For Andre Luiten, the launch of Cryoclock was the culmination of more than 20 years of research and hard work. Dr Luiten completed his PhD in Western Australia from 1990 to 2000 looking at how to develop the world’s purest microwave and RF signals in a way that is user-friendly and commercialisable.
Dr Luiten’s research culminated in the Cryoclock, offering the most accurate measurements in the world for use in radar technology, radio astronomy and quantum computing.
In 2013, he moved to South Australia with a team and secured a $1 million Premier’s research fellowship. It was there that the Cryoclock team met defence researchers who worked on the Jindalee Over the Horizon Radar.
The two parties soon realised that the combination of the two technologies could lead to a step-change in the strength and accuracy of radar, and positively contribute to Australia’s national security.
In 2016, the team won $3 million to build a capability demonstrator for Defence, which was deployed onto an outback radar site. This experiment went so well that the team formed a company, now known as QuantX Labs, to commercialise the technology.
QuantX Labs now has 20 staff and is manufacturing the Cryoclock to be included in the Jindalee Operational Radar Network, a key surveillance system with three remote radars across northern Australia.
QuantX Labs is a 100 per cent privately-owned and controlled Australian company now developing precision clocks and oscillators, known as optical atomic clocks.
Currently there isn’t an option to measure precision time and frequency, something which is critical in many sensing, communication and computational tasks. The Cryloclock’s output signals have both ultra-low phase noises and ultra-high short and medium-term frequency stability.
The piece of hardware is continuously operating, fully autonomous, self-contained and doesn’t require any knowledge of cryogenics. The company’s offering also includes monitoring software, and the clock has a low maintenance cycle interval of 20,000 hours.
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