Platform for Ultracold Atom Inertial Sensor Development

Award Information
Department of Defense
Air Force
Award Year:
Phase II
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
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Small Business Information
4450 Arapahoe Avenue, Suite 100, Boulder, CO, 80303
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Dana Anderson
(303) 492-5202
Business Contact:
Rainer Kunz
(303) 415-2281
Research Institution:
University of Colorado
Randall Draper
572 UCB
Office of Contracts and Grants
Boulder, CO, 80309
(303) 492-2695
Nonprofit college or university
This work proposes to develop two critical subsystems and a rotation platform designed to enable ultracold atom inertial sensing research and development, with emphasis on rotation sensing (gyroscopes) for navigation, geolocation, mapping, and similar tasks. The two subsystems presented here, the computer control and interface subsystem, and the integrated atom chip power source/current driver subsystem, play a critical role in interferometer performance, especially noise performance, as delineated by Phase I investigations. These subsystems are designed to be small, very power efficient, and vibration free, so that they can be located on the proposed rotation platform along with the interferometer itself. The subsystems are specifically designed to integrate well with an atom chip-based atom interferometer and a laser system, which complete the set of subsystem needed for sensor research and development. In particular, if combined with an appropriate and compact laser system, it will be possible for the first time to carry out atom chip based rotation experiments without a tether to external, stationary subsystems. The proposed rotation platform is designed to minimize vibrations and other influences that are deleterious to gyroscope assessment. Hardware prototypes of the rotation platform, control subsystem, and power source driver subsystem, will be delivered to AFRL. BENEFIT: The proposed rotation platform, control and powersource/driver subsystems will enormously simplify ultracold atom inertial sensors system development, saving users months of development time. A large number of functional components are integrated into small subsystems that can be easily mounted on a rotation (or similar) platform and make possible for the first time ultracold atom chip gyroscope testing in an untethered environment. By enabling ultracold atom systems, this work can lead to new inertial sensing capability of DoD interest. Moreover, this work will be enabling of a broader base of research and development activities through commercialization of the proposed prototypes.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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