Chronos – The New Quantum Clocks

Quantum. Image by Pixabay

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A new generation of tiny, high-performance atomic clocks will be developed within the framework of a multi-year contract signed by the French companies ‘Thales’ and ‘Sylinks’ with the French defense procurement agency (DGA).


These new quantum clocks, under the Code-name Chronos, will meet the requirements of numerous civil and military applications. With their very high stability (error of less than 1 second in tens of thousands of years), defense electronics equipment will be able to operate when a GNSS signal is unavailable, for example due to hostile jamming.


According to, this new technology will help defend France’s technological freedom of activity in GNSS-denied positioning, guidance, navigation and encrypted military communications. In civil applications (5G network synchronization, transport, energy, etc.), the Chronos quantum clocks will be at a low price and high performance to French and international customers.


Most of modern technology now relies on satellites for synchronization. GNSS technology provides the precise time reference for infrastructures such as 4G/5G networks, internet, air and rail transport, energy networks, global banking transactions and high-frequency trading. In view of this high level of dependency, backup systems are needed to ensure that our civil and military infrastructure can continue to operate even if the GNSS timing signal is unavailable.