navigation buttons are at the TOP of each screen.)
Filtering for Navigation and Target Tracking:
U.S. Navy Submarine applications related to Kalman filtering
We have prior experience for over 40+ years in a
variety of defense areas including Submarine Inertial Navigation
(compare the prior hyperlink to our clearer discussion below) [and an
understanding and a facility with the underlying navigation error models
constituting a psi-angle analysis of an Inertial Navigation System (INS) consisting of
in an integrated whole]; Air Force Aircraft Navigation and Radio
Multi-lateration Relative Navigation (JTIDS RelNav) and communication (JTIDS/MUFBARS/ICNIA);
Sonobuoy DIFAR/LOFAR target tracking; Search and Screening; Antenna Radar
Cross-Section Detectability; NavSat (a.k.a. Transit), LORAN-C
(both hyperbolic and phase-shift rho-rho circular), Bathymetry (bottom sounding sonar
map-matching) and GPS analysis and usage on Submarines; and GPS analysis and
usage in test aircraft (along with test plans and procedures for many of the
above); and Early Warning Radar Target tracking considerations relating to the
target tracking filters and estimation concerns (and the underlying mathematical
models of all of the above and more). Thanks to John Rommelfanger (MITRE,
retired), we have a copy of Modern Navigation Systems, a short course by
(the late) Walter R. Fried (Hughes Aircraft Company), 10-12 June 1992. Of
course, we at TeK Associates already had both editions of Walter R. Fried’s
book but having access to his slide-based concise summary is priceless. Thomas
Kerr III knew Walter Fried personally and when Tom last saw him in 1994, based on
Tom’s rather aggressive questions
and comments from the audience, Walter Fried seemed pleased that Tom had evidently become a
watchdog for navigation since they had first met back in 1980, when Tom made his
first technical Navigation presentation at Position, Location, and Navigation Symposium
(PLANS) in Atlantic City and Walter Fried was there as his session chairman. Tom
received a written a accommodation certificate for his work and presentation
there , , . (Please see next image below for verification of this
Familiarity with historical application constraints and specs for many
platforms (especially including C-3 Poseidon,
those days, used multiple Univac CP-890/YUK computers in the Navigation Room],
and similarly outfitted D-1 Trident SSBN\SSN submarine mission objectives,
scenarios, and countermeasures). We have had first hand shipboard experience
in San Diego in the 1980’s and earlier weapons system and fire control training
in the 1970’s (regarding numbers and mixes of RV’s)
at Dam Neck, VA.
We have also been aboard the Compass Island (sister ship of Cobra
Judy used for strategic radar target tracking) in the 1970’s,
where components being planned for use within the SSBN Navigation Room are
tested beforehand (in a Navigation Room that was identical to but “bass-ackwards”
from how it is oriented within actual SSBN’s).
The U.S.S. Compass Island was replaced in this role in the late 1970’s
by the U.S.S. Vanguard (as obtained from NASA). We are aware of vintage 1970’s
vibration tests for submarine INS components using “Big Bertha and
the Little Chippers” on
the deck above it. Present day barge tests with submerged C-4 plastic explosives emulating depth
charges and use of 300 pound swinging hammers, capable of impacting at up to 100
g’s, now reveal weaknesses or non-compliance of
electronics within the expected dangerous environments is just as
important today (even if their names are no longer as colorful). We have
also performed GPS testing, both dockside and at sea, onboard the SSN-701
LaJolla in the early 1980’s at the San
Diego, CA submarine base (for NADC and for NOSC).
We have participated in several Independent Verification and Validation
programs for sonar\sonobuoy target
tracking (PTA and LOFAR/DIFAR and LAMPS), and in
analysis and development programs for
integrated augmented INS navigation for Submarines (SSBNs) and
in Joint Tactical Information and Distribution System (JTIDS)
Relative Navigation (RelNav), and
in Development Testing and Evaluation for Operational
navigation aboard submarines (SSNs). (To see a high level overview slide show
on current status of GPS, please click here to obtain the main
executable file “stpete.exe”.
In order to view
the slideshow, user must first download this associated
.DLL file, then this .DLL file, then this
VBX file, all to the same location in one folder on their local computer. Our Web Site host
requires temporary conversion
to exclusively lower case spellings. A constraint in running
it is that a Windows host Operating System is required. Those typical
OS’s that allow this
are Windows 9X/2000/NT/Millenium/XP and Vista and likely on Windows 7/10. It also runs
on older OS’s like Windows 3.1 and 3.11 For
“Escape Velocity” from a Linkedin discussion: I agree with what everyone said except for:
(1) when Hugo Jiménez-Pérez said that eccentricity e = 0 for a parabolic orbit (properly
corrected by THK: e = 0 for a circular orbit, 0 < e < 1 for an elliptical orbit; e = 1 for a parabolic orbit; e > 1 for a hyperbolic orbit).
(2) when David Elm said that at 4 earth radii, the sun becomes a bigger factor (properly
corrected by THK: the moon becomes a bigger factor first since it is nearer and has a greater effect on earth tides than the sun). Don't forget all the (i.e., 5) Libation points of three body problems (also called
Lagrangian points): being
L1, to L5. (these are totally unrelated to GPS
frequencies of the same name designations)
(3) when Carlos Antonio Campos Nogueira said one needed to assume an idealized Earth (a perfectly homogeneous, uniform, and smooth sphere of mass
M). Properly corrected by THK: one can assume a prolate ellipsoid with J2 accounted for but treat all the mass
M as though it were all concentrated at the earth’s centroid or center of mass.
Escape velocity is aptly explained in: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escape_velocity
Recall historical precedent: RPI’s Murray R. Spiegel.
“Applied Differential Equations” 1963 edition, with a fully worked out section:
“From Earth to Moon”, which properly accounted for mass decrease as rocket fuel was consumed.
Other interesting precedents (to set the stage):
Lest we forget, Emeritus Prof. Ronald L. Klein (UWV) published many articles on estimation Theory
using Gaussian Quadrature formulas [in order to improve
the accuracy of the Propagate Step integration of the system dynamics within an
EKF]. Here and in what follows below, Thomas H.
comments and annotations are in a different color font to make it easier for
readers to distinguish (and, perhaps, to ignore).
Emeritus Prof. Thomas Kailath (Stanford Univ.) alerted the estimation community to a precedent by some
Japanese researchers that posed linear estimation within a “Krein Space”
instead of within a Hilbert Space and
apparently obtained faster convergence as a consequence. While Matrix Positive definiteness plays a prominent role within all the analytic proofs supporting the
usual Hilbert Space-based derivation of Kalman filters, the Krein Space approach frequently involves
matrices that are indefinite (but, perhaps, the difference
of two positive definite matrices). The tool in common is still projections onto linear
-Hassibi, B., Ali H. Sayed, A. H., and Kailath, T., “Linear Estimation in Krein Spaces-Part I:
Theory,” IEEE Trans. on
Automatic Control, Vol. 41, No. 1, pp. 18-33, Jan. 1996.
-Sayed, A. H., and Kailath, T., “A State Space
Approach to Adaptive RLS Filtering,” IEEE Signal Processing Magazine, Vol. 11, No. 3, pp. 18-60, July 1994.
(Here they demonstrate that most of the myriad of RLS filters are merely variants of a Linear
In the early 1970’s, many researchers from Washington University in St. Louis, MO (e.g., Alfred S. Gilman, K-P. Dunn, Prof. Ian B. Rhodes) investigated approximate nonlinear estimation in the presence of so-called “Cone-Bounded” nonlinearities so that the resulting mechanizations are
still fairly tractable. Dunn and Gilman went to work at Lincoln Laboratory after
obtaining their Ph.D.'s but, unfortunately, these nice results apparently were not
deemed directly relevant to EWR target tracking at that time.
An additional caution by Dr. James L. Farrell (VIGIL, Inc.) in specialized topics related to Integrated Avionics in order to reach their fullest
potential (as an update to the most recent version of his book on Integrated
Please click the following: to
learn about developing ISR Applications using MatLab and Simulink
Please click the following:TeK
Associates experience looking into SLAM and other possibly non-GPS technologies for
airborne navigation (appearing in the open literature)
involving imaging and optics that have zero mean Poisson Process White noise (as the formal
derivative of a Centered Poisson Process with independent increments just as
Gaussian white noise is the formal derivative of a Brownian motion process
[a.k.a., a Weiner process] with independent increments), please see:
(1) Donald L. Snyder, Random Point
Processes in Time and Space, Springer Texts in Electrical Engineering, 2nd
Ed. 1991 (1st Ed. from John Wiley and Sons, NY, 1975). Prof. Donald L. Snyder
(Washington University in St. Louis, MO); (2) Fishman, P., Snyder, D. L., “The
statistical analysis of space-time point processes,” IEEE Trans. on
Information Theory, Vol. 22, No. 3, pp. 257-274, May 1976; (3) Snyder, D. L.,
and Fishman, P., “How to Track a Swarm of Fireflies by Observing Their
Flashes,” IEEE Trans. on
Information Theory, Vol. 21, No. 6, pp. 692-695, Nov. 1975; (4) Salimpour,
Y., Soltanian-Zadeh, H., Abolhassani, M. D., “Extended
Kalman Filtering of Point Process Observations,” Conf. Proc. IEEE Eng. Med.
Biol. Soc., Buenos Aires, Argentina, 6670-3, Conference Dates: 31 Aug.-4 Sept. 2010. Alse see  to .
My speculations: The above technologies could be of interest to SBIRS-high
or SIBRS-low to detect and track Russia’s
glide missiles, capable of traveling 20 times the speed of sound (i.e., 767
mph) and of performing maneuvers in taking an evasive zigzagged path as it
speeds towards its designated target (and to, ostensibly, be deployed by Russia
in 2019 and so far contained within a UR-100N UTTKh missile [designated in NATO
terminology as the SS-19 Stiletto] first stage used to carry the glider
up into the atmosphere but eventually to be replaced in this role by a new first
stage missile that Russia is currently developing in 2019). It was test fired in 2018
from a silo in the Dombarovsky missile base in Orenburg Oblast, in the southern
Ural Mountains and traveling more than 3,000 miles to Kura training ground in
the Kamchatka region in Russia’s
and, perhaps, aim lasers toward them
as potential targets of interest. [The U.S. and China are currently jointly
working on a Hypersonic missile too, according to Jane’s Defense
in late December 2018.] https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/dod-keeps-eye-on-hypersonic-missiles-and-manoeuvring-425086/
Simulation of hypersonic aircraft radar and other characteristics, as seen by different
sensors (click here to get this
unclassified 5MB pdf on this subject):
Also see: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/002072097401100415
A Ball-Balancing System for Demonstration of Basic Concepts in the State-Space Control Theory
by V. Jørgensen First Published October 1, 1974 Research Article
The Ball-balancing Systems is intended to demonstrate the basic concepts in the state-space control theory for graduate education. The physical properties of the system are stated and the mathematical model is evaluated. Conditions of stability are discussed.
1.Jorgensen, Kjeld , The Multivariable approach in Theory and Practise (in
Danish), M.Sc. Thesis, Technical University of Denmark (1971).
2.Elgard, Olle, I., Control Systems Theory, McGraw-Hill (1967).
For a modern application of Elgard's theory above, please see: http://www.ijeei.org/docs-5184432705c6a43e405da8.pdf
Pushpa Gaur1, Nirmala Soren1, and Debashish Bhowmik, Secondary Frequency Regulation of Multi-area Interconnected Hybrid Power System with Electric Vehicle,
International Journal on Electrical Engineering and Informatics - Volume 10, Number 4, pp. 738-752, December 2018.
Reference list contains 25 references. The first five are:
. O. I. Elgard, Electric energy systems theory, McGraw Hill, New York,
1982, pp. 299-362.
. O. I. Elgerd, C. Fosha, “Optimum megawatt frequency control of multi-area electric
energy systems”, IEEE Trans. Power Appl. Syst., Vol. PAS-89, No. 4, pp. 556-563, 1970.
. P. Kundur, Power system stability and control, McGraw Hill, New York,
. R.J. Abraham, D. Das, A. Patra, “Damping oscillations in tie power and area frequencies
in a thermal power system with SMES-TCPS combination”, J Electr. Syst, Vol. 7, No. 1, pp. 71–80, 2011.
. K. C. Divya, P. S. N. Rao, “A simulation model for AGC studies of hydro–hydro systems”,
Int. J. Elec. Power and Energy Syst., Vol. 27, pp. 335–342, 2005.
Bulut, Yalcin, "Applied kalman filter theory" (2011). Civil Engineering Ph.D. Dissertation:
Samra Harkat, Malika Boukharrouba, Douaoui Abdelkader, "Multi-site modeling and prediction of annual and monthly precipitation in the watershed of Cheliff (Algeria)," in Desalination and water
A fix for previous timing problems experienced by Patriot Missile:
Defeating Hypersonic Missile Threats:
Raytheon Hypersonic Contract:
U.S. X60A Hypersonic Test aircraft in 2019:
The Air Force Research Laboratory, Aerospace Systems Directorate, High Speed Systems Division, in partnership with Generation Orbit Launch Services, Inc., is developing the X-60A vehicle. It is an air-dropped liquid rocket specifically designed for hypersonic flight research. X-60A program completed its Critical Design Review, a major milestone in the
program in 2019. The program now moves into the fabrication phase. The initial flight of the vehicle, scheduled in about a year, is based out of Cecil Spaceport in Jacksonville, Florida.
Hypersonics: DoD Wants ‘Hundreds of Weapons’ ASAP:
USAF Kicks Off Early Study For Hypersonic Cruise Missile:
After the shutdown of the ESA/CNES launch base in Kourou, French Guiana, and despite the initial statements by the US space industry, COVID-19 starts creating negative impacts on on-going programs.
It is a reality to face. Space programs, being long term, might suffer less (apart from delays and induced cost impacts) than other industrial sectors, but it is indubitable that 2020 will see an overall contraction of the space economy in terms of revenues, as compared to very optimistic forecasts of several hundreds of million in US dollars.
This is the time when governments should keep their support to the space industry, resisting the temptation of short-sighted "savings". One example: we still want to go back to the Moon!
US Space Force Delays GPS III Launch in Response to COVID-19 - Via Satellite:
The Space Force recently launched its sixth and final Advanced EHF satellite from the Cape March 26. But other national security-related launches have already been delayed as the COVID-19 pandemic spreads across the globe: Rocket Lab announced in March that it has temporarily halted launch preparations for its “Don’t Stop Me Now” mission, which includes three National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) payloads and was scheduled to launch in late March from the company’s Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand.
GeekWire | Stratolaunch resurrects its hypersonic rocket vehicle under a new name: Talon-A:
The Future of Laser Missile Defense:
What can catch a missile moving many times the speed of sound? An interceptor that's as fast as light. See how we're hurtling toward lasers that can stop hypersonic missiles:
What can catch a missile moving many times the speed of sound? An interceptor
that’s as fast as light. See how
we’re hurtling toward lasers that can stop hypersonic missiles:
(Dec. 2020) General Atomics And Boeing’s New Liquid Laser Could Win High-Energy Weapon Race:
Keep an eye on this partnership. Boeing and General Atomics, two of the best at high-energy laser technology, will deliver advanced capabilities for America's air and missile defense systems. Our troops will also enjoy another layer of protection.https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidhambling/2020/10/30/general-atomics-liquid-laser-could-win-high-energy-weapon-race/?sh=1a30db665b3e
Hypersonic missile tests: https://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=112406
Raytheon, Lockheed Martin sign teaming agreement to pursue contract to modernize surveillance and air traffic control radar systems:
U.S. Army, Raytheon complete preliminary design review of DeepStrike missile:
Space Fence SST radar operational! A huge leap ahead in space surveillance!
Looking forward to seeing the increase in the number of objects monitored and in the orbital
Missile Defense Agency Advances Laser-Blasting UAVs:
Lasers: Beyond The Power Problem:
Directed Energy: The Time for Laser Weapon Systems has Come:
Air Force Releases Video of New Combat Drone, the XQ-58A Valkyie in 2019:
U.S. Army to Buy $39.6 Million Worth of Pocket-Sized Drones:
NASA Dream Chaser:
There are a lot of advantages to attacking signals vice satellites:
-It is a lot easier to do
-It can be easily undone if you don't want to do it any more
-It probably isn't an act of war
-and (sic, consider) the power you would have available from a nuclear reactor...!
An interesting bit from the article:
"...the deployment of EW [electronic warfare] platforms in orbit would be in accordance with a policy for Russia’s electronic warfare program until 2020 approved by the Russian government in January 2012. A summary of this policy indeed mentions space-based electronic warfare as one of the objectives to be accomplished in the period before 2025. More specifically, it talks about the need to deploy “multifunctional space-based EW complexes for reconnaissance and suppression of radio-electronic systems used by radar, navigation and communications systems.”
Ekipazh: Russia’s top-secret nuclear-powered satellite:
Kazakhstan uses drones to patrol capital during COVID-19 lockdown:
Invisibility Technology Takes Big Leaps That Can Be Seen:
(Dr. Eli Brookner, Raytheon [retired] has published plenty in keeping track of
the status of meta-materials for radar, optics, and acoustics.)
U.S. Air Force to transfer 23 units to the Space Force:
Remembering a bit of history pertaining to the Cold War and the U.S.’s
successful race to the moon:
NASA’s Original Apollo Moon Landing Guidance Computer Is Being Restored:
Thousands of Hours of Newly Released Audio Tell the Backstage Story of Apollo 11 Moon Mission:
Apollo 12 in Pictures: Photos from NASA’s Pinpoint Moon Landing Mission:
Also in the
1980’s from the Air Force Institute
of Technology (AFIT) and elsewhere: (1)
Maybeck, Peter S., and Rogers, Steven K., “Adaptive
Tracking of Multiple Hot-Spot Target IR Images,” IEEE Trans. on Automatic
Control, Vol. 28, No. 10, pp. 937-943, May 1983; (2) Maybeck,
Peter S., and Hentz, Karl P., “Investigations
of Moving-Bank Multiple Model Adaptive Algorithms,” AIAA Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, Vol.
10, No. 1, pp. 90-96, Jan. -Feb. 1987; (3)
Tobin, David M., and Maybeck, Peter S., “Enhancements
to a Multiple Model Adaptive Estimator/Adpative Image-Tracker,” IEEE Trans. on
Aerospace and Electronic Systems, Vol. 24, No. 4, pp. 417-426, July 1988. A
hot time in the old town tonight! Maybeck, P. S., Stochastic Models, Estimation and Control, Vol. 1, Academic Press, NY,
1979 (and Vols. 2 and 3 published in the 1980’s.)
Also see: Special Issue of
IEEE Transactions of Automatic Control, Vol. 28, No. 3, 1983 devoted to nonstandard applications of Kalman Filters. For more standard applications of Kalman filters, please see 1982 NATO
AGARDograph No. 256 and Feb. 1970, No. 139 (Noordhoff International Publishing,
A good book by: Bruce P. Gibbs (and contributed to by many of Thomas H. Kerr
III's prior TASC cohorts from the
1970’s and by other illustrious contemporaries): Advanced Kalman Filtering, Least-Squares and Modeling: A Practical
Handbook, John Wiley & Sons, 23 February 2011: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/9780470890042.fmatter/pdf
[They joke in the introduction that they could show pictures of famous
mathematicians of yesteryear too (My words: instead of pertinent content such
as: What?, How?, and Why?) but they refrain from
doing so in their book. However, they do so on the cover.]
here to obtain a detailed 128Kilobyte resume for Thomas H. Kerr III emphasizing
only his Navigation experience.
here to download a 214KByte pdf file which conveys our view on the problems with
here to obtain a detailed 266Kilobyte resume for Thomas H. Kerr III emphasizing
only Target Tracking for strategic Updated Early Warning Radar (UEWR).
Also see or click on: https://archive.org/details/DTIC_ADP011192/page/n7/mode/2up
to view: Satz, H. S., Kerr, T. H., “Comparison of Batch and Kalman Filtering for Radar Tracking,”
Proceedings of 10th Annual AIAA/BMDO Conference, Williamsburg, VA, 25 July 2001.
here to view our abstract for GNC Challenges for Miniature Autonomous Systems
Workshop, 26-28 October 2009 to occur at Fort Walton Beach,.FL.
here to download a 1.56MByte pdf file that demonstrates our Navigation familiarity by
our pioneering new developments in using Inertial Navigation Systems and GPS
in support of airborne platforms performing terrain mapping,
which is a slide presentation corresponding
to: Kerr, T. H., “Use of GPS\INS in the Design of Airborne Multisensor Data Collection
Missions (for Tuning NN-based ATR algorithms),”
Navigation Proceedings of GPS-94, pp. 1173-1188, 20-23 Sept. 1994.
here to download a 4.40MByte pdf file that conveys the entire report.
(Thomas H. Kerr III became a senior member of AIAA via the required endorsements
by running this specific report by Richard Battin [Draper Laboratory and
MIT Aero. & Astro.] and by Wally Vander Velde [MIT Aero. & Astro.].)
Click here to see a 160
quantitative analyses of the relative
pointing accuracy associated with each of several alternative candidate
INS platforms of varying gyro drift-rate quality (and cost) by using high quality
GPS external position and velocity fix alternatives: (1) P(Y)-code, (2)
differential mode, or (3)
kinematic mode at higher rates to
enhance the INS with frequent updates to compensate for gyro drift degradations
that otherwise adversely increase in magnitude and severity to the system as
time elapses. Click
here to obtain the corresponding 1.40 MByte PowerPoint presentation.
here to view our recent short comment submitted to the Institute of
Navigation for publication in their Journal and already published.
Please click here
for information on jamming vulnerability of STAP.
|We are knowledgeable about various historical approaches, their
assumptions, their derivation, and their evolution [such as the INS analysis
conventions of Peter Grundy and William Widnall (Intermetrics, Inc.) vs.
that of the late Kenneth Britting’s
(Northrop) and the missing minus sign in that of (the late) Prof. Itzhack
Univ.) vs. Don Benson’s
(Delco AC Electronics, TASC, Dynamics Research
Corporation (DRC), and now at MITRE):
Benson, D. O.,
Psi-Angle Error Equation in Strapdown Inertial Navigation Systems’,”
Trans. on Aerospace and Electronic Systems, Vol. 15, No. 1, pp. 168-170,
Jan. 1979., where Donald Benson was
correct all along; or on issues of intentionally and actively maintaining
the small angle approximation for INS analysis to ensure (or
enforce) the validity of the
associated analysis that relies on this assumption being correct]. A sad
commentary is that in one of Prof. Bar-Itzack’s
later publications, he notices that the underlying navigation coordinate
systems appear to move in a direction opposite from what he previously
expects but he still fails to recognize this quirk as merely a consequence
of his prior failure to recognize and adhere to the sign convention
that Don Benson tried unsuccessfully to alert him to 20 years earlier as
being in error. It was rather sad and disappointing that no one from a
recognized navigation analysis house (like C. S. Draper Laboratory [James
Potter?], Rockwell International-Autonetics [James Lowery III?, J. S.
Stambaugh?], Rockwell Collins, Singer-Kerfott [Dr. Bernard Friedland?],
Honeywell, Northrop Grumman, Sperry Systems Management at
- Unisys [e.g., Dr. Hy Strell or the late Norman Zabb or the many other
navigation analysts there], Magnavox, Motorola, TASC, General
Teledyne Brown, JHU/APL, JPL, Air Force
Institute of Technology (AFIT) [Peter S.
Maybeck?], MIT Aeronautics & Astronautics [Prof. Wally VanderVelde or Prof. Richard
Battin], Stanford Univ. [Prof. Arthur Bryson or
Prof. Charles Hutchinson, who received his Ph.D. from Stanford Univ. and was a
TASC navigation consultant at that time], Stanford Telecommunications, or anyone else
from Dynamics Research Corporation [DRC] like Al Dushman?
Al Kleinman? Herb Sanberg?) entered into the fray to back up Don
Benson’s view. At the ION 57th Annual Meeting & CIGTF 20th Biennial Guidance Test
Symposium, 11-13 June 2001, Albuquerque, NM, Tom found out that Don faults
Tom for not doing so back then
since Tom described how he recognized the problem but did not say anything
at the time (but
Tom has always
had to pick his
battles carefully and wait his turn since Tom is frequently critical and does
not want to be
labeled as just another
“Nay Sayer”) and,
moreover, Tom was not yet a recognized authority in
this particular area of specifying navigation error models from first
principles even though Tom had seen it done and understood it, including its
underlying principles and assumptions. Besides, at
the time, Tom worked for TASC, which was a direct competitor of DRC (where Don Benson
then worked), so it would have been extremely politically incorrect for Tom to
have entered the fray back then and endorse our competition (especially since Itzhack
Bar-Ithzach was working at TASC at the time). As the
Tom certainly has not shied away from controversial technical
battles. However, he can disagree without being disagreeable (most times,
unless he has to return fire in like kind).|
On a more positive note, the late Prof. Itzhack Bar-Itzhack proved the observability and
controllability of the linear error models that represent navigation systems:
1. Drora Goshen, I.Y. Bar-Itzhack, "Observability Analysis of Piece-Wise Constant Systems-Part 1: Theory,"
IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems, Vol.28, No.4, pp. 1056-67, Oct.
2. Drora Goshen, I. Y. Bar-Itzhack, "Observability analysis of piece-wise constant systems II: Application to inertial navigation in-flight alignment (military applications),"
IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems, Vol. 28, No. 4, pp. 1068-1075, Oct. 1992.
3. Drora Goshen, I. Y. Bar-Itzhack, "On the Connection Between Estimability and
Observability," IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, Vol. 37, No. 8, pp. 1225-1226, Aug. 1992.
It is shown that when a linear dynamic system is stochastically autonomous (that is, when the system is not excited by a random signal), its estimability property as defined by Y. Baram and T. Kailath (ibid., vol.33, p.1116-21, Dec. 1988) reduces to the classical observability property.
4. Itzhack Y. Bar-Itzhack, Drora Goshen, "Unified approach to inertial navigation system error modeling,"
AIAA Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, Vol. 15, No. 3, pp. 648-654, May-June 1992.
Several inertial navigation system error models have been developed and used in the literature. Most of the models are ad hoc models which were needed to solve certain particular problems and were developed for that purpose only. Consequently, the relationship, correspondence, and equivalence between the various models is not evident. This paper
5. I. Y. Bar-Itzhack, Y. Vitek, "The enigma of false bias detection in a strapdown system during transfer alignment,"
AIAA Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, Vol. 8, No. 2, pp. 175-180, March-April 1985.
This work describes a phenomenon discovered during in-flight transfer alignment of a strapdown inertial navigation system. The phenomenon, which has not been reported in the literature before, is that of false longitudinal accelerometer bias estimation by the Kalman filter employed in the transfer alignment. Reference data timing error is suggested...
6. Itzhack Y. Bar-Itzhack, "Modeling of certain strapdown heading-sensitive errors in INS error models,"
AIAA Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, Vol. 8, No. 1, p. 142 ff, Jan.-Feb. 1985.
Self-alignment of a gimbaled inertial navigation system (INS) results in a platform tilt which cancels the effect of the level accelerometer biases. The same cancellation takes place in strapdown INS too; however, unlike gimbaled INS, in a strapdown system, this cancellation is perturbed once the INS changes heading. This note shows that the
so Kalman filtering may be rigorously applied in this application domain.
(It had already been successfully applied to navigation for more than 10
years without these analytical niceties having been supplied to shore up the
hole in the analysis that everyone recognized was present but just had not
bothered to clean up since they were busy actually implementing Navigation
solutions using Kalman filtering in a somewhat cavalier fashion without this
rigorous analytical stepping stone yet officially being in place.) Others
worked on this aspect too: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5375725/
7. Bar-Itzhack, I. Y., Mallove, E. F., "Accurate INS Transfer Alignment Using a Monitor Gyro and External Navigation Measurements,"
IEEE Trans. on Aerospace and Electronics Systems, Vol. 16, No. 1, pp. 53-65, Jan. 1990.
8. Bar-Itzhack, I. Y., "In-Flight Alignment of Inertial Navigation Systems," in
Control and Dynamic Systems: Advances in Theory and Applications, C. T. Leondes (Ed.), Vol. 38,
Advances in Aeronautical Systems, Academic Press, pp. 369-396, 1990.
(It is, perhaps, worth noting that both Prof.
Itzhack Bar-Itzhack and John "Jack" Bortz, Ph.D. were two of
Thomas H. Kerr III's coworkers at TASC in the early to late 1970's.)
For Additional Perspective: (The Late) Prof. Itzhack
Y. Bar-Itzhack (Technion) hosted (the late) Richard
"Dick" Battin (of Draper Laboratory and MIT Aero.
& Astro. Dept.) when Dick Battin visited Israel. (Prof. Bar-Itzhack died within a year after his beloved wide died.)
-William S. Widnall, Stability of Alternate Designs for Rate-Aiding of Non-Coherent Mode of a GPS
Receiver, Intermetrics Report No. IR-302, 25 Sept. 1978.
-Boris Danik, "A Low-Cost Velocity Reference System for Rapid Alignment of Aircraft Inertial Platforms on a Moving Base,"
Proceedings of the IEEE 1980 National Aerospace and Electronics Conference
(NAECON), pp. 608-615, 1980.
-Gelb, A., Course Notes Marine Inertial Navigation, The Analytic
Sciences Corporation (TASC), TASC TR-119-1, Reading, MA, January 1967. (Handles Monitor Gyro in alignment procedure for
-John E. Bortz, Micron Analysis, Vol. 1. MESGA Attitude Readout Error,
The Analytic Sciences Corporation (TASC), Technical Report AFAL-TR-72-228, Air Force Avionics Laboratory, Air Force Systems Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio 45433, August 1972.
-"In this post, we review the integration of "deep learning" in classical Inertial
Navigation System (INS) with Inertial Measurement
Units (IMU’s) only to solve part of the problem mentioned above. First, we present some cutting edge architectures for improved
speed estimation, noise reduction, zero-velocity detection, and attitude & position prediction. Secondly, the
KITTI and OxIOD dataset are discussed. Lastly, schemes of pedestrian inertial navigation with deep learning are
|We are somewhat familiar with the historical HAD/HAP procedure, developed
by the late William Zimmerman in the 1960’s
while he was at Dynamics Research Corporation (DRC), for computationally calibrating biases within the SSBN
submarine Ships Inertial Navigation System (SINS), in those days consisting
of only single-degree-of-freedom conventional gyros (but with two SINS
present with one as a warm standby system with the other one being in the
path of primary navigation reliance) with mechanical spinning rotator gyros.
We also know about the Carousel navigation system INS that is constantly
rotated to average out the adverse effect of the biases that are present
(where William Zimmerman and Robert Ship [along with several others] hold a
patent on this important concept). |
|We have gone through the rigorous supporting mathematics, yet we summarize
the results in a clear straightforward manner, expressed as simply as possible.|
|We are familiar with the application constraints associated with utilizing
these algorithms and are aware of what application constraints are usually
actively in force.|
TeK Associates Capabilities:
Knowledge of operational principles and behavior of INS
gyros and accelerometers and likewise for GPS: Familiar with their
underlying state variable error models and INS calibration
procedures and typical failure modes and interactions.
A clear simple
overview (that appeared on the Internet on 1 January 2019) that offers an
understanding of INS concerns is available here by clicking on it.
The future of GPS and GNSS that appeared on the Internet is provided here
by clicking on it.
--The first satellite in the new GPS III constellation blasted off in late
December 2018 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at Cape Canaveral – Harris technology is on board, as it has been on every launch for the last 40 years.
--Lockheed Martin provides the satellite, and Harris navigation technology generates the GPS signal that billions of people depend on everyday.
Harris technology has been on more than 70 GPS satellite payloads, including the 31 GPS satellites moving through space today.
Harris says that they are looking forward to a continued partnership on future GPS III satellite launches.
--Harris congratulates the United States Air Force, Lockheed Martin, and SpaceX on
the successful GPS III launch.
“Special thanks go to the dedicated Harris employees
at their Clifton, NJ facility who develop this amazing technology. Learn more about Harris’ role in the GPS mission here:
Map of GPS Control Segment: https://www.gps.gov/multimedia/images/GPS-control-segment-map.pdf
Satellites being reported in view, as seen from the GPS
Project Office, at a fixed location within CONUS (as the earth rotates and as
the satellites move in their respective 6 orbital planes).
Realistically, the GPS receiver can move and the platform upon
which it is based can move also (like a person with a GPS-equipped cell phone on
a ferry boat sailing from Manhattan, NY to Staten Island).
Space Command Calls Out Russia for Anti-Satellite Test:
Air Force’s Joint Forces Space Component Command Missions to Move to U.S. Space
GPS interference Solutions:
Sophisticated Spoofing of GPS:
New GPS ‘circle spoofing’ moves ship locations thousands of miles:
GPS jamming on agenda as Russian defence delegation sat down for talks in Oslo:
Size of GPS Jammer markets: https://www.transparencymarketresearch.com/signal-jammer-market.html
Power of THOR ready to down enemy drones - GPS World:
The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) developed a counter-swarm high-power weapon to deter enemy drones —
Learn more about the weapon, which provides non-kinetic defeat of multiple targets. (Photo:
AFRL) #AFRL weapon #drone
Please click on the link to see: 7 Deadly Sins of Innovation in the Age of
3 Things You Need to Know About Artificial Intelligence:
Public-private partnership to launch eLORAN technology to back-up and accompany GPS - Intelligent Aerospace:
International Civil Aviation Org Issues Advisory on GNSS Disruption (Finally!)
In September, 2019, it was reported how airline and pilot groups had raised the issue of
GNSS disruption to the UN's International Civil Aviation
The body decided it was an urgent issue (since airplanes have almost crashed because of
GNSS disruption, after all) and they decided to act promptly.
The result was a letter to member states published today:
A few thoughts before you get too discouraged about why it took so long for ICAO to act:
ICAO is an international body and they can't do anything quickly. The only real power
ICAO has is to bring nations together to talk and provide them information. It
can't do much more than merely inform. For things to happen, nations have to start changing the way they do business.
Most all the member states had all the information already. This is just nudging them to act in ways they already know
that they should. The list of things ICAO recommends nations do is a pretty good one. If any nations pay attention and do some or all they will be better off than before.
When we do have a major air crash because of GNSS disruption this will be a list of good practices for people to look at and adopt to help prevent it happening again.
Editorial Advisory Board PNT Q&A: Opportunities with GNSS correction services - GPS World:
New players are offering GNSS correction services — pushing prices down and offering new business models. What opportunities does this open up?
GPS Disruptions Varied, Widespread - Reports to the US Government:
Very few people know how to report problems with GPS reception. And few of those take the trouble to do it. So the listing that the US government maintains of GPS disruption reports really represents the tip of the iceberg. Likely only the most sophisticated and diligent users, often with the most persnickety problems, appear on the website.
We like to check in on the listing periodically and see what kinds of things have shown up. The reports so far in 2020 have been a varied collection.
There are always a number of problems that the government says are due to "user equipment." Interestingly, problems due to week rollover are still being reported, along with the usual number of receivers that needed updating or had another sort of problem.
In February and July of this year there were problems with the GPS ground control system that caused the information broadcast to contain minor errors. These was detected and reported by some sophisticated users and acknowledged by the Air Force's GPS Operations Center. The web page, which goes back as far as 2017, shows similar events in February and November of 2018, and in May of 2017.
The most interesting by far, though, are the ones the government categorizes as "unknown interference" or "insufficient information." Reading the information that is posted, it is not hard to imagine either a sloppy technician allowing their equipment to emit interference, or some sort of malicious actor with a jammer.
The site includes a number of reports from the Mediterranean and Middle East, which are never any surprise. US military commanders have called the area the most contested electronic warfare environment in the world.
A significant number of reports suggest persistent interference due to a device fixed in one
A persistent problem in Edmonton, Canada, that has been going on for quite some time.
