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Enabling GNSS-Denied Navigation: Tailored Solutions for Diverse Client Needs

The use of resilient guidance, navigation and control systems capable of continuing the mission under external countermeasures has become a critical asset for UAS systems in an era defined by technological advances capable of counteracting each other. A relevant case in unmanned aviation is the Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) signals, the traditional positioning system used by most of the flight controllers in the market whose navigation relies on its robustness, making them highly dependent on this technology. However, GNSS systems have vulnerabilities and may be degraded or denied under certain circumstances, including specific attacks such as jamming or spoofing, which can disrupt operations in contested environments.

The susceptibility to attacks and vulnerabilities of critical systems has made APNT (Assured Positioning, Navigation, and Timing) systems, technologies, and techniques that ensure the continuous availability of Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) data of enormous significance. PNT techniques vary depending on the severity level and duration of exposure to an attack. Thus, we find:

  • Systems based on anti-jamming & anti-spoofing systems for GNSS protection in cases where the attacks are isolated.
  • Systems based on the support or use of inertial navigation for cases where exposure to the attack or denial of GNSS signal is more prolonged.
  • Advanced alternative navigation systems that are prepared to achieve precise navigation completely independent of GNSS signal availability.

 

UAV Navigation-Grupo Oesía is aware of the importance of resilient navigation capabilities to enhance the performance of unmanned aircraft and enable them to expand their operational capabilities. For this reason, we provide our customers with different alternatives to unlock the GNSS-denied navigation capability on their systems, adapting our offer to their project needs.

 

 

A Reliable Autopilot to Execute Complete Dead Reckoning Operations

UAV Navigation-Grupo Oesía has accumulated significant experience resulting in a flight control computer capable of executing complex operations and ensuring flight safety. For those clients who want to take advantage of our two decades of flight control algorithm development, the company provides its VECTOR range of autopilots. These use a field-proven complete guidance, navigation and control solution that guarantees accurate GNSS-denied navigation in contested environments.

Our Flight Control Computers (FCC) provide exceptional performance in GNSS-denied environments, even when there is a jamming threat. Its high-quality components and EMI/EMC resistant design (tested to MIL-STD 461), together with advanced estimation logic, serve to mitigate the impact of certain high-power signals and allow precise dead-reckoning navigation even when a reliable GNSS signal becomes unavailable. In addition, our VECTOR autopilots use the POLAR AHRS, a proprietary Air Data and Attitude & Heading Reference System (ADAHRS) that fuses the data provided by multiple sensors and protects against single and even multiple sensor failure. The results have been favorably compared to FOG unit performance.

 

GNSS-Denied Navigation Kit to Provide Precise Navigational Data in Contested Environments

Our GNSS-Denied Navigation Kit offers the quickest way to access one of the primary competitive advantages our products can provide: Navigation in GNSS-denied environments.

The GNSS-Denied Navigation Kit is purpose-built for environments where GNSS signals are unavailable, combining the capabilities of the POLAR-300, our Attitude and Heading Reference System (AHRS), with our Visual Navigation System, the VNS01. This integration ensures precise dead reckoning navigation with minimal drift, offering an advanced solution for navigating with stability in challenging conditions. The kit is equipped with state-of-the-art algorithms and can effectively detect and counter sophisticated 'spoofing' techniques. By merging the POLAR-300 and the VNS01, our primary focus is on enabling navigation in GNSS-denied environments, surpassing conventional methods with our latest innovation. The outcome is highly accurate GNSS-denied navigation, with error rates maintained as low as 1% over covered distances.

The integration of the kit is straightforward, as the system acts as an additional sensor, providing information such as attitude, position, velocity, pressure and alarms. UAV Navigation-Grupo Oesía provides the tools to easily parse our Interface Control Document (ICD) and implement it into your Flight Control Computer.

By using this system, the UAS manufacturer will be able to expand their current flight controller capabilities to new ranges as it provides navigational data to the current autopilot, allowing customers to continue using their current flight controller.

 

Flexibility for Those That Want to Develop Their Own Flight Algorithms Using Our Robust Hardware

UAV Navigation-Grupo Oesía designs and manufactures reliable and robust professional guidance, navigation and control systems. Our Production Department assembles the various components of our autopilots. It administers comprehensive tests to validate the quality of each product, executing demanding calibration and validation processes following rigorous quality control evaluations that result in robust hardware that is able to obtain approval for recognized and important aerospace certifications.

Our customers appreciate the quality and robustness of our products, which is why they want to use them in their projects. In this sense, UAV Navigation-Grupo Oesía provides different architectures using our hardware, giving our customers the flexibility to develop their projects.

For those clients that want to implement their own specific logic using our hardware, the company provides the Flight Control Computer - Mission Control Computer (FCC-MCC) architecture with which you can implement your own logic and interact safely with the VECTOR-600 and its advanced GNSS-denied navigation capabilities. The VECTOR-MCC also allows the correct segregation between the logic related to stabilization and control and special payloads or mission management. This architecture facilitates the certification process.

It is also important to consider that our Ground Control Station Software “Visionair” is extremely flexible and can be adapted according to the client’s needs. The user may alter the user interface via the layout tool, customize the alarms and gauges and even create their own interface through the Visionair SDK solution.

Finally, our VECTOR-Hardware In the Loop (VECTOR-HIL) enables the simulation of realistic flight conditions. It easily allows changes to the design or simulation model of the platform via your preferred simulation environment (e.g., MATLAB™) and the ability to test the implemented algorithms in a safe environment without any material risk.

In conclusion, UAV Navigation-Grupo Oesía recognizes the critical significance of resilient navigation capabilities in enhancing the performance and operational range of unmanned aircraft. With this awareness, we offer our customers a range of alternatives and different architectures to enable GNSS-denied navigation capabilities in their systems, tailoring our solutions to meet the specific needs of their projects.

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About

UAV Navigation is a privately-owned company that has specialized in the design of flight control solutions for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) since 2004. It is used by a variety of Tier 1 aerospace manufacturers in a wide range of UAV - also known as Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) or 'drones'. These include high-performance tactical unmanned planes, aerial targets, mini-UAVs and helicopters.