DLR Establishes Institute for Satellite Geodesy and Inertial Sensors

Bose-Einstein condensate in the Cold Atoms Lab. (Credit: NASA)
  • Bose-Einstein condensates, novel atomic clocks, laser and matter wave interferometry are promising quantum technologies for use in space.
  • Satellites modernized with quantum technology offer enormous potential for satellite-based earth observation, communication and navigation.
  • The new DLR institute will establish itself with up to 120 employees in the quantum quarter of the University of Hannover.

HANNOVER, Germany (DLR PR) — Quantum-based measurement technologies will revolutionize the sensor technology of satellites in the future. Quantum sensors based on Bose-Einstein condensates, novel atomic clocks, laser and matter wave interferometry are just some of the quantum technologies that are about to make the leap to routine use in space. In the course of a “second quantum revolution”, an unprecedented increase in the precision of measurement technology and sensors in space travel is taking place with previously untapped application possibilities. 

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Signals from Distant Stars Connect Optical Atomic Clocks Across Earth for the First Time

Transportable radio telescopes could provide global high-precision comparisons of the best atomic clocks. (Credit: NICT)

TOKYO (NICT PR) — Using radio telescopes observing distant stars, scientists have connected optical atomic clocks on different continents. The results were published in the scientific journal Nature Physics (DOI: 10.1038/s41567-020-01038-6) by an international collaboration between 33 astronomers and clock experts at the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT, Japan), the Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca Metrologica (INRIM, Italy), the Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF, Italy), and the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (BIPM, France).  

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NASA to Launch New Technologies on Next Falcon Heavy Flight

A SpaceX Falcon Heavy begins its first flight. (Credit: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — A new kind of atomic clock, non-toxic propellant system and missions to characterize how space weather interferes with satellites and communication transmissions are one step closer to liftoff. With the second-ever SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch complete, these NASA technologies await the powerful rocket’s next flight.

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