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For various fields, like fundamental physics, inertial navigation, geophysics, and precision time keeping, a deployment of experiments in outer space is highly desirable or even necessary in order to meet the stringent requirements on stability and precision.
An approach of building ultra-stable and precise measurement setups includes the usage optical systems as in quantum optical sensors or optical clocks.
In addition optical circuitry is as well used in communication systems in space.
However, optical systems on ground used to be bulky, sensitive to environmental changes like vibration and increasing temperature.
This talk will outline the challenges of converting an optical ground experiment into an experiment operated in space. It will name some specifications of different ways of reaching “space”, approaches of meeting these specifications and will show tests to be performed in order to qualify a system. As an example the development of very robust, energy efficient, micro-integrated laser modules for the deployment of cold atom based quantum sensors in space is shown. These laser modules fit on micro optical benches not larger than 80 x 25 mm² and make use of either already space qualified or space qualifiable components and integration technologies.