Vescent Awarded $16.2M ONR Contract

Vescent recently signed a $16.2M development program contract with the Office of Naval Research (ONR) in response to an ONR Broad Area Announcement (BAA). Under the three-phase, five-year Compact Rubidium Optical Clock (CROC) program, Vescent will design, build, and deliver a new generation of atomic clocks with improved performance that are ready for field deployment at a high Technology Readiness Level (TRL). The final deliverable of the award will be 10 prototype field-deployable optical clocks at or above TRL 6 that exhibit long-term instability of <3E-14/√τ and offer >50% reduction in power consumption. CROC will improve upon existing commercial atomic clocks by interrogating a two-photon optical clock transition in a warm vapor of rubidium (Rb) atoms to achieve better stability than obtained by probing the conventional microwave clock transition.
The contract with the ONR began in November 2021 and will continue in three phases through 2026. During phase one of the program, all critical technology elements will be advanced to TRL 6 and demonstrated in a modular clock. In phase two, engineering and verification efforts will integrate the individual components into prototype clocks. Phase three will focus on manufacturing the ten final prototype clocks for ONR evaluation in relevant platforms.
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