Military Embedded Systems

Methods for embedding GPS on small UAVs and radios being developed by DARPA, Rockwell Collins


January 16, 2013

John McHale

Editorial Director

Military Embedded Systems

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa. Engineers at Rockwell Collins and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) are embedding GPS navigation capability onto radios and even small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The work is being done as part of DARPA’s Dynamics Enabled Frequency Sources (DEFYS) initiative. Under this program DARPA created small electronic oscillators and Rockwell Collins eningeers are testing the miniature clocks on GPS radios.

“Never before has a microscale oscillator been able to acquire and track GPS,” says John Borghese, Rockwell Collins Advanced Technology Center vice president.

The microscale oscillators produced under DEFYS that are almost 30 times smaller than devices is currently used on GPS receivers. These oscillators also consumer 320 times less power, and are 30 times more stable during extreme vibration conditions. The devices have value beyond GPS systems in areas such as precision munitions, ultra-small UAVs and other applications that demand reduced size, weight, power, and cost (SWaP-C).


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