High Precision Time Transfer in Space with a Hydrogen Maser on MIR
HARVARD-SMITHSONIAN CENTER FOR ASTROPHYSICS CAMBRIDGE MA
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An atomic hydrogen maser clock system designed for long term operation in space will be installed on the Russian space station, Mir, in late 1997. The H-masers frequency stability will be measured using pulsed laser time transfer techniques. Daily time comparisons made with a precision of better than 100 picoseconds will allow an assessment of the long-term stability of the space maser at a level on the order of 1 part in 1015 or better. Laser pulse arrival times at the spacecraft will be recorded with a resolution of 10 picoseconds relative to the space clocks time scale. Cube corner reflectors will reflect the pulses back to the earth laser station to determine the propogation delay and enable comparison with the earth-based time scale. Data for relativistic and gravitational frequency corrections will be obtained from a GPS receiver.
- Lasers and Masers