- By Bob Brewin
- Feb 20, 2000
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
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.