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Method and apparatus for measuring gravitational acceleration utilizing a high temperature superconducting bearing

United States Patent

6,079,267
June 27, 2000
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Argonne National Laboratory - Visit the Technology Development and Commercialization Website
Gravitational acceleration is measured in all spatial dimensions with improved sensitivity by utilizing a high temperature superconducting (HTS) gravimeter. The HTS gravimeter is comprised of a permanent magnet suspended in a spaced relationship from a high temperature superconductor, and a cantilever having a mass at its free end is connected to the permanent magnet at its fixed end. The permanent magnet and superconductor combine to form a bearing platform with extremely low frictional losses, and the rotational displacement of the mass is measured to determine gravitational acceleration. Employing a high temperature superconductor component has the significant advantage of having an operating temperature at or below 77K, whereby cooling may be accomplished with liquid nitrogen.
Hull; John R. (Downers Grove, IL)
The United States of America as represented by the United States (Washington, DC)
09/ 186,606
November 6, 1998
CONTRACTUAL ORIGIN OF THE INVENTION The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract Number W-31-109-ENG-38 between the United States Department of Energy and Argonne National Laboratory, as represented by the University of Chicago.