Autonomous Positioning, Navigation and Timing

O. Boyraz and B.Jalali
University of California, Irvine, California, United States

Poster stand number: T141

Keywords: Navigation, Ranging, Lidar, Timing, Positioning

Existing laser-based ranging techniques either employ pulsed time of flight measurements or frequency sweeping techniques. The speed of electronics and signal distortions limit the first approach's range accuracy and maximum measurable distance. The second approach is limited by the coherence length, stability of the source laser, and linearity and repeatability of the frequency sweeping. None of these techniques offer timing distribution and one directional localization, where a user identifies its position without using atomic clocks. We provide a new technology that uses low-cost laser sources without active stabilization or sweeping and phase-locked RF signals to modulate a transmit light and utilize relativistic phase changes between different RF sidebands to capture range information at distances far beyond the coherence length of lasers. Also, a remote receiver identifies its relative position and velocity based on the relativistic phase changes within a signal transmitted by a known transmitter allowing the same technology suitable for time distribution and autonomous navigation. The concept has been proven by ranging at distances 500x longer than the coherence length of a laser and localization at 1.8km with