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Compact, high-performance optical clockwork for quantum timing

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA9453-20-P-0105
Agency Tracking Number: F20A-T001-0068
Amount: $149,999.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: AF20A-T001
Solicitation Number: 20.A
Solicitation Year: 2020
Award Year: 2020
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2020-06-15
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-03-15
Small Business Information
14998 W 6th Ave, Suite 700
Golden, CO 80401-5025
United States
DUNS: 112697136
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Henry Timmers
 (303) 296-6766
Business Contact
 Scott Rommel
Phone: (303) 296-6766
Research Institution
 Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory
 Matt Rebholz
244 Wood St
Lexington, MA 02421-6426
United States

 (781) 981-0307
 Nonprofit College or University

Vescent Photonics, LLC (Vescent) in collaboration with MIT Lincoln Laboratory (MIT-LL) proposes to develop a compact, low-phase-noise optical frequency comb (OFC) stabilized to a novel, fiber-based, ultra-narrow linewidth reference laser that will meet the Air Force’s needs for a high performance, fieldable clock. OFCs are a core tool of quantum timing, enabling a range of new technologies critical to the U.S. Air Force, including but not limited to optical atomic clocks, free-space time transfer in GPS denied environments, and low phase-noise microwave sources for time dissemination and sensitive radar detection.  However, to construct an OFC with the absolute phase stability required for these applications, the OFC must be stabilized to an ultra-narrow linewidth reference laser.  MIT-LL has demonstrated a compact, ultra-narrow linewidth, low drift fiber laser based on stimulated Brillouin scattering (SBS) that was used to successfully interrogate a 88Sr+ optical clock.  The technique is easily adaptable to any visible and near-infrared (NIR) wavelength and has significant potential to replace lasers locked to ULE cavities as a low SWaP-C reference laser for fieldable OFCs and optical clocks. Vescent, in partnership with MIT-LL, proposes to develop and commercialize a narrow linewidth SBS laser at 1556 nm and use the laser to fully stabilize a low SWaP-C, portable OFC for use in low-noise X-band microwave generation, high-fidelity time transfer, and ultra-stable optical atomic clocks.  

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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