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An Enterprise Ireland client, Eblana Photonics, has won a European Space Agency (ESA) contract to develop lasers for use in very precise atomic clocks.

Atomic clocks are the world’s most accurate clocks and are used in the existing European Galileo satellite system design used for global positioning.

These satellite-borne clocks must be highly accurate and stable since a deviation of even one nanosecond produces a positional error on the ground of 30cm.

The founder of Eblana Photonics, Dr James O’Gorman, explained that the company’s products are based on a high-performance laser diode technology platform that is not just limited to use in atomic clocks.

‘This is an opportunity for our lasers to help improve the accuracy of global positioning systems and satellite navigation as well as have an impact on the accuracy of terrestrial applications such as high-speed optical communications, medical sensing and toxic gas detection,’ he said.

Eblana Photonics secured this ESA contract with assistance from Enterprise Ireland, which manages Ireland’s membership of the European Space Agency and helps Irish companies and researchers to participate in its programmes and bids for ESA contracts.

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