Image reconstruction techniques for atmospheric applications often work best with an initial estimate of the object support. This paper examines the ability of a non-imaging laser pointing system to obtain an estimate of target size and shape based on the statistics of the return signal. Fundamental limits on system pointing, such as the tracking errors, corrupt a simple raster scan that would provide gross object shape from the convolution of the far-field pattern with the target. Using techniques developed previously for the estimation of pointing performance, it is possible to distinguish between simple shapes such as bars, circles, and T’s based on the statistics of the received time signal. Simulated space objects, such as those illuminated during field experiments, may also be distinguished. 1
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