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NASA Demos First Quantum Sensor to Measure Earth’s Gravitational Field

By IQT News posted 07 Jan 2019

(InComplianceMagazine) 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. Scientists from NASA and AOSense used this technology to develop their sensor, which can be used for mapping Earth’s gravitational field. As the gravitational field changes due to time and other factors, the sensor will record the measurements with astonishing accuracy.
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.

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