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RE: Synthetic Stars

>Tom writes that he has made a star field from a metal plate with holes drilled
in it. I have also made a star scene simulator but used a thin balsa board
painted flat black and then poked small diameter fiber optics through the board.
The fibers can be much smaller than drilled holes and thus the whole star
scene simulator is a more compact package. In fact, the whole thing sat on a
table top. Mine also had a combining glass between the balsa board and the 
camera which allowed an image off to one side to be projected into the camera
lens. This was used to test satellite search cameras and the side image 
consisted of a moving fiber on an X-Y stage that simulated a faint satellite
or asteroid moving across a fixed field of stars. This was done back in about
1973 for the Ground Based Electro-optical Deep Space Surveillance Program by
the Air Force Avionics Laboratory. I believe we also wrote a tech report on it.