Gravity Pioneer

Project Partners

RSK is a geoscience, engineering and environmental consultancy firm headquartered in the UK with offices around the world. RSK has the largest ground investigation resource of any company in the UK and has a specialist team of geophysical consultants, run by Prof. George Tuckwell, to utilise the latest geophysical surveying technologies to provide clients with the most accurate, rapid, and cost effective methods for the location and identification of subsurface features.

Teledyne e2v’s innovations lead developments in healthcare, life sciences, space, transportation, defense and security, and industrial markets. Teledyne e2v’s unique approach involves listening to the application challenges of customers and partnering with them to provide innovative solutions, bringing increased value to their systems. Teledyne e2v’s quantum technology team has grown in the last 3 years and is built on unrivalled expertise and a deep technological heritage that includes capabilities across the spectrum, from vacuum electronics to semiconductor products.

Founded in 1900, the University of Birmingham is a well-established institution, both nationally and internationally, that offers a high-standard of teaching and research in most major disciplines. The Times & The Sunday Times awarded the University of Birmingham University of the Year status for 2013/2014 and the University of the Year for graduate employment in 2015/2016. The University of Birmingham is one of the leading research-based universities in the UK; the breadth of research expertise is a distinctive characteristic of the University. It leads the Quantum Technology (QT) Hub in Sensors and Metrology and has been leading the application-driven research for QT sensors joining research in both Physics and Civil Engineering. The University of Birmingham is building the National Buried Infrastructure Facility (NBIF), which is part of the UKCRIC investment, which can be utilised for proving trials of QT sensors amongst other exciting research activities.

Fraunhofer UK Research Ltd is a not-for-profit Research and Technology Organisation (RTO), providing professional research and development services to benefit the UK economy and industry. As part of Europe’s largest organisation for applied research, Fraunhofer UK Ltd and its Centre for Applied Photonics (Fh-CAP) is a hub for industry-driven laser and photonics research and technology in the UK. The Centre for Applied Photonics specialises in all aspects of commercial development of laser and photonics systems, which includes the modelling, designing, development, characterisation, ruggedisation and prototyping of engineered photonics-based solutions.

Optocap has over 40 employees based in the UK, for > 16 years we have been providing a turn-key design and precision packaging service from prototyping, process optimisation, product qualification though to failure analysis; for a range of photonic, optoelectronic, microelectronic and MEMS devices for space, aerospace, automotive and other markets.

Optocap is also involved in Innovate UK’s Quantum projects, where our pedigree, design IP and know-how enables Optocap to deliver SWAP-C, high-reliability and high-stability products.

For Pioneer Gravity we have supplied our next generation compact, FLAME and REMOTE narrow linewidth lasers; our technology opens the door to real world applications of lasers being used outside of the laboratory environment.

FLAME and REMOTE are key quantum enabling technology platforms that are at the heart of gravitometers, atomic clocks and inertial navigation sensors empowered by laser-cooled atoms.

Optocap are owned by the Alter Technology Group which is part of TUV NORD who have an annual turnover of €1.3B and operate in the Testing, Inspection and Certification field. Alter Technology Group are specialists and trusted suppliers in the field of engineering and testing of EEE components and equipment for space and other technology markets.

UniKLasers Ltd is a UK-based expert in CW Single Frequency DPSS lasers with a focus on mid to high output power. UniKLasers designs & manufactures single frequency lasers in a wide range of wavelengths for holography (red, green & blue), high precision metrology, Brillouin imaging, Raman spectroscopy, confocal microscopy, semiconductor quality inspection and other high precision applications.

Lasers have excellent parameters and are particularly suited for applications that require high wavelength and output power stability.

UniKLasers is an active player on the Quantum Technologies market and is committed to becoming a component supplier to quantum technology products.

UniKLasers, together with scientific collaboration partners, have developed Single Frequency DPSS lasers at 698.4 nm and 689.4 nm (Strontium Clock transition) and 780.24 nm (Rubidium transition), critically required by QT systems, which match the optical performance of advanced Ti:S lasers, but in a footprint and price point comparable to the external-cavity diode lasers (ECDL).

Further work is ongoing to increase the output power to 100s mW and match other Quantum relevant transitions in particular, 813 nm.

The University of Southampton is one of the UK’s leading engineering universities and host to the Zepler Institute; a multidisciplinary research centre with 350 research staff and PhD students, with over 730m2 of state-of-the-art clean room facilities and laboratories for the development of electronics, photonics, non and quantum technologies.

Magnetic Shields Ltd are leading specialists in the manufacturing of bespoke magnetic shielding. Established over 50 years ago, the company’s experience and expertise allows them to adapt to a changing market and provide high quality, complex shielding solutions for emerging applications. Technical projects previously conducted at the company include the development of high performance shielding, designing and developing modular shielded rooms and research into mixed material shielding for novel sensors and applications.

Silicon Microgravity Limited (SMG) is a privately held company focused on developing and applying innovative technology where they can apply gravity to create value. Through 10 years of research with University of Cambridge and collaboration with BP, SMG have developed  a unique high performance, ultra-sensitive and stable yet robust MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) resonant accelerometer. This has a projected resolution (while being incredibly small) of approximately one billionth of the Earth’s gravity. It has a number of potential applications and the current focus is on the 3-axis measurement of borehole gravity for monitoring subsurface fluid movement for carbon capture/storage and the oil and gas industry. They are also actively researching a related MEMS rate gyro technology for application in inertial navigation. SMG aim to provide versions of their proprietary surface MEMS gravimeter to enable benchmarking for the quantum technology platform.

QinetiQ have a long heritage of providing experts, advice, research, services and technical solutions, most particularly in the defence and security sector. QinetiQ have a strong interest in novel sensing modalities to detect high challenging targets, and over the years have developed experience in a wide range of advanced signal processing techniques that can be applied to leading-edge sensors.

Altran is the undisputed world leader in engineering and R&D services. The Group offers its customers a unique value proposition to meet their transformation and innovation challenges. Altran supports its customers, from concept to industrialization, to develop the products and services of tomorrow. Altran has been working for more than 35 years with major players in many sectors: Automotive, Aeronautics, Space, Defence & Naval, Rail, Infrastructure & Transport, Industry & Consumer Products, Life Sciences, Communications, Semiconductor & Electronics, Software & Internet, Finance & Public Sector. The acquisition of Aricent expands the Group’s portfolio of expertise in semiconductors, digital experience and design innovation. Altran generated €2.9 billion in revenue in 2018, with nearly 47,000 employees in more than 30 countries.

Geomatrix Earth Science Ltd are a leading UK-based specialist provider of hardware and software for exploration geophysical surveying, covering all current techniques. Founded in 1995, Geomatrix has been supplying traditional microgravity meters to the surveying industry and academia since 2001 on a worldwide basis. Over the past 17 years, Geomatrix have built up a profound knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of traditional gravity meters, designing complex testing regimes to ensure their correct operation and accuracy, surveying methodologies and outlining the limitations of gravity surveying for all current applications. Although the company is a micro organisation, Geomatrix employ experienced geophysicists and electronic engineers that have a wealth of knowledge and have previous experience with Innovate UK projects.

Meet the Team

Members of the Gravity Pioneer Team on a demonstration day.