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Network Assisted Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) in Low RF Signal Power Environments with Bandwidth Efficient Techniques


TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Electronics, 

OBJECTIVE: Develop and demonstrate a Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) capability intended to enable Warfighters operating in low RF signal power environments (under tree canopy, vehicles, buildings, and other RF challenged areas) based on a network assisted techniques and time transfer but minimizes the utilization of the network. The primary goal is maximizing access to the PNT source (acquisition/tracking) in low RF signal environments; secondary goals are anti-jam, precision accuracy, and integrity. 

DESCRIPTION: Prior work has developed and demonstrated Network Assisted GPS; however, there is a concern for the appreciable load for the function on the network required to accomplish the function. At the current time, the PNT ecosystem is growing well beyond just GPS with respect to the number of services, technologies, and users. Under this topic, research will be devoted to the services, the aiding data and sources, a means to support efficient data transport, storage of the data at the receiving side, techniques for signal acquisition/tracking, security concerns, and the system approach to resolve the problem. System trades will be conducted. The metrics that will be examined (not exclusive) will be time to first fix (TTFF), carrier to noise levels (characterizing environments in which the technique[s] are found useful), amount of data bytes required to be sent via the network to accomplish acquisition and continued tracking, efficacy of the aiding with respect to the time since the aiding information was last received, and ability to acquire with sparse information/time accuracy. Secondary goals are anti-jam (J/S), precision accuracy including positioning, velocity, and timing (PVT), and integrity (ability to sense a failure). Investigations will be conducted with regard to the integration of this capability with Joint Battle Command-Platform (JBC-P) and Nett Warrior. 

PHASE I: Conduct the trades and analyses necessary to determine the functional system approach. Reduce risk in Phase I through prototyping and/or system modeling. Conclude Phase I with the definition of the Phase II system specification. 

PHASE II: Develop, build, and demonstrate a system prototype. Initial concentration of the prototype can be to use just a few PNT services; however, the scalability of the system to include multiple PNT services should be proven. Use cases to be demonstrated are dismounted Soldier’s access to PNT services in forested/jungle, residential, urban, and within buildings (required). Additional use cases are the demonstration of anti-jamming, precision accuracy, and integrity (desired). 

PHASE III: The endstate for this topic is that there is potential to scale and continue to grow and support the entire Army (perhaps DOD) PNT ecosystem. Continued development and refinement, system will be further expanded in function to cover additional use cases and environments. In the commercial domain, similar parallels exist, for instance in the cellular network today where users need PNT access virtually anywhere, and as the PNT ecosystem continues to evolve, this system will need to be flexible to incorporate them. 


1: 1) "Network Assisted GPS … Coming Soon to a Precision Fire Mission Near You!", Paul Manz, US Army, PEO Ammunition,

KEYWORDS: Positioning, Navigation And Timing (PNT), Assured Positioning, Navigation And Timing (APNT), Network Assisted PNT, Network Assisted GPS, Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) PNT Ecosystem 

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