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US Army eyes dismounted A-PNT capability

A US Army soldier with the 2nd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, inspects a MAPS Gen 1 A-PNT component installed on a tactical vehicle. (US Army)

The US Army's combat capabilities development directorate is seeking industry input on an Assured Position, Navigation, and Timing (A-PNT) capability specifically designed for dismounted operations.

Officials from the research and technology integration directorate at the service's Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C5ISR) Center are seeking A-PNT solutions that “require a low size, weight, and power design, in order to reduce the burden on the dismounted soldiers”, according to a 28 March White Paper solicitation.

“Current [US] Army systems rely on a level of PNT provided by GPS. However, due to electromagnetic interference hazards, access to GPS could be disrupted, degraded, and/or denied” particularly when in use by ground units conducting dismounted operations, the solicitation stated.

Specifically, programme officials at the C5ISR Center are seeking input that focuses on the development of “complementary sensor modules and/or software plugins that can be demonstrated with … dismounted or mounted reference systems”, according to the solicitation. Primarily, the A-PNT sensor modules will be designed, at the onset, with an eye towards reducing size, weight, and power (SWaP) demands on the system, programme officials noted.

A-PNT sensors will be required to comply with “defined” interface control documents (ICDs), as well as Applied Programming Interfaces (APIs) and other data standards, army officials said in the 28 March solicitation.

“Sensors for mounted [systems] should focus on providing higher levels of PNT performance while also minimizing SWaP,” they said. For transmission of navigation data, that information exchange must comply with All Source Positioning and Navigation (ASPN) data standards for PNT data, the officials added.

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