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

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA9550-09-C-0103
Agency Tracking Number: F074-024-0305
Amount: $500,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2009
Solicitation Year: 2007
Solicitation Topic Code: AF07-T024
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Scientific Systems Company, Inc
500 West Cummings Park - Ste 3000, Woburn, MA, 01801
DUNS: 859244204
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Y
Principal Investigator
 Aleksandar Zatezalo
 Principal Investigator
 (781) 933-5355
 alex@ssci.com
Business Contact
 Jay Miselis
Title: Corporate Controller
Phone: (781) 933-5355
Email: jmiselis@ssci.com
Research Institution
 Massachusetts Inst of Technology
 Vladan Vuletic
 Room 26-231
77 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA, 2139
 (617) 324-1174
 Nonprofit college or university
Abstract
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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