ColdQuanta receives contract to develop wearable atomic clocks for the US Navy


BOULDER, Colorado, February 8, 2022 – ColdQuanta, a global leader in quantum ecosystems, announced today that it has been awarded a 5-year subcontract to develop wearable atomic clocks in response to an ONR Broad Area Announcement (BAA). ColdQuanta will act as a subcontractor for Vescent, which won the total bid of $15.6 million.

As part of the Compact Rubidium Optical Clock (CROC) program, ColdQuanta will provide the physics package with development inputs from the Atomic Devices and Instrumentation Group of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The program started in November 2021 and consists of three phases until 2026.

“ColdQuanta is excited to work with our partners to drive innovation in critical defense technologies deployed by the US Navy,” said Chester Kennedy, President, Research and Security Solutions at ColdQuanta. “The CROC program demonstrates how ColdQuanta’s technology is evolving as a enabler of a broad ecosystem around quantum. By bringing all the critical elements together, we can bring the benefits of quantum technology to the world faster.”

As part of the CROC program, ColdQuanta and its partners will design, build and deliver a new generation of high-performance atomic clocks that are operational at a high Technology Readiness Level (TRL). In particular, the program will probe a two-photon optical clock transition in a warm vapor of rubidium (Rb) atoms to achieve improved stability and performance. The clocks will also offer reduced size, weight and power consumption.

ColdQuanta is participating in the project along with Vescent, who will provide the optical frequency comb technology, and Octave Photonics and the Quantum Nanophotonics Group at NIST, who will deliver critical advances in nonlinear nanophotonics. The outcome of the program will be 10 prototype field-deployable optical clocks at or above TRL 6 that exhibit long-term instability greater than 3 parts in 100 trillion and offer more than 50% reduction in power consumption.

The CROC program is implemented in three phases:

  • Phase 1: All critical technology elements are further developed on TRL 6 and demonstrated in a modular watch
  • Phase 2: Engineering and verification efforts will integrate the individual components into prototype watches
  • Phase 3: Manufacture of ten final prototype watches for ONR evaluation on relevant platforms

About ColdQuanta

ColdQuanta is a global quantum technology company that solves the world’s toughest problems. The company uses quantum mechanics to build and integrate quantum computers, sensors and networks. From fundamental physics to leading commercial products, ColdQuanta enables “quanta everywhere” through our ecosystem of devices and platforms. Founded in 2007, ColdQuanta grew out of decades of research in atomic physics and work at JILA, with intellectual property licensed from the University of Colorado and the University of Wisconsin. ColdQuanta’s scalable and versatile cold atom technology is used by world-class organizations around the world and deployed by NASA on the International Space Station. ColdQuanta is based in Boulder, Colorado with offices in Madison, WI and Oxford, UK. Learn how ColdQuanta is shaping the future at

Source: ColdQuanta


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