DARPA Dives In to Underwater Navigation Project

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May 26, 2016 | Originally published by Date Line: May 26 on

POSYDON aims to replace current navigational methods that pose a detection risk for undersea vehicles forced to surface periodically to access the space-based Global Positioning System (GPS), which cannot sufficiently penetrate seawater. In addition, access to above-water GPS may be denied by hostile signal jamming.

Defense officials have been addressing the proliferation of threats in the undersea domain, with Defense Secretary Ashton Carter directing $600 million over the next five years toward unmanned undersea technology development. Part of this effort is aimed at building a reliable undersea navigation system, similar to above-ground GPS, that can resist potential jamming attempts by adversaries.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Positioning System for Deep Ocean Navigation, or POSYDON, is one such project that seeks to allow undersea vehicles to accurately navigate beneath the ocean’s surface. BAE has been selected by DARPA to work on the first phase of the two-phase POSYDON project to “step through or to start showing the capability in a phased approach so that there’s a way for them [DARPA] to measure a certain amount of success so that they can then make decisions on whether or not they’re going to continue with [it],” Geoffrey Edelson, director of Maritime Systems and Technology at BAE, said in an interview.

DARPA Official Announcement:http://www.darpa.mil/program/positioning-system-for-deep-ocean-navigation