To trace the location of a smartphone or a navigation device under any weather condition, Researchers of IIT Bombay from the Department of Electrical Engineering have created a chip named Dhruva. To locate the exact position of the device, Dhruva sends and receives radio signals to India’s NAVIC group of navigation satellites as well as the US Global Positioning System-based Satellites.
This chip is designed in such a way that it can receive multiple frequency bands and can handle weak signals. That is why it works in any weather condition. Professor Rajesh Zele says to create such a vast design; we face many challenges.
There are nine GPS satellites under NAVIC built to make the navigation system available for commercial use. Although India has many navigational satellites, it does not have a commercial receiver until now.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has funded the Dhruva Project, whereas the Society for Applied Microwave Electronics Engineering and Research (SAMEER) is the nodal agency. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has also helped to make this project successful.
The Students of IIT Bombay, Department of Electrical Engineering, designed Dhruva in just 18 months. Typically, the industry takes about nine months to develop a chip, but these students don’t have any background in designing any chip. They started from zero and designed the chip in 18 months.
Dhruva sends and receives the signal from NAVIC satellites that is 36,000 km above the earth’s surface. Now, sending and receiving a signal from such a high location is a remarkably challenging task. Also, while coming to the earth’s surface, the signal interfered with many noises. However, Dhruva can clean all public noise. After the signal received on the earth’s surface, the Analog to Digital converter present on the chip converts the Analog signal into Digital Signal.