A high-Q InP resonant angular velocity sensor for a monolithically integrated optical gyroscope

Caterina Ciminelli, Domenico D'Agostino, Giuseppe Carnicella, Francesco Dell'Olio, Donato Conteduca, Huub P.M.M. Ambrosius, Meint K. Smit, Mario N. Armenise

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The design, fabrication, and optical characterization of the sensing element of a photonic InP-based gyroscope intended for applications in the field of aerospace and defense are reported in this paper. The sensing element is a spiral resonator coupled to a straight bus waveguide through a multimode interference coupler and exhibits a Q factor of approximately 600000 with a footprint of approximately 10 mm2. The design of each component of the sensor is based on some well-established numerical methods such as the Finite Element Method, the beam propagation method, and the film mode matching method. The spiral cavity was designed using the standard transfer matrix method. The selected fabrication process, which is an enhanced version of the standard COBRA process, allows the monolithic integration of the sensing element with the other active components of the gyroscope, e.g., lasers, photodiodes, and modulators. Each component of the fabricated sensing element was optically characterized using an appropriate setup, which was also used for the optical characterization of the whole sensor. Based on the results of the characterization, the gyro performance was evaluated, and a way to improve both the resolution and the bias drift, i.e., down to 10 °/h and 1 °/h, respectively, was also clearly identified. The achieved results demonstrate, for the first time, the actual feasibility of a photonic gyro-on-chip through a well-established InP-based generic integration process.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7352311
Number of pages19
JournalIEEE Photonics Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2016


  • Generic integration process
  • Gyroscope
  • Integrated optics
  • Optical resonator
  • Photonic integrated circuit


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