This article in the Official US Defense Department Science Blog explains one way the Army can maintain its technological edge over adversaries. GPS Source is working hard to develop products that support strengthening the Defense Department’s buying power, specifically with its D3 device and accompanying accessories. You can read more about D3 and how it supports Better Buying Power 3.0 at GPS Source’s website.
Although there are many avenues the Army is taking to modernize and protect PNT, one key element is the GPS military code (M-code). This is a GPS signal that has been designed exclusively for military use. The M-code’s most important characteristic is its spectral separation from civil signals. In combat, the US and allied forces will be able to employ localized jamming to prevent use of GPS civil signals by the enemy. However, the Warfighter will still be able to use the M-code signal. At the same time, users outside the area of jamming will still be able to use the civil GPS signal. The spectral separation also means that the M-code signal can be made stronger. This will allow the Warfighter to counteract the ability of the enemy to jam the signal.
M-code is an integral part of GPS modernization requirements for the Army. There is a congressional mandate to implement next-generation M-code technology on all US Department of Defense platforms. Without a waiver from the Secretary of Defense, funds cannot be used to purchase GPS user equipment after Fiscal Year 2017 that does not have the capability to use the M-Code signal.
The DAGR Distribution Device (D3) from GPS Source is an immediate solution that will meet this mandate and support the Army’s initiative for M-Code capability. It has been designed especially for military ground vehicle applications. Modernizing fielded DAGRs and embedded GB-GRAMs for M-code capability would cost significantly more than installing one centralized D3 device. D3 can carry the workload of multiple DAGRS and embedded GB-GRAMS, it is M-capable and is backward compatible to all existing embedded GPS receivers that may be found in a ground vehicle.
Read more about D3 and its M-code capabilities.
GPS Source, Inc. is growing and looking for a few good engineers – Systems Engineers, Embedded Software Engineers, Hardware Engineers & Quality Engineers. Go to https:www.gpssource.com/employment for more information and to see job descriptions.
Pueblo West, Colorado, November 2014 – GPS Source announced that it has received a $7.5 million order for its GLI-COTTONMOUTH GPS retransmission kit. This order has come from an international customer with an armored vehicle application. Shipments for this order are expected to be complete in the 2nd quarter of 2015.
“GPS Source is extremely pleased to be selected to provide the GPS retransmission solution for another one of our foreign military partners. Situational awareness, survivability and mission effectiveness are all improved by the use of GPS retransmission technology. Successful GPS Retransmission in the confined crew compartment of a military vehicle presents significant challenges, but one in which GPS Source has created the perfect solution,” explains Robert Horton, CEO of GPS Source, Inc.
GLI-COTTONMOUTH is one of many GPS retransmission kits offered by GPS Source. The kits are available as permanent installs or man-portable. They provide GPS coverage within smaller military ground vehicle or aircraft. GPS receivers will experience no loss in signal coverage as they move out of a ground vehicle or exit an aircraft equipped with a tactical GPS retransmission kit from GPS Source.
GLI COTTONMOUTH and other GPS distribution solutions by GPS Source are currently in use by the U.S. Army and other military entities throughout the world. GPS retransmission technology developed by GPS Source, Inc. is currently utilized by Net Warrior units aboard the Stryker, RG-33, and M1151. The technology is also utilized within the Canadian LAVIII and the French DGA SCORPION program. Relevant GPS retransmission kits have received Safety of Flight Approval from the United States Air Force Mobility Command Systems Group and are used aboard the C17, C-130, CV/MV-22, CH-53 E/D/K, CH/MH-47, MH-60, HH60, and other host country aircraft.
GPS supported applications (position, navigation and timing, i.e. PNT) are increasingly embedded throughout military operations. This clearly makes relying on GPS alone for PNT a huge liability. The ever growing dependence on GPS by the U.S. military for PNT is prompting them to rethink their current practices. Specifically, the US Army has acknowledged the need for continuous, assured PNT, with immediate access to all sources of PNT, not just GPS. They have defined an overall strategy that will help achieve their goal of having PNT available no matter what, whether they are in a deep rock canyon, tunnel, or if GPS is being intentionally jammed.
