Current Projects:

XHVpressure (FFG Project No. 889767)

Project funded by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency in the Austrian Space Applications Programme (ASAP) 2018-2020 to perform finite-element simulations of passive and active cooling approaches for the MAQRO mission proposal. Achieving low temperatures (<=20K) in the experimental volume is a key requirement for achieving MAQRO’s science goals.

QuantumShield (FFG Project No. 865996)

Project funded by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency in the Austrian Space Applications Programme (ASAP) 2018-2021 to perform finite-element simulations of passive and active cooling approaches for the MAQRO mission proposal. Achieving low temperatures (<=20K) in the experimental volume is a key requirement for achieving MAQRO’s science goals.

Past Projects:

ULE-Cavity-Access (FFG Project No. 854036)

Project funded by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency in the Austrian Space Applications Programme (ASAP) 2016-2020 to increase the technological readiness of key technologies for testing the foundations of physics in space as proposed in the MAQRO mission proposal. In particular, the goal has been to implement an adhesively bonded fiber-coupled high-finesse cavity that is aligned at room temperature but operated at cryogenic temperatures at about 20K. This is a core piece of technology for the MAQRO mission proposal.

Quantum Physics Platform CDF Study (QPPF)

In 2016, the European Space Agency (ESA) issued a Call for New Science Ideas, and we submitted the MAQRO proposal as a new Science Idea. In April 2017, ESA identified three new science ideas (link), one of them being the investigation of quantum decoherence with a focus on the boundaries of and relationship between quantum and classical physics. ESA performed a feasibility study at their Concurrent Design Facility (CDF) from April to July 2018. The title of the study was Quantum Physics Platform (QPPF). The final report of the study was published in early 2019 (link). While the study confirmed the feasibility of a MAQRO-type mission in principle, three critical issues were identified: (1) realizing a loading mechanism for the test particles into an optical trap in exteme vacuum, (2) achieving the extreme vacuum targeted (1e-15mbar), (3) the preparation of macroscopic quantum states using standing-wave gratings.

MAQROsteps (FFG Project No. 840089)

Project funded by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency in the Austrian Space Applications Programme (ASAP) 2013-2015 to increase the technological readiness of key technologies for testing the foundations of physics with macroscopic quantum resonators (MAQRO).

NanoTrapS (ESA contract 4000105799/127NL/Cbi)

In this project (“Trapped nanoparticles for space experiments”), R. Kaltenbaek and a team of M. Arndt investigated novel mechanisms for sources of test particles for high-mass matter-wave interferometry in space.

MQES (ESA contract Po P5401000400)

In this project (“Macroscopic quantum resonators in space”), R. Kaltenbaek and a team of M. Aspelmeyer investigated the scientific and technical requirements of possible quantum experiments in a space environment using quantum optomechanics.