BAE Systems said on June 6 that it has improved its Digital GPS Anti-Jam Receiver (DIGAR) to allow beamforming with Trimble receivers as well as BAE’s own receivers.

“DIGAR’s beamforming capabilities increase the level of GPS jamming protection for aircraft by a million-fold – helping pilots execute their missions in contested environments,” BAE Systems said.

Assured positoning, navigation and timing for DoD and the Department of Homeland Security is a focus of the Institute of Navigation’s (IoN) annual Joint Navigation Conference

this week in San Diego. Analysts have said that GPS faces significant threats from jamming and spoofing–“smart jamming” in which an adversary transmits false satellite signals to mimic those of GPS.

“The emerging threat of GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) spoofing underlines the importance of developing receivers that are resilient to spoofing attacks,” according to Results on GNSS Spoofing Mitigation Using Multiple Receivers, an IoN paper published this year.

Russia has been “a pioneer” in GPS spoofing within the country and in Ukraine and Syria, and Russia has shown “its willingness to not only deploy these capabilities in protection of VIPs and strategically-important facilities, but also to leverage these techniques to promote its ventures at frontiers in Syria and Russia’s European borders,” according to Above Us Only Stars: Exposing GPS Spoofing in Russia and Syria, a 2019 study by the Washington, D.C.-based C4ADS–the Center for Advanced Defense Studies–think tank.

BAE Systems said that DIGAR is compatible with the GPS M-Code signal and “combines field-proven antenna electronics, advanced signal-processing, and beamforming techniques to improve the reliability of positioning, navigation, and timing data in the presence of disruptive electromagnetic signals.”

GPS M-Code satellites and receivers incorporate seven enhancements, including improved anti-jamming and anti-spoofing.

“BAE Systems’ engineers in Cedar Rapids [Iowa] developed software to ensure the compatibility of its antenna electronics with industry-standard Embedded GPS Inertial Navigation System (EGI) technology, enabling fast communication with transmitter electronics for superior beamforming,” BAE Systems said on June 6. “DIGAR provides the only antenna electronics on the market to beamform with both BAE Systems receivers and Trimble GPS receivers embedded in aircraft EGIs, as well as federated GPS systems and stand-alone GPS receivers.”

Greg Wild, BAE Systems’ director of navigation and sensor systems, said in a statement that “peer state positioning, navigation, and timing threat systems are challenging our ability to conduct combat operations in the place and manner of our choosing.”

“By combining DIGAR’s beamforming with trusted inertial navigation system data, we offer the highest level of jamming protection available today,” he said.

BAE Systems said that it plans to open a “state-of-the-art” 278,000 square foot research and development facility this year in Cedar Rapids, where the company’s GPS business is based.