Helix Geospace wins UK grant for GNSS-denied environments
Helix Geospace has announced its participation in the ‘Future flights challenge phase 3′ project along with Windracers, Distributed Avionics, the University of Bristol and University of Sheffield. The Innovate UK funded project will demonstrate how large unmanned systems (with a maximum take-off weight of 450kg) can be used to solve environmental protection concerns in GNSS-denied environments, functioning in swarms and utilising a combination of digital twinning, computer vision, and real-world flight testing.
The aim of the project is to prove that a single remote operator and local safety pilot can handle many unmanned devices and maintain continuous communication in GNSS denied environments.
Commercially available antennas are susceptible to jamming and spoofing, but our Dielectrix™ antennas are built into a sophisticated array system that can detect all jamming and spoofing events, pinpoint their precise source, and then eliminate their impact, maintaining the accuracy and resilience of GNSS PNT in GNSS denied environments.
Collaboration with NERC British Antarctic Survey and Lancashire Fire and Rescue will provide proof of exploitation and public engagement, for the project. The Windracers aircraft will be equipped with British Antarctic Survey scientific research equipment and will be flown in the environmentally challenging Antarctica region to gather novel research data, previously not achieved before at this scale. The collaboration with Lancashire Fire and Rescue will help to develop a solution for early fire detection and mitigation. The Windracers aircraft will be retrofitted with sensors and fire mitigation technology providing an airborne system that will patrol high-risk areas. during the peak summer season.
Oliver Leister, Chief Technology Officer at Helix Geospace says, “Due to the weak and vulnerable nature of the GNSS signal, the signal is extremely susceptible to jamming and spoofing. Our solution does not rely on additional sensors to aid position data, which could be compromised in various environments. Our antenna with its sophisticated array system provides a resilient solution that not only affords autonomous mitigation to PNT disruption but promulgates intelligence on the threat/disruption landscape vital for mission critical applications. Our collaboration within this project will help us to yield valuable test data and support us in setting a new benchmark in terms of reliability and performance in GNSS-denied environments.”