National Physical Laboratory - Time and Frequency Group


NPL is developing both lab-based and transportable cold atom and ion clocks with optical clock accuracies in the region of a few parts in 1018.

We have also developed and patented a novel vibration-insensitive space-deployable cubic optical reference cavity for ultra-stable lasers. The group will shortly install a ground-based microwave link terminal at NPL, for communication with the Atomic Clock Ensemble in Space (ACES) due for launch to the international space station within the next year. This will be one of seven terminals worldwide, allowing highest accuracy clock comparisons by satellite between several international metrology institutes.

Time and Frequency Capabilities and Facilities