Blog Editor’s Note: The author is RNTF President, Dana A. Goward
The U.S. Department of Defense wants help making sense of commercially and publicly available information that could be used to detect GNSS disruptors, especially over large areas.
Obtaining the ability to detect and geolocate GNSS disruptions has been cited as an unmet need in a number of U.S. national policies and plans dealing with positioning, navigation and timing.
The recently posted solicitation calls the project “HARMONIOUS ROOK – Situational Awareness for Intentional Disruption of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Users.” The solicitation says:
“The Department of Defense (DoD) seeks commercial solutions leveraging machine-driven analytics and datasets derived from publicly/commercially available information (PAI/CAI) to provide a situational awareness capability for intentional global navigation satellite system (GNSS) disruptions. This solicitation is particularly focused on persistent, large-area coverage of falsified GNSS emitters that result in localized spoofing phenomenology.”
Studies and analyses by non-profit organizations and commercial entities have demonstrated the ability of non-governmental organizations to do this kind of work and produce remarkable results. In 2017, our Resilient Navigation and Timing Foundation detected and reported on widespread GPS spoofing in the Black Sea.
Another non-profit, C4ADS, built upon our work and produced a detailed 2019 report on GPS spoofing in Russia and Syria. In 2019 and 2020, the environmentally oriented non-profit SkyTruth reported on circle spoofing in China and around the globe. In July, SkyTruth revealed warship activities being misreported in Automatic Identification System databases.
This acquisition is being led by the Defense Innovation Unit, or DIU. The unit was specifically created to accelerate the adoption of commercial technology and services by the defense and national security establishments. While letting a traditional DoD contract for a prototype can often take up to 18 months, DIU aims to award contracts within 60 to 90 days of identifying the problem.
To do this, DIU uses the government’s “commercial solutions opening” process, which is designed to be simple and quick.
Companies who provide analytic services and those who have unique data sets are both encouraged to apply. The deadline is August 23.
Dana A. Goward is president of the Resilient Navigation and Timing Foundation