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BIPM frequency comb successfully installed by INTI

Before retiring in March 2018, Dr Lennart Robertsson dismantled the former BIPM Length section's laser laboratory. A number of pieces of equipment were identified as being worth offering to NMIs for use in their work programmes. In particular, there were two frequency combs, which had been built by the BIPM and which are used in comparing microwave to optical frequency radiations. Information about the frequency combs was circulated among the NMIs and INTI (Argentina) offered to acquire one of the combs.

Karina Bastida from INTI visited the BIPM in November 2018, where she worked for one week alongside BIPM colleagues and Lennart Robertsson, who returned to the BIPM to explain the operation of the different components. Karina, with the support of Laurent Tisserand and the BIPM workshop, prepared six large shipping containers ready for transporting the comb. In addition she prepared a list of documents to obtain customs clearance with the support of the BIPM Director's Office.

It took more than nine month to receive the custom clearance, and on 16 October 2019 the comb left the BIPM. It arrived at INTI a few days later and Karina and her colleagues have successfully installed the equipment. INTI is pleased with the new capability in its length laboratory. Dr Héctor Laiz, CIPM member and Director of Metrology at INTI, provided considerable support towards this transfer to improve INTI's capabilities in this area.

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