Upcoming Military Exercises to Focus on Detecting GNSS Disruption - Inside GNSS - Global Navigation Satellite Systems Engineering, Policy, and Design

Upcoming Military Exercises to Focus on Detecting GNSS Disruption

This fall, vendors from the Defense Innovation Unit’s (DIU) Harmonious Rook prototype project will participate in DoD and international exercises. The goal is to test commercial technology developed to detect GNSS disruption.

Harmonious Rook was launched last fall to “address the need for scalable, persistent awareness of PNT disruptions across the globe,” according to a news release. Several DoD agencies and civilians are part of the project, including the National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC), the National Space Intelligence Center (NSIC) and non-traditional vendors that provide data delivery, machine learning analytics, and visualization and contextualization.

Later this month, Harmonious Rook companies will support the Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT) exercise. Through the exercise, more than 20 Indo-Pacific countries will train and collaborate on maritime crises and illegal activities response. The commercial firms will provide space-based geolocation reports and maritime analytical services. Insights will be integrated into Seavision, a shared visualization platform used by the U.S. Navy and Department of Transportation.

Those tests will be followed in September by the U.S. Army 1st Armored Division’s Command Post Exercise (CPX) at the National Training Center (NTC) in Fort Irwin, California. This time the focus will be on Large-Scale Combat Operations (LSCO). The exercise is intended to stress the division headquarters’ ability to deploy to an austere location and command and control its units via a synthetic training environment.

At the same time, the 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division will hold an external validation exercise, also at NTC. The 2nd Brigade will be stressed and evaluated on their ability to deploy while contested. They’ll also conduct LSCO exercises against a live Opposing Force (OPFOR).

“While the Army works diligently to acquire relevant equipment to assist in the real-time recognition and characterization of potential adversary interference, we must leverage non-organic, commercially available software and equipment, like Harmonious Rook, as a stopgap to increase awareness, seize digital key terrain and maximize lethality,” said Lt. Col. Patrick Jones of 1st Armored Division’s Space Support Element (SSE), according to the release.

During the exercise, capabilities will be tested to support intelligence, information operations, and command and control elements with commercial geospatial and navigation warfare awareness at the tactical level.

DIU’s Harmonious Rook is also exploring using publicly available PNT data to gain insight from domestic GPS interference events, as any intentional or unintentional PNT disruption can lead to severe transportation, communication and financial implications. This makes it critical to bring government and private sector industries together to identify, attribute and mitigate GPS interference as quickly as possible.

“Mapping GPS disruptions and contextualizing patterns of behavior are key to mitigating the effects of degraded PNT as well as enabling safety of navigation under such conditions,” Harmonious Rook program manager, Lt. Col. Nicholas Estep, USAF said, according to the release. “Instead of developing, building, and deploying hardware tailored for collection of navigation warfare operations, we are accessing currently available commercial data and analytics to address the need for PNT situational awareness. There are billions of GPS users and devices distributed across the world that may be adversely affected and turning the vulnerability into an advantage for discovery, classification and attribution of such malicious activity is a key aspect of this effort.”