Frequency-stable laser systems for space
For the first time a frequency reference based on molecular iodine was successfully demonstrated in space! What sounds a bit like science fiction is an important step towards laser interferometric dis-tance measurements between satellites as well as for future global navigation satellite systems based on optical technologies. The frequency reference tests were carried out on 13 May on board the sounding rocket TEXUS54. The centerpiece of the payload, a compact laser system, which was pri-marily developed by HU Berlin and the Ferdinand-Braun-Institut, demonstrated its suitability for space.