Assured Positioning, Navigation, and Timing Using Nontraditional Means

Navy SBIR 23.1 - Topic N231-023
NAVAIR - Naval Air Systems Command
Pre-release 1/11/23   Opens to accept proposals 2/08/23   Closes 3/08/23 12:00pm ET

N231-023 TITLE: Assured Positioning, Navigation, and Timing Using Nontraditional Means

OUSD (R&E) CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): General Warfighting Requirements (GWR)

The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services, including export of sensitive technical data, or the Export Administration Regulation (EAR), 15 CFR Parts 730-774, which controls dual use items. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals (FNs), their country(ies) of origin, the type of visa or work permit possessed, and the statement of work (SOW) tasks intended for accomplishment by the FN(s) in accordance with the Announcement. Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws.

OBJECTIVE: Develop alternative Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (APNT) technologies and determine a feasible hybrid solution of APNT sensors for aiding an Embedded Global Positioning System (GPS)/Inertial Navigation System (INS) (EGI) utilizing a Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) modular open system approach (MOSA) for use in a GPS degraded or denied airborne, maritime environment.

DESCRIPTION: GPS is utilized worldwide in military and commercial systems to provide precise PNT. However, GPS signals may not be available or reliable in a degraded/Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) environments. Inertial navigation systems (INS) and precision clocks may extend the PNT solution for short periods, but both are subject to drift errors. An alternative real-time PNT solution—utilizing complimentary PNT sensor data and networks—is required to maintain an accurate and reliable navigation solution by bounding the drift errors without GPS dependency.

Current DoD efforts with PNT MOSAs are in development such as the Embedded Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation System-Modernization (EGI-M) and Resilient- Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation System-Modernization (R-EGI), in addition to PNT MOSA compliant alternatives [Refs 3, 6, 7, & 8]. PNT MOSAs will enable integration of complimentary PNT (or APNT) sensor hardware, data, and algorithms through modular, open system architectures. An aircraft’s existing EGI may be able to be augmented through novel APNT sensors. The EGI-M, R-EGI, or PNT MOSA compliant alternative could be used with the insertion of a new APNT sensor suite (e.g., processor card, antenna, or sensors) to supply the aircraft or missions systems with complimentary PNT data required to bound drift errors. For example, lines of bearings from active signal of opportunity sources (SOOP) can assist in bounding inertial drift of the INS [Ref 4], or the local measurements of the Earth’s magnetic variation could supply course geo-positioning [Ref 5].

This SBIR topic does not seek optical line-of-sight algorithms (e.g., visual positioning systems [or camera-based positioning solutions], star trackers, or other sextant-based solutions). Optical line-of-sight algorithms can be utilized to assist in bounding the solution from other APNT sensor solutions. The APNT sensor solution should be an "all-weather solution" not dependent upon cloud cover that prevents optical line-of-sight solutions.

The proposed solution set should:

a) allow for a common reference for aircraft operating together in a Tactical Navigation (TACNAV) or Relative Navigation (RELNAV) solution, where RELNAV accuracy can be enhanced using precise timing from a designated platform with the use of tactical Networks and Communication Systems,

b) utilize existing altimeters (e.g., laser, radar, barometric altimeters) to continue to aid in damping/resolving the vertical solution,

c) accommodate desires for minimizing parasitic drag effects on the aircraft (e.g., small projections from the aircraft into the airstream),

d) consider impacts to the aircraft’s outer mold-line to minimize drag,

e) Size, Weight, Power, and Cooling (SWAPC) form factor o brass-board, proof-of-concept design to be within a ¼ ATR o ICD for EGI-M, R-EGI, or PNT MOSA to be supplied during Phase II

f) take into consideration use in a military operating environment.

 

The APNT solution is targeted for an airborne platform. The APNT solution should have a positional performance of 100 m or less (Threshold), 35 m (Objective). The APNT solution should perform in an A2/AD environment without GPS dependency.

Work produced in Phase II may become classified. Note: The prospective contractor(s) must be U.S. owned and operated with no foreign influence as defined by DoD 5220.22-M, National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual, unless acceptable mitigating procedures can and have been implemented and approved by the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA) formerly Defense Security Service (DSS). The selected contractor must be able to acquire and maintain a secret level facility and Personnel Security Clearances. This will allow contractor personnel to perform on advanced phases of this project as set forth by DCSA and NAVAIR in order to gain access to classified information pertaining to the national defense of the United States and its allies; this will be an inherent requirement. The selected company will be required to safeguard classified material IAW DoD 5220.22-M during the advanced phases of this contract.

