Integrated Micro-Inertial Sensors For GPS Denied Navigation Using Fast-Light Enhanced Ring Laser Gyroscopes and Accelerometers
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AbstractABSTRACT: For navigation of space platforms under GPS denied conditions, there is a need for micro-inertial sensors, with better accuracy and smaller volume and weight than the state of the art. We at Digital Optics Technologies (DOT) have been developing a superluminal ring laser gyroscope (SRLG) that can improve the accuracy of rotation sensing by nearly six orders of magnitude. Alternatively, for a given accuracy need, the SRLG can be very small. DOT has also developed the architecture for a superluminal ring laser accelerometer (SRLA), which can achieve a sensitivity of 10 pico-g/root-Hz. Under Phase I, we will demonstrate technical feasibility of realizing a compact inertial measurement unit (IMU) that would comprise three SRLGs and three SRLAs for all-axes sensing, utilizing miniature vapor cells, integrated optical components, detectors and lasers. In addition to miniaturization, a key focus of this effort would be to develop requisite components that would be suitable for space platforms. To this end, we will carry out analysis and test for radiation hardening, extreme temperature variations, and tolerance for high-G situations. Development of a prototype that would meet the size, weight, power and performance goals would be carried out in Phase II. Honeywell, Triad Technology, and International Photonics Consultants would be subcontractors. Dr. Selim Shahriar, inventor of the SRLG and the SRLA and the chief scientific adviser at DOT, will coordinate the overall effort. BENEFIT: Three SRLAs, combined with three SRLGs, can be used to realize a high accuracy IMU that is very compact and light weight. Such an IMU could also be relatively inexpensive. An IMU of this type could have a significant impact on guidance, navigation and control systems for spacecraft, launch vehicles, missiles, kill vehicles, smart munitions, and other applications requiring precision inertial knowledge. Non-DoD applications include spacecraft guidance, navigation and control, as well as commercial aircraft inertial navigation systems
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