RME (Relay Mirror Experiment)


RME (Relay Mirror Experiment) is also known as USA 52 and Losat-R. RME was launched as a dual payload with LACE (Low-power Atmospheric Compensation Experiment). Both satellites carried defense experiments to help validate the technology needed for a space-based antimissile laser system. RME was designed to show stabilization, tracking, and pointing technologies working at the performance levels needed for Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) missions. It 61-centimeter mirror tested laser pointing technology by deflecting ground-based beams back to Earth. A problem occurred immediately after launch when RME's attitude control malfunctioned, shutting off a reaction wheel. The Maui Optical Observatory on top of Mount Haleakala established the first relay on June 26, 1990, with Kihei, Hawaii. RME's payload also included the Wideband Angular Vibration Experiment (WAVE) which measured low-level angular vibrations affecting performance of acquisition, tracking, and pointing (ATP) systems.


launch date Feb 14, 1990
launch vehicle Delta 6925
launch site Cape Canaveral
orbit 261 × 281 km × 43°
mass 1,040 kg