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Gravity sensing: cold atom trap onboard a 6U CubeSat

Gravity sensing: cold atom trap onboard a 6U CubeSat
Gravity sensing: cold atom trap onboard a 6U CubeSat
“Cold atoms” can be used as ultra-sensitive sensors for measuring accelerations and are capable of mapping changes in the strength of gravity across the surface of the Earth. They could offer significant benefits to existing space based gravity sensing capabilities. Gravity sensors in space are already used for many Earth observation applications including monitoring polar ice mass, ocean currents and sea level. Cold atom sensors could enable higher resolution measurements which would allow monitoring of smaller water sources and discovery of new underground natural resources which are currently undetectable. The adoption of cold atom technology is constrained by low technology readiness level (TRL). Teledyne e2v and its partners are addressing this maturity gap through project Cold Atom Space PAyload (CASPA) which is an Innovate UK and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) funded project, involving the University of Birmingham as science lead, XCAM, Clyde Space, Covesion, Gooch & Housego, and the University of Southampton. Through the CASPA project the consortium have built and vibration tested a 6U (approximate dimensions: 100 × 200 × 300 mm) cube Satellite (CubeSat) that is capable of laser cooling atoms down to 100’s of micro kelvin, as a pre-cursor to gravity sensors for future Earth observation missions.
Cold atom interferometry, Cube satellite, Gravity sensing, Quantum payload
1868-2510
539-549
Devani, Diviya
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Maddox, Stephen
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Renshaw, Ryan
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Cox, Nigel
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Sweeney, Helen
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Cross, Trevor
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Holynski, Michael
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Nolli, Raffaele
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Winch, Jonathan
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Bongs, Kai
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Holland, Karen
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Colebrook, David
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Adams, Neil
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Quillien, Kevin
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Buckle, James
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Karde, Anupe
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Farries, M.C.
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Legg, Tom
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Webb, Richard
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Gawith, Corin
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Berry, Sam A
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Carpenter, Lewis Glynn
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Devani, Diviya
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Maddox, Stephen
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Renshaw, Ryan
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Cox, Nigel
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Sweeney, Helen
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Cross, Trevor
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Holynski, Michael
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Nolli, Raffaele
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Winch, Jonathan
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Bongs, Kai
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Holland, Karen
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Colebrook, David
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Adams, Neil
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Quillien, Kevin
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Buckle, James
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Karde, Anupe
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Farries, M.C.
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Legg, Tom
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Webb, Richard
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Gawith, Corin
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Berry, Sam A
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Carpenter, Lewis Glynn
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Devani, Diviya, Maddox, Stephen, Renshaw, Ryan, Cox, Nigel, Sweeney, Helen, Cross, Trevor, Holynski, Michael, Nolli, Raffaele, Winch, Jonathan, Bongs, Kai, Holland, Karen, Colebrook, David, Adams, Neil, Quillien, Kevin, Buckle, James, Karde, Anupe, Farries, M.C., Legg, Tom, Webb, Richard, Gawith, Corin, Berry, Sam A and Carpenter, Lewis Glynn (2020) Gravity sensing: cold atom trap onboard a 6U CubeSat. CEAS Space Journal, 12 (4), 539-549. (doi:10.1007/s12567-020-00326-4).

Record type: Article

Abstract

“Cold atoms” can be used as ultra-sensitive sensors for measuring accelerations and are capable of mapping changes in the strength of gravity across the surface of the Earth. They could offer significant benefits to existing space based gravity sensing capabilities. Gravity sensors in space are already used for many Earth observation applications including monitoring polar ice mass, ocean currents and sea level. Cold atom sensors could enable higher resolution measurements which would allow monitoring of smaller water sources and discovery of new underground natural resources which are currently undetectable. The adoption of cold atom technology is constrained by low technology readiness level (TRL). Teledyne e2v and its partners are addressing this maturity gap through project Cold Atom Space PAyload (CASPA) which is an Innovate UK and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) funded project, involving the University of Birmingham as science lead, XCAM, Clyde Space, Covesion, Gooch & Housego, and the University of Southampton. Through the CASPA project the consortium have built and vibration tested a 6U (approximate dimensions: 100 × 200 × 300 mm) cube Satellite (CubeSat) that is capable of laser cooling atoms down to 100’s of micro kelvin, as a pre-cursor to gravity sensors for future Earth observation missions.

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Accepted/In Press date: 17 June 2020
e-pub ahead of print date: 4 August 2020
Keywords: Cold atom interferometry, Cube satellite, Gravity sensing, Quantum payload

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 443803
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/443803
ISSN: 1868-2510
PURE UUID: 50c788a8-1229-40b4-b29c-53abd816b798
ORCID for Corin Gawith: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3502-3558
ORCID for Sam A Berry: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9538-8655

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 14 Sep 2020 16:30
Last modified: 18 Feb 2021 16:54

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Contributors

Author: Diviya Devani
Author: Stephen Maddox
Author: Ryan Renshaw
Author: Nigel Cox
Author: Helen Sweeney
Author: Trevor Cross
Author: Michael Holynski
Author: Raffaele Nolli
Author: Jonathan Winch
Author: Kai Bongs
Author: Karen Holland
Author: David Colebrook
Author: Neil Adams
Author: Kevin Quillien
Author: James Buckle
Author: Anupe Karde
Author: M.C. Farries
Author: Tom Legg
Author: Richard Webb
Author: Corin Gawith ORCID iD
Author: Sam A Berry ORCID iD
Author: Lewis Glynn Carpenter

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