Airborne Navigation System for Non-GPS Environments 

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An Air Combat Command F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team aircraft flies during the AirPower over Hampton Roads Open House at Langley Air Force Base, Va., April 24, 2016. The team also works with the Air Force Heritage flight exhibiting the professional qualities the Air Force develops in the people who fly, maintain and support these aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Kayla Newman)

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A platform that blends the GPS satellite navigation system with inertial navigation system (INS) technology was needed at the U.S. Air Force. The solution was found at the EGI-M system. The Air Force announced a $1.4 billion contract to Northrop Grumman to build and support the airborne Embedded Global Positioning System (GPS)/Inertial Navigation System (INS)-Modernization, or EGI-M system.

The navigation systems are for helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft as upgrades to existing systems or as replacements for older and less capable systems.

The EGI is an Army/Navy/Air Force program that developed a small, reliable, lightweight navigation and guidance unit that contains precise position service GPS on one standard electronic module, plus a ring laser gyro (RLG) inertial navigation system.

Based on a modular open-systems architecture, the EGI-M system supports the rapid insertion of new capabilities into military aircraft like the F-22 jet fighter and E-2D carrier-based radar aircraft.

Additionally, the modernized navigation system will incorporate new generation GPS receivers, which will be capable to securely and accurately transmit the new military signals for use in space.

EGI-M technology is designed for compatibility with legacy aircraft, and adds Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) Out to comply with the Federal Aviation Administration’s NextGen air traffic control requirements. ADS-B Out transmits information about an aircraft’s altitude, speed, and location to ground stations and to other equipped aircraft in the vicinity.

The EGI-M is an upgraded version of the Northrop Grumman multiservice Embedded Global Positioning System Inertial Navigation System (EGI) system that combines a GPS receiver card with an INS in one unit.

EGI provides three navigation solutions: GPS only, inertial navigation only, or a blended GPS/INS navigation solution. The EGI system has been in production since the late 1990s, according to militaryaerospace.com.

The company said the modernized navigation system will incorporate new generation GPS receivers. The system is expected to be integrated into a variety of platforms across the branches of the U.S. military, and developed for foreign military sales customers as well.