CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA and LAS VEGAS, NV--(Marketwired - Aug 1, 2016) - The U.S. Air Force (USAF) 746th Test Squadron has declared Initial Operational Capability (IOC) for its new truth reference, the Ultra High-Accuracy Reference System (UHARS). Even when GPS is being completely jammed, UHARS provides extremely accurate positioning, navigation and time (PNT) over the large area of White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) in New Mexico that the system was designed to cover.
"Initial testing shows that UHARS delivers accurate independent PNT as good as, or better than, the USAF's current Central Inertial and GPS Test Facility (CIGTF) Reference System (CRS), so it is perfectly able to support current customer requirements," said Dr. Jim Brewer, Chief Scientist of the 746th Test Squadron. "However, more data are required to tune the UHARS filter and optimize its accuracy to meet even tighter PNT requirements, which is our objective. When this is achieved, UHARS will deliver truth accuracy for next-generation military capabilities, and we will declare UHARS Full Operational Capability."
"UHARS is a rack-mounted, tightly integrated system of improved navigation sensors, a data acquisition system (DAS) and a new post-mission Kalman filter, all of which need to work together," explained John Cao, Technical Director of the 746th Test Squadron. "It's working very well, but once we completely measure and characterize the individual components and then tune and validate the filter, the complete system will provide a significantly more accurate reference solution for future airborne and land-based test vehicles in navigation warfare environments where modernized and legacy GPS signals are jammed from friendly or hostile systems."
To achieve these accurate reference solutions, UHARS requires a core Non-GPS Based Positioning System (NGBPS) component capable of operating and providing sub-meter position accuracy in a GPS-denied (jamming) environment. The NGBPS subsystem of the UHARS program employs a network of ground-based "LocataLite" transceivers and test vehicle receivers manufactured by the Locata Corporation. Not only does the Locata network deliver cm-level positioning and navigation, but also nanosecond-level synchronization, which may be useful for military applications requiring precise time transfer in GPS-denied environments.
Based on successful results of the original technical demonstration at WSMR in a real-world end-to-end environment, the USAF proceeded to the NGBPS production and fielding phase in 2012. The Locata Corporation was contracted to provide production ground transceivers and receivers, navigation algorithms required for data analysis and subject matter expertise. The TMC Design Corporation, the integrating contractor for this program, was tasked to develop the production hardware to house the Locata hardware, develop the command and control hardware and software, and field the production hardware at WSMR. The Locata network was fielded in September 2014, and its NGBPS capability is now core to the UHARS that is replacing the CRS.
"Our team is thrilled to be part of this historic USAF capability," said Nunzio Gambale, CEO and co-founder of Locata Corporation. "Locata products developed and fielded by important commercial partners like Hexagon and Perrone Robotics routinely prove our technology is a game-changer for positioning over industrial-sized areas. However, leveraging Locata technology as the core non-GPS-based PNT solution over a vast military area when GPS is jammed instantly elevates our achievements into a completely new league. Clearly, we are witnessing the arrival of one of the most important technology developments for the future of the entire PNT industry."
Customers wishing to leverage UHARS into their test programs should contact the 746th Test Squadron at (575) 679-2123 or firstname.lastname@example.org for scheduling information.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE PAIRS Case Number: 96TW‐2016‐0077, 25 May 2016
Locata Corporation has invented new radiolocation technology which gives precise positioning in the many environments where GPS is either marginal or unavailable for modern applications. Early adopters of Locata technology include open-cut mining, construction, the military, structural deformation, container port automation and warehousing markets. Locata provides partners with the totally unique ability to replicate a GPS satellite constellation locally -- on the ground. Locata calls this "Your own GPS".
Locata networks provide independent GPS-style performance because Locata's patented TimeLoc technology enables the network to autonomously synchronize transceivers to the picosecond level (i.e. a trillionth of a second) without using any atomic clocks or external aids. This is an amazing technical breakthrough which allows Locata to provide one of the "holy grails" of positioning: cm-level accuracy without any external assistance. Locata is the only technology in the world that can do this.
For more information, visit: www.locata.com