Defence and Equipment Support (DE&S), part of the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD), has awarded Cobham Aerospace Connectivity a contract to research Advanced Anti-Jam techniques to protect satellite signals.

The research will aim to ensure the protection of signals sent to and from Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS).

Cobham said: “The contract will see Cobham conduct research to develop means to provide assured and resilient Position Navigation and Timing (PNT) information derived from the GNSS multi-constellation. Cobham was best placed to address the UK MOD’s needs through its extensive background in advanced antenna technology and sophisticated signal processing capabilities.”

Cobham said the research is underway due to the increasing reliance on GNSS signals for the UK’s critical infrastructure and national security, making the signal a target for interruption.

Cobham Aerospace Connectivity vice-president sales and business development said: “This contract award recognises Cobham’s status as a major UK provider of anti-jam systems as well as our long history and deep experience in the areas of navigation antennas and satellite connectivity. We look forward to working with DE&S in this initial phase and subsequent work on this exciting project.”

Cobham said the DE&S-backed project would help the company apply existing anti-jam capabilities to a miniaturised system that can protect signals from the GNSS constellation.

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By GlobalData

The system will combine advanced Controlled Radiation Pattern Array (CRPA) antenna technology with digital signal processing techniques to ensure ‘reliable and assured navigation information’.

A DE&S spokesperson told Air Force Technology: “R-GNS is designed with architectural features that support advanced integration schemes with anti-jamming (A-J) systems. Commercially available A-J systems have firm design foundations, but they require further development to fully realise the potential benefits of the R-GNS features at the system level.

“This Technology Demonstrator Programme accelerates and de-risks the availability of such systems.”

This system could also be used as a means to provide signals intelligence by helping to identify the source of interference.

Delivery is currently expected for 2021.