Airborne Absolute Gravimetry With a Quantum Sensor, Comparison With Classical Technologies

Y. Bidel*, N. Zahzam, A. Bresson, C. Blanchard, A. Bonnin, J. Bernard, M. Cadoret, T. E. Jensen, R. Forsberg, C. Salaun, S. Lucas, M. F. Lequentrec‐Lalancette, D. Rouxel, G. Gabalda, L. Seoane, D. T. Vu, S. Bruinsma, S. Bonvalot

*Corresponding author for this work

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We report an airborne gravity survey with an absolute gravimeter based on atom interferometry and two relative gravimeters: a classical LaCoste&Romberg (L&R) and a novel iMAR strapdown Inertial Measurement Unit. We estimated measurement errors for the quantum gravimeter ranging from 0.6 to 1.3 mGal depending on the flight conditions and the filtering used. Similar measurement errors are obtained with iMAR strapdown gravimeter, but the long‐term stability is five times worse. The traditional L&R platform gravimeter shows larger measurement errors (3–4 mGal). Airborne measurements have been compared to marine, land, and altimetry‐derived gravity data. We obtain a good agreement for the quantum gravimeter with standard deviations and means on differences below or equal to 2 mGal. This study confirms the potential of quantum technology for absolute airborne gravimetry, which is particularly interesting for mapping shallow water or mountainous areas and for linking ground and satellite measurements with homogeneous absolute referencing.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2022JB025921
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Issue number4
Number of pages25
Publication statusPublished - 2023


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