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Homemade Corner Cube Reflector Using Glass Mirror Tiles
designed by David Johnson, P.E.

Corner cubes are optical devices which have a unique property.  Light sent into the front face will be sent back to the source in a parallel path.  As long as light can strike the reflective surfaces the it will always be sent back to the source.  Tiny corner cubes can be molded into plastic for form an array of individual reflectors.  These are often used on bicycles to make them stand out at night.
The figure below shows a large corner cube reflector you can make yourself. You simple glue three foot square glass tile mirrors together. A sturdy cardboard box will help position the mirrors. One mirror is positioned at the bottom of the box and the other two converge at the box sides. You would align such an assembly so the light would enter at a 30-degree angle relative to the bottom. The target for such an assembly would be the point where the three mirrors converge. I have used such a simple mirror for some experiments and was able to detect reflections over a distance of 10 miles. Larger mirror assemblies or even multi-reflector arrays are also possible to increase the effective range. Perhaps you might experiment with your own large reflector to see if a long range distant measuring systems could be devised. Using two such reflectors it might be possible to pinpoint your location using triangulation techniques.

Circuit Homemade Corner Cube Reflector Using Glass Mirror Tiles


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