The mission of the Guidance, Navigation and Control (GNC) CapTech is to support and foster Research & Technology (R&T) and innovations for military systems in underpinning guidance, navigation and control technologies, and techniques for defence systems.
The Area of Responsibility (AoR) of the CapTech GNC covers critical Guidance, Navigation and Control technologies for improved autonomy and automation, increased performance, and dependability in support to future defence capability needs. R&T activities within the CapTech aim to contribute to improved operational effectiveness, enhanced situational awareness, safety and security, and to support future Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) superiority needs.
The CapTech GNC provides expertise within the AoR by performing technology watch and foresight, identifying, and assessing gaps and technological shortfalls, and establishing the relevant roadmaps and joint research projects and programmes supporting the development of the relevant Capability Development Plan (CDP) priorities.
CapTech GNC focuses its work in the areas of:
- Innovative navigation, timing and positioning systems and solutions for challenging environment providing globally available functionalities (navigation warfare, indoor, underwater operations, etc.) including work on hybridisation of sensors and real time processing;
- Novel and performance enhancing navigation, guidance and control technologies (e.g. for sensors and actuators to optimise size, weight, power and cost - SWaP-C);
- Guidance and control techniques for platforms and weapons;
- Precision guidance solutions;
- Enhanced autonomous and automated mobility functions;
- Effective multi-robot control and cooperation;
- Verification and validation for GNC and autonomous systems (trusted autonomy).
According to the 2017 review of the CapTech Strategic Research Agenda (SRA), a total of eight most relevant technological R&T priorities have been identified and translated into Technology Building Block (TBB) following a harmonised structure across the different CapTechs’ SRAs and allowing a systematic development of an Overarching Strategic Research Agenda (OSRA).
The CapTech GNC’s TBBs, as they stand today, are the following:
- TBB01 - Navigation in GNSS denied environment
- TBB02 - Position, Navigation and Timing (PNT) superiority and integration into operations and systems
- TBB03 - Guidance and control in challenged environments
- TBB04 - Autonomous and automated GNC and decision-making techniques for manned and unmanned systems
- TBB05 - Fault Tolerant Control (FTC)
- TBB06 - Multi-robot control and cooperation
- TBB07 - Precision guidance and control of weapons
- TBB08 - Key Enabling and Performance Enhancing GNC technologies
The key technology areas of research are closely linked to the EDA R&T taxonomy allocated to the CapTech and the work is generally in the range of TRL from 2 to 6.
As the technologies under the scope of the CapTech navigation provide elements common to all the platform CapTechs, it can act as conduit with the European Commission where dual use synergies are possible on the component level. Example areas would be robotics, indoor navigation for first responders, and aircraft guidance and control.
The CapTech GNC investigates synergies and seeks for opportunities for joint activities through its interactions with other relevant organizations such as the European Commission, the European Space Agency, and the EU Agency for the Space Programme.
The SRA, developed and agreed within the CapTech, is the tool providing strategic guidance to the activities within the group. In particular, the SRA guides R&T efforts and cooperation through mid- to long-term planning efforts derived from national R&T agendas and analysis of the CDP.
Most of the work of the CapTech is carried out in the frame of CapTech meetings, workshops, and seminars. CapTech GNC meetings are held up to 2 to 3 times per year. Seminars and Workshops are also planned according to the CapTech work plan and identified needs and generally coupled to formal CapTech meetings. All the information is shared in its workspace.
The main aims of the meetings are:
- To generate pMS collaborative R&T Projects and Programmes within the Area of Responsibility of the CapTech;
- To propose and implement EDA-funded studies in specific areas to form a common understanding on research requirements;
- Contribute with the necessary expertise when required in preparing wider project and programmes.
Requests for membership to the CapTech can be submitted to the CapTech Moderator and granted by the respective CapTech National Coordinator. Be aware that your request will be forwarded to your national authorities, in the person of the relevant CNC. The approval of the CNC will be needed to become a Governmental Expert (CGE) or non-Governmental Expert (CnGE), and for your participation in a CapTech event. To become a member of the CapTech (CGE or CnGE), please contact us at: Cap.Tech.Navigation@eda.europa.eu
Ongoing and Finalised Activities
- APOS-UE (Advanced Position and Orientation System for Urban Environment): the APOS-UE project aims at demonstrating how a future system will provide soldiers with the capability of both absolute and relative accurate positioning and orientation in urban environments, including indoor, GNSS being available, or denied. To this objective, the program will develop one functional demonstrator that will permit evaluation of functionalities and performances during test campaigns with data post processed.
- RIPTIDE (Resilient PNT Testing For Defence): the objective of RIPTIDE is to provide to the cMS a framework to cooperate, share information, and resources in the field of Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) testing in a multinational framework for the benefit of the wider EU defence forces optimising the use of EU resources. Contributing members are to define, organize and conduct common events in the field of PNT superiority testing and awareness for defence users by making available to the cMS different test ranges, test equipment, and test platforms.
- MODE-N (Terrestrial Positioning, Navigation and Timing System – Military): the objective of Mode-N is to initiate a collaborative effort and progress further in the R&T needed to ensure the readiness of an Alternative Positioning, Navigation and Timing (A-PNT) solution as a backup to the GNSS service in military aviation. It aims to provide one possible basis to replace TACAN by 2035.