The United States Global Positioning System (GPS), as a local Positioning, Navigation, and Timing System, as well as a Global Navigation Satellite System, has provided invaluable data to government, military, and civilian transports, both airborne and marine, with their navigational needs. Even ordinary individuals with smartphones have enjoyed the benefits of applications and services enabled with GPS. Without GPS, the world may incur costly losses in different aspects of life. It may be said then that therein lies the weakness of GPS.
Prone to Disruption
People, industries, and sectors of society have grown reliant on GPS in spite of its shortcomings. GPS continues to be weak to disruptions from a variety of factors. Privacy devices of ordinary people, jammers, solar activity, electromagnetic interference, and local geography can all degrade GPS performance. They may even cut performance off entirely.
A Risk Too Costly
One report in the U.K. discovered just how much the nation’s economy would be affected should the GNSS service fail for only five days. According to the report, the United Kingdom can incur a loss of more than a billion dollars a day for each of those five days. With this report as a reference, imagine what the cost will be to military aircraft.
Improvements on the Way
Fortunately, military contractors have started to address this weakness and aim to improve GPS service on the end of GPS/INS systems in military aircraft. The development initiative will modernize Embedded GPS/Inertial Navigation Systems—EGI systems—in time for integration in 2019. The plan may just provide military aircraft with reliable PNT information even in DPS-denied environments.
Simulate to Ensure Improvements
Of course, for such a plan to be successful, the improvements made to receivers must be put to the test. You can make use of Embedded GPS/Inertial Navigation System (EGI) test systems to simulated GPS disruption. These simulation systems can help you gauge the performance of the new EGI-M systems being developed.
With the new developments spearheaded by contractors, the weakness of GPS may soon be corrected to the benefit of the military.