In Lancaster, CA a ... permanent disruption of GPS reception noticed over 6 months, driving daily in early evening and late evening, and is detected by 2 separate models of Garmin automotive GPS units. There is no overhead signage that could cause a drop out. The drop out and loss of reception covers a
span of approximately 200-300 yards centered on the Ave J overpass.
Boulder, CO reported ...Noticed irregular signal multiple times near the same block during weekdays.
From New Hampshire ...I have had a number of intermittent GPS issues within 1 mile of this location over the past year. GPS drops almost exactly 10 mph and the location plots diverge for approximately 1km parallel to the actual track. I took a picture of the GPS track showing the deviation. Contact me
(Dana) if you would like a copy of the track picture. I had previous similar incidents in the same vicinity.
In Puerto Rico ...My GPS position is changing. Beginning on 1-14-2020 almost every day, why is that? I measure from the same point at my home.
There are also quite a few that could well be due to a mobile source, possibly someone with a "personal jammer":
Driving in San Francisco and across the Golden Gate bridge with ...a 1,000 foot offset to the west.
A US Coast Guard vessel in Atlantic Beach, FL reported ...losing both of the ship's GPS receivers during their mooring evolution. Unit verified with another USCG vessel, at the pier, who was experiencing the same issue. Unit restarted both GPS displays with no resolve. After waiting approximately 20 minutes GPS signal regained and seems to be working properly.
In Warrenville, IL I used GPS for a trip immediately prior to this anomaly, without issue. When I attempted to enter my next trip leg, I noted an anomaly. My GPS apps could not locate my vehicle correctly and could not plot a course to my destination. The map display spun around multiple times, and at times placed my vehicle at the end of nearby dead end roads and even in the middle of a nearby field. I restarted the apps, to no avail. I restarted my phone and the bizarre behavior continued. About fifteen minutes after first noting the problem, I restarted my phone again and my GPS apps began working correctly. I do not know if it was a device issue or a GPS system issue. As of this date, I have used GPS twice on this device, without issue.
A user in Medford, OR lost their whole network for a while. We use GPS timing servers across our network within the CONUS. Across our network at approximately the same time, the timing servers went into holdover. As this issue was seen in multiple places, we do not think there were any issues with the hardware or software. We are trying to understand if something impacted the GPS satellite systems ability to provide timing on March 16th, 2020. (there wasn't)
Near Dulles Airport in VA I was on Rt. 50 heading East near Avion Pkwy close to Dulles Airport. The GPS navigation in my vehicle stopped working. When I looked for more information in the GPS it displayed no bars for a GPS satellite signal. This outage continued until the end of my trip in Reston, VA. I made two attempts to turn off my vehicle and restart the navigation during the trip, but this did not work to restart my GPS navigation. It was when I stopped the vehicle, stopped the engine, and got out of my car for 10-15 minutes that the GPS system resumed activity.
Rehoboth, MA - Position shown on maps was off by approximately
0.5 mile to the west. Also had same occurrence last night while in the same general area. When I noticed the issue on my Nav radio, I checked location on my iPhone and it was consistent with the radio in showing the wrong location.
Gibsonton, FL - I was driving following my GPS when all of sudden it lost GPS signal on the highway. I checked my vehicles GPS also and it could not lock onto me. It finally returned after about 20 mins but something must have knocked it out.
Quite the collection of reports!
If you would like to check them out yourself, feel free to visit the US Coast Guard Navigation Center website at:
Applanix introduces OEM solution for direct geo-referencing of airborne sensor data - GPS World
Applanix Corporation, a Trimble Inc. company, introduced the Trimble AP+ Air OEM solution for direct georeferencing of airborne sensor data. Learn more about the solution, which enables users to produce maps and 3D models without using ground control points.
Teardown: Mini GPS Jammer:
Read, meditate and do not imitate.
It is scaring to realize how easy is to jam GNSS signals.
This is the reason why we need a resilient, worldwide, integrated PNT infrastructure.
GPS World 30th Anniversary Timeline - GPS World:
GPS World’s 30th anniversary GNSS timeline provides highlights in both system and policy development and industry over the past three decades. Check it out now.
Downloads available for free for these wonderful historical posters.
Yup, we added the question mark to the headline. The Army's Mounted Alternative PNT System (MAPS) is certainly helping soldiers in challenging GPS environments, but it doesn't come close to what most would call an "alternative."
In the words of the Army program manager, MAPS 1 is helping with jamming and
MAPS 2 is helping with spoofing. Lots of interesting capability in the package, including the eventual ability to use M-Code. There are IMUs involved and some other tech as you will see in the article, but not really what most folks would call an "alternative."
We also take issue with the quote "... will ensue soldiers know where they are even if
GPS isn't working." We are going to bet that most soldiers would have a fair idea where they are regardless. This sounds like a power point sound bite in a budget brief (don't get us wrong - these kinds of programs should be much better funded).
The most interesting thing, with MAPS, in our opinion, is the C4ISR/EW Modular Open Suite of Standards, or
CMOSS. This seems to be one realization of the DOD PNT Strategy's "Modular Open Architecture System" CMOS (everyone has to have their own name and acronym). The high level concept (which we have long espoused) is:
The best way to ensure you have PNT is to use a lot of diverse sources
This means you need to have a robust architecture
There are lots of diverse sources around right now and more could be brought on line with existing mature technology
When new sources become available, sophisticated users ought to be able to access them fairly easily
So a part of the critical path is figuring out a way for users to be able to access as many diverse sources (existing and future) as they can. Hence the modular, open architecture approach. This is not a trivial problem (authentication, fusion of diverse senors, prioritizing and 'voting,' to name a few) but it is an essential
Note - we also link to a second, related C4ISRNet article below.
Solution provider for Mission Critical PNT, IoT and 5G Telecom Ctrl Cmd and
Trusted Precise Wireless Timing, TPWiT.
Dana, yes, I read "army" and thought of people in close contact with Terra Firma. Doing 500kts makes it lot more challenging to shop at the local bakery, for sure.
But I came to think of the presentation by Dr. Aaron Canciani at the US Space Based Advisory Board meeting back in December 2018, where he presented the very interesting concept of "Magnetic Navigation"
This has also been published in Inside GNSS 15th June 2020 https://insidegnss.com/183615-2/
It's a very promising concept in combination with inertial and compact atomic clocks to be an alternative for a system that can be applied for military application by looking at the presented results, either in relative or absolute mode.
Solution provider for Mission Critical PNT, IoT and 5G Telecom Ctrl Cmd
and Trusted Precise Wireless Timing, TPWiT.
The detection of natural variation of the magnetic field is also applied for seismic interpretation. Please check the information on the homepage of "Electromagnetic Geoservices" EMGS.
"The MT signal is measured using the same seafloor receivers as used for a conventional
controlled source electromagnetic (CSEM) survey.
However, the MT (MagneTotelluric) signal strength depends on solar activity interacting with Earth’s magnetosphere. To ensure good data quality, the receivers are kept on the seafloor for several days, continuously measuring the natural variation of the electromagnetic fields.
Resistivity models from MT inversion images deep structures such as basement and delineates complex salt and volcanic structures."
So they actually make constructive use of the Solar Magnetospheric alterations, in close cooperation with various observatories like the one in
Tromsoe that is
continuously measuring the magnetic flux /field http://flux.phys.uit.no/Last24/Last24_tro2a.gif
So there is definitely a magnetic "landscape" out there, that can be applied for navigation, even at 500 knots with present technology in pattern-recognition and fuzzy logic.
In the 1970's and perhaps even before, (under Project: LINEAR CHAIR) the U.S. Navy was investigating just that
above topic for external position fixes to compensate for deleterious gyro drift over time for U.S. submarines to avoid any "observables" exposure
(of antennas or sonar bathymetric map-matching to any potential enemy
surveillance). Such an endeavor was progressing back then and needed to utilize onboard Fluxgate magnetometers, which have recently greatly improved and reduced in size, as I learned at a recent 2018 series of
IEEE Boston lectures on Optics-related topics. In the mid 1970's, there was a Kalman filter design planned for magnetic position fix "navaid" update to a submarine-borne INS that was called a "Schmidt Filter". (Not corresponding to Stanley Schmidt nor to George Schmidt at
Draper Laboratory at that time, who were involved with novel use of Kalman filters of their own for navigation applications; but to another person named Schmidt.) For this approach to be useful, it was necessary for an accurate Earth's magnetic map to be available.
People had speculated on trying to marry magnetic navigation with Gravity-based maps of the Earth since there are unique features of each that may be complementary.
Specialized surface ship fleets would be needed to compile such maps of magnetic and gravity fields experienced at various depths.
GPS military code receives operational acceptance for early use - GPS World:
The Space and Missile Systems Center’s Production Corps achieved a major
GPS milestone with the approval for Operational Acceptance of GPS Military-Code
(M-Code) Early Use. Read more on the approval.
Y. Jade Morton received the Johannes Kepler Award from the Institute of Navigation (ION).
Read about the advances she's made in receiver technology, automated data collection, robust carrier phase tracking and remote sensing.:
GPS World celebrates 30 Years of leadership (7 Oct. 2020):
What would the world do without GPS?
GPS Program Updates
and its role in the SMC Space Enterprise Architecture: as of 8 October 2020
GPS tracking devices industry to grow 12.2% CAGR by 2026:
According to a report by InForGrowth, the global GPS tracking devices market was valued at $1,567 million in 2018 and is expected to grow at a
CAGR of 12.2% during the forecast period 2026. Find out what factors are driving that growth.
Planes continue to fly into a GPS dark hole over the Mediterranean, puzzling experts:
8 Examples of Artificial Intelligence in our Everyday Lives:
UK Getting National GNSS Disruption Monitoring System - GPS World:
GPS IIR/IIR-M satellite antenna patterns released for worldwide - GPS World:
Partnering with the U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center (NAVCEN),
U.S. Space Force and Lockheed Martin Space have released the GPS IIR/IIR-M satellite antenna patterns for worldwide public use. Learn more about the resources. (Diagram: NAVCEN/Lockheed Martin) #GPS #satellite #antenna
Justyna Redelkiewicz on how GSA is using Galileo to enable innovation:
This week, our colleague Justyna Redelkiewicz (Head of Section Consumer Solutions at the
GSA) sat down with Ronan Leonard from the Irish Tech News Podcast to talk about #Galileo, #IoT, and #EUSpace️ enabling innovation and entrepreneurship.
You can listen to the podcast here: https://lnkd.in/dBGy75p
L5-only receiver designed for mobile phones:
GNSS receivers first reached the commercial domain in the early 1980s. Here's how receiver technology has advanced since then.
Safran Optics 1 Mission:
Delighted to be a part of the Safran Optics 1 team! See how our electro-optic and navigation systems solutions are making a difference in surveillance and reconnaissance missions for dismounted soldier, airborne, naval, and land vehicle operations.
GPS Dual Use:
ESA seeks proposals to demo 5G positioning, timing - GPS World:
High-Precision GNSS for Precision Agriculture & Farming:
With over 12 years of lean manufacturing experience, Hexagon | NovAtel provides excellent customer and technical support for #agriculture #OEM integrators.
See the broadest range of the highest precision #GNSS positioning products >> https://hxgn.biz/3fVtLgW
Coral reef conservation technology wins Copernicus Masters 2020 competition:
Reef Support, an automatic warning system that uses artificial intelligence and
satellite imagery to detect coral bleaching, algal blooms,
sediment plumes and debris caused by humans, won the Copernicus Masters 2020
competition. Learn more about the system and how it works. :
ArcGIS web app incorporates datasets, NGS data layers for surveyors - GPS World:
Get an overview of an ArcGIS web application that incorporates various California-specific datasets and
National Geodetic Survey (NGS) data layers to assist surveyors planning vertical control surveys.
We're launching the world's latest Earth-observing satellite to monitor sea levels & provide data for weather forecasting and climate
5 things to know about Sentinel-6/Michael Freilich, a historic U.S.-European partnership:
Our Buyers Guide has a dedicated site that we’re continuously updating to ensure that you have the most accurate and complete resource available. With 100+ product categories and new ones added regularly, the GPS World Buyers Guide (gpsworldbuyersguide.com) is the No. 1 resource when making purchasing decisions for your company. For more information on our guide or getting your company listed, please contact Emily Adkins at
OneWeb LEO PNT: Progress or Risky Gamble? - Inside GNSS:
Under Attack – Receiver Response to Spoofing: Robustness vs. Resilience - Inside
DHS PNT Conformance Framework - Important Step in "Toughening" Users:
Dana A. Goward's Blog Editor's Note: The community and government have long struggled to define "resilience" when it comes to
GPS/GNSS receivers. While it does not provide the "procurement language" so many have called for, this is a huge step forward for the community. We will likely publish more on this in the coming weeks, but we wanted to ensure it was highlighted for our readers.
DoT Maritime Spoofing, Jamming Workshop Slides Posted:
GRIT - GNSS Resilience and Integrity Technology:
It takes GRIT to protect your position, navigation and timing measurements. Introducing the new #GNSS Resilience and Integrity Technology
(GRIT), a commercial suite of firmware enabling trusted situational awareness and mitigation of possible interference and spoofing threats across applications and environments.
With spoofing detection, interference mitigation and time-tagged data snapshots of analog to digital samples to characterize your RF
GRIT protects your positioning solution no matter where it takes you.
Learn more >> https://hxgn.biz/32xOFhQ
Triton Submarines — famous for underwater explorations including that of the Titanic — replaced large, outdated computers onboard with rugged tablets.
Find out how the tablets have eased tracking and communication:
Solution to GPS Hacking:
To see unclassified commercial
document that discusses a solution to GPS Hacking as the first main article, please click this link.
Unmanned survey vessel efficiently maps seabeds - GPS World:
In the busy Shizuoka harbor, Weichao Liu of CHC Navigation used the company’s
Apache6 marine drone to take a bathymetric survey of a channel in preparation for dredging at a Shizuoka seaport. Here's how the survey was conducted.
GSA, Public Safety sign BroadGNSS agreement on critical infrastructure:
Europe seeks alternative PNT services, deadline Jan. 13 - GPS World:
GNSS Access is the Mainstay of Modern World - Geospatial World:
South Korea partners with broadcaster on eLoran and 10-cm GPS - GPS World:
Can I Trust These Signals? - Galileo's Proposed Authentication Services:
Dana Goward: "Authentication seems to be the challenge of the age. Can you trust information you find on line? What political "leaders" are saying? Or how about those signals from space?
The folks over at the EU's Galileo program are trying to do something about the signals from their satnav system, at least. They have plans for two authentication services. An open service available to all and a commercial, fee-based service.
Our colleague Logan Scott, of Logan Scott consulting (and one of the smartest guys we know) pointed out this blog post series
about these services. Our readers with a technical background will find it interesting.
And here is a presentation about them that was given at the PNT Advisory Board meeting last December.
We note that, while the US government likes to call GPS "the gold standard" for GNSS, no such authentication service is planned. The
USAF has been experimenting with Logan Scott's Chimera proposal, but we haven't seen any proposal to operationalize it.
All of these efforts are good, though they will require users to upgrade their recievers to take advantage. Even then, while
receivers would be more resistant to jamming and spoofing, they wouldn't be immune.
A system of systems apporach is needed, including terrestrial signals such as those mandated by the
National Timing Resilience and Security Act of 2018.
Let's get those on line too as quickly as possible, so users only have to upgrade their equipment once."
(pdf presentation about them)
3 Dec 2020 - U.S. DOT, MARAD Convene Panel on GPS Jamming and Spoofing - Maritime Executive:
China Research Paper on Differential eLoran - Sensors Journal:
Research on the eLoran Differential Timing Method:
Abstract: An enhanced long-range navigation (eLoran) system was selected as the backup of
Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), and experts and scholars are committed to improving the accuracy of the
eLoran system such that its accuracy is close to the GNSS system. A differential method called
eLoran differential timing technology is applied to the eLoran system, which has been used in maritime applications of eLoran. In this study, an application of
eLoran differential timing technology in a terrestrial medium is carried out. Based on the
eLoran timing service error, the correlation of the timing service error is analyzed in theory quantitatively to obtain the range of the difference station in the ground. The results show that to satisfy the timing accuracy of 100 ns, the action range of
eLoran difference station on the land needs to be less than 55 km. Therefore, the
eLoran differential method is proposed, and in the difference station, the theoretical calculation is combined with the measurement of the signal delay to obtain the difference information, which is sent to the users to adjust the prediction delay and improve the
eLoran timing precision. The experiment was carried out in the Guan Zhong Plain, and the timing error of the user decreased from 394.7287 ns
(pre-difference) to 19.5890 ns (post-difference). The proposed method is found to effectively enhance the timing precision of the
eLoran system within the scope of action.
Please click this link to
see the unclassified pdf on eLoran Differential Timing Method
U.S. Already 0-1 in Tech War With China - National Defense:
Blog Editor's (Dana A. Goward) Note: A disturbing Op-Ed discussing China's dominance in rare earths and
progress on 5G, quickly suggesting that the score might already be 0-2. Or maybe 0-3
if you throw in AI.
However you are scoring, the U.S. is another point down to China in the tech war because of
And it's not merely that Bei Dou is newer than GPS.
China has a Comprehensive PNT Plan announced at Stanford last year. And they are executing it. They have
PNT at MEO and are putting it at LEO and GEO. And they are
upgrading their Loran system to eLoran and expanding it into the less populated western region of the country. This for the express purpose of ensuring they have
PNT independent of space and terrestrial location.
James Keissling, Systems architect and analyst: Commenting on recent late
2020 test intercept of potential enemy ICBM:
If you define a 'test' as having some representation of the underlying problem - then nope. Please consider the physical geometry of a real engagement - its effectively nose-on. As the shown diagram appears to be more a chase, its not clearly representative.
Ralph Savelsberg, Associate Professor at Netherlands Defense Academy:
I agree. One of the challenging aspects of intercepting an ICBM-like target is the larger closing velocity than when intercepting an IRBM. Assuming that the range at which the KV resolves its target doesn't change much, that leaves it with much less time to correct its trajectory and consequently it may run into the limit of its divert. So, if you want to reduce that risk you have to reduce the closing velocity and this is pretty much the geometry you'd pick for that. In the real world, however, it seems highly unlikely that you'd actually have this option.
Russian and Chinese space weapons could plunge West into DARK AGES with crashed economy and mass blackouts, experts warn - The Sun:
Dana A. Goward's Blog Editor's Note: The Sun is a British tabloid known for its sensational take on most things. Sensationalism aside, we need to ask ourselves, what in this article is not true or likely true?
Debbie White, author
17 Dec 2020, 12:48
Updated: 17 Dec 2020, 15:05
RUSSIAN and Chinese space weapons could "unleash havoc" in a satellite attack which could cost the
UK some £1billion a day, experts have warned.
It is feared an orbital onslaught could shut down hospitals, crash the economy, knock out communications, and cause mass blackouts.
Space tech is becoming a new arms race as nations roll out anti-satellite
weapons, ground-based lasers and GPS jammers which experts say all pose a
"significant threat" to the West.
Leading boffins painted a bleak picture to The Sun Online of a devastating attack involving these devices which have stepped from the pages of science fiction.
The warning comes as the US and UK yesterday accused Russia of launching another anti-satellite missile -
the third of its kind in 2020.
And it follows China staking its claim to the stars by planting a flag on the moon as a spy chief warned: the Communist regime is the "greatest threat" facing the
Galileo 6 Hour Outage 14 December - Update Posted
Dana A. Goward's Blog Editor's Note: We greatly admire the Galileo
project, all they have achieved and are still achieving. As a civilian project focused on economic and public benefits, the system has been designed with features not available in older and military systems such as GPS and GLONASS.
Building and operating a GNSS is an incredibly difficult and complex task, involving many difficult and complex sub-tasks. For example, we just had a conversation with Dr. Marc Weiss yesterday about the many subtleties and difficulties of building an atomic clock (not to mention one that needs to go into space), which is just one component of a
GNSS. You also need rocket science, Einstein's general AND special theories of relativity, and a whole lot more.
Very glad to see Galileo up and running again.
GPS and GLONASS have have outages also. Bei Dou's turn will come. Good reminders that no human-created system is perfect. All are subject to a host of vulnerabilities and threats.
The Galileo system was returned to its nominal state a few hours after the incident which occurred between 00:00 and 06:00 on Monday morning 14
This service incident is still under investigation. It is confirmed to be related to an abnormal
behavior of a ground atomic clock in the time determination function of the system.
The time synchronisation and orbit determination algorithms immediately flagged the data as MARGINAL (SISA*=NAPA**) before it affected the quality of the measurements.
However, the incorrect data was still uploaded to the satellites.
User receivers that do not process the health and status flags, or that keep MARGINAL satellites as part of the position solution computation, may have experienced large positioning errors.
* SISA: Signal In Space Accuracy
** NAPA: No Accuracy Prediction Available
*** Estimation provided based on rapid truth products available to date with the corresponding limitations.
Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European
GNSS Agency (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the
Jamming - It's not just for GPS anymore!:
It is the professional car thief's jammer toolkit! it jams GPS/GNSS, Wifi/Bluetooth/2.4 GHz, Key fobs, and Lojack. Jamming Wifi disables the
CCTV. It can also be used to stop a car from being unlocked or started near the scene of a crime. Even a police car.
(Jan. 2021) Blog Editor's (Dana A. Goward) Note: Admittedly, the below article has nothing to do with
GPS, GNSS, or navigation. But it does show a vulnerability of wireless technologies, especially those with weak signals.
And it adds to the overall national concern about resilience after we say so much far-flung damage to networks after the explosion outside an
AT&T office in Nashville.
That's why we advocate in "A Resilient National Timing Architecture" for a PNT resilience triad of
GNSS, fiber, and terrestrial low frequency, high power broadcasts. Three technologies that are as different from each other as possible.
BTW - we agree with the comment in the article - "It is not very sophisticated." Unfortunately, just about anybody can do this.
Thomas Kerr III's comment on the above: We are aware that 5G
will be using phased array antennas, which can perform adaptive beam-steering
and null-steering to thwart certain types of jammers, so they can do more
with less power than before!
(Jan. 2021)Top 10 GPS Spoofing Events in History - Threat Technology:
Blog Editor's (Dana A. Goward) Note: It is kind of jarring to realize that this has been going on
for so long that we can talk about "the history" of spoofing. One would have hoped that, given the potential dire implications, a serious effort to eliminate the problem would have mostly solved, or at least managed, it by now.
The above article is an interesting review. We are wondering if there were events even more interesting that would have made the top ten, but were never discovered or made public.
What would you have included in the list?
How about the Swiss auto show were the cars were spoofed to the UK and years into the future?
Or the time a military drone accidentally (we assume) spoofed a light aircraft over Los
How about when a passenger aircraft nearly crashed into a mountain?
Full disclosure, the author of the article below is employed by Regulus
Cyber, a corporate supporter of the RNT Foundation.
(ja. 2021) The new year is here and so are we — anytime you need our Buyers Guide, you can find it on its dedicated
https://lnkd.in/eSK6qBs. And if your company is a
manufacturer, service provider or distributor and you are not listed or need to update your listing, please contact Emily Adkins at:
Solar Flux at New High, GPS Problems Possible - Space Weather News (29
Last year saw the sun reach solar minimum, the period of the least amount of activity (sunspots, flares, coronal mass ejections), We are now heading toward solar maximum.
"Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) are large expulsions of plasma and magnetic field from the Sun’s corona. They can eject billions of tons of coronal material and carry an embedded magnetic field (frozen in flux) that is stronger than the background solar wind interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) strength." (NASA)
Particularly strong CMEs impacting the earth can disable or damage satellites and ionize the
atmosphere preventing satellite signals from getting through.
The 1859 Carrington Event was so strong the "northern lights" were seen in the tropics and currents were induced in telegraph lines powerful enough to set some offices on fire. The same thing happened again in 1921 with the "New York Railway Storm," named after one of the offices that caught fire.
Earth narrowly missed being hit by a "solar super storm" in 2012.
Last week's forecast warned GPS users of potential problems, particularly in areas with auroras and in low latitudes, over the next week or so.
Thanks to Marco Lisi for highlighting this report for us.
GNSS reflectometry measurements improved with COVID-19 pandemic - GPS World:
A study shows the quality of GNSS reflectometry measurements may have improved significantly during the
COVID-19 pandemic with the lack of parked cars near the ground station. Learn more about the study, carried out by geodesists from the University of Bonn.
(Jan. 2021) ESA-funded GIDAS helps protect critical systems - GPS World:
In late 2020, the first GNSS Interference Detection and Analysis System monitoring stations were installed at the Czech airport in Brno. Learn more about the system.
Why Do We Need to Be Protecting Drone Operations from GPS Interference?:
FAA approves first fully-automated commercial drone flights - The Hill:
We hasten to point out that this FAA approval for BVLOS (beyond visual line of sight) operations comes with a wealth of restrictions on when and where these can take place. The restrictions will greatly reduce the chance of mishaps. And while the approval does not mention navigation or GPS, it does reference previous waivers that require not starting or ending operations if
GPS signals and equipment are not 100%.
That said, once operations are underway, GPS problems can arise that work against ending the flight and lead to an accident.
Solar Flux Hits New High & Big Flares Possible Now
Space Weather News 11.26.2020
The Biggest Solar Flare In Years Was Just Seen, With More Coming Soon:
Thank God, the solar flare was not oriented directly toward the Earth. However, impacts on radio communications and on
GNSS signals are expected.
X-rays and UV radiation from the flare ionized the top of Earth’s atmosphere, producing a shortwave radio blackout over the South Atlantic….
Ham radio operators and mariners may have noticed strange propagation effects at frequencies
below 20 MHz, with some transmissions below 10 MHz completely extinguished.
Our Sun Has Entered a New Cycle, And It Could Be One of The Strongest Ever Recorded:
By MICHELLE STARR8 DECEMBER 2020:
The Sun may be in for a very busy time. According to new predictions, the next maximum in its activity cycles could be the one of the strongest we've seen.
This is in direct contradiction to the official solar weather forecast from
NASA and the NOAA, but if it bears out, it could confirm a theory about solar activity cycles that scientists have been working on for years.
Much more below. Has good comments too!
Belgian company Seafar pioneers barge automation technology:
SEAFAR integrated Septentrio’s AsteRx-U dual-antenna, multi-frequency, multi-constellation receivers into its autonomous vessels to provide sub-meter positioning for navigation and control. Get more details on this tech integration.
Route Masters to build integrated public transport platform for African megacities - GPS World:
Route Masters signed up to the national SPRINT - SPace Research and
Innovation Network for Technology business support program to develop an innovative transport management solution for African cities. Learn more about the project.
Looking ahead to 2021, we want you to know that we are here for you anytime you need help making purchasing decisions for your company with our dedicated Buyers Guide site (https://lnkd.in/eSK6qBs), where you
can search for 250+ manufacturers/service providers, 100+ product/service categories, location and by keyword.
For more information on the above, please contact Emily Adkins at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FlashbackFriday: 1976: This image features the first military GPS five-channel receiver built in one of several programs that studied the feasibility of
GPS. The receiver weighed more than 270 pounds and had seats for two operators!
Today, Raytheon Technologies completed the acquisition of Blue Canyon Technologies, a leading provider of small satellites and spacecraft systems components.
From sensing subsystems to mission systems integration and from launch and range support to on-orbit operations,
Blue Canyon will further our ability to develop space capabilities faster than ever.
Welcome to Raytheon Intelligence & Space, Blue Canyon. We look forward to working with you to deliver disruptive technologies to support our customers’ success in space.
James Taiclet on LinkedIn: Lockheed Martin is acquiring Aerojet
Rocketdyne. Learn more about
Boeing test sees five AI-enabled jets teamed up:
We've just flown five surrogate jets powered by our autonomous technologies at Australia’s newest commercial drone flight test range.
The ground-breaking mission system technology was developed with the support of over 90 personnel from small-to-medium enterprises and the Queensland Government as part of the
Advance Queensland project.
The technologies developed from the project will inform future autonomous aircraft. Watch the flight below!
Erika Armstrong, 428,232 Aviation Enthusiasts | A "Chick" in the Cockpit
(her words, not mine) | ATP | Author | FRAeS | Keynote Speaker:
We've just flown five surrogate jets powered by our autonomous technologies at Australia’s newest commercial drone flight test range.
The ground-breaking mission system technology was developed with the support of over 90 personnel from small-to-medium enterprises and the Queensland Government as part of the
Advance Queensland project.
The technologies developed from the project will inform future autonomous aircraft. Watch the flight below!
#aviation #achickinthecockpit #pilots #pilottraining #pilotlife #E6B
GPS satellite SVN-77/GPS III SV04 set healthy for use - GPS World:
The U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center has issued a notice that GPS satellite SVN-77 (PRN-14) was set healthy for initial use. Get more details.
Joshua Cohen, Writer on national and international naval and defense issues:
The cheapest way to take out a carrier I know of:
1,900 crew of French aircraft carrier go into quarantine after Covid-19 outbreak!:
Congress hits fast-forward to field new capability to counter drones:
Congress wants to rapidly advance a joint program to develop and field a capability for countering drones, requiring the Pentagon to field a system as early as next fall and
adding more than $47 million to fuel the effort, according to the fiscal 2021 National Defense Authorization Act.
“The executive agent of the Joint Counter-Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems
(C-sUAS) Office, as designated by the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, shall prioritize the objective of developing and executing a plan to develop, test, and begin production of a counter unmanned aircraft system that can be fielded as early as fiscal year 2021 to meet immediate operational needs in countering Group 1, 2 and 3 unmanned aircraft systems,” read the
NDAA language released 3 Dec. 2020.
GPS Jamming & Spoofing, 2020 Year in Review - Spirent's Guy Buesnel:
Blog Editor's (Dana A. Goward) Note: This is a repost of Guy's excellent article on Linkedin. We are reposting on all our social media to help distribute this interesting item as broadly as we can.
We found his three predictions for 2021 particularly interesting.
Our thanks to Guy for his on-going insights and excellet observations in this area.
Guy is a member of RNTF's International Advisory Committee.
Full disclosure - Guy's employer, Spirent, is a corporate supporter of the foundation.
Thousands of GNSS jamming and spoofing incidents reported in 2020.
Published on December 2, 2020.
PNT Security Technologist - with expertise in testing system robustness against GPS Interference and spoofing threats
Disruptions to GNSS signals have been rife throughout the year, caused by everything from embattled pig farmers to regional conflicts. Here are some of the most notable events of 2020.
2020 has been a remarkable year in many ways. But while the coronavirus pandemic has upended operations worldwide, some global trends have continued uninterrupted.
One of them is our increasing reliance on satellite positioning, navigation and timing
(PNT) services, now an integral part of everything from smartphones to driverless vehicles.
Another is the continued rise in instances of GNSS signal interference that put those services – and those who rely on them – at risk.
Thousands of disruption incidents have been reported throughout 2020, from China to California, and from the Arctic Circle to New Zealand. Here’s my roundup of the most significant events of the year, together with a few predictions for 2021:
December 2019: Intermittent GPS signal loss experienced by aircraft landing at
Harbin airport in north-eastern China is traced to a jammer installed at a nearby pig
The South China Morning Post reports that the jammer was meant to deter drones operated by criminal gangs, whose aim was to drop packets infected with swine fever on to the herd – forcing the farmers to sell the infected meat to them at lower prices.
An extraordinary story, and one that illustrates once again how the use of illegal jammers can have unintended – and potentially serious – consequences for civil aviation.
January: Mexico passes an anti-jammer law, having discovered that GPS jammers are
used in 85% of cargo vehicle thefts in the country.
The use of ‘personal privacy devices’ (small GPS jammers that plug into a vehicle’s cigarette
lighter) to aid cargo theft is so widespread that the Mexican government has made it illegal to manufacture, sell, buy, own, install or use PPDs in the
In many countries today, only the use of such jammers is illegal – selling, buying and owning is
OK. But with criminal use of jammers on the rise, will we see similar laws passed elsewhere?
February: An alarming report made by a light aircraft pilot to NASA’s Aviation Safety Reporting System suggests possible
spoofing by a US Department of Defense (DoD) drone.
GPS World reports that the pilot noticed a DoD drone flying above them. At the same time, the aircraft’s
Primary Flight Display (PFD) started to show a location in Utah, and then
Montana, rather than its actual flight path to San Diego from Los
Even more worryingly, the aircraft’s primary navigation system did not recover after the drone encounter, eventually forcing the pilot to make a visual landing in San Diego. If there had been poor visibility that day, this could have been a dangerous incident for the pilot.
While it’s unclear whether this incident was due to incidental jamming or deliberate spoofing, the wake-up call here is the lack of resilience on the part of the navigation system. As radio frequency (RF) interference becomes increasingly common, systems need to be able to recognise when they are being disrupted, and to recover after the disruption has occurred.
February: In France, a manufacturer of high-precision GNSS equipment complains of regular disruptions to
GPS and Galileo signals at their factory.
The French Radio Frequency Agency (ANFR) investigates, and eventually tracks down the source of the interference… to a broadband router installed in the nearby apartment of an elderly lady. The defective router turns out to be emitting harmful interference centred on the 1581.15 MHz frequency, very close to
GPS L1 and Galileo E1 signals centered on 1575.42 MHz.
It’s a clear illustration of the threat of in-band and adjacent-band interference to GNSS-dependent systems, though I do wonder what the lady in question must have thought when a team of ANFR investigators with a directional antenna turned up at her door!
March: ‘Circle-style’ GPS spoofing is reported in Iran’s capital, Tehran. A
GPS user informs the US government that their (unspecified) device seems to be moving in a circle around the Iranian Army training college, when the device is in fact stationary.
GPS World follows up, finding that heatmaps from the Strava fitness app show the same circle pattern around the same building. It’s not the first time circle-style spoofing has been seen, but it’s the first outside of China, where similar patterns were observed in Shanghai in 2019.
The jury is still out as to what kind of spoofing equipment produces these circle effects (not to mention who’s doing it and why), but Spirent has had some limited success in attempting to replicate the effect in the lab, as this blog explains.
June: GPS jamming once again causes problems in the far north of Norway, close to the Russian border.
Local police have been reporting jamming incidents since 2017, affecting everything from ambulances to personal safety alarms. Norwegian authorities have identified Russia as the source of the jamming, but the attacks seem to be both unpredictable and unpreventable.
As Finnmark police chief Ellen Katrine Hætta told the High North News: “There is not much they can do about it. We as a society need to improve our systems." It’s a reminder that as civil reliance on GNSS grows, receivers must be protected against the effects of RF interference.
August: A drone crash in the UK highlights the safety risks posed by jamming and spoofing interference to
uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs).
The 25lb survey drone lost GPS reception due to RF interference at the survey
site. Although programmed to hover in place, it drifted with the wind, eventually crashing into a house and falling to the ground. Fortunately nobody was hurt, but serious injury could have resulted.
As drones are used for more tasks, manufacturers will need to ensure their receivers are robust and resilient, and that action taken by the drone on encountering
RF interference doesn’t have unintended consequences.
August: A fleet of Chinese fishing vessels are accused of misreporting their location to mask illegal fishing activity.
The ships were reporting a location off New Zealand via the Automatic Identification System
(AIS), an onboard system that reports a ship’s GPS co-ordinates. However, the Ecuador government said the ships were actually near the Galápagos Islands, where illegal fishing has occurred before.
This type of AIS ‘cloaking’ is just one of many ways that criminals use location spoofing of a
GPS-dependent system to aid their nefarious activities.
September: The US Maritime Administration (MARAD) renews its advice to the maritime industry to be vigilant for
GNSS disruptions worldwide.
It notes there have been multiple instances of interference in the Central and Eastern Mediterranean region, as well as the Persian Gulf and some Chinese ports, and encourages crews to report new instances to the US Coast Guard.
