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SBIR/STTR

Sensitivity enhanced fiber laser gyro, Phase I

Active Technology Project

Project Introduction

The essential elements that characterize the performance of a laser gyro are (a) a bidirectional ring laser, (b) a lightweight, efficient instrument (c) a high sensitivity to rotation and (d) a linear response without dead band. To address (c), substantial enhancement has been predicted through large intracavity dispersion; we have demonstrated this property in a mode-locked laser with intracavity Fabry-Perot etalon, yielding a decrease in response due to the fact that the Kramers-Kronig dispersion of the Fabry-Perot is positive. The objective of Phase I is to experimentally demonstrate an enhancement using a Gires-Tournois interferometer for dispersion control, in combination with demonstrating the absence of dead band (d) in a solid state laser. A key element is the realization that it is possible to engineer a mode-locked laser where the pulse envelope velocity is controlled by other parameters than the dispersion. This property will be exploited in Phase I by inserting in a ring mode-locked Ti:sapphire laser a Gires-Tournois and a Rubidium cell, to demonstrate simultaneously the enhancement of the gyro sensitivity, the use of a solid state gain medium in a gyro, and the absence of dead band. We will also prepare for Phase II, in which these results will be implemented in a mode-locked fiber laser gyro, to demonstrate the light and efficient instrument required for space applications. More »

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