The Laboratory relies on NIM, and it is one of the first six key laboratories approved and recognized by the former Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine in 2015. According to the frontier development trend of the international metrology science and major changes in the International System of Units, focusing on the research direction towards time and frequency measurement, and combining the demands for measurement by the rapid development of science and technology, economic construction, the Laboratory has gradually established and improved the time and frequency measurement system, and actively participated in the transform of time and frequency in the International System of Units.
The research directions of the Laboratory include: fountain clock; strontium atomic optical lattice clock; atomic time scale; atomic interference gravimeter; time and frequency comparison, transmission and traceability; and fiber femtosecond optical frequency comb and application.
To conduct the research on the atomic frequency standard theory and technology to establish and maintain the national second-length measurement reference; carry out the research on the atomic time-scale algorithms and control technology to establish and maintain the national atomic time-scale measurement reference; participate in the UTC international key comparison presided over by the BIPM, to generate China's local Coordinated Universal Time (UTC (NIM)); conduct the research on the time-frequency measurement, transmission and value traceability technology to ensure accurate and consistency of quantity values; carry out the research on the theory and technology of absolute gravity measurement with atomic interference; and conduct the application research on the fiber femtosecond optical frequency comb and double-optical comb technology.
The Laboratory is located at Hepingli and Changping campuses of NIM. It has 37 rooms, covering an area of 1882.41 square meters, 19 rooms, i.e. 1271.23 square meters are used for research. There are a total of 2041 sets of equipment, including 101 sets of large-scale equipments.
As the base to train excellent talents and implement scientific and technological innovation, the Laboratory has gathered a group of young and middle-aged academic backbones with solid expertise foundation and rigorous academic attitude, who have formed a collaborative and innovative research group. At present, the team has 27 personnel with fixed positions, 15 of whom have a doctor’s degree, accounting for 57%. The team has 1 academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, 9 researchers, 1 contractual employee, and 1 dispatch labor worker. The relevant personnel of the Laboratory are allocated to the three basic time and frequency research teams, and two frontier research teams of measurement standards, respectively.
Since its establishment, the Laboratory has undertaken more than 10 national-level scientific research projects, including 1 special project for the development of major scientific instruments and equipment of the State of the Ministry of Science and Technology, 1 integration project of the major research program of the National Natural Science Foundation of China, 3 key special projects and 10 issues of the Generic Technology Research and Application of National Quality Infrastructure. The representative research results include: cesium atomic fountain clock, strontium optical lattice clock, atomic time scale,atomic interference gravimeter, time and frequency comparison, transmission and traceability, fiber femtosecond optical frequency comb etc. Among them, the “Key Technology and Application of New Generation National Time and Frequency Standard” project won the first prize of National Science and Technology Progress Award 2016. The relevant research results of the Laboratory have produced an important international influence and played an important role in making the Laboratory become a creative center, training center and guiding center of discipline construction and academic development.
On October 23, 2018, the Laboratory successfully passed the staged work review. The leaders from the Science & Technology, and Finance Departments of the State Administration for Market Regulation, the members of the expert team, the Science and Technology Management Department of this Institute and the principals and relative personnel of the Laboratory attended the review. They fully affirmed the achievements of the Laboratory, and agreed that the Laboratory has accurate positioning, and clear research direction and content. Focusing on the research direction towards the time and frequency measurement, and combining the demands for the time and frequency measurement by the rapid development of science and technology, economic construction, the Laboratory constantly improves the level of time and frequency measurement in China. It was recommended to actively expand the application fields and service scope of time and frequency measurement according to the national strategic demands on the basis of maintaining the existing research; further strengthen the talent training and introduction; and strengthen the cooperation with domestic universities and research institutes; set up special operating funds for key laboratories to regulate the operation and work therein. At present, the Laboratory is taking the “quantization revolution in the International System of Units” as the opportunity, to actively promote the declaration of the National Key Laboratory of Quantum Metrology and Traceability from the perspective of national strategy. The key directions of the Laboratory, such as microwave frequency standard, optical frequency standard, atomic time standard, and gravity acceleration measurement have been included in the research content in the declaration for the National key laboratory, in order to further meet major demands of our country.
Time Keeing Laboratory