covered in 426 corner cube reflectors. They lack on-board sensors, and electronics. The satellites orbit the Earth at an altitude of 3,700 miles (5,900 kilometers).

Ground stations on Earth transmit pulsed laser beams to the satellites, and these beams are reflected by the satellites' reflectors back to the Earth; the travel times of these beams are then measured, allowing different ground stations to measure the distances separating them.

More detailed information regarding the satellites and their contributions to science may be found here.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Charles Lundquist, 2003.

Processing Information

Collections are processed to a variety of levels, depending on the work necessary to make them usable, their perceived research value, the availability of staff, and competing priorities. The library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections as they are acquired and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.
Megan Sullivan
Description rules

Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama in Huntsville Archives & Special Collections Repository

M. Louis Salmon Library
301 Sparkman Drive
Huntsville, AL 35899 Alabama 35899 United States of America