Three companies set sights on precision navigation that works independently of GPS

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio, 25 Sept. 2015. Navigation and guidance experts at three U.S. military contractors are developing military positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) technology with the performance of the Global Positioning System (GPS), but which operates independently of the GPS satellite navigation system.

Sep 25th, 2015
Three companies set sights on precision navigation that works independently of GPS
Three companies set sights on precision navigation that works independently of GPS
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio, 25 Sept. 2015. Navigation and guidance experts at three U.S. military contractors are developing military positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) technology with the performance of the Global Positioning System (GPS), but which operates independently of the GPS satellite navigation system.

Officials of the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, have awarded three contracts for the Spatial, Temporal and Orientation Information in Contested Environments (STOIC) program.

This project seeks to develop PNT systems that provide GPS-independent PNT with GPS-level timing and positioning performance. To do this, experts must combine long-range reference signals; ultra-stable tactical clocks; and multifunctional systems that share PNT information among users.

The three STOIC contractors are Raytheon BBN Technologies Corp. in Cambridge, Mass.; Expedition Technology Inc. in Dulles, Va.; and Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The Air Force awarded the STOIC contracts on behalf of the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in Arlington, Va.

Related: DARPA approaches industry for new kinds of underwater navigation for undersea drones and submarines

The goal of the DARPA STOIC program is to provide warfighters with GPS-like positioning, navigation, and timing capabilities in contested environments where GPS performance is degraded or unavailable due to electronic jamming, electro-magnetic pulse weapons, or terrain masking.

DARPA experts are pursuing other programs to achieve precise navigation and positioning information without using the GPS system, which is widely expected to be unreliable on future battlefields. Among the other DARPA GPS-independent programs is the All Source Positioning and Navigation (ASPN) program.

Raytheon BBN Technologies won a $1.7 million STOIC contract in June; Expedition Technology won a $524,138 STOIC contract in April; and Rockwell Collins won a $5.4 million STOIC contract in April. DARPA briefed industry on the program originally in June 2014.

For more information contact Raytheon BBN Technologies online at www.raytheon.com/ourcompany/bbn; Expedition Technology at www.exptechinc.com; Rockwell Collins at www.rockwellcollins.com; or DARPA at www.darpa.mil.

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