Abstract

We present a new model of the noise and drift induced by coherent backscattering in a fiber optic gyroscope (FOG) interrogated with a light source of arbitrary temporal coherence. This study is critical to understand whether a FOG driven with a laser instead of a broadband source can attain high sensitivity and stability, which would have the overwhelming benefit of improving the FOG scale factor stability by at least ten-fold and would enable the use of FOGs for inertial navigation of aircrafts. Analytical and numerical solutions bring to light two significant new predictions. First, coherent-backscattering noise can be made negligibly small by utilizing a laser with a very narrow linewidth (less than ~20 kHz), although in this regime the drift is high. Second, by using a laser with a broad linewidth (greater than ~10 MHz), both the noise and the drift are low enough for aircraft inertial navigation. The dependencies of the noise and drift on fiber loss, loop coupling coefficient, and backscattering coefficient are also presented to define the optimum mode of operation of this new class of FOGs.

© 2013 IEEE

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