JOKARUS - design of a compact optical iodine frequency reference for a sounding rocket mission

V. Schkolnik1, K. Döringshoff1, F.B. Gutsch1, M. Oswald2, T. Schuldt3, C. Braxmaier2,3, M. Lezius4, R. Holzwarth4, C. Kürbis5, A. Bawamia5, M. Krutzik1 and A. Peters1,5

Published in:

EPJ Quantum Technology, vol. 4:9, pp. 1-10 (2017).

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We present the design of a compact absolute optical frequency reference for space applications based on hyperfine transitions in molecular iodine with a targeted fractional frequency instability of better than 3×10-14 after 1 s. It is based on a micro-integrated extended cavity diode laser with integrated optical amplifier, fiber pigtailed second harmonic generation wave-guide modules, and a quasi-monolithic spectroscopy setup with operating electronics. The instrument described here is scheduled for launch end of 2017 aboard the TEXUS 54 sounding rocket as an important qualification step towards space application of iodine frequency references and related technologies. The payload will operate autonomously and its optical frequency will be compared to an optical frequency comb during its space flight.

1 Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Newtonstr. 15, 12489 Berlin, Germany
2 Zentrum für angewandte Raumfahrttechnologie und Mikrogravitation (ZARM), Universität Bremen, Am Fallturm, 28359 Bremen, Germany
3 Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR), Institut für Raumfahrtsysteme, Linzer Straße 1, 28359 Bremen, Germany
4 Menlo Systems GmbH, Am Klopferspitz 19a, 82153 Martinsried, Germany
5 Ferdinand-Braun-Institut, Leibniz-Institut für Höchstfrequenztechnik, Gustav-Kirchhoff-Str. 4, 12489 Berlin, Germany