November: Echoing September’s MARAD warning, Fortune reports that GPS outages are now standard occurrences on commercial flight routes between the US, Europe and the Middle East.
Aviation association Eurocontrol says it received 3,500 reports of GPS disruption in
2019, an all-time high. Jamming is widespread across the central and Eastern Mediterranean, likely due to electronic warfare between conflicting factions in Syria, Libya and elsewhere in the region.
These reports are another reminder that RF interference is now commonly encountered in
geo-politically sensitive hotspots, creating major disruption for commercial shipping and aviation.
Three predictions for 2021:
The events of 2020 show that satellite-based PNT is becoming ever more central to our lives – and consequently, that countering the many threats to GNSS has never been more critical.
Having closely observed the evolution of GNSS threats over many years, I’d like to make three predictions for the year ahead:
#1 Spoofing will become a greater threat to commercial users
GNSS Spoofing (broadcasting of a fake or delayed GNSS signal) has been a concern in the defence domain for many years, but it’s now starting to impact commercial and civilian users too. As more devices and autonomous systems rely on GNSS, and as spoofing know-how and equipment are now relatively easy to acquire, we’ll see more unprotected systems fall victim to spoofing attacks.
#2 Assured PNT testing will move off the laboratory bench and into the field
From drones to driverless cars, autonomous systems need assured PNT services to operate reliably. Manufacturers will need to assess the real-world performance, reliability and resilience of multi-sensor systems to check they’re functioning adequately for both safety- and liability-critical operations. For that reason, we’ll see performance and integrity testing of platforms expand from the laboratory and into the field.
#3 PNT vulnerabilities will be integrated into cybersecurity frameworks
Historically, GNSS receivers have been developed and tested as standalone systems. But today they’re increasingly one subsystem in a complex device with multiple ports, sensors and connections. To a hacker, the RF interface is just another attack vector, which means that increasingly, we are likely to see that the specific
GNSS vulnerabilities in the RF domain are dealt with as part of an integrated cybersecurity framework, rather than treated in isolation.
Stay up to date with GNSS vulnerabilities.
Threats to GPS/GNSS are evolving all the time. To stay up to date with the latest news, events and incidents, join over 1,300 industry professionals in the
GNSS Vulnerabilities LinkedIn group.
A pertinent comment by Allan Bradly: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/allan-bradley-59b0093a_trumpadministration-activity-6741050405935046656-Y-wx
GPS Backup Finally Moving Closer - Aviation News from the Reason Foundation:
Google to improve urban GPS accuracy for apps:
The wrong-side-of-the-street position error in smartphones is caused by reflected GPS signals in
cities (due to multipath of a particular GPS satellite signal to the receiver of
essentially the same intensity so it isn't easily weeded out and distinguished
from the primary signal), and Google employees embarked on an ambitious project to help solve this problem. Hear from
Frank van Diggelen, principal engineer, and Jennifer Wang, product manager,
Google, on how the team has worked to resolve this issue in Androids.
LDACS-NAV could guide global aviation:
GNSS is a critical single point of failure for navigation in the aviation industry. A new white paper published by Egis says it’s time for the industry to get rid of legacy navigation aids and catch up technologically with the rest of the communications industry.
GPS is Major Threat Vector in US Maritime Cyber Plan:
The National Maritime Cybersecurity Plan issued on the 2nd of December and recently made available joins a list of national strategies and plans addressing security for the
95% of all U.S. trade that depends on maritime. It outlines a number of challenges and threats the nation must address. None are trivial.
Challenges include a too-small workforce, confused federal-level governance, and information/intelligence sharing. Also, a highly varied set of commercial and other governmental stakeholders, many of which might find it difficult to establish a credible cybersecurity program.
Threats are many and varied to both Information Technology (IT), and
Operational Technology (OT) systems. A category of threat is described as coming through electromagnetic spectrum system (EMS). Threats via EMS include communications systems and GPS.
At one point the plan describes how, in 2016, the Department of Homeland Security predicted that loss of
GPS signals would bring port operations to a halt if a backup system wasn't available. This wasn't a difficult prediction because the U.S. Coast Guard had already seen it happen in 2014.
Elsewhere the plan describes jamming and spoofing navigation as significant problems. Also, how 14 maritime groups petitioned the
U.S. Coast Guard Commandant to raise the issue at the International Maritime Organization (IMO). GNSS interference was later described by IMO as an urgent and safety of life issue.
It is good to see another national document including GPS disruption as a cyber issue. This is appropriate as disruptions:
Interfere with IT and OT systems' ability to communicate;
Interfere with end use devices (computers and equipment of all kinds) and Can insert false data into systems;
Find the plan here: NATIONAL MARITIME CYBERSECURITY PLAN, TO THE NATIONAL STRATEGY FOR MARITIME SECURITY.
(Jan. 2021) New Appointee for Key National PNT Post:
President Biden has appointed Professor Robert Hampshire from the University of Michigan as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology at the U.S.
Department of Transportation (DOT).
DOT is the federal lead for civil positioning, navigation, and
timing (PNT) issues. Within the department, the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology has this responsibility. This makes Professor Hampshire a critical player in national
Here is a link to the University of Michigan's announcement about the appointment that includes a link to
Prof. Robert Hampshire's bio:
HP names 3 new C-suite members — a chief technical officer, a chief legal officer and a chief strategy and incubation officer - Silicon Valley Business Journal:
Harvey Anderson, Esq. (Tom Kerr's cousin's son!) was mentioned in the above news
article as now being the new Chief Legal officer at HP.
(Feb. 2021) Russian Electronic Warfare System Is Capable Of Neutralizing GPS, Galileo and BeiDou Systems - Sputnik International:
Blog Editor's (Dana A. Goward) Note: This article by Sputnik is interesting as it has some nuggets of information that haven't been widely known. For one, it reveals
their spoofing capability exists simultaneously in hundreds of locations. Earlier analysis of Russian spoofing operations concluded there were only a few sets of
equipment, and these were regularly relocated to follow VIP movements. We speculate
this was the case at the time (2016 - 2019 or so) and more equipment has since been
developed and deployed.
The article also says the system is called "Pole-21." This system, or one very like it,
has long been used to spoof navigation receivers in Moscow, the Black Sea and
Electronic warfare has long been a focus for Russian forces. It is seen as
a way to neutralize the West's technology and turn it from an advantage into
As examples, years ago Russia announced installation of GPS jammers on cell towers to
disrupt cruise missile attacks on their homeland.
And a standing Russian boast has been that their electronic warfare capabilities
(which are VERY impressive) make Western aircraft carriers
It is always good to be reminded of Russia's impressive abilities to neutralize our essential space-based PNT services. Also, of the
West's critical vulnerability
relative to others Russia, China, South Korea, and
Saudi Arabia are NOT nearly as vulnerable. They each have sovereign,
terrestrial, high power, difficult-to-disrupt,
PNT systems for the express purpose of protecting themselves from interruptions of space-based signals.
MORE FROM ORIGINAL SOURCE:
Russian Electronic Warfare System IS Capable Of Neutralizing GPS, Galileo and
Sputnik International News
1 February 2021
Siberia and the Ural Mountains region will receive Pole-21 radio-electronic warfare systems designed to
defend against drones and other weapons. In this way, the
Pole-21 will become an impediment to satellite navigation systems, drones, allowing
to avoid possible attacks by cruise missiles and weapons of high precision.
In addition to interfering with enemy communications, the system is also able to inject false coordinates into these communications in order
to disorient the opponent.
According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, Izvestia told the portal, the systems
will be installed in the Ural Mountains and Siberia later this year.
Unlike systems of the same type, the Pole-21 has hundreds of radio interference transmitters installed at
a considerable distance from each other. Each of the transmitters
can be controlled remotely, allowing electronic defense to operate over an area of hundreds of square kilometers.
Although the technical characteristics of the equipment are kept secret, it is
known that the export version is capable of neutralizing the GPS satellite navigation
systems, of North American origin, European Galileo and Chinese BeiDou.
The area of action of a complex can reach 150 km². A single station on the
Pole-21 is sufficient to interfere with communications from a GPS receiver over a distance
of up to 25 km. The global GPS positioning system is used, in addition to smartphones, also in military drones, and high-precision weapons.
In addition to being able to interrupt the enemy's satellite communications, the
Pole-21 system also allows transmitting wrong coordinates to the opponent's
technological platforms. It is known that the Pole-21 entered service in
2016, having already been used in the Eastern Military District of Russia and at the
country's 201st Base in Tajikistan.
Note: We are not able to provide a hyperlink to the original of this article. The text above
was received from a highly trusted source and we are confident in its
accuracy. It is also entirely consistent with other Russian press releases and announcements.
(Feb. 2021) This image features Gladys West, whose work helped develop the Global Positioning System. Learn more about her career in a March 2018 GPS World article:
(Feb. 2021) Army researchers detect broadest frequencies ever with quantum receiver:
A new quantum sensor can analyze the full spectrum of radio frequency and real-world
signals, unleashing new potentials for Soldier communications, spectrum awareness
and electronic warfare. U.S. Army researchers built the quantum sensor, which
can sample the radio-frequency spectrum—from zero frequency up to 20
GHz—and detect AM and FM
radio, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and other communication signals:
(Feb. 2021) Sewage Plant Jams GPS Around Airport - AVWeb:
Blog Editor's (Dana A. Goward) Note: This problem impacted aircraft within 25 miles of the Wilmington, NC airport and had been documented since May 2020.
This long standing problem was finally resolved due to the persistence of the airport 's highly dedicated pilots association. They worked with the
Airline Pilots Association, the Aircraft Owners and
Pilots Association, the National Business Aviation Association, their local congressman, the
Federal Aviation Administration, and the Federal Communications Commission to find the
source of the problem.
After several attempts over the course of three months, the FCC and the FAA finally located the problem as coming from the local sewage treatment plant.
Good thing it wasn't a bad guy trying to not get caught.
Wireless Utility Controls Jammed GPS Near Airport:
by Russ Niles
January 31, 2021
Pilots using Wilmington Airport in North Carolina are hoping the mysterious and
random interruptions in GPS service near the airport are a thing of the past after an
FAA team tracked down
the likely cause. The agency officials discovered signals coming from
a utility company’s wireless control system were jamming GPS within a
two-mile radius of the airport. Pilots had
reported losing the signal in critical phases of flight including instrument
approaches. The situation was serious enough that it prompted a 25-NM NOTAM around the airport warning pilots
that they could lose GPS.
Authorities shut down 85 “emitters” used by the system within two miles of the airport and the outages stopped, according to the
ILM Pilots Association newsletter.
(Feb. 2021) ‘It’s a safety issue.’ Questions raised about GPS-based landing systems at US airports following 7 Investigators' report - WXYZ:
Blog Editor's (Dana A. Goward) Note: In the1990's after the advent of GPS, the FAA planned to decommission its ground-based navigation aids and have aircraft rely entirely on space-based systems,
essentially GPS and its augments. In 2001 a Volpe Transportation Systems Center report showed what a horribly bad idea that is.
It also pointed out that it would be a bad idea for other parts of society to rely just on GPS for navigation and
Aviation authorities in the the US and Europe, though, have never completely moved away from that
idea. "Wouldn't it be great if we could get rid of those expensive ground-based systems," they think,"
and just use those incredibly expensive satellite systems, that are paid for by someone
else!" So the
ground-based aviation navigation beacon network continues to shrink and age. We understand the
FAA has dozens of new VOR equipment in storage, for example, that they
have no funds or plans to
install (wouldn't you include the install funds with the purchase
And while some other nations are using new, much more capable and safer Instrument Landing Systems that could increase the safety, flow, and efficiency of major airports dramatically, we understand
no efforts are underway to install them in the U.S.
Report on Navy Laser, Railgun and Gun-Launched Guided Projectiles:
(Jan. 2021) Why Do We Need to Be Protecting Drone Operations from GPS Interference?:
Awesome article by Danielle Gagne at CommercialUAVNews (Commercial UAV Expo ) about our
[infiniDome LTD (GPSDOME)] work with Easy Aerial Inc. creating a new
resilient drone standard for #bvlos #borderpatrol #uavs #jamming
(Jan. 2021) FAA Files Reveal a Surprising Threat to Airline Safety: the U.S. Military's GPS Tests - IEEE Spectrum:
Blog Editor's (Dana A. Goward) Note: Perhaps the title of this article should have been "GPS Jamming Set to Crash Passenger Aircraft."
One thing I learned in Aviation Safety Officer school is that aircraft accidents are not random. If you are paying attention, you can almost always see the indications and warnings well
in advance. A host of minor problems, then some close calls.
More close calls (called in aviation "near misses"), and then finally, an aircraft is lost and people die.
The problem is that human beings often have difficulty acting to prevent bad things from happening. And for those who try to head off accidents, it is usually difficult to persuade others
that the time, effort, and expense is necessary.
Until after a bunch of people are dead. Then it is often a bit easier. But not always.
We knew natural gas leaks were dangerous. But nothing was done to give it an odor until the New London, Texas school exploded. 295 children had to die before we took action.
We knew passengers in automobiles were dying because they were not restrained in crashes. Tens of thousands had to die before we had seat belts and mandatory use.
We knew hardened cockpit doors would help prevent aircraft hijackings. 2,977 people had to die on 9/11 in a direct attack on the nation before better doors were installed.
We know GPS signals are vulnerable and need to be integrated with stronger terrestrial signals. How many will have to die before we do that?
(Jan. 2021) America Has a GPS Problem - New York Times:
Blog Editor's (Dana A. Goward) Note: Great opinion piece by Kate Murphy of the NY Times. Not much new in here for our regular readers, but very good to see this in such a well
respected and widely read outlet.
Note that she says the RNT Foundation "...advocates for an eLoran backup of
GPS." We also advocate for all the other systems the government has said are needed to backup GPS.
The government has most recently said that a combination of fiber, UHF beacons, and Low Frequency (a la eLoran) is needed to make America safe. We are happy to and do advocate for that.
Our strongest advocacy is for the government to take action. So far, all we have seen (1) studies that focus solely on critical infrastructure, and (2) warnings to users to protect themselves.
Kate Murphy, a frequent contributor to The New York Times, is a commercial pilot and author of “You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why It Matters.”
Jan. 23, 2021, 11:00 a.m. ET
Time was when nobody knew, or even cared, exactly what time it was. The movement of the sun, phases of the moon and changing seasons were sufficient indicators.
But since the Industrial Revolution, we’ve become increasingly dependent on knowing the time, and with increasing accuracy.
Not only does the time tell us when to sleep, wake, eat, work and play; it tells automated systems when to execute financial transactions, bounce data between cellular towers and throttle
power on the electrical grid.
Coordinated Universal Time, or U.T.C., the global reference for timekeeping, is beamed down to us from extremely precise atomic clocks aboard
Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites.
The time it takes for GPS signals to reach receivers is also used to calculate location for air, land and sea navigation.
Owned and operated by the U.S. government, GPS is likely the least recognized, and least appreciated, part of our critical infrastructure. Indeed, most of our critical infrastructure would
cease to function without it.
The problem is that GPS signals are incredibly weak, due to the distance they have to travel from space, making them subject to interference and vulnerable to jamming and what is known
as spoofing, in which another signal is passed off by hacking as the original. And the satellites themselves could easily be taken out by hurtling space junk or the sun coughing up a fireball.
As intentional and unintentional GPS disruptions, respectively, are on the rise, experts warn that our
over reliance on the technology is courting disaster, but they are divided on what to do
(Jan. 2021) Robots emerge from stealth: Locata's PNT orbs provide port guidance - GPS World:
GPS World visited with officials at the Ports of Auckland, New Zealand and the Australian company
Locata to reveal a revolutionary port automation system.
Find out how this system could change the way containers are handled around the
(Jan. 2021) US R&D Plan for Resilient PNT - At the very last minute:
One hour and fourteen minutes before its end, the Trump administration published the
"National Research and Development Plan for PNT Resilience."
Does it matter? Many of those who authored it are no longer in a position to do anything about it.
But yes, it still matters for several reasons. First, R&D in any area, is almost always a good thing. Also, the folks who developed the plan provided a very nice
outline of the many ways we need to improve our understanding of our PNT services. Also why and how they should be improved.
And a lot of the smart folks who contributed to it are still important players in the national
Many see the last administration as preferring to continue admiring the problem rather than acting to solve it. "More study" was a relatively constant call
as a way of deflecting the need for action.
But this is an R&D Plan. On its own, for what it is, it's a pretty great
We (i.e., Dana A. Goward) will likely write more about this in the coming weeks.
In the meanwhile, since the electronic archives at the White House are undergoing a transformation from the old administration to the new, you can find a copy
of the plan on our website at the link below.
(Jan. 2021) DOT report: L-band, UHF, LF and fiber PNT needed to protect US - GPS World:
January 19, 2021 - By Dana Goward
In a long-anticipated report issued last week, the Department of Transportation
(DOT) outlined the results of its GPS Backup Technology Demonstration
As officials had previously projected, it called for a system-of-systems approach using multiple complementary technologies.
The report called for an architecture that included signals from space in the L band, terrestrial broadcasts in the
Ultra High Frequency (UHF) and Low Frequency
spectra, and a fiber backbone to synchronize and feed precise time to terrestrial transmitters.
The demonstration project and report were mandated by Congress in legislation passed in late 2017 and funded in early
Delays within the administration resulted in the project beginning in early
The 437 page DOT report is filled to the brim with detailed information about the project, individual technologies, and demonstration results.
The Executive Summary says that...in addition to the findings from the DHS December 2018 effort (which, as mentioned above, don’t seem
to be publicly available),
the DOT demonstration had four key findings:
All TRL-qualified vendors offered showed PNT “performance of value” and one
showed value in all scenarios.
Neither eLoran company succeeded in the Static Basement Timing scenario.
R-Mode ranging did not meet the minimum technical readiness level (TRL) of 6.
Deployment effort and coverage (infrastructure per unit area) are significant cost
Addressing the needs of critical infrastructure owners and operators, the report concluded
the needed “…technologies are LF and UHF terrestrial and L-band satellite broadcasts for
PNT functions with
supporting fiber optic time services to transmitters/control segments.”
NOAA Contract for Prototype GPS-Denied Receiver:
Blog Editor's (Dana A. Goward) Note: We were interested to see this navigation sensor fusion effort sponsored by
According to Jack Elston at Black Swift, the $400K contract will result in a prototype navigation receiver that will probably fly first on one of the company's drones.
Integrating other sources with GPS as a way of increasing resilience will likely be a burgeoning field.
The US Department of Defense is pursuing the holy grail of this with it's modular open systems approach (MOSA). The idea is to be able to integrate, prioritize, and
use virtually all legacy and future P, N, and T sources with a simple "plug and play" box or algorithm.
Rather than re-describe Black Swift Technologies' project, we have reproduced their press release below.
18 Jan. 2021, NOAA Awards Black Swift Technologies Contract to Develop GPS-Denied Navigation
Posted at 14:34h in Uncategorized by Michael Irvin
Enabling Beyond Visual Line-of-Sight (BVLOS) Operations for
UAS in GNSS-Denied Environments
Boulder, CO – (January 18, 2021) – With nearly 95,000 miles of domestic coastline,
NOAA’s National Geodetic Survey faces a daunting task. Under current
regulations, unmanned aircraft system (UAS) operators are required to keep their aircraft within visual line of sight, making coastline surveys time-consuming and
arduous, having to tediously map 2-mile segments at a time, and then relocate to the next operating area. To address this challenge
NOAA has selected Black Swift
Technologies (BST) to develop commercially viable technology enabling GPS-denied navigation of UAS—technology critical in enabling long distance,
line-of-sight (BVLOS) flights.
“Enabling BVLOS operations in the National Airspace System is largely an issue of improved sensing,” states Jack Elston, Ph.D., CEO of
Black Swift Technologies.
“Operators, both government and commercial, are looking to perform missions over longer distances. These users represent a number of currently under-utilized
applications for UAS due to capability and regulations—applications such as aerial imaging, environmental observation, precision agriculture, and infrastructure
monitoring and inspection.”
Accurate aircraft position information is essential for safe UAS operations within the
Unmanned Aircraft Systems Traffic Management (UTM) system. Unfortunately, the
primary system that provides position information, GPS is a single point of failure in the system, subject to jamming and spoofing, along with on-board failure or poor
signal quality in locations such as urban canyons, at high latitudes or at high altitudes.
BST aims to provide a robust, secondary navigation option through their diverse-source
global positioning system (DS-GPS) that will provide accurate position updates
to UAS in GPS denied areas through augmented sensor suites and advanced machine learning capabilities. This will be performed through the careful weighted fusion
of advanced machine vision algorithms with the localization of the vehicle using triangulated signals of opportunity—essentially everything emitted within a set of frequencies
from a non-moving source.
How it Works:
DS-GPS utilizes a standard GPS receiver augmented through the use of additional sensing capabilities to estimate inertial velocity and absolute position. This information
allows for the vehicle to determine when the GPS signal is degraded either through spoofing or environmental effects. Other sensors, including cameras and a
software-defined-radio, can then be used to replace the
GPS as the primary navigational sensor providing position and velocity estimates from diverse sources.
“Black Swift Technologies has worked with NOAA in particular in the past to supply systems that can be used for both coastline work and atmospheric science,”
Elston emphasizes. “The work in this
SBIR is a natural extension of the machine learning based techniques BST has been developing for unmanned aircraft. One
of the key technologies of this work is to use machine vision (both optical flow and
SLAM) to allow continued safe flight of UAS in the event of loss of
associated with coastline inspection and mapping would greatly benefit from BVLOS operations since this would significantly reduce the amount of time an operator
has to spend in the field.”
(Jan. 2021) The drive to autonomy: Companies gear up with sensors, strategies - GPS World:
For the past decade, widespread deployment of autonomous vehicles
(AV) has been just over the horizon. Check out some challenges car manufacturers are facing
with AV development
(Jan. 2021) US Army heads into future tactical unmanned aircraft rodeo next month:
The U.S. Army is heading into a culminating event used to evaluate four different unmanned aircraft systems capable of replacing the service’s current tactical
the Textron-made Shadow.The service will hold a “rodeo” at Fort Benning,
Georgia, the last week of February through the first week of March where all five of the
Brigade Combat Teams which spent the last year evaluating Future Tactical UAS systems will be represented, Brig. Gen. Wally Rugen, who is in charge of Army
aviation modernization, told Defense News in a recent interview.
The Army selected four UAS in 2019 as candidates to replace the Shadow. Each candidate would undergo soldier assessments to help inform requirements for
a FTUAS capability that would fit into a future vertical lift ecosystem to include new helicopters and other air-launched effects.
The service first selected two teams to provide systems for the soldier-led evaluation in March 2019:
Martin's UAV and Textron’s AAI Corporation.
teamed with Northrop Grumman to provide its V-Bat UAS. Textron offered its
(Jan. 2021) Norway Diplomacy Plan for GNSS Disruption Not Working:
The report was completed on the 19th of December 2019. With the speed of government, it was reviewed, approved and finally posted for public viewing on the
18th of December 2020:
Titled "GNSS/GPS Disruptions in Aviation," the report by a Norwegian working group also offers some familiar comments on the essentiality of
as well as a number of insights into Norwegian and European thinking and plans for transportation.
It repeatedly discusses the criticality and vulnerability of GNSS services:
It has gradually been recognized that GNSS systems are vulnerable, with a high risk of serious consequences for society in the event of a signal outage...
A serious failure in the PNT services will spread to other parts of society and may cause problems in maintaining services on which the population depends.
PNT system failures can occur for reasons including disruption of GNSS signals.
The report also documents how, despite this, the west is becoming increasingly dependent on
GNSS. For example:
Despite the development in disruptions of GPS signals in aviation, the EU continues to
emphasize the use of satellite-based systems in all modernization and
digitalization in aviation in the years to come. (EC IR 1048/2018)
Norway, especially Norwegian aviation in the far north, is particularly dependent upon
GNSS. Despite its findings, the report offers surprisingly little in terms of
proposed action other than continued monitoring and diplomacy.
In fact, it declares that diplomacy with Russia is the solution.
Russia repeatedly jammed GPS in northern Norway for years, including during NATO's 2018 Trident Juncture
exercise. In February 2019 Norwegian officials
held a diplomatic meeting with the Russian military to protest and discuss the matter. The jamming then stopped. This led the report to say:
Since this meeting and until the finalization of this report on 19 December 2019,
no GPS disruptions have been registered in Norwegian airspace over
Finnmark county. If, contrary to expectation, similar problems should occur in the future, this experience shows that we have both military and diplomatic
communication channels available that permit such problems to be addressed.
Unfortunately, shortly after the report was completed, GPS in northern Norway was being jammed again.
(Jan. 2021) Allan Klo 19 April 2020:
Powerless against GPS interference:
Once again, jamming of GPS signals has created challenges for civil aviation in eastern Finnmark. The Norwegian authorities have repeatedly addressed
the problems of the alleged culprits – Russia – without helping.
Despite this jamming, Norway's group of State Secretaries approved the report as it was on the 6th of May 2020.
The Norwegian government is in a politically tight spot on this. As a staunch member of the European Space Agency, Norway's leaders have
devoted tens of millions of dollars to the Galileo GNSS project.
And in 2015, to show loyalty to the Galileo effort, they shut down the nation's Loran
system. This despite warnings from internal security experts
about GNSS vulnerability, increasing jamming and spoofing, and the desirability of maintaining sovereign, exceptionally
difficult-to- disrupt PNT.
Norwegian officials also ignored observations that Russia was keeping its Loran system to use alongside satellite systems, and pleas from
the UK to keep some of the Norwegian stations on line to enable its new precision e-Loran network.
Perhaps the actions of Norway's politicians were to be expected. After all, the United States had shut down its Loran system in 2010 to show
loyalty to GPS. - Don't you hate it when the U.S. sets a bad example that gets others in trouble?
Yet Norway has some advantages over the U.S. in this regard.
Norway is even more dependent on GPS/GNSS than America. And Norway has a neighbor that regularly reminds them of GNSS vulnerability, and that
they can take the signals away with the flip of the switch. And, by the way, even if Norway were interested in doing the same thing to Russia,
it wouldn't have nearly the same effect because of the Russian Loran system.
We hope these things will eventually stir Norwegian leaders from their lethargy and set them on the path to establishing a terrestrial PNT system
of their own.
Perhaps it will be an eLoran system like the one South Korea is
building. South Korea's system will cooperate and work with neighboring Russian Loran
to provide users greater coverage and resilience. The Korean system will also be able to operate on its own and protect the nation during those times
Russia and other neighbors are not in a good mood:
(Jan. 2021) Greece and France ink $3 billion contract for Rafale fighter jets:
The Greek and French defense ministers in Athens today witnessed the signature of the contract to buy 18 Rafale fighter aircraft after Greek parliamentarians
approved the €2.5 billion ($3.04 billion) deal earlier this month.
Nikos Panagiotopoulos and his French counterpart, Florence Parly, looked on whilst Theodoros Lagios, the director general of armaments and investments at
the Greek Ministry of Defense, and Eric Trappier, chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation, the aircraft manufacturer, signed the contract for 12 second-hand aircraft,
which will be taken out of the French Air Force inventory, and six new ones.
The contract includes the aircraft’s weapons. A second contract was signed for the logistical support of the aircraft.
Speaking after the signing ceremony, Parly remarked how pleased she was that Greece had made a “resolutely European choice” by opting for the French-made
aircraft, thus becoming Dassault’s first European export customer.
(Jan. 2021) Our team delivered the first F/A-18 Super Hornet from our Service Life Modification line in San Antonio to the US
This marks our second SLM line upgrading and extending the life of Super Hornets to ensure readiness for the U.S.
(Jan. 2021) FAA Files Reveal a Surprising Threat to Airline Safety: the U.S. Military's GPS Tests - IEEE Spectrum:
Blog Editor's (Dana A. Goward) Note: Perhaps the title of this article should have been "GPS Jamming Set to Crash Passenger Aircraft."
One thing I learned in Aviation Safety Officer school is that aircraft accidents are not random. If you are paying attention, you can almost always see the indications
and warnings well in advance. A host of minor problems, then some close calls. More close calls
(within aviation, called "near misses"), and then finally, an aircraft is lost
and people die.
The problem is that human beings often have difficulty acting to prevent bad things from happening. And for those who try to head off accidents, it is usually difficult to persuade others that the time, effort, and expense is necessary.
Until after a bunch of people are dead. Then it is often a bit easier. But not always.
We knew natural gas leaks were dangerous. But nothing was done to give it an odor until the New London, Texas school exploded. 295 children had to die before we
We knew passengers in automobiles were dying because they were not restrained in crashes. Tens of thousands had to die before we had seat belts and their
We knew hardened cockpit doors would help prevent aircraft hijackings. 2,977 people had to die on
9/11 in a direct attack on the nation before better doors
We know GPS signals are vulnerable and need to be integrated with stronger terrestrial signals. How many will have to die before we do that?
(Jan. 2021) FAA Files Reveal a Surprising Threat to Airline Safety: the U.S. Military's GPS Tests:
Military tests that jam and spoof GPS signals are an accident waiting to happen
By Mark Harris
Early one morning last May, a commercial airliner was approaching El Paso International Airport, in West Texas, when a warning popped up in the cockpit:
“GPS Position Lost.” The pilot contacted the airline’s operations center and received a report that the U.S. Army’s White Sands Missile Range, in South
Central New Mexico, was disrupting the GPS signal. “We knew then that it was
not an aircraft GPS fault,” the pilot wrote later.
The pilot missed an approach on one runway due to high winds, then came around to try again. “We were forced to Runway 04 with a predawn landing with
no access to [an instrument landing] with vertical guidance,” the pilot wrote. “Runway 04…has a high
CFIT threat due to the climbing terrain in the local area.”
CFIT stands for “controlled flight into terrain,” and it is exactly as serious as it sounds.
(Jan. 2021) Rheinmetall and MBDA win contract for Naval Laser Weapons System - Naval News:
(Jan. 2021) After more than five years of hard work by 131 authors from 18
countries, the new book set Position, Navigation, and Timing
Technologies in the 21st Century (PNT21) is finally ready to meet readers. Here's what you can expect to see in the book.:
(Jan. 2021) Use of autonomous vehicles in mining and farming touted at CES 2021 - GPS World:
At this year’s virtual CES 2021 trade show, Caterpillar
Inc. and John Deere showcased autonomous machines that are being used worldwide in farming and mining projects.
Check out the innovations both companies brought to the table.
University revises PNT backgrounder In response to concerns - GPS World:
January 26, 2021 - By Dana Goward
George Mason University has revised a briefing paper on positioning,
navigation and timing (PNT) in response to concerns about its accuracy.
The university’s National Security Institute “NSI Backgrounder — Beyond
GPS: The Frontier of Positioning, Navigation, and Timing Services” was first issued on Dec. 2. Some staff
on Capitol Hill and members of industry soon had concerns about several of its assertions.
Responding to letters from industry in the above active link, National Security Institute
(NSI) Executive Director and Professor Jamil Jaffer said he determined that three of the issues raised, while not fatal to
the document, warranted clarification.
eLoran callout: The first was a statement in the backgrounder that the National
Timing Resilience and Security Act (NTRSA) “specifies
13 technical requirements for a GPS backup,
which essentially define the eLoran system.”
This was a concern to some on the hill as Congress is generally reluctant to specify solutions. Legislators prefer to specify outcomes and then defer to the executive branch on how to
make them happen.
Members of industry pointed out that government systems like WWVB and the low-frequency portion of
DARPA’s STOIC program:
as well as commercial systems like NextNav and Locata, could meet or be adapted to meet the
existing NTRSA requirement.
The revised backgrounder says the NTRSA “specifies 13 mainly technical requirements for a
GPS back-up, which align closely with the capabilities of the eLoran system. Other systems
may meet the Act’s requirements to varying degrees.”
Multiple technologies. The revised backgrounder also corrects a statement that the
NTRSA requires the Department of Transportation to establish an eLoran system. It now says
“a system that complies with the Act, and DOT may pursue multiple technologies in implementing the Act.”
Department officials had previously said they were taking a system-of-systems approach and expected to employ multiple technologies. Subsequently, a
DOT report was released that
documents the need for several diverse systems. It lists transmissions using
low frequency: (eLoran, STOIC), ultra high frequency:
(NextNav, Locata) and L-band: from space:
It also says the terrestrial transmitters should be interconnected by
Public-private partnership: A third correction was made in the document to reflect how the
Congressional Budget Office regarded the possibility of using a public-private partnership
in previously proposed legislation.
Members of industry also expressed concern that one of the authors of the document serves on the advisory board for Satelles Inc. and that this was not disclosed in the paper.
The backgrounder appeared on the Satelles website the same day it was
The university concluded that such disclosure was not necessary as the paper said the author “provides advisory services to industry, including in the
PNT area.” At the author’s request,
though, his profile on NSI’s webpage will be updated to show his relationship with
(Jan. 2021) Memorandum on Space Policy Directive 7 | The White House:
It looks like data and signal authentication is going to be made available for civil
GPS users. This is basically what Chimera is all about on NTS-3.
From Memorandum on Space Policy Directive 7 (https://lnkd.in/eza-AGA)
"Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Homeland Security,
jointly develop and validate requirements and a funding strategy to implement data and signal authentication
of civil GPS and wide area augmentations for homeland security and public safety purposes consistent with the Federal
Radionavigation Plan or its successor plan."
(Jan. 2021) What to do when GPS is compromised:
(Jan. 2021) James Litton, GPS and precision ag pioneer, dies:
By Dana Goward
January 26, 2021
James D. Litton, GPS pioneer and founder of NavCom Technology
Inc., died over the weekend at his home in California with his family at his side. He was
89 years old.
Litton was an early contributor to the development of GPS user equipment. He also played a pivotal role in the
GPS-driven transformation of global agriculture that has greatly benefited humanity.
No alt text provided for this image
Litton was the director of engineering at Magnavox Research Labs when researchers were working on using
CDMA for range measurements, a precursor to the GPS system. He also worked on the original proposal for GPS Phase I.
Later, as general manager of Magnavox’s Marine and Survey Systems Division, he helped develop new and advanced commercial navigation and survey receivers for both the Navy’s TRANSIT system and the Air Force’s GPS.
His team developed the first microprocessor-based commercial satellite navigation receivers and the first commercial
GPS survey software. This led to Magnavox eventually having more than a 90 percent share of the survey receiver market.
The firm eventually held more than two dozen patents for improvements in GPS
In 1992, Litton left Magnavox to start a consulting business. Two years later,
with Ron Hatch, K.T. Woo and Jalal Alisobhani, he founded
NavCom Technology Inc. With Litton as CEO, NavCom became a significant player in the GPS
Among its achievements was development — under contract — of a single-frequency WAAS-capable GPS aircraft navigation
NavCom also began a relationship with Deere & Company, supporting more efficient and productive agriculture. This relationship was so successful that
Deere purchased NavCom in 1999. Litton continued to lead the company and serve as part of
Deere’s senior management team for eight more years.
In recognition of his many achievements to the field, Jim Litton was presented the Institute of Navigation’s Hays Award in
Among his many contributions, his impact on global agriculture might well have been his greatest, according to
Brad Parkinson, the original chief architect for GPS.
“His work transformed agriculture into a data-driven, technological industry that was incredibly more efficient,” Parkinson said. “The cost savings and increases in productivity have impacted billions around the world.”
With challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, Litton’s family are still considering arrangements for a memorial service. Information will be posted on the
RNT Foundation website when it becomes available.
Jim's family has created a memorial fund at Doctors Without Borders for those wishing to make a donation in honor of his life and many good works. Click Here.
(Jan. 2021) AutoX, an Alibaba Group backed startup announced it had rolled out fully driverless
robo-taxis on public roads in Shenzhen.
