032 bis - Advanced concept for chip-scale atomic clocks

032 bis - Advanced concept for chip-scale atomic clocks

Compact and low power consumption atomic clocks, also known as CSAC (Chip-Scale Atomic Clocks) have grown a progressive interest during the last decades. Such devices feature the unique capability of a stable frequency and timing reference over extended periods of time, otherwise unreachable with conventional oscillator technology based on quartz crystal or MEMS resonators. Their benefits were demonstrated for a wide range of applications, such as PNT in adverse environment, secure telecommunication or in order to allow timing hold-over capability in case of loss of GNSS signal for a wide range of applications.
Current CSAC technology relies on the miniaturization of hot vapor clocks based on RF atomic transitions by employing micro-fabricated hot atomic vapor cells and simple interrogation architectures. Such solutions have enormously reduced their mass, size and power consumption to the cost of a lower frequency and timing stability as compared to conventional larger scale atomic references. Recently, publications have identified alternative advanced concepts for chip-scale atomic clocks, which open new paths for the possible miniaturization and integration of new technologies with improved size, weight, power or frequency stability.
The proposed activity is oriented toward the analysis, definition and demonstration of a chip-scale hot vapor cell clock based on an optical transition. The main objectives of the proposed activity are therefore to: 

  • Trade-off, based on state-of-the-art technology, the various hot atomic vapor optical clocks architectures concepts down to sub-system level and define a preliminary architecture for demonstration
  • Design, manufacture, assemble and test representative prototypes in view of demonstrating the potential of the proposed architecture

The tasks to be performed will therefore include:

  • A state-of-the-art study on hot atomic vapor optical clocks and on their underlying building blocks and technologies
  • The design and the realization of an atomic reference unit based on hot atomic vapor cells and of a Kerr frequency comb based on PIC technology
  • The testing of the prototypes and the conclusion for future development

The results of the activity will provide:

  • A demonstration of the potential of hot atomic vapor optical transitions for chip-scale atomic clocks in term of size, weight, power and frequency stability and the assessment of this technology in view of future development

Prime contractor


Name: CSEM

Country: Switzerland

Website: https://www.csem.ch



Name: Ligentec

Country: Switzerland

Website: https://www.ligentec.com

Last Updated: 03/03/2021 12:56