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Magnetic reference sensor for GPS-free navigation

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Contract: W912CG23C0019
Agency Tracking Number: D2-2771
Amount: $1,798,808.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: AF20A-T002
Solicitation Number: 20.A
Solicitation Year: 2020
Award Year: 2023
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2023-05-18
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2025-05-21
Small Business Information
300 Deer Creek Drive
Plainsboro, NJ 08536-1111
United States
DUNS: 794039441
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: Yes
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Thomas Kornack
 (609) 759-0859
Business Contact
 Thomas Kornack
Phone: (609) 759-0859
Research Institution

Navigation of aircraft using the crustal magnetic field variation of the earth is a novel and developing technique for use in GPS-denied environments. Location estimation is accomplished by matching the magnetic field measurements in flight to a specific track on a magnetic map of the globe. Atomic scalar magnetometers are ideally suited for use on aircraft because they are not sensitive to aircraft motion; they measure the total field instead of the vector projections. Quantum magnetometers employing alkali metals are also far more accurate than solid state devices such as fluxgates, nitrogen vacancy diamond, and magnetoresistive sensors. That accuracy can be used to improve the time to acquire a unique location and reduce the location uncertainty. This project develops the ideal sensor for magnetic navigation by combining a novel physical operating technique with rugged wafer-scale packaging. Crucially, the new sensor design operates well at all flight headings whereas previous sensors do not work when pointing in certain directions. The magnetometer will also target a small 1 cc size, making it easy to implement on platforms of all sizes.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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