HORTA is an underground geographic positioning technology utilized in the mining industry and being considered for extraterrestrial space mining applications. The technology utilizes a gyroscope and an accelerometer, together called an inertial navigation system or INS, to aid in 3D-position determination.
It was developed by Canadian mining company Inco in the late 1990s based on an earlier technology that had been originally developed for the U.S. military. It provides an automated solution to the problem of positioning and location in underground mines.
The term HORTA was derived from the silicon-based rock-like alien of the same name seen in the first season Star Trek TOS episode “Devil in the Dark”.
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