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A New Performance of the “Flying Clock ” Experiment

By Of The U. S


A new experiment has been made to compare clocks in the U.S. and Europe to higher precision. The results will be used by the various official agencies of the two continents in improving their time synchronization. c Fig. 1. Data being logged in Switzerland at thP Obseroatoire de Neuchatel by Alan S. Bagley of the-hp- Frequency and Time Laboratories. Atomic clock in left foreground carried time to Switzerland aboard transatlantic passenger flight. Measuring the ratio of CSW and Hydrogen, Plant distribution of a dc standard voltage, p. 9 THE PROBLEM of correlating the time of day at widely separated locations with great accuracy is one that has absorbed chronologists, navigators, astronomers and cartographers for hundreds of years. As vehicles grow faster and the range of exploration reaches far into outer space, more accurate time determinations become increasingly necessary. Precise timing and coordination of events far apart may determine the success of precise mapping operations, satellite orbital placement, astronomical observations, or missile landings. In recent years, intercontinental time of day comparisons gradually reached an accuracy of about one millisecond through use of h-f radio signals, the limit being imposed by propagation-time uncertainties of high frequency waves. Considerably higher accuracy is, however, possible. For example, two recent means have emerged to achieve intercontinental time of day correlations with accuracy of the order of a few microseconds. One method has been to fly an accurate clock, set precisely to a given time standard, from point to point, effectively bringing the time standard to each. U. S. government experiments have used quartz oscillator-driven clocks as well as “atomic” clocks in this manner. In 1960, for example

Year: 2013
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