To enhance the performance of Australia’s Jindalee Operational Radar Network (JORN), the Australian Department of Defence has awarded BAE Systems Australia and CryoClock Pty Ltd a $4.8 million contract to develop ultra-high-precision Sapphire Clock technology.
“The Sapphire Clock is more precise than current available commercial timing systems,” according to Minister for Defence Senator Linda Reynolds. “When used within a radar system like the JORN, it has the potential to improve detection performance across Australia’s northern approaches.
“CryoClock’s leading-edge technology also has the potential to be used beyond Defence including in the communications, advanced computing and scientific research sectors,” she added.
JORN is a vital, strategic wide area surveillance system that surveys the northern air and sea approaches of Australia out to a range of 3,000 kilometres. It is remotely operated from RAAF Base Edinburgh in South Australia, with three radar sites located in Longreach (Qld), Laverton (WA) and Alice Springs (NT).
If this contract is successful, Senator Reynolds said, “Follow-on work is expected which will see a production and integration contract for the incorporation of the technology into JORN under Defence’s AIR2025 Phase 6 upgrade project.”
Defence’s investment in the technology coincides with CryoClock’s relocation into South Australia’s high-tech innovation precinct at LOT 14 alongside the Australian Space Agency and some of Australia’s most advanced technology companies.