U.S. Army establishes new requirements for GPS receivers, PNT solutions

October 10, 2018  - By

The U.S. Army is drafting new rules for the use of GPS receivers in weapon systems to combat spoofing and jamming attacks, as well as signal loss in GPS-denied environments, according to news reports.

The six- to seven-page capabilities requirements document is awaiting a signature from Army leadership, according to Willie Nelson, director of the assured PNT (positioning, navigation and timing) cross-functional team. Nelson spoke to reporters Oct. 9 at the Association of the U.S. Army annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

The Army has been trying for years to complete a GPS requirements document, a “system of systems architecture for assured PNT.” But with virtually every device equipped with GPS, the document would have been too big and too broad, Nelson said.

(Photo: U.S. Army)

(Photo: U.S. Army)

The approach now is for separate sets of requirements: one for mounted equipment (now complete and awaiting the signature), a dismounted requirement, and situational awareness.

The difficulty facing the Army is the plethora of PNT systems in use. For instance, an armored personnel carrier may have five to seven unconnected GPS receivers, some with encryption, some without. The weakest receiver could negatively affect the vehicle, Nelson said.

With the new requirements, Army vehicles will have a consolidated, networked, software-based PNT solution. Dismounted receivers used by soldiers will have similar requirements.

Industry will be asked for specific solutions within each of the PNT sectors rather than an “all of the above” solution.

The Army is also expected to create a training program for soldiers that operate PNT systems.

About the Author: Tracy Cozzens

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.