The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) was recognised for its long-term atomic clock development programme last week.

The Royal Institution of Navigation (RIN) gave the Duke of Edinburgh's Navigation Award for Technical Achievement to the NPL on Thursday, July 17.

The lab is the birthplace of atomic time and the home of the nation's atomic timescale.

Professor Patrick Gill, from NPL, said: "We are delighted that RIN has acknowledged our atomic timekeeping work and its impact.

"Since the demonstration of the first caesium atomic clock at NPL in 1955 we have witnessed major improvements in atomic clock capabilities and performance, leading to the present day NPL caesium fountain clock, one of the primary clocks worldwide."

The current atomic clock system is the basis of UK time, and research is being carried out to improve timekeeping accuracy further.