Quantum Sensors and Navigators
Quantum systems can be exceptionally sensitive probes of electric, magnetic, gravitational and inertial forces. The aim of this research is to exploit that sensitivity to make useful sensors of unprecedented precision and accuracy.
One important application area is inertial navigation. This method of navigation relies on accurate accelerometers and gyroscopes. We are developing ultracold atom interferometers for use as accelerometers in navigation systems. Atoms make excellent sensors of acceleration, free from drift and calibration error.
Atoms and MEMS
Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS)
We fabricate low-noise mechanical oscillator sensors which achieve the highest sensitivity in the world for a micromachined inertial sensor, and can detect at the quantum level. Our seismic sensors are due for launch to Mars this year on NASA’s InSight mission.
Opto and nano mechanics
With nanophotonics, not only do interactions become stronger and faster but also weak effects once difficult to detect are dramatically enhanced. The result is extreme sensing capability, with localised surface plasmonics at the quantum level. Our goal is to utilize nanophotonics to realize new capabilities in sensing.