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A clock which loses just one second for every 40 million years of operation and is thousands of times more precise than any other technology now available is being produced at Lot Fourteen – and the technology is set to become part of Australia’s critical northern surveillance system.

Cryoclock develops and produces novel precision time and frequency solutions for use in defence, space, quantum computing and critical infrastructure. Although this level of precision seems both beyond comprehension and everyday application, it is needed by advanced systems such as radar to work towards their ultimate limits.

Cryoclock and global defence giant BAE Systems Australia have been awarded a $4.8 million Defence contract to further develop Cryoclock’s ultra-high precision technology to enhance the performance of Australia’s Jindalee Operational Radar Network (JORN).

JORN is a vital strategic defence-wide area surveillance system that surveys the northern air and sea approaches of Australia out to a range of 3000 kilometres. It is remotely operated from the RAAF Base at Edinburgh in northern Adelaide, with three radar sites located in Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

Cryoclock’s flagship product, the Sapphire Clock, is based on a whispering gallery mode of a cryogenically cooled sapphire crystal. It has an ultra-low phase-noise frequency oscillator that produces extremely stable signals from HF to X-band. It offers a range of potential applications including defence radars, quantum computing, space navigation and timing services and ultra-precise laboratory reference.

Cryoclock was founded by leading researchers Andre Luiten and John Hartnett from the University of Adelaide. Cryoclock has a specialist design engineering team that has successfully delivered bespoke products to both commercial and defence customers.

The company continues to benefit from its close association with the university’s Institute of Photonics and Advanced Sensing (IPAS) at the University of Adelaide. IPAS brings together experimental physicists, chemists, material scientists, biologists and medical researchers to undertake research that creates transformational new approaches to sensing and measurement technologies.


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