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Title: Laser frequency stabilization for GRACE-II
Authors: Folkner, W. M.
deVine, G.
Klipstein, W. M.
McKenzie, K.
Shaddock, D.
Spero, R.
Thompson, R.
Wuchenich, D.
Yu, N.
Stephens, M.
Leitch, J.
Davis, M.
deCino, J.
Pace, C.
Pierce, R.
Keywords: laser ranging
Earth gravity
Issue Date: 22-Jun-2010
Publisher: Pasadena, CA : Jet Propulsion Laboratory, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2010.
Citation: Earth Science Technology Forum, Arlington, Virginia, June 22, 2010.
Abstract: The GRACE mission monitors changes in the Earth’s gravity field by measuring changes in the distance between spacecraft induced by that changing field. The distance variation is measured with a microwave ranging system with sub-micron accuracy. The ranging measurement accuracy is limited by the signal-to-noise ratio and by the frequency stability of the microwave signal referenced to an ultra-stable oscillator (USO). For GRACE-2 a laser ranging system is envisioned with accuracy better than the GRACE microwave ranging system. A laser ranging system easily provides an improved signal-to-noise ratio over the microwave system. Laser frequency stability better than the GRACE USO stability has been demonstrated in several laboratories using thermally stabilized optical cavities. We are developing a space-qualifiable optical cavity and associated optics and electronics for use on GRACE-2 to provide a stable frequency reference for the laser ranging system. Two breadboard units have been developed and tested for performance and ability to survive launch and orbit environments. A prototype unit is being designed using lessons learned from tests of the breadboard units.
Appears in Collections:JPL TRS 1992+

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