Scientists at Sandia National Laboratories California have developed a camera for future navigation systems that no longer uses GPS satellites.

“The avocado-sized vacuum chamber is the first navigation device of its kind: energy efficient, small, but reliable. One day, perhaps it will usher in a new era of navigation, ”said one of the creators, Peter Schwindt.

The quantum sensing that lies at the heart of the instrument can work without a powerful vacuum system. This allows the size of the camera to be reduced to a practical size without loss of quality. To prevent contamination of the internal parts of the device, its surface is made of sapphire and titanium. As conceived by the inventors, the camera should work effectively for many years.

Countless devices around the world use GPS to find their way. “But GPS signals can be jammed or tampered with, which could disable navigation systems on both commercial and military vehicles,” Schwindt said.

Therefore, instead of relying on satellites, according to scientists, future vehicles should track their location themselves.

The Sandia National Laboratories team continues to test the new device. Their goal is to keep it airtight and functional for five years. Separately, they are studying ways to optimize production.