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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

An absolute optical frequency reference for space
Author(s): Thilo Schuldt; Markus Oswald; Martin Gohlke; Klaus Döringshoff; Evgeny Kovalchuk; Achim Peters; Claus Braxmaier

Paper Abstract

A variety of future space missions rely on the availability of high-performance optical frequency references with applications in fundamental physics, geoscience, Earth observation and global satellite navigation systems (GNSS). Examples are the gravitational wave detector LISA (Laser Interferometer Space Antenna), the Earth gravity mission NGGM (Next Generation Gravity Mission) and missions, dedicated to tests of Special Relativity, e.g. by performing a Kennedy-Thorndike experiment testing the boost dependence of the speed of light. In this context, we developed optical frequency references based on Doppler-free spectroscopy of molecular iodine where compactness and mechanical and thermal stability are main design criteria. We demonstrated a frequency instability of 6•10-15 at 1 s integration time and 3•10-15 for integration times between 100 s and 1.000 s. Furthermore, a very compact spectroscopy setup was realized for the sounding rocket mission JOKARUS which was successfully flown in May 2018. In a current activity, an integrated high-performance iodine-based frequency reference is developed which serves as a demonstrator for future GNSS using optical technologies.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 July 2019
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 11180, International Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2018, 111807X (12 July 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2536204
Show Author Affiliations
Thilo Schuldt, German Aerospace Ctr. (Germany)
Markus Oswald, Univ. Bremen (Germany)
Martin Gohlke, Univ. Bremen (Germany)
Klaus Döringshoff, Humboldt-Univ. zu Berlin (Germany)
Evgeny Kovalchuk, Humboldt-Univ. zu Berlin (Germany)
Achim Peters, Humboldt-Univ. zu Berlin (Germany)
Claus Braxmaier, German Aerospace Ctr. (Germany)
Humboldt-Univ. Berlin (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11180:
International Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2018
Zoran Sodnik; Nikos Karafolas; Bruno Cugny, Editor(s)

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