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  1. We present a performance analysis of compact monolithic optomechanical inertial sensors that describes their key fundamental limits and overall acceleration noise floor. Performance simulations for low-frequency gravity-sensitive inertial sensors show attainable acceleration noise floors on the order of1×<#comment/>10−<#comment/>11m/s2Hz. Furthermore, from our performance models, we devised an optimization approach for our sensor designs, sensitivity, and bandwidth trade space. We conducted characterization measurements of these compact mechanical resonators, demonstratingmQ-products at levels of 250 kg, which highlight their exquisite acceleration sensitivity.

     
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  2. We have developed an inertially sensitive optomechanical laser by combining a vertical-external-cavity surface-emitting laser (VECSEL) with a monolithic fused silica resonator. By placing the external cavity mirror of the VECSEL onto the optomechanical resonator test mass, we create a sensor where external accelerations are directly transcribed onto the lasing frequency. We developed a proof-of-principle laboratory prototype and observe test mass oscillations at the resonance frequency of the sensor through the VECSEL lasing frequency,4.18±<#comment/>0.03Hz. In addition, we set up an ancillary heterodyne interferometer to track the motion of the mechanical oscillator’s test mass, observing a resonance of4.194±<#comment/>0.004Hz. The interferometer measurements validate the VECSEL results, confirming the feasibility of using optomechanical lasers for inertial sensing.

     
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