GPS M-Code Simulation Includes CRPA Test System for Military User Equipment Development - Inside GNSS - Global Navigation Satellite Systems Engineering, Policy, and Design

GPS M-Code Simulation Includes CRPA Test System for Military User Equipment Development

BAE Systems selected Spirent Federal Systems to provide a controlled reception-pattern antenna (CRPA) test system to support M-Code military GPS technology development. BAE Systems is developing an advanced military GPS receiver and improving the capabilities of size-constrained and power-constrained military GPS applications, including precision-guided munitions and handheld devices. Spirent Federal will provide essential test equipment and support in the pursuit of resilient, accurate PNT data in GPS-degraded navigation warfare (NAVWAR) situations.

The Spirent CRPA Test System is a development of the GSS9000 Series platform that can test:

  • CRPAs, designed to combat jamming
  • Modernized Navstar Security Algorithm (MNSA) and Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) M-code. MNSA M-Code is currently transmitted by 19 satellites.
  • other jamming and spoofing threats and mitigation
  • ultra-high-dynamic vehicle applications
  • inertial navigation systems
  • additional encrypted military signals, Y-code and Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Module (SAASM)
M-code
Types of M-code

BAE Systems, which acquired Collins Aerospace’s Military GPS business in January 2020, provides military GPS receiver solutions, notably the handheld dual-frequency Defense Advanced GPS Receiver (DAGR) and its predecessor the single-frequency Precision Lightweight GPS Receiver (PLGR), for infantry units.  It also designs and produces advanced hardened and secure GPS products incorporating next-generation M-Code technologies for a wide range of U.S. military platforms. It has fielded more than 1.5 million units and has a presence on more than 200 ground, 40 airborne and 40 weapons platforms.

MNSA updates cryptography in the GPS signal for the generation of the restricted military M-code. With MNSA capability, full testing of the performance and the security features of new Military GPS User Equipment (MGUE) are possible. The user has full control over scenario settings with the real encryption used on the M-Code signal. This method is developed by simulator manufacturers with cooperation of the Space and Missile Systems Center Production Corps and is available only to authorized users.

CRPAs provide protection against jamming in high-interference environments. The Spirent CRPA Test System can simulate 16+ individual elements with a separate RF output per antenna element. For the 16-element test system, concurrent simulation of GNSS signals, signals from spoofers and/or repeaters, and interference from multiple jammers—including  Blue Force Electronic Attack (BFEA) jamming waveforms—produces over 1,000 simultaneous independent channels/signals simulated across a phase-calibrated precise wavefront.

“The CRPA Test System is the culmination of over 35 years of R&D and industry leadership and is positioned to help with next-generation MGUE modernization. Our robust M-code test capabilities support BAE Systems’ advances in M-code technology,” said Ellen Hall, President/CEO of Spirent Federal.

(Image courtesy Spirent Federal)