David W Allan – The Allan Variance

The Allan Variance is perhaps the most famous of David W. Allan’s achievements, with its derivative for telecom:  TDEV, the Time Deviation.

In 1965, Mr. Allan’s Master’s thesis gave birth to what the world knows as the Allan variance, the efficient technique for characterizing the performance of clocks and for knowing how to optimally use them in time keeping, and for which he is best known.   Because the Allan variance is used in characterizing the performance of atomic clocks, it was used extensively to sort out the performance of atomic clocks used for GPS to meet the stringent specifications for that navigation and timing system.

World Recognition

David Allan is as well recognized in the field of time and frequency technology as any other figure in the world. He helped to develop our nation’s official time and frequency standards based on atomic clocks and wrote the algorithm for keeping time for the United States.  He spent many man-years helping in the actual development of GPS. He also helped other nations with their official time standards, as well as helping with International Atomic Time and Universal Time Coordinated (UTC), which is official time for the world as kept at the BIPM (International Bureau of Weights and Measures) in Paris.
He has been a major figure in the world of Time and Frequency since the 1960’s’s when he led the NBS (National Bureau of Standards, since renamed NIST– National Institute of Standards) developments of not only the algorithm for keeping time, but also the time scale measurement system used to measure the several atomic clocks at that laboratory used to generate time for the nation.  His algorithm is considered to be among the best in the world, and several other nations use the measurement techniques he developed.

David W. Allan Honored for Contribution

David’s achievements are historically numerous and international. He has been honored as a major contributor throughout Europe, the USA, Russia and the former Soviet Union, and in China.  He continues to this day to be an active leader with a number of recent contributions. He and colleagues have recently worked on an oven-less quartz oscillator ensemble that may have the potential to perform like an atomic clock.  They have also worked on a new Unified Field Theory conducting seven experiments to date validating the theory with enormous implications yet to be appreciated.  Chapter 21 of his book reviews these experiments and some of their benefits: www.ItsAboutTimeBook.com

Mr. Allan feels that he has been privileged to ‘stand on the shoulders of giants’ during his career path, and humbly acknowledges help from many colleagues and especially from on High for what he is credited in accomplishing.

A respected voice in the industry, Mr. Allan will receive the IEEE Joseph F. Keithley Award at Lake Tahoe, Nevada in May.  He will also be the keynote speaker at the IEEE International
Instrumentation & Measurement Technology Conference in Houston, Texas, also on
May 14-17  – Houston, Texas

David W Allan