Image: US Air Force F-22 Staff Sgt. James Richardson
We were interested to see this news release publish recently.
Glad to see Air Force looking to include other GNSS (presumably Galileo). It wasn’t that long ago the Congress was holding money back from the Secretary of the Air Force’s front office because the service had failed to comply with a directive to build a prototype GPS & Galileo receiver.
Also good to see they are looking at other technologies to add to their existing INS and GPS combo.
Celestial is mentioned below as one example. For those unfamiliar, we have heard advanced celestial nav systems are able to use the moon and some stars even during the day. Not sure about the SWAP-C or TRL, though. Anyone have any info on that? If so, please send to [email protected].
Air Reserve Personnel Center
The Resilient Embedded Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation System program, or R-EGI for short, is one of the AFLCMC’s solutions to building resiliency into aircraft navigation systems.
“We are modernizing GPS navigation systems,” said Jamey Sillence, Electronic Warfare and Avionics deputy senior materiel leader. “In the spirit of (Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr.’s) ‘Accelerate, Change or Lose’, we are bringing modernization to Robins AFB and the whole Air Force.”
The evolution of electronic warfare is in the works via a prototype that can be used on weapons systems – like the F-15 EX, F-16 Fighting Falcon and MC-130J Commando II — offering an alternative precision, navigation and timing capabilities when GPS is not available.
“Our mission is to make sure the United States military and those of our allies can navigate anywhere around the globe whenever they need to,” said Lt. Col. Robinson Hughes, AFLCMC Position, Navigation Timing Office materiel leader. “We all are reliant on U.S. GPS, and adversaries are developing capabilities with the potential to disrupt our way of life. Plus, there are natural events that can disrupt satellites. What happens if we don’t have access to GPS?
“Civil governments around the world are exploring solutions to introduce resilience into their infrastructures and minimize the impact of this situation. R-EGI is the solution for our military aviation fleet,” Hughes said.
The R/EGI Navigation System prototype is still in development and is scheduled to enter the flight-testing phase in 2024.
“My team keeps U.S. military PNT receivers operating for our customers. We are now developing the next generation of user equipment,” Hughes continued. “The system going forward will have an incredible amount of agility built into it where we can improve capability much more quickly than today.”
Maintaining an edge over adversaries is the goal and the Department of Defense is developing alternative PNT capabilities as back up options.
“By branching out to other sources of PNT, like using other global navigation systems and nontraditional sources like celestial navigation, we increase the probability that our aircraft can navigate anywhere they really need to be,” Hughes said. “There is no doubt the AFLCMC PNT Office is taking General Brown’s action order seriously. They are leading the way to accelerate changes and defining the future of PNT systems.”