Rubidium Frequency Standard

This atomic clock was built for the first GPS satellites in the late 1970s. Each satellite contains a suite of such clocks to maintain the correct frequencies to transmit signals for time and position. Based on the element rubidium, this clock underwent extended miniaturization and testing to become useful in space.

Caption:
This atomic clock was built for the first GPS satellites in the late 1970s.
Type: Artifact
Image Date: December 20, 2012
Credit: National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Origin: National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Creator: Dane A. Penland
NASM2013-00431
Navigation Methods
 
This atomic clock was built for the first GPS satellites in the late 1970s.
This atomic clock was built for the first GPS satellites in the late 1970s.