[time-nuts] problem with Efratom FRS-C from eBay

Lux, James P james.p.lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Fri Oct 17 23:50:50 UTC 2008

> -----Original Message-----
> From: time-nuts-bounces at febo.com
> [mailto:time-nuts-bounces at febo.com] On Behalf Of Tim Shoppa
> Sent: Friday, October 17, 2008 4:15 PM
> To: time-nuts at febo.com
> Subject: Re: [time-nuts] problem with Efratom FRS-C from eBay
> SAIDJACK at aol.com wrote:
> > My question: I was told by people in-the-know that Rubidium Atomic
> > Frequency references are illegal to export to China, and folks have
> > gone to jail  for sending these to China.

There you go, as an engineer or scientist, expecting interpretation of export regulations to be consistent and make sense. They aren't and they don't. Unless it's on a list of clearly permitted exports, each case gets decided individually, and there's plenty of "or similar technology" kinds of clauses in the ITAR and munitions list.
Heck, there's two different agencies involved (Dept of State for ITAR and Dept of Commerce for EAR) and they could make separate and different determinations.

The EAR has:
3A002  General purpose electronic equipment, as follows (see List
of Items Controlled).
G Atomic frequency standards having any of the following:
    g.1. Long-term stability (aging) less (better) than 1E-11/month; or
    g.2. Being ``space qualified''.

    Note: 3A002.g.1 does not control non-``space qualified''
rubidium standards.

The MCTL has (for space qualified clocks)
>15yr service life on orbit
>12 yr life on orbit, in dormant state
<1E-15/day long term stability

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