Space-certified Nonlinear Optical Rugged Quantum Lasers (SNORQL)

The key objective for the Space-certified Nonlinear Optical Rugged Quantum Lasers (SNORQL) project is to produce the world’s first ruggedised, packaged frequency doubling unit for 1560-780nm generating above 1W output power for Rb-based quantum technologies.

The Innovate UK-funded project aims to develop a higher power PPLN crystal for use with Rubidium Atom Traps to generate very sensitive gravity measurements. This technology has practical applications in areas such as identifying what infrastructures are hidden under a road before starting civil engineering projects. Rubidium Atoms Traps can also be used for a number of climate monitoring activities such as measuring water tables, remote surveying, and ice mass monitoring.

Covesion will be collaborating with the Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult in Wales and STFC RAL Space, the UK’s national laboratory advancing the understanding of space and our environment, at Harwell, Oxfordshire. The project partners aim to deliver a fully tested and packaged ‘plug and play’ unit. RAL Space will test the unit using pre-compliance, space qualification testing using vibration, thermal cycling, and radiation tests.

Developing systems for instruments designed for use in space is particularly challenging in that they must be robust enough to work for thousands of hours without requiring any maintenance and yet be able to withstand the harsh environment.

By certifying that the SNORQL technology can be used in space, this will automatically qualify the unit to be used in most other earth-based industry applications e.g., in the back of a truck, in the middle of a field, on a ship without any issues.