NASA Demonstrates First Quantum Sensor for Satellite Gravimetry
(InCompliance.mag) Scientists from NASA and AOSense, Inc. have designed and demonstrated a new type of quantum sensor capable of gathering extremely accurate measurements on gravity.
The sensor was created as part of a collaboration with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. It relies on a new measurement technique known as atom interferometry. It operates similarly to optical interferometry, which has been used for hundreds of years to measure the small displacements that occur between objects.
Researchers believe that this technology could be extremely useful for gathering extremely sensitive data. Currently, scientists rely on a two-satellite system that provides them with monthly gravity maps that demonstrate the distribution of mass over time. However, the new technology is far more accurate, and could effectively eliminate any need for the current satellite system.