EU-funded group to create effective satellite navigation sensors

EU-funded group to create effective satellite navigation sensors
EU-funded group to create effective satellite navigation sensors

A European Union-backed team revealed that it was developing sensors to improve satellite navigation and enable drones to fly farther and quicker.

A group supported by the European Union announced that it was working on sensors that would enhance satellite navigation and allow drones to fly farther and faster. To increase the effectiveness and affordability of space missions, the INPHOMIR project aims to develop two new ultra-low-power sensors: an optical gyroscope and a specialized lidar sensor. The initiative is funded by Horizon Europe, an EU funding program for research and innovation, and has an estimated cost of 5 million euros ($5.38 million).

Conditions that are difficult for satellite navigation sensors to operate in include low visibility, fog, and dust. Operators may have to pay millions of dollars in lost revenue due to significant trajectory and positioning abnormalities caused by even tiny measurement inaccuracies. Indium phosphide, a substance that has been shown to increase efficiency and decrease weight and size for photonic integrated circuits—microchips that utilize light to send and process information—is what the INPHOMIR project is using to manufacture its sensors.

The group claims that the technique may someday be used to power sensors in drones and self-driving automobiles. According to Daniele Palaferri, INPHOMIR project coordinator, “the advanced sensing technologies we are developing will hopefully enhance the accuracy of satellite positioning, improve navigation for interplanetary missions, and ensure the success of space exploration.” The number of satellites in orbit has increased dramatically due to the growing demand for satellite-based communication services, navigation, and data and image collection. This has made navigation more challenging.

Satellites attempting to remain in orbit are also threatened by debris, which includes broken satellites, leftover rocket stages, and other things.

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