GPS unit tackles vulnerability problem

WASHINGTON - Designers from Interstate Electronics Corp. in Anaheim, Calif., are building a prototype global positioning system (GPS) receiver packaged in a SEM-E module aimed at tackling the vulnerability of GPS units to hostile jamming.

Nov 1st, 1998

By John Rhea

WASHINGTON - Designers from Interstate Electronics Corp. in Anaheim, Calif., are building a prototype global positioning system (GPS) receiver packaged in a SEM-E module aimed at tackling the vulnerability of GPS units to hostile jamming.

The unit, known as the GPS receiver applications module - GRAM for short, can operate with C/A or P code. Yet it resists jamming because of its ability to directly acquire Y code in less than six seconds, company officials say.

Interstate Electronics should begin delivering production units next April, says Joe Dittrich, director of government relations in the company`s Washington office. Prices initially will run around $10,000 each. GRAM is a single-board design using the Motorola Sharpshooter chip, which provides selective availability/antispoofing processing and unclassified programming.

GRAM is the Interstate Electronics candidate in the Defense Department`s Modular Avionics GPS Receiver Upgrade program for military aircraft, better known as MAGRU.

The Defense Department`s GPS Joint Program Office at Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif, runs this project. Yet Interstate Electronics experts are looking at broader usage, including "smart" munitions and unmanned aerial vehicles.

This is a next-generation GPS product, Dittrich notes, and its ability to withstand shock of greater than 15 Gs aims at such programs as the U.S. Navy`s Extended Range Guided Munitions program. Interstate Electronics GPS units are on military non-combat aircraft, such as the C-12 and T-44. The unit comes in standalone and embedded configurations.

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