(Jan. 2021) Passwordless: The Future of Authentication:
Eliminate reliance on passwords. Download the free white paper to discover the five-step path to
(Jan. 2021) Loh’s Method: A Different Way to Solve Quadratic Equations:
In the latest episode of Visual Studio Toolbox, #ASPNET PM Sayed Hashimi shows us how to create and optimize .NET Core project
Learn more: https://msft.it/6045plHlx
From the skies to the stars:
From propellers to propulsion, #RaytheonTech is engineering the advanced aerospace and defense technology that connects humanity to the skies and the stars.
Learn how: https://lnkd.in/durmTMU
(Jan. 2021) What is space debris and why is it a potential problem? Join us on
10th February 2021: “Space Debris Day”, at 1:00PM for a live Zoom
webinar to learn about the science and politics involved in solving this astroenvironmental issue, and why it is important
for us to better manage what we leave out in space. https://lnkd.in/gtNgfBF
Why the risk of space collisions is skyrocketing now
The OpFires countdown has begun. We're (i.e., RTX) partnering with DARPA to demonstrate the capability of a hypersonic boost glide missile that blazes through
air defenses to engage targets at medium ranges. Read more: http://lmt.co/2XyFECe
DARPA’s Operational Fires (OpFires) program awards a new phase of the intermediate-range hypersonic ground-launch weapons program to
It involves full-scale missile fabrication, assembly, and flight testing. https://lnkd.in/gPga3-P
(Jan. 2021) Mitochondrial Changes Key to Health Problems in Space:
Living in space isn't easy. There are notable impacts on the biology of living things in the harsh environment of space. A team of scientists has now identified a possible
underlying driver of these impacts: the powerhouse of the cell, called mitochondria, experiences changes in activity during spaceflight. Recently published in the journal
Cell, these results used data collected over decades of experimental research on the
International Space Station, including samples from 59 astronauts. Studies such
as these are critical to understanding the effects of low gravity, radiation, confined spaces, and more as
NASA sends astronauts deep into space for extended missions
to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.
'LEO is an orbital junkyard' NASA - The Tragedy of the Commons & Losing Access to Space:
"LEO is an orbital space junk yard. There are millions of pieces of space junk flying in
LEO. Most orbital debris comprises human-generated objects, such as pieces of space craft,
tiny flecks of paint from a spacecraft, parts of rockets, satellites that are no longer working, or explosions of objects in orbit flying around in space at high speeds.
Most “space junk” is moving very fast and can reach speeds of 18,000 miles per hour, almost seven times faster than a bullet. Due to the rate of speed and volume of
debris in LEO, current and future space-based services, explorations, and operations pose a safety risk to people and property in space and on Earth." - NASA Headquarters Library
Some estimates have over 100,000,000 objects in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) large enough and moving fast enough to damage satellites and other objects.
Such collisions create more debris, which then creates more opportunities for collisions... You get the idea.
It is called the Kessler Syndrome and was featured in the film "Gravity" with Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. In the film, a Kessler event takes out the
International Space Station. Spoiler alert, Clooney eventually dies and Bullock barely makes it back to
Earth (but her hair stays miraculously intact).
Some percieve a slower but developing Kessler Event happening even now.
Debris was first blamed for damage to a satellite in 1981 (even more so from an
F-15 in the late 1980's). Reports have continued since. These have included multiple instances of damage
International Space Station, space shuttles, as well as satellites. We were unable to find an authoritative compilation of these events (Dear Readers, please send if you know of one),
but it is a sure bet they are getting more, rather than less, frequent.
Space, especially LEO space, is suffering from The Tragedy of the Commons. Much like the world's oceans, cyberspace, and fresh air, many use and degrade it for their own profit, but few (if any)
take care of and preserve it. Short term greed and a disregard for the common good - perhaps two sides of the same coin - override the long term interests of all.
Here are some short videos on the problem that may be of interest. The most pessimistic envisions humanity trapped on Earth by a
LEO layer of debris too thick to even risk flying through.
Eyes on the Sky - University of Texas - A UT space video that does not feature Todd Humphreys, for some reason.
Space Debris - A journey to Earth - by the European Space Agency (ESA).
ESA regularly holds conferences on this subject.
The End of Space - by Kurzgesagt a German educational animation studio.
Note: The risk to GPS/GNSS satellites at MEO is much less because there is, probably, much less debris. The only known case of
MEO pollution was in 1963 when the U.S. Air Force
at the behest of MIT Lincoln Laboratory, deployed 480 copper needles for Project West Ford, an attempt to create an artificial
ionosphere to bounce radio waves off of for communications
in case of a terrestrial or atmospheric nuclear event. NASA believes most of the needles have de-orbited by now.
All of this is not to say there aren't efforts to restore and preserve LEO.
ESA plans to have a space debris collector launched in 2025. And there are
multilateral international agreements
about the need for future satellites to automatically deorbit at the end of their useful lives. This is essential - tens of thousands
of new satellites are planned for LEO in the next couple of years.
Yet Russia and China continue to practice destroying satellites in space. And most of the existing debris, including the millions of lethal bits too small to be tracked, aren't going away anytime soon.
One wonders if efforts to make the problem better will ever be able to get ahead of natural and human effects that steadily make it worse.
Perhaps, one of the things we should do is ensure every service from space is also provided independently from the ground. That way, regardless of a Kessler Event, Carrington-like solar flare,
or some other mishap to one or more space-based services, we won't be caught unprepared.
It is possible to see the future sometimes. You just have to be brave enough to not avert your eyes.
The above editorial authored by Dana A. Goward (and tampered with here
and there by Tom Kerr)
(please see Dana A. Goward's original on Linkedin since many topics have active links
supplied there that Dana A. Goward did not convey here)
First Fix: National timing architecture needed now:
December 14, 2020 - By Dana Goward
The Empire State Building sits atop a massive and solid foundation that hardly anyone ever sees. Above ground it has 2.8 million square feet of offices and hundreds of businesses. It houses 15,000 workers. Yet it would all come crashing down if the underlying and unseen foundation weren’t incredibly strong and dependable.
Timing is the unseen foundation of every networked technology, digital broadcast, financial transaction, electrical grid management and of most navigation systems, just to name a few applications. Yet, as GPS World readers know, signals from our dominant source of timing — GPS — are very faint and easily disrupted.
Short term, localized disruptions happen all the time, and many systems have adapted. A delivery driver using a jammer to hide from his boss is unlikely to disrupt a cell base station as he passes by, for example.
But more serious threats are out there. More and more hobbyists are finding ways to spoof receivers. Every few decades the sun flares strongly enough to fry satellites or charge the ionosphere. And because there are so few alternatives, GPS and other GNSS have become huge, tempting targets for adversary nations, terrorists, and sophisticated hackers.
Instead of Manhattan bedrock, our timing foundation is sometimes more like shifting sands.
Systems engineering tells us that, if something is essential, there ought to be two, three or more independent ways of receiving it. Most aircraft, for example, have two or three systems powering the flight controls —
because controlled flight is important!
The white paper “A Resilient National Timing Architecture” outlines how the United States can leverage existing infrastructure and provide all citizens two, and many of them three, independent paths to
Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).
It proposes a national timing back- bone of mature technologies with very different failure modes —
GNSS, eLoran and fiber. This combination will provide rock-solid timing at the 500 ns or better level of accuracy relative to UTC everywhere across the nation, and at 100 ns or better in major metro areas. Users accessing two or more systems would be nearly bulletproof to
attempted timing service disruptions.
The National Timing Resilience and Security Act of 2018 mandated a terrestrial system to back up
GPS timing. Our white paper provides a path forward.
Complying with the law while benefiting current and future technologies should be sufficient motivation. If it isn’t, we must also realize that not acting on this will continue to place us behind other nations such as the United Kingdom, South Korea, Russia and China — all of whom are actively reinforcing their national timing systems.
The task will not be a simple one. Yet America was able to overcome the expense and difficulties of building
GPS, at the time the world’s most refined and complex technology, and put it in space. By comparison, establishing a resilient national timing architecture using existing technology in our homeland would be child’s play.
Timing is essential. It is infrastructure for our infrastructure. If our national timing is weak,
so is everything that is built upon it.
We will profit from ensuring our timing is as strong, resilient, and easily accessed as possible.
And we will suffer if it is neglected.
Relevant Comment on the above:
Jeffrey DeCoux, Chairman - Autonomy Institute - leading Intelligent, and Autonomous Infrastructure & Systems. Path to Commerce for Industry 4.0 and Autonomous Systems
We have billions of dollars being allocated to invest in the nation's digital infrastructure that supports 5G/ITS/Edge/APNT/Grid. Resilient
APNT and electricity are coming.
GPS III SV04 receives operational acceptance, 1 more needed for M-code:
The fourth GPS III satellite, space vehicle (SV) 04, received U.S. Space Force’s Operational Acceptance approval. Read more about this milestone.
(Jan. 2021) High-performance gyroscope for automotive, aeronautic and industrial applications:
CEA-Leti scientists, together with researchers at Politecnico di
Milano, have developed the world’s first high-performance gyroscope for operating in severe environments, such as industrial and aeronautic equipment and automobiles.
According to the team, this breakthrough proves it is possible to detect minute rotational movement even among system vibrations.
(Feb. 2021) Trimble introduces next-generation 3D paving control platform - GPS World:
Trimble Inc. released the Trimble Roadworks 3D Paving Control Platform, a next-generation platform for 3D asphalt paving control systems. Check out the platform's
(Feb. 2021) What if every satellite suddenly disappeared? - TED ED by Moriba Jah,
2 Feb 2021:
Blog Editor's (Dana A. Goward) Note: A great five minute video summary of all the bad things that happen when we don't have satellites. A lot of talk about
GPS, as you can imagine, and
the need for terrestrial backups for all our space systems.
Of course, in addition to the two disaster scenarios described, GPS signals could also fail due to human error (think the 2016 mishap), cyber attack, and electronic
Dr. Moriba Jah has a distinguished background in the space sciences and is currently an Asst. Professor at the University of Texas, Austin.
(Feb. 2021) The DoT’s “Complementary PNT and GPS Backup Technologies Demonstration Report” released this January has some excellent data on the relative performances of various
systems in timing and positioning. Figures 130 and 131 of the report rank the systems on “performance sensitive” and “cost sensitive” bases respectively and has
received a lot of attention. While I don’t disagree with the general assessments, there is considerable hazard in applying them blindly to select a national strategy.
The Gold Standard will be a "system of systems", not a particular system!
Firstly, there were several technologies NOT demonstrated, most notably 4G and
5G NR, both of which have significant (and demonstrated) timing and positioning capabilities
independent of GNSS. A second major hazard lies in deployed
availability. Until and unless a technology is fully deployed over the coverage area,
you will have holes
in coverage! The market will play a major role in deciding what will actually be available. A third consideration is
domain applicability. The report partially addresses
this in having diverse test environments ---indoor/outdoor; stationary/moving;
etc. but it does not make an assessment as to whether or not the technology is applicable for a
given class of user. Fiber optic to the cell phone may NOT
be as cool as it sounds.
Finally, there is the question of resiliency. NONE of the technologies
was tested in an adversarial environment, e.g. jamming, cyber-attack,
etc. A truly resilient
system is a "system of systems" and the measure of its resilience is
performance under attack and that is mostly a function of how well the systems are
In closing, this is an excellent report well worth reading that provides some good guidance on several technologies that
could help in establishing resilient
augmentations. Some ( e.g., Satelles / LEO Iridium) are available now for a
subscription price. Others (e.g., NexNav/928 MHz Beacons) perform
extremely well but
will require significant infrastructure investment as contrasted with (UrsaNav /
eLoran) which provides lesser positioning capabilities but can be deployed fairly
inexpensively. Ultimately, the choices will be made by the market!
(Feb. 2021) Detect and Avoid (DAA) Requirements Explained:
New today: "Detect and Avoid Requirements Explained According to Airspace and ACAS Classifications." Understand how your mission will determine whether your flights will operate under UTM or ATC, require #RemoteID or #ADSB, and what a certifiable #DAA system will look like.
The above prompted a comment from
James Farrell (Owner at Vergil):
Again, avoidance can NEVER succeed in dense traffic without accounting for fundamentals:
1) instantaneous position history won't tell what's ahead,
2) transponder distance is good; cross-range is CRUDE,
3) cross-range is improved by sightline rotation,
4) that happens ONLY at dangerously CLOSE range,
4) that forces last-moment desperation climb/dive,
5) knowledge of dynamics will be increasingly essential!
For more on the above topic, also see: https://youtu.be/84De8EM8S0U
(Feb. 2021) Calls Grow to Find Back Up Systems for GPS - National Defense:
Blog Editor's Note - There are lots of reasons to worry about GPS vulnerability and our over-reliance on it.
Disruptions can lead to accidents (like the near crash of a passenger plane in 2019), a halt to farming operations and digital broadcasts, and severe impacts to
telecommunications. Just to name a few.
Perhaps our biggest concern should be more existential. A major solar event or other mishap
could halt GPS services for days, or even permanently. What then?
It could make the COVID-19 pandemic look like a mere warm-up act.
Calls Grow to Find Back Up Systems for GPS:
By Nick Adde
Five years ago, the Iranian navy seized and temporarily held the crew of two U.S. Navy gunboats that had entered Iranian waters. Though the 10 sailors were
eventually released, the photos of them kneeling on the deck of an Iranian vessel with their hands behind their heads was a national embarrassment at the least,
and a potential trigger for a more serious confrontation at worst.
Then in 2019, President Donald Trump came close to calling for an airstrike against Iran in retaliation for shooting down a Navy RQ-4 Global Hawk drone
over the Strait of Hormuz.
Though much about both incidents remains classified, at least one expert believes that they occurred because Iran was able to interfere with the Navy crafts’
causing them to move off their planned course and into hostile territory.
The incidents point to the vulnerability of global navigation satellite systems, and those operated by the U.S. in particular, said
Dana A. Goward, president of the
Alexandria, Virginia-based Resilient Navigation and Timing Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting resiliency in such systems.
The earlier incident was supposed to be “an easy trip down the coast of Saudi Arabia, from one port to another,” said Goward, a retired Coast Guard captain who
served as director of the service’s Marine Transportation System.
“Somehow they ended up way to the left, where the Iranian navy just happened to be waiting for them,” he said.
Likewise, the Global Hawk was flying near the Iranian coast but still in international airspace.
“All of a sudden it’s taking a right-hand turn toward Iran, and getting shot down while it was in their territorial airspace,” Goward explained.
(Feb. 2021) Can aviation continue to rely on satellite navigation? - EUROCONTROL:
Blog Editor's (Dana A. Goward) Note: With a passenger aircraft almost crashing into a mountain, drones big enough to kill someone crashing in back yards, and
aircraft enroute nearly departing controlled flight, it is no wonder ICAO told its members addressing
GNSS disruption is an urgent priority.
PNT Community members should find this event interesting:
This online event is part of our round of Stakeholder Forum discussions, where we tackle some of the hottest topics in European aviation with a wide range of key
players, within and outside our industry.
Can aviation continue to rely on satellite navigation?
While the answer remains a clear “yes” in most parts of the world, it has also become a clear
“no” in some areas where operations have been affected, especially on
routes between Europe and the Middle East and Asia.
This webinar will explore:
the operational impact of radio frequency interference and how we can continue to ensure safe and efficient operations;
what measures should be taken to limit the proliferation of widespread interference to satellite navigation;
how we can ensure interference-free operations for all users of satellite navigation, including civil aviation, military and other users;
how the combination of space-based and terrestrial systems should evolve in order to deliver resilient infrastructure support to aviation at acceptable costs while
preserving the benefits of satellite navigation.
During the 90-minute webinar, a multi-disciplinary panel will assess these challenges from the operational, regulatory, civil-military and technical perspectives.
(Feb. 2021) Skunk Works Is About to Test a Secret New Aircraft Called 'Speed Racer':
Lockheed’s Speed Racer will begin ground testing imminently. Ground testing typically involves watching and testing for reliability, checking for unusual vibrations, and
carrying notional payloads while the aircraft is static or moving under its own power. The next step is actual flight testing.
(Feb. 2021) Airpower Was Indispensable to Defeating ISIS:
What happened during the air campaign against ISIS? What did airpower contribute to the group's defeat? And what lessons should the
U.S. Air Force and joint force
take from this campaign? This new report explores.
Research Brief related to the above mentioned report:
(Feb. 2021) Skyborg UAV aims to join frontline US fighter aircraft - GPS World:
It’s only a few weeks into the new year, yet there’s plenty happening in the
UAV world. This month’s question: What’s a Skyborg? The U.S. Air Force awarded contracts
to Kratos, Boeing and General Atomics to prove their approaches to the UAV program.
(Mar. 2021) Federal policy aimed at GPS interference, critical infrastructure:
March 7, 2021 - By Dana Goward
In its closing days, the Trump administration issued several new policy documents affecting positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) issues.
Some have questioned the long-term impact of these, given the significant policy differences between the previous and current administrations. Yet policies in relatively non-controversial areas such as
generally developed by career personnel who tend to remain in place from administration to
administration. While they must adhere to the philosophical tenets of extant elected
policies tend to endure longer than others.
Even if this weren’t the case, considering the wealth of other issues the new administration is grappling with,
these new policies could remain in force for some time,
even if the new regime ultimately decides to change them.
Several themes run through many of the documents. These include:
Space-based PNT is vulnerable and must be protected.
America needs to monitor for GNSS disruption.
More sources of PNT than just GPS are needed.
National Space Policy
The first of these late-term documents to be published was the National Space Policy issued on Dec. 9,
2020. Highlights and possible impacts for the PNT community include:
A goal to “Promote and incentivize private industry” could have implications for
low-Earth orbit (LEO) PNT services.
A goal to “Increase the assurance of national critical functions” could include
A pledge to “Safeguard space components of critical infrastructure” undoubtedly
includes GPS. The section also has ominous statements about U.S. responses to purposeful interference and tasks the
Defense and Homeland Security secretaries with having those responses ready.
Another pledge to “Maintain and Enhance Space-based Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) Systems” is followed by
eight explanatory paragraphs, many of which repeat previous policy.
One new item is a promise to invest in detection and mitigation of harmful interference. A mention is also made of the
need for multiple and diverse PNT sources, and responsible use of PNT, echoing the February 2020 Executive Order on the subject. Both of the latter two mentions were in the context of critical infrastructure and mission essential functions versus the security of the nation and economy as a whole.
Report to Congress: GPS Backup Tech Demo
Congress mandated a GPS backup technology demonstration in 2017, and $10 million was subsequently provided for that
purpose. Various internal government delays resulted in the project not getting underway until March 2019. It concluded about a year later.
On Jan. 14, the Department of Transportation (DOT) posted its 457-page
“Complementary PNT and GPS Backup Technologies Demonstration Report” to Congress on its website.
While some people have been critical, it is important to remember the report documents 11 vendor demonstrations, not engineering tests. Technologies were
demonstrated in different locations and under differing conditions.
There is no silver bullet for meeting the nation’s needs. It must be a system of systems.
Also, the amount of effort and equipment in the demonstrations depended in some cases upon infrastructure available and the amount of money the government and vendors were able to spend. This meant that
at least one technology was “demonstrated” mostly by explaining the
concept, and other vendors were able to only partially demonstrate their
All of that said, the report offers valuable information about how America should make its national
PNT much more resilient and reliable. First, it reinforces DOT’s message that
there is no silver bullet for meeting the nation’s needs. It must be a system of systems. Second, the report goes further and says what that system of system should look like: “Those technologies are
LF and UHF terrestrial and L-band satellite broadcasts for
PNT functions with supporting fiber-optic time services to transmitters/control
From a policy perspective, this is a huge step forward. It resolves previous ambiguity and positions the nation to establish a resilient
PNT architecture, one that will do more than be a “GPS backup.” It will be an architecture that will better support current applications and better enable emerging ones like autonomy,
5G and “NextG.”
National Research and Development Plan for Positioning, Navigation, and Timing Resilience:
Published one hour and fourteen minutes before the end of the administration on inauguration
day, this plan was mandated as part of the February 2020 Executive Order on responsible use of
By taking a comprehensive look at how we can do better, it provides an interesting outline of the challenges associated with America’s current over-reliance on
GPS. While not a policy or directive document,
it does suggest two or three departments and agencies that might be tasked with addressing each
It also addresses the need for interference detection and monitoring, and diverse sources of
U.S. Space-Based PNT Policy (Space Policy Directive 7)
This directive was published five days before the end of the administration and replaced the previous policy, 2004’s NSPD-39.
While the old policy calls for performance monitoring of GPS signals, the new one also
has investment in interference detection and monitoring as a goal.
Perhaps the most significant change in the new policy was the absence of the words “backup capability” and the lack of a mandate for
DOT to lead its establishment. Yet the policy hammers home multiple times the need for more than GPS as a source of PNT. And it doesn’t abandon the idea of government involvement in making that happen.
In addition to reinforcing Executive Order 13905 on responsible use of PNT, the directive defined a new (for presidential policies) term.
“Alternative PNT Service” was described as “a PNT service that has the capability to operate completely independent of, or in conjunction with, other PNT services.” The directive goes on to say that
“Multiple, varied PNT services used in combination may provide enhanced
security, resilience, assurance, accuracy, availability and
integrity. An alternative PNT service allows a user to transition from the primary source of PNT signals in the event of a disruption or manipulation.”
And while the policy does not say the government will establish or support an alternative
PNT service, it comes pretty close. One of its goals is “Invest in… as appropriate, alternative sources of
PNT for critical infrastructure, key resources, and mission-essential functions.”
It goes on to task the departments of Defense, Homeland Security and Transportation with making that happen.
So “backup” is out, “alternative PNT” is in. We agree words are important and are happy to have the new words. Let’s hope the new administration will match the new words with action (as appropriate).
(Mar. 2021) GPS Jammers Essential Tools for UK Car Theft Enterprise:
Blog Editor's Note By Dana Goward: We previously reported on the Mexican government's finding that 85% of truck thefts were aided by
GPS jamming devices. While we have not
found similar national statistics reported in other parts of the world, this case is a reminder that the technology is widely available and in use.
Why wouldn't thieves use it all the time everywhere? It is likely that this is
in fact happening, but many governments either aren't looking, or aren't
publicizing what they find.
Check out the story below that includes the use of "industrial strength" jammers.
Thanks to RNTF corporate member Chronos for alerting us to this story.
(Mar. 2021) Will We Be Ready if GPS Goes Down? - Wall Street Journal OpEd:
Blog Editor's Note: Ms. Diana Furchtgott-Roth served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of
Transportation. She is an adjunct professor of economics
at George Washington University, and an RNTF member.
We applaud her commentary in the Wall Street Journal today. We especially like her sum up at the end of the piece:
"Americans depend on GPS too much for the federal government to wait for it to fail. A reliable backup is needed as soon as possible."
Will We Be Ready if GPS Goes Down?:
The Transportation Department has ideas for a backup, but it needs money from Congress.
By Diana Furchtgott-Roth
March 19, 2021 2:05 pm ET
GPS is vital to Americans, but hacking it has never been easier. Protecting the civilian Global Positioning
System, an invisible utility the federal government pays
for, falls to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg NOW.
He would do well to use the results of the Transportation Department’s January
2021 report on technologies that can back up GPS and keep the country moving in
Three separate laws, most recently the Frank LoBiondo Coast Guard Authorization Act of
2018, assign the Transportation Department the task of providing a
backup to GPS. The LoBiondo Act required the secretary to put in place a backup system by the end of
2020, but no funds were appropriated, so the department couldn’t
Although Congress hasn’t followed through with the money, the DOT’s new report
lays out a road map.
(Mar. 2021) "Dangerous & Costly to Airlines" - EUROCONTROL on GNSS Interference:
Deliberate interference with GNSS by the world's militaries interferes with safe air traffic management, poses risks to aircraft, and imposes extra costs
for fuel and transit time, according to a recent EUROCONTROL stakeholder forum.
2,000% increase in GNSS RFI incidents in 2018 as measured by voluntary incident reporting, with a sustained high rate since;
38.5% of European en-route traffic operates through regions intermittently but regularly affected by
5% of traffic in these regions could, given current levels, need special assistance.
Five presentations discussed various aspects of the problem, including that the region of heaviest regular interference was also smack across the highly
traveled route between Europe and south Asia.
A variety of solution and mitigation efforts were suggested. These included a more deliberate monitoring systems to warn aircraft and investigation of an
alternate wide area navigation system not vulnerable to such easy interference. Both of these echoed earlier recommendations of the International
Another suggestion was that belligerents limit their GPS/ GNSS jammer power to
10W versus the 100W that seems to be the current standard. The
that doing so would be equally effective against adversaries while spilling over much less into commercial air traffic operations.
That's an idea. Though given the barrel bombs and nerve gas we have seen used in the region, we are not sure it is
a suggestion that will resonate with many
on the ground.
You can view the entire workshop and access all the presentations here: https://www.eurocontrol.int/event/eurocontrol-stakeholder-forum-gnss#register
(Mar. 2021) DSI to host 2021 Assured PNT Summit in April - GPS World:
February 12, 2021 - By Allison Kral
The Defense Strategies Institute’s (DSI) Assured Positioning, Navigation & Timing (PNT) Summit will take place April 14-15 at the Mary M. Gates Learning Center
in Alexandria, Virginia.
No alt text provided for this image
According to DSI, the event will bring together members of the military services, Department of Defense (DoD),
federal government, industry and academia in a
“town hall” style forum to discuss how important GPS and space-based PNT systems are to the overall resilience of the
warfighter, as well as critical
infrastructure across the United States and abroad.
The 2021 Assured PNT Summit also will offer senior-level insight into how the U.S. military has been a leader in integrating PNT into its everyday operations
and how such capabilities have become vital to the military’s ability to shape the global arena, deter aggression, and fight and win wars.
Confirmed speakers for this year’s event include William Nelson, SES, director, APNT CFT, Army Futures Command; Brig. Gen. Heather L. Pringle,
Air Force Research Laboratory; Anthony C. Smith, SES, director, C3I, DoD CIO; Richard De Fatta, SES, director, U.S. Army Space & Missile Defense Center of
Cordell “Del” DeLaPena, SES, program executive officer for Space Production Space & Missile Systems Center,
USAF; Harold W. Martin III, SES, director, National
Coordination Office for Space-Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing; and
Col. Jason Joose, USA, chief of staff/APNT signature effort lead, Army Futures Command.
A number of topics will be covered at the 2021 Assured PNT Summit, including:
Leading current DoD initiatives toward integrating new PNT capabilities to help the Warfighter remain resilient in a dynamic threat environment;
Synchronizing PNT, navigation warfare and space capability development efforts across the
Army to help reduce key capability gaps;
Delivering resilient, affordable and sustainable space capabilities such as modernized GPS to enhance warfighter superiority;
Providing alternate PNT for potential GPS-denied environments; Accelerating the
implementation of cutting-edge Air Force research projects such as NTS-3
to provide the most value to the warfighter; Developing critical PNT-related products to enable a Soldier’s PNT capabilities in all warfighting domains;
Overseeing the collection of GPS-related information from multiple federal agencies in an effort
to improve and maintain space-based PNT capabilities;
Advancing efforts to provide GPS protection for all naval air platforms; and
Detailing the Department of Homeland Security plan to test the vulnerabilities of critical infrastructure systems, networks and assets if PNT services were to be
disrupted or manipulated.
(Mar. 2021) What Trump Administration Got Wrong About Protecting GPS Users and America:
MARCH 22, 2021 01:00 PM ET
The Global Positioning System has become the world’s most widely used tech utility.
In February of last year, President Donald Trump reversed long-standing administration policy when he issued Executive Order (13905, “Strengthening National Resilience Through Responsible
Use of Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) Services.”
The Global Positioning System has become the world’s most widely used tech utility. America’s over-dependence on it for everything from synchronizing cellphone
networks to managing power grids has caused government officials to call it “…
a single point of failure” for the country.
While Trump’s order rightly warned of the dangers in over-relying on GPS, it also shifted away from years of executive branch policy. Rather than focusing on
reinforcing GPS and protecting users with an alternative PNT source or sources, the order told users to protect themselves by accessing commercial services it hoped
would be developed to meet their needs.
GPS signals underlie virtually every technology but are weak, easily blocked and imitated. And many studies have found a reasonable chance the system will be damaged
or destroyed by solar activity within the next 50 years. These vulnerabilities pose a near-existential threat to the nation’s economy and security.
The Trump order’s warning to users—and many of its other provisions—were necessary but they were far from
This is because the order ignored fundamental economic and security realities.
A Free Utility:
America established GPS as its gift to the world in the hope that it would be widely adopted and used. Making the signal free and its specs public were wildly successful.
So much so that as early as 1999 a special commission told President Bill Clinton
that America was likely becoming too dependent on the system.
GPS rapidly became a utility, much like a municipal water system, that serves all citizens in a multitude of ways.
Recognizing GPS’ limitations, a number of companies over the last decade have
tried to develop business models providing backups and alternatives for GPS. While some
have found niche markets with specialized users, just as Evian, Perrier and others have created niche markets for specialized water,
NO alternate PNT provider has been able to
establish a broadly adopted, wide area service. They just can’t compete with the free government service that is
The order’s hope of the market providing alternatives—and that millions will be willing to pay a fee to subscribe—is a futile one. Just as few Americans see the need to
purchase a regular alternate supply of household water, few see the need to buy
PNT services to supplement and backup GPS. Besides, if something goes wrong with the water or
with GPS, it’s the utility provider’s fault, not theirs. The government will make sure the problem gets
A National Security Imperative
The impacts of a prolonged GPS outage or the system’s loss will make
the COVID-19 pandemic look like a warmup act.
Our national government must prevent this as part of its core duty to provide for the common defense and promote the general welfare.
The Trump-era policy promulgated by the order focuses only on critical infrastructure and
large companies that do business with the government.
And it outlines a difficult and unlikely path to protect them.
It largely ignores first responders, local, state and federal
agencies, the Post Office, drone operators, medium and small businesses – in short, about
of current GPS users who help to make the nation function. Not protecting such a large portion of America from an outage
will cripple law enforcement and other first responders,
and greatly diminish our ability to support any sustained military
And since adversary nations like Russia, China and Iran have terrestrial backup systems,
America will not only be crippled, but we will be weakened far more than those who wish us ill.
In fact, some observers have opined America’s lack of a terrestrial backup system for GPS has already
damaged our national security by providing both terrorists and enemies an
exceptionally attractive target. It has certainly put America at tactical and strategic disadvantages in many situations already.
The Goal: Making the Nation Safer:
Having alternative systems will make GPS satellites and signals less attractive targets and therefore
safer from malicious interference. They will also make the nation safer by
removing a single point of failure vulnerable to solar activity, malicious
threats, and accidents.
But to do that, as many GPS users as possible must also adopt and use one or more alternate
Anything that inhibits adoption, like limiting it to critical infrastructure, availability only in urban areas, access fees, and the like, reduces protection of the nation.
Even if the complicated Trump plan to coerce large companies into creating systems to protect themselves worked,
it would still provide far less than America needs.
America needs what our adversaries already have: terrestrial PNT systems that are
easily accessed and available to all. Systems that will work in concert with GPS
when it is available and serve in its place when it is not.
(Mar. 2021) Q: How can a GNSS satellite oscillator anomalies, even at micro-scale, be detected?:
(Mar. 2021) Keeping track of spacecraft as Earth’s water alters its spin:
Mass is constantly being redistributed around our planet, as Earth’s atmosphere, oceans and other bodies of water on and
under the surface melt, shift and stir. This
mass redistribution alters Earth’s center of gravity, which in turn
speeds up and slows down the planet's spin – and so the length of the day – as well as changing
the orientation of its 'spin axis'. These changes to Earth’s spin and orientation occur over
relatively short timescales of days and weeks, and threaten communication
between ground stations and missions in orbit and across the Solar System.
(Mar. 2021) FAA and "Last Gen" Navigation Mentality? - Note to the Reason Foundation:
We always find something of interest in Bob Poole's "Aviation Policy News" from the Reason
This month it is a note he received from a colleague about the FAA and navigation. Bob published in his
"Quotable Quotes" section.
By way of background, the 2001 Volpe report mentioned was the result of a three year, presidentially mandated effort to examine if the
FAA's plan to move
aviation to navigate using only space-based assets (GPS) and do away with terrestrial beacons
(VOR/DMEs) was still a good idea. Clearly being able to do
away with a large network of terrestrial systems would have saved the FAA a lot of money. But the answer was a resounding
The report also observed that all kinds of transportation, other infrastructure, and
systems in the US were becoming far too dependent upon vulnerable GPS
signals. It recommended the nation investigate establishing an alternate system for when
GPS, for whatever reason, was not available.
The report was published the 29th of August, 2001, less than two weeks before 9/11. Understandably, it took the White House a while to get around to acting
on it. But in December 2004 President Bush issued NSPD-39 which mandated the
Department of Transportation lead a federal effort and establish
a backup capability for GPS.
Folks are still trying to make that happen. Doing so will make GPS a less tempting target for our enemies, and provide another way of getting vital
positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) services against the inevitability of a prolonged
AVIATION POLICY NEWSLETTER:
By Robert Poole
March 22, 2021
Despite the upcoming 20th anniversary of the Volpe GPS Vulnerability
Study, FAA continues to maintain a GNSS-centric PNT mentality. While their 2016
Performance-Based Navigation (PBN) Strategy was to retain resilient ground-based alternatives, the vast majority of
Distance Measuring Equipment (DME),
VHF Omni-directional Ranges (VORs), and Tactical
Navigation (TACAN) operating in the NAS (National Airspace
System) were designed in the ‘70s and installed
in the ‘80s. Although the concept of “GPS-sole means” does not officially exist,
FAA has NOT yet taken significant steps to recapitalize these
30-40-year-old systems, although efforts to expand procedures reliant on GNSS services continue unabated. By comparison,
FAA installed navaids at over 850
sites in the 1980s and added over 100 additional locations in the 1990s. It is interesting that their current
DME-VOR-TACAN (DVT) plan spans 42 years—over
twice the normal life cycle of these equipments—and does NOT address the hundreds of aging
Instrument Landing Systems (ILS) or Approach Lighting
(ALS). It is also interesting that FAA’s proposed DVT strategy is to issue
Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (ID/IQ) contracts, with
replacement being the first step. This will only serve to proliferate and expand the logistics challenges of maintaining numerous configurations by an
aging and retiring workforce, preclude economic ordering quantities, and take decades to replace thousands of aging navaids. As reports of
with aviation continue to mount worldwide, it would seem prudent for FAA to prioritize the replacement of these resilient systems to ensure, as the
mission states, ‘the safest, most-efficient aviation system in the world,’ and
set an example for ANSPs worldwide.”
—Aviation Sector Professional, email to Robert Poole, March 15, 2021
(Mar. 2021) Industry members, non-profit urge Congress to fund GPS alternatives - GPS World:
RNT Foundation decided to sign this letter with members of industry, some of which are our members, some are not, because it does not promote an individual technology
or company. Rather it reinforces the work and findings of the Department of
In separate letters to members of the House of Representatives and the
Senate, seven companies and a non-profit URGED Congress to support alternative
navigation and timing systems (PNT) with the “necessary funds and other appropriate policy tools.”
Signing the letter were NextNav, UrsaNav, Satelles, Hellen Systems, OPNT, Orolia, Microchip, and the non-profit Resilient Navigation and Timing Foundation
The letters focus on and endorse the system-of-systems approach outlined in the Department
of Transportation’s (DOT) recent report to Congress on the results of
its GPS Backup Technology Demonstration. The report found an adequate and robust American PNT system should include space-based L-band signals,
and ultra-high-frequency (UHS) signals, and fiber connections between the
terrestrial LF and UHF transmitters.
“Our country depends on GPS for critical infrastructure, and there is an urgent need for resiliency being built into our critical infrastructure. Before the report
came out, some of us had different ideas of how the U.S. should go forward,” said
Ganesh Pattabiraman, CEO of NextNav. “But the DOT report provided the data to make
it very clear that it is a combination of technologies that need to come together to truly enable nationwide backup to
GPS, and it was good to see we could get
industry alignment on the findings.”
