The Polariton Interferometer — A Novel Inertial Navigation System

Frederick Moxley
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA
The Polariton Interferometer

Chances are, you have been routed incorrectly by your Global Positioning System (GPS), but many of us would be lost without GPS navigation. GPS technology relies on a combination of signals from a complex satellite and ground station network. This is problematic in aerospace and defense, as GPS signal jamming is prevalent. Other technologies, such as Inertial Navigational Systems (INS), can operate independently from GPS satellites, but rely on GPS satellites to correct measurement errors. These errors are often due to limitations of an interferometer device within the system, known as a gyroscope.

“Winning this category in the 2014 Create the Future Design Contest asserts this disruptive technology as a leading design for the industrial and academic community. The worldwide recognition will assist in reaching investors. By obtaining the necessary funds and industrial partnerships as a result of this award, the Polariton Interferometer will be a key player in the global inertial sensor market, projected to reach $8.5 billion USD by 2018.”

By utilizing the quasiparticles known as exciton-polaritons, a new patent-pending gyroscopic device called the Polariton Interferometer provides measurement sensitivities far superior to optical technologies such as the ring laser gyroscope. The Polariton Interfero meter will enable aerospace and defense teams to maneuver while remaining immune to jamming, remove orientation vulnerability to inclement weather conditions, and provide a stealthy INS, as it cannot be detected by radar. Unlike the optical interferometer, the Polariton Interferometer’s measurement sensitivity is not proportional to the area it occupies. This enables a more sensitive device that occupies much less space than a bulky optical interferometer.

The performance capability of this new technology is independent of scale, and readily manufactured as a photonic integrated circuit, achieved on a microchip smaller than a dime.

For more information, visit http://contest.techbriefs.com/aerodef_winner 

Honorable Mentions

New Class of High L/D Multi-Rotor VTOL Aircraft
Gregory Heinen,
Tierra Global,
Lowell, MA
High L/D Multi-Rotor VTOL Aircraft

Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) aircraft do not scale well to viable manned systems and lack endurance for hover and cruise. A new class of vehicles has been developed that utilizes multi-rotors, but cruise on wings. A separate, proprietary winged version uses multi-rotors, a high L/D gyroscopic wing-disk, and outboard fans for forward thrust, but without negative pitch. A multi-rotor with wings counters negative pitch to cruise, and another with fixed wings trims in cruise flight. The vehicle attitude control system is a high-speed, high-loading blade pitch control mechanism.

For more information, visit http://contest.techbriefs.com/2014/entries/aerospace-and-defense/4603 

Intermittent Fault Detection & Isolation System (IFDIS)
Ken Anderson,
Universal Synaptics Corp.,
Roy, UT
IFDIS

The Intermittent Fault Detection & Isolation System™ (IFDIS™) detects and isolates intermittent faults in electronic wiring. Its initial adaptation was to detect and isolate the intermittent faults in the F-16 AN/APG-68 Radar System Modular Low Power Radio Frequency unit (MLPRF) chassis. IFDIS testing of over 400 MLPRF chassis during the first few years of operation yielded unprecedented results. Sixty percent of the MLPRF chassis had one or more intermittent faults, and many chassis had other wiring problems (opens, shorts, miss-wiring, etc.) that were also detected and isolated by IFDIS testing.

For more information, visit http://contest.techbriefs.com/IFDIS 

NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the November, 2014 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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