GPS? Yes, but with backup

GPS is a very handy tool that is now a part of all smartphones. It is also used to navigate aircraft, unmanned air systems (UAS) and weapon systems.

But this handy tool can be disrupted with a small system that can be purchased for as little as $100.

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), a leading UAS manufacturer, has used its expertise in other fields to come up with small, lightweight navigation systems for UAS that are not susceptible to jamming.

A few days ago the Tamam division of IAI partially revealed the Tamam Navigation (TN) family of airborne navigation systems made for use on UAS.

The family includes the TNL-16G INS/GPS for medium-class UAS and two new systems: the TNF Attitude Heading and Reference System (AHRS), for small-size UAS; and the TNL-16GI high-end embedded GPS inertial (EGI) navigation system, for medium altitude long endurance (MALE) UAS.

TN systems use IAI’s proven inertial sensors (FOG and RLG gyroscopes and advanced accelerometers). The TN products are in serial production. Hundreds of units, totalling $100 million worldwide, have been delivered to customers in recent years.

Igal Mevorach, Tamam’s director of marketing, said that whole areas can be obscured from systems with GPS signals that can be easily purchased on the open market. And then there is “spoofing”, where the GPS provides incorrect data that someone had inserted.

So, Tamam went back to the good old inertial navigation units, but made them with the latest technology, which includes a ring laser gyro.

GPS is here to stay in military systems, but serious users will not depend on it.

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