The letters describe many of the threats to GPS, both natural and malicious; its vulnerabilities; and the dire consequences of disruptions. They go on to state that
robust, more reliable PNT is needed for emerging and future systems like
E911, 5G, resilient electrical grids, drones and other automated systems.
Monty Johnson, CEO of OPNT, a provider of time-over-fiber services, praised the findings of the
DOT report. “The key to resilience and reliability in a system-of-systems
is including technologies that deliver the same information using starkly different means. It is hard to imagine a combination of technologies that are more diverse than
fiber, satellites, LF and UHF.”
According to Pattabiraman, the signers of the letter agree that the DOT report made clear that there are mature technologies available today that can address the
backup issue. DOT and Congress now have the data to act to enable a much-needed resilient infrastructure for the country.
Dana A. Goward, president of the non-profit RNT Foundation, agreed. He also observed that deciding on the technologies and congressional funding were important, but only
first steps. “The goal of this effort is not to just implement systems,” he said.
“it’s to make America safer. Establishing the services quickly and efficiently will be key,
as will ensuring they are widely adopted.”
“Protecting the nation from the consequences of a space-based PNT disruption will require that these systems be accessed and used by a wide variety of users from first
responders and delivery services, to all forms of critical infrastructure,” Goward said. “This means the government will need to eliminate as many barriers to adoption as
possible. One or more of these alternatives has to be available to every American. And a basic level of service has to be free, just like the
GPS utility it is reinforcing.
Fortunately, we estimate this can be done relatively inexpensively. It will be only a small fraction of the
$1.7B we spent on GPS last year.”
that there are mature technologies available today that can address the GPS backup
issue. DOT and Congress now have the data to act to enable a
much-needed resilient infrastructure for the country.
The alternative to making this relatively modest investment, according to Goward, is unacceptable.
“There are lots of threats to GPS,” he said. “Take the sun for example. The most recent study I saw estimates a
70% chance solar activity will damage the GPS constellation
in the next 30 years and a 20% chance it will destroy a big part of it. And the sun is just one of the threats we face. We can’t keep playing this kind of Russian Roulette
with the fate of our nation. Especially when other countries like Russia and China have already taken steps to protect themselves with terrestrial
A copy of the letter sent to Senators can be found here, and the one to members of the House of Representatives here:
(Mar. 2021) NIST Team Compares 3 Top Atomic Clocks With Record Accuracy Over Both Fiber and Air:
In a significant advance toward the future redefinition of the international unit of time, the second, a research team led by the
National Institute of
Standards and Technology (NIST) has compared three of the world’s leading atomic clocks with record accuracy over both air and optical fiber links.
Described in the March 25 issue of Nature , the NIST-led work is the first to compare three clocks based on different atoms, and the first to link the most
advanced atomic clocks in different locations over the air. These atomic clock comparisons place the scientific community one step closer to meeting the
guidelines for redefinition of the second.
Thomas H. Kerr III comment: "These important comparisons make technologists better able to confirm the utility of these various time sources to support the
system-of-systems approach to resilient PNT (beyond mere reliance on just GPS/GNSS) by augmenting its accuracy."
(Mar. 2021) GPS Allies Say Timing Supplement Within Reach - Communications Daily:
(Apr. 2021) Terrestrial navigation system ready for use in S. Korea to cope with jamming and electric warfare - Aju Business Daily:
Notice the "advantage" South Korea has of a belligerent, not-at-all-subtle enemy. Our adversaries only jam GPS in areas outside the United States (as far as
we know) so we are not nearly as concerned. Hence we are far more vulnerable and at risk than South Korea. We are at risk from Russia, China, sophisticated
terrorists, human error, solar activity...the list goes on.
If only we had better enemies!
Lim Chang-won Reporter(email@example.com) | Posted : April 1, 2021, 10:17 | Updated : April 1, 2021, 10:17:
SEOUL -- To cope with unexpected interference such as North Korea's electric warfare, South Korea will launch an uninterrupted positioning navigation service
based on radio waves from ground transmitters instead of satellites, starting with a pilot project in June for coastguard vessels and state patrol boats
operating in volatile border areas off their west coast.
South Korea began developing a terrestrial navigation system that can provide Positioning
navigation timing (PNT) information reliably by utilizing transmission
towers on the ground in 2016 after North Korea discharged strong electric waves for systematic cross-border
electronic warfare. The electric wave attack caused
no visible damage, but Seoul condemned it as a serious provocation.
PNT information, which is essential for industry and daily life, relies on the U.S.
Global Positioning System (GPS). With multiple disruption tools, North
Korea has occasionally jammed GPS communications in South Korea. Seoul regards
GPS disruptions as a new form of North Korea's low-level, asymmetric
In a statement published on 31 March 2021, the Seoul government announced the commercialization of an enhanced long-range navigation
(eLoran) system that
provides precise visual information and calculates location by measuring the time reached by radio waves from three or more transmitters.
A pilot service will be launched on 1 June 2021, with South Korean Coast Guard vessels and patrol boats operating in maritime border areas to receive
receivers. The service will be expanded to fishing boats and merchant ships. For a nationwide service, South Korea will establish a cooperative system with
broadcasting, information and communication sectors to provide precise standard-time information and expand it to other industries to prevent disruptions in
national infrastructure even when GPS is suspended.
READ MORE: https://www.ajudaily.com/view/20210401091701262
(Apr. 2021) Next Steps in GNSS Receiver Security Validated with OSNMA Testing - Inside GNSS - Global Navigation Satellite Systems Engineering, Policy, and Design:
(Apr. 2021) “The Mounted PNT [Positioning, Navigation and Timing] program and the APNT CFT
are continuously evaluating all the PNT technologies available to enable assured
PNT to Army forces anywhere in the world.” said Lt. Col. Alexander “Raz” Rasmussen.
“A part of this effort is the recently established PNT Modernization
project office. PNT Modernization’s mission is to evaluate and test
PNT technologies available
across industry, academia, and government labs. Based on applicability,
mission need, and maturity, PNT technologies will be accelerated for integration into
[Mounted Assured PNT System]. We must continue to provide
‘fight tonight’ capability to Soldiers worldwide while accelerating technologies that maintain threat overmatch in the future.”
More MAPS info here: https://lnkd.in/d2jXP7e
(Apr. 2021) Lockheed scores $1.1B contract to build US Army’s guided rocket on heels of extended-range test:
Blog Editor's Note: Great article by our friend Logan Scott. While the DOT report on their GPS Backup Tech Demo does have a lot of
information, we have to
agree it is not the be all and end all on the question of "GPS backups" as some would like.
"While I don’t disagree with the general assessments, there is considerable hazard in applying them blindly to select a national
One challenge he notes is that not all candidate technologies were demonstrated. He cites
PNT via 4G and 5G as one example. Also, systems like Australia's
Locata and WWV were not included.
We agree, by the way, that 5G, especially has potential, though it still needs a solid timing backbone to be resilient and independent of
As for WWVB, it certainly has potential and is in operation. Yet, WWVB operates at
60KHz, not that far from eLoran at 100KHz. All the engineering and
many of the PNT standards have been done for eLoran and it is in use elsewhere in the
world. Not so for WWVB. He makes a number of other cogent points
especially about resilience. We encourage you to follow the link below and read his article.
We have to agree with Logan that the biggest draw back to the DOT report is that
folks are going to read too much into what was, not engineering trials and
evals, but a set of vendor demos. As such they were limited by being performed in different locations and under different conditions.
Some of which were
the result of a lack of funds to perform a full demo of the technology.
The biggest plus to the project and report was it's finding the correct path forward for the nation is a system-of-systems approach with technologies that
have starkly different failure modes.
Now we just need the government to stop admiring the problem and follow through on its decades-old promise to
State of Play: Resilience Is Not Just About Parts!
March 19, 2021
By Logan Scott
LINK TO ARTICLE DISCUSSED ABOVE:
(Apr. 2021) The Rising Threat to the Integrity of Maritime Navigation Data - The Maritime Executive:
Blog Editor's Note: A good update article by George Shaw of the General Lighthouse Authority of UK and
Ireland. This is the kind of issue that tends to fall
into the background for users. Regular updates like this help keep it in the forefront of people's minds making mishaps less likely.
We note that the US Coast Guard has identified this as a significant maritime cyber
concern, and the International Maritime Organization has dubbed it a urgent
safety of navigation issue.
Of course, if mariners had another wireless source of PNT that was difficult to disrupt to work with and reinforce
GNSS, this would be MUCH less of a problem
The Rising Threat to the Integrity of Maritime Navigation Data:
By George Shaw
Loss of satellite signal is a well-known operational risk, but few mariners are aware of the threat of GNSS providing a false
time, position or direction even
when still available. When these position errors exceed a safe margin of error, they can cause ships to derive and transmit dangerously misleading
GNSS is not designed with inherent real-time integrity, which refers to the
users’ ability to trust the data and receive timely warnings if it is unreliable.
READ MORE: https://www.maritime-executive.com/editorials/the-rising-threat-to-the-integrity-of-maritime-navigation-data
(Apr. 2021) The $1.5 billion Space Fence can track tiny objects in low Earth orbit as small as a marble:
(Mar. 2021) Big New Interceptor Deal Part Of Biden Missile Defense Push:
The Biden administration is pushing ahead with multiple missile defense initiatives in its first 100 days, a sign the Pentagon will make new investments in
the capability to meet developing Chinese, North Korean and Russian
(Mar. 2021) Space Debris Threatens GNSS:
Blog Editor's Note: The greatest threat from space debris is unquestionably at LEO. Many in the
PNT community have considered GPS, Galileo, and other GNSS at
MEO relatively safe from debris. It seems "that ain't necessarily
Papers on debris at MEO are difficult to come by. We did find one from an
ESA conference that found collisions at LEO were responsible for much of the debris
The recently developed Aerospace Debris Environment Projection Tool was used to project the future debris environment in
medium Earth orbit (MEO) over the
next 200 years. The entire Earth orbital population was modeled to account for the possibility of cross-coupling between the MEO population and the low Earth
orbit (LEO) and geosynchronous populations via objects on highly eccentric orbits that transit through
MEO. It was found that a large fraction of the MEO debris
originated from collisions in LEO involving satellites and rocket bodies that transit through LEO and
Another paper pointed out that too much debris at LEO could make it difficult to transit the zone safely and put satellites in MEO and
GEO in jeaprody.
The incident reported below is likely not the first time a GNSS satellite
has been threatened by space debris. It does serve as an alert, though, reminding
us to not be complacent about any potential threat to these systems that are so essential to so many technologies and services.
Galileo satellite performs collision avoidance maneuver:
March 25, 2021 - By Tracy Cozzens
In a first for Galileo, a satellite performed a collision-avoidance maneuver to avoid space debris.
Under the management of the European GNSS Agency (GSA), the maneuver for satellite
GSAT0219 was performed 6 March 2021 following a collision risk alert received
from EU Space Surveillance and Tracking (EUSST).
(Mar. 2021) Aviation Groups Petition Govt over Deliberate GPS Jamming:
Blog Editor's Note: Aviation is somewhat unique among modes of transportation as it has an alternate PNT system for when GPS is not available. It is a network
of short range terrestrial beacons of VORs, DMEs, and TACANs
(TACAN is military only). See graphic courtesy of Mitch Narins, Strategic Synergies, LLC.
As one example, we reported three years ago about concerns formally expressed by the
Radio Technical Commission, Aviation.
Recently an IEEE article revealed the FAA has a wealth of data showing that such disruptions are exceptionally
The letters below make it fairly clear the government has failed to adequately address these concerns.
There are undoubtedly several reasons for these on-going problems.
One is that, apparently, the FAA and DOD have not been willing to engage with the community on this issue.
Another is that, on the aircraft side, the FAA authorizes many small aircraft to operate without formal electronic navigation capability. They ostensibly
find their way by visual references (looking at the ground for
landmarks, following roads, etc). However, most do have a non-certified "situational awareness"
GPS receiver, not really authorized by the FAA for navigation, but undoubtedly used as such.
When GPS is deliberately jammed these aircraft are put at even
greater risk than others.
Also, many better equipped aircraft that do have VOR and DME capability, do not have navigation systems that integrate the information from these beacons to
allow point-to-point navigation (a capability call "area navigation," or
RNAV). So when GPS is not available, these aircraft must fly longer and less
efficient routes between beacon waypoints.
These on-going challenges in aviation provide lessons for future alternate PNT systems. Not only must the alternate system provide sufficient coverage and
availability, it must also be widely adopted by users and integrated into their systems for it to be effective. Government has a number of tools available
to make this happen. When it fails to use all those tools, the alternate system is much less effective in protecting the public, and on-going problems
We should also note that despite the FAA touting the VOR/DME/TACAN system as
its alternative to GPS, the agency has failed to recapitalize the network, along
with Instrument Landing Systems (ILS) at airports.
Much of the equipment in use is well beyond its service life. And we are told that, while the
FAA has some minimal VOR and DME replacement equipment on hand,
it failed to budget for installation. So a lot of the new equipment tends to sit in government warehouses collecting dust.
And while new, more effective and efficient ILS equipment is available, it has not been
acquired. We are told that this poses a safety problem for landing
aircraft, and foregoes an approximate 20% increase in airport efficiency that has been realized by other nations.
All told, quite a few reasons the aviation community is unhappy with the FAA's approach to navigation.
NBAA, AOPA Call Upon Agencies to Mitigate Impact of Intentional GPS Interference.
Contact: Dan Hubbard, 202-783-9360, firstname.lastname@example.org
Washington, DC, March 5, 2021 – The National Business Aviation
Association (NBAA) and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots
Association (AOPA), in a letter to the
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Department
of Defense (DOD), expressed concern about restrictions to airspace and airports caused by the
jamming of GPS and are seeking mitigations on the operational impact of these interference events.
In a letter to the FAA and DOD, the organizations recognized the importance of
DOD’s mission and the agency’s need to simulate the loss of GPS as part of its
effort to defend and maintain the global navigation system. However, as NBAA and AOPA noted, the National Airspace System (NAS) has become increasingly reliant
on GPS as the primary source of navigation and aircraft system functionality, while reducing reliance on ground-based navigational infrastructure.
“Despite reduced operations in the NAS over the past year, general aviation continues to show increased activity and volume, exceeding commercial airline
operations,” the letter states. “In recent months, operators have continued to report operational impacts and reduced access to airspace and airports
resulting from intentional GPS jamming events.”
Read NBAA’s and AOPA’s full letter to the FAA and DOD.
The associations’ letter also noted the aviation community had NOT received a response from the
FAA or DOD to a 2018 RTCA report on the operational impacts
of intentional GPS interference, which included more than two dozen detailed recommendations to limit the operational impact of these events on civilian air
During the RTCA deliberations, the FAA and DOD acknowledged that the frequency and impact of these intentional jamming events grew significantly over the
preceding decade and would continue to escalate, the trade groups added.
“The growing reliance on GPS in the National Airspace System, combined with the
increasing frequency of intentional GPS jamming events, makes it imperative
that the FAA and the DOD have mitigations in place to ensure the safety and reliability of the
NAS during these events,” said Heidi Williams, NBAA director,
air traffic services and infrastructure. “We look forward to working with the agencies to employ the
RTCA report’s recommendations and ensure our national
security and the safety and efficiency of the NAS.” “It is vital that pilots have continuity and access to optimal navigational and safety tools, of which
GPS is vital,” said Jim Coon, AOPA senior vice president of government affairs and
advocacy. “We strongly support our warfighters, but we believe DOD and
FAA should review their GPS testing processes so that our nation’s airspace continues to be as safe as possible.”
(Mar. 2021) Protect your PNT with GPS Ant-Jam Technology from Hexagon |
GNSS technology establishes your Position, Navigation, and
Time (PNT) in the environment -- but we have to protect it.
Defend your PNT in challenging environments through Hexagon | NovAtel anti-jam antennas, interference mitigation and
GNSS+INS combined systems.
Read more about how to protect the integrity of your APNT solution >> https://hxgn.biz/3u8HCY3
(Mar. 2021) This morning the Prime Minister of Australia Scott Morrison officially unveiled our Australian Space Discovery Centre to the public!:
The Prime Minister was joined by the Premier of South Australia, Steven
Marshall, Australian Space Agency Head, Enrico Palermo, Australian Space Agency
Advisory Board Chair, Dr. Megan Clark, and Australia’s Chief Scientist, Cathy
The Australian Space Discovery centre is based at Lot Fourteen in Adelaide, South Australia and officially opens in
Find out more and pre-book your experience here: https://bit.ly/3r7zZjZ
(Mar. 2021) Our BookEnd column in March's MWJournal features "Introduction to LabVIEW FPGA for RF, Radar, and Electronic Warfare Applications."
Topics include best practices for multi-FPGA solutions and guidance for high throughput,
low latency FPGA-based RF systems.
(Mar. 2021) Next 10 years of EGNOS to focus on drones:
Air Force Wants Lasers on Fighter Jets by 2025:
Lockheed Martin is working toward outfitting a directed energy system on fighter jets by the middle of the decade. To build and manufacture the systems,
we are investing more than $20 million into our Orlando-based optical components center.
How The Once Elusive Dream Of Laser Weapons Suddenly Became A Reality:
A good piece below on how industrial applications have helped make military lasers
a reality for small scale applications (and why Star Wars is still a pipe
Laser Weapons On The Battlefield Of Tomorrow: Separating Fact From Fiction:
FLIR Systems Acquires Altavian, Inc.:
FLIR Systems Acquires Altavian, Inc. https://bit.ly/2VsKtvS
Raytheon Technologies to Buy Smallsat Maker Blue Canyon; Roy Azevedo Quoted:
Cheap GPS jammers a major threat to drones - ZD Net:
The article mentions interference with a display involving hundreds of drones. There have been other incidents, of course, in China and elsewhere. One example is the
UK accident we reported on that could have resulted in a fatality, according to the government's investigation report.
We agree with the below article that GPS/GNSS receivers should include better hardware and software to make them more resilient to jamming and spoofing.
That's only part of the solution, though. A holistic approach is needed if
GPS/GNSS is to be managed property. We agree with the "Protect, Toughen, and Augment" scheme advocated by the
National Space-based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing Advisory Board.
Jammers that can be bought for as little as $50 threaten commercial drones, but there are options.
With rotors whirring and airframes hurling through the air, drones can be very dangerous when flights don't go as planned. There's been
much teeth gnashing over the FAA's measured approach to commercial drone policy adoption, but the fact is there are real dangers, including from bad actors using inexpensive
GPS signal jamming technology is evolving, decreasing in size and cost. Today, jammers can be bought online for as low as $50. Long a threat to military assets, jamming is now a commercial concern as commercial drone deliveries become a reality, and attacks are becoming pervasive globally. This threat now affects commercial, law enforcement, and defense drones on critical missions.
China expanding Loran as GNSS backup - GPS World:
Directions 2021: BDS marches to new era of global services - GPS World:
Earlier this year, BDS-3, the global version of the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System
(BDS), was formally commissioned, marking the completion of its three-step development process. Read about the system's services and accomplishments.
South Korea discusses decision to combine GPS and eLoran - Geospatial World:
What is mobile mapping?
Learn about how #GNSS antennas and receivers are combined with Inertial Navigation Systems to provide highly accurate data on the positioning, velocity and attitude of moving objects, and how engineers use these devices to document landscapes and more >>
Next Generation Interceptor: Never Fail Defense Against Evolving Threats:
The Next Generation Interceptor program is focused on strengthening first-line defenses against advanced emerging missile threats.
This challenge is not one to be taken lightly – and we're throwing the weight of the
Lockheed Martin enterprise behind our proposed solution. We're developing a cutting-edge offering based on our expertise from other strategic defense systems, like
Terminal High Altitude Area Defense and hypersonic strike systems. And we're counting on more than our proven systems – we're also focused on designing for the future. We're leveraging the best technologies and smart tools for this mission, relying heavily on digital engineering,
DevSecOps and other tech like AI and machine learning.
Learn more about the need for NGI, and how we plan to deliver for our
Acquisition of AGI Extends the Digital Thread Throughout the Mission |
Raytheon awarded $235.6M for production of Silent Knight Radar:
China's Version of GPS is Better, Says US Satellite Receiver Company:
Re: fake news about Beidou: the nominal number of MEO satellites is the same
(24) for both GPS and Beidou. The GEO and IGSO satellites of the Beidou constellation
are useful only above China.
I am not surprised that Galileo and Beidou may have a somehow better performance than
GPS, but, quoting Bernard of Chartres, we should not forget that: "We are dwarfs standing on the shoulders of
Many thanks to Black Dot GNSS and Simon Banville for digging a little deeper into the data behind our "RTK From the Sky" white paper.
We'll be participating in a webinar this month and sharing further technical details behind instantaneous cm-level #PPP corrections, stay tuned!
Science: Death by "Spaghettification": Scientists Record Last Moments of Star Devoured by a Black Hole:
The phenomenon, known as a tidal disruption event, is the closest flare of its kind yet recorded, occurring just 215 million light-years from Earth.
The phenomenon, known as a tidal disruption event, is the closest flare of its kind yet recorded, occurring just 215 million light-years from Earth. It is caused when a star passes too close to a black hole and the extreme gravitational pull from the black hole shreds the star into thin streams of material – a process called ‘spaghettification’. During this process some of the material falls into the black hole, releasing a bright flare of energy which astronomers can detect.
Search and Rescue beacons developed at Goddard have helped locate more than 46,000 people through Cospas-Sarsat, an international cooperative system for search and rescue.
Now Maryland-based Concentric Real Time LLC has licensed a 2nd generation of this technology to be used by individuals who carry personal locator beacons in case of emergency. The 2nd generation technology allows for higher-resolution signaling that produces highly accurate location results. Learn more about NASA technology available for licensing at:
Learn more about the new licensed technology at: https://lnkd.in/eJ9WQMK
Massive THANK YOU to the firefighting crews who saved the historic Mt. Wilson Observatory when it was threatened by the #BobcatFire. Our
MAFIOT Project is among the major space observation programs being housed at the site.
“We are grateful to the firefighters who put their lives on the line to battle the fire around the facility,” said Dave Cardoza, the Principal Director of Aerospace's Electronics and Photonics Laboratory. “The fact that the structures are still standing is a testament to the dedication that they put into their jobs. This will allow us to continue our important work on the mountain.”
Collins Aerospace wins contract to improve anti-jamming for warfighters:
The United States Army awarded Collins Aerospace a Phase III contract to build the second generation of its Mounted Assured Position Navigation and Timing System (MAPS). Learn more about the MAPS program.
The future of the U.S. Coast Guard is in outer space:
The #USCG and outer space? CAPT Michael Sinclair at Brookings explores the possibilities of leveraging advances in space technology to facilitate the execution of the Coast Guard’s 11 statutory missions here on
APN-086 Datum Transformations & Plate Tectonics Compensation:
For information on the above, please click this link here.
Timing is Everything: To Protect Geospatial and the World, We Need Bullet-proof Time:
Planes continue to fly into a GPS dark hole over the Mediterranean, puzzling experts - Fortune:
GSA releases 3rd GNSS User Technology Report - GPS World:
The European GNSS Agency (GSA) released its latest GNSS User Technology Report, providing a comprehensive analysis of
GNSS trends and developments. Get an overview of the report:
Particles smaller than an atom hurtle through the universe nearly at the speed of light, blasted into space from something, somewhere, in the cosmos. A scientific collaboration of the Pierre Auger Observatory, including researchers from the University of Delaware, has measured the most powerful of these particles — ultra-high-energy cosmic rays — with unprecedented precision. In doing so, they have found a “kink” in the energy spectrum that is shining more light on the possible origins of these subatomic space travelers. The team’s findings are based on the analysis of 215,030 cosmic ray events with energies above 2.5 quintillion electron volts (eV), recorded over the past decade by the Pierre Auger Observatory in Argentina. It is the largest observatory in the world for studying cosmic rays.
AI Facts Every Dev Should Know: Artificial intelligence is older than you, probably!:
Timekeeping Theory Combines Quantum Clocks and Einstein’s Relativity:
Allie K. Miller at Amazon:
Forbes AI Innovator of the Year | Artificial Intelligence at Amazon | LinkedIn Top Voice 2019 | 750K+ followers
This home can fold and unfold in 10 minutes. Anyone else love researching the future of construction, real estate, and urban development?
Source: Mashable (Please search Google for this)
WTO: EU can impose tariffs on $4 billion of U.S. goods:
Featured Innovator: Kaitlin Moore:
Meet Kaitlin Moore, an atomic physicist in the field of #quantum science and #engineering at our Applied Sciences division. There, she and the team she’s part of are spearheading advancements in the potentially world-changing realm of #quantumsensing and #quantumcommunications.
Read more about our latest featured innovator: https://bit.ly/2HPxv7R
On October 5th, the Real-Time Working Group of the International GNSS Service (IGS) will release the first version of the new IGS-SSR standard! It will be accessible at:
The IGS SSR format is an open standard for dissemination of real-time products to support the
IGS Real-Time Service and the wider community. The messages support multi-GNSS and include corrections for orbits, clocks,
DCB's, phase-biases and ionospheric delays. Extensions to also cover satellite attitude, phase center offsets and variations and group delay variations are planned in the near future. The goal is to create a self-contained and scalable standard for a wide range of real-time applications.
International GNSS Service.
On 9 December 2020, this new (incoming) website will be moved from its temporary home on igscb.org to our main website,
IGS.org. The content in the current (outgoing) IGS.org website will be archived.
Also on 9 December 2020, ALL FTP access to ftp://ftp.igs.org
will be permanently terminated and replaced with a secured https://files.igs.org/
. Data, content, and directory hierarchy will remain unchanged.
Precise time for all: Paper calls for resilient national timing - GPS World:
GNSS simulator companies help pilots find their way:
Find out how GNSS is playing a role in enhancing safety and training when using flight simulators
How many Global Navigation Satellite System do you know? Only GPS? GPS and
Check the right answer in the book "An Introduction to GNSS..." from NovAtel Inc.
P.S.: Don't forget to pay attention to two regional systems!
GPS/GNSS industry recollections and predictions from the GPS World Editorial Advisory Board - GPS World:
Members of the GPS World Editorial Advisory Board share their memories and thoughts about the GPS industry over the past 30 years. Find out what they had to say.
Timing is Everything: To Protect Geospatial and the World, We Need Bullet-proof
The shape of water: bathymetry in action - GPS World:
Population growth in coastal areas and sea level rise due to climate change are driving the need for bathymetric data for planning and emergency management. Learn more about bathymetry and how the data is used.
MGUE Increment 2 contracts awarded to Rockwell Collins, L3 and Raytheon - GPS World:
The U.S. Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center awarded the Military Global Positioning System User Equipment (MGUE) Increment 2 Miniature Serial Interface with Next-Generation ASIC to Rockwell Collins, L3 Technologies and Raytheon Technologies. Get more details.
Space Force planning a ‘disruptive’ acquisitions command - SpaceNews:
Gen. John Raymond said the Space Systems Command will include a mix of legacy and nontraditional procurement offices.
US Navy plans to raise new fleet in Indo Pacific, says top US official:
I’ve been advocating for this since 2001: First Fleet. It’s back, and it’s
Area of Operation (AO) will be SE Asia and the Indian
#usn #usnavy #1stFleet #scs #India #Singapore #Australia #IO #indopacific
Boeing subsidiary ready to launch satellite de-orbiting experiment:
SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket with the U.S.-European Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite rolled out for launch this afternoon! This #SeeingTheSeas mission is set for liftoff tomorrow at 12:17 p.m. EST (5:17 p.m.
Join the virtual NASA Social and watch with us: https://lnkd.in/gqDb3CM
Russia Says U.S. Missile Defense Test Proves It Lied About Global Missile Shield:
Resilient PNT critical to maritime advancement:
The International Maritime Organization has issued a resolution for maritime cyber-risk management effective in January 2021.
Which recent GNSS/INS innovations have been most helpful in advancing bathymetry? Which upcoming ones will be?:
Services Infusing AI into Air, Land, Sea Robots:
New algorithm could unleash the power of quantum computers:
A new algorithm that fast forwards simulations could bring greater use ability to current and near-term quantum computers, opening the way for applications to run past strict time limits that hamper many quantum calculations. “Quantum computers have a limited time to perform calculations before their useful quantum nature, which we call coherence, breaks down,” said Andrew Sornborger of the
Computer, Computational, and Statistical Sciences division at Los Alamos National
Laboratory, and senior author on a paper announcing the research. “With a new algorithm
that we have developed and tested, we will be able to fast forward quantum simulations to solve problems that were previously out of reach.”
Schools Weren't Prepared for a Crisis Like COVID-19:
How did schools' planning *before* the pandemic affect their transitions to remote learning when COVID-19 hit? Results from our new national survey provide some insights.
Ada Lovelace Day is a worldwide celebration of the achievements that women have made in STEM industries, which stands for science, technology, engineering, and
The day is about increasing the profile of females in STEM. The hope is that by doing this we will help to create new role models for women all across the globe and encourage more females to take roles within STEM sectors.
WOMEN IN TECH - Global Movement Nadia Mannell Carine de Meyere Candyce Costa A IDM Lindalia Sofia Junqueira Reis Isabel Velarde, Founder, CEO Innovation Hub Consulting® Dr. Cara Antoine Claudia Mendes Silva Elina Valeeva Jenyfer Maisonneuve Joanna Carson Mandi Gunsberger, GAICD Polina Vasilenko Monika Rizovska Katerina Trajchevska Melissa Slaymaker
Tactical Airborne Laser Weapon System (TALWS):
Hexagon launches autonomy kits for agriculture with demo tractor - GPS World:
Hexagon’s Autonomy and Positioning division has launched its first autonomy positioning and sensing kits for the agriculture market. Learn more about the kits, which the company validated in its new autonomous research and development tractor.
The evolution of GPS satellites and their use today - GPS World:
From Cold War origins of a chirping beach ball traveling through space 63 years ago, now more than 2,600 satellites enhance our terrestrial lives. Here's how satellite technology has gotten to this point. (Photo: U.S. Army/DARPA) #satellite #technology
Norway Govt Wants GPS Backup - Offering $910K To Develop for Maritime Pilots
Blog Editor's (Dana A. Goward) Notes:
Less than a million dollars (US) doesn't seem like much to develop a navigation system.
Also, there are existing systems already developed (or nearly there) that could be implemented. But they certainly cannot be had for such a small sum.
Perhaps the Norwegian government just wants to fund a study.
But why is a study needed? The problem of GNSS disruption in maritime has already been addressed by the European
Space Agency (ESA), of which Norway is a member in good standing.
Last year ESA's NAVISP program sponsored a very comprehensive, year-long study of requirements and solutions for resilient maritime navigation. The 1,100 pages of reports of the MarRINav project outline process, findings, results and recommendations in great detail. True, it was written with a focus on the
UK, but the methodology and results can be applied anywhere.
We hope that this announcement isn't just a way for government leaders to give the appearance of action so it doesn't have to actually do anything.
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Most of the pilots have experienced GPS failure. Now they want to develop a safer alternative
Over the next few months, the Norwegian Coastal Administration will announce NOK 8.5 million to those who can develop a secure backup for satellite navigation.
The senses, local knowledge and radar are the most important tools the pilots use for unloading ships safely in port, but they have increasingly become dependent on satellite navigation such as
GPS. These signals can be lost, either by accident or as a result of deliberate hacking.
- It can lead to dangerous situations and unwanted incidents, says Odd Sveinung Hareide, advisor and project manager in the pilot service.
The pilotage service will therefore in November announce a contract of NOK 8.55 million for someone who can develop a backup solution for satellite navigation. The new sensor technology will be able to compensate for the unreliability of satellite navigation and warn when the signals are affected.
Basically, it should be a mobile solution that can be used by the pilotage service, but the goal is that the solution can also be used in shipping in general.
The goal is to sign the development contract in early 2021. The finished prototype is scheduled to be ready in 2023.
READ MORE Site has a header button for version in English (but TeK Associates
could not find it!)
Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) Makes First Direct Distance Measurement to
Fenton Heirtzler, Organic materials chemistry and nonlinear optics:
"Very cool! Thanks for the enlightenment on magnetars (I had never heard of them). Maybe you could amend your posting to include the distance which was measured?
Would it be reasonable to assume that there are no other heavenly bodies anywhere nearby to this?
Can this thing be considered a massive ferromagnetic object, and is there any way to learn what its atomic composition would be?
There are other speculative questions, but I assume that at this point in time, there are no answers for them...."
RL Poole, Author, The Leedskalnin Codex: Breakthroughs in Understanding the Coral Castle - #1 Best Seller in the Physics of Gravity (Amazon Kindle):
"I read the Wikipedia reference. It says in the same place, that these magnetic fields are a hundred million times stronger than any man-made
" Is there any pop science magazine article on this...? I am afraid I wouldn't know. I think that is a question better directed at Google. I watched a science program about magnetars years ago, and found them fascinating.
"Classical magnetism occurs when the nuclear spins of atoms are spatially aligned (I think). So is a magneton one big unidirectional nuclear spin ?" Says, who?
Magnetars are FASCINATING."
Free navigation tutorials (from China and Andover, MA): (THK: Danger)
Precise Navigation Made Simple:
ACEINNA’s inertial solutions deliver high precision in an easy-to-use open source development environment. Our fully temperature calibrated solutions deliver the performance needed to sense the real-world motion of today’s intelligent systems.
Vulnerabilities of GPS is a big concern: Dana Goward - Geospatial World:
Satellite systems have become an integral part of our businesses for precise navigation and timing services. Yet GPS/GNSS jamming, spoofing, and other forms of interference appear to be growing in frequency and severity. Recently, the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) asked Pentagon to provide Combatant Commander’s alternate position, navigation and timing (PNT) systems to GPS within two years.
We caught up with Dana Goward, a member of the National PNT Advisory Board, and President & Director of RNT Foundation, an independent, member-supported non-profit that works in the area building awareness about the importance and vulnerabilities of navigation and timing systems, encourages development and implementation of resilient terrestrial systems, and advocates for policies to deter spoofing and jamming. Goward is retired from the federal Senior Executive Service having served as the maritime navigation authority for the United States. He has represented the US at IMO, IALA, the UN anti-piracy working group, and other international forums. He is also a Senior Adviser to Space Command’s Purposeful Interference Response Team.
Why is there so much concern around vulnerabilities of GPS?
It’s not just about GPS; all GNSS signals are weak. They are 20,000 km above the Earth, powered by solar panels, and are transmitting all the time, after all. Just as a matter of physics, it’s very easy to block a relatively weak signal. That is what GPS jamming is. Also, because the different global navigation satellites systems want to increase their user base, they release all the information about their signals so they can be integrated into other systems. But if you know exactly what the signals look like, you know how to imitate them. This makes the signals open to spoofing as well. That is another significant challenge, because, in many ways spoofing is worse than jamming — instead of no information, spoofing can give you hazardously misleading information.
ALSO READ: Why Resilient PNT Infrastructure is Imperative to Global Economic Growth
All GNSS are relatively the same signal strength and in same general frequency band, and they are all in space. Naturally, they are subjected to same kind of vulnerabilities — severe solar activity, malicious high-power electro-magnetic pulses, local jamming, spoofing, etc. Even urban canyons and downtown cities are a challenge as the signals tend to bounce off buildings and can cause problems for receivers. Using multiple GNSS systems at the same time does protect users a bit if one of the systems suffers a cyberattack or an equipment failure. So, it does offer some measure of additional resilience. But, generally, they all have similar vulnerabilities and are subject to the same threats, so the added resilience and security is marginal.