Defining an overall strategy for assured PNT starts with getting all PNT dependent systems on a single platform. Currently, on military ground vehicles, there are multiple PNT solutions for multiple systems. The Army is moving towards a “System of Systems” approach, with a single PNT solution for multiple systems on a single platform. It will be based on three objectives:
– Reduce size, weight and power consumption (SWaP) through the systematic elimination of redundant systems.
– Develop ability to migrate M-code GPS informed and guided by the Assured PNT System of Systems Architecture.
– Increase protection to ensure PNT is available and trusted through improvements that keep pace with threats and are scalable.
Defining best practices and moving all systems to the same platform takes time and money. Keeping in mind that affordability and lifecycle costs are a major consideration for the Army regarding assured PNT strategies, what can be done to improve the fidelity and security of PNT data – especially on military ground vehicles today? GPS Source believes that they can help the Army reach their goal of Assured PNT with an instrument called D3 or DAGR Distribution Device. It is an affordable PNT “Hub” that is secure, addresses SWaP, supports M-code and is scalable.
D3 is a COTS solution available now. Learn about D3 here.
Two technologies on the modern battlefield have emerged as critical elements to successful combat operations; rotorcraft and GPS. The current technology and benefits in providing GPS wirelessly to infantry and C4ISR equipment in the cargo hold of rotorcraft during combat operations cannot be denied. Recent conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa have reinforced the importance of airborne assets supporting combat operations. Helicopters played a vital role in Afghanistan, overcoming the poor quality and lack of roads, threats from mines and IEDs, and limited speed of ground transportation through mountainous terrain. Similar to rotorcraft technology, combat operations since 2001 have seen dramatic implementation and integration of GPS technology. GPS has permeated into nearly every device in the hands of our Soldiers, improving situation awareness. Read about GPS Retransmission and how it supports military helicopter operations.
The ability to work on the navigation equipment requiring GPS is NOT dependent on aircraft being outside or the hangar door being open if you have the right tools. One tool being offered is MRO Hangar. It was developed by GPS Source and was made specifically for an aircraft hangar. This tool will convey a live GPS signal inside an aircraft hangar, allowing maintenance personnel to test GPS/avionics equipment at any time. GPS Source gets countless calls from maintenance and repair operations who want to know how to get their GPS equipment to see a signal in their hangar, because they do not want to move all the planes in the hangar just to tow one outside for repair or testing. It is a cost effective tool, when you consider all the money in time and labor that can be saved when planes can stay in place. Read how this aircraft builder figured out how to save $100,000 a year with this one simple solution.
What does “Affordably Enabling Assured PNT” mean? The dictionary tells us that affordability means the conclusion drawn from the analysis of the life cycle cost of a proposed acquisition and that the purchase is in accord with the resources and long term requirements of the acquirer.
Let’s start with “Life Cycle Cost”. What is that and how does GLI-FLO-G fit in? Life Cycle Costs are the sum of all recurring and one-time costs over the full life span of a system are included in life cycle costs. GLI-FLO-G is an investment that supports legacy technology today AND future technology for use in ground vehicles. Investing in a centralized point for PNT distribution supports PLGR, DAGR, SINCGARS as well as future Anti-Jam Antenna, ISR terminals, and tactical communications. Platform life cycle costs are low with the use of GLI-FLO-G.
What about resources? GLI-FLO-G minimizes required engineering resources to keep C4ISR equipment relevant, while maximizing the ability to integrate future capabilities (including M-Code) into the vehicle architecture. This SWaP friendly device allows new technology and legacy technology to easily connect to one interface for secure PNT. Redundant cabling and hardware is removed. Resource costs are minimized.
Finally, the long term requirements of the Army mean that GLI-FLO-G supports the Army’s vision of System of Systems Architecture (SoSA) on ground vehicle platforms. It will enable the US Army to upgrade PNT capabilities without changing out the main PNT Hub (GLI-FLO-G). Users will be able to “update” their devices that use PNT, without having to “update” GLI-FLO-G to a newer device. It will meet the long term requirements of the US Army, including the move toward VICTORY requirements and Modular Computing Systems compatibility.
