See us at the National Quantum Technologies Showcase 2018! UK National Quantum Technologies Programme
Quantum technology is leaving the laboratory and entering the industrial world to provide a paradigm shift in capability unrivalled by any other technology. TMD is at the forefront of this revolution where development has been funded both by private venture and government funding.
The technology will provide small very accurate atomic clocks and new gravimetric and magnetic sensors. TMD have partnered with a number of relevant companies and universities to develop these new products. For more details on our projects and partner see this link Academic Partners
The primary thrust of the work at TMD is for the manufacture of “time machines” – machines independent of GPS that measure time to atomic clock accuracy in a compact and rugged package.
GPS time, on which the globe relies as an accurate reference of time and position is fragile and under threat. The service may be denied or spoofed, whilst military, financial, communication and industrial systems are totally reliant on the GPS timing signals. Standby time clocks are required that will hold up time locally for hours, days or months until GPS is resumed.
TMD is addressing these problems with two time machines of different accuracy and size:
Hollow Core Fibre Clock (HCF)
A specially designed hollow fibre is filled with either caesium or rubidium and a specific electron transition is stimulated by a laser – tuned to the appropriate frequency pointing along the fibre. A diode detects the laser light at the other end and tunes the laser to the transition frequency. The first iteration of the HCF clock will be the size of a TMD MPM (3x16x20 cm) with an accuracy of 10-13. One second in 300,000 years.
Cold Atom Clock
A rectangular ceramic vacuum cell is filled with caesium or rubidium and the cell has a number of optical glass windows. A grating is placed on one window and a laser pointed at it from the opposite window. Together with magnetic fields this forms a trap which stops the atoms moving – which are then by definition close to absolute zero (milli-Kelvin). Another laser is used, as for the HCF clock, to interrogate the atoms and lock this second laser frequency. Because the atoms are close to absolute zero degrees, there is almost no thermal noise. The first iteration will be approximately twice the size of the HCF clock with an accuracy of 10-14. One second in 3 million years.
TMD is also developing other sensor products, for example:
Ultra Stable Laser
A small glass cell filled with caesium or rubidium is used, rather like the HCF clock, to lock the laser frequency, but in this case it is the output of the stabilised laser that is of interest. The complete unit will be the size of a TMD MPM (3x16x20 cm).
The quantum methods also allow versions of the products that TMD are developing to be used to measure gravity and magnetic fields to an accuracy that has before been thought impossible. These sensors will detect submarines, pipes, and tunnels at great depths with application in industrial and military equipment.
For more information on this exciting work, please contact the TMD Business Development team led by Richard Patrick, Head of Business Development and Howard Smith, Technology Director. Contact Us
Also, see our recent press releases Press Releases which will tell you more!