New optical fiber has improved gyroscopes

Researchers have taken an important step in improving the performance of resonator fiber optic

gyroscope - devices that sense rotation using only light. Gyroscopes are the backbone of most navigation systems, new work could improve these devices.

In the Optical Society, researchers fromHoneywell and the University of Southampton Optoelectronics Research Center in the UK described how they used a new type of optical fiber to overcome several factors that limited the capabilities of previous resonant fiber gyroscopes. This allowed them to increase the stability of the devices up to 500 times.

“High-performance gyroscopes are usedfor navigation in many types of air, land, sea and space transport. While our gyroscope is still in its early stages of development, if it reaches its full operational capability, it will be among the next generation of guidance and navigation devices that will not only push the boundaries of accuracy, but also do so in a smaller and lighter weight. "

Glen A. Sanders, Head of Research Group

Honeywell has been around for several yearsdevelops resonant fiber optic gyroscope technology as it is capable of providing highly accurate navigation in a smaller instrument. However, scientists have been trying for several years to develop an optical fiber that can handle even modest levels of laser power on ultra-thin laser lines without causing nonlinear effects that degrade sensor performance.

“In 2006, we proposed using a hollowcore for resonator fiber optic gyroscope. Since these fibers confine light in a void filled with air or gas, sensors based on them do not suffer from the nonlinear effects that can appear in sensors based on solid fibers, ”the scientists noted.

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