A Cold Atom Technology (CAT) development programme for space

*Within the framework of a long-lasting collaboration between CERN and ESA (the European Space Agency), the CERN Quantum Technology Initiative launched in 2020 is pleased to support partnerships between the high-energy physics and space communities, promoting joint events and research programmes.



In 2019 ESA called for proposals for its Voyage 2050 Space Science Programme to follow the LISA gravitational wave experiment and other approved missions, and several European teams working on cold atom experiments responded. 

An ESA Senior Committee has recently published its recommendations [1] for the Voyage 2050 programme. In addition to topics for Large and Medium missions, the report also recommends specific long-term technology developments that would lead to breakthrough science.

Among these, the report highlights the potential science that cold atom experiments could carry out in space, and recommends a programme to develop and mature the technologies currently being deployed in terrestrial experiments. 

Following a first workshop [2] held in 2019, cold atom proponents are now preparing a workshop [4] in September to devise a community roadmap for this development programme, which would provide input to ESA on how to structure it and what priorities could be established. 

To be kept informed about the planning of the workshop, you can register your contact details here [3]:

[1] https://www.cosmos.esa.int/documents/1866264/1866292/Voyage2050-Senior-Committee-report-public.pdf/e2b2631e-5348-5d2d-60c1-437225981b6b?t=1623427287109

[2] https://indico.cern.ch/event/830432/