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A compensated multi-pole linear ion trap mercury frequency standard for ultra-stable timekeeping

A compensated multi-pole linear ion trap mercury frequency standard for ultra-stable timekeeping

IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control 55(12): 2586-2595

The multi-pole linear ion trap frequency standard (LITS) being developed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has demonstrated excellent short- and long-term stability. The technology has now demonstrated long-term field operation providing a new capability for timekeeping standards. Recently implemented enhancements have resulted in a record line Q of 5 x 10(12) for a room temperature microwave atomic transition and a short-term fractional frequency stability of 5 x 10(-14)/tau(1/2). A scheme for compensating the second order Doppler shift has led to a reduction of the combined sensitivity to the primary LITS systematic effects below 5 x 10(-17) fractional frequency. Initial comparisons to JPL's cesium fountain clock show a systematic floor of less than 2 x 10(-16). The compensated multi-pole LITS at JPL was operated continuously and unattended for a 9-mo period from October 2006 to July 2007. During that time it was used as the frequency reference for the JPL geodetic receiver known as JPLT, enabling comparisons to any clock used as a reference for an International GNSS Service (IGS) site. Comparisons with the laser-cooled primary frequency standards that reported to the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (BIPM) over this period show a frequency deviation less than 2.7 x 10(-17)/day. In the capacity of a stand-alone ultra-stable flywheel, such a standard could be invaluable for long-term timekeeping applications in metrology labs while its methodology and robustness make it ideal for space applications as well.

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Accession: 051114551

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 19126484

DOI: 10.1109/tuffc.2008.975

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