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VNIIFTRIOptical frequency standard

The Federal State Unitary Enterprise «Russian metrological institute of technical physics and radioengineering» (FSUE «VNIIFTRI») is one of the largest national metrology institutes, which carries out activities for reproducing the national time scale and reference frequencies, determine the parameters of the Earth’s rotation, and developing, improving, maintaining, comparing and applying the state primary standards of units of quantities, conducts fundamental and applied research, experimental developments.

The Institute was founded on February 18, 1955 on the basis of the Central Research Bureau of the Unified Time Service, Central Research Institute of Radio Measurements and Central Research Institute of Physical and Technical Measurements. The decision on the priority areas of activity of the new institute was made by a special committee of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, in the work of which prominent academicians Pyotr Kapitsa, Alexander Baikov, Alexei Krylov and others took part.

Today VNIIFTRI has the status of the State Scientific Center of the Russian Federation, which has been regularly confirmed since 1994, and is recognized as one of the leaders among Russian metrological institutes in the system of the Federal Agency for Standardization and Technical Regulating of the Russian Federation (Rosstandart).

VNIIFTRI is the Main Metrological Center of the State Service of Time and Frequency and Determination of the Earth’s Rotation Parameters (MMC SSTF) and ensures its functioning with the participation of its branches and other organizations. MMC SSTF is one of the best laboratories of the time in the world.

VNIIFTRI includes four branches: East Siberian, Far East, Kamchatka, and West Siberian, which are separate structural divisions and conduct fundamental and applied research in the field of ensuring the uniformity of measurements.

There are 10 research departments (RD) in the institute, which are engaged in fundamental and applied research in the following areas:

  • measurements of time, frequency and long lengths;
  • measurements of magnetic and electrical quantities;
  • hydroacoustic and hydrophysical measurements;
  • measurements of parameters of ionizing radiation and radioactivity;
  • electrochemical measurements and measurements of aerosol parameters;
  • measurements of metal hardness, physical and mechanical properties of building materials, low- temperature and thermophysical measurements;
  • ultrasonic and acousto-optic measurements.

The enterprise also includes Testing Laboratories, which are subdivisions of the Research Center (RC) and have a wide scope of accreditation.


  • fundamental and applied scientific research, experimental developments in the field of metrology and ensuring the uniformity of measurements;
  • development, improvement, maintenance, comparison and application of state primary standards of units of quantities and measurement scales;
  • creation and delivery of secondary and working standards, verification equipment and high-precision measuring instruments;
  • metrological works and services;
  • reproduction of the national time scale and reference frequencies;
  • determination of the parameters of the Earth’s rotation;
  • transmission of time and frequency reference signals to consumers in various sectors of the country’s economy, including the GLONASS system, etc.

The enterprise actively participates in the implementation of the Federal Target Program GLONASS in terms of creating means of ensuring the uniformity of measurements, it is the head scientific organization of Rosstandart for the creation of new and modernization of existing methods and means of time-positioning and navigation support in order to achieve the specified accuracy characteristics of GLONASS. VNIIFTRI is the head organization of the Rosstandart system in a number of other important areas.

In 2019 VNIIFTRI specialists have presented their new development — a subminiature rubidium quantum frequency standard. Unique in Russia equipment will bring the technology of navigation systems, 5G networks and safe unmanned vehicles to a new ultra-precise level. The subminiature standard is indispensable for equipment synchronization and data transmission in high-speed computer networks, which is especially important for financial transactions in the banking sector and telecommunications systems. The small size of the devices allows to integrate them into high-precision measuring devices (spectrum analyzers, network analyzers, oscilloscopes), which significantly increases their functional and accuracy characteristics.


The Institute is one of the largest centers of state standards and is included in the list of strategic enterprises in Russia. About 35% of all state primary standards of the Russian Federation are kept and operated in VNIIFTRI. The reference base of the institute includes 57 State primary standards and more than 200 secondary, special and working standards.

