Even the military depends on GPS.
GPS navigation is essential to today's battlefield operations. It allows precise location of military assets in real time, so if hostile forces attempt to shut down the military's GPS navigation, it’s serious.
Raytheon UK has designed a new, compact, GPS anti-jam antenna system that protects its signal within the electromagnetic spectrum. The one-box system, called Landshield Plus, allows the GPS equipment to function against a wide range of jammers. Like all antennas in the Landshield product family, Landshield Plus is also a retrofit antenna solution for use with existing and new receiver systems.
“Unfortunately, GPS signals are relatively easy to disrupt,” said Alex Rose-Parfitt, director of engineering at Raytheon UK. “This improved anti-jamming tech helps tackle a weak point in the modern battlefield.”
Weighing just 2.9 kilograms, Landshield Plus is the newest member of the Landshield GPS Anti-Jam product family. It is a low-cost and low-power technology, but with seven antenna elements, it provides a greater level of protection in the more complex jamming environment, such as frontline operations. The system also works within communication, inertial navigation, sighting, vehicle or weapon-aiming systems.
Landshield Plus not only shields GPS from electronic warfare attacks, it alerts the user to the presence of interfering signals. By identifying the direction and characteristics of the multiple jamming sources, Landshield Plus provides potentially valuable real-time situational awareness information that could assist with battlefield operations.
“In unprotected systems, the power from a jammer can swamp satellite signals and antennas, resulting in a complete loss of GPS navigation,” said Ian Wallis, a programme engineering manager at Raytheon UK. “Landshield Plus nulls out the effect of the jammer by simply adjusting the antenna’s gain profile and re-connecting the GPS to the available satellites.”
The user gets information about the jamming signal and its direction that can be fed back to commanders and operators in the battlefield, according to Wallis. That data helps commanders make faster, more informed decisions.
As with all products in the Landshield family, Landshield Plus has also completed an extensive environmental qualification programme, and is moving in to increasing scale manufacture. The product has been designed to fit existing and future military land-based vehicles, but due to its robust proven design, it can be considered for use on other platforms, from UAVs to naval.
The product is being evaluated by a number of customers around the world.