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CHIPS Articles: Army develops prototype for PNT rapid tech insertion

Army develops prototype for PNT rapid tech insertion
By Dan Lafontaine, C5ISR Center Public Affairs - June 17, 2020
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (June 8, 2020) — Army Futures Command (AFC) is developing and testing an improved process for quickly delivering positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) capabilities to the field.

The Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Center (C5ISR) — a component of AFC’s Combat Capabilities Development Command — and Project Manager PNT are building a prototype with enhanced PNT technologies and will integrate it into a Stryker armored vehicle for evaluation later this August.

The effort is part of the Army’s broader strategy, known as the C5ISR/Electronic Warfare Modular Open Suite of Standards (CMOSS), which aims to reduce the size, weight, and power (SWaP) requirements of C5ISR systems by using shared hardware and software components.

The Army is shifting away from developing stand-alone PNT systems with proprietary software and hardware interfaces, which have delayed and increased the cost of implementing new capabilities, said Michael Caporellie, PNT Emerging Technologies branch chief for C5ISR Center. CMOSS-compliant platforms use accessible published standards, rather than one vendor’s proprietary system, to increase the viability for industry to compete and innovate.

CMOSS eliminates the legacy method of integrating a multitude of separate “boxes” into vehicles and uses a standard set of hardware for multiple warfighting functions. This allows upgrades to be implemented and integrated with other on-board CMOSS systems quickly, enabling the Army to keep pace with emerging threats.

“The Army needs to continue to modernize PNT technology to ensure Warfighters can safely maneuver the battlefield with reliable communications and accurate situational awareness when GPS signals are denied or degraded,” Caporellie said.

This will be the second Stryker-integrated CMOSS prototype designed by the C5ISR Center. The first featured electronic warfare and signals intelligence (SIGINT) technologies that reduced SWaP by more than 75 percent. The SIGINT and PNT capabilities should not be considered exclusive, but rather as selectable options on a CMOSS-enabled vehicle that have the potential to operate simultaneously dependent on resource availability, according to Adam Bogner, SIGINT/Quick Reaction Capability Division Acting Chief for C5ISR Center.

C5ISR Center and PM PNT plan to demonstrate and test the new prototype at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, in August. C5ISR Center also plans to integrate SIGINT capabilities, specifically Tactical-Timing Navigation Warfare, into the PNT-CMOSS vehicle as an objective capability not tied to the August demonstration.

“These two CMOSS integration efforts are a significant milestone for C5ISR Center in which this technology transitions from the lab to two tactical vehicles and demonstrates the commitment from the acquisition community to embrace CMOSS,” Bogner said.

For more information, visit:
Army Futures Command
ARCYBER
Army Cyber Center of Excellence
Army Cyber Institute

C5ISR Center computer scientist Zach Kjellberg (standing) and electronics engineer John Tangradi conduct research on PNT systems at Aberdeen Proving Ground in October 2019. (Photo Credit: Dan Lafontaine, C5ISR Center Public Affairs)
C5ISR Center electronics engineer Andradige Silva demonstrates a C5ISR/Electronic Warfare Modular Open Suite of Standards (CMOSS) chassis at Aberdeen Proving Ground in October 2018. (Photo Credit: Dan Lafontaine, C5ISR Center Public Affairs)
C5ISR Center computer scientist Zach Kjellberg (left) and mechanical engineer Eric Bickford conduct research on PNT systems at Aberdeen Proving Ground in October 2019. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army)
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