Precise time and frequency standards are needed for modern communication, radar, and navigation systems. Recently, lab-based optical atomic clocks have demonstrated orders-of-magnitude improved performance over traditional microwave standards that are used in GPS. This performance improvement is due to the higher quality factor for optical atomic transitions. Currently, AOSense is developing portable optical frequency standards and self-referenced frequency combs designed for simplicity and ruggedness. Parallel efforts seek to improve upon microwave clocks by implementing techniques such as laser cooling and trapping.
Time & frequency standards
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