PNT SA vs. NAVWAR SA for Resilient and Robust Navigation Architectures
Megan McMarrow, Dana Howell, and Denice Jacobs, AFRL/RYWN
Location: Ballroom D
Date/Time: Thursday, Jun. 15, 8:35 a.m.
Navigation Warfare (NAVWAR) is being fought by warfighters in hot spots around the world. The mission effectiveness of our military depends on precise knowledge of Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT). Prohibit access to accurate PNT and everything is affected—from supplies not being at the right location at the right time, to the kill chain being disrupted and critical targets being missed. Global Positioning System (GPS) remains the cornerstone of PNT, especially with the recent deployment of Military code (M-code) and subsequent Military GPS User Equipment (MGUE). These M-code receivers can be used with Controlled Reception Pattern Antenna (CRPA) arrays, Anti-jam (AJ) antenna electronics, and tightly coupled GPS-inertial navigators to provide an extremely robust and secure navigation system. In addition, the complementary use of alternative navigation methods such as vision, celestial, signals of opportunity, Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), and magnetic nav may bolster both PNT resilience as well as warfighter confidence in an augmented solution when operating under degraded or denied GPS conditions.
Our leaders and warfighters are seeking quick integration of these technologies to increase PNT flexibility and hold an advantage over potential adversaries. Taking decades to field new PNT technology can no longer be tolerated if our military is going to be successful in near-peer modern warfare. The use of software defined receiver (SDR) technology in an open architecture (OA) design is becoming the preferred approach for rapidly fielding new NAVWAR and PNT technology for increased robustness and resiliency, respectively. Robustness refers to the navigator’s ability to take a punch (e.g., jamming) and keep providing PNT, whereas resilience indicates that if one nav approach (such as GPS or GNSS) is denied, the navigator recognizes this and adjusts for the lost PNT accuracy by prioritizing an alternative approach, such as vision navigation. Note that PNT situational awareness (SA) required by an SDR/OA integrated navigator is not the same as NAVWAR SA. The warfighter wants to be confident in an accurate PNT solution but doesn’t care about how the navigator is providing it; NAVWAR SA is less about overall navigation performance and more broadly about enhancing mission effectiveness. NAVWAR SA is key for the mission needs of locating targets, determining relative position of adversaries, tipping and cueing other platform sensors, knowing what weapon to use, changing tactics, etc.
This presentation will draw a distinction between PNT SA needed by the navigator vs. NAVWAR SA desired by the warfighter and intelligence community (IC), while also examining the interplay between the two. Lessons learned from The NAVWAR Trinity (TNT) sensor will be used as a basis for discussion. Future requirement recommendations will be given for OA and SDR approaches that include resilient antenna electronics (RAE) development to facilitate the enhancement of warfighter mission effectiveness through provision of NAVWAR SA. Examples from TNT sensors, as well as CONOPS being developed with operational units, will be provided as motivation for increased presence of NAVWAR sensors in an increasingly challenged GPS/GNSS battlespace. Expected NAVWAR SA performance will be outlined, and a vision will be offered of the transformational possibilities that NAVWAR SA brings to avionics development.