Enabling & Support

Electronic Multi-Functional Watch for Navigational Aid

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ESA / Enabling & Support / Space Engineering & Technology
501 - Abstract:
The European Space Agency offers an electronic multi-functional watch for navigational aid in air, land, sea or space travel. The offered, programmable watch is capable of displaying, calculating, recording and storing different time-sensitive events in combination with audio, visual and/or vibrational alarms. The technology owner is looking for partners for license agreement and for industrializing the technology.

Description of the offer:

In air, land, sea or space missions, an electronic multi-functional watch for navigational aid is of great importance. Especially in missions of long duration an electronic watch with multiple displays and alarms is essential. A certain amount of time-related and/or time-stamping information must be available, displayed and produce selective audio, visual and/or vibrational alarms. The time of departure must be dated precisely, followed by times of characteristic events necessarily referenced to an internal time relative to the start of the mission, or to an external time, such as Greenwich Meridian Time (GMT). Several time scales are also required to accommodate for different situations in terms of variable durations of missions and/or specific phases. Additionally, the watch must be able to display the local time, as well as several times from other time zones.

Prior electronic multi-functional watches exist, however, they do not meet the whole spectrum of applications needed for i.e. a space mission of long duration.

The offered technology aims to overcome the disadvantages of prior electronic multi-functional watches for navigational aid, and to respond to the requirements which are evident in the different fields of application in air, land, sea or space travel.

The watch comprises:

  • means enabling the definition of a start time t0 at any point in time and means for determining, recording and displaying the mission elapsed time (MET) from t0 with relation to predetermined time scales
  • means for determining, recording and displaying several periods of time during a second predetermined event, i.e. the start t0 of a phase within the mission. The phase elapsed time (PET) since t0 is displayed positive, whereas PET remaining until t0 is displayed negative. The time scale can be selected in relation to GMT or MET
  • means for entering, recording and displaying GMT, as well as several time zones
  • a timer function to start several count-downs for relatively short periods. Each count-down having an alarm associated to a distinct audio, visual and/or vibrating signal
  • a chronograph function to count forward, with precision, the time elapsed since a set time for relatively short periods
  • a double display: one of analogue type and one of digital type

An important characteristic of the offered watch is the possibility to set MET at any point in time, before or after t0. A "-" sign located in the display specifies the date of t0 to be in the future, whereas a "+" sign means that t0 is in the past. This operation procedure avoids having to include a current year.

Innovations and advantages of the offer:

Improving on prior electronic multi-functional watches, the offered technology provides the possibility to define a zero time t0 with a precise date for a forward count or countdown. Furthermore, the watch is capable of calculating automatically the time elapsed since, or the time remaining until a given event. This is particularly important in missions, where all activities are planned either according to MET or to GMT. The start date defined by the event can be entered into the watch both before and after the event. The watch also offers a count-down function and the possibility to change/correct dates to compensate for input errors or lateness. The offered watch is capable of displaying ‘positive time’ (time elapsed since a determined event) and ‘negative time’ (time remaining until a determined event). As a mission may be divided in different phases, the offered technology allows for the setting and display of different PETs. The operator can furthermore adjust the time scale on the watch to a suitable time scale, either with relation to GMT or MET.

Domain of Application:

The offered technology is particularly well suited for missions in air, land, sea and space travel, where exact time references for the mission including multiple mission phases are essential. Especially missions with the need of a precise timer and/or chronometer benefit of this watch, as it offers the possibility to display, calculate, record and store different time-sensitive events in combination with audio, visual and/or vibrational alarms.

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