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Astron. Astrophys. Suppl. Ser. 130, 235-244

Millimetric Lunar Laser Ranging at OCA (Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur)

E. Samain1 - J.F. Mangin1 - C. Veillet2 - J.M. Torre1 - P. Fridelance1 - J.E. Chabaudie1 - D. Féraudy1 - M. Glentzlin1 - J. Pham Van1 - M. Furia1 - A. Journet1 - G. Vigouroux1

Send offprint request: E. Samain

1 - Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur, CERGA, Av. N. Copernic, F-06130 Grasse, France
2 - CFHT, 65-1238 Mamalahoa Hwy, Kamuela HI 96743, U.S.A.

Received June 23; accepted November 27, 1997


The Lunar Laser Ranging station at the Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur, France, permits to measure the Earth-Moon distance with millimetric precision. Applications in astronomy, lunar science, geodesy, and gravitation are summarised. Expected scientific results with millimetric Lunar Laser Ranging data are presented. A complete error budget is given, showing that the precision is mainly limited by the orientation and the size of the corner cube arrays placed on the Moon. The measurement accuracy is degraded by the bad knowledge of the air index. The time stability, computed from the lunar echoes, permits to extract the real precision of the Earth-Moon distance and to optimise the integration time of the normal points.

Key words: moon -- gravitation -- time instrumentation: miscellaneous

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