Armed forces of the various countries, the transport organizations and sea vessels in most cases use navigation systems on the basis of the American System of Global Positioning (Global Positioning System, GPS). The GPS system allows to establish rather precisely location, using the specialized chip receiver of satellite signals and rather simple microprocessor that made satellite navigation available to any wishing now. But what will occur if suddenly GPS satellites fail or become inaccessible as a result of electronic attack of the opponent? Lack of GPS navigation loss of ability of expeditious explaining the ground it will cause some inconveniences for drivers on the road, but for military can be equivalent to defeat. Therefore a set of the scientific organizations including Management of perspective research programs of the Pentagon of DARPA, work over creation of the navigation systems, capable to work in an autonomous mode, without using any external signals.
Researchers from the Michigan university, DARPA working by request of management, achieved considerable successes in development of temporary and inertial navigation single-crystal system (timing & inertial measurement unit, TIMU) which contains all necessary for determination of location when signals of GPS system are temporarily inaccessible. The tiny single-crystal navigation system, which prototype it is shown in the above-stated picture, contains three gyroscopes, three accelerometers and the scheme of extremely exact hours.
All these devices, hours, gyroscopes and accelerometers, materials and engineering decisions were created earlier within DARPA under the name Micro-PNT (Micro-Technology for Positioning, Navigation and Timing), a main which objective of realization is development of various knots, technologies, production methods and new materials for creation of high-precision inertial navigation systems of new generation.
All three types of data which develop sensors of devices of the single-crystal navigation system, orientation in space, acceleration and time, provide very exact determination of location of the vehicle which has begun the movement from point with coordinates known in advance.
High level of miniaturization and integration of diverse devices within one chip will reach at the expense of use of the latest methods of production of elements of chips and innovative materials. In addition, all sensors of the navigation chip, including inertial sensors and a real time clock, are packed in three-dimensional space, occupying only 10 cubic millimeters of volume of the chip. Each of six layers of the chip has thickness about 50 microns that is approximately equal to thickness of a human hair, and each of these layers carries out the separate function which eventually ensure functioning of the inertial navigation system.
"The structure of layers of sensors and the general design uniting them are made of pure quartz" - Andrey Shkel (Andrei Shkel), the curator of the Micro-PNT program tells from Micro-PNT, - "Durability and low temperature coefficients of this material do it by an ideal material for association in a whole of such difficult devices. The navigation chip which has turned out at us has such small dimensions that it can be used not only as a part of ordinary navigation systems, but also for traffic control of rather small ammunition, shells and rockets, and even military tiny robots".