Development of a Portable Microwave Atomic Clock Using Pulsed Coherent Population Trapping

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Contract: D14PC00134
Agency Tracking Number: D141-004-0041
Amount: $99,989.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2014
Solitcitation Year: 2014
Solitcitation Topic Code: SB141-004
Solitcitation Number: 2014.1
Small Business Information
Digital Optics Technologies, Inc.
1645 Hicks Road, Suite H, Rolling Meadows, IL, 60008-1227
Duns: 062914119
Hubzone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Nicholas J Condon
 Vice President of Research
 (847) 358-2592
 condon.optidot@gmail.com
Business Contact
 Robert Lutwak
Title: program manager
Phone: (703) 526-2863
Email: robert.lutwak@darpa.mil
Research Institution
 Stub
Abstract
We propose to develop a low SWaP, portable microwave Rb-87 cold atomic clock using pulsed coherent population trapping (CPT). The SWaP goal is to achieve a volume of <1 liter, weight of <1 kG, and a power consumption of <5 Watts. The performance goal is a stability of 10^(-12) at 1 sec, <5x10^(-15) at 1 day. The specific approach we will pursue entails the following features: (a) Use pulsed CPT in the D1 manifold of trapped Rb-87 atoms, (b) Use magnetically insensitive Zeeman sublevels for the clock transition (c) Use a pi-polarized auxiliary beam to keep all atoms optically pumped into the clock levels for maximum signal, (d) use the proprietary all-glass miniature cell developed by Honeywell under the Darpa IMPACT program, with magnetic shielding added, (e) Use large trapping beam diameters to increase the signal, and (f) Suppress light-shift by saturating the CP transition during the first pulse. Honeywell and Northwestern University will be subcontractors on this project. During Phase I, we will use a conventional magneto-optic trap loaded from Rb getters to demonstrate the functionality of the clock, and produce the design for a miniaturized clock based on the Honeywell glass cell, meeting the SWaP requirements. During Phase II, we will realize the miniaturized clock, and demonstrate meeting the short and long term stability goals via studies of errors sources and mitigations thereof.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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