OEwaves Inc. offers to develop a compact diode laser system producing all the required wavelengths for operation of an Yb Ion Clocks. It will include 370 nm, 935 nm, 436 nm and 760 nm lasers. The system will feature the properties required for long duration space applications. The system will be based on a semiconductor laser locked to monolithic microcavities using self-injection locking technique. This technique results in a complete suppression of mode hops in the laser during its operational lifetime. The microcavity will not only stabilize the frequency of the laser, but will also be used to measure and stabilize the power of the laser. The microcavity provides a modulatable laser that features exceptionally low residual amplitude modulation, allowing a robust lock to the clock transition of interest. The proof of principle validation of the technique was supported by earlier OEwaves efforts. In Phase II of this Project we propose to demonstrate experimentally and deliver to the customer two most critical components of the set, comprising a 370 nm laser system and an ultastable cavity. The other lasers will be demonstrated at OEwaves and the measurement data will be delivered to the customer. The complete set of narrow-line ultra-stable modulatable diode lasers that can be instrumental in integration of a miniature Yb space ion clock will be packaged in Phase III of the project. At the end of Phase II, we expect a prototype of 370nm laser to achieve better than 10-10/g acceleration sensitivity, required frequency stability (varies depending on the laser use). The reference cavity will have the same stability in a wide wavelength (frequency) range determined by the optical transparency of its host material, which typically is broader than 300 nm – 2,000 nm. The quality factor of the device will exceed 108, which will add to simplification in locking optical sources to the modes of the resonator.
High performance atomic frequency standards and clocks have been always an integral part of the NASA Deep Space Network (DSN), responsible for communication, navigation, tracking, as well as related sciences. Once robust high-performance optical clocks become available, they can be deployed in DSN stations to provide an order of magnitude better improvement in stability at the hydrogen maser’s most stable region of (103-104 s).
This products high agility, small size, robust packaging, superior spectral noise characteristics, and low cost of production exceeds all foreseeable competition in all performance areas. Potential customers are oil and gas, fiber optic sensor system integrators, emerging adopters, also the equivalent of fiber optic communication system corporations, LIDAR developers, and medical laser systems.