Univ. NICE
Prof. J. Chabé
Free Space Laser Links for Space Applications
(S3, elective, 6 ECTS)
Learning Outcomes:This lecture will provide an introduction to the principle of Satellite and Lunar Laser Ranging. We will see how we can measure the distance from the ground to an Earth orbiting object such as a geodetic satellite or the Moon with a subcentimeter precision. After an introduction about the scientific applications of these free space laser links for geodesy, time transfer, and fundamental physics, the lectures will cover the needed equipment and instrumentation to perform such links, both for the ground segment (telescope, detectors,clocks) and for the space segment. Some lectures will focus on the effect of an atmosphere on the propagation of a laser beam, including attenuation, refraction and turbulence. At the end, the lecture will give an overview of the current scientific and technical challenges for ground to space laser links (geo chronometry, space debris monitoring,quantum key distribution,…) with a focus on optical communications, a hot topic for the space industry. A practical session will be organized at the MéO telescope where data will be acquired on real targets (geodetic satellites and Moon).
Knowledge and Understanding:
Understand the general instrumentation needed to perform freespace laser links(laser ranging, optical communication,…) between the ground and an orbiting target. Evaluate the performances of each subsystem for each application.
Applying Knowledge and Understanding:See above
PrerequisitesFourier Optics Atmospheric turbulence. Image formation, Adaptative optics. Quantum mechanics.
ProgramPrinciple of Satellite Laser Ranging and Time transfer Metrology: Accuracy, precision, stability Ground and Space: The laser Ranging Station & its component Laser propagation through atmosphere Future challenges: Optical communications, Quantum Key DisTribution, Spacedebris,.
Description of how the course is conductedFundamental lectures and exercices
Description of the didactic methodsPowerpoints
Description of the evaluation methodsExercices and oral exam
Adopted Textbooks
Recommended readingsDegnan, J., Millimeter Accracy Satellite Laser ranging: a review