X-ray pulsar-based navigation - Station Explorer for X-ray Timin
The Station Explorer for X-ray Timing and Navigation Technology (SEXTANT) is a technology-demonstration enhancement to the Neutron-star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) mission. NICER is a NASA Explorer Mission of Opportunity that will be hosted on the International Space Station (ISS). SEXTANT will, for the first time, demonstrate real-time, on-board X-ray pulsar-based navigation (XNAV), a significant milestone in the quest to establish a GPS-like navigation capability available throughout our Solar System and beyond. The SEXTANT XNAV demonstration will exploit the large collecting area (>1800 sq.cm), low background (<0.2 counts/s), and precise timing (<300 ns) of the NICER X-ray Timing Instrument (XTE).