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Advance in time-keeping clocks up Eureka win

Technology using a pure sapphire crystal to accurately measure time has taken out the 2018 Defence Science and Technology (DST) Eureka Prize for Outstanding Science in Safeguarding Australia.

Minister for Defence, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, congratulated Professor Andre Luiten and his team from the University of Adelaide on developing the sapphire clock, a device so accurate it can keep time within one second over tens of millions of years.

The sapphire clock team is working closely with Defence scientists to use the technology for upgrades and enhancements to the Jindalee Operational Radar Network (JORN).

The sapphire clock has the potential to produce the purest of signals which, when fed into JORN, could generate high quality surveillance data.

“This innovation delivers a step change in radar frequency, purity and overall performance over conventional devices giving Defence a significant capability edge,” Minister Pyne said.

“This is an example of world-leading research with a positive impact on Australia’s defence and national security.

“It is a fantastic result which will be a game-changer for Defence capability.”

The DST Eureka Prize for Outstanding Science in Safeguarding Australia is awarded annually for outstanding science or technology that has developed, or has potential to develop, innovative solutions for Australia’s defence or national security.

Source: Australian Government

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