This article explains how iXblue’s Advans Series range of Inertial Navigation Systems (INS) does not require any external signal to produce navigational data and therefore cannot be jammed or spoofed, guaranteeing military vehicles and crews remain on a safe path and know where they are at all times.
Modern Conflicts, Modern Threats
Modern conflicts are subject to a dangerous duality. On one hand, as contemporary equipment gets more technological, there is an increasing emphasis on inter-connectivity and reliance on digital devices. This is especially true for land navigation as vehicles will be (and in some cases, already are) transmitting their live position to one another in order to maximize coordination between units. Having reliable navigation is therefore critical, especially in the face of tomorrow’s collaborative combat.
On the other hand, electronic warfare is increasingly present on the battlefield. It is getting easier for top militaries to disrupt the GNSS (such as GPS, Galileo…) signal in a large area, even several hundred kilometers square. This disruption comes mainly in two forms: GNSS jamming, which renders the signal unavailable, and GNSS spoofing, which has the potential to lure unsuspecting targets in undesirable locations.
Relying solely on the GNSS signal for real-time positioning of a vehicle is therefore dangerous in case of a conflict between peer or near-peer nations. Entire units are at risk of losing track of their position, and consequently having to forfeit entirely their most technological subsystems by resorting to old-fashioned navigation methods, which take over brainpower when the workload of operators is already critical, are less accurate and remain subject to human errors.
iXblue’s Advans Series range of INS answers this jamming and spoofing risk without having to resort to such degraded methods. By not requiring any external signal to produce navigational data, Advans Series INS can’t be jammed or spoofed, which guarantees the vehicle and its crew remain on a safe path and know where they are at all times.
Using an INS to Preserve Critical Navigation
Advans Series is comprised of three different INS with different levels of performance, but with all of them able to provide accurate positioning in all environments.
Advans Ursa is a cost-effective INS dedicated to tactical navigation. It is the ideal solution to equip a fleet of several hundred vehicles. Its performance allows for undisrupted and accurate navigation over 0.4% of the traveled distance, so for every 25km traveled, the INS will have a maximum of 100m drift. This drift can easily be fixed by repositioning the INS by using a waypoint on the map, such as the road layout.
Advans Lyra is next in line in terms of performance, with a drift lower than 0.2% of the traveled distance. Advans Lyra can serve multiple duties on the same platform, by being performant enough to provide pointing capabilities. Lastly, Advans Vega is the highest performance INS of this range, with a drift lower than 0.1% of the traveled distance. It is particularly fit for smaller fleets of high added value vehicles such as Main Battle Tanks (MBT). On top of its navigation capabilities, it can provide extremely accurate pointing to the weapon systems, as well as be used for long-range pointing (artillery) and radars.
Advans Series are highly reliable INS, they are built to endure the harshest of environments. With an operating temperature range between -32°C and +71°C, no matter where the operation takes place, the INS won’t fail. They can endure high stresses such as strong shocks and intense vibrations, which are commonly faced by land vehicles outside and during combat.
Lastly, all critical subcomponents from the fiber in the fiber-optic gyroscopes to the accelerometers are made in France, by iXblue. Consequently, Advans Series is deprived of ITAR/EAR restricted components and are solely subject to French export control.