REMOTE - (RuggEd Mirco-ECDL technology for cOld aTom applications in spacE)

Lead Research Organisation: University of Strathclyde
Department Name: Physics

Abstract

The outcome of the project is to develop an optimised 780 nm micro extended cavity diode laser (micro-ECDL), which has a linewidth <100 kHz and output power in excess of 100 mW. The micro-ECDL module will be compact, rugged and low power consumption, making it suitable for a wide range of quantum technology applications relying on laser cooled Rb atoms. This includes compact, portable and low-power consuming atomic microwave clocks, accelerometers and rotation sensors both for terrestrial field applications and in space (e.g. low-Earth orbits). Additionally, the lasers will be a component in a growing plug-and-play component pool available for the quantum technology research and development labs.
The micro-ECDL module will be developed specifically for laser cooling of Rb and hence serves a substantial fraction of both the research market and the expected early commercial applications. However, it is a generic technology, that readily can be adapted to e.g. other alkali metal systems, where appropriate semiconductor gain media are available.
Within this project custom feedback servo loop locking electronics will also be developed, which will be designed and optimised with the particular end applications in mind.

Planned Impact

The potential disruptive nature of Quantum Technology has been recognised by the UK Government through its investment in the area announced in 2013. Through the ongoing translational work in e.g. atomic sensors and metrology it is becoming increasingly clear, that potential commercial devices will share a range of common components or build on shared platforms in areas such as laser sources, optical systems, vacuum technology and control electronics.
Close integration of component development between highly specialised technology providers and academia provide the foundation for the translation of some of the research-based outcomes (e.g. from the Quantum Technology Hubs) to the industrial environment and early adopters. This is also a key component in the strategic development of the UK supply chain, that will ultimately form the basis for a new Quantum Technology industry.
With the present proposal we seek to bring together a consortium with expertise in developing and packaging compact and robust laser technology. While the technology will be developed specifically for laser cooling of Rb, and hence aimed at a substantial fraction of both the research market and the expected early commercial applications, it is a generic technology, that readily can be adapted to e.g. other alkali metal systems, where appropriate semiconductor gain media are available. It is therefore anticipated that the impact of the work will extend beyond the immediate applications with significant potential for commercial exploitation to areas such as the basic research environment and space applications.
For additional information see Pathways to Impact statement.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Laser development in collaboration with partners on Innovate UK project. Primary impact will be in the research lab.
First Year Of Impact 2018
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine