The Israeli companies infiDome and Easy Aeroal, in collaboration with the American Honeywell, demonstrated in November 2021 their resilient navigation solution adapted to drones to accomplish critical missions in environments contested and denied by GPS.
According to the companies’ announcement, the three parties demonstrated the fully operational robust navigation system, which integrates GPS anti-jamming technology (GPSdome), inertial system (NCINS) and radar speed system (HRVS) in the very first fully resilient navigation system allowing drones to not only stay in the sky, but actually do their job.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) rely almost entirely on Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) for basic navigation, especially BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line Of Sight) and autonomous operations. Due to weak GNSS signals, drones are extremely susceptible to jamming attacks, which can be carried out at great distances using inexpensive jammers purchased online.
The robust navigation system, jointly developed by Honeywell and infiniDome, solves the above-mentioned problem by closely combining the Honeywell Compct Inertial NAvigation (HCINS) based inertial navigation system (HCINS) based on GNSS and GPS anti-jamming technology (GPSdome). infidome, integrated into Honeywell’s radar. -Based Velocity System (HRVS). The rugged navigation system is a one-stop-shop that can be installed on almost any UAV with a common flight controller (e.g. PixHawk) providing it with continuous and accurate navigation data in contested GNSS or fully GNSS denied environments.
The main objective of the demonstration was to prove the capabilities of the robust navigation system to maintain autonomous navigation operation for multi-helicopters in different GPS / GNSS interference scenarios. The test was set up at the test range in central Israel where 2 military grade directional jammers (different types and bandwidths) were used to jam the navigation system of a functioning Easy Aerial Osprey Hexa-copter with a PixHawk 2.1 Cube Black.
The companies claim that the aim of the test was to show that a UAV protected by the rugged navigation system, in a harsh environment by GPS (one way jamming) and a totally denied environment (multiple directions of strong jamming by jammers from military grade) can perform BVLOS and Autonomous tasks accurately and safely without having to assume manual control of the drone. According to the parties involved, the test showed and recorded that the UAV, protected by the rugged navigation system solution, passed all the expected tests and proved that in a contested GNSS environment and even in a fully GNSS denied environment, the UAV can not only safely land or return home, it can accomplish its BVLOS / Autonomous mission.
The test also showed that an unprotected drone, when attacked by the same jammers, loses position accuracy and GNSS correction within 3-5 seconds, tilts to an aggressive angle and takes off in seconds. in a random direction. The only way to keep it from drifting for miles and eventually crashing is to take manual control and visually bring it back.