Uni.lu Geophysics & Remote Sensing (GRS) laboratory


Geophysics & Remote Sensing is a research group devoted to the study of environmental changes and their impact on Earth's systems, encompassing both human and natural factors. Our interdisciplinary team is actively engaged in the development of advanced technologies for detecting, monitoring, and mitigating the risks posed by natural disasters, as well as identifying and evaluating space resources for future exploration and utilization. GRS harnesses expertise in geophysics, remote sensing, planetary science, and engineering, enabling us to contribute significantly to the sustainable development of our planet and beyond. Our overarching mission is to advance the realm of environmental science and champion sustainable practices, thereby forging a brighter future for our world. Through the synergy of cutting-edge technology and our field expertise, GRS occupies a unique position in comprehending environmental changes and addressing the pressing challenges of our era.


Our gravity instrumentation plays a pivotal role in metrology, enabling us to measure gravity acceleration with unmatched precision, achieving accuracy levels as fine as 1-2 microgal (1 microgal = 10-8 m/s²). Furthermore, our expertise extends to harnessing Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) for the high-precision monitoring of both stationary and mobile objects on a global scale. We provide a diverse range of GNSS processing strategies tailored to meet specific client requirements, ensuring precision and accuracy at the millimeter to centimeter level in positioning and modeling. Moreover, our capabilities extend to utilizing GNSS signals of opportunity for a wide array of environmental data retrieval. This includes measurements of sea levels, ice sheets in polar regions, inundation maps, and global soil moisture levels. 


Our technical arsenal comprises a variety of cutting-edge instruments meticulously designed to precisely measure and monitor gravity-related phenomena. At the core of our capabilities lies the Absolute Gravimeter, a portable device renowned for its exceptional accuracy, capable of measuring gravity acceleration with a precision as fine as 1-2 microgal. In addition to the Absolute Gravimeter, we employ Relative Gravimeters, including the portable Scintrex Relative gravimeter, which delivers remarkable precision, typically achieving measurements within approximately 3 microgal and a sensitivity to height changes as small as 20 mm. For specialized monitoring of short-period changes in gravity, we rely on the Superconducting Gravimeter, a non-portable relative instrument. Furthermore, our toolkit boasts an extensive range of state-of-the-art geodetic grade GNSS and GNSS-R equipment. These instruments empower us to observe all current GNSS signals, furnishing us with a comprehensive and adaptable suite of tools suited for an extensive array of ground-based and spaceborne applications. 


NASA, ESA, LSA, Spire Global, ILNAS


Our portfolio of major space projects encompasses a wide spectrum of cutting-edge research initiatives. Drawing upon satellite gravity measurements, GNSS observations, and altimetry, we engage in extensive research endeavors at the GRS. Within our group, we have been at the forefront of pioneering ground-based GNSS-R techniques. These innovations enable us to detect crucial changes in soil moisture, snow depth, and sea-level, yielding valuable insights for scientific applications. Furthermore, GRS has played a pivotal role in the development of advanced algorithms tailored for spaceborne GNSS-R, with a specific focus on soil moisture assessments and inundation extent mapping. Additionally, we harness the capabilities of grazing angle GNSS-R for in-depth studies related to sea-ice and ice sheets. In parallel, we are actively engaged in precise orbit determination of swarms of CubeSats for gravity applications, further expanding our research horizons.  

Last update