Northrop Grumman demos SDR-based GPS receiver

28 May 2019 (Last Updated May 28th, 2019 11:15)

Northrop Grumman has demonstrated its software-defined radio (SDR)-based GPS navigation solution during a flight test.

Northrop Grumman has demonstrated its software-defined radio (SDR)-based GPS navigation solution during a flight test.

The live-sky demonstration of the first SDR-based, military code (M-code) enabled GPS receiver on production-capable hardware was performed in partnership with the US Air Force Research Laboratory Sensors Directorate.

During the test, the SDR acquired and tracked M-code, a modernised GPS military signal, in real-time.

Northrop Grumman advanced technologies vice-president Vern Boyle said: “Northrop Grumman’s secure software-defined GPS solution provides an unprecedented level of agility and enables our customers to outpace the threat.”

Furthermore, the company secured the certification requirement review approval for the SDR-based GPS receiver from the GPS Directorate.

The approval represents a key security certification milestone that is seen as a critical step in the efforts to field an M-code enabled GPS receiver capable of operating in an unclassified environment.

To design the platform, Northrop Grumman used a system-on-a-chip SDR approach, which allowed for rapid real-time field changes.

In February, the company received a contract from the US Air Force (USAF) for a next-generation navigation system.

The contract was for the engineering and manufacturing development phase of the embedded / inertial navigation system-modernisation technology.

“To design the platform, Northrop Grumman used a system-on-a-chip SDR approach, which allowed for rapid real-time field changes.”

Last week, Collins Aerospace Systems obtained the GPS Directorate security certification from the US Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center for its M-code common GPS module.

The certification validates the module’s compliance with the military GPS user equipment (MGUE) hardware and software security design specification.

M-Code receivers offer enhanced anti-jamming and anti-spoofing capabilities that can be used to counter modern electronic warfare threats.