An active laser gyro is a ring laser in which two
beams circulate independently in opposite sense. The gyroscopic response is
obtained by beating the two output beams corresponding to the
counter-circulating waves on a detector. A phase shift per round-trip on either
beam (Sagnac phase shift) causes a frequency shift of the cavity modes with
opposite sign for the two directions; the difference between the two is the
beat frequency that is measured. Active
laser gyros have been mainly limited to He-Ne lasers for the following reasons:
1) gain competition; which will always prefer one
of the two directions and require a specially prepared inhomogeneously
broadened medium, and
2) injection locking of one beam into the
oppositely circulating beam, which eliminates the gyro response for low angular
velocity (the so-called lock-in effect causing the dead band).
These restrictions make a low pressure gas medium
preferable. The primary manufacturers of laser gyros produce antiquated He-Ne
laser gyros that are bulky, expensive, and with vacuum discharge tubes
susceptible to leak. There is a present
market need for advancement in laser gyroscopes in order to overcome these
drawbacks and provide superior sensitivity.
Researchers at the University of New Mexico and
Lenzner Research, LLC have developed a system to enhance the phase response of
intracavity phase interferometers. Compared to He-Ne laser gyros, this proposed
gyro is considerably lighter, more sensitive, has no moving parts, is all solid
state, and has no dead band.
STC has filed intellectual property on this exciting new technology and
is currently exploring commercialization options. If you are interested
in information about this or other technologies, please contact Arlene
Mirabal at email@example.com or 505-272-7886.