The project is a joint effort between RSK, e2v, Gooch & Housego, and the University of Birmingham. It will deliver a commercial prototype gravity instrument that should be substantially more accurate than the existing instruments. The funding success builds on earlier research funding for feasibility studies, the second of which is ongoing and will be complete in May next year.
In the proposal bid, the team explained, “A quantum gravimeter for subterranean surveying in civil engineering applications will be designed and constructed. This will be demonstrated in field trials by an end-user of these sensors (RSK) and compared against a state-of-the-art, commercially available, classical gravimeter. This will be the first demonstration of a quantum gravimeter by a commercially led consortium in the UK.” Photonics technology business Gooch & Housego is the company behind the development of the laser systems for the quantum sensors.
Also published on the same day and launched at the same meeting, was the Blackett review ‘The quantum age: technological opportunities’. RSK is one of the few companies explicitly mentioned in this high-profile government report: “A cold-atom sensor is now being developed by the University of Birmingham, RSK and e2v which is expected to enable everyday use of gravity surveys. This could give the construction industry certainty of what’s under the ground, reducing delays due to unexpected hazards and removing the need for expensive exploratory excavation.”
For more information, please contact George Tuckwell.