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ISRO Rubidium Atomic Clock: Best For Laptop And Smartphones (2024)

ISRO Rubidium Atomic Clock

For use in its satellite missions, the Indian Space Research Organisation, or ISRO, has in fact constructed the ISRO Rubidium Atomic Clock. The oscillations of atoms—in this example, rubidium atoms—are used by extremely accurate timekeeping systems called atomic clocks.

The accuracy and stability of rubidium atomic clocks make them a popular choice for communication and satellite navigation systems.

India has developed its own regional satellite navigation system, called NavIC, which offers precise position data over the country and its surroundings. Precise time is essential for precise navigation and timing services, and these satellites’ rubidium atomic clocks guarantee it.

Globally, computer networks utilise the Network Time Protocol (NTP) extensively to synchronise time. To offer precise timekeeping, NTP servers are dispersed throughout the world and synchronised with one another. NTP servers, which are frequently found in different parts of the world, including the US, are in fact synchronised with a large number of Indian systems.

This guarantees that Indian computers and gadgets can keep up precise time synchronisation, which is essential for a number of network functions, security procedures, and other uses.

What is the Rubidium Atomic Clock?

An atomic clock that measures time with exceptionally high precision is a rubidium atomic clock, which obtains its frequency from the inherent resonance of rubidium atoms. With their foundation in the fundamental physics of atoms, atomic clocks are the most accurate timepieces on the market.

Rubidium atoms are stimulated to a particular energy level by microwave radiation inside a sealed chamber, which is the structure of a rubidium atomic clock. As they shift between energy levels, the rubidium atoms subsequently release radiation at a highly specific frequency.

For extremely accurate timekeeping, the clock’s output is adjusted using the radiation that is emitted as a reference signal.

What are the advantages of the Rubidium atomic clock?

In comparison to other atomic clock varieties and conventional quartz-based clocks, rubidium atomic clocks have the following advantages:

Excellent Accuracy:
Rubidium atomic clocks usually have an accuracy of one part in 10^11 or better. This degree of accuracy guarantees accurate timekeeping for a variety of uses, such as scientific research, satellite navigation, and telecommunications.

Superb Long-Term Stability: These clocks don’t significantly drift over lengthy periods of time, allowing them to retain their accuracy. Applications that need exact synchronisation across hours, days, or even years must take advantage of this stability.

Compact Size and Low Power Consumption: Rubidium atomic clocks can be made to be more energy-efficient and compact than other atomic clock types, which qualifies them for use in satellites, portable electronics, and other space-constrained applications.

Fast Warm-up Time:
When compared to other atomic clock types, rubidium atomic clocks usually have a shorter warm-up time, which enables them to reach stable functioning faster after being turned on or restarted.

Rubidium atomic clocks are renowned for their dependability and robustness, even in the most extreme environments, like those found in space or high-altitude applications.

Cost-Effectiveness: As opposed to other atomic clock types, such as cesium atomic clocks, rubidium atomic clocks are frequently more affordable to construct, despite their extreme precision. Because of their affordability, they are a desirable choice for a range of industrial and research uses.

How does the Rubidium Atomic Clock work?

On the basis of atomic resonance, rubidium atomic clocks function. The way they work can be summarised as follows:

The central element of a rubidium atomic clock is a sealed chamber known as a rubidium vapour cell. Rubidium gas is present in this cell; it is often found as the isotope rubidium-87 in its native state.

Microwave radiation: Microwave radiation at a particular frequency is applied within the rubidium vapour cell. This frequency is usually in close proximity to the rubidium atoms’ natural resonance frequency.

Excitation of Rubidium Atoms: The rubidium atoms undergo a transition in energy levels as a result of being excited by the microwave radiation. There are various energy levels for rubidium atoms, and as they move between them, they can absorb or release radiation.

Finding the Resonance Frequency: The rubidium atoms absorb the microwave radiation and get to a resonance state when their absorption is at its highest.A photodetector is used by the clock to identify this resonance frequency.

Does India have an atomic clock?

The official timekeeper of the nation, the Council of Industrial and Scientific Research (CSIR)-National Physical Laboratories (NPL) in New Delhi, is in charge of keeping track of Indian Standard Time. It keeps two hydrogen maser clocks and five caesium atomic clocks in operation.

What indigenously developed rubidium atomic clock?

Among the noteworthy features of this second-generation spacecraft is the rubidium atomic clock, which was created in India by ISRO. This is an effective way to highlight India’s outstanding advancements in space exploration and technology.

How accurate is a rubidium clock?

Although the medium-term accuracy of rubidium clocks is typically 0.1 parts per billion, which is approximately 1000 times more accurate than a dCS Master Clock, their operation causes some short-term jitter.

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