The AQuRA consortium is an industry led consortium which will make state of the art optical lattice clocks compact and robust enough for today's most demanding real world applications.
Work Package 1: System Design
Work package 1 is devoted to the definition of final system specifications and the final system design. This will include defining and developing the optical, electronic, and software interfaces between the different clock submodules and a mechanical and thermal concept to mount all components. The final system will be integrated into transportable racks ready for deployment in the field. Menlo will lead this phase of the project coordinating the inputs from all partners and also developing the preliminary and final system design. PTB and Syrte/CNRS will review the proposed design against the AQuRA goals.
Work Package 2: Laser systems
The development of the laser systems for the AQuRA clock prototype is distributed across four industry partners, NKT, iXblue, Vexlum and QuiX Quantum. Each of these partners has expertise in developing lasers with different underlying technologies each optimized for different wavelengths and requirements necessary for optical trapping of ultra-cold strontium atoms. This work package will conclude with the testing and validation of the lasers by Syrte/CNRS, UvA, PTB and Menlo.
Work Package 3: Physics package
For the physics package led by Syrte/CNRS will pool the experience from Syrte/CNRS, UMK and UvA to realize one of the most compact and transportable systems developed for a strontium optical lattice clock. This work package includes the development of a vacuum chamber with an internal cavity, the atom source, a permanent magnet Zeeman slower and magnetic coil system, the atom detection system and the light distribution and control module. This work package will conclude by trapping atoms in the optical lattice.
Work Package 4: Frequency stabilization and control
Under this work package Menlo will develop a frequency stabilization system for all CW lasers used to cool, pump, and interrogate the strontium atoms. Menlo will also develop user interface software packages needed for system control while UvA will provide the electronics and software subsystems needed to operate the physics package (Work Package 3). Syrte/CNRS will develop a module for the down-conversion of the stabilized clock light into the microwave and RF domains.
Work Package 5: System Integration
In this work package, the hardware components of the advanced quantum clock provided by project partners (i.e., Work Package 2 – laser systems, Work Package 3 – physics package, and Work Package 4 – frequency stabilization and control) will be integrated into a rack-mounted and transportable apparatus by Menlo. The different software packages for system control will be interfaced with each other, such that the apparatus can be conveniently operated via the top-level software user interface developed by Menlo. Menlo will carry out the system integration and debugging, and all partners will provide support and technical advice with respect to their submodules.
Work Package 6: System verification
PTB will lead the validation of the stability and accuracy of the AQuRA clock prototype as well as of the stability of the narrow-linewidth 698-nm clock laser.
Work Package 7: End use cases and unlocking applications
This work package considers and demonstrates applications of the AQuRA clock prototype. We will demonstrate the capacity of the clock to perform chronometric levelling (Syrte/CNRS, Menlo) and for improving very long baseline interferometry (UMK, Menlo). We (VU, UvA) will extend the commercially available White Rabbit (WR) optical network time and frequency distribution system with new features to realize a fail-safe virtual UTC with time offsets below one nanosecond. Finally we (VU, UvA) will demonstrate the integration of optical time and frequency signals within telecom networks and undertake a value chain analysis (Menlo).
Work Package 8: Dissemination and public engagement
This work package bundles the efforts of the AQuRA project team to dissemination results of the project to the target audiences from industry and academia and the general public. The dissemination and outreach activities are led by a dedicated member of the AQuRA management team at UvA. All partners will participate and contribute content for dissemination and public engagement activities.
Work Package 9: Project coordination and management
This work package is dedicated to the day-to-day operation of the AQuRA project.