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Future of Air Navigation: Resistance to Vulnerability

June 5, 2014

Aviation International News, May 2, 2014 By John Sheridan

Resilience–broadly, the ability to readily recover from external disturbances–seems likely to become the next buzzword in aviation’s lexicon. It is gaining acceptance primarily to describe a future world air navigation system’s resistance to interruptions and outright signal loss, to provide pilots with essential, unfailing position, navigation and timing (PNT) data. Resilience came to the fore at a February conference on GNSS vulnerability, sponsored by the UK Institute of Navigation.

“PNT service has become a worldwide utility–thanks to GPS,” pointed out keynote speaker Dr. Brad Parkinson, known as “the father of GPS” for his earlier leadership as a USAF Colonel in the system’s development. In fact, he added, “PNT service is now worth billions of dollars a year, yet taken for granted. On the other hand, this service is potentially threatened by jamming and related threats. I subscribe to PTA–protect, toughen and augment–this valuable asset. Particularly appealing is the use of eLoran to augment or serve as a stand-alone service. In this role, eLoran would be a powerful deterrent to malicious interference.”

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