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Towards Neutral-atom Space Optical Clocks: Development of high-performance transportable and breadboard optical clocks and advanced subsystems

Objective

A range of new applications will be enabled by ultra-precise optical clocks, some of which by using them in space, near or far distant from Earth. They cover the fields of fundamental physics (tests of General Relativity), time and frequency metrology (comparison of distant terrestrial clocks, operation of a master clock in space), geophysics (mapping of the gravitational potential of the Earth), and potential applications in astronomy (local oscillators for radio ranging and interferometry in space).
We propose to (1) develop two “engineering confidence“ ultra-precise transportable lattice optical clock demonstrators with relative frequency instability < 1×10-15/root(tau)1/2, inaccuracy < 5×10-17, one of which as a breadboard. They will be based on trapped neutral Ytterbium and Strontium atoms. Goal performance is about 1 and 2 orders better than today’s best transportable clocks, in inaccuracy and instability, respectively. The two systems will be validated in a laboratory environment (TRL 4) and performance will be established by comparison with laboratory optical clocks and primary frequency standards.
(2) We will develop the necessary laser systems (adapted in terms of power, linewidth, frequency stability, long-term reliability, and accuracy), atomic packages with control of systematic (magnetic fields, black-body radiation, atom number), where novel solutions with reduced space, power and mass requirements will be implemented. Some of the laser systems will be developed towards particularly high compactness and robustness. Also, crucial laser components will be tested at TRL 5 level (validation in relevant environment).
The work will build on the expertise of the proposers with laboratory optical clocks, and the successful development of breadboard and transportable cold Sr and Yb atomic sources and ultrastable lasers during the ELIPS-3 ESA development project “Space Optical Clocks (SOC)”.

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/astronomy
  • /natural sciences/chemical sciences/inorganic chemistry/inorganic compounds
  • /natural sciences/earth and related environmental sciences/geophysics
  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/optics/laser physics

Call for proposal

FP7-SPACE-2010-1
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

CP - Collaborative project (generic)

Coordinator

HEINRICH-HEINE-UNIVERSITAET DUESSELDORF
Address
Universitaetsstrasse 1
40225 Dusseldorf
Germany
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 392 000
Administrative Contact
Katharina Kaemmerer (Ms.)

Participants (16)

ERWIN KAYSER-THREDE GMBH

Participation ended

Germany
Address
Wolfratshauser Strasse 48
81379 Munchen
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Peter Rauhut (Mr.)
PHYSIKALISCH-TECHNISCHE BUNDESANSTALT
Germany
EU contribution
€ 336 552
Address
Bundesallee 100
38116 Braunschweig
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Dörte Lorenz (Ms.)
GOTTFRIED WILHELM LEIBNIZ UNIVERSITAET HANNOVER
Germany
EU contribution
€ 146 025,60
Address
Welfengarten 1
30167 Hannover
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Kirsten Fuhrmann (Ms.)
OBSERVATOIRE DE PARIS
France
EU contribution
€ 100 350
Address
Avenue De L Observatoire 61
75014 Paris
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Elodie Thirion (Ms.)
UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI FIRENZE
Italy
EU contribution
€ 195 843,60
Address
Piazza San Marco 4
50121 Florence
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Franchi Ornella (Ms.)
ISTITUTO NAZIONALE DI RICERCA METROLOGICA
Italy
EU contribution
€ 104 004
Address
Strada Delle Cacce 91
10135 Torino
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Alberto Silvestri (Dr.)
THE UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 162 420
Address
Edgbaston
B15 2TT Birmingham
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Robert Fekete (Mr.)
NPL MANAGEMENT LIMITED
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 92 500
Address
Hampton Road Teddington
TW11 0LW Middlesex
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Phillip Meyer (Mr.)
TOPTICA PHOTONICS AG
Germany
EU contribution
€ 193 500
Address
Lochhamer Schlag 19
82166 Graefelfing
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Wilhelm Kaenders (Dr.)
OHB SYSTEM AG
Germany
EU contribution
€ 14 500,80
Address
Universitaetsallee 27-29
28359 Bremen
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Heinz Martin Lengler (Mr.)
AIRBUS DS GMBH
Germany
EU contribution
€ 14 520
Address
Robert Koch Strasse 1
82024 Taufkirchen
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Michael Höss (Mr.)
Menlo Systems GmbH
Germany
EU contribution
€ 137 280
Address
Am Klopferspitz 19
82152 Martinsried
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Ronald Holzwarth (Dr.)
KAYSER ITALIA SRL
Italy
EU contribution
€ 21 725
Address
Via Di Popogna 501
57128 Livorno
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Sara Zolesi (Ms.)
UNIVERSITE DE NEUCHATEL
Switzerland
EU contribution
€ 33 480
Address
Faubourg De L'hopital 41
2000 Neuchatel
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Pierre Thomann (Prof.)
CSEM CENTRE SUISSE D'ELECTRONIQUE ET DE MICROTECHNIQUE SA - RECHERCHE ET DEVELOPPEMENT
Switzerland
EU contribution
€ 33 480
Address
Rue Jaquet Droz 1
2000 Neuchatel
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Viron Teodoridis (Mr.)
ECOLE POLYTECHNIQUE FEDERALE DE LAUSANNE
Switzerland
EU contribution
€ 21 150
Address
Batiment Ce 3316 Station 1
1015 Lausanne
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Tobias J. Kippenberg (Prof.)