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Friday, May 6, 2016

Navigation, Even Without GPS

Draper expands Huntsville operations to address Army capabilities

CAMBRIDGE, MA – The U.S. military relies heavily on GPS signals to conduct its mission-critical operations. U.S. adversaries have taken note and developed capabilities to disrupt access to the satellite signals. North Korea, for example, has blocked GPS access along its border, and Iran broadcast counterfeit signals as part of its effort to capture a U.S. drone.

Draper plans to help address threats like GPS interference, in part, by expanding its Huntsville, Alabama business operations with the intention of increasing collaboration with U.S. Army organizations. Draper has tapped Spence Guida, a retired Army colonel, to lead Army projects for the Huntsville office in order to apply Draper’s extensive research and development expertise to a broad range of Army requirements.

“Nearly all Army platforms and subsystems rely on GPS-based positioning and navigation. Our objective is to leverage Draper’s core engineering competencies in navigation, secure and assured systems, and microsystems to improve Army capabilities in the face of threats from GPS and communications jamming as well as cyber-attacks. This is just one of the many ways Draper can help the Army achieve mission success,” Guida explained. “Draper’s technical strength, combined with its experience developing rapid prototype solutions, can help the Army better counter asymmetric threats and highly adaptable adversaries.”

In addition to working with navigational systems, the Draper office can also assist the Army with projects including cybersecurity, technology protection and miniature cryptography for high stress environments.

Draper’s engineering expertise and solutions, including chipscale atomic clock technology, can help Army soldiers and systems operate through environments where GPS signals are degraded or not available.
Capabilities Used
Autonomous Systems

Draper combines mission planning, PN&T, situational awareness, and novel GN&C designs to develop and deploy autonomous platforms for ground, air, sea and undersea needs. These systems range in complexity from human-in-the-loop to systems that operate without any human intervention. The design of these systems generally involves decomposing the mission needs into sets of scenarios that result in trade studies that lead to an optimized solution with key performance requirements.  Draper continues to advance the field of autonomy through research in the areas of mission planning, sensing and perception, mobility, learning, real-time performance evaluation and human trust in autonomous systems.

Secure & Assured Systems

Over the past 10 years, Draper has extracted miniature systems and real-time embedded systems design knowledge to develop cyber capabilities to assess software vulnerabilities and capabilities to secure electronics systems. Additionally, Draper has demonstrated secure networks featuring over-the-air keying to realize cryptographically encoded, high-bandwidth communications for UAVs and other applications. These complementary capabilities and technologies provide robust security solutions to guard critical embedded systems against cyber, reverse engineering, and other attacks and ensure that critical information can be protected and delivered in a timely and accurate manner.

Precision Instrumentation

Draper develops precision instrumentation systems that exceed the state-of-the-art in key parameters (input range, accuracy, stability, bandwidth, ruggedness, etc.) that are designed specifically to operate in our sponsor’s most challenging environments (high shock, high temperature, radiation, etc.).  As a recognized leader in the development and application of precision instrumentation solutions for platforms ranging from missiles to people to micro-Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), Draper finds or develops state-of-the-art components (gyros, accelerometers, magnetometers, precision clocks, optical systems, etc.) that meet the demanding size, weight, power and cost needs of our sponsors and applies extensive system design capabilities consisting of modeling, mechanical and electrical design, packaging and development-level testing to realize instrumentation solutions that meet these critical and demanding needs.

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