The Galileo Competence Center of the German Aerospace Center (DLR-GK) and Airbus have signed a €16.8 Mio contract for the hosting of DLR’s COMPASSO mission on the International Space Station (ISS) Bartolomeo platform.
COMPASSO will be the first in-orbit verification of compact and highly stable laser-optical clocks. Via a bi-directional optical link, these clocks are compared to and synchronized with highly stable clocks on Earth. In addition, the optical link between the ISS and the ground station is used for assessing the influence of atmospheric turbulence on the frequency and time transfer.
In combination with optical links, highly stable optical clocks are of particular interest for future generations of satellite navigation systems, such as Galileo, and the basis for new Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) architectures, such as the Kepler concept developed at DLR. Combined with the control of further parameters, such as accuracy in orbit determination and atmosphere modelling, a higher accuracy in position determination on Earth can be achieved while at the same time reducing the ground segment complexity and size.
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