These shared vulnerabilities have been a concern for some time. There are all kinds of incentives for individuals and organizations to interfere with GPS signals — from delivery drivers taking long breaks, to criminal organizations wanting to divert a shipment, to nations looking to counter the armed forces of another. For example, American generals have said that Syria and the Middle East have the highest intensity of electronic warfare anywhere on the face of the planet. A lot of that is GPS/GNSS jamming and spoofing.
Interestingly, a recent sampling by the European Union found 500,000 instances of transmissions on GNSS frequency that should not have been there. About 10% of them were determined to be malicious and intentional, while the others were just apparently accidental. So, there are a lot of vulnerabilities in the system, and a lot of real-world threats
From cellular networks to power grids to transport systems, GNSS is the source of accurate, synchronized time for almost everything. A 2012 Boston Consulting Group study found that the geospatial services fueled by GPS resulted in $1.4 trillion a year in savings to the US economy and another $1.6 trillion in added revenues. A London Economics study found that if
GPS/GNSS went away for five days, the UK economy would suffer losses of £5.2 billion, which translates to $482 billion per year.
We are fortunate that nothing really bad has happened so far. At the RNT Foundation we encourage responsible governments to try to get ahead of things and prevent mishaps, rather than waiting for them to happen before swinging into action.
Tell us about the details of the FCC-Ligado controversy?
Ligado is really an interesting case. Ligado Networks, an American satellite communications company, claims they want to establish a low-power nationwide
5G network. And it has been allotted space in the L-band spectrum which is the same band as that of
GPS and other GNSS. US government tests have shown that these transmissions will interfere with
GPS reception for many users. Naturally, a lot of organizations and individuals, including the Executive branch of the government, are concerned about its possible impact on
GPS and are of the opinion that we shouldn’t go ahead with this. However, the
Federal Communications Commission, which is an independent agency and works on its own under a congressional mandate, is convinced that this isn’t going to be that much of a problem, approved the request, and is refusing to budge.
Ever since, the opposition to the proposal has been growing. The entire executive branch of the government, including the Department of Defense and Department of Transportation, have amplified their protest and a number of organizations including the RNT Foundation, have formerly requested that the
FCC reconsider their decision. Now, there is some legislation in Congress to examine the decision. The end of that story is yet to be written.
One of my thoughts here is that the FCC is the ‘communications’ commission, not the ‘navigation’ or ‘geospatial’ commission. Radio communications are different from radio navigation in a lot of ways. In fact, they are almost opposites — in radio communications you are blasting the 1s and 0s through the surrounding noise to get the message through, while in radio navigation you look down within the background noise for the 1s and 0s. And rather than identifying the 1s and 0s as the message in communications, radio navigation precisely measures the time of the change from a 1 to a 0 so the receiver can figure out its location. There are a bunch of other differences as well.
It could well be that the radio and communications engineers at FCC didn’t have the right context to evaluate the Ligado proposal as it would affect navigation. As an example — I was on a panel with the head of Ligado who is a communications engineer. I said there were tests that found Ligado transmissions violated the government safety buffer for
GPS failures. I said that, rather than using the safety buffer in its tests, Ligado had tested the
GPS receivers to the point of failure. Ligado’s CEO replied that they hadn’t done that. They had just tested the receivers to where they started “giving bad information.” OK, so that’s worse. Bad information is worse than no information at all.
But it shows the difference between the way communications engineers and navigation engineers view things. In communications, a little bit of interference might not be so bad. You could probably understand the overall message. Or, if it is two-way communications, you could ask for a repeat. Not so for navigation. One of the first signs of interference with
GPS/GNSS signals in many receivers is bad, potentially hazardous, information. A safety report to
NASA last year detailed how a passenger aircraft nearly crashed into a mountain because of this kind of interference with its
FAA gives go-ahead for Amazon drone-delivery tests - GPS World:
Amazon received Federal Aviation Administration approval to use drones to deliver packages. Find out what this could mean for package delivery times.
Collaboration aimed at GNSS solution for IoT modems - GPS World
Synopsys Inc and Nestwave are collaborating to combine Nestwave’s geolocation software with the
Synopsys DesignWare ARC IoT Communications Subsystem for a complete low-power GNSS solution for integration into IoT modems. Get more details. (Image: metamorworks/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images)
#GNSS #IoT #communications
Impact of UK Jamming Trials - More Details
And here is the notice:
2nd September 2020 SW2020/187
Jamming trial impacting electronic situational awareness devices, UAS command systems and GNSS receivers: 8 Sep – 4 Dec, Luce Bay
Jamming activity will take place 8 September – 4 December 2020 in and around Luce
Bay. The activity may affect GNSS receivers along with UAS and cockpit devices operating on 433, 868, 915, 2400, 5800 MHz operating up to 40,000FT
AMSL within 55NM of 545020N 045548W (West Freugh).
During the trials impacted systems may suffer intermittent or total failure. Individual events will not exceed 2 minutes in duration with no more than 5 events per hour. Activity will take place in daytime hours between
0830 and 1600.
For further information contact email@example.com
Emergency cease jamming contact 01776 888932 or 01776 888930
First Fix: New year, new opportunities for GNSS industry - GPS World:
As we embark on a new year, 2021 ushers in a new administration and the start of the 117th Congress. With these changes comes a litany of opportunities, as well as challenges, for the nearly four-decade-old GPS industry, says the GPS Innovation Alliance (GPSIA)'s J. David Grossman.
Aviation Policy News: Airline Bailouts and Revenue Sources for Air Traffic Control During Pandemic:
SAE International EDGE Report: Air Traffic Management:
Building a better aerial imagery program beyond UAVs:
New Photon-Counting Camera Captures 3D Images with Record Speed and Resolution:
Researchers have developed the first mega-pixel photon-counting camera based on new-generation image sensor technology that uses single-photon avalanche diodes (SPADs). The new camera can detect single photons of light at unprecedented speeds, a capability that could advance applications that require fast acquisition of 3D images such as augmented reality and LiDAR systems for autonomous vehicles.
Distributing high-precision time over optical networks in the 5G world - GPS World:
Mobile operators are investing heavily in the deployment of LTE-Advanced and 5G networks that will transform cellular communications and connectivity. Check out some challenges they face.
No silver bullet for US PNT: Many sources needed - GPS World:
At the moment, the U.S. GPS provides the vast majority of PNT services in the U.S. and around the world. Yet, like all space-based systems, its signals are weak and very vulnerable to interference. (Image: DOT) #GPS
Enemy jammer takes first test flight aboard EA-18G Growler:
Securing PNT Workshop Looks at GNSS Back-up Options - Inside GNSS:
Multipath GNSS signals are a threat to timing receivers in 4G and 5G networks - Spirent
Friday 04/17/2020 Ligado / FCC Roundup - What might really happen:
FCC Chairman Moves Forward on Ligado Approval - Inside GNSS:
Attorney General William P. Barr’s Statement on FCC Chairman Pai’s Draft Order to Approve Ligado’s Application to Facilitate 5G and Internet of Things Services:
FCC Chairman Moves Forward on Ligado Approval Interfering with GPS:
The Federal Communications Commission announced April 16 that Chairman Ajit Pai is circulating a draft proposal within the Commission that would approve a plan by Ligado Networks to use frequencies neighboring those used by GPS
for a 5G terrestrial service.
"On November 18th 2020, the Federal Communications Commission unanimously voted to value streaming video and entertainment above human life." - Debby Bezzina, MBA,PMP, Managing Director for CCAT.
Debby was featured on the Michigan Department of Transportation's Talking Michigan Transportation Podcast.
For more of her insights on the recent FCC ruling, listen here: http://myumi.ch/bvPVY
#SaveTheSafetySpectrum #DSRC #CV2X
NATO’s new tool shows the impact of GPS jammers:
NATO’s new tool shows the impact of GPS jammers - C4ISRNet (More):
Now Operational, BeiDou Could Conceal Cybersecurity Threat:
Defense Secretary Fires on FCC about Ligado - What else to remember:
It is clear that Defense Secretary Esper is upset with the FCC for dismissing his concerns about national security and
Ligado out of hand. The below article documents some of his frustration. This article is a pretty good opening salvo for tomorrow's hearing by the Senate Armed Services Committee.
As we go into tomorrow's hearing, though, there are a couple things to keep in mind that we have not heard about at all in the media to date,
First, the FCC giving away (no charge to Ligado other than application fees) this satellite spectrum for terrestrial use means it won't be available for space assets. We understand the L-Band is ideal for space-based PNT. So if we want any more of it (like the LEO systems Chinese are building and the US Air Force is experimenting with) our options are going to be that much more limited. Spectrum is a finite resource.
Second, we didn't need to be here. The executive branch has long said that we need to take better care of our GPS and PNT with: 1) a system to detect and identify disruption sources; 2) far wider use of receivers that reject many forms of interference; and 3) signals from a terrestrial system that would stabilize GPS signals in receivers making them very resistant to interference, and provide PNT when GPS isn't available at all.
The Pentagon made its case against Ligado. What now? - C4ISRNet:
Pai to Congress "You're Wrong" - FCC fires back on Ligado Decision:
Blog Editor's (Dana A. Goward) Note: The more we read materials from each side of this issue, the more the opponents seem to be talking past each other. They might as well be speaking different languages. Everyone sees themselves as doing the right thing and is puzzled by why the other side sees them as in error at best and a force for evil at the worst.
We are sure that everyone is trying to do the right thing, but there are clearly some fundamental disconnects as to how folks see the world, interpret data, from testing, etc.
That is why we have called for an independent expert evaluation of the testing results and a cost-benefit analysis so as to better inform public policy decisions.
Chairman Pai Letter to House Armed Services Committee Chair Adam Smith
In a letter to Congressman Adam Smith, Chair of the House Armed Services
Committee, last week, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai refuted claims that he and the unanimous, bipartisan vote of the Commission had erred in their decision on Ligado Networks.
Over the course of four pages he said that:
- National security and the safety of the public was a critical concern for him and the commission
- He would never do anything to compromise safety and security
- There is a fundamental misconception that the FCC has authorized "sharing" spectrum. GPS has not (sic) right to operate in the spectrum allocated to
- Regarding consultation with the Department of Defense
"... the Department of Defense was provided with numerous opportunities over nearly a decade to provide the
Commission with any relevant evidence it wished to submit."
The commission considers all comments provided for the docket and formally sought comments six separate times over the course of nine years.
The commission provided DoD, via NTIA, a draft order to consider in October 2019.
He (Chairman Pai) personally spoke to the Secretary of Defense and other senior
DoD officials on the matter
- The FCC's process and decisions are not impugned just because another agency doesn't like the outcome
- FCC's excellent career staff worked for years on technical analysis supporting the decision.
- FCC did not violate the law regarding the need to "resolve concerns." Paragraphs 129 and 130 of the order did that.
- DoD never offered a classified briefing (if they had, he would have taken it), nor did they enter into the record any testing results.
All five FCC Commissioners responded to Chairman Smith's letter. Here are copies of all the letters:
FCC’s Ligado decision broadens, deepens opposition - GPS World
Last week, 27 members of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee sent a letter to Federal
Communications Commission Chairman (FCC) Ajit Pai. In it, they urged him to reconsider the FCC’s decision to allow Ligado Networks to operate a terrestrial nationwide network that the executive branch says will cause harmful interference to
GPS signals for many users. This concern and opposition from a sector not traditionally engaged in
GPS or positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) issues is just one example of how the FCC’s decision — rather than putting the issue to rest — has instead recruited a whole new set of actors from across multiple sectors for the opposition.
Many observers don’t see this as surprising.
According to one observer, previously it was easy for many to assume the FCC would reject Ligado’s proposal. The entire executive branch had been vehemently opposed for years. So had aviation groups, the weather community, geospatial interests and some satellite communications concerns. With such opposition from so many important quarters, it was reasonable for many to assume they need not become involved. Now that the
FCC has acted to the contrary, these interests have become well energized.
The FCC decision also empowered opponents to educate and recruit others who don’t normally think or worry about
GPS and PNT issues, folks like farmers and agricultural interests.
As one insider said, “The existing opposition can now go to just about anyone in any sector and say, ‘This is going to happen and it will harm your operation. There are no ifs, ands, or buts. The FCC has decided’.”
Agriculture’s reliance on GPS
Agriculture is a good example. While not the sector that first springs to mind when most people think about GPS, farming has become dependent on augmented
GPS for precisely and automatically driving machinery, minimizing fertilizer and pesticide use, and a wide variety of other productivity gains over
pre-GPS operations. “GPS is critically important to the commercial agriculture, mining, forestry and rural manufacturing industries. In fact,
GPS has become the single most significant technological advancement for American farm equipment in the past two decades… [A 2019 RTI study] found that during planting season, if
GPS were interrupted, the economic impact to the agriculture sector could amount to losses of $15 billion due to lower crop yields. Moreover, an earlier study suggested GPS-enabled precision agriculture could save farmers an estimated 10 to 15 percent in operating costs and purchased inputs. This same study estimated the benefits of GPS to precision agriculture between $10 and $17 billion.”
Department of Transportation studies have shown that high-precision GPS receivers, such as those used in agriculture, could be impacted within 3,000 meters of a Ligado transmitters. With tens of thousands of transmitters deployed in a nationwide network, this could pose a real problem for American farming.
Other sectors have also become involved in the opposition. The recently formed Keep GPS Working Coalition has members representing aviation, surface transportation, maritime, agriculture and equipment manufacturing.
This formal and public coalition, though, seems to be just the tip of the opposition iceberg.
Almost 100 dissenting organizations:
According to some involved with protesting the FCC’s decision, there are nearly a hundred organizations and companies that are working in some way to have it overturned. These include multiple aviation, delivery service, agriculture, surface transportation, geospatial, weather, maritime, space and technology interests.
One sign of the influence they are having is an increase in concerns being expressed by members of Congress.
There’s a growing need for positioning solutions for Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (#ADAS) in #autonomous vehicles. #GNSS-reliant vehicles require lane-level resolution in order to navigate safely and reliably. Additional sensors are used to enhance this accuracy, but what role does GNSS play in these sensor suites?
Hexagon | NovAtel technical sales rep Kevin Doherty explains how GNSS is integrated into R&D through series production to deliver #autonomy and #positioning - assured.
Watch now >> https://hxgn.biz/2C4LGmq
FCC Chooses a bit more 5G over aviation safety. Again!:
The #UAE has taken an exciting leap in the #spaceeconomy with its recent successful launch
of the Hope spacecraft to #Mars.
By sometime in Feb of next year (2021) it will enter a Martian orbit and begin collecting, analyzing and transmitting Mars atmospheric, climate and weather data.
The launch used #Japan H-IIA rockets from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Center and with contract support from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. The
UAE used a unique approach to build the spacecraft themselves deploying strong academic
Given the UAE success already from the project by both staying on its $200M
budget and short timetables it is likely to serve as a new model for other nations #Space ambitions.
U.S. Department of Transportation announces drone Remote ID partners - GPS World:
A new, more secure GPS signal could be ready by 2020:
How Vulnerable Is G.P.S.?
An engineering professor has proved—and exploited—its vulnerabilities. by Greg Milner August 6, 2020
The proliferation of G.P.S. interference is a major reckoning for the country’s military and defense systems.
In the cool, dark hours after midnight on June 20, 2012, Todd Humphreys made the final preparations for his attack on the Global Positioning System. He stood alone in the middle of White Sands Missile Range, in southern New Mexico, sixty miles north of Juárez. All around him were the glowing gypsum dunes of the Chihuahuan Desert. In the distance, the snow-capped San Andres Mountains loomed.
On a hill about a kilometre away, his team was gathered around a flat metal box the size of a carry-on suitcase. The electronic machinery inside the box was called a spoofer—a weapon by another name. Soon, a Hornet Mini, a drone-operated helicopter popular with law-enforcement and rescue agencies, was scheduled to appear forty feet above them. Then the spoofer would be put to the test.
Technology establishes your Position, Navigation, and Time (PNT) in the environment -- but we have to protect it.
Defend your #PNT in challenging environments through Hexagon | NovAtel anti-jam antennas, interference mitigation, and GNSS+INS combined systems.
Read more about how to protect the integrity of your PNT solution >> https://hxgn.biz/2RM4zg9
Feds outline all the ways they can get you for messing with drones:
The Advisory on the Application of Federal Laws to the Acquisition and Use of Technology to Detect and Mitigate Unmanned Aircraft Systems was jointly issued by the Justice Department, Federal Communications Commission, Department of Homeland Security, and Transportation Department. It starts out noting that Congress has only given the authority to those four departments plus the Department of Energy to do such things. No other entities, including state, local, and tribal law enforcement, are allowed - and presumably could be sanctioned if they did so.
When talking about measures that involve jamming or spoofing GPS, the advisory cites 18 U.S.C. § 1367, Interference with the Operation of a Satellite that "...generally prohibits “obstruct[ing] or hinder[ing] any satellite transmission.”
We will try to avoid any snarky comments about the FCC's decision on Ligado Networks at this point...
The National Geodetic Survey (NGS) recently announced two new items related to the modernized National Spatial Reference System. Check out the updates.
ESA project calls for terrestrial navigation systems to reduce risk
Webinar to discuss MarRINav project results:
In 2018 the first-ever European Radionavigation Plan said “It is recognized that
GNSS should not be the sole source of PNT information. Alternative PNT systems, not necessarily using radio frequencies, should thus be put in place where the criticality of the application requires it.”Graphic from MarRINav report showing system of systems approach to
PNT resilience and reliability. In 2019 the European Space
Agency (ESA) published a permanent open call for proposals for positioning, navigation, and timing studies and systems, including those that had nothing to do with space.
One of the first fruits of this is the ESA-funded Maritime Resilience and
Integrity of Navigation project, or MarRINav, recently completed by researchers in the United Kingdom.
“Maritime navigation and port operations are critical for almost every nation,” said Jonathan Turner, one of the
MarRINav project team. “As an island nation with a strong maritime heritage, we in the United Kingdom perhaps have an even greater appreciation of this.” Turner is co-founder of the blue economy solutions company
NLA International, which led a team of eight organizations cooperating on the project.
While MarRINav focused its analysis on the United Kingdom, the intent was to provide information, and an analysis framework, that could also be used by other nations.
Maritime is one of sectors most dependent upon Global Navigation Satellite Systems, according to the project reports, and one of the ones with the greatest awareness of
GNSS vulnerabilities and their consequences. MarRINav concludes that integrity and resilience are two of the most important parameters for maritime navigation.
Maritime is also one of the sectors most ready to integrate space and terrestrial navigation systems, according to the report’s authors. The International Maritime Organization has already introduced a performance standard for a
Multi-System Receiver, or MSR, that will incorporate a wide variety of navigation signals.
Despite the distractions of Brexit over the last four years, the United Kingdom has been particularly focused on its vulnerability to
Eyeing Russia, Army fields jam-resistant GPS in Europe:
U.S. Space Command blasts Russia for anti-satellite missile test -
SpaceNews (Why, because they did not use an F-15 double thruster instead?):
US Air Force selects Raytheon Missiles & Defense to develop Long-Range Standoff weapon:
What we know about Iran’s counter-space weapons:
Norway says Russia jammed GPS signal during NATO drill:
Norway Powerless Against GPS Interference - NRK:
Russia’s new navigation plan reveals a fear of jamming - C4ISRNet:
In addition to jamming NATO exercises and spoofing GPS receivers to protect VIPs, Moscow also claims it added GPS jammers to over 250,000 domestic cell towers to help defeat U.S. cruise missiles should they attack.
Letter to Karen Van Dyke (DOT): http://rntfnd.org/wp-content/uploads/Alliance_for_Telecommunications_Industry_Solutions_ATIS_Copper_Optical_Access_Synchronization_and_Transport_Committee_COAST-2.pdf
Communication and Navigation Satellite Signal Broadcast Histories and Interruptions:
Please click menu items scattered around the top for a more detailed view.
I just ran across this overview summary: http://mgex.igs.org/analysis/index.php
Speculation on the cause of Boeing 737 MAX 8 Failure
FCC to approve spectrum plan that Pentagon claims will harm GPS - C4ISRNet
Congressmen demand answers after Pentagon issues GPS warning - C4ISRNet:
In response to this filed by Ligado:
Resolution scheduled here:
Multi-agency Report Opposing Ligado Request Could Be Last Element in Controversy - Inside
Senate Armed Services, Former FCC Commissioner Slam Ligado:
It’s Time for the FCC to Terminate the ‘LightSquared’ Proceeding:
17 December 2020-Coalition supports NDAA provisions to protect GPS against Ligado - GPS World:
The Keep GPS Working Coalition issued a statement in support of the inclusion of provisions related to
GPS in the National Defense Authorization Act.
Check it out now: https://www.gpsworld.com/coalition-supports-ndaa-provisions-to-protect-gps-against-ligado/
New Executive Order regarding PNT:
Industry perspective: Next-gen PNT needs careful assessment:
Three obstacles are slowing space sensors for hypersonic threats:
Four Challenges to Hypersonics:
Pentagon's Top R&D Chief Throws Cold Water On Laser Missile Defense Aspirations:
"Turn out the lights - the Party is over" Marketing flacks can go find something else to do for a few years instead of hawking concepts from movies based on comic books. Directed Energy lost its key advocate.
Six months of reported GPS issues:
Analysis and Overview:
Lockheed’s Skunk Works Team to Help Update Air Force Reconnaissance Aircraft Avionics:
DHS S&T Invites Critical Infrastructure Owners and Operators to GPS Spoofing Test Event - HS Today:
New GPS 'circle spoofing' moves ship locations thousands of miles - GPS World:
New research by Bjorn Bergman of the environmental non-profit SkyTruth has found ships in various parts of the world reporting locations thousands of miles away and circling at precisely 20 knots.
COSMIC-1 mission for GPS reflectometry comes to an end - GPS World
The COSMIC-1 program ended last month, when the last of six tiny satellites were decommissioned. Find out how long the satellites were in space.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) announced today an opportunity for critical infrastructure owners & operators and Global Positioning System (GPS) equipment manufacturers to test their equipment against GPS spoofing. The 2020 GPS Testing for Critical Infrastructure (GET-CI) event will be held later this year and is the third in this series of test opportunities.
Modernizing SIGINT—Technology Adapts to Serve Multiple Missions and Masters:
In this month’s Journal of Electromagnetic Dominance, I have a discussion with John Haystead about the evolving relationship between Signals Intelligence and electronic support measures, and the blurring of the lines between SIGINT, communications intelligence, and electronic intelligence. Spectrum dominance is the key for our
DoD customers, and BAE Systems is poised at the forefront of innovation in this discriminator. At the end of the day, situational awareness across a variety of missions in as compact, efficient and upgradeable a package as possible is the goal. To read more on this important technology, check out May’s feature article in
More Jamming and Spoofing of GPS:
Click here to see some other aspects of GPS
Brad Parkinson’s 2017 wish
Click here to see MORE aspects of GPS
USDOT seeks university to help secure automated navigation:
Raytheon, to replace OCX hardware by 2022 for $378 million:
The War perpetrated by Others on GPS (Part II) and other updates:
GPS III - Misleading Sound Bites Harm Nation - National Defense:
PCCW Global and UniStrong to link GNSS tech with telecoms, airports - GPS World:
PCCW GLOBAL Limited and UniStrong APAC Pte Ltd will collaborate on developing GNSS technologies and services for the telecommunications and aviation industries. Read more on the partnership and their goals.
Second GPS III Satellite Declared Ready for Military Use:
GPS Backup Analysis Stays on Track:
If your GPS position, navigation and time are under threat from jamming, then you need to consider NovAtel® Anti-Jam antennas. These are designed to defend against sources of interference -- that's assured positioning.
Read more about NovAtel®'s GPS Anti-Jam Technology >> https://hxgn.biz/2zl1vEp
A new system, called WarLoc, makes it possible to locate warfighters and first responders in GPS-denied environments.
Read more about the system, created by Robotic Research, LLC. (Photo: Robotic Research)
CHC Navigation introduces Apache3 marine drone - GPS World:
The 2020 Apache3 Marine Drone provides a series of new features and additional enhancements to make lake, river and coastal hydrographic surveys more productive, according to maker CHC Navigation. Learn more about the drone. (Photo: CHC Navigation) #drone
TeK Associates follows novel INS developments and relative INS accuracies: Familiar with Electro-statically supported
Gyro (ESG) such as the airborne Micro, the SSBN ESG, as well as that in the
Gravity-Probe satellite), Laser Gyros, Fiber
Optics Gyros, Wine glass\tuning fork gyros, Microelectromechanical
systems (MEMS) Gyroscopes. Prof. Christopher Jekeli’s
(Ohio University, Columbus, OH) published
mathematical model for Cold-Atom
Gyros, as well as conventional
mechanical spinning rotor gyros and their analysis.
We follow evolving procedures for moving platform shipborne
and in-air alignment gyro-compassing and alternative
mechanizations: Local Level, Space-Stable, Wander-Azimuth, Strapdown and associated
transformations (and typical frequency of re-calculation sample
rates). Surprisingly, new insights have recently been offered that much of
the technology harkens back to analog gyro behavior more than is currently
necessary in this digital age of extremely high processing speeds which can now
support relatively high external GPS updates within strapdown gyroscope
implementations. Previous notions of coning, sculling, the dynamics of Schuler
loop oscillations being activated, or 24 hour diurnal oscillations are no longer
necessary in Navigation systems mechanized with MEMS throughout and with
differential GPS updates on the order of seconds or minutes because the gyros no
longer need to go open loop without a compensating and ameliorating
fix for anything that approaches a significant fraction of
the ~hour and a half Schuler period .
We are familiar with typical operational constraints and weapon
system accuracies of
several military platforms as well: e.g., Ships Submersible
Ballistic Nuclear (SSBN’s) submarines (a.k.a.
Ships Submersible Nuclear (SSN) submarines (a.k.a.,
subs), which allied country’s
coils and which use
We are also familiar with the tenets, details, and history of
“Search and Screening”: e.g., detection
range, worse case detection threats, observables-in-the-military-sense,
countermeasures and counter-countermeasures for various sensors, etc. See  to
for perspectives on our early experience in this area. We are also knowledgeable
in the associated terminology such as that of U.S. submarine alertness levels: 1SQ, 2SQ,...,
Operation Sanguine [before the name change in the 1970’s to evade the
scrutiny of protesters ], TACAMO, long trailing wire antenna (BCA), pig tail antenna, whip antenna,
Blue-green laser, Counter
Value vs. Counter Force, Mid-course star fix, firing keys (where
located and who has access, and orderly sequence of events, and expected
synchronizations and chain-of-command), etc.
Our SSBN submarines can launch while submerged;
while those of many other countries must surface first before they can launch.
We are cognizant of the Society of Old
Crows, of the
Countermeasures Handbook (we possess several back issues), and Paladin Press
publications over the years (that should never have been allowed to appear). CV
motion models, Lamps helicopters and ships, use of ship-borne winch and
cables dropped from helicopters seeking to land onboard in rough seas (where
cable is secured to winch and helicopter pulls cable taught and is reeled in
slowly so that Helicopter motion automatically matches that of the deck of the
ship as both pitch, roll, and yaw together (to avoid damaging the helicopter
with a nasty unexpected impact with the deck of the much more massive ship
capable of preserving inertia by inflicting a severe impulse force as a big
crushing blow over the short period of time-BANG!) We know about historical
that failed miserably as well as alternative more robust approaches (using older
technology) that was good enough without being vulnerable to a myriad of
difficulties associated with other things going wrong (one example being trying
to use a laser-based reflection system to guide the helicopter to land on the
deck in rough seas-obvious vulnerabilities being: fog, battle smoke, electronic
failures at an extremely critical time a’la
Murphy’s law, laser
orientation capability for interacting with surface ship’s
deck-in-motion possibly falling out of sufficient calibration [as needed to
retrieve the necessary reflection close to perpendicular to the moving deck for
instantaneous round trip timing-so you can’t
solve the problem until you have already solved the problem] and needing
additional INS components with their additional costs and vulnerabilities and
operational procedures). Thank Michael Athans and AlphaTech for the less
practical approach, described above. Example 2: What about the attempt to align
several (two or more) surface ships at sea in tandem to create an effective
landing strip for those super-sized carrier air craft to take-off and land for
re-supply at sea. Although some of their numerous computer studies demonstrated
feasibility, please just think about being in the North Atlantic with typical
winter weather conditions involving very high sea states and then try to pull
off this stunt. We have Raman Mehra and Scientific Systems to thank for this
second one. Both examples were funded by the U.S. Navy and further reported in an
open unclassified forum but my critical ear hears all and I don’t
soon forget these apparent technical boondoggles but do continue to wonder how
they ever got pass other watchdogs. I guess it pays to be well connected. It’s
not my cup of tea though. I have to
“say what I see and what I smell”.
We Kerr’s (curs) are well known watchdogs too. We try to avoid stepping in
as our predecessors did! Sometimes we mark our territory as a good alpha dog.
Arrrooooo! Better to lead than to follow since the scenery is much better and
more interesting (as
every sled dog knows).
Rodriguez, J. J., Aggarwal, J. K.,
“Matching Aerial Images to 3D Terrain Maps,” IEEE Trans. on Pattern Analysis and Machine
Intelligence, Vol. 12, No. 12, pp. 1138-1149, Dec.
1990: Sparse terrain profile data are stored onboard and direct measurement of relative shifts between images are used to estimate position and velocity; however, an EKF is deemed superior here to use of merely a Kalman filter that uses altitude estimates in order to estimate aircraft position and velocity.
Heeger, D. J., Jepson, A. D.,
“Subspace Methods for Recovering Rigid Motion I: Algorithm and Implementation,”
International Journal of Computer Vision, Vol. 7, No. 2, pp. 95-117, Jan. 1992: Terrain matching methods are also used to estimate platform position and orientation via comparisons to an on-board digital elevation map.
Soatto, S., Frezza, R., Perona, P.,
“Motion Estimation via Dynamic Vision,”
IEEE Trans. on Automatic Control, Vol. 41, No. 3, pp. 95-117, Mar. 1996:
A least squares formulation is used to recover user's 3D motion (3 translation variables and 6 rotation variables or 4 if quaternions are utilized).
Goyurfil, P., Rotstein, H.,
“Partial Aircraft State Estimation from Visual Motion Using the Substate Constraint Approach,”
AIAA Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, Vol. 24, No. 5, pp. 1016-1025, Sep.-Oct. 2001: What is called an implicit EKF is used here to estimate aircraft states-aircraft velocities, angular rates, angle of attack, and angle of sideslip but not aircraft Euler angles nor inertial location. Measurements available are the image points of N featured objects, which are tracked from one frame to another.
Craig Lawson, John F. Raquet, Michael J.
“The Impact of Attitude on Image-Based Integrity,” Navigation: Journal of the Institute of
Navigation, Vol. 57, No. 4, pp. 249-292, Winter
2010: Being aware of the historical importance of having good satellite geometry when seeking to utilize GPS for positioning and for timing (characterized by HDOP, VDOP, TDOP, and GDOP), they analogously extrapolate these ideas to the geometry of their airborne image collecting and refer to this as image integrity (similar to how researchers endeavor to associate sufficient Integrity to GPS measurements). Also
see: Dennis Milbert, “Dilution of Precision
Revisited,” Navigation: Journal of The Institute of Navigation
(ION), Vol. 55, No. 1, pp. 67-81, Spring 2008.
Hoshizaki, T., Andrisani, D., Braun, A. W., Mulyana, A. K., and Bethel, J. S.,
“Performance of Integrated Electro-Optical Navigation Systems,”
Navigation: Journal of the Institute of Navigation, Vol. 51, No. 2, pp. 101-122, Summer 2004: Contains good modeling and they have a “tightly coupled system consisting of INS, GPS, and EO” all working together to simultaneously benefit both navigation and photogrammetry (estimates platform states, sensor biases, and unknown ground object coordinates using a single Kalman filter).
Kyungsuk Lee, Jason M. Kriesel, Nahum Gat,
“Autonomous Airborne Video-Aided
Navigation,” Navigation: Journal of the Institute of Navigation, Vol. 57, No. 3, pp. 163-173, Fall 2010:
ONR-funded discussion utilizes (1) “digitally stored georeferenced landmark images” (altimeter/DTED), (2) video from an onboard camera, and (3) data from an IMU. Relative position and motion are tracked by comparing simple mathematical representations of consecutive video frames. A single image frame is periodically compared to a landmark image to determine absolute position and to correct for possible drift or bias in calculating the relative motion.
Crassidis, J. L., Markley, F. L., Cheng, Y., “Survey of Nonlinear Attitude Estimation Methods,”
AIAA Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, Vol. 30, No. 1, pp. 12-28, Jan. 2007: An excellent survey on the subject of attitude estimation. It provides insights into what is important in estimation algorithms. It is a more practical and rigorous addendum to their many earlier
NASA surveys, concerned with utilizing alternative EKF's or Nonlinear Luenberger Observers (as alternatives to Extended Kalman filter-based approaches).
Compare to  below. (Thomas H. Kerr III comment: This version is more
Maji, M., Junkins, J. L., Turner, J. D.,
“Jth Moment Extended Kalman Filtering for Estimation of Nonlinear Dynamic Systems,”
AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference and Exhibit, Honolulu, HI, Paper No. AIAA 2008-7386, pp. 1-18, 18-21 Aug. 2008: Explores two variations on JMEKF formulations that properly handle higher order moments (that lurk in the background while trying to get good estimates and covariances from EKF’s). Approximations utilized are acknowledged and properly handled (rather than ignored, as is usually the case).
Scorse, W. T., Crassidis, A. L.,
“Robust Longitudinal and transverse Rate Gyro Bias Estimation for Precise Pitch and Roll Attitude Estimation in Highly Dynamic Operating Environments Utilizing a Two Dimensional Accelerometer Array,”
AIAA Atmospheric Flight Mechanics Conference, Paper No. AIAA 2011-6447, Portland, OR, pp. 1-28, 8-11 Aug. 2011:
Using the latest in rigorous real-time estimation algorithms (neither a particle filter nor an unscented/Oxford/Sigma-Point filter) for enabling accurate pointing (precise pitch and roll) within an aircraft within a high dynamics operating environment is reported. While it does utilize rate integrating gyros, as does SYERS-2C, it also utilizes 2D accelerometer arrays and compares to an onboard gravity map to achieve its accuracy.
Discussing Gyroscopes (the heart of
The classical mechanical gyroscope has a relatively massive rotor
suspended within a framework of light supporting rings called gimbals
which have nearly frictionless bearings (as the ideal that is sought) that are used to help isolate the
central spinning rotor from all outside influences (i.e., torques). At high
rotation speeds of the rotor, the gyroscope exhibits extraordinary stability of
its balance and
maintains the orientation of the direction of the high speed rotation axis of
its central rotor in where it points in 3-dimensional space. The implication or consequence of the
physical law known as the “conservation
of angular momentum” is
that the angular momentum of the rotor is constant and it maintains not only its
magnitude or speed of spin, but also its direction in space of the spin axis in the absence of
any external torques. The classical gyroscope finds application in
gyro-compasses (as an alternative to using a magnetic compass) and in more
sophisticated Inertial Navigation Systems (that reveal location and orientation
of vehicles on the earth; and under and over the sea, respectively, in
submarines and ships; and in space in aircraft, in rockets, and in missiles).
However, there are many more common examples of gyroscopic motion and its
associated stability: spinning tops and their associated almost
mysterious precession behavior, the spinning wheels of bicycles and motorcycles keeping them
from falling over even in a severe leaning angle,
the spin of the Earth in space as it orbits the sun, even the behavior of a boomerang as it is being
hurled are all examples of gyroscopic motion.
Classical Inertial Navigation Systems:
The typical mechanical spinning-rotor
gyroscope found within
classical Inertial Navigation Systems (INS) is constructed by
suspending a relatively massive spinning rotor inside three
orthogonally mounted support rings called “gimbals”.
