Northrop continues work on USAF navigation-related system

Jan. 15, 2014 at 3:17 PM
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WOODLAND HILLS, Calif., Jan. 15 (UPI) -- The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory has given Northrop Grumman a follow-on contract for third-phase development work on a navigation system.

The project is called the Maintain Accurate Geo-registration via Image-nav Compensation, or MAGIC, and is to improve geo-registration accuracy for positioning and pointing applications, even in GPS-denied conditions.

In the first two phases of MAGIC, Northrop Grumman integrated geo registration algorithms in a vision-aided inertial navigation system. In Phase Three, it will continue to develop capabilities for incorporating 3-D maps, improving performance and quantifying uncertainties associated with image-based navigation and conduct additional test flights to prove real-time performance of the system.

Northrop said geo-registration of data is critical for accurate interaction between systems for locating targets and handing off coordinates to other aircraft. A combination of cameras, an inertial measurement unit and any available GPS information are used in the system.

"We continue to refine our new positioning and geo-registration solution to offer greater situational awareness to warfighters, especially in GPS-denied situations," said Charles Volk, vice president, Advanced Navigation Systems business unit, Northrop Grumman.

Northrop is partnered with Toyon Research Corp. for the project.

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