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A mobile absolute gravimeter based on atom interferometry for highly accurate point observations

A mobile absolute gravimeter based on atom interferometry for highly accurate point observations

© IFE / M. Schilling
Gravimetercomparison between FG5X-220 and the Gravimetric Atom Interferometer (GAIN, HU Berlin) at Onsala Space Observatory in February 2015
Leaders:  Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jürgen Müller
Email:  mueller@ife.uni-hannover.de
Team:  M. Sc. Manuel Schilling
Year:  2012
Sponsors:  DFG

Overview

Mobile gravimeters based on the principle of atom interferometry show the potential to complement and possibly replace classical sensors in the future.With their ability to record the absolute value of g, without drift at a high sampling rate, they connect the fields of absolute and superconducting gravimetry. Classical absolute gravimeters are used for pointwise measurements over the period of hours to a few days. These can be repeated episodically with arbitrary time intervals and evaluated together. Superconducting gravimeters are the most precise instruments and record the change of gravity over extended periods of time. However, they rely on absolute gravimetric measurements to determine the small instrumental drift.

The current development of such a quantum gravimeter requires the comparison with state of the art classical gravimeters for its characterization.

Goals

  1. Comparison with FG5(X) Gravimeters at different locations for the assessment of the absolute accuracy
  2. Parallel recordings with superconducting gravimeters to identify instrumental effects
  3. Improvement of the reductions for temporal gravity variations, e.g., 3D model of the atmosphere

Support

The measurements are supported by the Geodetic Observatory Wettzell (Federal Agency for Cartography and Geodesy) and the Onsala Space Observatory (Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenborg).