Grant Writing for Non-Profits

How a Single Atomic Sensor Can Help Track Earth’s Glaciers [Video]

Earth observations are one of the most essential functions of our current fleet of satellites. Typically, each satellite specializes in one kind of remote sensing – monitoring ocean levels, for example, or watching clouds develop and move. That is primarily due to the constraints of their sensors – particularly the radar. However, a new kind of sensor undergoing development could change the game in remote Earth sensing, and it recently received a NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts (NIAC) grant to further its development.

That new sensor technology is known as a Rydberg sensor, and it uses quantum theory to detect a broad band of radar signals all at once. The grant went to Darmindra Arumugam of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, who specializes in remote sensing and has worked with the technology for years. So why are Rydberg sensors so special?

In a typical remote sensing application, a sensor is launched …

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