Cold atoms in space: community workshop summary and proposed road-map

Iván Alonso, Cristiano Alpigiani, Robert Bingham, Paul F. Griffin, Daniel K.L. Oi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

We summarise the discussions at a virtual Community Workshop on Cold Atoms in Space concerning the status of cold atom technologies, the prospective scientific and societal opportunities offered by their deployment in space, and the developments needed before cold atoms could be operated in space. The cold atom technologies discussed include atomic clocks, quantum gravimeters and accelerometers, and atom interferometers. Prospective applications include metrology, geodesy and measurement of terrestrial mass change due to, e.g., climate change, and fundamental science experiments such as tests of the equivalence principle, searches for dark matter, measurements of gravitational waves and tests of quantum mechanics. We review the current status of cold atom technologies and outline the requirements for their space qualification, including the development paths and the corresponding technical milestones, and identifying possible pathfinder missions to pave the way for missions to exploit the full potential of cold atoms in space. Finally, we present a first draft of a possible road-map for achieving these goals, that we propose for discussion by the interested cold atom, Earth Observation, fundamental physics and other prospective scientific user communities, together with the European Space Agency (ESA) and national space and research funding agencies.
Original languageEnglish
Article number30
Number of pages55
JournalEPJ Quantum Technology
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2022

Keywords

  • cold atoms
  • earth observation missions
  • cold atom technology
  • I-SOC pathfinder missions
  • atomic clock
  • geodesy
  • fundamental physics
  • quantum mechanics

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