Simplifying the Integration of Assured PNT with CMOSS/SOSA-Aligned Solutions
Published in Military Embedded Systems
Written by Jason DeChiaro
From a design and engineering perspective, there are many moving parts to consider and combine in order to arrive at a position, navigation, and timing (PNT) truth. In addition, solutions must be easy to integrate into the available space on existing platforms, whether they are unmanned aerial systems (UASs) or other aircraft, ground-based operations, or systems at sea. They must provide reliable positioning information in GPS-degraded environments, where tall buildings, heavy foliage, and underground positions can affect signal quality, as well as in GPS-denied environments where adversaries have intervened to jam or compromise GPS signals.
Designing and developing an open standards-based deployable solution for assured position, navigation, and timing (A-PNT) that relies on information from multiple complementary sources, is not an easy task. In order to leverage today’s leading modular open systems approach standards, a desirable solution will be aligned with the U.S. Army’s C5ISR [Command, Control, Computers, Communications, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance]/EW Modular Open Suite of Standards (CMOSS), The Open Group Sensor Open Systems Architecture (SOSA) Technical Standard, and the OpenVPX timing module. These solutions must be attained using the space-constrained 3U OpenVPX form factor preferred by CMOSS and SOSA.
Holistic A-PNT Practices in Action
A holistic approach to A-PNT is based on multiple complementary PNT technologies that leverage proven and trusted techniques to arrive at A-PNT truth and provide a trusted solution that will protect personnel and equipment in the field. Whether on tactical and combat vehicles, unmanned aerial systems (UASs), unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs), or aircraft, proven hardware products with PNT capabilities can be upgraded to deliver higher performance and more sophisticated capabilities as technology evolves, ensuring warfighters always have access to the latest innovations to keep them safe and steps ahead of adversaries. Modules and systems designed in alignment with open standards such as the SOSA Technical Standard will simplify and reduce the cost of integration. The following is an overview of just a few of the technical challenges involved in developing effective and reliable A-PNT solutions.
Data from all available PNT sources must be processed in a way that enables accurate positioning information to be provided to warfighters and systems when needed. Computing solutions must be able to process data that is received from a wide variety of sources, at different times, and in different formats. Complex data-processing algorithms are required to amalgamate and process all of this information in a way that accounts for varying and disparate temporal and spatial data. All of this processing must be completed extremely quickly so that people and systems always have access to accurate PNT information.
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Jason DeChiaro is a System Architect at Curtiss-Wright. He received his Electrical Engineering degree, with distinction, from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. His responsibilities include supporting customers in architecting deployable VPX systems, including CMOSS/SOSA compliant designs. Jason has over 15 years of engineering experience in the defense industry, supporting the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, and U.S. Navy, as well as the IC community. In addition to architecting VPX systems, Jason also supports customers’ Assured Position Navigation and Timing (A-PNT) requirements.
What is Assured Positioning, Navigation and Timing?
The potential vulnerabilities of the military’s dependence on Global Positioning System (GPS) and Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) data are driving demand for new deployed approaches for detecting threats. In GPS/GNSS-denied environments, ensuring accurate Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) information is delivered to the warfighter is absolutely critical.
Our assured positioning, navigation, and timing (A-PNT) solutions are designed to provide ground vehicles with access to trusted PNT information while operating in conditions with limited, impeded, or denied GPS/GNSS. Cost-effective, simple to configure, and size, weight and power (SWaP)-optimized, our modules and systems are rapidly deployable on both combat and tactical wheeled vehicle platforms.