Laser Module for Space Applications

Scheme

The laser bar operates at a constant optical power. The light is collimated by a fast axis collimator lens, deflected and reshaped by a staircase mirror, collimated in slow axis direction and coupled into an optical fiber by a focusing lens. A Bragg reflector is applied for stabilizing the wavelength. The laser light is used for pumping a Nd-doped YAG-Laser with high efficiency and excellent reliability.

Schematic of a Pump Laser Module with Fiber Output
Schematic of a Pump Laser Module with Fiber Output

Applications

TerraSAR-X - German Radar Satellite
TerraSAR-X - German Radar Satellite (© Astrium GmbH)
Laser interferometry between GRACE-probes Tom and Jerry
Laser interferometry between GRACE-probes Tom and Jerry (© NASA/DLR)
  • Laser-based communication terminal
    • Proof of concept on board of the space satellites TerraSAR-X und NFIRE
    • Deployment on board of satellites ALPHASAT and SENTINEL
  • Laser interferometer
    • Precise measurements of Earth’s gravity field with GRACE satellites

Wavelength

  • 808 nm

Technology and Mounting

  • Semiconductor layer structures deposited by MOVPE
  • Laser chip technology: broad area (BA) laser bars
  • Precise mounting of optical components onto laser diode bench and into pump module package
  • Reliability of assembly against mechanical and thermal stress
  • Qualification for space applications according ESA and DLR standards
  • [+] Laser Diode Bench size compared with one 1-Cent coin
  • Laser Diode Bench
    [+] Laser bar mounted in Laser Diode Bench, with fast axis collimator lens and Bragg reflector

Typical data

  • High reliability at moderate power
  • 0.5 W optical power ex fiber
  • Mean Time To Failure per Emitter > 10 Mio hours
  • Excellent quality of beam forming
  • Compact and robust design