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Advanced Navigation to spearhead Australian photonic chip manufacture

Sydney-based Advanced Navigation has been awarded a $306,000 Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority grant by the Australian Department of Defence to advance the nation’s domestic manufacturing capability for photonic chips.

Currently, Australia does not have commercial manufacturing capability for photonic chips. Advanced Navigation is the first and only company to produce this technology in the country. The company plans to manufacture 45,000 photonic chips per year.

The technological breakthroughs enabled by photonic chips offer new opportunities for defence and commercial applications requiring always available, ultra-high accuracy, orientation and navigation, including subsea, marine, robotics, aerospace and space,” said Xavier Orr, CEO and co-founder of Advanced Navigation.

The award, one of several received by Advanced Navigation, further validates the earned trust between the Department and Advanced Navigation’s capability to deliver innovative solutions addressing the sector’s most critical and emerging needs, the company says

Advanced Navigation uses photonic chips in its Fibre-Optic Gyroscopes (FOG) Inertial Navigation Systems (INS). These systems are recognised by global defence forces as a critical capability for Assured Positioning, Navigation and Timing (A-PNT) across navy, army and air force to enable autonomous capability, accurate positioning and high value asset tracking.

Advanced Navigation is one of only four companies in the world to manufacture strategic-grade FOG components, and the only in the world to develop a completely digitial FOG (DFOG).

While FOG offers highly accurate position and navigation data, Advanced Navigation’s patented DFOG combines closed-loop FOG with digital modulation techniques and a revolutionary photonic chip to offer higher performance, delivering a 40 per cent reduction in size, weight, power and cost over comparable products, as seen in its Boreas range.

The Boreas X90 will be used by Australian satellite manufacturer Space Machines onboard its Orbital Servicing Vehicle, scheduled to be launched by the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in early 2024. The technology will be critical for the vehicle’s navigation and docking in orbit.

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