specifying rubidium oscillators

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Post on 09-Feb-2017




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  • Specifying Rubidium Oscillators

  • Questions Covered


    What is a rubidium oscillator?

    How does a rubidium oscillator work?

    Why use a rubidium clock?

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    Our IQRB-1 rubidium oscillator is a sub-

    miniature atomic clock exhibiting

    rubidium oscillator performance in a

    65cc OCXO style package at a standard

    frequency of 10MHz.

    It offers 100 times less drift than an

    OCXO and has a short term stability of

    0.008ppb/s at 100s, providing

    significant improvements in

    performance over OCXOs.


  • What is a rubidium oscillator?


    It is a type of atomic clock

    These clocks are the most accurate

    time standards known and are used as

    time distribution services to control

    things such as:

    telecommunications infrastructure

    TV broadcasts

    global navigation satellite systems (GPS)

    The part of the rubidium oscillator

    which is responsible for providing the

    output signal is actually a quartz crystal

    oscillator (OCXO).


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    The rubidium physics-package and its

    associated control circuitry provides

    the timing accuracy to control the

    OCXO frequency.

    In quartz oscillators, the device is

    adjusted to frequency when it is made

    but its frequency is never generally

    checked again. Over time, its frequency

    changes slightly, making the clock run

    fast or slow.

    The rubidium section of the oscillator

    continually checks the frequency of the

    quartz oscillator and adjusts it back

    onto frequency.

  • How does a rubidium oscillator work?


    Simplistically, its the behaviour and

    monitoring of rubidium particles at an

    atomic level whereby this behaviour is

    subsequently fed electronically to the

    control input of a crystal oscillator so

    that its output frequency can be


    Rubidium is usually in the form of a soft

    silvery metallic element.

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    By using the rubidium as a gas held in a

    glass cell and exposing it to light of the

    correct frequency, its absorption

    changes when the surrounding

    microwave frequency is just right.

    This absorption rate can be measured

    and thus forms the basis of a very stable


  • Why use a rubidium clock?


    The advantage of a rubidium clock over

    the other atomic devices such as

    caesium clocks is that rubidium clocks

    are much lower cost, small and portable.

    More information can be found on our



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