About the Research Program

AQuRA: Advanced Quantum Clock for Real World Applications

Optical atomic clocks serve as frequency standards that offer unprecedented precision in time measurements, making them the focus of research and technology development all over the globe. Their accuracy can be as high as one second over the time span of fourteen billion years - the age of the universe. By facilitating a transition in the hundreds of terahertz frequency regime, these devices outperform clocks based on transition in the microwave frequency range by orders of magnitude. However, the current state-of-the-art optical atomic clocks suffer from a large footprint that typically fills an entire optical laboratory. AQuRA aims to address this issue by developing a compact strontium-based lattice clock for in-field-deployment with a performance rivalling that of lab-based clock.
The development of compact and robust optical clocks is an important step towards their use in real-world applications and, eventually, space. They would greatly improve the performance of technologies fundamental to telecommunication, geology, astronomy and ultimately affect real-world applications and consumer devices. For instance, it would boost the accuracy of global navigation of satellite systems (GNSS) from the meter to the millimeter scale or even below, providing the necessary resolution for autonomous driving systems.
Within the project, Menlo Systems is leading the design, engineering and subsequent integration of the AQuRA clock.

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We gratefully acknowledge funding by the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation program.

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