High-Performance, Low SWaP, Radiation Hardened and Vibrationally Robust Inertial Measurement Unit Employing Fast Light Technology For Missile Defense

Period of Performance: 01/01/2014 - 12/31/2014


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Digital Optics Technologies, Inc.
1645 Hicks Road, Suite H Array
Rolling Meadows, IL 60008
Principal Investigator


There is a need for new types of IMUs, with better accuracy than the state of the art. Digital Optics Technologies (DOT) has been developing a Fast Light Optical Gyroscope (FLOG) that can improve the accuracy of rotation sensing by nearly six orders of magnitude. Alternatively, for a given accuracy need, the FLOG can be very small. DOT has also developed a Fast Light Optical Accelerometer (FLOAC). Under Phase I, we will demonstrate technical feasibility of realizing a compact Fast Light Inertial Measurement Unit (FLIMU) that would comprise three FLOGs and three FLOACs, utilizing miniature vapor cells, integrated optical components, detectors and lasers. The FLIMU is expected to be at least three orders of magnitude better than the state of the art in tactical IMUs, while meeting the SWaP goals of this solicitation. In addition to miniaturization, a key focus of this effort would be to develop requisite components that would be able to withstand harsh conditions such as radiation, vibration and shock. To this end, we will analyze and optimize the FLIMU design for robustness to vibration and shock, and carry out tests of key components for radiation hardness. Development of a prototype that would meet the SWaP, performance and robustness goals would be carried out in Phase II. Honeywell and Northwestern University would be subcontractors. Approved for Public Release 14-MDA-8047 (14 Nov 14)