Skip to main content

Narrow linewidth frequency agile integrated photonic lasers for space



Prime contractor
Organisational Unit
Implementation progress
11 April 2022

Duration: 18 months


Lasers are ubiquitous in science and technology and also of key importance for implementing space missions, enabling free space optical satellite to satellite communications, optical control and distance measurements of satellite constellations using LiDAR, to remote sensing for Earth Observation. They are also earmarked for implementation with other quantum techniques/technologies for the most challenging applications in metrology and sensing. However, most commercially available lasers are still based on legacy technical schemes, requiring manual assembly from discrete components or utilize rather basic III-V semiconductor structures. These devices are either bulky – and thus potentially vibration sensitive - and unsuited for high-volume or space-based applications, or lack the ability to precisely adjust the wavelength. The advent of advanced photonic integration platforms such as silicon photonics has led to very compact chip-based lasers. This evolution was mainly driven by high-speed communications in exa-scale data centers, and these sources lack spectral coherence, wavelength coverage, or tunability required for the challenging space-based applications such as LiDAR and lasers for optical atomic clocks. DEEPLIGHT SA aims at establishing a new class of wafer-compatible and cost-effective integrated lasers that can address the entire wavelength range from the blue (400 nm) to the infrared (2.7 µm). The ultra-compact devices will offer unprecedented performance in terms of ultra-narrow linewidth (sub-kHz) with exceptional frequency agility across the electromagnetic spectrum. In this project, we will build a device operating at 1550 nm with >10 mW output power for FMCW LiDAR. We will build a laser prototype at 422 nm for Sr+ transition (for laser cooling and qubit construction) with 1-5 mW output power and a high power prototype (aiming at >100 mW) at 461 nm for optical lattice clocks (Sr transition).

Contract number
OSIP Idea Id
Related OSIP Campaign
Open Channel
Main application area
Generic for multiple space applications
Topical cluster
Narrow linewidth frequency agile integrated photonic lasers for space Discovery Ideas Channel ETD evaluation 2021-11