The U.S. Army is planning to select a contractor for its Mounted Assured Position Navigation and Timing program by the end of September as a way to ensure soldiers know where they are even if GPS isn’t working. In the meantime, the service will continue to give soldiers access to an earlier version of the program over the next two years.
C4isrnet quoted Col. Nickolas Kioutas, program manager for the position, navigation, and timing within the Army’s Program Executive Office Intelligence, Electronic Warfare, and Sensors as saying that they are nearing an award to a single vendor who will go forward with that program of record. He added that currently they have fielded their MAPS Gen 1 and they’re continuing to field MAPS Gen 1 over the next two years, and then they’re transitioning to their MAPS program of record.
Mounted Assured Position Navigation and Timing, or MAPS, is the Army’s solution to ensuring soldiers know where they are even if the GPS signal is denied, degraded or spoofed. MAPS will be able to fuse PNT data, ingesting information from a variety of sensors providing timing, barometer measurements and inertial navigation to provide an independent alternative that can validate or replace GPS.
Lt. Col. Alexander Rasmussen, product manager for Mounted Positioning Navigation and Timing said that sensor fusion also lays the foundation to operate without GPS or without (radio frequency), because if one can take in velocity or barometer or an (inertial navigation unit), those are not jammable or spoofable. They can know where they’re at and still report where they’re at.
MAPS will also be able to deliver M-Code, a more secure military GPS signal to soldiers. Additionally, the anti-jam antenna being developed with MAPS can be used as a sensor to locate interference, enabling the Army to counter jamming or spoofing.
Even as the Army moves forward with MAPS Gen 2 as a program of record, it plans to continue fielding the Gen 1 capability.
Specifically, the Army plans to outfit even more of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment’s vehicles. And in preparation for their deployment, Bradley Fighting Vehicles and tanks used by the 1st Infantry Division with the 1st Brigade at Fort Riley, Kansas, will be receiving the MAPS Gen 1 upgrade.
With CMOSS, the Army hopes to both save space by using a common space for multiple capabilities and get new capabilities out to the field faster using that plug-and-play dynamic.