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Modélisation du fonctionnement d’un gyrolaser He-Ne de très haute précision

Abstract : Ring laser gyros (RLG) are inertial sensors whose reliability and accuracy have been recognised since the mid-1980s. Their high sensitivity enables them to measure angular velocity with an accuracy of 10⁻³ °/ h in aeronautics. However, because of a complex functioning based on a rich and varied physics, their performances are highly dependent on the working conditions and on any modification in the manufacturing process. In this case, a numerical modelling is pertinent since it allows both a clear understanding of the ring laser physics and parametric studies which are not experimentally feasible. The global modelling of a He-Ne RLG has been the main objective of the collaboration between Sagem (Safran group), which is one of the world leader in the inertial sensors field, and the Gas and Plasma Physics Laboratory (LPGP).This modelling is “multi-physics” since RLG physics involves several disciplines (plasma, atomic and laser physics). Therefore we have developed three models specifically adapted to each field. The first one describes the modelling of the positive column of the glow discharge following a fluid approach. This model allows a quantitative description of the plasma and gives access to fundamental quantities like the electron density or the electron energy distribution function. These quantities are the required inputs for the second model which treats the kinetics of the excited states inside the He-Ne plasma. For this, a collisional-radiative model in a radial geometry (1D-CRM) has been developed. The radial geometry is justified by the importance of the transport processes of atoms and radiations which can influence the radial profile of the population inversion. Notably, the radiative transfer by self-absorption of the resonant radiative transitions has been modelled by solving the Holstein-Biberman equation by a Monte-Carlo method. This aspect is a major component of this PhD work. Diffusion of excited atoms inside the plasma has also been taken into account by solving the diffusion equation with different boundary conditions at the capillary surface. From the populations and the kinetic rates computed by 1D-CRM, the laser amplification inside the cavity has been modelled using a two-level Maxwell-Bloch approach (NADIA) taking into account the inhomogeneous gain saturation, which means to consider the thermal speed of the atoms in the direction of propagation of the laser beams. The kinetics of NADIA has been optimized and transport processes in the phase space have also been implemented. This model has been used to study the performances of the RLG linked to the amplifying medium and to derive the physical parameters needed for the development of a simulator.Concerning this simulator, a simplified physical model from NADIA has been coupled to system modules in order to reproduce the operating signal of a RLG. This allows to conduct parametric studies on the quantities defining the RLG performance in particular the dynamic bias and the so-called “Random Walk”. We showed notably that the results of our simulator are in good agreement with experimental measurements in operating conditions. Moreover, our results show that this simulator is a powerful tool for analysing experimental data.
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Jean-Sébastien Macé. Modélisation du fonctionnement d’un gyrolaser He-Ne de très haute précision. Physique des plasmas [physics.plasm-ph]. Université Paris Sud - Paris XI, 2014. Français. ⟨NNT : 2014PA112160⟩. ⟨tel-01083310⟩

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