The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) is looking to develop an inventive atomic sensor system as an alternative to the Global Positioning System (GPS). The technology is meant to be used in missiles and other military platforms in situations of GPS unavailability. This way, the agency can eliminate total dependence on GPS to measure orientation, positioning and navigation of missiles in military missions.
The Chip-Scale Combinatorial Atomic Navigator (C-SCAN) project of the Defense Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is the technology that DoD research team intends to implement as an alternative to GPS. The C-SCAN sensor will help the agency measure orientation in situations that don’t allow GPS. Once implemented, C-SCAN project will work with the same perfection of GPS, DoD says.
As of now, missiles and other military technologies rely on multiple tools and technologies to gather the required information if there is no GPS. Multiple systems used are gyroscope, accelerometer and oscillator respectively for measuring orientation, positioning and timing. It has been quite difficult to depend on different technologies to measure the orientation.
The new S-SCAN technology will largely help the agency here. DARPA has developed it so as to replace the bulky tools with an inventive inertial measurement unit (IMU), which is smaller and inexpensive as well.
Moreover, according to DARPA’s program manager Andrei Shkel, the C-SCAN project can also perform better than the current GPS. The technology can easily address several challenges associated with the startup time, dynamic range, long-term drift, navigation, position, targeting and much more.