University of Luxembourg Geophysics Laboratory

Core business

The Geophysics Laboratory focuses on climate, sea level variability and geodynamics. The primary goals include obtaining reliable geodetic measurements of environmental change and assessing the influence of human and natural factors in those changes. To do so, the group has developed a patented differential free-fall gradiometer as part of our activities in scientific metrology, advanced high-accuracy Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) techniques, provided interpretation of time variable gravity from space and improved the modelling of environmental effects on geodetic observations.

Products and services

The gravity instrumentation can be used for metrology. We have the ability to measure the acceleration of gravity to 1-2 microgal (1 microgal = 10^-8 m/sec^2). GNSS, for example GPS, can be used to monitor positions of stationary and moving objects with high accuracy on a global scale. We have the ability to apply different GPS processing strategies for absolute and relative positioning, and modelling depending on client requirements to achieve millimetre to centimetre level precision and accuracy.

2   catalogue-space-2016

Technical means

  • Absolute Gravimeter: The portable instrument has the ability to measure the acceleration of gravity to 1-2 microgal (1 microgal = 10-8 m/sec2)
  • Relative Gravimeters: The portable Scintrex Relative gravimeter has a precision of about 3 microgal (it is sensitive to height changes of 20 mm)
  • Superconducting Gravimeter: Non-portable relative instrument that primarily records changes in gravity due to solid Earth and ocean tides and atmospheric pressure; it is valuable in monitoring short-period changes in gravity
  • GNSS Equipment: The GL have a range of state-of-the-art geodetic grade GNSS receivers which have the ability to observe all current GNSS signals

Main customers


Major space projects

Research into the requirements for the next generation satellite gravity mission (satellite orbit, sensor and tracking designs). Our contribution was to provide reliable environmental background models.


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University of Luxembourg Geophysics Laboratory

Head of department

Prof. Olivier Francis

Creation date


Organisation type



Total: 15
Space: 10

R&D internal investments 2015



University of Luxembourg
Faculty of Science, Technology and Communication
Geophysics Laboratory
Maison du Nombre
6, avenue de la Fonte
L-4364 Esch-sur-Alzette


Prof. Olivier Francis
Tel: +352 46 66 44 6264
Fax: +352 46 66 44 5643

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