We report what we believe to be the first demonstration of a laser-driven fiber optic gyroscope (FOG) built with an air-core fiber. Its phase noise is measured to be . When the sensing fiber is replaced with a conventional fiber, this figure drops to . Comparison between these values suggests that the air-core fiber gyro is most likely not limited solely by backscattering noise but by reflections at the solid-core/air-core interface. By minimizing additional noise sources and reducing the air-core fiber loss to its theoretical limit , we predict that the backscattering noise of the laser-driven air-core FOG will drop below the level of current FOGs. Compared with commercial FOGs, this FOG will exhibit a lower noise, improved thermal and mean-wavelength stability, and reduced magnetic-field sensitivity.
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