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Fast Light Enhanced Active Gyroscopes, Accelerometers and Fiber- Optic Sensors, Phase II

Active Technology Project

Project Introduction

The fast-light effect, produced by anomalous dispersion, has emerged as a highly promising mechanism for enhancing the sensitivity of many devices. It is a potentially disruptive technology with the prospect of revolutionizing the field of precision metrology. We will develop this technology in two parallel paths: A rubidium vapor Raman laser-based Active Fast Light Optical Gyroscope/Accelerometer (AFLOGA), and a fiber Brillouin laser based Active Fast Light Fiber-Optic Sensor (AFLIFOS). Both of these systems will be capable of acting as gyroscopes and accelerometers simultaneously. In addition, the AFLIFOS will be a very sensitive sensor for strain and temperature. In final form, the Superluminal Inertial Measurement Units (SIMU) produced with these technologies should be more than four orders of magnitude more sensitive than current state-of-the-art inertial measurement units. In Phase II, we will demonstrate, test, and characterize a laboratory-scale AFLOGA, then use the knowledge gained to design, construct, and test a compact AFLOGA that will fit within a 10 cm by 30 cm by 30 cm case. A design for a complete, six-axis SIMU will be developed with a footprint comparable to commercial inertial measurement units, but with dramatically higher sensitivity. In parallel, we will design, construct, and test a laboratory-scale AFLIFOS system. Finally, a theoretical investigation will be carried out to develop a Master Equation based model for quantum noise limit on the enhancement in sensitivity using a superluminal laser sensor. Northwestern University will serve a subcontractor for this project. More »

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