The sensitivity of mobile atom interferometers for gravimetry, gradiometry and inertial sensing has been limited by a noise floor due to ground vibrations, as well as available free-fall space.
UC Berkeley researchers have developed an interferometer geometry that addresses both problems within an optical cavity. The utility of such a device lies primarily in its application as a mobile sensor, particularly for situations in the absence of a GPS signal (such as in deep-sea submarines, or in the event of a GPS system failure). Similarly, sensing using gravitational signals has wide applicability. The configuration of this device accumulates an acceleration phase sensitive to low-frequency accelerations (i.e., gravity) while demonstrating an immunity to accelerations at higher frequencies than the held times (i.e., vibrations).