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Electronic solar compass

Detection NorthOptical systemsOrientation systemsSolar compassSun electronic position

Introduction

Many applications require a high level of accuracy when determining a given direction or the orientation of an object in space, with respect to the North. ENEA has patented an electronic solar compass, compact and automatic, less complex but more precise than those currently existing, it is very compact, its building costs are reasonable, it is automatically operated, it allows quick detection.

Technical features

ENEA has patented an electronic solar compass, compact and automatic, less complex but more precise than those currently existing. It detects the sun position by means of an innovative optical system and uses the equations ruling its apparent motion thanks to a simple but accurate algorithm, which can be in operation anywhere on the Planet and provide the North-South direction with a precision of about 1/60 degree. Its operation mode is very simple. In practice, the device is laid horizontally while the GPS receives the time and place coordinates from satellites. The electro-optical sensor is oriented approximately in the sun’s direction, then the microprocessor processes the collected data and identifies the North-South direction. Obviously the sun must be visible even though for a few seconds, that is the time required for its position to be detected. Finally, the object to sight is aimed at and its direction with respect to the North-South appears on the display

Possible Applications

  • Topographical and archeological surveys;
  • Civil engineering;
  • 3D reconstruction of scenarios;
  • Alignment of photovoltaic and concentrating solar panel;
  • Installation of radars in airports;
  • Orientation of robots and automated machines.

Advantages

  • High level of accuracy of direction;
  • Compact sizes;
  • Reasonable building costs;
  • Automatically operated;
  • Quick detection;
  • Insensitive to any interferences.