Robust Global Navigation System programme will develop multi-constellation satellite receivers to give UK forces greater navigational ability and confidence in their position

Last month QinetiQ won a £67m contract with the Ministry of Defence (MOD) Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) to develop multi-constellation satellite receivers under the UK Robust Global Navigation System (R-GNS) programme.

The programme will deliver critical capability to provide UK Defence with accurate and resilient positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) which will underpin the UK’s ability to undertake 24/7 military operations around the world in the most demanding and increasingly contested operational environments.

The multi-constellation, multi-service satellite navigation signals, multiple sensors and QinetiQ’s advanced processing technologies will enable secured navigation ensuring that users and platforms (increasingly including autonomous land, maritime, air and weapons systems) will be able to navigate accurately, robustly and safely.

Next generation secure and resilient global navigation system receivers

Andy Beck, Head of Foundation Sales for Cyber Information and Training Businesses at Qinetiq said: “The programme is going to deliver the next generation of secure and resilient global navigation system receivers to UK forces to be used by troops in systems and on platforms to give them that robust and assured confidence of being able to understand their position, their ability to navigate and to have precision timing. In our normal lives, GPS has become ubiquitous, so its a critical and enabling capability for UK forces as they go forward.”

Multi-constellation programme will enable forces to gain different views

The R-GNS will enable UK forces such as RAF fighters to gain views which will enable them to gain accurate data and navigation and positioning from different satellite sources.

Beck added: “A key feature of the capability that’s going to be developed is that it will be multi- constellation, so as well as being able to work with the US GPS system, it will work with the other satellite constellation such as Galileo and GLONASS as well. The system will therefore be providing multiple views, so further improving the resilience of the information that the system needs to provide on timing and position.”

“A key feature of R-GNS solution is that it is not just reliant on GPS or any one of the other systems, so we are getting three or more looks at the information. The system will be smart enough in terms of its signal processing to effectively do a compare and contrast. So it will compare the GPS result with the Galileo result. If there’s anything that looks unusual or anomalous, one of the signals or inputs can be discarded to provide more confident outlook from the system.”

The delivery date for the first R-GNS products is February 2022.

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