Evaluation of microchip atom interferometer designs for precision inertial-navigation systems

Award Information
Department of Defense
Air Force
Award Year:
Phase II
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
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Aleksandar Zatezalo
Principal Investigator
(781) 933-5355
Business Contact:
Jay Miselis
Corporate Controller
(781) 933-5355
Research Institution:
Massachusetts Inst of Technology
Vladan Vuletic
Room 26-231
77 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA, 2139
(617) 324-1174
Nonprofit college or university
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.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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