Numerous Companies Respond to RFI on GPS Backup System Demo
Monday, June 17, 2019 | Comments

About 18 companies or groups of companies submitted responses to a Department of Transportation (DOT) request for information (RFI) on a GPS backup system demonstration.

In May, DOT said it is planning to conduct a field demonstration of technologies capable of providing backup positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) capabilities to critical infrastructure (CI) in the event of a temporary disruption to GPS. This demonstration effort also is expected to encompass technologies capable of providing complementary PNT functions to GPS by either expanding PNT capabilities, including cross checks, or extending them to GPS or Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS)-denied or degraded user environments.

Of the responses, which were due June 3, eight are not publicly available because of business sensitive information. The other proposals, from companies such as Globalstar, Skyhook (formerly TruePosition) and Qualcomm, offer varying options for PNT solutions.

In its response, Globalstar and Echo Ridge described new Augmented Positioning System (APS) technology, which uses ordinary signals from communications satellites to produce accurate position and timing information in compatible user devices. Globalstar’s constellation of 24 low-Earth-orbit (LEO) satellites and Echo Ridge software and compatible devices at the user end provide the building blocks for the APS-based system.

APS technology has been demonstrated in diverse environments and incorporates multiple features that boost availability and reliability to produce accurate PNT information under circumstances that can challenge or disable GPS/ technology. The technology can work independently of GPS and other global navigation satellite systems and is designed to maintain high performance in a wide range of operating environments, the companies said.

NextNav, Lockheed Martin and Merlin Technologies submitted responses but requested they not be made public.

DOT did not outline a timeline or further details about the demonstration. The full docket is here.

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