A gyroscope is an angular velocity sensor that has been used for navigation purposes for around 80 years. After the invention of the laser, optical gyros completely replaced the traditional rotor based mechanical angular velocity sensors. However, existing optical gyros are still not compatible (in terms of size, weight and power consumption) with modern applications such as drones and cube satellites etc. Therefore, miniaturized, low cost, lower power consumption and highly reliable optical gyros are desired. As a result, research aiming to fabricate chip based optical gyroscopes are attracting attention and integrated optics is an approach that would provide a desired product with moderate performance.
This presentation will introduce optical gyros, their performance limiting factors as well as a detailed comparative study of different optical gyroscopes in order to find out the optimum type and structure which provides moderate performance and is suitable for planar integration. Different gyro components such as 3 dB coupler, phase modulator and sensing cavity (resonator or waveguide loop) have also been theoretically optimized and will be discussed. Lastly, the progress on the fabrication of low loss Si3N4, Ta2O5 and Ge:SiO2 waveguides will be reported along with the challenges faced during that process. These waveguides can be used for the fabrication of above-mentioned gyro components.
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