BAE develops NAVSOP positioning system to rival GPS

29 June 2012
By Sofia Mitra-Thakur
Mobile version
Share |
BAE Systems' NAVSOP (credit 2012 BAE Systems)

BAE Systems' NAVSOP (credit 2012 BAE Systems)

BAE Systems has unveiled a new positioning system which it says will track locations even when GPS signals are unavailable.

Known as Navigation via Signals of Opportunity (NAVSOP), the advanced positioning system is able to calculate its position by making using of existing transmissions including wi-fi, TV, radio and mobile phone signals.

By exploiting such a wide range of signals, NAVSOP is resistant to hostile interference such as jamming (a particular weakness of GPS) and spoofing, where a bogus signal tricks a device into misidentifying its location.

“The potential applications of this technology are already generating huge excitement in both civilian and military circles,” said Dr Ramsey Faragher, a Principal Scientist from BAE Systems Advanced Technology Centre.

Dr Faragher recently led a team that received a prestigious award from the Institute of Navigation for a ground-breaking paper on how aspects of the technology work indoors.

“This research is a great example of BAE Systems working closely with potential customers to not only improve the performance of existing technology, but also tackle their weaknesses head on and find innovative ways to reduce or eliminate them,” he added.

Military platforms commonly use Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to find their position and navigate, however the satellite signal that GPS relies upon is specific, relatively weak and vulnerable to disruption.

BAE Systems said NAVSOP can learn from signals that are initially unidentified to build an ever more accurate and reliable fix on its location, and that even the signals from GPS jammers can be exploited by the device to aid navigation under certain conditions.

As the infrastructure required to make it work is already in place, there is no need to build costly networks of transmitters and the hardware behind the system is already commercially available.

Other benefits of NAVSOP are that it can be integrated into existing positioning devices, and it has the ability to function in places where GPS is unable to reach, such as dense urban areas and deep inside buildings.

It is also able to work in the most remote parts of the world, such as the Arctic, by picking up signals that include Low-Earth-Orbit satellites and other civilian signals.

BAE Systems said NAVSOP has a wide range of potential military applications, from aiding soldiers operating in remote or dense urban areas to providing improved security for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), which could face attempts to disrupt their guidance systems.

“At a time when the need to be innovative and resourceful is more important than ever, this capability represents truly outside-the-box thinking by providing a cost effective system with a wide variety of different applications,” said James Baker, managing director at BAE Systems Advanced Technology Centre.

“This technology is a real game changer when it comes to navigation, which builds upon the rich heritage that both BAE Systems and the UK have in radio engineering.”

Civilian uses could include helping fire and rescue services find their way through smoke filled buildings and enhancing the safety of lone workers and security staff.

Latest Issue

E&T cover image 1607

"As the dust settles after the referendum result, we consider what happens next. We also look forward to an international summer of sport."

E&T jobs

  • Control System Engineer

    United Utilities
    • Lancaster, Lancashire
    • Up to £33415 + Comprehensive Benefits

    Provide ICA maintenance and engineering support to the Water & Wastewater Production

    • Recruiter: United Utilities

    Apply for this job

  • Signal Processing Engineer

    B&W Group
    • Steyning, West Sussex
    • Competitive Salary

    We are looking for a Signal Processing Engineer to support the R&D process on active loudspeaker products.

    • Recruiter: B&W Group

    Apply for this job

  • Principal Mechanical & Electrical Engineer

    De Montfort University
    • Leicestershire
    • Grade G: £36,672 - £46,414 per annum

    Join the Projects Team to develop and manage medium to large projects on the university estate.

    • Recruiter: De Montfort University

    Apply for this job

  • Advanced Commissioning Engineer

    National Grid
    • Nottinghamshire, Nottingham, England
    • £46000 - £57000 per year

    National Grid is at the heart of energy in the UK. The electricity we provide gets the nation to work, powers schools and lights everyone's way home. Our energy network connects the nation, so it's essential that it's continually evolving, advancing and i

    • Recruiter: National Grid

    Apply for this job

  • Electrical Design Engineer

    Oxford Instruments
    • Yatton, Bristol
    • Competitive salary plus excellent benefits

    We are looking for an electrical designer to join our engineering design team.

    • Recruiter: Oxford Instruments

    Apply for this job

  • Skilled Electrical Fitter

    MBDA
    • Bolton
    • Competitive Salary & Benefits

    What?s the opportunity?   The Electrical Fitter will carry out manufacturing and test tasks within the electrical department in accordance with product certification procedures, defined workmanship  ...

    • Recruiter: MBDA

    Apply for this job

  • Electrical Manufacturing Technician

    MBDA
    • Stevenage
    • Competitive Salary & Benefits

    What?s the opportunity?   As a qualified craftsman with experience in electrical manufacturing, the Manufacturing Technician will report to a Team Leader, receiving day to day ...

    • Recruiter: MBDA

    Apply for this job

  • Consultant Engineer (Electrical Power)

    BAE Systems
    • Cumbria, Barrow-In-Furness, England
    • Negotiable

    Consultant Engineer (Electrical Power) Would you like to play a key role in providing technical direction to the design of power systems on the Successor class submarines, which will replace the current Trident-equipped Vanguard class, currently in servic

    • Recruiter: BAE Systems

    Apply for this job

  • Electrician

    The Bristol Port Company
    • City of Bristol
    • C. £31,729 per annum plus supplements, benefits and overtime

    You’re a good team worker with a strong technical capacity – so bring your talents to a new role with one of the area’s leading employers.

    • Recruiter: The Bristol Port Company

    Apply for this job

  • Supply Restoration Team Manager (HV/SAP)

    SSE
    • Oxford, Oxfordshire
    • Salary: £37,588 to £49,645 + Car (SSE8) Depending on skills and experience

    SSE is looking to recruit a Supply Restoration Team Manager to join our existing team in Oxford.

    • Recruiter: SSE

    Apply for this job

More jobs ▶

Subscribe

Choose the way you would like to access the latest news and developments in your field.

Subscribe to E&T