We are working with M Squared Lasers, a leading provider of photonic and quantum technologies, to pioneer an innovative new service to ensure the highest traceable accuracy can be delivered to a broad range of satellites in a more cost-effective and efficient way.
We are combining state-of-the-art tuneable lasers with more conventional radiometric and optical/image performance facilities into a flexible and tailorable Optical Ground Support Equipment (OGSE) that can be used in the clean rooms of satellite test facilities on a short-term loan basis. This will dramatically reduce the cost of calibration for each individual satellite and ensure that the services provided are always state-of-the-art and fully traceable to SI units.
The Spectroscopically Tuneable Absolute Radiance calibration and characterisation (STAR-cc) equipment will be more efficient than existing methods as it enables radiometric, spectral and stray-light characteristics to be determined simultaneously, as opposed to through a sequential series of measurements, although such options will also built into the facility.
The STAR-cc-OGSE can deliver accuracies under vacuum close to those previously only attainable in National Measurement Institutes. The first sensor to use the STAR facility will be MicroCARB, a French-led mission to measure greenhouse gas emissions which is due to launch in 2021.