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Characterization of T2L2 (Time Transfer by Laser Link) on the Jason 2 ocean altimetry satellite and Micrometric laser ranging

Abstract : The T2L2 (Time Transfer by Laser Link) scheme, based on the technology of satellite laser ranging (SLR), is a new means for remote clock synchronization. The T2L2 experiment was accepted in 2005 by CNES to be embarked on the ocean altimetry satellite Jason 2 as a passenger instrument.
The first part of the present work treats the thorough characterization of the T2L2 flight instrument, comprising its calibration and the evaluation of its performance in terms of time/frequency metrology. These calibration and performance tests have been performed with a complex test bed, that has been developed at the Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur.
Further, the work describes a complete performance budget of the time transfer scheme, including the space instrument as well as the ground segment and other contributors; it demonstrates the final performance of the whole laser-based time transfer: With a time stability of some picoseconds when integrating over a satellite pass, T2L2 will be able to compare today's most advanced clocks such as atomic fountains over continental distances. The absolute accuracy has been determined to be less than 50 ps in common view configuration.

The second part of the present document is oriented to the extension of the technology used for SLR and T2L2 to the high-resolution measurement of absolute distances in space. This goal shall be reached by the use of frequency combs, thus combining time-of-flight measurements and interferometry.
The presented work shows an important step towards the feasibility of this approach, the distance measurement by high rate event timing and phase measurement in order to reach on the wavelength threshold.
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Submitted on : Thursday, March 12, 2009 - 10:43:49 AM
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Patrick Vrancken. Characterization of T2L2 (Time Transfer by Laser Link) on the Jason 2 ocean altimetry satellite and Micrometric laser ranging. Other. Université Nice Sophia Antipolis, 2008. English. ⟨tel-00367703⟩

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