Advanced time/frequency comparison and dissemination through optical telecommunication networks

Short Name: TiFOON, Project Number: 18SIB06
Image showing Fiber optic cables
Fiber optic cables

Developing time scales to harness the superior performance of optical clocks

Time and frequency measurements are vital in many areas of science, industry and trade. Satellite navigation, for instance, is made possible by atomic timekeeping. The forthcoming optical definition of the SI second, spurred by innovations in optical atomic clocks, could, among other benefits, lead to millimetre-precision positioning. Agreement between clocks requires reliable communication of time and frequency signals, but for affordability these signals need to be able to use commercial fibre networks.


The previous NEAT-FT and OFTEN projects culminated in the first international optical clock comparison at the level of uncertainty of the clocks themselves. On the way to a universal tool, this project has refined techniques for transferring data over shared fibreoptic networks, by improving phase coherence and automated link management. Novel applications will be investigated, with geodesy (the Earth’s shape, position and gravitational field) used as an example application.

International time scales, synchronised over shared fibre networks, are expected to lead to novel time-keeping concepts with order-of-magnitude improvements in accuracy.


Project website
Optical multiplexing of metrological time and frequency signals in a single 100 GHz-grid optical channel

IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control


Metrology and Measurement Systems

Electrical regeneration for long-haul fiber-optic time and frequency distribution systems

Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control

Stability limitations of optical frequency transfer in telecommunication DWDM networks

IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control

Other Participants
Akademia Gorniczo-Hutnicza im. Stanislawa Staszica w Krakowie (Poland)
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (France)
CESNET Zajmove Sdruzeni Pravnickych OSOB (Czechia)
Instytut Chemii Bioorganicznej, Polskiej Akademii Nauk (Poland)
iXblue SAS (France)
Muquans (France)
Politecnico di Torino (Italy)
Technische Universität München (Germany)
Université Paris 13 (France)
Ústav přístrojové techniky AV ČR, v.v.i. (Czechia)