The primary NASA applications of the proposed MOI system are in metrology, magnetometry, and inertial navigation. NASA applications inherently require miniaturization of all system components. Frequency stabilized lasers are currently used in atomic clocks. Next-generation magnetometers and inertial navigation sensors also need optical isolation of the laser sources. In any NASA application that requires frequency stabilized lasers, MOI devices can replace bulky optical isolators to reduce the volume by a factor of >100.
Metrology and inertial navigation are important in various military and civilian applications. Laboratory demonstrations already have shown that cold-atom systems are superior to any other technologies for navigation and timing applications. However, the biggest hurdle in transitioning this technology into field-deployable units is quite often the sheer volume and weight of the system. To take full advantage of the extraordinary performance of cold atom systems, miniaturization of individual components is necessary. Other than metrology and navigation, optical isolators also have significant commercial applications in diverse fields, such as optical telecommunication, magneto-optic imaging, and gas sensing.