ForschungTopical Groups
Space Laser Gravimetry

Space Laser Gravimetry


  • Study and develop novel concepts for inertial sensing and inter-satellite ranging using laser interferometry in order to improve measurements of Earth’s gravity field
    • Optical accelerometers and gradiometers
    • Alternative optical layouts for laser ranging systems
  • Investigate new measurement channels that contain gravity field information based on
    • Clocks
    • Centrifugal acceleration sensing
  • Experimental demonstration of optical accelerometers and inter-satellite ranging interferometers for future geodesy missions
    • Torsion balance facility
  • Data analysis for the Laser Ranging Interferometer on GRACE Follow-On
    • Processing of ranging data with sub-nanometer precision level


  • Space missions & payloads
  • Laser interferometry
  • Torsion balance facility
  • Data analysis


Meshksar N, Mehmet M, Isleif KS, Heinzel G. Applying differential wave-front sensing and differential power sensing for simultaneous precise and wide-range test-mass rotation measurements. Sensors (Switzerland). 2021 Jan 1;21(1):1-11. 164. doi.org/10.3390/s21010164

Yan Y, Müller V, Heinzel G, Zhong M. Revisiting the light time correction in gravimetric missions like GRACE and GRACE follow-on. Journal of Geodesy. 2021 Mai;95(5). 48. doi.org/10.1007/s00190-021-01498-5

Zhong L, Sośnica K, Weigelt M, Liu B, Zou X. Technical note time-variable gravity field from the combination of hlsst and slr. Remote sensing. 2021 Sep;13(17). 3491. doi.org/10.3390/rs13173491

Yang Y, Yamamoto K, Huarcaya V, Vorndamme C, Penkert D, Barranco GF et al. Single-element dual-interferometer for precision inertial sensing. Sensors (Switzerland). 2020 Sep 3;20(17):1-17. 4986. doi.org/10.3390/s20174986

Involved QF Members
Members Institution Relevant Expertise
Vitali Müller, LeaderAEI/LUHLaser Interferometer modelling; LRI on GRACE-FO and for NGGM; Data Analysis
Gerhard HeinzelAEI/LUHSpace Laser Interferometry
Dietmar KrachtLZHAdvanced Light Sources; Precision Additive Manufacturing of Quantum Sensors; High power solid-state single frequency amplifiers
Jürgen MüllerLUHRelativistic Geodesy; LLR Relativity Test; Application of Quantum Gravimetry
Esteban DelgadoAEI/LUHSystem engineering and test engineering
Miguel DovaleAEI/LUHDFM, Prism-Optical Head modeling, optical readout design and testbed development
Christoph VorndammeAEI/LUHDFM, readout and control electronics
German Fernandez-BarrancoAEI/LUHPhotoreceiver
Kohei YamamotoAEI/LUHDFM, optical simulation, readout electronics and control electronics
Moritz MehmetAEI/LUHTorsion Balance
Gerald BergmannAEI/LUHReadout of Torsion Balance, Seismic Noise
Victor HuarcayaAEI/LUHTestbed development (Torsion Balance)
Guy ApelbaumAEI/LUHTestbed development (Torsion Balance)
Hao YanAEI/LUHEl.Static Sensor/Actuation, Torsion Balance noise budget
Malte MisfeldtAEI/LUHData analysis for GRACE-FO LRI
Laura MüllerAEI/LUHData analysis for GRACE-FO LRI
Henry WegenerAEI/LUHData analysis for GRACE-FO LRI, Tilt-To-Length Coupling
Karsten DanzmannAEI/LUHLISA, Gravitational Wave Astronomy
Annike KnabeLUHAttitude Control
Hu WuLUHNovel measurement concepts, Clocks
Alireza HosseiniAraniLUHHybdrid Accelerometers incl. Atom Interferometry
Matthias WeigeltLUHApplication of Gravity Data
Alexander KochDLR-SILaser Ranging Interferometers, Link Acquisition
Manuel SchillingDLR-SINovel Measurement Concepts
Meike ListDLR-SISpace Mission Simulator
Peter WeßelsLZHLaser Development
Benny RieversZARMSpace Mission Simulator
Jens GrosseZARMLaser Links
Florian WöskeZARMXHPS Space Mission Simulator