Many space missions rely on optical systems to meet their objectives – Earth Observation, Navigation, Meteorology, Telecommunications and many other space science missions. Each mission requires systems tailored to the individual application and demand a focus on reliability, volume, mass and efficiency. Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics can meet the challenges demanded by the development of these critical bespoke space systems.
Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics offers comprehensive capabilities and expertise in the design and development of a range of photonic systems central to space applications. The Centre has direct experience delivering on space agency contracts and are fully acquainted with the demanding development cycles and system requirements require for space
Fraunhofer CAP is well placed to meet a range of challenges associated with space systems
- Identification of preferred laser architectures for space.
- Architecture designs insensitive to environmental effects.
- High-reliability systems and component selection.
- High-power-efficiency designs.
- Operational environmental testing.
- Finite element modelling of laser systems.
- Advanced performance systems (single frequency, ultrashort pulse).
Lasers operating in space must undergo and pass rigorous operational and non-operational environmental testing in order to gain space qualification including vibration, shock and thermal cycling tests. The laser architecture of preference will differ significantly to ground-based counterparts. Expertise in laser physics and optical systems engineering is required in order to identify and develop the most promising approach to ensure mission success.
A wide range of space missions rely on critical optical technologies. Fraunhofer CAP has experience in a wide range of applications applicable to space including:
- Single-frequency lasers for quantum technology.
- Atom trapping, Interferometry and Clocks).
- Lidar systems for earth observation or navigation.
- Remote laser spectroscopy systems for earth observation.
- Quantum-key-distribution systems and secure communication.