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New Military M-Code Receiver from L-3 IEC

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from GPSworld

L-3 Interstate Electronics Corporation (IEC) has launched its next-generation military GPS receiver, featuring what it reports as "significant performance, form factor, and cost improvements."

The new receiver utilizes a common GPS module (CGM) that processes GPS precise code (P-code), coarse/acquisition (C/A)code and next-generation M-Code signals. It also provides a common security architecture with improved anti-jam and anti-spoof capabilities. The modernized CGM is standard and backward-compatible, making it suitable for a variety of GPS receiver platforms. This standard module design helps eliminate the cost of developing custom modules for each individual application.

“This provides the warfighter with a higher level of security in GPS-denied and GPS-challenged environments," said Ric Pozo, vice president and general manager of navigation systems for L-3 Interstate Electronics Corporation.

In addition to the CGM, the new M-Code receiver will utilize a single system-on-chip (SoC) application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC), which integrates selective availability anti-spoofing module (SAASM), GPS P/Y and C/A functions together with the new military M-Code signal, in a single, low-cost unit. The unit’s product security architecture supports the production of receivers and higher-level systems in unclassified production facilities, further lowering the final system cost. L-3 IEC plans to produce the M-Code receiver in alternative, small form factors for precision weapons, handheld devices, and unmanned systems.

In a January 2010 interview with Don Jewell of GPS World, Col. Bernie Gruber of the GPS Director stated, "The Modernized User Equipment (MUE) program was established to leverage technology demonstrations to significantly reduce risk and ensure a high probability of success for the Military GPS User Equipment (MGUE) program. We have received working hardware from each of the three MUE vendors and government testing is under way. The MGUE program has progressed nicely through the latest series of program reviews and we anticipate a Milestone A decision in early 2011. MGUE will provide the warfighter with next-generation capabilities including a more secure GPS receiver and use of a more robust GPS military signal."

The MGUE initiative seeks to make military end-user equipment, which has been notoriously user non-friendly and has motivated many warfighters in the field to equip themselves with non-authorized consumer units, more application-specific and more user-friendly, with military-authorized features that support the specific conditions of military operating environments. In other words, the military is trying to catch up with technical advances in consumer products and meet customer demands from its own users — service personnel in the field.

The target of this effort has been the aforementioned CGM that constitutes a GPS engine for which product integrators can build applications. Initial contracts are meant to deliver a module and a CGM-based card. The CGM itself would be incorporated into platforms chosen by the various military branches and loaded with possibly hundreds of mission-specific applications. The CGM-based card is intended for than 70,000 ground-embedded platforms — tanks, personnel carriers, and more.

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