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Iodine Frequency Reference on a Sounding Rocket

K. Döringshoff1, F.B. Gutsch1, V. Schkolnik1, C. Kürbis2, M. Oswald3, B. Pröbster3,4, E.V. Kovalchuk1, A. Bawamia2, R. Smol2, T. Schuldt3,5, M. Lezius4, R. Holzwarth4, A. Wicht2, C. Braxmaier3,5, M. Krutzik1,2, and A. Peters1,2

Published in:

Phys. Rev. Applied, vol. 11, no. 5, pp. 054068 (2019).


We build a self-contained optical absolute frequency reference at 1064 nm based on the rovibronic transition R(56)32-0 in molecular iodine and operate this instrument in space on a sounding rocket mission. The frequency reference uses a microintegrated extended cavity diode laser and a quasimonolithic spectroscopy module for modulation transfer spectroscopy, providing frequency instability of 2×10-13 for averaging times of 100 s. To demonstrate the autonomous operation of our reference, we perform an absolute frequency measurement using a chip-scale atomic clock and an optical frequency comb during a 6-min-long space flight.

1 Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Institut für Physik, 12489 Berlin, Germany
2 Ferdinand-Braun-Institut, Leibniz Institut für Höchstfrequenztechnik, 12489 Berlin, Germany
3 Universität Bremen, Zentrum für angewandte Raumfahrttechnologie und Mikrogravitation (ZARM), 28359 Bremen, Germany
4 Menlo Systems GmbH, 82152 Martinsried, Germany
5 Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR), Institut für Raumfahrtsysteme, 28359 Bremen, Germany

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