Northrop Grumman Corporation has been awarded a follow-on Phase II contract by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to demonstrate an open architecture system that enables plug-and-play navigation under the All Source Positioning and Navigation (ASPN) program.
The ASPN program seeks to enable low-cost, robust and seamless integration of navigation sensors. Northrop Grumman is leveraging its scalable node architecture to provide a reconfigurable plug-and-play system that will accommodate any combination of a large and rapidly expanding array of sensors and measurements as they become available from different vendors or as the mission requires.
Under an 18-month contract, Northrop Grumman will demonstrate the scalability of its open architecture by implementing it into Android-based hand-held devices such as mobile phones. The architecture is scalable across navigation systems – from low-cost personal devices to high-end aircraft navigators – and will significantly reduce integration costs.
"This architecture for plug-and-play navigation systems will increase the flexibility and effectiveness of the sensors available to the warfighters," said Charles Volk, a vice president and a chief technologist at Northrop Grumman's Electronic Systems sector. "The ability to dynamically modify the navigation sensor sources will be a force multiplier for the warfighters."
The ASPN architecture was developed to deliver a product that aligns with open, industry-accepted standards and interfaces, and maximizes use of commercial off-the-shelf software products to ensure openness of the architecture and to protect against obsolescence.