Alternative PNT Companies Partner - Inside GNSS - Global Navigation Satellite Systems Engineering, Policy, and Design

Alternative PNT Companies Partner

Locata Corporation and Ursa Navigation Solutions, Inc. (UrsaNav) announced a technology partnership aimed at providing resilient PNT solutions to national governmental and commercial interests globally. Combining Locata’s high-accuracy local-area and UrsaNav’s very wide-area PNT produces a solution which lessens dependency on easily disrupted and increasingly vulnerable space-based signals, according to the two. 

Locata delivers centimeter-level positioning and picosecond-level timing to the US Air Force, NASA, and global commercial partners in industries like ports, mining, the military, aviation, automotive, logistics, indoor positioning, and high-accuracy timing. 

[Image above, Locata antenna, courtesy Locata.]

Topcon: next level precision

UrsaNav’s eLoran and LFPhoenix technologies provide nanosecond-level timing, meter-level positioning, and short-message-service-like data transmissions at distances often exceeding 1,000 miles over land, and 1,800 miles over water. Its Two-Way Low-Frequency Time and Frequency Transfer (TWLFTFT) service is embedded in the PNT signal, providing a wireless timing synchronization conduit between any set of transmission sites. When UTC-synchronized time is injected into any transmission site (i.e., “node”), say from USNO/NIST, NPL, or BIPM, it can then be securely networked to every other node in view. UrsaNav’s patented encryption techniques can be applied to the entire signal, or any component. 

Combining these technologies enables development of national-level terrestrial positioning and timing systems which are resilient, sovereign-controlled, and flexible enough to meet both very long haul “backbone” and local high-accuracy critical infrastructure needs. With built-in failover capability and overlapping coverage, overreliance on space can be mitigated. Both Locata and UrsaNav technologies have been tested by the US and the UK under extreme GPS jamming and spoofing conditions, and have continued to provide the required PNT data. 

The partners agree that a system-of-systems approach for resilient PNT must include a GNSS component, a fiber component, and a robust terrestrial wireless component that can be used to distribute solid PNT over nationally controlled radio frequencies. 

The interlocking terrestrial capabilities developed by Locata and UrsaNav are easily integrated with other PNT solutions, say the companies, and can operate in standalone, interleaved, or layered modes.

Locata

Locata Corporation has invented, and is now delivering, commercial radio-location technology that gives precise positioning and timing in many environments where GPS is either marginal, or unavailable, for modern applications. 

The US Air Force deployed a Locata network over 2,500 square miles (6,500 sq. km) of airspace at the White Sands Missile Range. On the Range, the USAF routinely and completely jam GPS over the entire area; their ground and aviation applications can continue to obtain cm-level positioning and nanosecond-level time using a Locata-enabled system.

UrsaNav

UrsaNav delivers low-frequency PNT solutions, such as Loran-C, Loran-D, eLoran, and LFPhoenix to North American, UK, EU, Middle-Eastern, and Asian customers, including service provider and user equipment, and complete national systems. 

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