When the European Space Agency (ESA) sends the “3rd Large Mission” into space in 2034, its goal will be to detect gravitational waves. Scientists at the Laser Zentrum Hannover e. V. (LZH) have now begun to develop fiber amplifiers for the required lasers.
The task of the Single-Frequency Laser Group of the LZH almost sounds trivial: The fiber amplifiers developed by this group should be used to post-amplify a special laser with a low output. However, the general framework of the project eLISA makes laser development a real challenge: The choice of optical components that can be used is highly limited.
Challenge: Simple and fit for use in space
Since the availability of resources in space is very limited, the amplifier in planning must work very efficiently”, says the head of the group Dr. Peter Weßels, when addressing the task. “At the same time, the setup must be kept as simple as possible, so the laser can be qualified for use in space.”
Detecting miniscule movements over enormous distances
Despite the high limitations, the laser must provide high performance. The laser beam must travel over a distance of around one million kilometers between the mother satellite and both daughter satellites. Once it arrives, the beam is regenerated and sent back the same distance.
The differences in the phase of the returning light can be used to conclude distance changes in space on the subatomic scale, the gravitational waves.
The scientists working with Dr. Peter Weßels want to develop a so-called „Engineering Qualification Modell“ within the next three years. Such a model is not yet completely ready for use in space, but the setup and design is quite similar to the later model.
Apart from the LZH, the Fundação Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal, and the Czech Space Research Centre s.r.o., Czech Republic, are working on the development of the laser system for the eLISA mission. The developmental project is headed by the Portuguese company LusoSpace Lda.
https://www.elisascience.org/ - eLISA website
https://www.elisascience.org/multimedia/image/elisa-spacecraft-two-laser-arms - illustration source
Lena Bennefeld | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Optical lenses, hardly larger than a human hair
29.06.2016 | Universität Stuttgart
Clandestine black hole may represent new population
28.06.2016 | International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research
3D printing revolutionized the manufacturing of complex shapes in the last few years. Using additive depositing of materials, where individual dots or lines...
R2D2, a joint project to analyze and development high-TRL processes and technologies for manufacture of flexible organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has been successfully completed.
In contrast to point light sources like LEDs made of inorganic semiconductor crystals, organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) are light-emitting surfaces. Their...
High resolution rotational spectroscopy reveals an unprecedented number of conformations of an odorant molecule – a new world record!
In a recent publication in the journal Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter...
Strands of cow cartilage substitute for ink in a 3D bioprinting process that may one day create cartilage patches for worn out joints, according to a team of engineers. "Our goal is to create tissue that can be used to replace large amounts of worn out tissue or design patches," said Ibrahim T. Ozbolat, associate professor of engineering science and mechanics. "Those who have osteoarthritis in their joints suffer a lot. We need a new alternative treatment for this."
Cartilage is a good tissue to target for scale-up bioprinting because it is made up of only one cell type and has no blood vessels within the tissue. It is...
Physicists in Innsbruck have realized the first quantum simulation of lattice gauge theories, building a bridge between high-energy theory and atomic physics. In the journal Nature, Rainer Blatt‘s and Peter Zoller’s research teams describe how they simulated the creation of elementary particle pairs out of the vacuum by using a quantum computer.
Elementary particles are the fundamental buildings blocks of matter, and their properties are described by the Standard Model of particle physics. The...
28.06.2016 | Event News
09.06.2016 | Event News
24.05.2016 | Event News
29.06.2016 | Life Sciences
29.06.2016 | Life Sciences
29.06.2016 | Earth Sciences