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Project 2.1: Atomic-fountain Gravimeter


            The research project will exploit the outcomes from the "Establishment of Quantum-Atom Optics Laboratory Project" in affiliation with the Thailand Center of Excellence in Physics (1st phase: 2008-2012) toward the technological development of atomic fountain interferometry. The primary goal for the first 3 years is to build a gravimeter with sensitivity of 10-9 g. In years 4-5, this lab-scale prototype will be further engineered aiming for a portable airborne gravimeter that is capable of continuous flyover measurements. This novel gravimeter would potentially allow oil and natural gas surveys to be performed in previously unreachable terrains, i.e. swamp and deep valley, and especially the terrestrial and onshore resources where with today's technology the petroleum was believed to be completely depleted. The significant improvements of the ease of use and sensitivity over available geological approaches should minimize the risk of drilling failure and reduce the capital concerning deep-sea exploratory drilling, a formidable engineering challenge, by a factor of 10.


Figure 2.1.1 A photo shows laboratory surrounding. All laser systems and control devices used in this project were homebuilt.



Figure 2.1.2 An expected portable atom gravimeter and how it may be employed in terrains unreachable by other techniques.



Principal Investigator: Assistant Professor Dr. Waranont Anukool
Affiliated Institute: Department of Physics and Materials Sciences, Faculty of Science, Chiang Mai University