Fiber optic gyroscope technology

A.D. Kersey, A. Dandridge, and W.K. Burns

For over a decade, optical fiber-based interferometric techniques have been investigated for use in rotation sensing. Research began in the mid-1970s when the pioneering work of Vali and Shorthill demonstrated for the first time the application of fiber optics for rotation sensing. This research effort, spawned in a number of laboratories worldwide, was instrumental in bringing about significant advances in a number of component-related areas, especially in polarization maintaining (PM) fiber, PM fiber couplers, fiber polarizers, and sources. The performance of fiber optic gyroscopes improved over the years, with significant progress linked to a number of important developments, such as identification of the need for reciprocity and introduction of the super luminescent diode (SLD), which led to dramatic improvements due to the practical elimination of Rayleigh backscatter noise and drift due to the Kerr effect.

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