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Reconfigurable Navigation Sensors and Optimized PNT Solutions for Ground Combat Systems


-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 section 3.5 of 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: The design goals are : - To develop multipurpose Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) sensor that can be reconfigured in realtime or near realtime to correspond with various threats to PNT signals. - To optimize PNT sensor configurations for Ground Combat PNT system that is capable to automatically deploy corresponding PNT capability to mitigate the emerging threats. - To leverage Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA) and C5ISR/EW Modular Open Suite of Standards (CMOSS) architecture for hardware and software interfaces of the new developing sensor. DESCRIPTION: There is currently no single silver bullet to solve the PNT problem for Ground Combat Soldiers in a GPS challenged environment. PNT systems of the future will be expected to utilize an array of PNT sensor inputs in order to provide an assured-PNT solution that is resilient from adversarial threats, interference, and other challenging environments. A layered approach having multiple PNT sensors including those rooted in traditional RF signals from space and terrestrial systems alongside emerging complementary PNT sensors is viewed as having greater potential for providing a military PNT solution at a level of assurance and integrity that is not currently found with GPS (reference 1). Beside a military GPS receiver and MEMS IMU, for example, a combat vehicle in the future may be equipped with additional PNT technologies such as Multi-GNSS, RF Ranging, EW sensors, Vision Aided Navigation, SOoP, AltNAV, Celestial Navigation, etc. An identified challenge of a layered sensor fusion approach in future PNT systems is the ability to manage and assess large amounts of sensor data in real-time to determine how the PNT system can optimally configured while experiencing complex and emerging threat scenarios. Another significant problem for the multi sensor solution is the limitation of military platforms to be able to equip a large amount sensors with minimal impacts performance of existing systems/subsystems as well as constrains for SWaP_C. For example, a future vehicle PNT systems will comply with the C5ISR/EW Modular Open Suite of Standard (CMOSS) and PNT sensors will be made in card form factor for a common chassis. Under the OpenVPX configuration, however, there will be limited slots for PNT sensors. Some of the PNT sensors in future will be hardware agnostic or have similar hardware designs that can be retasked with a different software load. Many sensors and systems will have intelligent deep-learning architectures requiring inherent configuration flexibility and advanced processing schemes (reference 2). Thus Reconfigurable PNT Sensors will be highly valuable along with a better choice of sensor fusion algorithm to optimize platform SWaP_C as opposed to deploying all PNT sensors concurrently which may not always be needed for a given mission (reference 3). The US Army is requiring future PNT systems to comply with MOSA where all PNT sensors will be designed modularly and work as truly plug and play sensors for the purpose of increasing interoperability and reducing costs, including those of future enhancements, and capturing the largest amount of industry innovation. Such a system would benefit from an optimization algorithm having Reconfigurable PNT Sensors enabled by software defined receiver (SDR) technology or other advanced signal processing methodologies that can efficiently and effectively provide real-time signal monitoring, analysis, and then reassign PNT sensors/resources to counter the detected threat with optimized configuration for the PNT system. PHASE I: Using modeling, simulation, and experiment to determine the technical feasibility of the design goals described above and provide a specifications for the potential product in the end of this phase. The study in phase I should focus on a feasible approach to design multitasking or reconfigurable PNT sensor and to investigate optimal configurations for the developing sensor for mitigating PNT threats. PHASE II: Develop the system prototypes based on the specifications and hardware/software identification found in from phase I. Demonstration system capability in TRL 5. Evaluate and provide the test results of the system prototypes to the government POC. Deliver five units of the developed prototypes to the government for evaluation, including all hardware and software necessary to operate and collect data from the delivered units. PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Modify design based upon T&E results from Phase 2 to achieve a better small size, weight, and power (SWaP) system applicable to the mounted platform and comply with CMOSS architecture. Transition the technology to the U.S. Army. Integrate this technology into the PM PNT Mounted System and apply the new developing technology to the commercial market. REFERENCES: 1. “Concepts of Comprehensive PNT and related Key Technologies,” Z. Zuo, X Qiao and Y Wu, International Conference on Modeling, Analysis, Simulation Technologies and Applications (2019).; 2. “Identifying Interactions for Information Fusion System Design using Machine Learning Techniques, “A. Raz, P. Wood, L. Mockus, J. Llinas, and D. DeLaurentis, 21st International Conference on Information Fusion (2018).; 3. “An Optimal Selection of Sensors in Multi-Sensor Fusion Navigation with Factor Graph,” C. Han, L. Pei, D. Zou, K. Liu, Y. Li, Y. Cao, Ubiquitous Positioning, Indoor Navigation and Location Based Services Conference 2018.; 4. Executive Order on Strengthening National Resilience through Responsible Use of Positioning, Navigation, and Timing Services, KEYWORDS: PNT, Reconfigurable Sensors, Optimized, MOSA, CMOSS, GPS Challenged Environment, Assured PNT, SDR
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