Maximizing the stability of an ensemble of clocks
Ruiz Perez, Juan Jose
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Atomic Clocks provide "stable" signals that are mainly used to generate time scales and to measure differences of time between events. Each atomic clock can individually be characterized according to the stability of the scale it produces. Due to the stochastic behavior of each clock, usually clock ensembles are used to build more stable time scales. This process requires basically two steps. First it is required to individually characterize each time source to identify the particular noise components present. Second, a measure of performance is required in order to derive an algorithm based on it to properly "weigh" this particular clock in the process of creating a combined scale. In this thesis both problems are faced using an operations research approach: each clock is modeled, analyzed and characterized by a time-dependent measure of performance related to its intrinsic stability, and optimally combined to produce a more stable combined time scale. The optimality criterion is directly related to the spectral characteristics of the noise sources present. Real laboratory data provided by the "Real Observatio de la Armana", ROA (Royal Observatory of the Spanish Navy) is used to tune the final algorithm to the time standards present in the ROA.
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