Over 80% of the country’s radio engineering standards have been created, stored and improved at VNIIFTRI.

Two standards reproduce the basic units of the International System of Units SI — second and kelvin (within the range of temperature values from 0.3 to 273.16 K).

Quantity of State primary standards in research institutes of Rosstandart

Three standards created and functioning at the Institute are among the best in the world :

  • The State Primary Standard of Time and Frequency (GET 1-2018)
  • The State Primary Standard of hydrogen ion pH activity in aqueous solutions (GET 54-2019)
  • The State Primary Standard of temperature unit — kelvin in the range of (0.3 — 273.16) K (GET 35-2010).
State Primary Standard of hydrogen ion pH activity in aqueous solutions (GET 54-2019)


Since 2007 the Pilot Production Technical Center (PPTC) has become a part of VNIIFTRI.

Today VNIIFTRI produces about 90 types of products, including high-precision measuring instruments, and continues to expand the assortment. The products produced by VNIIFTRI are at the level of leading foreign analogues, which contributes to the expansion of the institute’s participation in the domestic program of import substitution. The modernization of production and technological capabilities in the future will further increase the market share of domestic high-precision instruments in the market.

Oscilloscope, produced by PPTC of VNIIFTRI

As part of its activities, VNIIFTRI provides a wide range of metrological services.

The quality management system of VNIIFTRI is certified in accordance with GOST R ISO 9001-2015 «Quality management systems. Requirements» and was recognized by the Euro-Asian Cooperation Organization of State Metrology Institutions (COOMET) complying with the international standard ISO / IEC 17025


Due to its scientific achievements, VNIIFTRI has gained wide recognition in the international community. The Institute represents the interests of the Russian Federation in fixed types of measurements in the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM), the International Organization of Legal Metrology (OIML), the Organization of Euro-Asian Cooperation of State Metrological Institutions (COOMET), the Organization of European Collaboration on Measurement Standards (EUROMET), the Euro-Asian Council for standardization, metrology and certification Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), International Organization for Standardization (ISO), International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS) and International Geodynamic Service (IGS).

Head of the MMC SSTF Igor Blinov; BIPM Director M. Milton; Head of BIPM Time Department P. Tavella

VNIIFTRI cooperates on projects and contracts with research organizations in the USA, Germany, England, France, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Poland, Czech Republic, Taiwan, China and other countries.

The International Bureau of Weights and Measures recognizes VNIIFTRI as the National Metrology Institute, and calibration certificates of VNIIFTRI are valid at the international level.


VNIIFTRI pursues educational activities aimed at ensuring the uniformity of measurements in the Russian Federation in general and the academic staff recruitment of the institute in particular.

The Scientific and Educational Center has been established at VNIIFTRI, the structure of which includes research degree, higher doctorate and a sector of supplementary vocational education (professional development program training and occupational retraining).

The institute has a Dissertation Defense Board in support of candidature for a technical degree and the higher doctorate.

Admissions to doctoral studiesD. Mendeleev University of Chemical Technology of Russia

There are Academic Board, Dissertation Council, Research and Educational Center in (research degree sector, higher doctorate sector, further vocational education sector, department of physical, technical and radio engineering measurements) in the Institute.

VNIIFTRI was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor. The achievements of the Institute’s employees have been frequently noted by the State Prizes of the USSR, the Russian Federation and the prizes of the Government of the Russian Federation.

In December 2019 a group of scientists from VNIIFTRI was awarded the Prize of the Government of the Russian Federation in the field of science and technology for the development of a high-precision system of quantum time and frequency standards for advanced navigation, geodetic and digital technologies. Many developments of the institute have been awarded with various prizes at international and Russian exhibitions: 64 developments have certificates of assignment of the SI Quality Mark, 34 developments have gold medals and 1 — platinum.

The Institute has 46 valid RF patents for inventions and utility models and 24 certificates for software.

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