Image: RNT Foundation

What’s New: The Department of Transportation (DOT) issued a Request for Information on “Complementary Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT).”

Why It’s Important: Those familiar with the issue all agree that GPS is insufficient for some critical applications. For example:

  • It is too easy to disrupt accidentally or on purpose.
  • Solar activity can also interfere with signals.
  • Most users are unable to authenticate signals.

What Else to Know: DOT looks like they are serious about the federal government acquiring some complementary PNT service(s).

  • The reply window is only 14 days (closes on 25 Sep) and the response requirements are not onerous.  This usually means they have a good idea of what they want and are just making sure there isn’t something else out there they might have missed.
  • We are reliably informed there will be a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) shortly after the RFI closes and responses are reviewed. BAAs are acquisition tools, so this means the government is actually going to buy something!
  • DOT released its Complementary PNT Action Plan at the same time. The sub-title of this document is “DOT Actions to Drive CPNT Adoption.” – We are still reading this and will post on it in the near future.


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General Information

  • Contract Opportunity Type: Sources Sought (Original)
  • All Dates/Times are: (UTC-04:00) EASTERN STANDARD TIME, NEW YORK, USA
  • Original Published Date: Sep 11, 2023 02:44 pm EDT
  • Original Response Date: Sep 25, 2023 04:00 pm EDT
  • Inactive Policy: 15 days after response date
  • Original Inactive Date: Oct 10, 2023
  • Initiative:
    • None


  • Original Set Aside:
  • NAICS Code:
    • 541330 – Engineering Services
  • Place of Performance:


Notice Type:

Request for Information

1.0 Summary

This Request for Information (RFI) is one of U.S. Department of Transportation’s (U.S. DOT) steps in driving adoption of Complementary Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) services to augment Global Positioning System (GPS) for the Nation’s transportation system, and through the Executive Branch Interagency Process, for other critical infrastructure sectors. U.S. DOT is planning a resiliency test, evaluation, and performance monitoring strategy for PNT-dependent transportation systems. Taken together with efforts of other Federal partners, these initiatives will strengthen resilience of the Nation’s PNT-dependent systems through the U.S. Government’s purchasing power as a demanding customer of Complementary PNT (CPNT) services, along with critical infrastructure owners and operators, resulting in safer, more secure critical infrastructure for the nation.

The U.S. DOT John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center (Volpe Center) located in Cambridge, MA, is conducting market research to identify interested and capable CPNT vendors who may be interested and open to participating in U.S. DOT’s field test trials as part of the U.S. DOT’s CPNT Action Plan.  This RFI Notice does not constitute a solicitation and is not to be construed as a commitment by the U.S. Government. The U.S. Government will not pay for any effort expended in responding to this notice.

Section 3 provides an overview of the U.S. DOT information sought which will inform the next steps in the approach for driving CPNT adoption to support PNT resiliency in the context of operational field test ranges. Expectations for CPNT operational services are outlined as part of the field test range models.

The Volpe Center is issuing this RFI seeking information from industry about availability and interest in carrying out a small-scale deployment of very high technical readiness level (Technology Readiness Level (TRL)≥8) CPNT technologies at a field test range to characterize the capabilities and limitations of such technologies to provide PNT information that meet critical infrastructure needs when GPS service is not available and/or degraded due environmental, unintentional, and/or intentional disruptions. This deployment is intended to test these technologies against CI relevant requirements in order to gain confidence in performance and foster user adoption.

A CPNT technology in this RFI refers to a technology capable of providing critical infrastructure users and operators positioning and/or timing information that is derived independently from Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS). The primary objective of considering such technologies is to enhance the availability and resiliency of PNT information to critical infrastructure systems under U.S. DOT’s strategy for risk-based management of PNT service.  Response to the RFI should include a Statement of Capabilities of the CPNT service(s) available from the Respondee.  Additional details pertinent to the requested information below should align with the items listed in Section 3 Information Requested.