Laboratory: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)
Technology: Hollow-core photonic crystal fiber (HCPCF) mercury lamp
Opportunity: This JPL technology is currently available for licensing, and has been demonstrated using a commercial HCPCF at visible wavelength.
Details: The HCPCF mercury lamp was developed to generate higher intensity light for mercury ion clocks. Conventional plasma discharge lamps limit the short-term stability of a clock because they do not output sufficient ultraviolet (UV) light. With the HCPCF lamp, plasma is generated along the length of the fiber and excited by a coil, thus producing UV light. When the fiber is lengthened, more light can be generated and the clock signal-to-noise ratio is increased, leading to an overall improvement in clock short-term stability.
Benefits: JPL’s HCPCF lamps offer great benefit in that they are mass-producible and can be fabricated in a repeatable manner, allowing for standardization of these optical sources. They also produce higher intensity light, which improves the short-term stability of mercury in ion clocks.
- Optical systems for ground-based mercury ion frequency
- Standard timekeeping
- Nanomaterial synthesis
- And more.
Contact: For more information about this JPL technology, contact Mark Homer at Mark.W.Homer@nasa.gov.
To view the original technology fact sheet for the HCPCF lamp, visit https://technology.nasa.gov/patent/NPO-TOPS-25.