Mayflower Communications has received TSO-C190 Authorization from the FAA for its Multi-Platform Anti-Jam GPS Navigation Antenna (MAGNA) systems, making them the first anti-jam (AJ) solutions authorized for installation in both civilian and military aircraft, according to the company.
The authorization, which took more than a year to complete, was a team effort that involved the United States Army and Navy. It includes both the antenna and the electronics on the systems, which is a significant distinction, Mayflower Founder, President and CEO Triveni Upadhyay said.
“The benefit is if you have a TSO antenna exterior to the aircraft but not TSO electronics, those electronics cannot provide you the TSO authorization,” Senior Director, Government Programs Joseph Thomas said, “so it strips away your authorization.”
Because the MAGNA solutions have both, he said, the TSO applies to the entire pathway, so now both civilian and military users are “completely protected” from jamming that can interfere with GPS.
The TSO is so critical, Thomas said, because of the FAA’s ADS-B requirements, which all aircraft flying in the continental U.S. must meet, including those coming in from other countries. Some receivers already do, but none that are used by the U.S. military—which covers a broad range of aircraft, including fixed-wing and rotary, with some contractor owned and operated, some contractor owned and government operated and some government owned and operated.
The MAGNA systems meet the ADS-B Classes A,B,C, E and Mode C Veil requirements and can protect rotary wing, fixed wing, and UAS that require ADS-B. The authorization makes it easier to add an anti-jam solution to these platforms, which is becoming increasingly vital for military customers.
The MAGNA anti-jam products include two models, the MAGNA-Federated (MAGNA-F) and the MAGNA-Integrated (MAGNA-I). Both build on the company’s SWaP-optimized GPS anti-jam antenna technologies, such as the Small Antenna System (SAS). The MAGNA products were developed under sponsorship from the U.S. Navy SPAWAR and improved under sponsorship from the U.S. Army PEO AVN. Both offer simultaneous L1/L2 protection and can protect commercial and military GPS receivers.
The MAGNA-F (NavGuard® 710) is the latest federated, small SWaP, affordable GPS AJ solution that has been integrated, tested and flown in Navigation Warfare (NAVWAR) operational environments on multiple aircraft platforms. It features a small 3.5” diameter controlled reception pattern antenna (CRPA) that is compatible with the existing fixed radiation pattern antenna (FRPA) footprint.
The MAGNA-I (NavGuard® 730) has a 4.5” diameter FRPA-compatible footprint. The integrated AJ solution (antenna array integrated with antenna electronics in a single module) is designed for platforms with difficult integration challenges.
Both MAGNA AJ systems meet the Design Assurance Level (DAL) B standards related to safety and security requirements for aircraft products of this type.
While military users are the primary focus, Upadhyay and Thomas also see the MAGNA anti-jam solutions being used in the commercial market, for applications like transporting cargo and people, policing and critical infrastructure inspection where robust, protected GPS is essential.
“It’s a matter of the cost of buying insurance and peace of mind compared to what happens without the insurance,” Upadhyay said. “The customer has to make the tradeoff. Our goal is to make it as easy to adopt as possible, making it as small as possible and as low cost as possible, to make that tradeoff easier.”