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Atomic frequency standard and clocks

spaceclock1  CSAC1  iontrap

 

Precision Frequency standards and clocks provide critical reference signals for deep space tracking and navigation. They are an essential part of the global position system (GPS) now widely used by both military and civilians. In addition, atomic frequency standards are fundamental tools for the most precise measurements and can be used for exploring the laws of Nature. As part of the Frequency Standard Laboratory at JPL, our group is chartered for basic research and development of advanced atomic frequency standards and clocks. Currently, we are advancing the small mercury ion space clock. This clock, based on the unique JPL developed linear trapped ion clock technology, will delivery the fractional frequency stability of 10-15 level in a shoebox package. We also began to explore the optical clocks as the next generation space clocks. Impressive stability and accuracy have been demonstrated with optical clocks in laboratories around the world. Our focus will be to develop a path to miniature version of optical clocks. In addition, we are also engaged in other clock R&D activities such as chip-side atomic clocks.