From prototype to product: Canadian Army and Defence Scientists field test GPS anti-jamming antenna

May 15, 2014

For Canadian soldiers in the field, accurate positioning and timing information is critical to operations. A few years ago Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) identified a requirement to develop an innovative, low cost solution to protect land vehicles in the Canadian Army like the Light Armoured Vehicle (LAV) III from GPS jamming.

The device has evolved from a prototype to a product undergoing testing through two separate contracts. Under the first contract, an industrial research contract with DRDC, Calgary-based NovAtel developed the GPS Anti-Jamming Technology, or GAJT, prototype. NovAtel continued to develop the technology and recently released a commercially available product, the GAJT-700ML.

"The Canadian Army requires accurate, secure and reliable access to Global Positioning Systems to conduct operations throughout the full spectrum of conflict in all potential theatres of operation,” said Colonel Andrew Jayne, Director Land Requirements. “With the ever-increasing demands on the electromagnetic spectrum and threat of harmful interference, technologies which contribute to the assurance of position and timing information are a critical enabler of Army and Canadian Armed Forces operations in today and tomorrow's operating environment."

“GAJT is a great example of a technology with its roots in research that has evolved through years of work into a product that the CAF can use to their advantage,” said Mike Vinnins, of DRDC’s Navigation Warfare Group.

The Canadian Army’s Directorate of Land Requirements (DLR), the Quality Engineering Test Establishment (QETE) and the Canadian Army Trials and Evaluation Unit (CATEU) conducted field testing of GAJT from 3 to 6 March, 2014 on a LAV III Observation Post Vehicle (OPV) at Canadian Forces Base Garrison Petawawa. Public Works and Government Services Canada procured GAJT for testing through its Build in Canada Innovation Program (BCIP).

Defence Scientists from DRDC’s Navigation Warfare group provided key scientific and technical support at the field test. “We provided localized low power jamming of the LAV III OPV to test the effectiveness of GAJT at preventing interference from GPS jamming,” said Scott McLelland, a DRDC Defence Scientist who attended the test.

DRDC’s data logging equipment was used to record the performance of the LAV III’s navigation systems during the trial. “The data logger integrates into the LAV III’s sophisticated electronics to  capture the data from its navigation systems,” explained McLelland. “It allows the personnel evaluating the test data to visualize the impact of GAJT in jammed and non-jammed environments on the LAV III’s recorded position as it traveled along a predefined route.”

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