China has planned to launch an X-ray pulsar navigation satellite 'XPNAV-1'in November in order to test autonomous spacecraft navigation, the country's Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) Fifth Academy said on Friday. X-ray pulsar navigation is a navigation tool or in other word a technique in which periodic X-ray signals emitted from pulsars are used to determine the location of a spacecraft in deep space, said Shuai Ping, chief system designer of the satellite.
The satellite (XPNAV-1) is developed by CASC Fifth Academy. X-ray pulsar navigation, weighs more than 200 kilograms and carries two detectors, state run Xinhua news agency reported. In its X-ray pulsar navigation satellite mission, it will test the detectors' functions in responding to the background noise of the universe, outline pulsar contours, and create a database for pulsar navigation, the academy said.
X-ray pulsar navigation techniques will help to reduce the reliance of spacecraft on ground-based navigation methods and are expected to achieve autonomous spacecraft navigation in the future, it said.
With PTI Inputs