PHASE I: Perform a study focusing on the most feasible technical APNT solutions for airborne platforms in maritime environments including an assessment of the ability of the technology solution (hardware and processing resources) to meet SWAPC form factor for an APNT design as referenced in the Description above. Solutions that leverage networks for enhanced timing techniques utilizing existing tactical data links should be provided in the trade space. A conceptual architecture is required as a product of the Phase I effort. The Phase I Option, if exercised, should demonstrate the ability of the proposed architecture solution to resist jamming while still meeting operational performance requirements through a robust modelling and simulation (M&S) environment. The model should demonstrate the ability of the APNT solution to provide navigation updates that are tightly coupled with an EGI-M, R-EGI, or PNT MOSA compliant alternative. The final report should include the M&S plan and the results of the M&S performed.

PHASE II: Develop and demonstrate a prototype software APNT solution, or EDM, that builds upon the proposed solution and architecture developed in Phase I with brass-board, proof-of-concept design. A Design Review should be conducted early in the development phase. The effort should include a lab demonstration, and optionally, a moving ground-based demonstration. The final report should include the lab demonstration plan and results, and a transition plan for Phase III focusing on an integration into an EGI-M, R-EGI, or PNT MOSA compliant alternative that includes an affordability plan for transition, including further technical maturation and manufacturability of the resulting prototype for an airborne military environment.

Work in Phase II may become classified. Please see note in the Description paragraph.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Refine the design, and lab (or ground) test, and integrate the APNT solution within an EGI-M, R-EGI, or PNT MOSA compliant alternative and flight test in a surrogate aircraft. A later option will be to flight test in a Navy RDT&E aircraft. The Phase III design will also focus on the manufacturability, production, and sustainment of sensors, cards, antennas, and components for compliance with the military operating environment (military standards and handbooks such as 810, 704, 461, 464 should be used as reference until exact specifications are supplied). Phase III deliverables will include an additional Preliminary Design Review (PDR) and Critical Design Review (CDR), associated Qualification Testing and analysis to support Flight Testing, performance requirements, associated ICDs, and manuals.

APNT augmentation to GPS-based systems is applicable to all aircraft using GPS.

REFERENCES:

1.       Department of Defense. (2006, February 28). DoD 5220.22-M National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual (Incorporating Change 2, May 18, 2016). Department of Defense. https://www.esd.whs.mil/portals/54/documents/dd/issuances/dodm/522022m.pdf

2.       Sensors & Electronics Technology. (2022). SET-309: NATO PNT open system architecture & standards to ensure PNT in NAVWAR environments. NATO. https://www.sto.nato.int/Lists/test1/activitydetails.aspx?ID=17050

3.       Kassas, Z. Z., Khalife, J., & Neinavaie, M. (2021). The first carrier phase tracking and positioning results with Starlink LEO satellite signals. IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/9541006

4.       Canciani, A., & Raquet, J. (2016). Absolute positioning using the Earth's magnetic anomaly field. NAVIGATION, Journal of the Institute of Navigation, 63(2), 111-126. https://apps.dtic.mil/sti/pdfs/AD1017870.pdf

5.       Howard, K. L., Ludwigson, J., Fletcher, R. S., Beddor, J., Bauder, W., Mai, C., Seales, S., Tallon, J., Blanding, D., Chanley, J., Fickel, L., Harner, P., King, N., Lingard-Smith, S., McMillon, A., Metz, M., & Yuh, E. (2021, May). GAO-21-320SP: Technology assessment: Defense navigation capabilities. United States Government Accountability Office. https://www.gao.gov/assets/gao-21-320sp.pdf

6.       Hartney, N. (2020). EGI-M: Honeywell’s defense navigation team awarded $99m to support latest m-code requirements for U.S. Air Force. Honeywell. https://aerospace.honeywell.com/us/en/learn/about-us/blogs/egi-m-honeywells-defense-navigation-team

7.       Kipnis, J. (2020). Northrop Grumman’s EGI-M navigation system completes critical design review. Northrop Grumman. https://news.northropgrumman.com/news/releases/northrop-grummans-egi-m-navigation-system-completes-critical-design-review

 

KEYWORDS: GPS; PNT; Position, Navigation, Timing; Assured PNT; Alternate PNT; APNT; EGI-M; Signals of Opportunity; Network Assisted PNT

TPOC-1: Michael Mozzo

Phone: (301) 904-5076

 

TPOC-2: David Gerda 

Phone: (216) 200-1916


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