Electronics for Atom Interferometry
Cold atom research and supply companies mostly rely on standard discrete electronics requiring human intervention for most tasks. iSense will develop a SMD-based electronics platform with computer control, such that fully autonomous operation of cold atom experiments will be possible for the first time. High performance digital PID controllers will be developed, making use of advanced digital technologies like FPGAs, to control the frequency and power of the diode lasers to the level needed for the iSense cold atom gravity sensor. Also a compact precision radiofrequency reference source for application in interferometric atom sensors will be developed.
The overall objective is to demonstrate the iSense technology platform in a proof-of-principle instrument and to include all electronic modules needed to operate and control the lasers, magnetic field coils, and other components. The particular instrument chosen is an optical lattice based cold atom gravity sensor, which will bring together all aspects of the technology platform and all expertise generated. We will:
• Define subsystem parameters.
• Perform subsystem tests.
• Develop compact computer controlled electronic modules to operate the lasers, mag-
netic field coils, and other components of an integrated cold atom sensor.
• Develop high performance digital (PID) controllers.
• Develop compact frequency sources for atom interferometry.
• Integrate all modules into a computer based experiment control system.
|The image shows a stack of several modules with laser current drivers, shutter drivers, RF generators, computer interface and power supply.||The image shows a prototype of the digital frequency control module for controlling several diode lasers simultaneously.|
Research progress in the 1st year
The ongoing development of small electronics modules is on track. Several modules such as high-current power amplifier drivers, temperature controllers, a switching module and a housekeeping module have been finalised.