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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences - Optical Metrology

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences | Department of Physics | Optical Metrology | Publications | Optical Quantum Technologies for Compact Rubidium Vapor-cell Frequency Standards in Space Using Small Satellites

Aline N Dinkelaker, Akash Kaparthy, Sven Reher, Markus Krutzik, Ahmad Bawamia, Christian Kürbis, Robert Smol, Heike Christopher, Andreas Wicht, Philipp Werner, Julian Bartholomäus, Sven Rotter, Merlin F Barschke, and Robert Jördens (ed.) (2018)

Optical Quantum Technologies for Compact Rubidium Vapor-cell Frequency Standards in Space Using Small Satellites

Reinventing Space Conference 2018, British Interplanetary Society.

As part of the phase 0/A of the QUEEN mission, we evaluated our payload and satellite platform heritage and studied feasible mission scenarios for demonstrating optical frequency references onboard small satellites. We propose an optical vapor-cell frequency reference payload based on the 5S1/2 -> 5D5/2 two-photon transition in 85Rb with low size, weight, and power (SWaP) budgets. Frequency standards based on the two-photon transition of Rb benefit from high component technology readiness level, allow for vapor cell micro-integration and physics package miniaturization, and have the potential to achieve fractional instabilities of 10^(-15). In conjunction with an optical frequency comb, which can be used as an optical-to-microwave frequency divider, our payload could be advanced to a compact and simple vapor-cell based clock. Given the advancement in optical quantum technologies, such optical clocks in space could reach frequency stabilities comparable to state-of-the-art commercial systems with lower budgets and lower complexity. At the center of the payload is a laser system, based on micro-integrated laser technology developed at the Ferdinand-Braun-Institut in a joint lab activity with Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. We propose two extended cavity diode lasers (ECDL) which are independently frequency stabilized on the two-photon Rb transition at 778 nm by detecting the fluorescence via the 6P3/2 state at 420 nm and subsequent error signal processing. Specific attention will be given to the modulation, detection and