Optical System for Precision Atomic Clocks and Stable Oscillators

Period of Performance: 06/30/2014 - 03/30/2015


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

NP Photonics, Inc.
9030 South Rita Road Suite 120
Tucson, AZ 85747
Principal Investigator


Ultra-stable and accurate frequency and timing devices such as atomic clocks are essential for modern communication, navigation, surveillance, and missile guidance systems. There are many atomic oscillators such as neutral calcium and neutral ytterbium that produce clock signal in optical domain. However, these optical standards are expensive and not widely available. The phase stabilized frequency comb can measure optical frequency eight orders of magnitude better than the best commercially available systems previously approached with RF and microwave electronics. NP Photonics specializes in highly doped, high gain per unit length specialty fibers that allows the tailoring of optical gain, nonlinear response, and group-velocity dispersion of the active medium. These fibers enable a simple, compact, robust, cost efficient and ultimately integration-compatible approach to develop high repetition rate (~500 MHz) fundamentally mode-locked Er/Yb-doped fiber lasers and ultralow noise single frequency laser for clock applications. NP Photonics is uniquely positioned to execute on these project goals having already achieved 1) 3 GHz and 12 GHz fundamentally mode-locked laser system at 1550nm, 2) ultra-narrow line width single frequency laser at 1550nm with 400 Hz of free-running line width in a space qualified platform, and 3) mode-locked and single frequency fiber lasers with compact footprint.