NewswireToday - /newswire/ -
Neuchâtel, Switzerland, 2008/09/10 - SpectraTime, a company of the Orolia group (NYSE Alternext Paris–FR0010501015–ALORO), has announced that it has won a contract valued at approximately €4 million to supply Rubidium Space Clocks to the Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System IRNSS.
With this new contract, SpectraTime confirms its position as the world-leading supplier of space atomic clocks, and is on the way to having the largest number of atomic clocks on board satellites.
The Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System (IRNSS), developed by the Indian Space Agency (ISRO), will consist of seven satellites. Three of the satellites will be placed in geostationary orbit, with the other four in geosynchronous orbit. The constellation will also comprise a ground segment consisting of a Centre of Principal Control and ground stations, in order to follow the satellites and to guarantee the system’s integrity. The Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System, whose first satellite could be launched in 2009, will be able to provide an absolute position with an accuracy of 20 metres across the whole of India and to a distance of about 2,000km beyond its borders.
SpectraTime atomic clocks will be at the heart of the system. The principle of navigation by satellite is based on the transmission of signals coming from at least four satellites to the users. To get very precise location data, these signals must be perfectly synchronized. The extremely precise measurement of time on board each satellite, achieved through embarked atomic clocks, is thus a central condition for the positioning performance of the system. In the framework of the IRNSS programme, each satellite will have four SpectraTime Rubidium atomic clocks on board to reach a stability of less than 10 billionths of a second per day.
“To give a point of comparison, our clocks are 10 million times more precise than a watch made of quartz," says Pascal Rochat, Chief Executive Officer of SpectraTime.
With this new contract, awarded to SpectraTime just four months after Giove-B – the second experimental satellite of the Galileo European Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) – was successfully launched, SpectraTime is strengthening its competitive position on the fast-growing GNSS market. “A worldwide satellite navigation constellation consists of 20 to 30 satellites, each embarking three to four atomic clocks. Within five years, we expect to have the largest number of space-borne atomic clocks of any company,” underlines Pascal Rochat.
SpectraTime (spectratime.com), a company of the Orolia group, is a leading designer and manufacturer of advanced, low-cost rubidium and crystal oscillators, atomic clocks, smart GPS and multi-reference synchronized clocks, integrated GPS systems and high-precision instruments. Its products are used in a wide variety of high-performance applications including telecommunications, defence, navigation, instrumentation, broadcasting and space.