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September 17, 2013

USAF and Locata partner for new GPS technology development

The US Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) has entered into co-operative research and development agreement (CRADA) with Locata to develop and demonstrate the company's new technology for use in satellite-based GPS receivers.

AFIT-Locata team

The US Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) has entered into co-operative research and development agreement (CRADA) with Locata to develop and demonstrate the company’s new technology for use in satellite-based GPS receivers.

The agreement aims to validate Locata’s patented Vray switching antenna and new correlator technologies for multipath mitigation in position receivers that run at GPS frequencies.

AFIT will initially design and develop a Locata Vray patent-based GPS-frequency multi-element switching antenna prototype, and subsequently use it along with the prototype Vray for demonstrating the feasibility of using Locata technology to boost GPS receiver performance.

Following production of the initial prototypes, the organisation intends to design and evaluate multiple GPS-based variants of Locata’s flexible switching antenna array to assess how Vray antennas can be adapted to use cases having specific interest to the military.

"The agreement aims to validate Locata’s patented Vray switching antenna and new correlator technologies for multipath mitigation in position receivers that run at GPS frequencies."

AFIT Advanced Navigation Technology Center director Dr. John Raquet said: "If this CRADA is successful, the technology could enable significantly improved technical performance and a reduction in the cost of multiple-element GPS antennas.”

Locata CEO and co-founder Nunzio Gambale said: "I’m certain our collaboration, along with access to the USAF’s unrivalled prototyping and test facilities, will deliver ground-breaking improvements for future GPS devices."

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Designs that have already been discussed with the company include stand-alone antennas, a variant built into helmets, as well as arrays conformal to a vehicle’s frame, such as flattened for a high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicle’s (HMMWV) roof, and curved for aircraft fuselages among others.

Having already commenced work on the milestones laid out in the CRADA project plan, AFIT is also set to produce a CRADA final report upon completion of the project.

Featuring results and the measured performance of AFIT’s Locata-enhanced GPS receiver, the report is also expected to describe design considerations gleaned from AFIT’s experience with the new Locata Vray antennas and correlators, as applied to GPS.


Image: AFIT and Locata officials during the project kickoff meeting in Canberra, Australia. Photo: Copyright Locata Corporation Pty. Limited.

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