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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: J. H. Eberly
  • Vol. 7, Iss. 8 — Oct. 9, 2000
  • pp: 285–291

Multi-turn all-reflective optical gyroscope

Spencer T. Cole, Richard L. Fork, David J. Lamb, and Patrick J. Reardon  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 7, Issue 8, pp. 285-291 (2000)

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We use calculation and simulation to characterize an all-reflective monolithic gyroscopic structure that supports 3 sets of orthogonal, spatially dense and continuous helical optical paths. This gyroscope differs from current fiber optic and ring laser gyroscopes primarily in the free space multi-turn nature of the optical path. The design also creates opportunities for introducing gain while minimizing spontaneous emission noise from those gain regions. The achievable angular measurement precision for each axis, given ideal components and no gain, is calculated to be ~0.001°/hr for a structure of ~6.5 cm diameter, ~1 watt average optical power, and a wavelength of 0.5 µm. For fixed power, the uncertainty scales as the reciprocal cube of the diameter of the structure. While the fabrication and implementation requirements are challenging, the needed reflectivities and optical surface quality have been demonstrated in more conventional optics. In particular, the low mass, compact character, and all reflective optics offer advantages for applications in space.

© Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(120.4570) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Optical design of instruments
(130.6010) Integrated optics : Sensors

ToC Category:
Research Papers

Original Manuscript: August 31, 2000
Published: October 9, 2000

Spencer Cole, Richard L. Fork, David Lamb, and Patrick Reardon, "Multi-turn all-reflective optical gyroscope," Opt. Express 7, 285-291 (2000)

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