It’s Not a Cable TV Channel

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency announced a new project called C-SCAN that seeks to develop a small-sized component that would help missiles and other military hardware accurately navigate in environments where the Global Positioning System signal is denied. The Chip-Scale Combinational Atomic Navigator is envisioned as an atomic inertial sensor to measure orientation when GPS isn’t available. “Platforms such as missiles rely on GPS for a variety of information,” explained Andrei Shkel, DARPA program manager. “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 that is smaller, less expensive due to foundry fabrication, and yields better performance.” Before C-SCAN is built, DARPA said more research is needed in areas like miniaturization. C-SCAN supports the agency’s Micro-Technology for Positioning, Navigation, and Timing program.