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NASA turns on the rugged Deep Space Atomic Clock



NASA has confirmed that a new atomic clock has been activated in near-Earth orbit. The Deep Space Atomic Clock (DSAC), launched on June 25, 2019 at 2:30 EDT from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket, is a miniaturized, ultra-precise mercury ion atomic clock that is smaller is. more accurate and robust than any other atomic clock that was previously sent into space.

The NASA engineers confirmed the DSAC on August 23 after weeks of testing in orbit before powering on. It is intended to help solve the problem of how to build a spaceship spaceship that can autonomously manage its own navigational problems with the minimal help of the Earth.

Like Earth, space navigation is based on watches that are as accurate and accurate as possible ̵

1; and that means an atomic clock. Unfortunately, earlier generations of such timepieces were either too big, too heavy, and dependent on consumer goods to fly in space, or they were not as accurate or robust that they were suitable for space missions.

The Moon and beyond have relied on two-way radio communication through NASA's Deep Space Network or other deep-space tracking systems. An accurately timed signal generated by an atomic clock is sent from Earth, received by the probe, and forwarded home. The time for the round trip is measured by the time stamp and the distance to the spacecraft can be calculated.

  NASA's Deep Space Atomic Clock, the first GPS-like technology for space, launched its one-year space mission last week. [19659006] NASA's Deep Space Atomic Clock, the first GPS-like technology for space, launched its one-year space mission last week. A network can be used and is not suitable for probes that need to perform very complicated orbital maneuvers in a short time the transmission of signals to and from the earth takes minutes or hours. To pave the way for more demanding space missions, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, developed the DSAC. </p><div><script async src=

  DSAC radiograph

DSAC radiograph

NASA [19659008] The main selling point of DSAC is that it does not rely on consumables – a desirable feature for space missions. Instead, mercury ions with a hyperfine transition frequency of 40.5 GHz are used. In this way, the DSAC can set the frequency output of a quartz oscillator to a nearly constant value by limiting the ions by electric fields, which in turn are protected by magnetic fields and shields to keep out interferences, including temperature and magnetic fluctuations. [19659002] The end product is an atomic clock that is both very accurate and very robust. According to NASA, the DSAC is 50 times more accurate than the atomic clocks used in GPS satellites – it only loses one second in 10 million years.

The DSAC has been extensively tested on Earth and will now be monitored at the nanosecond level next year to determine how well it works under actual space conditions.

"The objective of the space experiment is to place the Deep Space Atomic Clock in the context of a spacecraft – with all the things that affect the stability and the space accuracy of a clock – and see if they are up to par works, which we believe is orders of magnitude more stable than existing space watches, "says Navigator Todd Ely, principal investigator at the JPL project.

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