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Proceedings Paper

A compact and reliable 780nm laser for atom cooling on-board a 6U CubeSat
Author(s): Thomas Legg; Mark Farries; Matthew Welch; Stephen Maddox; Diviya Devani
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Paper Abstract

The design and performance of a compact laser system for autonomous cooling of rubidium atoms in a small Cube-Sat satellite is described. The laser system is suitable for use in cold atom interferometers that are deployed in space for accurate observation of earth’s gravity and magnetic fields and detection of tectonic changes. The laser system features a frequency doubled DFB laser and erbium doped amplifier, which is mainly fabricated from telecommunications qualified components with proven high reliability. The laser has an output power of greater than 75mW with a sub-MHz linewidth and a tuning range of greater than 300GHz. The laser and drive electronics fit into a 200mm x 100mm x 30mm package and have a mass of less than 1kg. On-board the CubeSat the laser has been used to demonstrate atom cooling and to autonomously acquire and lock to the magneto-optical trap using feedback from the cold Rb-atom fluorescence to control the dfb laser frequency. The complete cube-sat has passed vibration tests for rocket launched conditions.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 February 2020
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 11296, Optical, Opto-Atomic, and Entanglement-Enhanced Precision Metrology II, 112960W (25 February 2020); doi: 10.1117/12.2544847
Show Author Affiliations
Thomas Legg, Gooch & Housego Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Mark Farries, Gooch & Housego Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Matthew Welch, Gooch & Housego Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Stephen Maddox, Teledyne E2V (United Kingdom)
Diviya Devani, Teledyne E2V (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11296:
Optical, Opto-Atomic, and Entanglement-Enhanced Precision Metrology II
Selim M. Shahriar; Jacob Scheuer, Editor(s)

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