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5th of May 2021
ATNF Colloquium
Title: Phase Stabilization for Space Science Applications: from radio telescopes to laser communications
David Gozzard (ICRAR/UWA)
Abstract: The distribution of high-precision time and frequency signals from atomic clocks is indispensable for many fields of fundamental and applied science. Timescale comparison between atomic clocks enables the highest-precision tests of foundational physics including tests of the General Theory of Relativity, the variability of fundamental constants, and searches for dark matter candidates. Radio astronomy, geodesy, and global navigation satellite systems also benefit from networks of atomic clocks. In order to fully exploit the precision of the atomic clocks, the transmission link must be more stable than the atomic clocks themselves. However, disturbances on the link (thermal effects and vibration, in the case of an optical fibre, and atmospheric turbulence, in the case of a free-space link) cause phase and amplitude noise that greatly degrade the precision of the transmission.

This talk will begin with an overview of stabilized frequency transfer technology developed by the ICRAR-UWA Astrophotonics group to phase synchronize the antennas of the SKA telescope. The talk will then cover how this technology is being translated to stabilize ground-to-space laser links for fundamental science and high-bandwidth laser communications applications.

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