Compact Gyroscope/Accelerometer for Inertial Navigation Based on Light Pulse Atom Interferometry

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8718-09-C-0033
Agency Tracking Number: F083-219-1520
Amount: $99,386.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2009
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: AF083-219
Solicitation Number: 2008.3
Small Business Information
767 N Mary Ave, Sunnyvale, CA, 94085
DUNS: 162344035
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Todd Gustavson
 Principal Investigator
 (408) 735-9500
Business Contact
 Brenton Young
Title: Contracts Manager
Phone: (408) 735-9500
Research Institution
We propose to design a compact inertial sensor based on light pulse atom interferometry that has both single-axis rotation and acceleration outputs.  In previous work, members of our team have developed several generations of ultra-high performance sensors that successfully demonstrated this technology in laboratory and field tests.  Our design will trade-off performance to reduce size, weight and power, while targeting a bias drift of 100 udeg/h and angle random walk of 100 udeg/sqrt(h), which would outperform the stated program goals by more than an order of magnitude.  The fundamental performance limits for our sensor technology leave room for additional orders-of-magnitude improvements with further engineering and development beyond the scope of the Phase I design. BENEFIT: Light pulse atom interferometer (LPA) sensors are expected to revolutionize navigation in the same way that atomic clocks have revolutionized timekeeping, as they are based on the same essential technology.  LPA gyroscopes have already demonstrated better performance than conventional navigation sensors based on microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), fiber-optic, or ring laser gyros.  The compact gyroscope sensor developed in this work will make substantial improvements in miniaturization, cost reduction, and manufacturability of LPA technology, and is expected to have extremely low bias drift and angle random walk noise.  Smaller, cheaper, more robust LPA gyroscopes will be useful for building better performing and more cost-effective inertial navigation systems for applications such as military and commercial aircraft, missiles, unmanned autonomous vehicles, ships, and submarines.  The technological building blocks in these sensors also will benefit commercial sensors used for geophysical exploration and resource management.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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