Evaluation and Demonstration of Gravity Gradiometers

Lead Participant: QinetiQ Limited


QinetiQ Ltd, Imperial College and Oxford University will jointly investigate the use of novel gravity gradiometers to detect buried objects such as pipes, tunnels and sinkholes. We will model the gravitational field of a range of buried targets, and investigate methods to mitigate noise and clutter. We will determine what type of objects are detectable, at what range, and develop some outline Concepts of Operation. We will investigate the applicability of a range of sensors, both high performance quantum devices based on "cold atom fountains" and lower-cost MEMS-based devices, configured as gravity gradiometers, and compare them to the performance of commercially available sensors. We will build a single-axis gravity gradiometer based on two existing gravimeters, and use this to validate our models with through short field trials to demonstrate the detection of a buried object.

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

QinetiQ Limited, Farnborough £132,227 £ 66,114


University of Oxford, United Kingdom £39,919
Imperal London College, London £90,559


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