Lead Participant: Teledyne E2v (UK) Limited


New developments in quantum technology have resulted in the ability to cool atoms close to absolute zero using lasers and magnetic fields. Laboratory experiments have shown that these "cold atoms" can be used as ultra-sensitive sensors for measuring gravity. Using these sensors in space will enable the mapping of tiny changes in the strength of gravity across the surface of the Earth. This project will investigate the potential applications and markets that these sensors will enable from space. These include the prospect of more accurate monitoring of changes in polar ice mass, ocean currents and sea level thereby enhancing the capability of global climate models. Higher resolution data would lead to the ability to monitor smaller water sources and discover new underground natural resources which are currently not detectable. Similar technology could also be used for deep space navigation and for providing higher precision timing sources in space. The project will also study the technical feasibility of producing a space based system and will propose a roadmap showing the steps to achieving a commercial space sensor.

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

Teledyne E2v (UK) Limited, Essex £120,096 £ 60,048


University of Birmingham, United Kingdom £88,749 £ 88,749
Satellite Applications Catapult Limited, Didcot £29,996 £ 29,996


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