Monday, December 3rd, 2021 Israel, infiniDome, Honeywell and Easy Aerial, demonstrated the first UAV-tailored , Robust Navigation System which integrates GPS anti-jamming technology (#GPSdome), Radar Velocity System (#HRVS) and Inertial Navigation System (#HCINS) into the first-ever fully resilient system allowing UAVs not only to safely operate but successfully complete their missions, even in GPS challenged or fully denied environments.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are being increasingly used in what were traditionally manned missions in Defence, HLS (Homeland Security), and commercial applications as their price goes down, their capabilities improve, and regulation for them eases.
However, said UAVs, whether a 20 lbs class-1 multi-copter or a 150 lbs class-3 fixed-wing UAV rely almost entirely on GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) for the most basic of functionality required for navigation, particularly for BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line Of Sight) and autonomous operations.
Due to the weak and vulnerable nature of the GNSS signal, it is extremely susceptible to jamming attacks which today could be carried out from large distances using a $50 jammer bought online. UAV developers or end users currently try to solve this problem either by creating “safe landing protocols” in GNSS-challenged environments or by adding various types of sensors (e.g., LiDAR, optical, etc.) to their flight controllers which provide, only in some scenarios, a reasonable source of positioning data. The problem is that they do not work in many situations such as when flying too high, too low, too fast, fog, darkness, above sea and other such scenarios.
The Robust Navigation System, jointly developed by Honeywell and infiniDome, solves the above-mentioned problem.
By tightly pairing the GNSS-based UAV-tailored Honeywell’s Compact Inertial Navigation System (HCINS) with infiniDome’s GNSS anti-jamming technology (GPSdome), integrated with Honeywell’s Radar-based Velocity System (HRVS) Robust Navigation System is a holistic solution that could be installed on almost any UAV providing it with continuous, accurate navigation data in GNSS-challenged or fully GNSS-denied environments.
- The goal of the demonstration
- Prove the Robust Navigation System capabilities in maintaining autonomous navigation operation for multi-copters under different GPS/GNSS jamming scenarios
- Israeli defence primes, drone and UAV companies and government end-users.
- The testing setup
- Testing range in the center of Israel
- 2 military-grade directional jammers (different types & band widths)
- The system under test
- Customized version of the Osprey Hexa-copter
- Flight controller: PixHawk 2.1 Cube Black
- GPS 1 input – Here2 standard GNSS receiver + antenna module
- Demo purpose
- Regular, unprotected UAV, when faced with military-grade jammers, within 3-5 seconds, loses GNSS accuracy, tilts at an aggressive angle and takes off in seconds. The only way to avoid it drifting kilometers away and eventually crashing, is by assuming manual control and visually bringing the UAV back.
- In this demo, our goal was to show that the UAV, under a GPS challenged environment (single direction of jamming) and fully denied environment (multiple directions of powerful jamming), can perform BVLOS and autonomous tasks accurately and safely without needing to assume manual control of the UAV. Each test was designed to be more difficult than its predecessor and would be executed only if the previous one was successful. The intention was to find the barrier at which the system fails.
- Course of the test
- The first test was maintaining the UAV height (AltHold), position (PosHold) and Loiter autonomously under the above-mentioned jamming conditions.
- Once proved, we planned to perform a simple point-to-point autonomous task under the same jamming conditions,
- Then, perform a full autonomous task including executing a 10-point polygon and returning to same position accurately under same jamming conditions.
- Finally, the test was performing the lift-off, executing the full polygon described above, and landing under jamming conditions from before lift-off.
- Sanity check: the Robust Navigation System was disconnected, leaving the UAV unprotected, in simple loitering mode, a single jammer was operated, the UAV aggressively drifted off in seconds, only to be stopped and controlled manually by the operator.
- Results and conclusions
- The UAV, protected by the Robust Navigation System solution, passed all planned tests and proved that in GNSS-challenged environment and even in full GNSS-denied environment, the UAV can not only safely land or return home, but it can also complete its BVLOS / Autonomous mission.
The GPS Security Company provides front-end cyber solutions for drones, fleets, and critical infrastructure assets making the next generation of unmanned autonomy safe. InfiniDome’s GPS protection solutions are tailored for defending GPS systems that rely on weak and vulnerable signals, making them highly susceptible to jamming and spoofing attacks. InfiniDome is disrupting the anti-jamming market by delivering the industry’s first non-military anti-jamming solution designed for small commercial applications.
About Honeywell Aerospace
Honeywell Aerospace products and services are found on virtually every commercial, defense and space aircraft. The Aerospace business unit builds aircraft engines, cockpit and cabin electronics, wireless connectivity systems, mechanical components and more. It’s hardware and software solutions create more fuel-efficient aircraft, more direct and on-time flights and safer skies and airports. For more information, visit www.honeywell.com or follow us at @Honeywell_Aero.
About Easy Aerial
Easy Aerial is the leading provider of autonomous drone-based monitoring solutions for government, enterprise, and defense applications. Easy Aerial’s unique free-flight tethered, and optionally tethered drone-in-a-box systems are payload agnostic, fully autonomous, modular, portable, and rugged, with the ability to operate in the most adverse weather conditions. They can be deployed anywhere for many mission-critical applications such as perimeter and border security, event monitoring, first responder support, agriculture monitoring, industrial inspection, and tactical military maneuvers without the need for a human operator. Easy Aerial is an ISO9001 and AS9100 certified company founded in 2015 with headquarters in Brooklyn, New York, and regional offices in Tel-Aviv, Israel, and Belgrade, Serbia. Learn more at www.easyaerial.com