Mounting each of these rotors on axes with high quality bearing
surfaces with low friction insures that very little resisting torque
is exerted on the inside rotor as the rotor continues to spin.
(not shown here) are utilized to initially spin up the inner-most
rotor to its nominal speed and to maintain its angular velocity, as
continuously monitored by electrical or mechanical “pick-offs”
(also not shown here). Modern day INS gyros take many different
forms based on whatever other particular inherent physical principle
is being exploited, such as that for wine glass acoustic frequency
vibrating gyros, for electro-statically supported spherical gyros,
for electro-magnetically supported spherical gyros, for ring laser
gyros (RLG), for fiber optic gyros, for atomic quantum spin gyros,
for Cold Atom gyros, etc. Other important aspects are in exactly how the two or more
gyros are implemented or bound together within an Inertial
Navigation System (INS) such as in a Space Stable configuration, in
a Local-Level configuration (as either Wander Azimuth,
Free Inertial, or North Pointing), or in a Strap-Down configuration,
and in its corresponding Navigation filter formulation, which can be
implemented in three different alternative ways but with the
differential feedback form being somewhat of a standard now. New
insights have been recently revealed into how modern MEMS gyros may
now be implemented in Strap Down configurations without the same
hassles or operational constraints being present that were
associated with handling the classical spinning rotor gyros depicted
here. A Charles Stark Draper Laboratory study and report in the late
concluded that a preferred optimal configuration for
redundant gyros (with a one-degree-of-freedom input axis) was being
located in a certain prescribed way as placed along all the faces of a regular
dodecahedron. It is indeed a pity that Draper
seems to have forgotten this 40 year old conclusion of theirs as they now
work with MEMS gyros for which Draper should again
appropriately invoke the very same solution (but they don’t),
If a gyroscope is tipped away from its original orientation, the
gimbals will try to reorient to keep the spin axis of the rotor
aligned in the same original direction as conservation of momentum. If released after being
tipped over in this new orientation, the gyroscope will “precess”
in the indicated direction depicted here due to the external torque
exerted on the gyroscope by gravity.
Euler angle representations of 3D rotations can be problematic at singularities; Direction Cosine Matrices (DCM) are 3 by 3 and include much redundancy and achieve a rotation goal in 3 space via 3 separate constituent rotations; Quarterions get the job done concisely by picking a particular direction in space as the axis of rotation and then performing merely a single rotation about that axis: four numbers suffice (but for practical reasons, there is a need to normalize within a software implementation otherwise nice theoretical structural results are jeopardized by ever present computer round-off).
Please see: Bernard Friedland, “Analysis
of Strapdown Navigation Using Quaternions,”
IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems, Vol. 14 , No. 5, pp. 764-768, Sept. 1978.
While 3 by 3 matrix rotations are well known to enable rotations in 3D Euclidean space, less well known
is that a 4 by 4 matrix multiply can enact both a rotation and an offset (as first deduced by people in computer graphics as a neat insight beyond what physicists and other engineers had realized). I frequently saw engineers in shock with their jaws dropped when they could work it out and prove it to themselves but had never studied it in school.
My first encounter with this new aspect just mentioned was in:
-Kerr, T. H., “Comments on
`Determining if Two Solid Ellipsoids
AIAA Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, Vol. 28, No. 1, pp. 189-190, Jan.-Feb. 2005. (I found a way to simplify their earlier result)
-Kerr, T. H., “Integral Evaluation Enabling Performance Trade-offs for Two Confidence Region-Based Failure
AIAA Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, Vol. 29, No. 3, pp. 757-762, May-Jun. 2006. (I summarized
the above described simplification in a single line in this paper.)
From James Farrell in May 2020: "Of potential interest to you: an IMU interface standard under development, with SAE International involved, requiring raw uncorrected increments from gyros and accelerometers plus coefficients for purposes of compensation. In addition to the usual well-known error sources, there is a wide variety of (less familiar) motion-sensitive degradations. A tip-of-the-iceberg is shown at
New Gyroscope technology: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/new-gyroscope-borrows-best-from-mems-optical-devices-lieberman-/?trackingId=0rPjqUMjUM0sa%2B%2BDuQWyzQ%3D%3D
Quantum Antenna Solution Makes Resilient PNT Receivers Easier/Better:
University of Michigan gyroscope could reduce dependence on GPS in electronics:
Researchers powered the University of Michigan have developed a small but powerful gyroscope that could reduce the GPS-dependency of drones and autonomous cars. According to U-M’s Schlumberger Professor of Engineering, Khalil Najafi, the gyroscope -- a device used to measure and maintain navigation found in smartphones and other technologies -- is 10,000 times more accurate than a typical smartphone gyroscope but at only 10 times the cost.
Optical Gyro + MEMS Fab: A Match Made in INS Heaven?:
Gyroscope designs used in inertial navigation systems (INS) fall into three basic groups: the classic spinning-rotor mechanical gyro (still in use in specialized situations due to its superior performance capabilities); the optical-based laser gyro using either a mirrored, close-loop path or a lengthy, coiled optical fiber (capable of very high performance, but with substantial weight and size); and the MEMS device (small, light, and low power, with lesser—yet still very good—performance). Now, a team based at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) has devised, analyzed, built, and tested a laser-based gyro that also leverages the unique capabilities of microelectromechanical-systems (MEMS) technology (but not a MEMS-gyro core) for some of its internal components.
Deep Learning for Inertial Navigation:
A short review of cutting edge deep learning-based solutions for inertial navigation.
We are cognizant of the necessary interaction between the architectures
associated with various alternative approaches to multi-target tracking and
Kalman filter-based target tracking algorithms in use (alternative tracking
algorithms hypothesized as possible modern replacements).
Our primary strength is having an in depth awareness of all the
Kalman filter estimation-based approaches used to date for handling
failure\fault detection in an INS or in GPS RAIM, or in a GPS/INS
hybrid. We are analytic algorithm specialists. This is our area of greatest
Even more usefull information is
availed here following the 305 references provided immediately below (click this
link to automatically move pass these citations).
Historical Account of our experience therein:
-  Kerr, T. H., “Poseidon
Improvement Studies: Real-Time Failure Detection in the SINS\ESGM (U),”
TASC Report TR-418-20, Reading, MA, June 1974 (Confidential) for Navy,
SP-2413 (Jerome “Jerry” Katz).
-  Kerr, T. H., “Failure
Detection in the SINS\ESGM System (U),” TASC Report TR-528-3-1,
Reading, MA, July 1975 (Confidential) for Navy, SP-2413 (Jerome “Jerry” Katz).
-  Kerr, T. H.,
“Improving ESGM Failure Detection in the SINS\ESGM System (U),”
TASC Report TR-678-3-1, Reading, MA, October 1976 (Confidential) for
Navy, SP-2413 (Jerome “Jerry” Katz).
-  Kerr, T. H.,
“Preliminary Quantitative Evaluation of Accuracy\Observables
Trade-off in Selecting Loran\NAVSAT Fix Strategies (U),” TASC
Technical Information Memorandum TIM-889-3-1, Reading, MA, December
1977 (Confidential) for Navy, SP-2413 (Jerome “Jerry” Katz).
-  Kerr, T. H.,
“Improving C-3 SSBN Navaid Utilization (U),” TASC Technical
Information Memorandum TIM-1390-3-1, Reading, MA, August 1979 (Secret)
for Navy, SP-2413 (Jerome “Jerry” Katz)
 Kerr, T. H., “Modeling and
Evaluating an Empirical INS Difference Monitoring Procedure Used to Sequence
SSBN Navaid Fixes,” Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Institute of
Navigation, U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md., 9-11 June 1981. (Selected for
reprinting in Navigation: Journal of the
Institute of Navigation, Vol. 28, No. 4, pp. 263-285, Winter 1981-82).
 Kerr, T. H., “Impact
of Navigation Accuracy in Optimized Straight-Line
Surveillance\Detection of Undersea Buried Pipe Valves,” Proceedings
of National Marine Meeting of the Institute of Navigation (ION),
Cambridge, MA, 27-29 October 1982.
Kerr, T. H., “Stability Conditions for the RelNav Community as a
Decentralized Estimator-Final Report,” Intermetrics, Inc. Report No.
IR-480, Cambridge, MA, 10 August 1980, for NADC (Warminster, PA).
T. H., and Chin, L., “A Stable Decentralized Filtering Implementation
for JTIDS RelNav,” Proceedings of
IEEE Position, Location, and Navigation Symposium (PLANS), Atlantic
City, NJ, 8-11 December 1980.
 Kerr, T. H., and Chin, L.,
“The Theory and Techniques of Discrete-Time Decentralized Filters,”
in Advances in the Techniques and
Technology in the Application of Nonlinear Filters and Kalman Filters,
edited by C. T. Leondes, NATO Advisory Group for Aerospace Research and
Development, AGARDograph No. 256, Noordhoff International Publishing,
T. H., and Chin, L., “A Stable Decentralized Filtering Implementation
for JTIDS RelNav,” Proceedings of
IEEE Position, Location, and Navigation Symposium (PLANS), Atlantic
City, NJ, 8-11 December 1980.
 Kerr, T. H., and Rogers, R.,
“Report on PINS Filter Design Review (of Magnavox),”
Intermetrics Memo, Cambridge, MA, 11 August 1983, for NOSC (San Diego, CA).
Kerr, T. H., “GPS\SSN Antenna Detectability,” Intermetrics Report No.
IR-MA-199, Cambridge, MA, 15 March 1983, for NADC (George Lowenstein).
 Kerr, T. H., “Functional and
Mathematical Structural Analysis of the Passive Tracking Algorithm (PTA),”
Intermetrics Report No. IR-MA-208, Cambridge, MA, 25 May 1983, for NADC. (LAMPS
 Kerr, T. H., “Navy GPS\SSN
Phase II User Equipment DT&E Magnavox Modification Center (Mod Center) Test
Report,” 1 June 1985, for NADC Code 4022 (George
 Kerr, T. H., “Navy GPS\SSN
Phase II User Equipment DT&E Rockwell-Collins Modification Center (Mod
Center) Test Report,” 1 June 1985, for NADC Code 4022 (George
 Kerr, T. H., “Navy GPS\SSN
Phase II User Equipment DT&E Rockwell-Collins Developmental Test and
Evaluation (Operational Readiness) [DT&E (OR)] Test Report,” 10 June 1985,
for NADC Code 4022 (George Lowenstein).
 Kerr, T. H., “Magnavox
Military Utility Test Report,” 10 June 1985, for NADC Code 4022 (for
 Kerr, T. H., “Phase III GPS
Integration; Volume 1: GPS U.E. Characteristics,” Intermetrics Report
IR-MA-177, Cambridge, MA, January 1983, for Navair and for NOSC (Richard Akita).
 Kerr, T. H., “Decentralized Filtering and Redundancy Management Failure Detection for Multi-Sensor Integrated Navigation
Systems,” Proceedings of the National Technical Meeting of the Institute of Navigation (ION), San Diego, CA, 15-17 January 1985.
 Kerr, T. H., “Use of GPS\INS
in the Design of Airborne Multisensor Data Collection Missions (for Tuning
ATR algorithms),” the Institute of Navigation Proceedings
of GPS-94, Salt Lake City, UT, pp. 1173-1188, 20-23 Sept. 1994.
 Kerr, T. H., “Further Comments
on ‘Optimal Sensor Selection Strategy for Discrete-Time Estimators’,” IEEE
Trans. on Aerospace and Electronic Systems, Vol. 31, No. 3, pp. 1159-1166,
T. H., “Sensor Scheduling in Kalman Filters: Evaluating a Procedure for
Varying Submarine Navaids,” Proceedings
of 57th Annual Meeting of the Institute of Navigation, pp.
310-324, Albuquerque, NM, 9-13 June 2001.
Kerr, T. H.,
Scheduling in Kalman Filters: varying navaid fixes for trading-off submarine NAV
accuracy vs. ASW exposure,” Proceedings
of The Workshop on Estimation, Tracking, and Fusion: A Tribute to Yaakov
Bar-Shalom (on the occasion of his 60th Birthday) following the Fourth
ONR/GTRI Workshop on Target Tracking and Sensor Fusion, Naval
Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA, pp. 104-122, 17 May 2001.
Kerr, T. H.,
“Further Critical Perspectives on Certain Aspects of GPS Development
Proceedings of 57th Annual Meeting of the Institute of
Navigation, 9-13 June 2001.
(To see a high level overview slide show associated with the topics of the
preceding paper, please click here to obtain the main
executable file “stpete.exe”.
In order to view
the slideshow, user must first also download these auxiliary files: this associated
.DLL file, then this .DLL file, then this
VBX file, all to the same folder location on their local computer, where “stpete.exe”
resides. Our Web Site host required temporary conversion
to exclusively lower case spellings. Once this is done, merely click on “stpete”.exe
to start the show and click on screen to move to the next screen in the sequence
until the end [when it closes and stops].)
 Biezad, D. J., Integrated Navigation and Guidance Systems,
AIAA Education Series, Reston, VA, 1999.
 Sofir, I., “Improved
Method for Calculating Exact Geodetic Latitude and Attitude-Revisited,”
AIAA Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, Vol. 23, No. 2, ff. 369,
 Siouris, G. M., “Navigation:
Inertial,” Encyclopedia of Physical Science and Technology, 2nd
Edition, V. 10, pp. 595-647, Academic Press, NY, 1992.
 Jordan, J. F., Wood, L.
Space Missions,” Encyclopedia of Physical Science and Technology, 2nd
Edition, Vol. 10, pp. 649-673, Academic Press, NY, 1992.
 Ward, P., “Navigation:
Satellites,” Encyclopedia of Physical Science and Technology, 2nd
Edition, Vol. 10, pp. 675-702, Academic Press, NY, 1992.
 Farrell, J. L., “Strapdown at the
Navigation, Journal of the Institute of Navigation, Vol. 51, No. 4,
pp. 249-257, Winter 2004. (A good modern perspective!
Correction in Vol. 52, No.
1, page iii, Spring 2005. Strong conclusions in this paper should be viewed
as being somewhat controversial.)
 Kerr, T. H., “Comment on `Precision Free-Inertial Navigation with Gravity Compensation by an Onboard
AIAA Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, Vol. 30, No. 4, July-Aug. 2007.
 Felter, S. C., Wu, N. E., “A Relative Navigation System for
Formation Flight,” IEEE Trans. on
Aerospace and Electronic Systems, Vol. 33, No. 7, pp. 958-967, July 1997.
 Juang, J.-C., Huang, G.-S., “Development of GPS-Based
Altitude Determination Algorithms,” IEEE
Trans. on Aerospace and Electronic Systems, Vol. 33, No. 7, pp. 968-976,
 Chatterji, G. B., Menon, P. K., Sridhar, B., “GPS/Machine
Vision Navigation System for Aircraft,” IEEE
Trans. on Aerospace and Electronic Systems, Vol. 33, No. 7, pp. 1012-1095,
 Xiong, P., “Spacial and Temporal Processing for Global Navigation
Satellite Systems: GPS receiver paradigm,” IEEE
Trans. on Aerospace and Electronic Systems, Vol. 39, No. 7, pp. 936-948,
 Madhani, P. H., “Application of Successive Interference
Cancellation to GPS Pseudolite Near-Far Problem,” IEEE
Trans. on Aerospace and Electronic Systems, Vol. 39, No. 4, pp. 481-488,
 Luo, N., “Multiple Moving Platform, GPS, Relative Positioning,” IEEE
Trans. on Aerospace and Electronic Systems, Vol. 39, No. 7, pp. 936-948,
 Fante, R. L., “Multipath-induced bias, GPS time-of-arrival,
Evaluation and Reduction,” IEEE
Trans. on Aerospace and Electronic Systems, Vol. 39, No. 7, pp. 911-920,
 Qi, H., “GPS/INS Integration: Direct Kalman Filtering Approach,” IEEE
Trans. on Aerospace and Electronic Systems, Vol. 38, No. 1, pp. 687-693,
 Shin, D.-H., “TOA and TDOA Positioning Error,” IEEE
Trans. on Aerospace and Electronic Systems, Vol. 38, No. 1, pp. 307-308,
 Pervan, B., “Sigma Inflation for Local Area Augmentation of GPS,” IEEE
Trans. on Aerospace and Electronic Systems, Vol. 37, No. 10, pp. 1301-1311,
 Praasch, M. S., “SS-Ranging Multipath Model Validation for DGPS,” IEEE
Trans. on Aerospace and Electronic Systems, Vol. 37, No. 1, pp. 298-304,
 Ray, J. K., “Carrier Multipath Mitigation, Multiantenna System,” IEEE
Trans. on Aerospace and Electronic Systems, Vol. 37, No. 1, pp. 183-195,
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NAVIGATION via Visual Cues Using Only Imaging Sensors:
 Rodriguez, J. J., Aggarwal, J. K., “Matching Aerial Images to 3D Terrain Maps,”
IEEE Trans. on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, Vol. 12, No. 12, pp. 1138-1149, Dec. 1990:
Sparse terrain profile data are stored onboard and direct measurement of relative shifts between images are used to estimate position and velocity; however, an EKF is deemed superior here to use of merely a Kalman filter that uses altitude estimates in order to estimate aircraft position and velocity.
 Heeger, D. J., Jepson, A. D., “Subspace Methods for Recovering Rigid Motion I: Algorithm and Implementation,”
International Journal of Computer Vision, Vol. 7, No. 2, pp. 95-117, Jan. 1992:
Terrain matching methods are also used to estimate platform position and orientation via comparisons to an on-board digital elevation map.
 Soatto, S., Frezza, R., Perona, P., “Motion Estimation via Dynamic Vision,”
IEEE Trans. on Automatic Control, Vol. 41, No. 3, pp. 95-117, Mar. 1996:
A least squares formulation is used to recover user's 3D motion (3 translation variables and 6 rotation variables or 4 if quaternions are utilized).
 Goyurfil, P., Rotstein, H., “Partial Aircraft State Estimation from Visual Motion Using the Substate Constraint Approach,”
AIAA Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, Vol. 24, No. 5, pp. 1016-1025, Sep.-Oct. 2001:
What is called an implicit EKF is used here to estimate aircraft states-aircraft velocities, angular rates, angle of attack, and angle of sideslip but not aircraft Euler angles nor inertial location. Measurements available are the image points of N featured objects, which are tracked from one frame to another.
 Hoshizaki, T., Andrisani, D., Braun, A. W., Mulyana, A. K., and Bethel, J. S., “Performance of Integrated Electro-Optical Navigation Systems,”
Navigation: Journal of the Institute of Navigation, Vol. 51, No. 2, pp. 101-122, Summer 2004:
Contains good modeling and they have a “tightly coupled system consisting of INS, GPS, and EO” all working together to simultaneously benefit both navigation and photogrammetry (estimates platform states, sensor biases, and unknown ground object coordinates using a single Kalman filter).Use of control points avoided pre-stored terrain.
 Kyungsuk Lee, Jason M. Kriesel, Nahum Gat, “Autonomous Airborne Video-Aided
Navigation,” Navigation: Journal of the Institute of Navigation, Vol. 57, No. 3, pp. 163-173, Fall 2010:
ONR-funded discussion utilizes (1) “digitally stored georeferenced landmark images” (altimeter/DTED), (2) video from an onboard camera, and (3) data from an IMU. Relative position and motion are tracked by comparing simple mathematical representations of consecutive video frames. A single image frame is periodically compared to a landmark image to determine absolute position and to correct for possible drift or bias in calculating the relative motion.
 Craig Lawson, John F. Raquet, Michael J. Veth, “The Impact of Attitude on Image-Based Integrity,”
Navigation: Journal of the Institute of Navigation, Vol. 57, No. 4, pp. 249-292, Winter 2010:
Being aware of the historical importance of having good satellite geometry when seeking to utilize GPS for positioning and for timing (characterized by HDOP, VDOP, TDOP, and GDOP), they analogously extrapolate these ideas to the geometry of their airborne image collecting and refer to this as image integrity (similar to how researchers endeavor to associate sufficient Integrity to GPS measurements). Known a/c attitude significantly beats unknown attitude (altitude-indexed).
Also see:  by Dennis Milbert further below.
Likely comparable Classified DoD Pointing Improvements: Cobra Ball/Cobra Eye &
other airborne Laser developments.
Rigorous updates in airborne estimation for attitude determination:
 Crassidis, J. L., Markley, F. L., Cheng, Y., “Survey of Nonlinear Attitude Estimation Methods,”
Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, Vol. 30, No. 1, pp. 12-28, Jan. 2007:
An excellent survey on the subject of attitude estimation. It provides insights into what is important in estimation algorithms. It is a more practical and rigorous addendum to their many earlier surveys, concerned with utilizing alternative EKF's or Nonlinear Luenberger Observers (as alternatives to Extended Kalman filter-based approaches). They admonish to “stick with
 Majji, M., Junkins, J. L., Turner, J. D., “Jth Moment Extended Kalman Filtering for Estimation of Nonlinear Dynamic Systems,”
AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference and Exhibit, Honolulu, HI, Paper No. AIAA 2008-7386, pp. 1-18, 18-21 Aug. 2008:
Explores two variations on JMEKF formulations that properly handle higher order moments (that lurk in the background while trying to get good estimates and covariances from EKF’s). Approximations utilized are acknowledged and properly handled (rather than ignored, as is usually the case). Errors reduced by several orders of magnitude within 5 sec., but results in normalized units (for comparisons to ordinary EKF approach, which it beat by a wide margin). Down side is its larger CPU burden yet to be completely quantified.
 Scorse, W. T., Crassidis, A. L., “Robust Longitudinal and transverse Rate Gyro Bias Estimation for Precise Pitch and Roll Attitude Estimation in Highly Dynamic Operating Environments Utilizing a Two Dimensional Accelerometer Array,”
AIAA Atmospheric Flight Mechanics Conference, Paper No. AIAA 2011-6447, Portland, OR, pp. 1-28, 8-11 Aug. 2011: Using the latest in rigorous real-time estimation algorithms (neither a particle filter nor an unscented/Oxford /Sigma-Point filter) for enabling accurate pointing (precise pitch and roll) within an aircraft within a high dynamics operating environment is reported. While it does utilize rate integrating
gyros. It also utilizes 2D accelerometer arrays and compares to an onboard gravity map to achieve its accuracy. Following reasonably large offsets, got back to within 0.1 degree pointing error within 10 seconds but results much worse with turbulence present.
 Jensen, Kenneth J., “Generalized Nonlinear Complementary Attitude Filter,”
AIAA Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, Vol. 34, No. 5, pp. 1588-1593 , Sept.-Oct. 2011:
Achieves a big breakthrough by providing a proof of this particular EKF’s global stability as a consequence
and now states that it possesses “almost” global asymptotic stability; however, the term “almost” is required terminology to keep probability theorists and purists happy with the wording of his claim. Author Jensen attains his results by utilizing appropriate stochastic Lyapunov functions (proper handling of such
is due to Prof. Emeritus Harold J. Kushner, Brown Univ.). I don’t know whether Jensen was the first to achieve this
 La Scala, B. F., Bitmead, R. R., James, M. R., “Conditions for stability of the Extended Kalman Filter and their application to the frequency tracking problem,”
Math. Control, Signals Syst. (MCSS), vol. 8, No. 1, pp. 1-26, Mar. 1995:
Proof of Stability for yet another EKF. Now worries about EFK divergence evaporate for this application.
 Reif, K., Gunther, S., Yaz, E., Unbehauen, R., “Stochastic stability of the continuous-time extended Kalman filter,”
Proc. Inst. Elect. Eng., Vol. 147, p. 45, 2000: Proof of Stability for yet another EKF. Now worries about EFK divergence evaporate for this
 Salcudean, S., “A globally convergent angular velocity observer for rigid body motion,”
IEEE Trans. on Autom. Control, Vol. 36, No. 12, pp.1493-1497, Dec. 1991:
Proof of Stability for Luenberger Observer use too (~EKF).
Rigorous Matrix Kalman
Filter (MKF) updates in airborne estimation for attitude determination
In anticipation of later success, I have explored some possibilities offered by
the following novel Kalman filter variants that use matrix sensor (allowing simultaneous angle) measurements in lieu of
the more familiar version of a Kalman filter involving only vector sensor (one-direction-at-a-time) measurements.
(JTIDS RelNav used multilateration and only ordinary
Kalman filters with vector sensors on each platform but had many participants in the net
who automatically responded at regular short intervals!)
 Choukroun, D., Weiss, H., Bar-Itzhack, I. Y., Oshman, “Kalman Filtering for Matrix Estimation,”
IEEE Trans. on Aerospace and Electronic Systems, Vol. 42, No. 1, pp. 147-159, Jan. 2006: A linear Matrix Kalman filter for DCM.
DCM Refinement #1
 Choukroun, D., Weiss, H., Bar-Itzhack, I. Y., Oshman, “Direction Cosine Matrix Estimation from Vector Observations Using a Matrix Kalman Filter,”
AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference and Exhibit, pp. 1-11, Aug. 2003: A linear Matrix Kalman Filter for DMC using either vector or matrix measurement updates.
DCM Refinement #2 .
 Choukroun, D., “A Novel Quaternion Kalman Filter using GPS Measurements,”
Proceedings of ION GPS, Portland, OR, pp. 1117-1128, 24-27 Sep. 2002: An alternative
viewpoint: Quaternion Refinement #1.
 Choukroun, D., Weiss, H., Bar-Itzhack, I. Y., Oshman, “Kalman Filtering for Matrix Estimation,”
IEEE Trans. on Aerospace and Electronic Systems, Vol. 42, No. 1, pp. 147-159, Jan. 2006:
Quaternion Refinement #2.
 Choukroun, D., Bar-Itzhack, I. Y., Oshman, “Novel Quaternion Kalman Filter,”
IEEE Trans. on Aerospace and Electronic Systems, Vol. 42, No. 1, pp. 174-190, Jan. 2006:
Quaternion Refinement #3.
 Choukroun, D., Weiss, H., Bar-Itzhack, I. Y., Oshman, “Direction Cosine Matrix Estimation From Vector Observations Using A Matrix Kalman Filter,”
Proceedings of AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference and Exhibit, Austin, TX, pp. 1-11, 11-14 August 2003:
DCM Refinement #3
 Choukroun, D., “Ito Stochastic Modeling for Attitude Quarternion Filtering,”
Proceedings of Joint 48th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control and 28th Chinese Control
Conference, Shanghai, P. R. China, pp. 733-738, 16-18 Dec. 2009: Quaternion Refinement #4.
In the above, DCM =
for the Quaterion Matrices, the quaterions are to be normalized. One can convert
from quaternions to DCM and vice versa. For the Matrix KF material, above,
a major contributor was Daniel Choukroun, B. S. (Summa cum Laude), M.S., Ph.D. (1997, 2000, 2003), post-doc (UCLA), currently an Assistant Professor at Delft University of Technology, Netherlands.
In Thomas H. Kerr III's humble opinion,
Tracking (AOT) can
also be accommodated within the above structure by updating from two (or more) different
time-synchronized (via sorted time-tags) noncolocated sensors (with lever arms
appropriately accounted for) simultaneously (thus used as a matrix measurement). The optimal estimator retains a linear syructure and is finite dimensional. This is the benefit of this novel approach.
NASA updates in Spaceborne estimation for attitude determination:
 Cheng, Y., Landis Markley, F., Crassidis, J. L. Oshman, Y., “Averaging Quaternions,”
Advances in the Astronautical Sciences series, Vol. 127, American Astronautical Society, AAS paper No. 07-213, 2007:
Will eventually Summarize!
 Landis Markley, F., “Attitude Filtering on SO(3),” Advances in the Astronautical Sciences
series, Vol. 122, American Astronautical Society, AAS paper No. 06-460, 2006:
Will eventually Summarize!
 Cheng, Y., Crassidis, J. L., and Landis Markley, F., “Attitude Estimation for Large Field-of-View Sensors,”
Advances in the Astronautical Sciences series, Vol. 122, American Astronautical Society, AAS paper No. 06-462, 2006:
Will eventually Summarize!
 Landis Markley, F., “Attitude Estimation or Quaternion Estimation?,”
Advances in the Astronautical Sciences series, Vol. 115, American Astronautical Society, AAS paper No. 03-264, 2003:
Critical and thorough Analysis of 3 different EKF’s vs. Technion MKF. MKF
was ultimately improved by this investigation.
 Reynolds, R., Landis Markley, F., Crassidis, J. L., “Asymptotically Optimal Attitude and Rate Bias Estimation with Guaranteed Convergence,”
Advances in the Astronautical Sciences series, Vol. 132, American Astronautical Society, AAS paper No. 08-286,
2008: Will eventually Summarize!
Estimation Results for Bilinear Systems (to tie into the MKF results above):
 Halawani, T. U., Mohler, R. R., and Kolodziej, W. J., “A two-step bilinear filtering algorithm,”
IEEE Transactions on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing, Vol. 32, 344-352, 1984:
Will eventually Summarize!
 Glielmo, L., Marino, P., Setola, R., Vasca, F., “Parallel Kalman Filter Algorithm for State Estimation in Bilinear Systems,”
Proceedings of the 33rd Conference on Decision and Control, Lake Buena Vista, FL, pp. 1228-1229, Dec. 1994:
Will eventually Summarize!
 Wang, Z., Qiao, H., “Robust Filtering for Bilinear Uncertain Stochastic Discrete-Time Systems,”
IEEE Trans. on Signal Processing, Vol. 50, No. 3, pp. 560-567, Mar. 2002:
In general, “Robust” approaches usually have a sluggish
] Lopes dos Santos, P., Ramos, J. A., Frias, R., “Derivation of a Bilinear Kalman Filter with Autocorrelated Inputs,”
Proceedings of the 46th Conference on Decision and Control, New Orleans, LA, pp, 6196-6202, 12-14 Dec. 2007:
Structure similar to what above Technion MKF exhibits.
While linear systems are very tractable, general nonlinear systems are less so. Bilinear systems are close to being linear systems and so are
somewhat more tractable, and likewise for their associated Optimal estimators.
Prof. Roger W. Brockett (Harvard-Emeritus) discusses how to handle bilinear systems in:
 Brockett, R. W., "Finite Dimensional Linear Systems," SIAM Classics in Applied Mathematics, 2015
(original in 1970).
We can provide 17 more examples of practical estimators for bilinear
systems, as have been reported in the technical literature by others over the
last 40+ years, (some involving Lie Algebras and Lie Brackets such as those
A. S. Willsky and J. T.-H. Lo for SO(2) and by many others later).
 S. Blackman and R. Popoli, Design and Analysis of Modern Tracking
Systems, Artech House, Boston, MA, 1999.
 B. D. Tapley, M. M. Watkins, J. C. Ries, G. W. Davis, R. J. Eanes, S. R. Poole, H. J. Rim, B. E. Schutz, and C. K.
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 N. Bergman, “Recursive Bayesian estimation: Navigation and tracking applications,” Ph.D. dissertation, Linkoping
University, SE-581 83 Linkoping, Sweden, April 1999.
 N. Bergman, Sequential Monte Carlo Methods in
Practice, New York: Springer, New York, 2001 (Chapter: Posterior
Bounds for Sequential Estimation, pp. 321–338).
 Vytas B. Gylys, Kalman Filters and Nonlinear
Filters, Texas Instruments Inc.
 Wasim Huleihel, Joseph Tabrikian, and Reuven Shavit, “Optimal Adaptive Waveform Design for Cognitive MIMO
IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing, Vol., 61, No. 20, pp. 5075-, Oct. 2013.
[Assumes fixed, known target range and Doppler information and only in the
conclusion do they sketch how it may, perhaps, be successfully extended to a more realistic situation where the target is actually moving with respect to the
radar. Did anyone actually follow-up to see whether it actually resolves as they speculated? No wonder
Dr. Eli Brookner is “up in arms” about MIMO practitioners either doing what can already be done conventionally or about overstepping or overstating what MIMO can actually
do! Perhaps benefits of MIMO in communications applications are better
 M. Morf, J.R. Dobbins, B. Friedlander, T. Kailath, “Square-root algorithms for
parallel processing in optimal estimation,” Automatica,
Vol. 15, No. 3, pp. 299-306, 1979.
 H. H. Afshari, S. A. Gadsden, S. Habbi, “Gaussian Filters for parameter and state estimation: a general review of the theory and recent
trends,” Signal Processing, Vol. 135, pp. 218-238, 2017.
 F. Landis Markley, John L. Crassidis, Yang Cheng, “Nonlinear Attitude Filtering
Methods,” American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, pp. 1-32,
Landis.Markley@nasa.gov AIAA Fellow
(from the above , and copied
verbatim, as follows next)
The extended Kalman (EKF) is the workhorse of real-time spacecraft attitude estimation. Since the group SO(3) of rotation matrices has dimension three, most attitude determination EKFs use lower-dimensional attitude parameterizations than the nine-parameter attitude matrix itself. The fact that all three-parameter representations of SO(3) are singular or discontinuous for certain
attitudes has led to extended discussions of constraints and attitude representations in EKF
& 719-11 These issues are now well understood, however, and the EKF, especially in the form known as the multiplicative extended Kalman filter5-7 (MEKF), has performed admirably in the vast majority of attitude determination applications.
