Comment from eLoran Technologies staff: The specification for the backup device reads like a specification that may be written for the integrated eLoran/GPS device for the commercial, industrial civil user communities. The parallel is striking. eLoran is currently not in the cards, but DOD may be wise to rethink eLoran for its toolbox.
Published in GPS World
April 16, 2012
DARPA is discussing its need for a new sensor to enable military missions in GPS-denied areas. DARPA Program Manager Andre Shkel, who posted the article to the GPS World Facebook Wall, also wrote an article for GPS World in September 2011, Microtechnology Comes of Age.
Many U.S. military systems, such as missiles, rely on GPS to provide accurate position, orientation and time information while in flight. When GPS is inaccessible, whether as a result of a malfunction or as a consequence of enemy action, information critical for navigation must be gathered using the missile’s on-board sensors.
DARPA’s Chip-Scale Combinatorial Atomic Navigator (C-SCAN) effort seeks an atomic inertial sensor to measure orientation in GPS-denied environments. Such a sensor would integrate small size, low power consumption, high resolution of motion detection, and a fast start-up time into a single package.
“Platforms such as missiles rely on GPS for a variety of information,” Shkel explained. “When GPS is not available gyroscopes provide orientation, accelerometers provide position and oscillators provide timing. The new C-SCAN effort focuses on replacing bulky gyroscopes with a new inertial measurement unit (IMU) that is smaller, less expensive due to foundry fabrication and yields better performance.”
The inertial measurement unit sought by C-SCAN will co-integrate both solid state and atomic inertial sensors into a single microsystem. This new IMU would benefit from devices with dissimilar physics, yet complementary characteristics: short startup times, and long-term, stable performance.