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Project TitleActive Bidirectional Mode-Locked Laser for Accurate Measurements in Navigation System of Vehicles
Track Code2011-013
Short Description

Researchers at University of New Mexico have developed a novel mechanism to measure both absolute and relative attitude of a vehicle.

Abstract

Researchers at University of New Mexico have developed a novel mechanism to measure both absolute and relative attitude of a vehicle. This mechanism introduces an Intra-cavity Phase Interferometer (IPI) method using an active bidirectional mode-locked laser that provides both a measurement of all three attitude rotation vectors ("pitch", "yawn", and "row"), and a measurement of the vehicle's position relative to earth using information of its local magnetic field.

 
Tagsoptics, GNC systems, satellites
 
Posted DateJan 4, 2011

Researcher

Name
Alexandre Braga
Jean-Claude Diels
Ronald Kay

Manager

Name
Briana Wobbe

Background

In guidance, navigation and control systems, the attitude control of a vehicle depends on accurate measurements of its rotation vectors and its position relative to a frame of reference. To determine its precise location, a number of sophisticated, on-board, instruments are used, some designed for measurement of position (e.g. sun/horizon sensors, star trackers, orbital gyrocompasses) and some for inertial navigation (e.g. spinning mass, hemispherical resonators, and laser gyros). This later class of sensors is generally dominated by He-Ne and Fiber Optic Gyro (FOG) technology. These sensors are high power consuming, shock sensitive, low-efficient and expensive instruments, some of which utilize moving mechanical parts subject to wear offs and jam. Inertial systems that work based on He-Ne laser also suffer from nonlinearity and zero response at low rotation rate (DEAD BAND) and large size.

Technology Description

Researchers at University of New Mexico have developed a novel mechanism to measure both absolute and relative attitude of a vehicle. This mechanism introduces an Intra-cavity Phase Interferometer (IPI) method using an active bidirectional mode-locked laser that provides both a measurement of all three attitude rotation vectors (“pitch”, “yawn”, and “row”), and a measurement of the vehicle’s position relative to earth using information of its local magnetic field.

Advantages

  • Lightweight
  • Low power consumption
  • Absence of dead band and associated nonlinearity in the inertial response
  • High sensitivity inertial and position measurements using a single detection mechanism

Applications

  • Satellites and satellite navigation
  • Space crafts
  • Acceleration detection
  • Optical-based guidance
  • Guidance, navigation and control systems (GNC systems)
  • Attitude determination, Attitude Control, Attitude control systems (ACS),  Attitude control sensors
  • Space systems, Space vehicles
  • Navigation systems of space vehicles
  • Can be used in any kind of vehicle including automobiles, submarines, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and many others

INQUIRES

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 amirabal@stc.unm.edu or 505-272-7886.

Files

File Name Description
9,306,363 Issued Patent None Download

Intellectual Property

Patent Number Issue Date Type Country of Filing
9,306,363 Apr 5, 2016 Utility United States