NASA SBIR 2011 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 11-1 S1.10-8477
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Atomic Interferometry
PROPOSAL TITLE: Accelerometer for Space Applications Based on Light-Pulse Atom Interferometry

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
AOSense, Inc.
767 N Mary Ave
Sunnyvale, CA 94085 - 2909
(408) 735-9500

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Adam Black
767 N Mary Ave
Sunnyvale, CA 94085 - 2909
(408) 735-9500 Extension :604

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 3

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
We propose to design a compact, high-precision, single-axis accelerometer based on atom interferometry that is applicable to operation in space environments. Our design will emphasize reliable operation and minimization of the acceleration noise floor, bias drifts and scale factor instability. Laser system reliability will be a major consideration in the design. The sensor design will be capable of demonstration and testing on a low-dynamics platform under earth gravity. Phase I will result in block diagrams and detailed 3D CAD models of the sensor head, laser system and electronic control system. We will validate the sensor design by developing error models taking into account variations in environmental parameters. Space-based inertial sensors based on atom interferometry are a compelling technology for both technological and scientific applications because of the exceptionally high performance that can be enabled by long interrogation times with cold atoms in a microgravity environment.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Inertial measurement units based on the proposed accelerometer technology will be applicable to space-based inertial navigation, including navigation around small bodies such as asteroids. Operating as a gravimeter, the proposed design can be used for Earth geoid measurement and gravity tomography of asteroids. An updated version capable of gravity gradiometry will be capable of gravity-compensation of inertial navigation systems, in addition to improved gravity mapping capabilities. The design serves as a demonstration of several technologies that are relevant for gravity wave detection. Extensions of the proposed design will ultimately enable gravity wave detection missions.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The design developed in Phase I will reach levels of acceleration sensitivity and low bias instability that are better than current state-of-the-art conventional absolute gravimeters based on free-fall measurements. Several commercial applications requiring earth-based gravimetry could therefore benefit from the sensor design. Seismic studies and geophysical exploration, including gravity mapping of prospective oil fields and mineral deposits, will benefit from the improved sensitivity of the Phase I design. Trades of sensor bandwidth versus sensitivity will enable the design to apply to inertial navigation on a variety of ground vehicle, sea-based and flying platforms.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.)
Inertial (see also Sensors)
Interferometric (see also Analysis)
Navigation & Guidance

Form Generated on 11-22-11 13:43