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.