Nevertheless, poor performance or even divergence arising from the linearization implicit in the EKF has led to the development of other filters. Several of these approaches retain the basic structure of the EKF, such as additive EKF a backwards-smoothing EKF,l8 and deterministic EKF-like estimators. ”-” In particular, the backwards-smoothing EKF solves a nonlinear smoothing problem for the current and past sample intervals using iterative numerical techniques. The numerical iteration retains all of the
nonlinearities of a fixed number of stages that precede the terminal stage of interest, and it processes information from earlier stages in an approximate manner. l5 Deterministic EKF-like estimators are closely related to
H_infinity control design.” Usually an upper bound is derived first, and then the bound is minimized based on approaches such as Riccati equations and linear matrix inequalities. The nonlinear problem is much more
difficult; which requires the solution of the Hamilton-Jacobi-Isaacs partial differential inequality. For attitude estimation, small-error approximations are used to developed a filter. 19i20 Other designs use various assumptions to derive simplified filters. These generally provide suboptimal performance characteristics in relation to the EKF, but involve linear or pseudo-linear equations that are used to estimate the states of a nonlinear dynamical system. Therefore, linear design and analysis tools can be used to construct the filter and
to assess its overall performance. Some of these use a deterministic solution of the attitude] e.g. methods that are based on the QUEST attitude determination solution.23 Simple filter designs based on QUEST include filter QUEST24 and recursive QUEST.25 A more complicated but far more robust approach] called extended uses a full nonlinear propagation along with a novel measurement update. This approach can be used to estimate attitude and additional parameters as well. Interlaced filters that replace a nonlinear filter with two or more linear filters have been used for rate estimation] but not for attitude e~timation.~~-~’ Several new alternatives to the standard EKF have been recently introduced] such as sigma point or unscented filter^^'-^^ and particle filter^.^^-^^ Unscented filters (UFs) have been shown to exhibit several advantages over the EKF, including: 1) the expected error is lower than the EKF, 2) they can be applied to non-differentiable functions, 3) no Jacobian matrix calculations are required] and 4) they provide higher- order expansions than the standard EKF. Unscented filters work on the premise that with a fixed number of parameters it should be easier to approximate a Gaussian distribution than to approximate an arbitrary nonlinear function. They typically use the standard Kalman form in the post-update, but use a different propagation of the covariance and pre-measurement update with no local iterations. The attitude
estimation UF derived in Ref. 33 is based on a quaternion representation of the attitude kinematics. However, straightforward implementation of the standard UF equations derives a predicted quaternion mean from an averaged sum of quaternions. Therefore, no guarantees can be made that the resulting quaternion will have unit norm. This was overcome by using a generalized unconstrained three-component vector to represent the attitude error-quaternion] leading to an unconstrained formulation in the UF design. Unscented filters are essentially based on second or higher order approximations of nonlinear functions, which are used to estimate the mean and covariance of the state vector. Though the mean and covariance are the sufficient statistics of a Gaussian distribution, they are not sufficient to represent a general probability distribution. When UF methods are applied to strongly nonlinear and non-Gaussian estimation problems] where the a
posteriori distribution of the state vector may be multi-peaked, heavily-tailed, or skewed, desired performance characteristics may not be obtained. This may be overcome by using particle filter^^^-^^ (PFs). Like other approximate approaches to optimal filtering] the ultimate objective of PFs is to construct the a posteriori probability density function (PDF) of the state vector, or the PDF of the state vector conditional on all the available measurements. However, the approximation of PFs is vastly different from that of
conventional nonlinear filters. The central idea of a PF approximation is to represent a continuous distribution of interest by a finite (but large) number of weighted random samples of the state vector, or particles. A PF does not assume the a posteriori distribution of the state vector to be a Gaussian distribution or any other distribution of known form. In
principle,it can estimate probability distributions of arbitrary form and solve any nonlinear and/or non-Gaussian system. Reference 36 presents a PF for attitude estimation based on the bootstrap filter.35 The optimal solution of the nonlinear estimation problem requires the propagation of the conditional PDF of the state given the observation history.37 All practical nonlinear filters are approximations to this ideal. Exact finite dimensional filters38 can be found that solve some nonlinear problems by using the Fokker-Planck equation2l3’ to propagate a non-Gaussian PDF between measurements and Bayes’ formula‘? to incorporate measurement information. A recently proposed filter4’ follows this pattern, but does not solve the nonlinear attitude filtering problem exactly. We refer to it as an orthogonal filter, because it represents the attitude by an orthogonal rotation matrix, rather than by some parameterization of the rotation matrix. The PDF is a non-Gaussian function defined on the Cartesian product of S0(3), the group of rotation matrices, and the Euclidean space
Rn of bias parameters. This filter entirely avoids questions about singularities of representations or covariance matrices arising in EKFS~-~~ and UFS,~~ and has the additional advantage of providing a consistent initialization for a completely unknown initial attitude, owing to the fact that SO(3) is a compact space. Nonlinear observers often exhibit global convergence, which is to say that they can converge from any initial guess.41 Several applications of observers for attitude control have been proposed Refs. 42-48. A nonlinear observer and controller using only measurements of roll, pitch and yaw has been developed in Ref. 43. Local asymptotic stability is ensured under mild hypotheses. A globally convergent, nonlinear full- order observer using quaternions and Euler’s equations for the dynamics has been derived in Ref. 44. The observer structure contains a discontinuous term, which is often associated with “sliding mode” observers. The error-quaternion is defined using a multiplicative approach and stability is proven using a Lyapunov function. A simpler, robust smoothed sliding mode observer that avoids quaternion error differentiation noise and eliminates the necessity of measuring angular rate is derived in Ref. 45. Although an additive approach is used to define the quaternion error, global stability is still provided through a Lyapunov function. Algrain and Lee develop a nonlinear observer to estimate angular rates along the third axis of a spinning spacecraft using only two-axis measurement^.^^ A pseudo-linear model is developed by decomposing the nonlinear system into linear and nonlinear parts. BoSkoviC, Li and Mehra use angular rate measurements with quaternion kinematics to derive a nonlinear bias observer, which is coupled with an adaptive sliding mode ~ontroller.~~ Stability is proven as long as the attitude never passes through f180 rotations. Thienel and Sanner develop an exponentially convergent nonlinear observer given a constant gyro bias with identification of the bias proven through a persistency of excitation argument.48 An analysis is also shown that includes gyro noise. Adaptive approaches generally fall into two categories. One category encompasses approaches that adap- tively tune the Kalman filter through the identification of either the process noise covariance or measurement noise covariance, or both simultaneously. In practice “tuning” a Kalman filter can be arduous and very time- consuming. Usually, the measurement-error covariance is fairly well known, derived from statistical inferences of the hardware sensing device. However, the process noise covariance is usually not well known and is of- ten derived from experiences gained by the design engineer based on intimate knowledge of the particular system. The approach is based on “residual whitening.” 49 Unfortunately, most noise adaptive techniques are applicable only for linear systems,’ which creates problems for attitude estimation due to the nonlinear equations involved. Still, it is possible to use these techniques with linearized equations, as demonstrated in Ref. 50. Lam and Wu further develop adaptive filters that address both colored and white noise ~tatistics.~~ The former noise is identified using a non-parametric neural network approach, while the latter noise is identified using an a-P filter. An adaptive filter is also proposed in Ref. 17 to account for inaccuracy in the knowledge of the process noise statistical model, which uses a linear pseudo-measurement model. Other adaptive approaches use adaptive methods for fault tolerant estimation 53 The other category includes approaches that adaptively estimate unknown system parameters, such as the inertia matrix. These generally fall into two basic categories: 1) parameter estimation or filter-based methods, and 2) nonlinear adaptive techniques. Least squares methods to determine the inertia matrix and other constant parameters, such as disturbance model parameters and biases, are shown in Refs. 54-56. A disturbance accommodation technique that models the unknown disturbance angular rate using a power set of time as basis functions is shown in Ref. 57. Nonlinear adaptive techniques are similar to nonlinear observers in that they usually provide global stability proofs that guarantee convergence of the estimated parameter^.^^-^' This paper will review the basic assumptions of these filters, presenting enough mathematical detail to give a general orientation. First, reviews of the quaternion parameterization and gyro model equations are given. Then, attitude estimation methods based on the EKF are shown, followed by QUEST-based approaches. Next, the two-step estimator is shown. The UF and PF approaches are then shown, followed by the orthogonal filter. Then, the predictive filter, as well as nonlinear observers and adaptive approaches are reviewed. The paper concludes with a discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of the
various filters. (Thomas H. Kerr comment: Also
see item  below for a 1971 precedent for handling estimation on a circle,
SO(2), and on a sphere, SO(3).)
Other topics that I routinely follow:
 Niu, X., Nassar, S., El-Sheimy, N., “An Accurate Land-Vehicle MEMS IMU/GPS Navigation System Using 2D Auxiliary Velocity
Updates,” Navigation: Journal of the Institute of Navigation, Vol. 54, No. 3, pp. 177-188, Fall 2007.
 Soloviev, A., van Graas, F., “Batch-Processing of Inertial Measurements for Mitigation of Sculling and Commutation
Errors,” Navigation: Journal of the Institute of Navigation, Vol. 54, No. 4, pp. 265-276, Winter 2007.
 Soloviev, A., van Graas, F., “Enhancement of Integrated GPS/INS Performance Utilizing Frequency Domain Implementation of INS
Calibration,” Navigation: Journal of the Institute of Navigation, Vol. 54, No. 2, pp. 87-98, Summer 2007.
 Lee, Y. C., “Two New RAIM Methods Based on the Optimally Weighted Average Solution (OWAS)
Concept,” Navigation: Journal of the Institute of Navigation, Vol. 54, No. 4, ff. 333, Winter 2007.
 Farrell, J. L., “Inertial Instrument Error Characterization,” Navigation: Journal of the Institute of
Navigation, Vol. 54, No. 3, pp. 169-176, Fall 2007.
 Farrell, J. L., “Full Integrity Testing for GPS/INS,” Navigation: Journal of the Institute of
Navigation, Vol. 53, No. 1, pp. 33-40, Spring 2006.
 Milbert, D., “Dilution of Precision Revisited,” Navigation: Journal of the Institute of
Navigation, Vol. 55, No. 1, pp. 67-81, Spring 2008.
 Pulford, G. W., “A Proof of the Spherically Symmetric Overbounding Theorem for Linear
Systems,” Navigation: Journal of the Institute of Navigation, Vol. 55, No. 4, pp. 283-292, Winter 2008.
 Li, Y., Rizos, C., Wang, J., Mumford, P., Ding, W., “Sigma-Point Kalman Filtering for Tightly Coupled GPS/INS Integration,” Navigation: Journal of the Institute of
Navigation, Vol. 55, No. 3, pp. 167-177, Fall 2008.
 “Algorithm Aligns Gyrocompass in Twisting and Swaying Vehicle,” NASA Tech Briefs
MFS-28671, George C. Marshall Space Flight Center, Alabama 35812, Gyrocompass FDR Version 6.0.6/MO (from Specification CP-830100A, Appendix 1, Rev. A, 28 July 1989 for TOS on Titan), pp. 1-87, 18 June 1991.
 Shively, C. A., Hsio, T. T., “Error and Availability Analysis of CAT IIIb LAAS Augmented by Radar
Altimetry,” Navigation: Journal of the Institute of Navigation, Vol. 52, No. 3, pp. 155-162, Fall 2005.
 Mason, J., “Algebraic Two-Satellite TOA/FOA Position Solution on an Ellipsoidal
Earth,” IEEE Trans. on Aerospace and Electronic Systems, Vol. 40, No. 7, pp. 1087-1092, July 2004.
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Navigation, Vol. 52, No. 3, pp. 163-177, Fall 2005.
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Navigation, Vol. 52, No. 1, pp. 1-14, Spring 2005.
 Ristic, B., Arulampalam, S., Gordon, N., Beyond the Kalman Filter: Particle Filters for Tracking
Applications, Artech House, Boston, MA, 2004. [One of the clearest discussions of both historical and recent estimation algorithms (including
EKF, UKF, MMM, IMM, and Particle Filters), their underlying assumptions/mechanization equations and
that also provides extremely useful insight into important aspects and distinctions in their implementations is offered in Chapters
 Li, J. T.-H. Lo and A. S. Willsky, “Estimation for Rotational Processes with One Degree of Freedom-Part 1,”
IEEE Trans. on Automatic Control, Vol. 20, No. 1, pp. 10-21, Feb. 1975.
[They explicitly handle estimation on a circle, SO(2),
rather than estimation on a sphere, SO(3), as NASA's F. Landis Markley, et al deal with above in
their extensive survey and comparison between approaches and techniques in
However, Willsky and Lo are particularly lucid in their development and
exposition and, moreover, within the last sentence of their conclusion, provide specifics of their
suggested generalization to estimation results on arbitrary
Abelian Lie groups, such as SO(3).] 5_pub_IEEE.pdf
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Freedom,” SIAM Journal on Control, Vol. 13, No. 4, 886ff, July 1975.
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Technology, and Applications, Selected Conference Papers, IEEE Technology
Update Series, NY, 1996.
 Jekeli, C., Inertial Navigation Systems with Geodetic Applications, Walter deGruyter GmbH \& Co. KG, Berlin, Ger., 2001.
For the following navigation textbooks:
 Rogers, R. M., Applied Mathematics in Integrated Navigation Systems, AIAA Education Series, AIAA, pp. 99-108, Reston, VA., 2000.
 Titterton, D. H., and J.L. Weston, Strapdown Inertial Navigation
Technology, Peter Peregrinus Ltd., Stevenage, Herts, England, UK, 2004.
[174 ] Farrell, J. A., Aided Navigation: GPS with High Rate Sensors, McGraw-Hill, NY,
2008 (very well written but uses lower case Greek epsilon in a role
that was NOT gyro drift-rates, contrary to the standard convention of the last 3
all three of these textbooks are not totally
self-contained but, instead, defer to the following textbook at exactly
the same point
in their discussions for completion of the proper handling of components of gyro drift-rate to be used in mathematical model
to be eventually used in the corresponding navigation Kalman filter,
as discussed in detail in:
 Kenneth R. Britting, Inertial Navigation Systems Analysis, Wiley-Interscience, NY, 1971.
[Surprisingly, a new edition of this book and its 2010
sequel are now available from Artech, Boston, MA. The reason that it is
surprising to me is that Kenneth R. Britting died from M.S. in the 1980's while
he was with Nortronics at Northrop in Norwood, MA. A burning question is whether
Fred J. Marcus is helping Kenneth R.
Britting to publish from the grave AGAIN?]
 Chatfield, A. B. (Ed.), Fundamentals of High Accuracy Inertial
Navigation, Paul Zarchan, Editor-in-Chief, AIAA Progress in Astronautics and Aeronautics Series, AIAA, 1997.
 Savage, P. G., “Strapdown Sculling Algorithm Design for Sensor Dynamic Amplitude and Phase-Shift
Error,” AIAA Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, Vol. 35, No. 6, pp. 1718-1729, Nov.-Dec. 2012.
Jang Gyu Lee, Chan Gook Park, “A New Error Compensation Scheme for INS
Vertical Channel,” IFAC Proceedings, Vol. 37, No. 6, pp. 1119-1124, 2004.
 Viterbi algorithm being equivalent to Dynamic Programming:
 Uwe D.
Hanbeck, “Recursive Nonlinear Set-Theoretic Estimation Based on
Pseudo-Ellipsoids,” Proceedings of the IEEE Conference on Multisensor Fusion and Integration for Intelligent
Systems, pp. 159–164 (MFI’
Their patent abandoned by Siemens AG (perhaps because of prior art: me): https://patents.google.com/patent/US20060234722A1/en
Fuqiang You, Hualu Zhang, Fuli Wang, “A new set-membership estimation method based on zonotopes and
Transactions of the Institute of Measurement and Control, Vol. 40, issue 7, pp. 2091-2099, Article first published online:
27 July 2016; Issue published: 1 April 2018
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Sensors,” in Khatib, O., Kumar, V., Rus, D.
(eds), Experimental Robotics, Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics
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 Set Estimation: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Set_estimation
Donald Cooke, Fun with GPS, ESRI Press, 380 New York St., Redlands, CA,
Quantum Navigation using magnetic sensing of gravity
anomalies to match known maps of such: https://www.wired.com/story/quantum-physicists-found-a-new-safer-way-to-navigate/
 Walking Robot uses the sun to navigate (and nothing else):
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sub-optimal case of one processor, the demodulators can be readily simplified to the familiar phase-locked loop. On the other hand, for the intermediate case, significant extension of the
phase-locked loop threshold is achieved where (say) six parallel processors are involved.
Raytheon-UTC merger wins approval, pending divestitures:
The Biggest Defense Merger Ever Gets Key Antitrust Approval — With These Conditions:
US Coast Guard protests GPS disruption to UN body: ‘urgent issue’ - GPS World | RNTF:
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this link to return to the start of these reference citations.
USS Cobra Judy Radar Ship is the sister ship of
the U.S.S. Compass Island. The Compass Island had been used in
the early and mid 1970’s
as a test suite for demonstration and shake down of SSBN Navigation
changes and upgrades before deploying within the submarine fleet. Both
sister ships had little lateral “fins”
on the bottom of the hull below the water line that could be extended out horizontally from the hull to stabilize the
platform in rough seas (of a high sea state). A complete SSBN Navigation Room was present on the
Compass Island, but intentionally installed backwards from its
orientation aboard SSBN’s.
A prior NASA observation ship, the U.S.S. Vangard, replaced the Compass
Island in this role in the late 1970’s.
Pre- (and post-)GPS Relative Navigation (RelNav) enabled networks of
different platforms to reference both “friendlies” and enemy targets with respect
to a single common (virtual) grid using the L-band JTIDS (time-slotted
and frequency hopped from 960 MHz to 1215 MHz, with gaps imposed for TACAN
and IFFN). This capability was especially
useful when all participants were at sea and far from any geographic landmarks
of absolute location. The grid tended to move and rotate slightly. It’s location
was dictated by the Navigation Controller (NC), the platform having the
best navigation accuracy (as a self-assessment), but in lieu of the demise of
the original NC, the NC was replaced by the next best platform in
this role to avoid possessing a single point vulnerability. JTRS
(pronounced Jitters) is
slated to replace JTIDS as an entirely software radio system (with its own
unique set of problems yet to be solved). JTIDS included NTDS/ATDS.
Air Force JTIDS used DTDMA protocol without RelNav. Navy
version was TDMA with RelNav. Marine version of JTIDS was PLRS. Reed Solomon
Code throughout. GPS uses Gold Code in two flavors or cycle lengths (to
Hybrid High-Rate Output Candidate Design for JTIDS/GPS/INS
Integration and INS Navaid Selection.
Sam Blackman (Raytheon/Hughes), the (late) Oliver
Drummond, Yaakov Bar-Shalom (UCONN), and Rabinder Madan.
Blazers of the exciting area of multi-sensor\multi-target tracking (sometimes pursued even in
clutter) [related to optimal resource allocation and solved by invoking Munkres or the
Hungarian or Jonker- Volgenent- Castanon’s (J-V-C) or Murty’s
(1968) or Sam Blackman's Multi- Hypothesis Testing (MHT) algorithms. The first 3 techniques are all from the Operations Research
area; the last is based on Bayesian Statistical analysis.
Not shown here: Prof. David Castanon
(Boston University) and Charles Morefield (originally of Aerospace
Corporation in the 1970’s when he posed multi-target tracking as a 0-1 Integer
Programming Problem, more recently Chairman of the Board at Alphatech (after Michael
Athans stepped down and went to Portugal) before Alphatech
became part of BAE in Burlington, MA), and Thomas
Kurien (Raytheon). Also see Particle Filter variations in: Vermaak,
J., Godsill, S. J., Perez, P., “Monte-Carlo Filtering for
Multi-Target Tracking and Data Association,”
IEEE Trans. on Aerospace and Electronic Systems, Vol. 41, No. 1, pp.
309-331, Jan. 2005. Also see Miller, M. L., Stone, H, S., Cox, I. J., “Optimizing
Ranked Assignment Method,”
IEEE Trans. on Aerospace and Electronic Systems, Vol. 33, No. 7, pp.
851-862, July 1997. Another: Frankel, L., and Feder, M., “Recursive
Expectation-Maximizing (EM) Algorithms for Time-Varying Parameters with
Applications to Multi-target Tracking,”
IEEE Trans. on Signal Processing, Vol. 47, No. 2, pp. 306-320, February
1999. Yet another: Buzzi, S., Lops, M., Venturino, L., Ferri, M., “Track-before-Detect
Procedures in a Multi-Target Environment,”
IEEE Trans. on Aerospace and Electronic Systems, Vol.
44, No. 3, pp. 1135-1150, July 2008.
ONR/GTRI Workshop on Target Tracking and Sensor Fusion, Naval Postgraduate
School, Monterey, CA, 17 May 2001.Notice the guy (i.e., THK III) apparently in sun glasses
(actually transitions) in the back
row there (left of center, as always).
Lockheed Martin’s Paveway
II Dual Mode Laser-Guided Bomb (DMLGB), which uses both laser-guided and
inertial/GPS guidance, has achieved the U.S. Navy's initial operational
capability and is now preparing for operational employment.
The DMLGB is designed to execute precision
strike missions against stationary and mobile targets in all stationary and
mobile targets in all weather conditions, according to Lockheed. The kits can
operate in laser only, inertial/GPS, or dual-mode to
provide pilots with flexibility to engage various types of targets in a single
mission, says Lockheed Martin.
Go to Top
Extra! Extra! Read all about it!
GNSS has announced that its customers with JAVAD GNSS “triple-frequency”
type OEM boards (TR-G2T, TR-G3T, TRE-G2T, TRE-G3T, TRE-G3TAJ) and receivers
(TRIUMPH-1, Alpha TR-G2T/TR-G3T, DeltaS TRE-G2T/TRE-G3T/TRE-G3TAJ, SigmaS
TRE-G2T/TRE-G3T/TRE-G3TAJ) can now track the
L5 demonstration signal.
first GPS satellite with the L5 signal [Block IIR-20(M)] was successfully
launched on 24 March 2009 and its L5 = 1176.45
payload activated on 10 April 2009.
signal characteristics clearly indicate that JAVAD GNSS receivers allow
high-quality code and carrier-phase measurements of the L5 signal. The
signal-to-noise ratio typically varies from about 30 dB*Hz at low elevations up
to 57 dB*Hz at zenith (see figures below: top is SNR for L5; bottom is SNR for
GPS PRN 1).
white-noise and multipath tracking errors are comparable to what is normally
seen for the L1 and L2 signals.
interested in sample raw data with the “triple-frequency”
code and carrier phase measurements from IIR-20(M), can download sample data
(see the ADVANCED section on www.javad.com).
Note that these sample raw data are available in the JAVAD GNSS proprietary
binary format as well as Rinex 3.0.
Go to Top
Force Successfully Transmits an L5 Signal From GPS IIR-20(M) Satellite
4/13/2009 - LOS
ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The U.S. Air Force GPS IIR-20(M)
satellite successfully transmitted for the first time a GPS signal in the L5
frequency band today. L5, the third civil GPS signal, will eventually support
safety-of-life applications for aviation and provide improved availability and
broadcast brings into use the GPS International Telecommunication Union filing
at 1176.45 MHz in the highly protected and co-allocated Radio Navigation
Satellite Service and Aeronautical Radio Navigation Service band. A joint team
consisting of the GPS Wing, Lockheed Martin, ITT and The Aerospace Corporation
developed the “L5
signal payload and integrated it onto the GPS IIR-20(M) spacecraft, which
launched March 24, 2009.
initial broadcast of the L5 Demonstration signal was monitored and validated by
SRI International in Menlo Park, Calif, in cooperation with the GPS Wing, 2nd
Space Operations Squadron, Lockheed Martin, Draper Laboratory and The MITRE
to the men and women of the Air Force, our industry partners and national
research institute, this morning’s
successful L5 transmission marks an important milestone in GPS civilian
applications. This new third civil signal will make possible the research and
development of safety-of-life applications for the commercial transportation
sector, and in the future, will play a vital role in improving safety, fuel
efficiency, and capacity in our airspace, waterways, highways, and railroads.
event marks another important step in the ongoing effort to maintain and
modernize GPS as the global standard for space-based positioning, navigation,
said Joel Szabat, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy, U.S.
Department of Transportation.
L5 demonstration payload effort shows the can-do spirit and dedication of all
who work in this industry and is an example of a government/industry team
working together to meet a significant challenge in a very short time.
Development of a solid plan and schedule, adherence to that plan, and
consistently looking ahead allowed for a timely and successful completion of the
said Col. Dave Madden, Commander, and Global Positioning Systems Wing.
Air Force Space Command’s
Space and Missile Systems Center, located at Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif.,
is the U.S. Air Force’s center of acquisition excellence for developing,
acquiring, fielding and sustaining the world’s
best space and missile systems for the joint warfighter and the nation.
series and power spectrum of the L5 demonstration signal
New GPS Satellite’s Problems Indicated on 4 May 2009
Lt Col David Goldstein, chief engineer for the GPS Wing, told the plenary
session at the European Navigation Conference in Naples, Italy, that the
Wing is experiencing some “
out of family”
measurements from the recently launched IIRM (20) satellite. This appears to
corroborate some unofficial rumors that have circulated recently about
problems with “
from the satellite, that is, L1
. The April 10 broadcast of the first
signal secured that frequency for the U.S. GPS program; since that signal
contains no navigation message at present, it is presumably not affected by
Goldstein told the ENC opening session, Monday 4 May 2009, that the Air Force
will not launch any further satellites until this issue is resolved. IIR(M)
21, the last of the IIR(M) series, is currently scheduled to rise sometime
in August, with the first of the IIF generation to follow in late 2009 or
Normally, a satellite is set healthy within 28 days of launch, after
extensive testing, but this has not occurred with the satellite launched on
24 March 2009. The U.S. Air Force has formed a response team and is working “nearly
round the clock”
to resolve the problem, but according to Goldstein is not rushing the issue,
seeking a thorough solution since the overall constellation is robust at 30
“We are currently examining data from the satellite
that is not consistent with data from the other IIR(M)s,”
he stated, characterizing the variances as “measurements
with larger than expected pseudorange errors that are elevation-dependent,
and that we have not seen before. We have experimented with a few fixes and
it looks very promising.”
He described the response team’s approach as making a “fishbone
of all potential failure mechanisms, and working through them methodically. “We
think we have identified the failure but it may be several more months
before the analysis is complete, and the situation is fully resolved.”
The big delay in preventing GPS from being completed by the planned date of 1984 was the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. Most GPS satellites were planned to be inserted from a Space Shuttle but instead had to be inserted from Delta rockets as a fall back that delayed a full GPS satellite constellation from existing until 1994.
The open literature discussion of L3 in the early 1980’s for GPS was that like
L2 (=1227.5 MegaHertz) and L1 (=1575.42 MegaHertz), it was also an integer multiple of a single onboard clock frequency being
L3 (= 1381
MegaHertz). It was speculated that L3 was used to cross-communicate between GPS satellites like a JTIDS RelNav “network in the
Some have speculated that it had related to autonomously maintaining proper satellite ephemeris of the network since in the
“bad old days of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD)”
as a policy strategy, he who had the last accurate weapon fired “won”. Land-based Minuteman
ICBM’s (with AIRS navigation systems) utilized GPS for a midcourse nav fix. Ship launched
SLBM’s did not (at least
not in the 1970’s). GPS supposedly had sufficient untended (by human intervention) ephemeris to last for 6 months unaided, according to
NADC in the early 1980’s.
L3 is now both known by the private sector and is controversial in the civilian Radio Astronomy
community, as seen below.
The Global Positioning Satellite system has a mode, “L3”
at 1381 MHz, which is used for global alarm. If it is within your observing band, then all astronomical signal gets swamped. With advanced notice, the observatory is in a position to alert the responsible authorities and request rescheduling GPS
As circulated in unclassified literature in the 1980’s,
L3 is a part of NUGET, GPS satellites monitor and report on whether they have detected a nuclear blast anywhere in the world.
GPS L3 Interference and Radio Astronomy
European radio astronomy stations operating in the frequency band 1330 - 1400
MHz are experiencing harmful interference at a frequency of about 1381 MHz,
which is so strong that it ruins the observations in this frequency range when
it occurs. This interference is generated by transmissions from the GPS
An example of this type of interference observed with the Westerbork
Synthesis Radio Telescope, WSRT, in the Netherlands is shown in Figure 1 for the
amplitude and Figure 2 for the phase of the observed signal. The radio
astronomical observation concerns a radio source at 23h36m35.20s
right ascension and 26o40’36.00” declination (epoch J2000). The
absolute scale for the amplitude of the interference signal is not calibrated
since the antenna gain into the direction of the satellite, which was emitting
in the far sidelobes of the antennas, is not known.
The indicated level of detrimental interference for the observations
presented in the figures below is -239 dB(W/m2/Hz), which was
determined using the methodology of Recommendation ITU-R RA.769. This
methodology includes the assumption that the interference is received through
the far antenna sidelobes, where an antenna gain of 0 dBi applies.
Fig.1: Intensity of the interference signal from GPS L3 observed
through the far sidelobes at the WSRT on August 25/26, 2002. The figure shows a
detailed spectrum in two linear polarization channels (noted as XX and YY) for
an integration time of 0.8 minutes. The amplitude scale is in arbitrary units
(see text); the astronomical signal of interest occurs at a level of 0.005 (!)
only on this scale. Note that the signal rings throughout the entire 20 MHz band
that is displayed.
Fig.2: Signal phase corrupted by GPS L3 interference at the WSRT
during the same observation as for Figure 1. The spiky comb in the phase is due
to the interfering signal, again in two polarizations.
The L3 spread spectrum transmissions centered at 1381 MHz also transgresses
into the frequency range 1400 - 1427 MHz, a spectral band where the radio
astronomy has a primary allocation to which RR footnote 5.340
applies, which states that “all emissions are prohibited”. Using a band-stop
filter the signal could be suppressed to a level of -252 dB(W/m2/Hz),
i.e. still 3 dB above the level of interference detrimental to radio astronomy
continuum observations as given in Recommendation ITU-R RA.769.
The fundamental problem remains that the GPS L3 emission is intentionally
produced in the band 1400 - 1427 MHz and is therefore in conflict with footnote 5.340
of the ITU-R Radio Regulations.
It should be noted that in the ITU Radio Regulations for Region 1 the band
1300 - 1350 MHz includes a primary allocation to RADIONAVIGATION-SATELLITE
(Earth-to-space) and no allocation to a space service in the band 1350-1400 MHz.
Thus no space-to-Earth transmissions are allowed according to these Regulations.
For the frequency band 1330-1400 MHz footnote 5.149
applies, which states that “administrations are urged to
take all practicable steps to protect the radio astronomy service from harmful
interference. Emissions from spaceborne or airborne stations can be particularly
serious sources of interference to the radio astronomy service (...)”.
CRAF considers that a regulatory solution for this issue is required, in
order to avoid the creation of an undesirable regulatory precedent, where the
operation of an application is allowed in conflict with the ITU Radio
On this matter CRAF is currently in the process of negotiation with concerned
Administrations and expects that it can be solved in due course.
Recent solutions to GNSS incursions into frequencies reserved for Radio
Astronomy have been advertised (but the band of concern apparently differs from
what is complained about above): Julien, O., Issler, J.-L., "Mitigating the
Impact of GNSS Signals in the Radio Astronomy Band 1610.6-1613.8
MHz," Navigation: Journal of the Institute of Navigation, pp.
229-240, Vol. 56, No. 4, Winter 2009.
In 1957, Walter Marrow (Lincoln Laboratory of MIT), who later became its head but retired from that position
early in the new millennium, launched a missile full of
thousands of small metal space needles http://nowiknow.com/space-needles/
into LEO, which took about six months to decay
out of orbit and burn up in the atmosphere. The entire event was viewed by
Lincoln’s Haystack radar.
Other Radio Astronomers were livid since reception was impossible during that time period.
“The activation of the L2C signal in January 2006 will be of great benefit to the civil
said Colonel Jester, Chief, Space Operations Branch, Air Force Space Command. “But they will be using this signal at their own risk until the command and control of
L2C is realized in the Fiscal Year 2013 timeframe. Receivers able to fully utilize the
L2C signal will be the responsibility of the civil community. The military will build receivers focused on the new M-code
L2C is stronger than L1.
The premiere civilian GPS manufacturer (TomTom GPS internationally headquartered in the Netherlands, US headquarters in Concord, MA) had been stiffed by ~ $8 million
when Circuit City went out of business. Negotiations between Microsoft and TomTom
GPS about licensing Microsoft patents broke off
around March 2009 and Microsoft was starting to sue TomTom GPS. TomTom GPS
subsequently formed a collective with other European companies that held a number of patents similar
to Microsoft’s in order to
counter-sue Microsoft over the same issue. It will be interesting to see how
this one plays out....
The United States Government Accountability Office (GAO)
issued on 7 May 2009 an alarming report on the future of GPS, characterizing
ongoing modernization efforts as shaky. The agency appears to single out the IIF
program as the weak link between current stability and ensured future
capability, calling into doubt “whether the Air Force will
be able to acquire new satellites in time to maintain current GPS service
It asserts the very real possibility that “in 2010, as old
satellites begin to fail, the overall GPS constellation will fall below the
number of satellites required to provide the level of GPS service that the U.S.
government commits to.”
“There is a very minor problem with the L1,
M-code navigation signals. Any causes would be pure speculation at this point,
but the issue is the satellite will not be set healthy until these problems are
fixed…. The ITT, LMCO and GPS Wing teams are working the problem hard. It may
be a few weeks before the satellite is set healthy, but when that time comes I
am sanguine that all the signal issues will be mitigated and the navigation
message will be on par with the other IIR(M) payloads.” — Colonel Mark Crews
BY DON JEWELL | firstname.lastname@example.org
am sure that many of you remember Colonel Mark Crews when he served with
distinction as the chief engineer for the GPS Wing at SMC. Mark made some
legendary and landmark contributions to the future of the GPS constellation as
we know it, nationally and internationally. After you read what Dr. Crews has to
say about the L5 payload, I will launch into an issue concerning user equipment
that has been on mind for sometime — with a trip to the shrink’s couch. read
Prescribes Remedy for GAO Report Alarm
Brad Parkinson, the first GPS Program Office director,
chief architect and advocate for GPS, submitted written testimony to Congress on
mitigation options for possible GPS brownouts. His presentation comes in
reference to the recent GAO report highlighting the risk that the GPS
constellation may fall below the minimum level of 24 satellites required for
full operational capability. In his opening, Parkinson states that ”GAO
correctly points out the possibility that the GPS constellation will be reduced
to less than the current number of 30 to 32 satellites. In fact, it is possible
that the constellation will be at a level of less than 24 satellites. I would
like to focus on the options that would help reduce this risk." read
more» Click here to download a
91KByte pdf file conveying Sir Brad Parkinson’s excellent 10 side PowerPoint
presentation to Congress.
Prof. Parkingson’s original 228KByte PowerPoint is
here, including his speaker's notes as prompters.
the Real Race in GNSS
Andrew Sage, a director of UK-based transport
consultancy Helios, delivered a presentation at the European Navigation
Conference entitled: The race to be the partner of choice for GPS. read
Analyses of a Drop in GPS Satellite Numbers
Professor Richard Langley of the University of New
Brunswick (also GPS World Innovation editor) has done several analyses to see
how the use of GLONASS satellites could help compensate for a potential
reduction in the number of available GPS satellites. These studies came in
response to a warning from the U.S. Government Accountability Office about the
potential drop in the number of healthy satellites in the GPS constellation as a
result of delays in both the Block IIF and Block III modernization programs.
SVN-49 Story: What Went Wrong, How It Got Found, and Fixed
During a very reassuring teleconference today with Colonel David Madden (GPSW/CC)
and Colonel David Buckman (AFSPC - GPS Command Lead), we learned the true story
of exactly what happened to SVN-49 , aka IIR-20(M), launched March 24, and why
it has not been set to a healthy status. This teleconference should put an end
to all the speculation concerning SVN-49 and its future status. In sum, there is
nothing wrong with the L1, L2, or L5 signal transmitters, and they will not have
to undergo expensive re-testing.
GPS Satellite Early Orbit Checkout Extended
The U.S. Air Force is investigating the cause and effects of signal
distortions observed from the GPS IIR-20(M) spacecraft launched on March 24,
2009. Routine early orbit checkout procedures determined that GPS IIR-20(M)
signals were inconsistent with the performance of other GPS IIR-M satellites.
The signal distortion was initially observed as an elevation-dependent bias in
ranging measurements from GPS monitor stations.
Guard Directed to Maintain and Upgrade Loran
The U.S. Senate, in a Coast Guard Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 2010
and 2011 currently before the Committee on Commerce, Science, and
Transportation, directs the Secretary of Transportation to maintain the current
Loran-C navigation system and prepare for modernization to eLoran, and
authorizes $37 million per year for 2010 and 2011 towards that purpose. Similar
action is also currently pending in the House.
for Comparing Precise Point Positioning (PPP) Solutions
GNSS researchers at the University of New Brunswick, Canada, have created
a Precise Point Positioning (PPP) Software Centre website to offer an easy means
of comparing solutions from online PPP applications. Users are invited to send a
RINEX observation file that will be simultaneously processed by three online PPP
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Modernized GPS IIR Satellite to Lift off from Cape Canaveral The last in a
series of eight modernized Global Positioning System Block IIR (GPS IIR-M)
satellites built by Lockheed Martin for the U.S. Air Force is set to launch
aboard a Delta II rocket on Aug. 17 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station,
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IIR-21(M) Satellite Declared Operational
last in the series of eight modernized Global Positioning System IIR satellites,
GPS IIR-21(M), was declared operational Thursday for military and civilian users
worldwide, just 10 days after launching from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
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Another GPS Satellite Anomaly
monitoring at the University of New Brunswick and elsewhere around the globe, it
appears that normal signals from the L1 and L2 transmitters on the GPS satellite
PRN01/SVN49 were unavailable for more than two hours on the morning of September
problems with GPS and the end for Loran (not too wise since redundant navaids
enable easy detection by comparison when GPS is being interfered with) can be
found at the following link: http://www.gpsworld.com/gnss-system/out-front-rocky-road-robustness-9424 .
INS-based Tracking device the size of a pin head:
click here to see the future of GNSS and the current status (as of August 2012)
of the LightSquared Controversy, which had threatened GPS reception if it had
been allowed to proceed.
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