Affordably enabling Assured PNT means that the GLI-FLO-G, made by GPS Source, gives the Army the ability to consolidate all the GB-GRAMs inside a ground vehicle into one device. Read the white paper, Assured PNT Inside Military Ground Vehicles Using D3.
The US military depends on position, navigation, and timing (PNT) data for numerous military applications. Taken as a whole, the ability to synchronize operations, enable precise locations, and minimize collateral damage makes GPS essential. But dependence on GPS emphasizes the need for the military to protect PNT sources and guarantee unhindered access (i.e. Assured PNT). “Assured PNT” is now a strategy being designed by the US Army to focus on access to any source of PNT, not just GPS.
The Assured PNT strategy will allow access to all sources of PNT, not just GPS. It will be based upon three objectives: Reduce size, weight and power consumption through the systematic elimination of redundant systems; Increase protection to ensure PNT is available and trusted through improvements that keep pace with threats and are scalable; Develop ability to migrate M-code GPS informed and guided by the Assured PNT System of Systems Architecture (SoSA).
One challenge is that every subsystem within a ground vehicle that requires PNT data currently needs a DAGR (or other SAASM enabled device) to serve that data. There have been known cases of Stryker vehicles carrying 8 or 9 DAGRS to serve data to different subsystems inside the vehicle. For every DAGR, there is a requirement for a GPS Receive antenna, power supply and valuable space
D3 is a product that limits the need for DAGRs inside a ground vehicle. One D3 can serve PNT data to four different subsystems inside a ground vehicle. Each port on the D3 is independent, meaning that each system plugged into a port on the D3 has full control over that port. D3 has the ability to reduce size, weight and power consumption needed for PNT. It follows a “System of Systems” approach, with a single PNT solution for multiple systems on a single platform.
Once fielded, the D3 will serve as a key element in the support of Assured PNT for today’s military ground vehicle fleet. Contact GPS Source to learn more about how the D3 can help support Assured PNT.
The soldier has so much to carry, there is a constant need to find ways to make things smaller, lighter, more efficient. They may carry a DAGR, a laser range finder, a Rifleman Radio, etc. These tools all enable the soldier to use a secure GPS signal to effectively do their job. But all these items require their own antenna, batteries, possibly cabling and real estate on the soldier. Wouldn’t it be nice if the soldier could carry one device, especially one device that manages all their PNT (position, navigation and timing) needs? There are a few new products under development that will let the soldier do just that. Everything is moving toward the development of PNT technology that a soldier can access through one device. We suspect the next step will be a ruggedized smart phone for the soldier on the ground. This option will give them the best position, timing and navigation data available to complete their mission, while not being bogged down with weight and cabling and multiple antennas.
In the meantime, a tool called the D3 (DAGR Distributed Device) is available for the mounted platform. It is not made to work at the soldier level, but it does replace DAGRS that are being used inside vehicles or command centers. It has a similar interface to the DAGR and allows many devices that require an antenna, timing, and secure GPS data, to be connected through one multiple port device. So, Blue Force Tracking, Rifleman Radio, a DAGR or maybe a SINCGAR device could all be connected at once and use the same antenna and GB-GRAM. The D3 can provide specific PNT data that is unique to each port and the device connected to that port. This is very important where GB-GRAMS are concerned, because GB-GRAMs are expensive and this allows one device to have ownership of the GB-GRAM and share its capabilities with up to eight others, i.e. lowering overall costs and saving valuable space.
Kevin Coggins, product director for PNT in the Program Executive Office for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare, and Sensors was recently quoted by Inside GNSS Magazine. He said “This is the first device capable of providing platform distribution on mounted platforms with true port independence…each system that is plugged into the D3 has full control over the port from the D3, as if the device had its own DAGR.” Currently, DAGRs are fulfilling the roll of supplying secure PNT data for devices on a mounted platform. But it is a one-to-one connection. One DAGR is needed for each PNT device right now. If the mounted platform has Blue Force Tracking, Rifleman Radio and a SINCGAR device, it will also need three DAGRs to get secure PNT data to those devices. The D3 will replace those three DAGRs on the platform, so that three soldiers on the ground can have DAGRs instead.