Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Meir Pachter, PhD.


High precision Cold Atom Interferometers (CAI) are in development to supplement or replace conventional, navigation quality inertial measurement units. A major drawback of the atomic interferometers is their low duty cycle and sampling rate, caused by delays required for cooling the atoms and collecting acceleration and angular rate measurements. A method is herein developed for inertial navigation by integrating highly accurate, low duty cycle CAI measurements with high bandwidth, conventional Inertial Navigation System (INS) measurements. A xed-lag smoothing algorithm is used to estimate optimal acceleration and angular rate measurements from the CAI and INS data. Given current CAI limitations, simulation results demonstrate nearly 50 percent error reduction for the enhanced INS compared to a conventional, unaided INS. When the conventional INS position error was increased by 500 (m/hr), the 50 percent error reduction from aiding was maintained. Increasing the conventional INS data rate fifteen-fold while maintaining a 1 Hz CAI sample rate leads to an approximately 6 percent increase in navigation error, suggesting that the CAI- aiding algorithm effectivity is only slightly influenced by the conventional INS data rates. A five-fold increase of the CAI measurement rate shows approximately 80 percent reduction in navigation error, supporting the potential for significant performance gains in the near future from advancements in cold atom technology.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number