Abstract

We present the experimental realization of a laser system for ground-to-satellite optical Doppler ranging at the atmospheric turbulence limit. Such a system needs to display good frequency stability (a few parts in 1014) while allowing large and well-controlled frequency sweeps of ±12GHz at rates exceeding 100MHz/s. Furthermore it needs to be sufficiently compact and robust for transportation to different astronomical observation sites, where it is to be interfaced with satellite ranging telescopes. We demonstrate that our system fulfills those requirements and should therefore allow operation of ground to low Earth orbit satellite coherent optical links limited only by atmospheric turbulence.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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