KVH Develops Compact, Low-Cost Northfinding Module for Portable Applications

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A fiber optic gyro (FOG)-based northfinding module potentially much smaller and lighter than systems currently available is under development at KVH Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ:KVHI). "Current northfinders precisely determine azimuth based on expensive, [mechanical based] inertial measurement technology that usually cost $40,000 or more and weigh in excess of 12 lbs" explained Dan Conway, KVH's vice president for military/commercial business development. (More...)

The new FOG based module is expected to offer similar performance at lower cost and weight. Rapid, precise determination of 'True North' is critical for applications like indirect fire weapons such as mortars, far target location, or in situations where GPS measurements are unavailable, such as in a tunnel, deep forest, or urban canyon. KVH' is hopeful that its northfinding module will find new applications currently constrained by the inaccuracies of using magnetic compass measurements for determining azimuth, such as surveying.

KVH's FOG based module is developed under a $730,000 Phase II Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Defense. SBIR funding was instrumental for KVH's previous R&D financing for the past 20 years, yielding products such as digital compasses and fiber optic gyroscopes for navigation and pointing solutions.


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