As the use of UAVs is growing, Israeli companies are developing advanced navigation systems that are immune to interferences. Israeli company Asio Technologies, has in recent months supplied hundreds of units of its advanced products, to Israeli and overseas defence companies. The company’s NavGuard is an Advanced Navigation System which is installed on UAVs, helping them navigate safely in areas where the GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) signal is spoofed, jammed, or simply does not exist.
In the modern battlefield, tactical UAV missions rely solely on GNSS for navigation and orientation and any disruption in GNSS service will result in either a mission failure or loss of the UAS. In addition, GNSS can be easily jammed using simple measures – compromising UAS’s on air and grounding all other UAS missions.
NavGuard Advanced Navigation System
According to Asio, NavGuard system enables UAV mission regardless to GNSS availability, maintaining full and continues control over the UAV during GNSS blackout. Asio says that the NavGuard’s drift free core technology is based on cutting-edge machine vision algorithms that process a live video stream of optical images. These are then compared to an on-board geo infrastructure – maps. The real-time matching process generates a stream of low-latency and accurate positioning data, similar in nature to the data structure of GNSS messages, enabling a true supplement of the GNSS service.
NavGuard’s proprietary machine vision algorithms operate on live imagery frames, taken from the NavGuard camera, digitally and continuously comparing them to an aerial map. This process defines a correlation between the real-time image and the map – thus associating the map’s grid to the images’ pixels. This allows the extraction of continuous and accurate pixel coordinates, where every pixel in the image gets a globally referenced coordinate. By doing so in real-time, image-based elements are given real-world coordinates, which in turn generates a real-time low latency, with accurate and drift-free positioning.
The company claims that NavGuard cannot be interrupted or jammed, as it has no need for communication with external sources or components. It adds that NavGuard’s precision, drift-free position solution makes it the only relevant technology that can serve as a true, long-term GNSS replacement. And since GNSS interruptions and jamming are becoming a daily event, this becomes even more important. Militaries and global aviation regulatory agencies are toughening their requirements on navigational robustness. This applies to airborne platforms in general and drones in particular, demanding a robust redundancy navigation capability secondary to the GNSS.
NavGuard is available in three different models:
NOCTA EX: Fully integrated day/night optical navigation module for Large Drones – Medium Fixed Wing.
NOCTA Mini: Fully integrated day/night optical navigation module, but smaller in size, for Medium –Large Drones.
NG Core: Lightweight, compact day-only optical navigation module for Small – Medium Drones.
“In an age where autonomous UAVs, drones and aircraft are becoming an integral part of our population’s lives both in the military and civilian worlds – with medical shipments, food deliveries and other cargo – extra caution is needed when it comes to UAS in urban spaces. NavGuard constitutes a complete and advanced safety solution for securing flight sequences in diverse spaces. We anticipate that major UAS companies will be equipped with our safety solution.” Said David Harel, CEO of Asio Technologies.