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Proceedings Paper

Fibre Optic Gyroscope Developments Using Integrated Optic Components
Author(s): W. J. Minford; R. M. DePaula
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Paper Abstract

The sensing of rotation using counterpropagating optical beams in a fiber loop (the SAGNAC effect) has gone through extensive developments and demonstrations since first proved feasible by Vali and Shorthilll in 1976. The interferometric fiber gyroscope minimum configuration2 which uses a common input-output port and single-mode filter was developed to provide the extreme high stability necessary to reach the sensitivities at low rotation rates attainable with current state-of-the-art detectors. The simplicity and performance of this configuration has led to its acceptance and wide-spread use. In order to increase the mechanical stability of this system, all single-mode fiber components are employed and a further advancement to integrated optics has enabled most of the optical functions to be placed on a single mass-producible substrate. Recent improvements in the components (eg polarization maintaining fiber and low coherence sources) have further enhanced the performance of the minimum configuration gyro. This presentation focused on the impact of LiNbO3 integrated optic components on gyroscope developments. The use of Ti-indiffused LiNbO3 waveguide optical circuits in interferometric fiber optic gyroscopes has taken two directions: to utilize only the phase modulator, or to combine many of the minimum configuration optical functions on the electro-optic substrate. The high-bandwidth phase modulator is the driving force for using LiNbO3 waveguide devices. This device allows both biasing the gyro for maximum sensitivity and closing the loop via frequency shifting, for example, thus increasing the dynamic range of the gyro and the linearity of the scale factor. Efforts to implement most of the minimum configuration optical functions onto a single LiNbO3 substrate have been led by Thomson CSF.3 They have demonstrated an interferometric gyroscope with excellent performance using a LiNbO3 optical circuit containing a Y-splitter, phase modulator, and surface-resonant polarizer. JPL and AT&T-BL have an effort, under a NASA contract, to investigate other integrated optic gyro front-end circuits with the eventual goal of combining all minimum configuration functions on a single substrate. The performance of a gyroscope with a LiNbO3 polarizer, 3dB splitter, and phase modulator was discussed along with the waveguide device characteristics. The key advantages, future trends, and present issues involved with using LiNbO3 waveguide devices in a gyroscope were addressed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 September 1988
PDF: 1 pages
Proc. SPIE 0949, Fibre Optics '88, (21 September 1988); doi: 10.1117/12.947536
Show Author Affiliations
W. J. Minford, AT&T Bell Laboratories (United States)
R. M. DePaula, Jet Propulsion Laboratory (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0949:
Fibre Optics '88
Lionel R. Baker, Editor(s)

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