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Evaluation of microchip atom interferometer designs for precision…

Award Information

Department of Defense
Air Force
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2009 / STTR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Scientific Systems Company, Inc
500 West Cummings Park - Ste 3000 Woburn, MA 01801-6562
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: Yes
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2009
Title: Evaluation of microchip atom interferometer designs for precision inertial-navigation systems
Agency / Branch: DOD / USAF
Contract: FA9550-09-C-0103
Award Amount: $500,000.00


Bose-Einstein condensates in magnetic traps and waveguides produced by microfabricated structures hold great promise for new quantum devices exploiting atomic matter waves for precise measurements of rotation and acceleration. Scientific Systems Company, Inc. (SSCI) and its subcontractor, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology propose to evaluate several chip-based cold-atom interferometer designs for use in precision inertial navigation. The SSCI team will: (1) compare the performance of interferometers based on dc Bose-Einstein condensate splitting, RF condensate splitting, and splitting by means of light pulses; (2) identify error sources and based on these decide on the optimum design; and (3) determine the technical and fundamental limitations of such devices. In Phase I, by simulating BEC interferometry on a microfabricated chip, we accomplished: (1) determination of key experimental design parameters; (2) derivation of candidate microchip interferometer designs; (3) analysis of the candidate microchip interferometer design sensitivity; (4) analysis of different readout techniques for exploiting the interferometer high sensitivity potential; and (5) investigation of different cold-atom cloud splitting techniques. The objectives of Phase II are to investigate the use of microfabricated trapped-atom interferometers as highly sensitive inertial navigation sensor, derive candidate designs, and improve interferometer readout to near the fundamental limit. BENEFIT: Autonomous precision inertial navigation is one of key technologies for important space-based applications including precise targeting, tracking and pointing, all requirements for C3ISR and space superiority which includes survivability, offensive and defensive counterspace, and communications. Using cold atom chip sensor for autonomous precision inertial navigation has potential to revolutionize inertial force sensing and its applications such as GPS-free and jam-proof navigation, remote sensing, tracking, targeting, and pointing. Commercial applications of this technology exist in several areas such as geodesy, transportation, and satellite pointing for communications.

Principal Investigator:

Aleksandar Zatezalo
Principal Investigator

Business Contact:

Jay Miselis
Corporate Controller
Small Business Information at Submission:

Scientific Systems Company, Inc
500 West Cummings Park - Ste 3000 Woburn, MA 01801

EIN/Tax ID: 043053085
Number of Employees: N/A
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Research Institution Information:
Massachusetts Inst of Technology
Room 26-231
77 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 2139
Contact: Vladan Vuletic
Contact Phone: (617) 324-1174
RI Type: Nonprofit college or university