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New special research area: geo-Q at Leibniz Universität Hannover

May 16, 2014

The German Research Foundation (DFG) is establishing at Leibniz Universität Hannover the new research area (SFB) 1128 “Relativistic Geodesy and Gravimetry with Quantum Sensors (geo-Q)”. Geodesists, physicists and aerospace engineers will be jointly researching the fundamentals of future-oriented procedures for surveying the Earth and its constant changes including climate change. Participating institutions include Leibniz Universität Hannover (LUH), Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) in Braunschweig and The Center of Applied Space Technology and Microgravity (ZARM). The Special Research Area will run for a total of up to 12 years.

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics and the Institute for Gravitational Physics LUH (Albert Einstein Institute; AEI) will pool their expertise for the development of laser interferometric gravity sensors, data analysis for satellite missions and the measurement of the smallest disturbing forces. This will play a role for example with the GRACE Follow-On satellite mission that is set to enter orbit around the Earth in 2017 and is intended to measure the Earth’s gravity field from there.

In the first four-year funding period of the Special Research Area, the establishment of eleven new positions are planned. In addition, the DFG will support the work of the AEI during this time with approx. 1.5 million Euros for material resources.

“The newly established Special Research Area builds on the research in the successful QUEST cluster of excellence,” says Prof. Dr. Karsten Danzmann, Director at the AEI and deputy speaker of the Special Research Area. “This will further consolidate the outstanding international standing of Leibniz Universität Hannover in the areas of geodesy, gravitational physics and quantum metrology.”

Press release of Leibniz Universität Hannover

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