NASA SBIR 2018-I Solicitation

Proposal Summary

 18-1- S3.04-7622
 Guidance, Navigation and Control
 Chip-Scale Active Fast Light Gyroscope and Accelerometer using Integrated Photonic Technology
SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Digital Optics Technologies, Inc.
1645 Hicks Road, Suite H
Rolling Meadows , IL 60008-1227
(847) 358-2592

Principal Investigator (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Nicholas Condon
1645 Hicks Road, Suite R Rolling Meadows, IL 60008 - 1227
(847) 358-2592

Business Official (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Nicholas Condon
1645 Hicks Road, Suite R Rolling Meadows, IL 60008 - 1227
(847) 358-2592
Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) :
Begin: 4
End: 5
Technical Abstract

The fast-light effect in a cavity, in the active or passive mode, has emerged as an important mechanism for enhancing the sensitivity of many devices.  Recently, we have been investigating the development of gyroscopes and accelerometers using the active mode, in which the cavity is a Fast-Light Ring Laser (FLRL).  Specifically, we have demonstrated, on a table-top, a pair of counter-propagating FLRL’s, with one of the cavity mirrors mounted on a metallic diaphragm,  thus realizing an Active Fast Light Gyroscope and Accelerometer (AFLOGA).  In this system, the anomalously dispersive gain is produced by a pair of Rb vapor cells, each containing two isotopes of Rb.  We have seen an enhancement in sensitivity by a factor of nearly three orders of magnitude.  In order to increase the sensitivity further, and demonstrate the corresponding improvements in the minimum measurable rates of rotation or acceleration, it is necessary to achieve quantum noise limited operation, by enhancing the robustness of the system. To this end, we here propose to develop a miniature AFLOGA, using chip-scale components at Rb wavelengths of 780/795 nm.  The components include lasers, modulators, detectors, waveguides, and optical isolators, integrated on a single chip. GaAsP Quantum Wells (QWs) will enable the realization of the active photonic components. In sections for the passive components, the QWs would be disordered to minimize optical losses. A resonator containing two miniature vapor cells will be used as the cavity for the two FLRLs. The chip-mounted components will be interconnected with the cavity, as well as additional electronics on a printed circuit board. In Phase I, we will develop a detailed design of the chip-scale AFLOGA and demonstrate functionality of key components.  In Phase II, we will demonstrate operation of an AFLOGA with a million-fold improvement in precision, and then use copies thereof to demonstrate a three-axes Fast-Light Inertial Measurement Unit (FLIMU).

Potential NASA Applications

• Improved space vehicle positioning and navigation

• Space vehicle health monitoring

• Gravitational mapping of subsurface geologic features

• Gravity wave (which is different from gravitational wave) detection

• Ultra-precise pointing and platform stabilization for telescopes

• Tests of general relativity via measurement of gravitational frame dragging effect

Potential Non-NASA Applications

• Improved positioning and navigation of missiles

• Positioning and navigation for atmospheric and ground vehicles in GPS-denied environments

• Guidance of unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs)

• Guidance of smart ammunitions

• Vibration sensors for seismometry and nuclear non-proliferation

• Advanced laser beam pointing/steering systems

Form Generated on 05/25/2018 11:45:10