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DARPA eyes inertial navigation technology for GPS-denied environments

BEDFORD, Mass., 15 May 2009. InterSense Inc. in Bedford, Mass., is developing a prototype micro-navigation system based on advanced dead reckoning navigation and guidance technology, under terms of a contract from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in Arlington, Va.

The goal is to produce a tracking system for military navigation and related commercial applications that provides accurate positioning information even when information from a GPS sensor is unavailable.

DARPA's development contract is in collaboration with Case Western Reserve University, and involves the DARPA Micro Inertial Navigation Technology (MINT) project.

By combining InterSense's inertial measurement technology with a high-resolution, error-correction ground reaction sensor cluster being developed by Case Western Reserve, the NavShoe-based micro-inertial navigation system is projected to achieve positioning accuracy of less than 1 percent of distance traveled in either indoor or outdoor terrain. In contrast, current dead reckoning sensors produce accuracy measurements between 2 and 5 percent of distance traveled.

MINT project standards specify the use of micro- and nano-scale, low-power navigation sensors that are small enough to be placed on a boot where zero velocity measurements can be detected with high accuracy. InterSense's proof-of-concept NavShoe technology will provide the central functionality to meet this objective.

"NavShoe is a breakthrough in precision motion tracking technology," says T.C. Browne, chief executive officer of InterSense Inc. "There is a great need in military and civilian arenas for tracking and navigation applications that can benefit from the precision, accuracy and convenience of NavShoe. We are pleased to work with the Case Western Reserve team to bring this technology to fruition for the benefit of DARPA, and for the success of future military operations and other life-saving missions."

For more information contact InterSense online at

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