Optical Celestial Navigation
Celestial navigation is a centuries-old method whereby angles between objects in the sky (celestial objects) and the horizon are used to locate one’s position on the globe. Celestial navigation in the past required a sextant, an almanac, and an accurate clock.
Optical Physics Company has been building a modern-day optical celestial navigation system (OCNS) using OPC’s interferometric star tracker which is far more accurate and reliable than a sextant. OCNS is a much-needed backup for current navigation and targeting instruments that rely heavily on GPS.
The main advantages of the OCNS are:
- OCNS can be used independently of ground aids and GPS.
- OCNS has global coverage – land and sea.
- OCNS cannot be jammed.
- OCNS is passive and does not give off any signals that could be detected by an enemy.
Current airborne platforms rely on double- or triple-redundant INS/GPS (inertial navigation system/global positioning system) devices for navigation as well as tracking and targeting.
If GPS becomes unavailable for any reason, the INS component of INS/GPS systems accumulates errors that degrade the accuracy of the system output. The longer the GPS signals are not available, the worse the error gets.
Celestial navigation is a much-needed backup for current navigation and targeting instruments that rely heavily on GPS.
Several platforms that are candidates for this technology are:
- Fighter aircraft
- Ground attack aircraft
- Next generation bomber
- Tier II and Tier II+ UAVs
- Airborne early warning and control aircraft
- Cruise missiles
- Designators for laser guided weapons
OCNS operates best above weather and clouds although partial obscuration is acceptable. Please contact us for more information by email.