Abstract

We present an analytical model of the drift in the resonant fiber optic gyroscope (RFOG) caused by thermally induced changes in the fiber beat length ${\rm L_{B}(T)}$ and find that the relevant metric for thermal-drift performance is not ${\rm dL_{B}/dT}$ but rather ${\rm(1/L_{B}^{2})dL_{B}/dT}$ . This disfavors conventional solid-core PM fibers for which ${\rm L_{B}}$ is very short and ${\rm dL_{B}/dT}$ is large. Because the air core of hollow-core fibers does not support the strains associated with differential thermal expansion in conventional PM fibers, the birefringence of hollow-core fibers should be more thermally stable than conventional fibers with a correspondingly smaller ${\rm (1/L_{B}^{2})dL_{B}/dT}$ . To identify the relative merits of different types of fibers in the RFOG, we measure ${\rm (1/L_{B}^{2})dL_{B}/dT}$ for a variety of air-core and solid-core fibers by recording the shift in the resonance frequencies of an all-fiber ring resonator when its temperature is changed. We find that the PM air-core fiber offers a 270-fold improvement in ${\rm (1/L_{B}^{2})dL_{B}/dT}$ coefficient compared to a Panda fiber.

© 2014 IEEE

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