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progress towards a space-borne quantum gravity gradiometerQuantum interferometer gravity gradiometer for 3D mapping is a project for developing the technology of atom interferometer-based gravity sensor in space. The atom interferometer utilizes atomic particles as free fall test masses to measure inertial forces with unprecedented sensitivity and precision. It also allows measurements of the gravity gradient tensor components for 3D mapping of subsurface mass distribution. The overall approach is based on recent advances of laser cooling and manipulation of atoms in atomic and optical physics. Atom interferometers have been demonstrated in research laboratories for gravity and gravity gradient measurements. In this approach, atoms are first laser cooled to micro-kelvin temperatures. Then they are allowed to freefall in vacuum as true drag-free test masses. During the free fall, a sequence of laser pulses is used to split and recombine the atom waves to realize the interferometric measurements. We have demonstrated atom interferometer operation in the Phase I period, and we are implementing the second generation for a complete gradiometer demonstration unit in the laboratory. Along with this development, we are developing technologies at component levels that will be more suited for realization of a space instrument. We will present an update of these developments and discuss the future directions of the quantum gravity gradiometer project.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
External Source(s)
Yu, Nan
Kohel, James M.
Ramerez-Serrano, Jaime
Kellogg, James R.
Lim, Lawrence
Maleki, Lute
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
June 22, 2004
Meeting Information
Earth Science Technology Conference (ESTC)(Palo Alto, CA)
Distribution Limits
laser cooling
atom interferometer
quantum gravity