About the Research Program

CSOC: Chip-Scale Optical Atomic Clock

Timing precision in applications such as global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) and telecommunications relies on the availability of a stable clock signal. Modern small-scale clocks are based on probing atomic transitions in the microwave frequency range. The precision and stability of these clocks can be improved by over an order of magnitude by addressing transitions with optical frequencies instead of microwaves. Therefore, the development of small-scale optical clocks is motivated by the significant performance improvement they offer for high-precision in-field applications. The EU-funded CSOC project aims to develop an optical clock which comprises a chip-scale frequency comb, a miniature atomic spectroscopy unit, and supporting control electronics with the advantage of an unmatched size, weight, and power consumption. Menlo Systems contributes to the project with its expertise in assembling a small-scale Rb reference spectroscopy, as well as integrating and testing the overall system. By relying on the accuracy and stability of a two-photon transition while minimizing the device's footprint, CSOC will facilitate on-site clock operation that was previously unattainable with full-sized optical clock experiments.

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We gratefully acknowledge funding by the European Commission.

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