[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present a modular rack-mounted laser system for the cooling and manipulation of neutral rubidium atoms which has been developed for a portable gravimeter based on atom interferometry that will be capable of performing high precision gravity measurements directly at sites of geophysical interest. This laser system is constructed in a compact and mobile design so that it can be transported to different locations, yet it still offers improvements over many conventional laboratory-based laser systems. Our system is contained in a standard 19" rack and emits light at five different frequencies simultaneously on up to 12 fibre ports at a total output power of 800 mW. These frequencies can be changed and switched between ports in less than a microsecond. The setup includes two phase-locked diode lasers with a phase noise spectral density of less than 1 \mu rad/sqrt(Hz) in the frequency range in which our gravimeter is most sensitive to noise. We characterize this laser system and evaluate the performance limits it imposes on an interferometer. Comment: 8 pages, 11 figures; The final publication is available at http://www.springerlink.com
Full-text · Article · Jul 2010 · Applied Physics B
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Atom interferometry represents a quantum leap in the technology for the ultra-precise monitoring of accelerations and rotations
and, therefore, for the science that relies on these quantities. These sensors evolved from a new kind of optics based on
matter-waves rather than light-waves and might result in an advancement of the fundamental detection limits by several orders
of magnitude. This paper describes the current status of the Space Atom Interferometer project (SAI), funded by the European
Space Agency. In a multi-pronged approach, SAI aims to investigate both experimentally and theoretically the various aspects
of placing atom interferometers in space: the equipment needs, the realistically expected performance limits and potential
scientific applications in a micro-gravity environment considering all aspects of quantum, relativistic and metrological sciences.
A drop-tower compatible atom interferometry acceleration sensor prototype has been designed, and the manufacturing of its
subsystems has been started. A compact modular laser system for cooling and trapping rubidium atoms has been assembled. A
compact Raman laser module, featuring outstandingly low phase noise, has been realized. Possible schemes to implement coherent
atomic sources in the atom interferometer have been experimentally demonstrated.
KeywordsAtom interferometry-Inertial sensors
Full-text · Article · Mar 2010 · Microgravity - Science and Technology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present a synthetic view of experiments we are performing using atom interferometry to determine the gravitational constant G and to test the Newtonian gravitational law at micrometric distances. Accurate gravity measurements with atom interferometry also find applications in geophysical studies and in satellite missions for the geoid mapping. Experiments in progress, using ultracold atom devices, for applications in geophyiscal and space monitoring will be also described. [DOI: 10.2971/jeos.2009.09025]
Full-text · Article · Jun 2009 · Journal of the European Optical Society Rapid Publications
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Atom interferometers have been shown to be very stable and accurate sensors for acceleration and rotation. In this paper we review the applications of atom interferometry to gravity measurements, with a special emphasis on the potential impact of these techniques on applied science fields.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2008 · Measurement Science and Technology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Summary form only given. A collaboration between European research groups is developing novel atomic inertial quantum sensors based on matter-wave optics and Raman interferometry. For this purpose we are implementing a gravimeter and a gyroscope using ultra cold atoms as test masses. Inertial quantum sensors could represent a new tool for the precise detection of faint forces and tiny rotations. According to the principle of these sensors, the measured physical quantity will be converted into a frequency, which can be measured with highest accuracy. The items of atom interferometry will range from fundamental physical tests to many practical applications such as: local gravity measurements, allowing a precise underground mapping, and space navigation. In this contest the main goal is to realize modular and portable systems.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report on experiments based on atom interferometry to determine the gravitational constant G and test the Newtonian gravitational law at micrometric distances. Ongoing projects to develop transportable atom interferometers for applications in geophysics and in space are also presented.