I.C.E.: An Ultra-Cold Atom Source for Long-Baseline Interferometric Inertial Sensors in Reduced Gravity

Abstract : The accuracy and precision of current atom-interferometric inertialsensors rival state-of-the-art conventional devices using artifact-based test masses . Atomic sensors are well suited for fundamental measurements of gravito-inertial fields. The sensitivity required to test gravitational theories can be achieved by extending the baseline of the interferometer. The I.C.E. (Interférométrie Cohérente pour l'Espace) interferometer aims to achieve long interrogation times in compact apparatus via reduced gravity. We have tested a cold-atom source during airplane parabolic flights. We show that this environment is compatible with free-fall interferometric measurements using up to 4 second interrogation time. We present the next-generation apparatus using degenerate gases for low release-velocity atomic sources in space-borne experiments.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, May 22, 2007 - 3:13:17 PM
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  • HAL Id : hal-00147641, version 3
  • ARXIV : 0705.2922

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Gaël Varoquaux, Nassim Zahzam, Walid Chaibi, Jean-François Clément, Olivier Carraz, et al.. I.C.E.: An Ultra-Cold Atom Source for Long-Baseline Interferometric Inertial Sensors in Reduced Gravity. Rencontres de Moriond Gravitational Waves and Experimental Gravity, Mar 2007, La Thuile, Val d'Aosta, Italy. ⟨hal-00147641v3⟩

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