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1

As @EntropicallyDriven mentions, matter-wave interferometry can be used for inertial navigation. Better clocks (in terms of both performance and size / weight / power) would help with pulsar navigation.


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One possible application of AMO physics would be inertial guidance systems based on atomic interferometers--similar systems are currently being investigated for missile guidance and have shown much higher accuracy than other methods. Inertial navigation systems don't rely on a network of GPS satellites, which obviously wouldn't be present on Mars (yet!)


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Mike's answer is good but there Is more. You can actually see it in the papaer he referred you to, it is an excellent paper. It not only describes the possible sources, but it points to the new physics that it might see. eLisa, also called NGO, will be sensitive to gravitational waves from the early universe (and after), down to 10 to the minus 18 sec after ...


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Space is, as you say, good for removing a lot of the background noise that spoils LIGO's data — like seismic noise, disturbances from traffic and logging activity, people shooting at the beam tubes, etc. But another important reason to go into space is so that you can basically make a much larger version of LIGO. LIGO's arms are 4km long; eLISA's arms will ...



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