Technology roadmap for cold-atoms based quantum inertial sensor in space


Recent developments in quantum technology have resulted in a new generation of sensors for measuring inertial quantities, such as acceleration and rotation. These sensors can exhibit unprecedented sensitivity and accuracy when operated in space, where the free-fall interrogation time can be extended at will and where the environment noise is minimal. European laboratories have played a leading role in this field by developing concepts and tools to operate these quantum sensors in relevant environment, such as parabolic flights, free-fall towers, or sounding rockets. With the recent achievement of Bose–Einstein condensation on the International Space Station, the challenge is now to reach a technology readiness level sufficiently high at both component and system levels to provide “off the shelf” payload for future generations of space missions in geodesy or fundamental physics. In this roadmap, we provide an extensive review on the status of all common parts, needs, and subsystems for the application of atom-based interferometers in space, in order to push for the development of generic technology components.

AVS Quantum Science