Ultrasensitive and Compact Superluminal Ring Laser Accelerometer for Inertial Navigation

Period of Performance: 06/01/2011 - 01/02/2012

$100K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

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

Abstract

For many applications, there is a need for developing inertial measurement units (IMU), employing gyroscopes and accelerometers, with better accuracy and/or smaller volume and weight. Currently, in partnership with others, 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 five orders of magnitude. Alternatively, for a given accuracy need, the SRLG can be very small. Recently, we have identified an architecture via which the same superluminal mechanism can be exploited to produce an accelerometer with similar enhancements. Here, we use this approach to offer to develop a superluminal ring laser accelerometer (SRLA). When compared to a conventional accelerometer, the SRLA can also be nearly five orders of magnitude more accurate, with a sensitivity of 10 pico-g/Hz^(1/2), while occupying a very small volume. The focus of Phase I would be to demonstrate the technical feasibility of the SRLA. Miniaturization and radiation hardening would be addressed in Phase II. The work proposed here is a collaboration between DOT, Aegis, and Vescent. Dr. Selim Shahriar, inventor of the SRLG and SRLA, is the founder of and chief scientific adviser at DOT. He will coordinate the overall effort.