Accurate time/frequency comparison and dissemination through optical telecommunication networks

Sponsor: EURAMET, e.V.

Principal investigator: Ing. Alexander Kuna, Ph.D.

From: 2012-06-01

To: 2015-05-31

The joint research project (JRP) NEAT-FT aims to investigate new techniques for phase-coherent comparison of remotely located optical clocks, separated by distances of up to 1500 km. This includes a study of the fundamental limitations of optical fiber links to the attainable instability and accuracy of optical reference frequencies and timing signals. The JRP aims to reduce the contribution of the link to the relative uncertainty of a frequency comparison to a level significantly below that of the clocks involved (typical relative uncertainty about 10−17).


  • satellite transfer techniques developed over the last 40 years do not reach the performance required for modern clocks,
  • optical links are the enabling technology for time & frequency metrology based on optical clocks,
  • optical links will become the standard transmission tool for time & frequency comparisons and mandatory for a redefinition of the SI-Second.


  • demonstration of frequency transfer with 17 digits accuracy,
  • demonstration of clock based relativistic geodesy at the decimeter level,
  • demonstration of time transfer at the 100 ps level,
  • demonstration of a baseline for the ACES mission.

Homepage of the project:


IPE carries out fundamental and applied research in the scientific fields of photonics, optoelectronics and electronics. In these fields, IPE generates new knowledge and develops new technologies.

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