We report the first operation of a cold atom inertial sensor without dead time. Dead times in conventional cold atom interferometers originate from the preparation of a cold atom source prior to its injection in the interferometer and where information on inertial signals is lost. We use a sequence where we simultaneously prepare a cold atom source and operate a light pulse atom interferometer to circumvent the dead time limitation. Therefore the sensor continuously captures all the dynamics with respect to an inertial frame. We show that the continuous operation does not degrade the sensitivity and stability of the atom interferometer, by demonstrating a rotation sensitivity level of less than 1 nrad/s after 10 000 s of integration time. Such a sensitivity level improves previous results by more than an order of magnitude and opens applications of cold atom gyroscopes in inertial navigation and geophysics.
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