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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Accelerometer for Space Applications Based on Light-Pulse Atom Interferometry

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

Accelerometer for Space Applications Based on Light-Pulse Atom Interferometry
We propose to design a compact, high-precision, single-axis accelerometer based on atom interferometry that is applicable to operation in space environments. Our design will emphasize reliable operation and minimization of the acceleration noise floor, bias drifts and scale factor instability. Laser system reliability will be a major consideration in the design. The sensor design will be capable of demonstration and testing on a low-dynamics platform under earth gravity. Phase I will result in block diagrams and detailed 3D CAD models of the sensor head, laser system and electronic control system. We will validate the sensor design by developing error models taking into account variations in environmental parameters. Space-based inertial sensors based on atom interferometry are a compelling technology for both technological and scientific applications because of the exceptionally high performance that can be enabled by long interrogation times with cold atoms in a microgravity environment. More »

Anticipated Benefits

Primary U.S. Work Locations and Key Partners

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This is a historic project that was completed before the creation of TechPort on October 1, 2012. Available data has been included. This record may contain less data than currently active projects.