Absolute Aero Quantengravimetrie

Absolute Aero Quantum Gravimetry

© Jan Hosan/LUH
Setting up a quantum gravimeter at HITec

10 million euros for advanced development of flight gravimetry in the AeroQGrav project

With the " Leuchtturmprojekte der quantantenbasierten Messtechnik" programme, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is funding complex collaborative projects and demonstrator projects in the fields of quantum sensors, quantum metrology and quantum imaging that address major needs in society. One of the projects funded within this framework is "AeroQGrav - Absolute Aero Quantum Gravimetry", in which QuantumFrontiers researchers from Leibniz Universität and TU Braunschweig are involved.

The aim of the project is to close a technological gap in the measurement of the Earth's gravitational field. Up to now, this has been done mainly with satellites and terrestrial gravimeters that are not very mobile. By further developing flight gravimetry, the aim is to achieve a higher spatial and temporal resolution while at the same time increasing the long-term stability of the measurement. To this end, the technology of quantum gravimetry, which has so far been used mainly in the laboratory or in larger ground-based measuring facilities, will be upgraded for use in aircraft (e.g. through miniaturisation and robustification), adapted and demonstrated in a real application.

The Earth's gravity field provides a lot of relevant information for geodesy, geosciences, but also for the search for commodity deposits or groundwater. The monitoring of changes in the Earth's mass distribution also quantifies the effects of climate change. The technologies developed in AeroQGrav are intended to improve the measurement level to around 1 μm/s² after 5 seconds of measurement. Until now, conventional gravimeters achieve around 10 - 50 μm/s² at 30 - 45 seconds measurement duration.

The joint project AeroQGrav - Absolute Aero Quantum Gravimetry (FKZ: 13N16517) will run until the end of 2027 and has a total project volume of 10 million euros. In addition to Leibniz Universität Hannover and TU Braunschweig, six other research institutions and industrial partners are involved. The project is coordinated by iMAR Navigation GmbH.