13 April 2023
In a development that could revolutionize satellite-based Navigation in India and abroad, Elena Geo Systems, a Bengaluru-based space technology company today unveiled a chip that could form the core of the Navigation, Positioning and Timing applications in India. The chip works using Navigation with Indian Constellation (NavIC) or the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) satellites. Elena Geo Systems founder, Lt Col V S Velan handed over the chip to the Chief of Defence Staff General Anil Chauhan in the august presence of Dr. Samir V Kamat, Chairman, Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari.
The chip has many cores that service the requirements of signal acquisition, regeneration, processing and the output interface and hence it is has been named as the NavIC processor. This will enable high precision and accuracy for all the three types of application applications such as navigation, positioning and timing, providing India much needed Atma Nirbharata (self-reliance) in this domain. The company has been pursuing advance technologies to manufacture these chips and modules; some of which have been supplied to the Indian Army and some private entities
Elena Geo Systems, was incubated at IIT-Kharagpur in 2012 and is now a member of the Delhi-based Indian Space Association.
Elena Geo Systems Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Lt Col V S Velan, said, “We are thrilled to present India’s first fully designed and developed NavIC chip. As India moves ahead with its space policy, we feel this is an opportune time to use a truly Indian product. The processor will give India a huge edge as both the government and private sector can move away from their dependence on the American Global Positioning System (GPS). Elena is in the process of patenting the technology and the product which has been developed by our dedicated R&D team”.
The multi-frequency and multi-constellation GNSS chip / processor, developed specifically for NavIC, is compact and easy to integrate into any GNSS circuit and provides continuous coverage and high accuracy reception to the user. Based on a special algorithm for use across India and neighboring areas/countries, the Elena’s chip conforms to the requirements laid down by ISRO for IRNSS/NavIC signal reception. Besides, the military grade chip / processor can be used in a wide array of applications on land, air and water. For the defence forces, the chip can used in handheld devices, for operational logistics, in ships, submarines, radars and drones and artillery weapons and weapons platforms.
Elena also put on display its NavIC Atomic Clock that provides high precision and stable time reference to users. The NavIC system uses ISRO-maintained highly accurate atomic clocks at its Bengaluru navigation center, the reference for these clocks is taken to synchronize the atomic clocks on NavIC satellites and the time information from these clocks is transmitted for use in timing and synchronizing circuits. Since NavIC signals are stable and continuous, Elena’s clock can be used for most indoor applications also.
At a time when many commonly used communication services have become fully dependent on accurate tracking information, the Elena chip can be used for intelligent tracking of public works, ambulance services, mining, transport corporations, warehousing, public health, civil supplies and fishing management among others.
Elena demonstrated its first processor in April 2019, which could receive and process signals of NavIC S-band, L5 band, GAGAN, GPS and GLONASS (Russian). In the last two years, Elena successfully demonstrated its capability across devices and applications for reference stations, DSM map display system with IRNSS for the Army, map display system for patrol boats, marine NavIC receivers, intelligent vehicle tracking devices, NavIC drone navigation units and NavIC-based atomic clock.
The latest addition to Elena’s bouquet of devices is the NavIC chip/processor ELNCE1A made by using 12-nanometer technology.