The proposed project aims to establish a pan-European time and frequency reference system as a European Research Infrastructure to serve the European science community. It is based on transmitting ultra precise time and frequency information via optical fiber. The proposed project builds on several joint European projects and its direct precursor project CLONETS. We now go far beyond previous efforts by designing a sustainable, pan-European, ultra-precise time-and-frequency reference-system available to the European research community. This Research Infrastructure considers user needs, designs the required architecture, engineering models and roadmaps, and develops a sustainability model for the future service, thus strengthening the European research area. The specific objectives of this project are as follows:

  1. Elaborating the needs of the scientific community for ultraprecise timing and frequencies in various fields of research leading to the definition of user requirements the envisaged system has to address in its service at selected points of presence.
  2. Defining an architecture that supports this service at the highest, most advanced level of stability and accuracy.
  3. Designing an engineering model and strategies to implement a sustainable research infrastructure including the creation of a common data platform.
  4. Defining roadmaps and a deployment strategy that assure interoperability of already existing implementations in Europe and possible future extensions.
  5. Strengthening the European research area by elaborating plans for the integrations of the necessary environment into the European landscape.

In a parallel effort we are planning to list this project in upcoming revisions of the ESFRI roadmap of the EU.
This research infrastructure will enable first class research previously not even conceivable, foster the collaboration between time and frequency stakeholders across Europe and will thereby put Europe’s research community into a leading position.