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.

Navigation Application

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
  • ICBMs
  • 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.

Navigation Application

Optical Celestial Navigation

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.