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SBIR/STTR

Compact Optical Inertial Tracking for Launch Vehicles, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Compact Optical Inertial Tracking for Launch Vehicles, Phase I
We propose a method for developing a miniature all-optical Inertial Navigation System. In an optical INS, the rotation sensitivity depends on the area enclosed by a circular optical path, so it is impossible to significantly reduce the size of a standard fiber optic gyroscope or ring laser gyroscope without sacrificing sensitivity. However, using the phenomenon of fast last, which we will produce through Stimulated Brillouin Scattering in a fiber, the sensitivity of a ring laser gyro of a given size can be enhanced by up to 106. We will use a fiber-based, fast-light enhanced ring laser gyroscope to maintain the sensitivity of existing optical gyroscopes while greatly reducing the physical size of the sensing element. Combined with photonic integrated circuit technologies and standard optical accelerometers, the entire INS package can be greatly reduced in size, weight, and power, resulting in a rugged, compact, high sensitivity INS ideal for launch vehicles and spacecraft. More »

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