Quantum Sensors for Geodetical Observations and Relativistic Geodesy

Quantum Sensors for Geodetical Observations and Relativistic Geodesy

Develop and test transportable optical clocks for chronometric levelling with cm resolution to improve height networks.


  • Develop and test transportable optical clocks to an uncertainty of few 10^-18
  • Chronometric levelling with cm resolution using transportable optical clocks
  • Improve height networks with this novel method
  • Develop and test transportable quantum gravimeter
  • Measure gravity with unprecedented uncertainty of few nm/s²
  • Contribute accurate gravity data to geodetic observation campaigns 


  • Schmidt, Lisdat: Transportable optical lattice clocks for chronometric levelling campaigns
  • Rasel, Herr: Transportable Quantum Gravimeter for absolute gravity surveys
  • Müller, Denker, Timmen, Weigelt: Geoid and height determination; expertise in satellite and terrestrial gravimetry, modelling and analysis of gravity field data, and gravimetric monitoring of mass change processes
  • Lämmerzahl, Philipp, Müller: Theoretical framework of relativistic geodesy, definition of observables and measurements

Scientific Output

  • Publications

    Albers H, Corgier R, Herbst A, Rajagopalan A, Schubert C, Vogt C et al. All-optical matter-wave lens using time-averaged potentials. Communications Physics. 2022 Mar 16;5(1). 60.


    Belenchia A, Carlesso M, Bayraktar Ö, Dequal D, Derkach I, Gasbarri G et al. Quantum physics in space. Physics reports. 2022 Mar 11;951:1-70.

    Herbers S, Häfner S, Dörscher S, Lücke T, Sterr U, Lisdat C. Transportable clock laser system with an instability of 1.6 × 10-16. Optics letters. 2022 Oct 15;47(20):5441-5444.

    Herbst A, Albers H, Stolzenberg K, Bode S, Schlippert D. Rapid generation of all-optical K39 Bose-Einstein condensates using a low-field Feshbach resonance. Physical Review A. 2022 Oct 21;106(4). 043320.

    Deppner C, Herr W, Cornelius M, Stromberger P, Sternke T, Grzeschik C et al. Collective-Mode Enhanced Matter-Wave Optics. Physical review letters. 2021 Sep 3;127(10). 100401.

    Gebbe M, Siemß J-N, Gersemann M, Müntinga H, Herrmann S, Lämmerzahl C et al. Twin-lattice atom interferometry. Nature Communications. 2021 May 5;12(1). 2544.

    Hensel T, Loriani S, Schubert C, Fitzek F, Abend S, Ahlers H et al. Inertial sensing with quantum gases: a comparative performance study of condensed versus thermal sources for atom interferometry. European Physical Journal D. 2021 Mar 22;75. 108.

    Lachmann MD, Ahlers H, Becker D, Dinkelaker AN, Grosse J, Hellmig O et al. Ultracold atom interferometry in space. Nature Communications. 2021 Dec;12(1). 1317.

    Schubert C, Abend S, Gersemann M, Gebbe M, Schlippert D, Berg P et al. Multi-loop atomic Sagnac interferometry. Scientific Reports. 2021 Dec;11(1). 16121.

    Timmen L, Gerlach C, Rehm T, Völksen C, Voigt C. Geodetic-Gravimetric Monitoring of Mountain Uplift and Hydrological Variations at Zugspitze and Wank Mountains (Bavarian Alps, Germany). Remote sensing. 2021 Mar 1;13(5). 918.

    Zhong L, Sośnica K, Weigelt M, Liu B, Zou X. Time-Variable Gravity Field from the Combination of HLSST and SLR. Remote sensing. 2021 Sep 2;13(17). 3491.

    Fitzek F, Siemß JN, Seckmeyer S, Ahlers H, Rasel EM, Hammerer K et al. Universal atom interferometer simulation of elastic scattering processes. Scientific Reports. 2020 Dec 17;10(1). 22120.


    Gersemann M, Gebbe M, Abend S, Schubert C, Rasel EM. Differential interferometry using a Bose-Einstein condensate. European Physical Journal D. 2020 Oct 1;74(10). 203.

    Häfner S, Herbers S, Vogt S, Lisdat C, Sterr U. Transportable interrogation laser system with an instability of mod σy = 3 × 10−16. Optics express. 2020 May 25;28(11):16407-16416.

    Hartmann S, Jenewein J, Giese E, Abend S, Roura A, Rasel EM et al. Regimes of atomic diffraction: Raman versus bragg diffraction in retroreflective geometries. Physical Review A. 2020 May 8;101(5). 053610.

