Approaches to Achieving Position, Navigation & Timing (PNT) Assurance

When GPS-based navigation is put at risk by hostile forces, inertial navigation systems play a crucial role in achieving PNT assurance

As we’ve explored earlier in this series of posts, the threat to modern navigation due to GPS/GNSS disruption has moved from the realm of sci-fi and is here now and actively being used. The Defense Department’s initiative to provide positioning, navigation, and timing or PNT assurance is spurring the defense industry to develop more accurate military grade GPS and GPS-based technologies. This requires a variety of additional data sources such as inertial navigation systems to provide accurate and reliable geolocation redundancy.

Effectively implementing PNT assurance means developing an entire system of technologies and methodologies that go beyond GPS, seamlessly integrated into a single, comprehensive data picture. To achieve PNT assurance requires integrating inertial measurement techniques and other general data analysis with GPS to create a hybrid PNT solution.

One crucial challenge is understanding and implementing a balance between the accuracy and reliability of each of the disparate technologies and methodologies to provide the most complete and accurate source for PNT assurance. Much needed improvements are on the horizon with M-Code upgrades to the military signal that can provide improved anti-jamming capabilities and more dependable, autonomous access to military GPS signals. The concept of maneuverable satellites is also under consideration to deter hostile entities. However, at this time, there is no single product that meets the requirements of a fully developed PNT solution, and GPS vulnerability remains the weak link.

The Key to PNT Assurance: Inertial Navigation Systems

The most viable solution to the PNT assurance challenge is a technology that integrates an inertial navigation system (INS) providing full three-dimensional positioning and navigation capabilities with embedded GPS/GNSS. An attractive feature of this hybrid solution is the synergy achieved between the two technologies.

What makes inertial navigation systems such a key element of PNT assurance is their standalone operation, able to function without external inputs and fill the gaps when GPS might be unavailable due to environmental conditions, jamming, or spoofing.

Learn more about threats to GPS/GNSS availability and accuracy as well as how inertial systems like those from KVH are helping to achieve PNT assurance today and in the future. Download the free ebookPositioning, Navigation & Timing Assurance: Meeting the Growing Threat of GPS/GNSS Disruption, today.

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Position, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) – An Ancient Concept Facing Modern Threats


About Chris Watson 98 Articles
Chris is the senior director of marketing for KVH Industries. A lifelong sailor and storyteller, he's a self-professed geek who finds all of this technical stuff fascinating.