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Laser applications

DORT (Dynamic Optical Ranging & Timing) is a laser measurement system that employs pulsed lasers to precisely calculate the distances between two distant subsystems. Furthermore, the optical superposition of the laser pulses synchronizes the subsystems' clock frequencies. DORT particularly focuses on time transmission between satellites, with the goal of revolutionizing applications like navigation, communication, and earth observation with picosecond precision. The system is developed by MUnique Technology GmbH (MUT).

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The project is developed in a consortium between EMM, Munique Technology GmbH and the Technical University of Munich. 

In this research project a demonstrator for a real-time electronic system of a laser-based distance measuring system with adaptive optics for space applications is developed. In particular, novel solutions are developed for providing control signals for an ultrashort pulse laser and its temperature control, generating the necessary signals, controlling adaptive optics, and acquiring, processing, and evaluating data for distance measurement. The controller is developed using our SoC (System-on-Chip) payload controller.

The goal is to develop an engineering qualification model and then a proto-flight model for in-orbit verification. A first prototype board for testing has been developed.


The collaborative project DORT-COM aims to expand the DORT system to incorporate optical communication between satellites. The highly finely synchronized optical link is designed to transport data at speeds up to Gbit/s. This would enable DORT to be developed into an inter-satellite laser communication terminal or integrated with existing terminals from other vendors. One application is constellation flights of numerous earth observation satellites.

For DORT-COM, EMM expands its existing processor module with hardware and software modules. Based on the outcome of the feasibility study on DORT, a technical design will be produced, and the optoelectronic interfaces for laser control (Laser Modulation Unit) and data acquisition (Signal Conditioning Unit) will be prototyped and tested on the DORT laboratory system. Algorithms and software are developed, and new functionalities and interfaces are incorporated into the current processing system.

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