    Heine N, Matthias J, Sahelgozin M, Herr W, Abend S, Timmen L et al. A transportable quantum gravimeter employing delta-kick collimated Bose–Einstein condensates. European Physical Journal D. 2020 Aug 25;74(8). 174.

    Heinze J, Vahlbruch H, Willke B. Frequency-doubling of continuous laser light in Laguerre–Gaussian modes LG0,0 and LG3,3. Optics letters. 2020 Sep 15;45(18):5262-5265.


    Müller J, Wu H. Using quantum optical sensors for determining the Earth’s gravity field from space. Journal of geodesy. 2020 Jul 24;94(8). 71.

    Philipp D, Hackmann E, Lämmerzahl C, Müller J. Relativistic geoid: Gravity potential and relativistic effects. Physical Review D. 2020 Mar 17;101(6). 064032.

    Richardson LL, Nath D, Rajagopalan A, Albers H, Meiners C, Schubert C et al. Opto-mechanical resonator-enhanced atom interferometry. Communications Physics. 2020 Nov 13;3(1). 208.

    Schilling M, Wodey É, Timmen L, Tell D, Zipfel KH, Schlippert D et al. Gravity field modelling for the Hannover 10 m atom interferometer. Journal of Geodesy. 2020 Nov 27;94(12). 122.


    Timmen L, Rothleitner C, Reich M, Schröder S, Cieslack M. Investigation of Scintrex CG-6 Gravimeters in the Gravity Meter Calibration System Hannover. AVN Allgemeine Vermessungs-Nachrichten. 2020;127(4):155-162.

    Weise A, Timmen L, Deng Z, Gabriel G, Rothleitner C, Schilling M et al. Observing ocean mass variability with spring gravimeters: Storm surge induced signals on the north sea island helgoland. AVN Allgemeine Vermessungs-Nachrichten. 2020;127(4):163-173.

    Wu H, Müller J. Towards an International Height Reference Frame Using Clock Networks. 2020.

    Herbers S, Dörscher S, Benkler E, Lisdat C. Phase noise of frequency doublers in optical clock lasers. Optics express. 2019;27(16):23262-23273.

    Trimeche A, Battelier B, Becker D, Bertoldi A, Bouyer P, Braxmaier C et al. Concept study and preliminary design of a cold atom interferometer for space gravity gradiometry. Classical and quantum gravity. 2019 Nov;36(21). 215004.


    Wu H, Müller J, Lämmerzahl C. Clock networks for height system unification: A simulation study. Geophysical journal international. 2018 Nov 28;216(3):1594-1607.

TG Members

  • Involved Members and their Relevant Expertise
    Members Institution Relevant Expertise
    Waldemar Herr, Leader DLR-SI / LUH Atom-Chip Based Gravimeters and Inertial Sensors
    Ernst M. Rasel LUH Quantum Gravimeters; Atom-Chip Based Gravimeters and Inertial Sensors
    Jürgen Müller LUH Relativistic Geodesy; LLR Relativity Test; Application of Quantum Gravimetry
    Ludger Timmen LUH Geodesy with Gravimeters
    Christian Lisdat PTB Sr Optical Lattice Clock
    Piet O. Schmidt PTB / LUH Quantum Logic Spectroscopy of Highly Charged Ions; Transportable Al+ Clock
    Heiner Denker LUH Gravity field modelling, geoid, height systems, chronometric levelling
    Matthias Weigelt LUH Satellite Gravimetry, Loading, deformation, gravity field, local modeling
    Christian Schubert DLR-SI / LUH Atom-Chip Based Gravimeters and Inertial Sensors
    Nina Heine LUH Quantum Gravimetry
    Sven Abend LUH Atom-chip based interferometry and inertial sensors for navigation
    Hendrik Heine LUH Atom Chip and Grating MOTs
    Claus Lämmerzahl ZARM General Relativity
    Dennis Philipp ZARM Relativistic Geodesy, formalism, framework, theory
    Ingo Noßke PTB Sr Optical Lattice Clock
    Manuel Schilling DLR-SI Absolute and relative gravimetry, gravity field modelling
    Tim Lücke PTB Sr Optical Lattice Clock
    Stephan Hannig PTB Transportable Al+clock, 3d-printed miniaturized vacuum chambers, optical breadboarding
    Julian Lemburg LUH Atom Chip and Grating MOTs
    Pablo Nunez von Voigt LUH Quantum Gravimetry
    Dennis Schlippert LUH Quantum Navigation, Very-long baseline atom interferometry