CTSi flight tests navigation prototype to replace GPS for Navy

July 10, 2018  - By

An F/A-18F Super Hornet assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 102 launches from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan on July 10, 2018. (Photo: U.S. Navy/ Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kenneth Abbate/Released)

Along with partner L3 Technologies, the Enhanced Link Navigation System (ELNS) offers new solution to defeat enemy countermeasures to detect and disrupt allied signals.

CTSi and partner L3 Technologies this month completed flight-testing of a newly developed integrated communication and navigation system for use in highly contested and GPS-denied environments.

Designated the Enhanced Link Navigation System (ELNS), the prototype was built under a U.S. Navy $8.7 million Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Phase III contract and flight tested at the St. Mary’s County Regional Airport near Patuxent River, Maryland.

“Our team put ELNS in the air in less than 18 months. It worked the first time and every time during 15 flights, which included 152 approaches,” said Ian Gallimore, CTSi chief technology officer. He went on to say that ELNS provided area navigation to replace GPS at ranges in excess of 50 nautical miles all the way through landing.

Pilots from Airtec, who provided turn-key flight test support, said during test events, “These needles are… money,” and “ELNS is as good as any instrument landing system I’ve flown, I’d fly it in the weather.”

“ELNS is scalable for unmanned aircraft in all groups, from those needing high integrity like MQ-25, to small unmanned aircraft on tight weight budgets,” said Martin King, Navy project manager. “ELNS is the first system to bring GPS-denied navigation capability to small UAS. By combining significant investments in related fields to create a whole new capability like this, ELNS takes position, navigation and timing (PNT) for air vehicles in a compelling new direction.”

ELNS utilizes L3 Technologies’ waveforms that defeat adversary strategies to detect and disrupt allied signals, using waveforms that are essential in communications-denied and GPS-denied environments.

“There is a strong fit between what ELNS brings and the threats that our forces are facing today,” said Tom Sanders, CTSi chief executive officer.

To learn more about ELNS, contact ELNS@goCTSi.com.