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
From rocks in Colorado, evidence of a 'chaotic solar system'
23.02.2017 | University of Wisconsin-Madison
Prediction: More gas-giants will be found orbiting Sun-like stars
22.02.2017 | Carnegie Institution for Science
In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".
Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
24.02.2017 | Earth Sciences
24.02.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
24.02.2017 | Life Sciences