As a SABRENet customer, The Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing (IPAS) at the University of Adelaide fosters excellence in research in materials science, chemistry, biology and physics by developing disruptive new tools for measurement.
IPAS was created to bring together experimental physicists, chemists, material scientists, biologists, experimentally driven theoretical scientists and medical researchers to create new sensing and measurement technologies based at the University of Adelaide’s North Terrace Campus. IPAS supports leading-edge research across six themes: Defence Technologies, Medical Diagnostics and Devices, Mining and Mineral Processing, Extreme Astronomy, Environmental and Agricultural Monitoring, and Food and Beverage Analysis.
Timing precision is critical in many sensing, communication and computational tasks. The call for very high timing precision reaches its pinnacle in areas like radar technology, quantum computing and radio astronomy. IPAS researchers developed the Cryogenic Sapphire Oscillator (CSO) or “Sapphire Clock” that produces extremely low noise microwave and radio frequency signals. It is the most precise clock in the world, with performance at least one thousand times better than any commercially available technology.
The Sapphire Clock team won the 2018 Defence Science and Technology Eureka Prize and has strong links with the defence industry in South Australia. As part of a program to develop the CSO for over the horizon radar, researchers at IPAS have access to SABRENet dark fibre to investigate the distribution of signals from the CSO over long distances while maintaining the incredibly low noise.
Photonic distribution over optical fibre has several clear advantages, and thanks to SABRENet there is access to a loop of dark fibre 60 km long, that runs from the IPAS labs at the University of Adelaide’s North Terrace Campus to DSTG in Edinburgh and back. It’s the ideal platform to test distribution techniques in a real-world environment, and experiments are underway to show that the signals from the CSO can be shared with remotes sites with little or no degradation in performance.