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Highly reliable optical system for a rubidium space cold atom clock

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Abstract

We describe a highly reliable optical system designed for a rubidium space cold atom clock (SCAC), presenting its design, key technologies, and optical components. All of the optical and electronic components are integrated onto an optimized two-sided 300mm×290mm×30mm optical bench. The compact optical structure and special thermal design ensure that the optical system can pass all of the space environmental qualification tests including both thermal vacuum and mechanical tests. To verify its performance, the optical system is carefully checked before and after each test. The results indicate that this optical system is suitably robust for the space applications for which the rubidium SCAC was built.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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