NASA SBIR 2011 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 11-1 S1.10-9683
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Atomic Interferometry
PROPOSAL TITLE: High-Flux Ultracold-Atom Chip Interferometers

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
ColdQuanta, Inc.
1600 Range St. Suite 103
Boulder, CO 80301 - 2739
(303) 440-1284

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Daniel Farkas
1600 Range St. Suite 103
Boulder, CO 80301 - 2739
(303) 440-1284

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 3

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
ColdQuanta's ultimate objective is to produce a compact, turnkey, ultracold-atom system specifically designed for performing interferometry with Bose-Einstein condensates. To produce ultracold-atom-based devices (e.g. inertial sensors, magnetometers, clocks, etc.) that can compete with existing technologies, higher fluxes and/or faster production rates will be needed over current state-of-the-art techniques.

In this Phase I work effort, ColdQuanta will address this need for greater fluxes by investigating two approaches toward developing high-flux compact BEC-producing systems. The first approach targets systems that utilize ColdQuanta's RuBECi vacuum cell and its proven success at the heart of the world's smallest, fastest-producing, ultracold atom systems. Using numerical optimization, we will improve the speed and efficiency (i.e. reduce atom loss) of several key production steps, including faster trap loading from a cold-atom source and more efficient atom transfer between magnetic traps.

In the second, higher payoff approach, we will investigate implementation of assembly-line production of BECs using vacuum cell construction that allows each stage of production to occur simultaneously throughout a series of interconnected vacuum chambers. The resulting system would create ultracold atoms quasi-continuously and increase production rates by virtually eliminating dead time between sequential operating cycles.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The ultracold matter system developed in this work has the potential to dramatically enhance NASA's capabilities in numerous areas. These include:

Inertial Sensing – compared to their light-based counterparts (e.g. fiber-optic and ring-laser gyros), ultracold-atom gyroscopes offer a phenomenal eleven orders of magnitude greater sensitivity to rotation, for equal geometries and particle fluxes. Similar improvements in accelerometry and gravimetry are also possible.

Timekeeping – freezing the motion of atoms significantly improves accuracy, so much so that the next generation of state-of-the-art atomic clocks (with accuracies approaching 1 part in 1018) will rely on ultracold trapped atoms.

Field Sensing – cold and ultracold atoms offer greater sensitivities for magnetic-field sensing compared to SQUIDs and other technologies.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
In addition to applications relevant to NASA, the ultracold matter system developed in this work has other commercial applications. These include:

Quantum Emulating – trapped, ultracold atoms form a pristine, defect-free system that is ideal for studying condensed matter systems, simulating multibody quantum systems, and implementing quantum computers and quantum information algorithms.

Atomtronics – Precise control of ultracold atoms allows them to be engineered into useful devices that rely on the flow of coherent particles (as opposed to incoherent particles, as is the case in electricity).

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.)
Inertial (see also Sensors)
Interferometric (see also Analysis)
Navigation & Guidance
Positioning (Attitude Determination, Location X-Y-Z)

Form Generated on 11-22-11 13:43