Precise atomic clock receives a performance upgrade

5th July 2019
Posted By : Lanna Cooper
Precise atomic clock receives a performance upgrade

Microchip has announced, via its Microsemi subsidiary, the MHM-2020 hydrogen maser atomic clock that improves typical long term stability performance by nearly ten times over the previous generation MHM-2010. Building on the MHM-2010’s long service life and cost of ownership legacy, the MHM-2020 offers an upgraded user experience with a colour touch panel display and secure network management port.

Hydrogen masers deliver stability by operating on the principle that hydrogen atoms, in the proper environment, emit microwaves at a precise 1420405751Hz frequency. Phase-locking this extremely small power and high purity signal to a very high performance quartz oscillator delivers a clock output signal with the necessary long term stability and phase noise to enable precise time keeping.

Active hydrogen masers are the most advanced commercially available atomic clocks produced by Microchip, quadrupling the stability of passive hydrogen masers while providing short term stability compared to cesium beam tube atomic clocks.

Designed and manufactured in the U.S., the MHM-2020 maser uses a novel drift-compensation feature to significantly improve long term clock-drift and aging performance, which is critical for metrology and timekeeping applications. This builds on the legacy of the MHM-2010, which set the industry’s expectations for long service life and low cost of ownership.

Its improved performance makes the MHM-2020 the preferred choice of national labs that work with Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (BIPM) standards for maintaining Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) worldwide, enabling users to attain <3E-16/day long term ageing along with improved temperature stability (tempco) and lower magnetic field sensitivity.

The maser’s short-term clock stability performance between 1-100 seconds range meets the stringent requirements of Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) for radio astronomy research such as studying black holes and other applications that require a low noise, precise frequency and timing reference.

The MHM-2020 76001-20X active hydrogen maser and upgrade package for users of applicable legacy MHM-2010 masers are both available. The maser can be specified with an optional low phase noise packaging option. Microchip supports the maser with clock maintenance, on-site repair and consulting services, as well as an extended warranty.


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