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All Optical Vector Magnetometer, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

This Phase I research project will investigate a novel method of operating an atomic magnetometer to simultaneously measure total magnetic fields and vector magnetic fields. Magnetometry has provided critical scientific information throughout the history of space exploration. The ideal magnetic sensor for space applications would be one which shares the advantages of the fluxgate (vector precision, robust operation) with the precision and absolute accuracy of the atomic magnetometer. Our approach will result in an all-optical vector magnetometer (AOVM) that can be calibrated from the fundamental quantum properties of the atoms. Stable calibration is essential if magnetic dynamics are to be inferred by flying different missions to the same planet separated by decades. The sensor and electronics will be small and lightweight and operate from a few Watts of electrical power. More »

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