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High data-rate atom interferometers through high recapture efficiency

United States Patent

January 27, 2015
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Sandia National Laboratories - Visit the Intellectual Property Management and Licensing Website
An inertial sensing system includes a magneto-optical trap (MOT) that traps atoms within a specified trapping region. The system also includes a cooling laser that cools the trapped atoms so that the atoms remain within the specified region for a specified amount of time. The system further includes a light-pulse atom interferometer (LPAI) that performs an interferometric interrogation of the atoms to determine phase changes in the atoms. The system includes a controller that controls the timing of MOT and cooling laser operations, and controls the timing of interferometric operations to substantially recapture the atoms in the specified trapping region. The system includes a processor that determines the amount inertial movement of the inertial sensing system based on the determined phase changes in the atoms. Also, a method of inertial sensing using this inertial sensing system includes recapture of atoms within the MOT following interferometric interrogation by the LPAI.
Biedermann; Grant (Albuquerque, NM), Rakholia; Akash Vrijal (Albuquerque, NM), McGuinness; Hayden (Albuquerque, NM)
Sandia Corporation (Albequerque, NM)
13/ 592,029
August 22, 2012
This invention was developed under Contract DE-AC04-94AL85000 between Sandia Corporation and the U.S. Department of Energy. The U.S. Government has certain rights in this invention.