Dispatches

The following are highlights from the the Association of the U.S. Army's

annual winter convention in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., as well as the West 2000

conference in San Diego, which is sponsored by the Armed Forces Communications

and Electronics Association and the U.S. Naval Institute.

Advances in Navigation Warfare

Lockheed Martin Corp. has developed a "navigation warfare" system to deny

U.S. adversaries access to precise location and navigation signals derived

from the 24-satellite Global Positioning System.

Steve Laab, a business development manager at Lockheed Martin Federal

Systems — speaking here at the Association of the United States Army's winter

conference — said his company has developed "electronic attack" capabilities

for the Air Force that will "deny adversaries access to GPS."

GPS satellites broadcast an encoded military signal and a noncoded civil

signal that provides location and navigation information with a precision

of 100 meters or better. Users worldwide have developed land-based augmentation

procedures to the civil GPS signal that provide accuracies raging from 5

meters to the submillimeter range, leading to concerns by Pentagon officials

that an enemy could easily use GPS to precisely target missiles against

U.S. targets.

GPS Anti-Jammer Ready

To ensure that GPS signals are available to friendly forces, Lockheed

Martin has developed an anti-jam device for GPS receivers.

Stephen Ramsey, vice president of aerospace systems for Lockheed Martin

Federal Systems, said the new anti-jam device is "a full generation more

advanced in performance than systems available today...[and] represents

a significant step toward our goal of ensuring GPS availability to friendly

forces in the presence of interference."

Top military officials have long expressed concern about the ability

of an enemy to jam the relatively weak GPS signals. Vice Adm. Herb Browne,

vice commander of the U.S. Space Command, said the technology used in microwave

ovens can be easily adapted to GPS jammers.

Steve Laab of Lockheed Martin said the GPS anti-jam receiver — developed

for $12 million under the Air Force's navigation warfare program — will

be used to protect the Joint Air-to-Surface Stand-off Missile, a "smart"

weapon that relies on GPS.

Frank Meyer, president of Lockheed Martin's Electronics Platform Integration

division, said the technology can be applied to many other GPS projects

such as the Federal Aviation Administration's Wide-Area Augmentation System.

12-Inch Spy Plane Prepped

Remember those balsa-wood airplanes that delighted kids before the electronics

revolution? The Navy and the Marine Corps want to field a high-tech version

as a battlefield reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

Navy and Marine Corps leaders have signed off on development of a 12-inch

UAV with a 1-pound payload to serve as the airborne eyes of future operations,

said Jerry Hultin, undersecretary of the Navy, speaking in San Diego Feb.

10 at West 2000, the annual Navy-focused conference sponsored by the Armed

Forces Communications and Electronics Association and the U.S. Naval Institute.

Hultin said the initial sensor payload probably would consist of a video

camera plus GPS with geo-location capabilities. He emphasized that the Navy

has "no intention of gold plating" the mini-UAV, estimating that each would

cost no more than $10,000.

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