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NKT Photonics' Fiber Laser Selected for Space Project

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BIRKERØD, Denmark, March 10, 2011 — NKT Photonics, a manufacturer of Koheras fiber lasers, has announced that its distributed feedback (DFB) fiber lasers have been incorporated into the absolute scalar magnetometers designed and developed by French space agency CNES and research group CEA-Leti. The magnetometers were selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) for the Swarm mission, a space project aimed at gaining more insight into Earth’s interior and climate, providing the best survey of its geomagnetic field and temporal evolution.

Swarm constellation of three satellites. (Image: GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam)

The Koheras fiber lasers are characterized by a very low frequency and intensity noise and inherent single-frequency operation, making them suitable for applications demanding a high spectral stability. They were explored by CEA-Leti because of their ability to match the helium transition line at ~1083 nm.

"During this collaboration, we could assess the good adequacy between their laser and our needs in magnetometry. We were also able to appreciate both their professionalism and good working atmosphere, which has justified our choice," said Jean-Michel Léger, space applications program manager at CEA-Leti.

The Swarm mission, a constellation of three identical satellites in three polar orbits between 400 and 550 km altitude, is scheduled to launch in 2012.

"We have come to this stage after more than 10 years of collaboration with CEA-Leti," said Soren Lovgreen, sales manager for Koheras fiber lasers.

This is the second time Koheras fiber lasers have been selected for a space program. NASA chose NKT's fiber laser module for its High Spectral Resolution LIDAR (HSRL) mission to measure cloud and aerosol properties.

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Mar 2011
absolute scalar magnetometersBusinessCEA-LetiCNESDenmarkDFB Fiber Lasersdistributed feedbackEuropeEuropean Space Agencyfiber lasershelium transitionHigh Spectral Resolution LIDARJean-Michel LégerKoherasNASANKT PhotonicsSoren LovgreenSwarm missionlasers

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