The new generation of high-precision rubidium clock debut Beidou double satellite

On November 6th, BeiDou has successfully launched two satellites (BeiDou 3), initiating the construction of BeiDou Navigation Satellite System. The new generation of rubidium atomic clock will greatly increase the timing accuracy of BeiDou.

Atomic clock performs as "heart of the navigation satellite". Rubidium atomic clock short as rubidium clock, is a set of highly accurate electric equipment based on the transition of rubidium atom and plays the role of providing timing baseline in BeiDou 3 navigation satellite.

According to Qu Yongsheng, manager of rubidium clock products at the 5th Institute in China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, the stability of rubidium clock is closely related to the accuracy of positioning, velocity measuring and timing for navigation satellites. Being an important payload product on BeiDou 3 satellite, the quality and reliability of rubidium clock determine the success operation of navigation satellite.

Qu introduced that the frequency stability of new generation rubidium clock has increased 10 times compared with that of BeiDou 2 in regional navigation system, reaching internationally advanced level. The improvement in rubidium clock techniques has promoted the positioning accuracy of BeiDou system, from 10-meter resolution in regional system to meter resolution in global system. The accuracy of velocity measuring and timing will be simultaneously promoted up a magnitude, which lays the foundation for the deep and extensive application of BeiDou navigation system to the society.

Xi'an Institute of the 5th Institute is the birth place of China's first satellite-loaded rubidium clock. The clock was successfully loaded on the seed-breeding satellite launched in 2006, breaking the technique monopoly of few spaceflight big powers. After that, the institute has provided a total of 69 satellite-loaded rubidium clocks for BeiDou 2 and BeiDou 3 navigation satellites, giving support to the construction and development of BeiDou single-row system.

Dr. He Yuling is the chief expert in the area of atomic frequency standard at the 5th Institute in China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation. She introduced that their team is developing more accurate rubidium clock, aiming to raise the accuracy of satellite positioning and timing higher up one more magnitude in the future.