Research ArticlePHYSICS

Interleaved atom interferometry for high-sensitivity inertial measurements

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Science Advances  21 Dec 2018:
Vol. 4, no. 12, eaau7948
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aau7948


Cold-atom inertial sensors target several applications in navigation, geoscience, and tests of fundamental physics. Achieving high sampling rates and high inertial sensitivities, obtained with long interrogation times, represents a challenge for these applications. We report on the interleaved operation of a cold-atom gyroscope, where three atomic clouds are interrogated simultaneously in an atom interferometer featuring a sampling rate of 3.75 Hz and an interrogation time of 801 ms. Interleaving improves the inertial sensitivity by efficiently averaging vibration noise and allows us to perform dynamic rotation measurements in a so far unexplored range. We demonstrate a stability of 3 × 10−10 rad s−1 , which competes with the best stability levels obtained with fiber-optic gyroscopes. Our work validates interleaving as a key concept for future atom-interferometry sensors probing time-varying signals, as in on-board navigation and gravity gradiometry, searches for dark matter, or gravitational wave detection.

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