Accession Number:

ADA409518

Title:

Compact, Continuous-Beam, Cold-Atom Clock for Satellite Applications

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:

AEROSPACE CORP EL SEGUNDO CA LAB OPERATIONS

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2002-06-30

Pagination or Media Count:

17.0

Abstract:

Highly stable atomic frequency standards are of increasing importance for a variety of space applications, ranging from communication to navigation and time transfer to tests of fundamental science. The requirements for an atomic clock vary significantly depending on the application, and for many space systems, compactness and robust design are at a premium, and stability dominates over absolute accuracy. We report on progress with our design for a compact laser-cooled Cs- beam atomic clock suitable for satellite applications such as GPS. The basic design features a continuous, cold atomic beam extracted from a magneto-optic trap MOT. This cold atomic beam is then to be used in a laser-pumped Ramsey clock, with the clock signal derived from either a microwave C-field or, alternatively, by Raman resonance between the Ramsey fields. In order to reduce light shifts from the MOT light and improve signal-to-noise, the atomic beam will be optically deflected and transversely cooled upon extraction from the MOT. We estimate that the shot-noise-limited stability achievable with this physics package can be 2 to 3 orders of magnitude better than current Cs-beam clocks used in satellite applications. We present our experimental progress towards a working frequency standard, including characterization of our six-beam magneto-optic cold atom trap and production and characterization of a cold atomic beam.

Subject Categories:

  • Unmanned Spacecraft

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE