DHS Successfully Tests GPS-Free PNT Network; Also, the Unreal Engine Plug-In for Gaming & Apps - Inside GNSS - Global Navigation Satellite Systems Engineering, Policy, and Design

DHS Successfully Tests GPS-Free PNT Network; Also, the Unreal Engine Plug-In for Gaming & Apps

NextNav announced that it has successfully demonstrated the timing precision and resilience of its terrestrial position, navigation, and timing (PNT) system, TerraPoiNT, in a recent evaluation by the Science & Technology Directorate (S&T) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The trial tested the timing redundancy of the TerraPoiNT system in a number of scenarios, including instances of GPS outages, spoofing, and jamming. According to the company, it validates TerraPoiNT’s capabilities as a terrestrial, GPS-free network capable of powering critical national infrastructure in the event of GPS failure.

During a simulated 72-hour GPS outage, the TerraPoiNT service delivered a timing accuracy better than 50 nanosecond in urban and semi-urban environments, successfully meeting timing requirements for various applications including 5G networks, the synchronization of the power grid, and more. In addition, TerraPoiNT provided precise timing and redundancy utilizing two alternate absolute timing sources: atomic clock (Cesium/Rb) and LEO satellite (Satelles).

“GPS is critical infrastructure, but it has its limitations,” said Ganesh Pattabiraman, co-founder and CEO of NextNav. “In working with DHS S&T, we’ve validated that TerraPoiNT can serve as an important backup to GPS and ensure the resilience and continuity of our nation’s most critical systems, including next-generation telecommunications networks, financial services, and power grids.”

Unreal Engine

NextNav also announced the release of its Unreal Engine plug-in, integrating its vertical positioning service Pinnacle. Now, developers can unlock the power of 3D geolocation and z-axis across all games and applications built with the Unreal Engine. The launch of the plug-in comes after the company received an Epic MegaGrant, which it will use to bring its vertical location capabilities to the Unreal Engine.

The plug-in delivers precise altitude data, allowing developers to integrate vertical location into any geolocation application built with the Unreal Engine, Epic Games’ real-time 3D tool for creating cutting-edge content and immersive experiences. Armed with the plug-in, developers can bring floor-level vertical location accuracy in over 4,400 cities nationwide and over 90% of buildings higher than three stories in the United States to all their creations.

“As the Unreal Engine community continues to grow, we’re committed to supporting creators in building immersive games and experiences,” said Ken Pimentel, AEC Industry Management, Epic Games. “We’re thrilled to help bring the NextNav plug-in to developers through Epic MegaGrants, which offers the ability to introduce a new dimension to their content through precise vertical geolocation positioning.”

Specifically, the plug-in unlocks new possibilities for augmented experiences in urban areas, which represent a largely underutilized market for location-based gaming, architectural and automotive visualization, among many other applications. With precise vertical location data, developers will usher in a new era of personalized experiences that consumers have come to expect from their mobile applications, whether for business or leisure.

“We are setting a new standard for immersive, location-based experiences built on the Unreal Engine,” said NextNav CEO Ganesh Pattabiraman. “From manufacturing and training applications to a wide variety of games, our vertical location data, with floor level accuracy, can help creators expand their universes, reimagine the next generation of digital experiences, and delight end-users.”