[clug] Cryogenic Sapphire Oscillator from UWA / Adelaide in IEEE Spectrum, tested on Jindalee Radar

steve jenkin sjenkin at canb.auug.org.au
Thu Jul 22 02:31:55 UTC 2021

Intersection of local bleeding edge research and Radio / Radar - hopefully of interest to CLUGers


For Precision, the Sapphire Clock Outshines Even the Best Atomic Clocks
	Breakthrough oscillator could set the pace for quantum computers

	For those applications, help is on the way, in the form of the most precise clock yet created. 
	Developed by Andre Luiten when he was completing his studies at the University of Western Australia,
	 it’s built around a small, extremely cold crystal of sapphire. 

	Luiten calls it the Cryogenic Sapphire Oscillator, and it could bolster technologies as varied as military radar and quantum computing. 

	He and his colleagues are working on these applications at the University of Adelaide, also in Australia, 
	where he now serves as director of the Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensings.

	It would be great, for instance, if researchers could find a way to shrink both the size and the cost of the cryocooler that encases the sapphire. 
	The team is reengineering the device to work at 50 K
	 by increasing the concentration of magnetic impurities in the crystal without introducing additional losses. 

	That’s a temperature that liquid nitrogen can’t quite get to, but it’s way easier than 6 K.
	It would make the cooler less expensive, less power hungry, and a good deal smaller, too.

	The team has submitted a provisional patent for this breakthrough and is already attracting interest from the aviation and telecommunications industries.
	A major contract is reportedly in the works.

	“There’s interest in putting the clock on aeroplanes, and we’re hoping for an opportunity in 5G telecommunications systems,” Luiten says.

Steve Jenkin, IT Systems and Design 
0412 786 915 (+61 412 786 915)
PO Box 38, Kippax ACT 2615, AUSTRALIA

mailto:sjenkin at canb.auug.org.au http://members.tip.net.au/~sjenkin

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