FOCS 1, a continuous cold caesium fountain atomic clock located in Switzerland, started operating in 02004 at an uncertainty of one second in 30 million years, thereby becoming one of the most accurate and unique devices for measuring time in the world. It is one of five atomic clocks in the Time and Frequency Laboratory of METAS that provides the data used to compute Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) at the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (BIPM), which compares data from approximately 250 clocks distributed around the globe. This laboratory is kept well shielded from external influences such as vibration or temperature and humidity fluctuations. The main goals of this lab are to participate in the realization of the international atomic time standard (TAI) and to be part of the ground station system for the 02016 ACES (Atomic Clock Ensemble in Space) mission, in which a primary atomic clock will be operated in the International Space Station and will be compared with atomic clocks on Earth.
About Philippe Braquenier
Belgian, b. 1985, Mons, Belgium, based in Brussels, Belgium