Business Area Space Technology
  • Space Technology

  • Laser systems for applications in space
  • Laser systems for the earth-bound gravitational
    wave astronomy
  • Coating and qualification of laser optics, telescope mirrors and optical filters for the use in space
  • Joining and generative manufacturing processes

Our strength: Bundled expertise under one umbrella

For more than 20 years, the LZH has been researching, developing and characterizing laser systems for the use in space. Technical systems for space applications must withstand especially harsh conditions. In this field, the LZH has a wide range of knowledge and experience – which it transfers into terrestrial applications, too, such as earth-bound gravitational wave detectors and laser systems for the analysis of soil samples in the deep sea. 

No matter what your question is: Our physicists, chemists, biologists, and mechanical and electrical engineers work together across the disciplines and departments to create your custom solution. They cover the whole spectrum of relevant disciplines:

  • Development of mechanically, thermally and optically optimized laser designs
  • Opto-mechanical analysis
  • Optical coatings (IBS)
  • Qualification of optics

    • Laser-induced damage threshold (LIDT)
    • Laser-induced contamination (LIC)
  • Generative manufacturing of special mechanics
  • Integration in an ISO 5 cleanroom: Handling & contamination management
  • Glue-free mounting and connection technology
  • Verification in the 3D X-ray tomograph
  • Laser welding of hermetic casings
  • In-house environmental tests (thermal vacuum, vibrations)




Special optics for space applications

Coating method: Ion-Beam-Sputtering (IBS)

Properties: suitable for use in vacuum, high
long-term stability and efficiency, resistant to high-energy radiation

Field of application: Satellites


Model of the Mars Organic Molecule
Analyzer (MOMA) laser

Purpose: ExoMars Mission 2020

Task: Analysis of soil samples using Laser Desorption Mass Spectroscopy (LDMS)

Properties: lightweight and compact, suitable
for use in vacuum and resistant to vibrations

Field of application: Exploration of planet surfaces


Laser system for the earth-bound detection
of gravitational waves

Key facts: Single-frequency Nd:YAG high-power laser, 200 W output power in continuous operation

Locations: LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory) Observatorium in Livingston und Hanford (USA)

Field of application: Gravitational wave astronomy


Faser amplifier for measuring gravitational waves in space

Purpose: eLISA, 3rd Large Mission of the European Space Agency (ESA) in 2034

Properties: suitable for use in space, extremely efficient and compact design

Field of application: Gravitational wave astronomy

Photo produced by the European Southern Observatory (ESO)


IR narrowband filter for the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT)

Coating method: Ion-Beam-Sputtering (IBS)

Tasks: Suppression of interferences and transmission of signals from outer space

Properties: Homogenity < 0.1 %

Field of application: Earth-bound telescopes, biological and medical measurement


Environmental tests of laser systems
under space conditions and opto-mechanical assemblies

Test environment: thermal-vacuum
chamber in a ISO 7 class cleanroom

Test conditions: temperature cycles
between –70°C and +150°C, active or
passive tests under vacuum