See us at the National Quantum Technologies Showcase 2019! UK National Quantum Technologies Programme
Quantum technology is leaving the laboratory and entering the industrial world to provide a paradigm shift in capability unrivalled by any other technology. TMD is at the forefront of this revolution where development has been funded both by private venture and government funding.
The technology will provide compact and precise atomic clocks, new gravimetric and magnetic sensors. TMD has partnered with several relevant companies and universities to develop these new products. For more details on our projects and partners see Academic Partners.
The primary thrust of the work at TMD is the requirement for portable and ruggedised atomic clocks. Their use has typically been limited to the confines of an academic lab, but their unprecedented precision and accuracy have led to their proposed integration in systems for precision navigation & timing (PNT) and synchronisation. The existence of GPS and other GNSS is a testament to this.
GPS is a system which provides timing and positioning data from satellites in orbit. Onboard atomic clocks are synchronised with one another and this allows the system to disseminate time and provide positioning data through triangulation. An older method of orientation called “dead-reckoning” uses precise timing and inertial measurements to estimate steps moved from an initial position, these systems also rely on a portable and precise clock.
Many modern systems are over-reliant on GPS timing systems as signals from theses satellites can be denied or spoofed, compromising many military, financial, communication and industrial systems. In many critical applications, locally held “holdover” atomic clocks are required to maintain synchronised time until GPS is resumed.
TMD is currently involved in the following activities under the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme (UKNQTP):
Compact atomic clock(s)
TMD has undertaken a number of Innovate UK funded projects to develop compact atomic clocks using hollow-core crystal photonic fibre (HCF) and vapour cell technology. The HCF and vapour cells are filled with alkali metal vapour under UHV at TMD, and then integrated in to a clock architecture where they provide an optical frequency reference for the clock. TMD envisions the first iteration of this clock, currently being developed under Dstl’s Defence & Security Accelerator programme, to be 19” rack 5U sized with a fractional frequency instability of 2×10-13 over 1,000 seconds.
Grating Magneto-Optical Trap (gMOT)
Under Innovate UK funding, and in collaboration with a number of partners, TMD has been a key collaborator in the development of a compact grating magneto-optical trap. This device optically cools and traps rubidium atoms, which can then be observed and interrogated for sensing and precision timing applications. The innovation of this device stems from it’s small form factor, and a significant reduction in the number of lasers needed.
For more information on this exciting work, please contact the TMD Business Development team led by Richard Patrick, Head of Business Development and Howard Smith, Technology Director. Contact Us
Also, see our recent press releases Press Releases which will tell you more!