NASA experienced a galactic GPS
NASA has successfully tested a navigation system that uses x-ray signals of pulsars. This was reported on the website space Agency.
The experiment was carried out using the apparatus NICER (Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer) installed on the ISS. Device for two days in November 2017, followed by four pulsars, based on the signals determined at what point of the orbit is the space station.
The obtained coordinates are compared with information from the GPS, it turned out that NICER was calculating the position of the ISS within a radius of 16 kilometers. This result was maintained throughout the experiment.
As noted in the press release, NASA, the GPS system determines location to within a few meters, but for space where distance is measured in millions of kilometers, such accuracy is not required. The Agency hopes to achieve precision NICER in “hundreds of meters”.
Pulsars — rotating neutron star with strong magnetic field, sources of radio and x-ray radiation. The signal of a pulsar come on the Earth in the form of periodically repeating pulses.